The Angel And The Bad Man is one of those westerns that makes it as a both a great western and a great love story. Quirt Evans is one of John Wayne’s most powerful and enduring roles opposite the close to perfection Gail Russell as Penelope Worth his Quaker love.
Quirt and Penelope meet in awkward circumstances. Having been wounded in a bank robbery a desperate Quirt knocks on Penelope’s door. Penelope of course saves him and nurses him back to health in the bosom of her Quaker family with a strong silent father and a doting mother. Quirt doesn’t stand a chance as both his body and soul are whipped back into shape by the Worth family.
The beauty of The Angel And The Bad Man is that it never overplays its hand. As rough and tumble as Quirt had to be to survive he is awkward and self conscious around people who are alien to his way of life. While he sees the value in the new way of life and of course in the eyes of Penelope he still sees value in some of the ways he used to live with a gun in his hand and a willingness to fight at the drop of a hat.
There really are no weak moments in The Angel And The Bad Man. Wayne is simply perfect for the role of Quirt Evans. The supporting cast including Gail Russell, Harry Carey as Marshal McClintock, Bruce Cabot, Irene Rich (Penelope's mother) and Stephen Grant (Penelope's father) all put together superb performances. This was one of the finest movies John Wayne every produced both as an actor and the producer of the movie.