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Forgotten Westerns!


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#1 Terrence1

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:54 PM

It is also shown quite frequently on the Westerns Channel.


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#2 TopBilled

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:27 PM

Maybe someday I'll get to see "The Guns Of Fort Petticoat".

 

A few people have uploaded it on YouTube. Easy to find.


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#3 rayban

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 04:23 PM

Ray, your description would make anyone want to see this.  I really do like it.  And the two actresses have very substantial roles, often missing in Westerns.

 

Another that I like is "the Guns of Fort Petticoat".  It's not a great film, but well worth watching, mainly because of the many female roles played by some of our best character actresses.

Terrence1, thank you, I did not know this film and I was very, very surprised by it.

 

Sometimes, I sit down and watch a Western, which I do not know.

 

And, while I'm watching it, I am seeing a first-rate Western.

 

I'm always grateful for the experience.

 

Maybe someday I'll get to see "The Guns Of Fort Petticoat".


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#4 Terrence1

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:54 AM

Ray, your description would make anyone want to see this.  I really do like it.  And the two actresses have very substantial roles, often missing in Westerns.

 

Another that I like is "the Guns of Fort Petticoat".  It's not a great film, but well worth watching, mainly because of the many female roles played by some of our best character actresses.


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#5 rayban

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:16 AM

"Vengeance Valley" - Richard Thorpe - 1951

 

This one has a very impressive cast - Burt Lancaster, Robert Walker, Joanne Dru, Sally Forrest, Carlton Carpenter, Ray Collins, etc.

 

It reminds me of "Strangers On A Train", too.

 

Ray Collins owns and operates a thriving cattle ranch.

 

He has a son, Robert Walker, who has a dark side (to say the least).

 

He also has a foster son, Burt Lancaster, who tries to rein Robert Walker in.

 

Robert Walker, who is married to Joanne Dru, has already impregnated a girl, Sally Forrest,

who refuses to identity the man who impregnated her.

 

Her brothers, who are truly scary - Hugh O'Brien and John Ireland - want vengeance and think that Burt Lancaster must be "the bad guy".

 

Robert Walker has no allegiances, really and is planning an escape from his father, his foster brother, his wife and the girl and her/his baby.

 

A panoramic cattle round-up provides the impetus to the eventual explosion between Burt Lancaster and Robert Walker.

 

Mr. Walker is most impressive as a young man who is just - no good.

 

Mr. Lancaster is most impressive, too, as a young man who wants to honor his obligations.

 

Miss Dru, as Mr. Walker's wife, who can take him or leave him, is her own woman, too.

 

And Miss Forrest, as the poor girl, who has a baby out of wedlock, is nicely feisty.

 

All in all, a very competent Western by Richard Thorpe, who seems comfortable in any genre, that is constantly in touch with its' dark side.

 

(Interestingly, "Strangers On A Train" was released in the same year - 1951).

 

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#6 wouldbestar

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 05:40 PM

 

By the way, any truth to the story that Leo Gordon is the gunman James Arness faces down in the classic opening title segment of Gunsmoke. The build of the character is about right but the face is hard to place. 

 

I suppose I could google for the answer but then I lose out on engagement with fellow fans.  :D

 

I don't know about that but Matt did shoot down Leo in an early episode.  Other notable villains were Paul Richards in the premier episode who takes Matt down before he returns the favor and an almost unrecognizable Lawrence Dobkin as a friend turned hired killer whose latest mark is Matt.  That's just the ones I can remember.   


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#7 rayban

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 11:42 AM

Nice to see this one get an airing. I caught it back in 2011 and here's my review.

 

Murder on the Montana Queen.

 

The Rawhide Years is directed by Rudolph Maté and adapted from the Norman A. Fox novel by Earl Felton, Robert Presnell Jr. & D.D. Beauchamp. It stars Tony Curtis, Colleen Miller, William Demarest, Arthur Kennedy, William Gargan & Peter Van Eyck. It's a Technicolor production with photography by Irving Glassberg and the music is scored by Frank Skinner & Hans J. Salter.

Plot finds Curtis as Ben Matthews, a riverboat card player who along with his elder partner, Carrico (Donald Randolph), cheat unsuspecting players. But during one particular sting on The Montana Queen, Ben is found out by an observer, Minor Watson (Matt Comfort), who quietly pulls Ben aside to let him know he has been rumbled and that he has destroyed the life of one of the older players. This gives Ben an attack of consciousness who fixes the next game so that Matt can win enough money to pay the old fella back. After breaking the partnership with Carrico, Ben has a meeting with Matt who offers him a job back on his ranch in Galena. It's food for thought but later that night Matt is murdered and Ben and Carrico are chief suspects. Forced to go on the run as Ben Martin, he finds work but eventually feels he can't sit still in one place and he hooks up with shifty guide Rick Harper (Kennedy), for he knows at some point he must get back to Galena to solve the murder, clear his name and win back his true love, Zoe Fontaine (Miller).

Little known, probably forgotten and rarely seen, is this fun, entertaining but formulaic Western in the cannon of Tony Curtis. Running at just under an hour and half, Maté (D.O.A.) and his team make sure they fill out the picture with as many Western movie staples as they can. Only thing missing here is Indians, tho we do get a cigar store wooden Indian that's the Macguffin of the piece. The story is a safe one to execute, with its murder mystery core, romantic strands and shifty villains waiting to be knocked down a peg or two, it is never less than interesting. It also looks very nice in Technicolor, especially when the film goes off stage and out into Lone Pine, California, where Glassberg (Backlash) uses the backdrop to great effect. There's also a trio of pleasing songs to enjoy, "The Gypsy With Fire In His Shoes", "Happy Go Lucky" and "Give Me Your Love".

The cast, perhaps unsurprisingly for a B Western, is a very mixed bag. Curtis is very unconvincing as a cowboy type, but he's very handsome here and his character is one that's easy to get on side with as he seeks to achieve his goals. Curtis is aided by Kennedy (Where the River Bends), who is playing the material the way it should be played (with tongue in cheek and glint in the eye), they form a nice double act and Kennedy shines as the lovable rogue type. Miller sadly is very poor and her scenes with Curtis lack spark or conviction, while Van Eyck is just wooden as the chief villain. Demarest (The Jolson Story) is his usual reliable and stoic self, while the bonus turn comes from William Gargan (They Knew What They Wanted) who does a nice line in officialdom as Marshal Sommers. All told it's a more than adequate time filler for fans of Curtis and light entertainment Westerns. From gunfights to fisticuffs, to horseback pursuits, there's enough here to offset some of the ham and cheese formula that comes with such a production. 6.5/10

For me, William Gargan will always be Joan Crawford's co-star in "Rain".


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#8 AlamoScout210

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 01:14 AM

 

Black Patch is directed by Allen H. Miner and written by Leo Gordon.

 

Okay so you had me at "written by Leo Gordon". I will be on the lookout for Black Patch.

 

By the way, any truth to the story that Leo Gordon is the gunman James Arness faces down in the classic opening title segment of Gunsmoke. The build of the character is about right but the face is hard to place. 

 

I suppose I could google for the answer but then I lose out on engagement with fellow fans.  :D


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#9 Spikeopath

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:24 PM

Black Patch (1957)

 

I watched this little gem again and was amazed one more time at what can be done with a small budget when the people involved give a damn about what they're doing.  The few flaws are more than overcome by what's right.  

 

Either the cinematography leaves a bit to be desired or this was a bad print.  When I first saw it in the 60’s it seemed a bit too dark even for b&w so it might not be my copy.  That’s a shame.

 

The story, by co-star Leo Gordon, is unusual in that it shows people dealing with unwarranted gossip and jumped conclusions as well as jealousy which leads to a crime.  We see organized crime was not just the provence of certain nationalities but greedy men everywhere.  And that law enforcement is a tough job with little appreciation.  Sound familiar?

 

George Montgomery is Matt, a marshal whose work has blinded him in one eye giving the film its title and making him question his future.  While he is finding himself his girlfriend marries a friend.  She shows up in town, unaware that he is there, to meet her husband not knowing he has helped rob a bank so they can buy a ranch.  The husband is still jealous of  Matt and despite her denials has reason to be.  She meets with Matt to prove she’s over him but the opposite happens.  Flytrap, Matt’s young and not too bight other deputy, knows about this.  

 

When the sheriff from the town where the robbery occurred arrives looking for strangers who might have been in on it, the deputy mentions Matt’s friend, Frank.  The sheriff and witness insist on seeing Frank and the witness identifies him forcing the Matt to jail him.  Frank refuses to say where the money is and Matt will not release him to the sheriff without a hearing.  The sheriff believes Matt is in on the crime.

 

The saloon owner, whose style Matt is crimping, arranges for Frank’s escape, then kills him in the attempt.  It looks like Matt killed him for the money and his wife and soon both are the targets of gossip and accusations.  Flytrap, who has his first crush on the woman, blames Matt and turns against the man he’s idolized.  All of this finally comes together but not in the typical way.

 

The actor who plays Flytrap, Tom Pittman, is unknown to me but he nearly steals the movie.  Sebastian Cabot is the saloon owner and Lynn Cartwright-Mrs. Gordon-is his girlfriend who surprises us in the end.  Montgomery’s frequent co-star, Diane Brewster, is the woman in the triangle.  All know what they’re doing.

 

There's a stereotypical Mexican-American deputy, which makes you wince, but otherwise it's a good movie that deserves a better print.  This keeps it from getting three stars rather than two and a half out of four. 

 

Great post, thanks for the read.

 

This definitely falls into the forgotten category, it still only has 4 reviews on IMDb! One of which is mine >

 

He lost his eye, his woman, but he will not lose his dignity!

 

Black Patch is directed by Allen H. Miner and written by Leo Gordon. It stars George Montgomery, Diane Brewster, Tom Pittman, Leo Gordon, Strother Martin and Sebastian Cabot

A veteran of the Civil War, Clay Morgan (Montgomery), minus an eye, decided not to return to his home town and started afresh in Santa Rita, New Mexico. Working as the town marshal, and keeping very good order, his equilibrium is upset when an old friend and his wife arrive in town. When news comes about a bank robbery in a nearby town, it signals the start of events that will see Clay forced into dark corners…

Sometimes a Western fan will stumble upon a movie and wonder why it isn't better known. Black Patch is one such Oater, which in the grand scheme of things is criminal. More so when you consider the cast list, the cinematographer and the musical scorer (it was Goldsmith's first movie score and his fans will spot the early strains of some future work).

Beautifully photographed through a black and white film noir filter, Black Patch is big on mood. Be it oppressive as Miner works wonders within the confines of the Monogram Ranch locale, or psychologically pungent as the principal players battle their hang-ups and heartaches, there is not a single frame in the picture that isn't laced with adult Western textures.

The characters are presented with emotional depth, not as some Western shoot-out roll call of cannon fodder. The romantic angle is nicely etched, never cloying the story but adding to the bubbling enigma of the human condition. Gordon writes himself a good part, but he isn't interested in writing a Yee-Haw Good Guys Vs Bad Guys genre piece, there's a lot of interesting characters here who are all damaged or hurting in one way or another.

Having Montgomery in the lead helps, he was always a real good brooder, and he does it with considerable pathos here, and with Colman (Walk a Crooked Mile) and Miner (The Ride Back) favouring film noir techniques, Monty is often framed in classic noirish style. Brewster (The Young Philladelphians) blends both sultry with sincere regret, Cabot (Terror in a Texas Town) has a good old time of it as the town weasel, while young Pittman (The Proud Rebel) gives his young character the requisite pangs of confusion as he tries to make sense of everything around him.

This is very much one for the psychological adult Western crowd, not one for those who prefer stunts and fights every ten minutes. It has a few faltering moments, such as a turn of events involving the Pittman and Brewster characters, but this particular black patch is actually gold for the like minded adult Western fan. 8/10


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#10 Spikeopath

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:17 PM

I just discovered a charming U-I movie from 1956, The Rawhide Years, with Tony Curtis, Arthur Kennedy and Colleen Miller.  It's an adventure-comedy with most of the humor coming from, believe it or not, Kennedy.  Tony starts out as a shady gambler who sees a friend killed and tries to help solve the murder and keep his pockets filled.  Kennedy does too but doesn't care how he does it.  They spend much of the film on the lam with Tony also trying to mend fences with saloon singer girlfriend Miller.  The relationship between the men often teeters on their becoming adversaries but never does which is refreshing.  It's in color with a number of Western character veterans-Trevor Bardette is one-and nothing spectacular but it's 90 minutes of fun.  Ms. Miller sings and dances to several tunes and is quite good.  Three stars.   

 

Nice to see this one get an airing. I caught it back in 2011 and here's my review.

 

Murder on the Montana Queen.

 

The Rawhide Years is directed by Rudolph Maté and adapted from the Norman A. Fox novel by Earl Felton, Robert Presnell Jr. & D.D. Beauchamp. It stars Tony Curtis, Colleen Miller, William Demarest, Arthur Kennedy, William Gargan & Peter Van Eyck. It's a Technicolor production with photography by Irving Glassberg and the music is scored by Frank Skinner & Hans J. Salter.

Plot finds Curtis as Ben Matthews, a riverboat card player who along with his elder partner, Carrico (Donald Randolph), cheat unsuspecting players. But during one particular sting on The Montana Queen, Ben is found out by an observer, Minor Watson (Matt Comfort), who quietly pulls Ben aside to let him know he has been rumbled and that he has destroyed the life of one of the older players. This gives Ben an attack of consciousness who fixes the next game so that Matt can win enough money to pay the old fella back. After breaking the partnership with Carrico, Ben has a meeting with Matt who offers him a job back on his ranch in Galena. It's food for thought but later that night Matt is murdered and Ben and Carrico are chief suspects. Forced to go on the run as Ben Martin, he finds work but eventually feels he can't sit still in one place and he hooks up with shifty guide Rick Harper (Kennedy), for he knows at some point he must get back to Galena to solve the murder, clear his name and win back his true love, Zoe Fontaine (Miller).

Little known, probably forgotten and rarely seen, is this fun, entertaining but formulaic Western in the cannon of Tony Curtis. Running at just under an hour and half, Maté (D.O.A.) and his team make sure they fill out the picture with as many Western movie staples as they can. Only thing missing here is Indians, tho we do get a cigar store wooden Indian that's the Macguffin of the piece. The story is a safe one to execute, with its murder mystery core, romantic strands and shifty villains waiting to be knocked down a peg or two, it is never less than interesting. It also looks very nice in Technicolor, especially when the film goes off stage and out into Lone Pine, California, where Glassberg (Backlash) uses the backdrop to great effect. There's also a trio of pleasing songs to enjoy, "The Gypsy With Fire In His Shoes", "Happy Go Lucky" and "Give Me Your Love".

The cast, perhaps unsurprisingly for a B Western, is a very mixed bag. Curtis is very unconvincing as a cowboy type, but he's very handsome here and his character is one that's easy to get on side with as he seeks to achieve his goals. Curtis is aided by Kennedy (Where the River Bends), who is playing the material the way it should be played (with tongue in cheek and glint in the eye), they form a nice double act and Kennedy shines as the lovable rogue type. Miller sadly is very poor and her scenes with Curtis lack spark or conviction, while Van Eyck is just wooden as the chief villain. Demarest (The Jolson Story) is his usual reliable and stoic self, while the bonus turn comes from William Gargan (They Knew What They Wanted) who does a nice line in officialdom as Marshal Sommers. All told it's a more than adequate time filler for fans of Curtis and light entertainment Westerns. From gunfights to fisticuffs, to horseback pursuits, there's enough here to offset some of the ham and cheese formula that comes with such a production. 6.5/10


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#11 cigarjoe

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 05:58 PM

A few, sort of forgotten Westerns that I really like that have a Spaghetti Western picaresque feel to them are 

 

Viva Villa (1934)

 

Perhaps the touchstone grand-daddy of "Zapata" Westerns was MGM's 1934 "Viva Villa" (Black & White) starring Wallace Beery, directed by Jack Conway & Howard Hawks. Its a fictionalized account of Pancho Villa's life, but it does hit some of the major plot points of the real life Villa, however it doesn't even mention Villa's invasion and bank robbery of Columbus, New Mexico and the subsequent unsuccessful pursuit by General John Pershing into Mexico. Its shot partially in Mexico and in actuality only about 15 years after the events portrayed. This film in parts has a very SW feel to it.

 
A little sample from the beginning:
 
A decree is posted on a tree a priest reads it to the peons, their land is being taken over by the local Don, the peons ask the priest what can they do, the priest says "pray".
 
A boy watches his peon father get whipped to death for questioning the take over of the peons land by a wealthy Don. In a dark alley the boy stabs the whip man in the back and scrambles up into the hills. Thirty some odd years later he rides down as badit chief Pancho Villa.
 
The following scene is indicative of the tone of the film.
We see a courtroom, on a bench six peon prisoners,  one is picking his nose, lol, his finger must be up to the second knuckle, lol.   
 
Into the courtroom enters Don Pablo he goes up to the judge and gives him a mirror and with a wink & a nod tells him to look at the back which must hold a risque' image, (signifying the decadence of the aristocracy no doubt, lol). The Judge thanks the Don and proceeds to say that we don't need to clutter up the day with a trial these men are guilty. The six are then strung up on a gallows outside.
 
We see a shot of peons looking at the dead men whose feet swing in the foreground, we then hear shots and cut to a bandit army overthrowing the town.  Pancho Villa rides up bandoleer over one shoulder (Beery resembles the real Villa, contemporary describers of Berry have described him as looking like an overstuffed laundry bag, lol), and we get a close up of Berry as he looks at the dead men and growls "cut them down".
 
We cut back to the courtroom, in burst Villa's men and his right hand man Sierra (Leo Carrillo who's character is probably based on the butcher Fierro) takes a bead on Don Miguel, and shoots him as he stands huddled with the rest of the officials on the dias. Sierra then shoots down Don Pablo. Villa runs into the courtroom and yells out "Sierra, you wait!"
 
Pancho turns back towards the outside he yells "bring them in". We see peons caring the hanged men into the courtroom. Villa, "put on the bench", cut to Villa standing alongside the bodies sitting on the bench "straighten them up"
 
Villa looks admiringly over the dead men, he smiles then shakes his head as he turns to the officials, "now everybody shut up," he first gestures lovingly to the dead men, then with an angry look at the officials  states "we're going to have a trial".
Judge, runs up to a railing "I'm a government official and I demand to be heard"
Pancho, "well, ah fine, you go head and talk....., there is the jury" gesturing to the dead men.
Judge, "I was only doing my duty..."
Pancho interrupts "DUTY!,"  Pancho turns and he talks to the jury, "jury, did you hear, he was just doing his duty" he chuckles.
Judge "these men were sent to me by Don Miguel for the crimes they committed."
Pancho "crimes what crimes?"
Another official hands Pancho a piece of paper saying "they are wrote out in full".
Pancho exaggerates opening the paper looking at it turning it over, and showing it to the jury, he chuckles again and shrugs "sorry I ... I do not read," he hands the paper to the judge, "perhaps you should read it to the jury they have ears same as you have but..."  and his voice changes into a growl, "perhaps they DON"T HEAR SO GOOD NOW!, so read LOUD, LOUD!"
Judge, "but this is outrageous, I demand Justice, Justice!"
 
BANG the judge is shot in the back by Sierra.
 
Pancho sarcastically, "Sierra now why didn't you let him finish," Pancho gestures to the jury, "now you spoiled the trial."
Sierra, "I do not like, it take too long."
Pancho, "Well then we'll hurry, now this is the law of Pancho Villa's court, TWO FOR ONE, understand, for every peon killed I will kill two major domos or the best that I can find".
 
Sierra starts to go for his gun, Pancho stops him, "one moment Sierra.." Pancho turns to the jury "any objections from the jury?" he elaborately gestures as he walks along the jury line bending toward them and  cupping his hand to his ear, straining to hear, "no?", he turns back and shrugs his shoulders to Sierra "no objections from the jury". Pancho points his thumb over his shoulder as he orders Sierra "you finish", then Villa walks out of the frame as Sierra and his men execute the rest of the officials.
 
Anytime Beery is on, its a scream, just hilarious, his portrayal of Villa is as memorable and as lovable as Eli Wallach's Tuco. Beery portrayed the lovable rascal/rogue, in most of his films and its a pitty that a lot of his work is unavailable or hard to find. He should have won an oscar for this role. Another sad factor is most all of his work was in B&W, so you may catch one of his performances occasionally on cable on TMC, if you are lucky.
 
It has a side story with an American reporter Johnny Skyes (Stuart Erwin(obviously base on real American Reporter Reed)) that is also humorous in the way Villa and the reporter interact. Fay Wray makes an appearance as a possible love interest that goes fatally wrong which culminates in a major plot point Other love interests plots are kept to a minimum thankfully, and there is a running gag on all the women Pancho has married (one in every town and village) in order to get in the sack with them.
 
Its a typical Hollywood vehicle with a twist but its a hoot. The fact that it was a western about Villa freed it somewhat from the typical manifest destiny theme and Hollywood melodramatic moralizing.
 
The Texas Rangers (1936)
 
 "The Texas Rangers" directed by King Vidor so I watched this film tonight. I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. It has a nice picaresque start to it.  
 
Jack Oakie a great comedian and character actor who has all but been forgotten plays Henry B. 'Wahoo' Jones and we see him driving a stagecoach against a backdrop of Texas prairie.  After he has a funny bit of conversation with his shotgun rider the stage is held up by Jim Hawkins played by Fred MacMurray and Sam 'Polka Dot' McGee played by Lloyd Nolan who is equally great in this film.  
 
The stage hold up is very picaresque with Oakie providing most of the humor, there is a sequence where he is crying crocodile tears when the bandits ask for his watch and he tells then that it was a memento from his father, a fade to black reveals, in the next scene around a campfire, that Whaoo, Hawkins, and McGee are all in cahoots and they split the loot and Oakie gets his watch back. After a short interval a voice calls out of the dark that they are surrounded and to get their hands up, and Hawkins kicks out the campfire and we get another fade to black with shots ringing out. 
 
We next cut to Wahoo again driving a stage for what we expect is a repeat of the con. This time however the shotgun is a Texas Ranger and at a water stop another comedic display from Wahoo warns Hawkins minus a missing McGee who is planning to rob the stage not to attempt the con.  The two outlaws decide that since the Rangers are a tough outfit to go up against maybe they should join them for wages rather than fight them. They get an assignment to track down cattle rustlers and discover their old partner in crime McGee driving a stolen heard with some Mexican vaqueros and they decide that they can con the Rangers using their inside information on money shipments with McGee doing the dirty work.
 
Anyway a love interest and a kid that they rescue from marauding Indians gums up the works and basically Wahoo & Hawkins get "religion".
 
As I started watching this as soon as I heard the name Wahoo a switch clicked and I realised that I saw a remake of this that was called "The Streets Of Laredo" (1949) with William Holden, and William Bendix as "Reuben Whaoo Jones" with a Brooklyn accent. That remake palled in comparison to "The Texas Rangers" the unrepentant bad guy in Laredo sucked compared to Loyd Nolan. 
 
Also making a cameo is George "Gabby" Hays as a judge, all in all "The Texas Rangers" in Black & white and even with the predictable Hays Code redemptive moral ending is superior to the remake. Worth a look if you are interested.
 
20 Mule Team (1940)
 
Director: Richard Thorpe with Stars: Wallace Beery, Leo Carrillo, Marjorie Rambeau, Douglas Fowley, Noah Beery Jr., Berton Churchill, Arthur Hohl, Clem Bevans, a surprisingly great little Western the back and  forth between Skinner Bill (Beery) and Paiute Pete (Carrillo) is priceless, and you get great Death Valley locations needs a DVD release 8/10
 

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#12 TopBilled

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 03:17 PM

I just discovered a charming U-I movie from 1956, The Rawhide Years, with Tony Curtis, Arthur Kennedy and Colleen Miller.  It's an adventure-comedy with most of the humor coming from, believe it or not, Kennedy.  Tony starts out as a shady gambler who sees a friend killed and tries to help solve the murder and keep his pockets filled.  Kennedy does too but doesn't care how he does it.  They spend much of the film on the lam with Tony also trying to mend fences with saloon singer girlfriend Miller.  The relationship between the men often teeters on their becoming adversaries but never does which is refreshing.  It's in color with a number of Western character veterans-Trevor Bardette is one-and nothing spectacular but it's 90 minutes of fun.  Three stars.   

 

It turns up on some of the western channels, and I believe it can be streamed on Amazon Prime if you have a Starz subscription. 

 

The riverboat set was used in RIVER LADY an earlier U-I film with Yvonne de Carlo, and it was also reused for Tyrone Power's MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#13 wouldbestar

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 03:14 PM

I just discovered a charming U-I movie from 1956, The Rawhide Years, with Tony Curtis, Arthur Kennedy and Colleen Miller.  It's an adventure-comedy with most of the humor coming from, believe it or not, Kennedy.  Tony starts out as a shady gambler who sees a friend killed and tries to help solve the murder and keep his pockets filled.  Kennedy does too but doesn't care how he does it.  They spend much of the film on the lam with Tony also trying to mend fences with saloon singer girlfriend Miller.  The relationship between the men often teeters on their becoming adversaries but never does which is refreshing.  It's in color with a number of Western character veterans-Trevor Bardette is one-and nothing spectacular but it's 90 minutes of fun.  Ms. Miller sings and dances to several tunes and is quite good.  Three stars.   


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#14 rayban

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 06:27 PM

So many good films were made on a small budget.


"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#15 wouldbestar

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 03:57 PM

Black Patch (1957)

 

I watched this little gem again and was amazed one more time at what can be done with a small budget when the people involved give a damn about what they're doing.  The few flaws are more than overcome by what's right.  

 

Either the cinematography leaves a bit to be desired or this was a bad print.  When I first saw it in the 60’s it seemed a bit too dark even for b&w so it might not be my copy.  That’s a shame.

 

The story, by co-star Leo Gordon, is unusual in that it shows people dealing with unwarranted gossip and jumped conclusions as well as jealousy which leads to a crime.  We see organized crime was not just the provence of certain nationalities but greedy men everywhere.  And that law enforcement is a tough job with little appreciation.  Sound familiar?

 

George Montgomery is Matt, a marshal whose work has blinded him in one eye giving the film its title and making him question his future.  While he is finding himself his girlfriend marries a friend.  She shows up in town, unaware that he is there, to meet her husband not knowing he has helped rob a bank so they can buy a ranch.  The husband is still jealous of  Matt and despite her denials has reason to be.  She meets with Matt to prove she’s over him but the opposite happens.  Flytrap, Matt’s young and not too bight other deputy, knows about this.  

 

When the sheriff from the town where the robbery occurred arrives looking for strangers who might have been in on it, the deputy mentions Matt’s friend, Frank.  The sheriff and witness insist on seeing Frank and the witness identifies him forcing the Matt to jail him.  Frank refuses to say where the money is and Matt will not release him to the sheriff without a hearing.  The sheriff believes Matt is in on the crime.

 

The saloon owner, whose style Matt is crimping, arranges for Frank’s escape, then kills him in the attempt.  It looks like Matt killed him for the money and his wife and soon both are the targets of gossip and accusations.  Flytrap, who has his first crush on the woman, blames Matt and turns against the man he’s idolized.  All of this finally comes together but not in the typical way.

 

The actor who plays Flytrap, Tom Pittman, is unknown to me but he nearly steals the movie.  Sebastian Cabot is the saloon owner and Lynn Cartwright-Mrs. Gordon-is his girlfriend who surprises us in the end.  Montgomery’s frequent co-star, Diane Brewster, is the woman in the triangle.  All know what they’re doing.

 

There's a stereotypical Mexican-American deputy, which makes you wince, but otherwise it's a good movie that deserves a better print.  This keeps it from getting three stars rather than two and a half out of four. 


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#16 fredbaetz

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 02:12 AM

One thing about Scott's movies was that he had great villains to play against.  There was Lee Marvin in the afore named films, Richard Boone in The Tall T, Andrew Duggan and Michael Pate in Westbound and Claude Akins  in Comanche Station.  The one error is Pernell Roberts in Ride Lonesome; how I wish Akins or Marvin had done that one.  This always made the films more interesting as these great actors made you see things from their point of view and this could be very disconcerting.  The Scott, Brown and  Boetticher, trio really knew their stuff.

 

Budd B did the same thing for Audie Murphy at Universal.  My mother once commented "Can't he make anything else besides Westerns?"  As good as his usually were why did he have to?

 

fredbaetz:  You're still alive?  I've not seen your posts in quite a while and was afraid you'd gone the way of that "other Fred" our late and lamented Dobbs.  Glad it's not true.

Yes. I'm still kicking around the ol homestead. My better half passed away about a year ago and it's been slow getting back to normal. She and I were together 25 years. But it's good to join up with the "Hollywood Posse" and talk movies again. Thanks for the welcome back...


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#17 TopBilled

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 09:49 AM

I am glad that the Randolph Scott westerns are available in collections - because I do not really know the man's work in Westerns - but the nihilism of "Hangman's Knot" really knocked me out.

 

What made it seem so nihilistic to you?


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#18 rayban

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 06:41 AM

I am glad that the Randolph Scott westerns are available in collections - because I do not really know the man's work in Westerns - but the nihilism of "Hangman's Knot" really knocked me out.


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#19 wouldbestar

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 07:15 PM

One thing about Scott's movies was that he had great villains to play against.  There was Lee Marvin in the afore named films, Richard Boone in The Tall T, Andrew Duggan and Michael Pate in Westbound and Claude Akins  in Comanche Station.  The one error is Pernell Roberts in Ride Lonesome; how I wish Akins or Marvin had done that one.  This always made the films more interesting as these great actors made you see things from their point of view and this could be very disconcerting.  The Scott, Brown and  Boetticher, trio really knew their stuff.

 

Budd B did the same thing for Audie Murphy at Universal.  My mother once commented "Can't he make anything else besides Westerns?"  As good as his usually were why did he have to?

 

fredbaetz:  You're still alive?  I've not seen your posts in quite a while and was afraid you'd gone the way of that "other Fred" our late and lamented Dobbs.  Glad it's not true.


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#20 TopBilled

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 12:42 PM

TopBilled, I like your comments about Randolph Scott.  You're right--he fit the Western genre so perfectly.  And he made some good ones!  One of my favorites is "Comanche Station" with the beautiful Nancy Gates.  It's interesting, because he had to fight his feelings for Nancy, since she was married.  A great story line, and so believable.

 

Terrence.

 

Thanks Terrence. But I think Ray's comments were better than mine. :)


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).





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