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LiamCasey

Now Watching: Apache Uprising (1965)

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Apache Uprising (1965) - Grit TV

w/ Rory Calhoun, Corinne Calvet, John Russell, Lon Chaney Jr., Gene Evans, Richard Arlen, Arthur Hunnicutt and DeForest Kelley ("Dammit Jim, I'm an outlaw, not a doctor!")

I haven't seen this one before. But between that cast and IMDb's short synopsis ("Various stage coach passengers and outlaws travelling through Indian country are forced to join forces against the Apaches."), it sounds like a good way to pass two hours on a Sunday afternoon. And I can get some tasks done during the commercial breaks!

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Although A. C. Lyles is a name that I was aware of previously, of the 18 feature films that IMDb indicates that he produced, I've only seen one of those previous to today. And, considering the subject of a number of my posts on this message board, it should come as no surprise that that one was Night of the Lepus (1972). But Apache Uprising (1965), although far from a classic western (but very derivative of at least one such classic), was good enough for me to keep an eye out for when other westerns that he produced are being aired in the future.

Highlights of this one? DeForest Kelley portraying a character as far removed from Dr. Leonard McCoy as humanly possible. Lon Chaney Jr. channelling his inner Andy Devine. And Arthur Hunnicutt as, well, Arthur Hunnicutt (El Dorado (1966) airs so often that it struck me as odd that other characters were referring to him as "Bill" rather than as "Bull" in this one.).

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Any lover of old Hollywood who also loves westerns should check out any A. C. Lyles Western.  He always used stars who were past their prime, but still quite active.  Just look at the list of females that he used in leading roles:

Jane Russell, Yvonne DeCarlo, Joan Caulfield, Marilyn  Maxwell, Virginia Mayo, Terry Moore, Linda Darnell, Coleen Gray, plus many more.

And for male leads, he used:  Howard Keel, Dale Robertson, Rory Calhoun, George Montgomery, plus a host of character actors that everyone knows.  A real treat for movie fans.

 

 

 

 

Jane

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My understanding about A.C. Lyles' output in the 60s was that Paramount needed modestly budgeted fare to fill a growing demand for westerns in Europe. The studio hadn't gotten into spaghetti westerns yet. A lot of these aging stars were still hugely popular in Europe because movies from their younger days were still being shown over there.

So it made sense for Lyle to hire these old friends of his-- many of them were idle (like Jane Russell and Linda Darnell) or had done TV shows (like Yvonne De Carlo) when they were in need of a paycheck. When the first A.C. Lyles western made a bundle overseas, Paramount asked him to keep producing more. I don't think these films did as well in the U.S. and Canadian market, because the youth craze in America meant things like THE GRADUATE and BONNIE AND CLYDE would be much more popular. But in Europe they were all quite profitable.

It's fitting that a man who gave older stars a second wind lived a long life. A.C. Lyles died at the age of 95 in 2013.

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