Sign in to follow this  
LiamCasey

Now Watching: The Last Wagon (1956)

8 posts in this topic

The Last Wagon (1956) - Starz Encore On Demand

w/ Richard Widmark, Felicia Farr, Susan Kohner and Tommy Rettig. Plus Nick Adams, James Drury and Timothy Carey.

Still in a Richard Widmark mood after watching The Cobweb (1955). And IMDb's short synopsis for this one (" Wagon train survivors of an Apache attack entrust the sheriff's prisoner, scout Comanche Todd, with their lives despite his wanted-for-murder status. ") makes this one an ideal choice for me. Even though it makes for a very odd double feature.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great choice. I'd like to see an evening of Tommy Rettig films on TCM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LiamCasey said:

The Last Wagon (1956) - Starz Encore On Demand

w/ Richard Widmark, Felicia Farr, Susan Kohner and Tommy Rettig. Plus Nick Adams, James Drury and Timothy Carey.

Still in a Richard Widmark mood after watching The Cobweb (1955). And IMDb's short synopsis for this one (" Wagon train survivors of an Apache attack entrust the sheriff's prisoner, scout Comanche Todd, with their lives despite his wanted-for-murder status. ") makes this one an ideal choice for me. Even though it makes for a very odd double feature.

I always watch The Last Wagon when I see it is on. I am a Richard Widmark fan and, most particularly, I like Felicia Farr. As I have said before, I just wish she had made more (and perhaps, better) movies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw Gary Merrill on Wagon Train yesterday.    I assume this is the episode that was mentioned in the Bette Davis \ Joan Crawford mini-series Feud,  where Davis is making fun of Merrill's career,  making a crack about having to do Wagon Train.    But of course Bette has also been a guest star on the show!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Saw Gary Merrill on Wagon Train yesterday.    I assume this is the episode that was mentioned in the Bette Davis \ Joan Crawford mini-series Feud,  where Davis is making fun Merrill's career,  making a crack about having to do Wagon Train.    But of course Bette has also been a guest star on the show!

She guest starred three times on Wagon Train. Incidentally, her fans have voted those three episodes as the highest rated ones of WT on the IMDb.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, TopBilled said:

She guest starred three times on Wagon Train. Incidentally, her fans have voted those three episodes as the highest rated ones of WT on the IMDb.

Yesterday I was watching Wagon Train and Merrill was in that as well.    (and of course a very young Eastwood).

Yea,  T.V.  keep a lot of actors employed once the studios were no longer signing actors to long term contracts.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yesterday I was watching Wagon Train and Merrill was in that as well.    (and of course a very young Eastwood).

Yea,  T.V.  keep a lot of actors employed once the studios were no longer signing actors to long term contracts.  

Actually Universal continued the studio star system until around 1978. Sharon Gless and Lindsay Wagner, who both appeared in Universal's TV series in the mid-70s, were among the last group.

When Wagon Train was made (1957-1965), they were using Universal contractees in the regular roles. The show was technically produced by Revue, but Revue had a deal with Universal to borrow its talent and use its sound stages. Universal ended up owning the show-- syndicating it in North America; and distributing it overseas. Universal released the series on home video. 

After Robert Horton left, they cast Robert Fuller, since his previous series at Revue/Universal (Laramie) had just ended. After Wagon Train Universal used Fuller as a guest star on shows like The Virginian, then they gave him another starring role (on Emergency!, which was produced in association with Jack Webb's company).

Some of these Universal contractees were used simultaneously in Universal's TV shows and feature films. John McIntire, who was under contract at Universal from 1950 to 1975, made ROUGH NIGHT IN JERICHO playing a key supporting role in between his gigs on Wagon Train and The Virginian. In fact McIntire was such a studio favorite, he was still turning up in Universal projects in the early 1980s, guest-starring on The Incredible Hulk.

Getting back to Wagon Train-- for the guest roles, they had a combination of fading movie stars and new talent that Universal was grooming. Some of the fading movie stars (not Bette Davis) signed long-term contracts with Universal for guest roles. That's why Van Johnson and Anne Baxter turn up on all sorts of Universal crime dramas and westerns in the late 60s and 70s. Ray Milland inked a similar deal. He was guest-starring in weekly series, and he was featured in Universal miniseries like Rich Man, Poor Man. If you look at who turns up most frequently on Columbo and Ironside in the 70s, you can see who was still under contract. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just out at Sedona Arizona a couple weeks ago. I visited the location where they filmed The Last Wagon and about 50 other westerns.  It is just beautiful there.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us