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Lesser known westerns


Conan

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One great western is No Man's Law, with the hero being a wild horse that keeps watch over an old miner and his beautiful young daughter as she goes skinny dipping. When two murderous conmen happen upon the mine and the girl it's up to the horse to save the day. Notable for Oliver Hardy playing one of the murderous bad guys and he plays it very well. This was a silent picture made in the late 20's before the teaming of Laurel and Hardy. Surprisingly I found no mention of this film in the recent book Hollywood Hoofbeats.

 

Another fun one is Hidden Valley which has an early appearance of the Goodyear Blimp rescuing the hero and his pals from a lost tribe of cannibals.

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Those definitely are some lesser-known westerns. I just love B westerns, but they're so hard to come by these days if presenetation quality means anything to you. Bob Steele is one of my favorites, but his early, pre-Mesquiteer movies are so hard to get good copies of.

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Caught the end of a picture called "Ramrod" on the Westerns channel with Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake(!). It's several years after "Sullivan's Travels" and what little I saw was ok but a little hard to see Veronica in a western. McCrea is always good. Pretty good supporting part by Don DeFore.

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I recorded RAMROD off the Westerns Channel a few years ago. It's loaded with good character actors. I wish the Westerns Channel would show more of the hard to find westerns from the 30s and 40s. Their lineup is quite limited. Charles Starret made 65 some-odd Durango Kid movies, yet the Westerns Channel only plays the same 24 or so, over and over again. Also, they always show widescreen movies in pan & scan. What a bummer. At least the older movies are good when they show them.

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Anyone know why The Last Hunt seems to be lost and forgotten? It featured

Stewart Granger, Robert Taylor as the baddie, Lloyd Nolan, Debra Paget as the native love interest, and Russ Tamblyn as the half-breed. What a lineup and yet, where is it? Tied up in some legal closet?

 

Also where's Running Target with Arthur Franz as the sheriff:? Its setting was the high country of Colorado, I think, where a modern manhunt sought an escaped fugitive in love with one of his female pursuers played by Doris Dowling.

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SInister Cinema has one of the largest collections I have seen of "B" westerns. Dating all the way back to the silent days up through the forties and beyond. Most of their collection consists of pictures made during the 1930's and 40's.

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Has anyone seen "Black Bart" from Universal in 1948 with Dan Dureyea as the bad guy? I read a little rave about this in Edward Buscombe's Overlook Encyclopedia of the Western and have wanted to see it ever since, but I've never seen it listed anywhere or refered to by anyone else.

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I've never seen that movie either, but it is listed in some of my reference books. I looked it up in Shoot-em-ups: The Complete Reference Guide to Westerns of the Sound Era by Les Adams and Buck Rainey--two of the best-known authorities on the genre--and found a little bit of information about it. It does sound interesting--Duryea with Lily Munster and Pa Kettle in Technicolor!

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DEVIL'S DOORWAY, starring Robert Taylor and directed by Anthony Mann. One of Taylor's best roles playing an Indian returning from fighting in the civil war only to have to fight again to keep is own land. TCM aired it a few months ago and I was wise enough to tape it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone remember Haunted Gold starring John Wayne and Mantan Moreland? I haven't been able to track it down though I know it exists because I have a tape of it from way back when it aired on TNT.

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Gerb's "three at a whack" comment is quote prophetic because on Nov. 6 starting at 6:30am TCM is showing three Wayne "B" pictures and the first one is "Haunted Gold." "Randy Rides Alone" where Wayne "sings" wraps up the three. Check the schedule.

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A B western from the Fifties that I always remember fondly is "Dragoon Wells Massacre." It is a variant on the theme of a bunch of people who can't stand each other come together to fight off an Indian uprising. Jack Elam was one of the guys, and I've always remembered his death scene and how the marshall talked about Elam's character to the little girl among the travelers after he had died.

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Hi Gerb,

 

I started a new thread yesterday ("Remembering an Old Western Title") and I noticed that you seem to know an awful lot about lesser-known B westerns. Would you have any idea about the western I am referring to in my thread? For the life of me, I simply cannot remember how that western was called. The only thing that seemed to have registered in my memory about that western is the four outlaws (four brothers pushed and encouraged by their father(?)) whose first name were Matthew, Marc, Luc and John. Of course, there is a slight reference to the Bible in the story and the hero of this western was this marshall/sheriff who was determined to rid the town of these four bad brothers (and succeeded).

 

Can you, please, help me with this? Thanks a million,

 

CapMatifou

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  • 4 weeks later...

After posting about "Haunted Gold" I just happened to be up that morning when TCM showed it. Unfortunately I am not always able to check the schedule, and when I do I only check for the times I know I will be able to view, which even then is not guaranteed that I can. I just hate knowing that there are movies that I really want to see being shown at times that I can't watch. I was also wrong in thinking that it was Mantan Moreland in "Haunted Gold", I've forgotten his name now, Bleu something or other, but he does remind me of Mantan Moreland.

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A terrific Western from the early Thirties is "Law and Order." From 1932, it was directed by Edward L. Cahn, with a script by John Huston from a novel by W. R. Burnette that is loosely based on the Tombstone career of Wyatt Earp.

 

Walter Huston plays the Earp figure and Harry Carey is the Doc Holiday figure. It is a tough and gritty film. Andy Devine has a memorable bit as a condemned man, and Walter Brennan has a walk-on as the guy who sweeps out the saloon. Really worth seeing. An underrated gem. There were good Westerns before "Stagecoach." (But probably not many.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you want to enjoy a lesser known western (at least in the States) try 1975's Sholay. It's a Bollywood western based on spaghetti westerns and is lovingly referred to as a "curry western". It runs over three hours and includes musical numbers! Its very entertaining if you're willing to just go with it.

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I once saw an Indian film from the late Eighties called "Spices." It was supposed to have been controversial, in that it was about women who fought back against these men who wanted to hurt them in some way. (I don't remember the plot details now.)

 

However, what struck me was that it was a lot like "Rio Bravo." There was the big landowner as the bad guy. The women were besieged in the town, and the only guy who helped them out was an old cripple with a shotgun, who reminded me of Walter Brennan's "Stumpy." I liked the movie a lot more than I expected, thinking of it as an Asian "Rio Bravo."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: the 11/05/2006 question from CapMatifu regarding the movie about four outlaw brothers with New Testiment names: This was a film entitled "THE HELLIONS", a British movie set in the Trans Vaal section of South Africa, and it did have the look of an American Western. The plot eliments most closely resimbled "HIGH NOON",starting with the fact that the outlaw father was seeking vingence against the local lawman for a past injury. The father was named John; the sons were named Matthew, Marc, Luc, and Jubal. Richard Todd played the heroic local lawman, Lionel Jefferies played the brutal father, and James Booth played the most vicious of the sons. The action departed from the "HIGH NOON" model when the whole damn town hit the street to rumble for the Constible when the chipswere down. It is a good, solid action flick, and worth the trouble if you can track down a copy (two and a half stars from Maltin; I would have said three. And, there's tuneful little theme song. Good luck on finding an opportunity to view it.

Regards,

 

Flickerfan

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Re: the 11/05/2006 question from CapMatifu regarding the movie about four outlaw brothers with New Testiment names: This was a film entitled "THE HELLIONS", a British movie set in the Trans Vaal section of South Africa, and it did have the look of an American Western. The plot eliments most closely resimbled "HIGH NOON",starting with the fact that the outlaw father was seeking vingence against the local lawman for a past injury. The father was named John; the sons were named Matthew, Marc, Luc, and Jubal. Richard Todd played the heroic local lawman, Lionel Jefferies played the brutal father, and James Booth played the most vicious of the sons. The action departed from the "HIGH NOON" model when the whole damn town hit the street to rumble for the Constible when the chipswere down. It is a good, solid action flick, and worth the trouble if you can track down a copy (two and a half stars from Maltin; I would have said three. And, there's tuneful little theme song. Good luck on finding an opportunity to view it.

Regards,

 

Flickerfan

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I have a title I've been trying to find recently. It's a movie from the mid-50's--1955 or so. Stewart Granger is the only performer whose name I can recall. It was a standard Western conflict--rancher vs. sodbusters, small ranchers vs. landgrabber, whatever. At one point, Granger wedges sticks of dinamite into the side of a canyon. When the Bad Guys start through the canyon, he sets the dinamite off by shooting at it with a rifle from a safe distance. The only other thing I remember is that Burl Ives sang the hymn "The Ninty And Nine" along with the opening credits.

 

Any help locating this title will be appreciated.

 

Regards,

flickerfan

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flickerfan:

 

A quick search on imdb.com shows "Gun Glory" from 1957 seems to be your film. That's primarily based on the Ives connection.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050467/

 

I also remember another of his westerns (and I don't know the name) where they dubbed Granger's voice. It may have been one of those European movies he did but I remember how funny it sounded.

 

Chris

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