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Who's the best horsewoman in classic westerns?


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I've read about Barbara Stanwyck's ability with horses (she had her own ranch with Robert Taylor).

But I think the one who wows me the most is Yvonne De Carlo. Not long ago I had watched her in FRONTIER GAL (1945) and she was most impressive, especially during the climactic finale. 

At the moment I'm watching TOMAHAWK (1951) on Starz. I just saw a scene where she has to outrun some natives in an outdoor scene. These are long shots where she rides up to and past the camera. On location, no studio process photography. These are not overly edited shots, either. They last anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds, longer takes which prove it is really her riding and not a stunt double. 

She's fearless and fast. A few years later she married a stuntman. So I can't help but think she spent a lot of time with the stunt personnel before doing scenes for her western movies. She's right at home in this genre.

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 3.11.15 PM.jpg

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She must have loved Westerns, since she made so many of them.  Speaking of "Tomahawk", while on location in  South Dakota for the filming, she began a friendship with Rock Hudon, who had a small part in the movie.  One day the two of them took a little side trip because she had found a horse that she was interested in buying.  The friendship continued, and they made two more films together.  Ofcourse, by that time, he was the male star of the movies.

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45 minutes ago, Terrence1 said:

She must have loved Westerns, since she made so many of them.  Speaking of "Tomahawk", while on location in  South Dakota for the filming, she began a friendship with Rock Hudon, who had a small part in the movie.  One day the two of them took a little side trip because she had found a horse that she was interested in buying.  The friendship continued, and they made two more films together.  Ofcourse, by that time, he was the male star of the movies.

Great story. Thanks for mentioning it.

The outdoor scenery in TOMAHAWK is gorgeous. Universal made the right decision filming it in Technicolor.

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33 minutes ago, Rowdy said:

As a horsewoman myself, Barbara Stanwyck always appeared to be very natural on the ponies.

Another one who seems very natural in the saddle is Dale Evans.

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  • 3 months later...

Seems to me Candy Bergen spent a lot of time in a saddle. 'Soldier Blue', 'Bite the Bullet',  and 'the Hunting Party'. I'm no judge of her ability though. More's the pity.

I can't think of any studio equestrienne other than Stanwyck. What about looking towards England? Jenny Agutter? Liz Taylor?

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