Western : What Westerns Have You Seen? May/June/July/Aug/Sept Edition

What Westerns Have You Seen? May/June/July/Aug/Sept Edition

Greetings Cowboys, Cowgirls and Cowpunchers

Format is simple, the thread is designed for fans of Westerns and the off-shoots of such (Easterns/Northerns/Civil War et al) to post reviews, comments, questions, and just general fawning of a genre of film making we love.

Your posts will be read and respected here. Yee-Haw!




The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Western Tv: YANCY DERRINGER "An Ace Called Spade" 1958

CONTAINS SPOILERS

YANCY DERRINGER "An Ace Called Spade" 1958

This 1958-59 series is about a card sharp, who returns home to New Orleans three years after the end of the Civil War. The man, Jock Mahoney, finds the city full of Northern carpet bagging types. He is secretly put to work as an undercover man by the city commissioner, Kevin Hagen. Mahoney is to keep Hagen advised on the various low-life types running wild in the city. He does this with the help of his Pawnee bodyguard, X. Brands. The series ran for a total of 34 episodes.

In this episode, the forth of the series, we find Yancy Derringer, (Jock Mahoney) stumbling onto a plot to kill the city commissioner, Kevin Hagen. An ad has been taken out in the local paper saying Hagen will die the next day. A local flower seller has received an order to make a big wreath for the funeral.

Hagen is used to threats and does not take it too seriously. He is more interested in dining with a woman visiting from Boston, The woman, Joan Taylor, says she is a friend of Hagen's sister and was told to look him up while in New Orleans.

Now the viewer discovers that there is indeed a threat being made of Hagen. Miss Taylor is really in town seeking vengeance. Hagen had been responsible for having her husband shot for cowardice during the late Civil war between the States. She wants her pound of flesh.

Delivering said pound of flesh, will be Ray Danton. Danton is an expert with pistol and sword. He makes a living engaging in duels with his targets. He wins and the law calls it a matter of honour. Throwing the old monkey wrench in the works is Yancy Derringer. (Jock Mahoney)

The plot is called off by Miss Taylor once she meets Hagen. Danton though has been paid and refuses to call off the duel. Danton has also taken a dislike to Mahoney and intends to dispose of him as well. The mess comes to a head with Danton and Mahoney going at it with a pair of pig stickers. Mahoney flips Danton over a table and breaks his wrist. His duelling days are over. The swine though grabs up a pocket pistol and goes to shoot Mahoney. Miss Taylor steps up, produces a similar weapon out of her purse and nails Danton.

This is a really enjoyable episode with good acting, an entertaining story and top direction. Richard Sale, the former big screen man sits in the director's chair.

Re: Western Tv: YANCY DERRINGER "An Ace Called Spade" 1958

Yancy Derringer (1958) - An Ace Called Spade (1958)

Good old Jock, thanks Gord

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

THE SILVER WHIP 1953 R. Wagner, D. Robertson R. Calhoun

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILVER WHIP 1953

This Twentieth Century Fox production stars Rory Calhoun, Dale Robertson and Robert Wagner. Wagner is a young buck who drives for a stage outfit. He always wanted to run a big 6 horse team but he is stuck on a milk run with a slow 2 mule team. He would do anything to get a chance at a main line job.

The chance comes when the stage line's main shotgun rider, Dale Robertson asks the owner, James Millican to give Wagner a chance. Millican, against his better judgement, agrees. The stage will be hauling besides the passengers, a shipment of gold dust worth $27,000. An extra gun, Burt Mustin will be riding inside the stage for extra cargo protection.

Needless to say, a gang of unsavoury types hear about the gold shipment. The 7 man gang, led by John Kellogg, ride ahead and grab up the crew from the stage way station. They then wait for the stage and the gold to show.

The stage arrives and Robertson dismounts. He immediately senses that something is amiss at the station. Robertson tells Wagner to move the stage up the road while he looks around. The bandits now pop up and a firefight erupts. Wagner, instead of following orders to get the stage to safety, grabs up his Winchester and joins the battle.

Lead flies with several of the bandits collecting an overdose of said metal. Wagner is pinked in the side and knocked off the stage. The other stage guard, Mustin is killed. While Robertson is busy unloading at the gang, several of them reach the wagon and lift the gold. They then chase off the stage. Wagner, by this time has recovered enough to hang onto the stage and stop it.

He returns to the way station once the shooting stops. The gang, minus their dead, has escaped with the gold. Robertson is furious that Wagner did not move off when he was told to. Wagner answers that he thought he was doing the right thing by staying to fight. Robertson checks on the passengers. One of them, Lola Albright is a young lass Robertson is sweet on. Everyone on board is dead, including Albright.

The telegraph is soon abuzz with details of the robbery and murder. Robertson mounts up and heads out in pursuit of the hold-up men. Wagner soon follows with a quickly assembled posse. They are soon joined by another posse led by Robertson's Sheriff pal, Rory Calhoun. They follow the trail coming across several dead men along the way. It seems that Robertson had found them first. His idea of justice is a quick bullet. The posse manages to catch one of the gang before Robertson can. When Robertson joins them, he wants to string up the man from the nearest tree.

Calhoun however intends to take the man in for a fair trial. Robertson hands over $12,000 in gold retrieved from the gang members he killed. Robertson is still out for vengeance over the killing of Miss Albright. He continues of the trail while Calhoun, Wagner and the posse take in the prisoner. Wagner, who always looked up to Robertson, is amazed that the man can be as brutal and vicious as the gang they are pursuing.

Wagner is fired by the stage line, but is hired by Calhoun to be a deputy. The Sheriff gets a tip from a local rancher about a man who sounds like Kellogg. Calhoun, Wagner and a posse are again hot on the trail.

By the time the posse reaches the area, the man has been cornered by Robertson in some rocks. Kellogg fights to the last bullet before collecting a round in the leg. Robertson steps up and raises his rifle to finish the job. Sheriff Calhoun draws his pistol and stops Robertson from killing Kellogg. Kellogg is hauled back to town and tossed into a cell.

Needless to say the townsfolk are in a foul mood over the murders. They feel that a lynching of Kellogg and the other gang member is called for. Calhoun and the other town Deputy, Harry Carter, are grabbed by the mob. This leaves only Wagner inside the jail house to watch Kellogg and company.

The mob, led by Robertson, use axes to batter down the jail doors. Wagner slowly backs up telling Robertson that he will shoot if he does not stop. Robertson keeps stepping forward and Wagner fires. Robertson, badly wounded, goes down in a heap. Calhoun and the Deputy have now gotten loose of their ropes and show. The mob sheepishly disperses while Robertson is hauled off for some badly needed repairs.

This is a pretty good western with excellent work from cast and crew. Robertson is particularly effective. I was surprised just how violent the film is. Look close and you can spot an unbilled Chuck (The Rifleman) Connors. I also noticed long time character player, Edmund Cobb. Cobb was on the big screen from 1912 till 1966. He appeared in close to 700 films and television episodes.

Behind the camera, is Oscar winning editor, (GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT) turned director, Harmon Jones. Jones helmed a string of 50’s b films before switching to television. These films include, GORILLA AT LARGE, DAY OF FURY, TARGET ZERO, PRINCESS OF THE NILE and THE PRIDE OF ST. LOUIS. Jones’ son, Robert, and daughter, Leslie, both would become film editors of note. Leslie got an Oscar nod for her work on, THE THIN RED LINE, while Robert was Oscar nominated on four occasions, winning once. (Coming Home)

The cinematographer for this film was Emmy winner, Lloyd Ahern Sr. His film work included, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET and the noir, CRY OF THE CITY and THE BRASHER DOUBLOON.

And to top everything off is the fine script by Jesse Lasky Jr, working from the novel by Jack Schaefer. Lasky was a favourite of director Cecil B DeMille and wrote the screenplays for seven of DeMille’s films.

Jack Schaefer is the man who wrote the novels, SHANE, MONTE WALSH and TRIBUTE TO A BAD MAN. All of which were turned into films.







Re: THE SILVER WHIP 1953 R. Wagner, D. Robertson R. Calhoun

I got to keep an eye out for this one. I avoided reading the plot summary but was impressed by the credentials and it's 7.1 rating.

"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

Cheyenne: The Empty Gun (1958)

The Empty Gun (1958)

This is a fine episode which features western favorite John Russell guest starring as a gunfighter seeking amends but finds redemption. Tight script, well directed, plenty of drama and action.

"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

Invitation To A Gunfighter (1964)

Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964)

Picked up this DVD at a local bargain bin. I figured I couldn’t go wrong parting with $5 on a movie forbiddingly titled “Invitation To A Gunfighter” featuring a cast which includes Yul Brynner, George Segal, Pat Hingle, Strother Martin & Brad Dexter. I figured wrong. The storyline sounded promising but the movie never got off the ground and the ending seemed rushed and convoluted.


"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

Re: Invitation To A Gunfighter (1964)

Saw it once back in the 70's on the tube. Nothing I would bother with a second time.

Re: Invitation To A Gunfighter (1964)

I'm with you, I found it very poor.


Thematically fine but executed with very little skill.

Rebel soldier Matt Weaver returns to town after the Civil War, only to find that his home has been sold by unscrupulous town boss, Sam Brewster. Brewster, fearing for his safety, hires gunfighter Jules Gaspard d'Estaing to eradicate Weaver. But as d'Estaing's settles in to town it becomes clear to him just what a corrupt and morally bankrupt bunch the townsfolk are.

It grieves me to mark a film like this, with so many good people involved with it, down so low. The thematic heart of this picture is fabulous, nothing none of us haven't seen before, but tales of hired gunmen straightening out dirty towns are always of interest if handled with care and a commitment to the moral essence. Invitation To A Gunfighter, in spite of starring Yul Brynner, George Segal, Brad Dexter, Pat Hingle and Strother Martin, and being directed by Orson Welles collaborator Richard Wilson, is ploddingly paced and acted like a low budget C movie. The score from David Raksin is intrusive and completely out of sync with the nature of the piece, whilst the back lot location is all too evident.

The piece briefly picks up entering the final third, where thankfully Brynner is asked to earn his pay outside of walking around glumly, but it's a false dawn as the finale has all the excitement of a runny nose. I'm in the minority judging by the comments written for this film thus far, so maybe it caught me at a bad time, but the chances of me ever seeking this one out again are remote to say the least. 3/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Invitation To A Gunfighter (1964)

I'd go for interesting but confused. I quite liked the first two thirds when it plays like a hybrid of No Name on the Bullet and the same writer's Man with the Gun but the finale was just a botch - I didn't believe Brynner cracking and thought the film shot itself in the foot.


"Security - release the badgers."

Re: Cheyenne: The Empty Gun (1958)

CHEYENNE, THE VIRGINIAN and HIGH CHAPARRAL were my favorite dusters when I was a kid.

Re: Cheyenne: The Empty Gun (1958)

Not a review for this one on site, could we tempt you to submit one?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: THE SILVER WHIP 1953 R. Wagner, D. Robertson R. Calhoun

The Silver Whip (1953)

You gotta wonder about some on site reviewers, one guy said it's above average and a great watch then voted it 2/10

Good stuff Gord, a new one to the board I think.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Western Tv MACKENZIE'S RAIDERS "The Long Day" 1958

CONTAINS SPOILERS

MACKENZIE'S RAIDERS "The Long Day" 1958

MACKENZIE'S RAIDERS was a syndicated western series that ran for a total of 39 episodes during 1958-59. The series has Richard Carlson playing the lead, US Cavalry officer Ranald S MacKenzie. Mackenzie is in charge of a Cavalry unit based at Fort Clark in southwest Texas in the 1873. It is the job of the unit to stop the raids into the US from Mexico by roving bands of outlaws.

In this episode, the second of the series, Carlson and his men are after a renegade Apache chief. The Apache, played by H.M. Wynant, is raiding ranches and killing men, women and children. Carlson and his Cavalry unit are always one step behind Wynant.

One day they come up on the Apaches just after they have butchered a group of men. The chase is on with the Apaches taking a short lead. The Cavalry follow the renegades up a draw to a bunch of trees. Carlson halts his men. He does not like the lay out of the land. It looks just like a perfect location for an ambush.

He has a section of his men circle around behind the trees. Then they all rush in at the same time. The Apaches are indeed hidden in the brush. The Cavalry has them trapped in a deadly crossfire, killing all but the leader, Wynant, who slips away.

Carlson sends his troops back to the fort to get medical aid for the wounded. He intends to continue on Wynant's trail. Wynant gets the drop on Carlson nailing him with a round in the shoulder. Wynant however takes a tumble down a hillside at the same time.

Though both men are hurt, Carlson and Wynant are soon at it hammer and tongs. Each wants to take the other prisoner, Carlson to hang the Apache. Wynant wants Carlson so he can kill him in front of his tribe.

The fight is interrupted by a group of bounty hunters. They want the Apache for the reward. Carlson and Wynant now fight side by side to defeat the bounty men. This they do in quick order, killing all 5 of them.

Now it is back to the personal fight between them. It is down to Bowie knives before Carlson gets the upper hand. He slings the dead warrior over a horse and heads back to Fort Clark.

Okay, but not something a person would watch a second time. Being a "ZIV" production, it is of course done on the cheap.

Re: Western Tv MACKENZIE'S RAIDERS "The Long Day" 1958

Mackenzie's Raiders (1958) - The Long Day (1958)

ZIV! Gord

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

The Train Robbers (1973)

The Train Robbers (1973)

Aside from Wayne & Ben Johnson, this one features kind of an oddball cast. Bobby Vinton, seriously? If it wasn't for admiring Ann-Margaret squeezing into a tight pair of jeans and "filling out her shirt in all the right places" it would have been difficult to hold my attention to the end. The plot is reminiscent of Sam Whiskey (1969) which I felt to be a better movie but not by too much.

"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

More Dead Than Alive (1969)

More Dead Than Alive (1969)

An unpretentious well made B movie, dogged by a floundering middle act and ends on an unexpected if not bizarre note. Stars Clint Walker in a solid effort as an ex-convict haunted by his past reputation as a fearsome gunfighter, the lovely Anne Francis and Vincent Price. Yes that Vincent Price and despite the name of the title this is NOT a horror movie.

"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

The Wonderful Country (1959)

The Wonderful Country (1959)

I found it a little difficult to wrap my arms around this pseudo western starring Robert Mitchum as an expatriate living in Mexico. I thought his performance was fine but not good enough to hold together a movie that seemed not to know what it wanted to be with so many subplots involved. (I could have done without his Mexican accent which I could not understand why it would come and go)

"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

Re: The Wonderful Country (1959)

One of the few Mitchum films I have never seen.

Re: The Wonderful Country (1959)


One of the few Mitchum films I have never seen.




The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Wonderful Country (1959)

The Wonderful Country (1959)

I really think it needs to be seen more than once because it's very "multi angled". Great to see this one pop up


What a pity then, that life is what we do, and not just what we feel.

Based on a story by artist Tom Lea (who cameos as a barber), The Wonderful Country stars Robert Mitchum, Julie London, Gary Merrill, Charles McGraw & Pedro Armendáriz. It's directed by Robert Parrish, the score is from Alex North with Floyd Crosby & Alex Phillips on cinematography around the Durango location shoot.

A rich western that admirably crams in a lot of genre based themes and boasts a lead protagonist of high complex value. Tightly directed by Parrish (Saddle The Wind), who is aware that this needs no action overkill, it's really with Mitchum and Robert Ardrey's script that the film owes its success. Give or take a couple of missteps with the accent (he is playing a gringo pistolero) Mitchum dominates with his stature and laconic form of acting. He's playing Martin Brady, a man who finds himself being pulled emotionally on both sides of the Mexican/American border, the contrast between both lands, and Brady's persona too (he's effectively a man without a country), is very interesting. There's a number of well drawn characters who file in and out of Brady's life, all serving purpose to the plot, with Julie London's love interest thankfully having a more darker edge than others that were often seen in the genre. There's even an appearance of Baseball Hall Of Fame inductee Leroy 'Satchel' Paige as part of an all black army regiment. Yet another strand in this multi angled movie.

Very sedate in tone but with deep character drama at its core, Parrish's film is a thinking persons movie. Some critics have called it routine, while others have said it's complicated! I just think it's a film that needs to be watched more than once to fully digest its themes. It's not one for the action fan as such, but it is excellently written and performed by the principals. It's also a truly gorgeous movie visually and aurally. A fine film that rewards further on repeat viewings, especially for fans of the great Robert Mitchum. 7/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: More Dead Than Alive (1969)

More Dead Than Alive (1969)

Good work, a new one to the board. Much outdoor photography (Vasquez Rocks)?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Train Robbers (1973)

There are some good bits, but, yeah, it tries to fit a traditional western into the 1970s, and it kind of flounders. I like Chris George and Rod Taylor, and Ricardo Montalban is fairly effective, but the whole thing is tired, and it just sort of creaks and lumbers along. It isn't terrible, by any means, but everyone involved has done significantly better work.

Re: The Train Robbers (1973)

I had hoped you would like it more, but at least you didn't hate it, and of course steering you towards Ann-Margaret's assets is no bad thing

The Train Robbers (1973)


The hell you say!

The Train Robbers is written and directed by Burt Kennedy. It stars John Wayne, Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor, Ben Johnson, Christopher George, Bobby Vinton, Jerry Gatlin and Ricardo Montalban. Music is by Dominic Frontiere and cinematography by William H. Clothier.

Mrs. Lowe (Margret) hires Lane (Wayne) and his assembled crew to retrieve half a million U.S. dollars that her late husband stole during a train robbery. If they can find it and return it to the railroad, Mrs. Lowe will clear the family name and the Lane crew will pocket the $50,000 reward. However, there's also a considerably large posse out searching for the gold, and who is the strange man travelling alone observing things from afar?

A Technicolor/Panavision production filmed out of Durango in Mexico, The Train Robbers is small in plot but huge in entertaining heart. Stunningly photographed by the magnificent Clothier, director and writer Kennedy blends action, suspense and comedy as he straight out focuses on characterisations. With under ten speaking parts in the piece, and man made property kept to a minimum, it's very much a pared down production. But this in no way hurts the film, in fact it's refreshing to see such an airy Oater, one that is made in the 70s but feels very much like a throwback to the 50s production line of Westerns.

The town of Liberty, Texas, forms the starting point for the movie, a near ghost town of a place, the arrival of the train bringing Mrs. Lowe and Lane feels like an intruder and accentuates the sparseness that will dictate the tone of the movie. Once the group head out into the wilderness it becomes about conversations and characters reacting to revelations born out by those chats. In the distance are the heavy numbered posse out for the gold as well, but we only glimpse them like they are ghosts of the terrain, they themselves intruding on the Lane group who as the journey unfolds start to bond and learn about life and each other.

Once the group locate the site of the stolen gold, it allows Kennedy and Clothier the chance to showcase some more striking imagery. Here out in the sand swept desert is what ultimately looks like a locomotive graveyard , the image is strong and it also signals the point where the film goes up a gear and the action enters the fray. All dusty paths then lead to an explosive finale and even as the dust settles we get a narrative twist that's very very cheeky. The cast are having fun, and hats off to Margret who manages to let her Mrs. Lowe character be more than just a honey-pot in the middle of mucho machismo.

I love The Train Robbers, I really do, it's beautiful to look at and features cast and characters that are so easy to warm to. Sure there's flaws and it's routine and hardly treads new ground at a time when the Western was on its knees and struggling to stand up. But it's made with love and respect for those genre fans willing to whisk themselves back to the harmless days of the Western. Those moaning about The Duke's girth are very much missing the point of it all. 8/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Six Black Horses (1962)

Six Black Horses (1962)

Audie Murphy and Dan Duryea form an uneasy but amiable alliance as they are hired by a married woman to guide her through hostile Indian country to reunite with her husband. A by the numbers western oater but offers enough action to keep the story flowing and rewards with an anticipated but expected payoff. Besides, it’s hard to resist a movie featuring these two stars.

"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

Re: Six Black Horses (1962)

I'll add it to my list. Met Dan Duryea's son Peter once in the early 80's.

Re: Six Black Horses (1962)

A good guy?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Six Black Horses (1962) Peter Duryea

Peter Duryea was running a sort of rehab camp out in the middle of nowhere British Columbia. My younger brother had a bit of a drug problem and was staying there. Only spoke with Duryea for a few minutes but seemed to be a nice guy.

Re: Six Black Horses (1962)


besides, it’s hard to resist a movie featuring these two stars.


Indeed

It's a reworking of the quite brilliant Ride Lonesome (1959).


Above average Oater that sees Burt Kennedy recycle a classic format.

Six Black Horses is directed by Harry Keller and written by Burt Kennedy. It stars Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea and Joan O'Brien. Photography is by Maury Gertsman and the music scored by Joseph Gershenson. It's filmed in Eastmancolor and location for the shoot is St. George, Utah, USA. Plot sees Murphy and Duryea hired by O'Brien to take her across dangerous Indian country to her husband. But are ulterior motives at work?

There's no getting away from it, this film has striking similarities to the far superior Budd Boetticher/Randy Scott movie, Ride Lonesome. Also scripted by Burt Kennedy, the plot follows the same format and Kennedy even scripts some of the same dialogue. While the keen Western fan will note the name of Murphy's character, Ben Lane, was also used for a character in Boetticher's Comanche Station. So far so regurgitated then, but although it goes without saying that to watch this piece in conjunction with Ride Lonseome is a futile exercise, this does have enough about it to warrant a viewing on its own terms one Sunday afternoon.

It's a professional and well put together movie, Murphy and Duryea (owning the film from the second he turns up on his horse, shotgun in hands) aren't asked to extend themselves but make an engaging duo (see also their pairing in James Stewart starrer Night Passage 1957). While O'Brien (The Comancheros) is gorgeous and does a nice line in sultry devious. Editor turned director Keller does a competent job, his action construction solid if somewhat hamstrung by the odd daft moment involving the Coyoteros Indians. Stunt work is very good and Gershenson's (No Name on the Bullet/Lonely Are the Brave) score is brisk and tonally correct. Bonus here is the location scenery, beautifully realised by Gertsman's (Cattle Drive 1951) photography, the St. George craggy hills form an imposing backdrop as the protagonist's journey grows more perilous and their emotional states come under scrutiny.

Enjoyable with genuine moments of quality, even if it's ultimately the second cousin to a far better movie. 6.5/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? May/June/July/Aug - 2016 Edition.

I'm having a western month and will probable dig up a ton of forgotten little westerns from the old days. They are usually not very good, but there is a certain charm about them:



1. Rough Riding Rhythm (1937, J.P. McGowan)
--- "There ain't a canned cow in the house!" (aka milk)

J.P. McGowan was among the absolute worst western directors of the 1930s, but here there are hints of shots where they'd put some thought into! Actually a half-decent job by him (or probable his cinematographer). Don't go expecting miracles. Rough Riding Rhythm (1937) is your standard poverty row release from the short-lived Conn Pictures Corporation (1934-1938).

Stars Ken Maynard's uglier brother Kermit Maynard along with his sidekick Ralph Peters, who takes care of the singing as the singing cowboy crazy was well in effect in 1937, getting into a little more trouble then hoped. They have to take care of a orphan baby! They still have a notorious bad guy and his gang to worry about, along with a couple of clumsy detectives. Oh, and a wimmin' folk! But once the first bit of ugliness is over and done with, this is a fairly light hearted little western that gets that smile warmed up!
3/10



2. Roll Wagons Roll (1940, Al Herman)
--- I absolutely adore Tex Ritter! But the guy never got to make a good picture. Only desperate patch works for small studios. Brilliant voice though, and his songs were the clear highlights in Roll Wagons Roll (1940).

The story is the trusted old plot of wagon trains and people trying to stop them using the Indian attacks as their main distraction. What kind of kills the film is that for the action Monogram decided to use stock footage from 3-4 other films making the big climax feel like you're zapping through different western flicks, none of them having anything to do with the other.

PS: This was also Muriel Evans final film. She'd been a regular in comedy shorts and westerns since 1927.
3/10



3. The Cowboy from Sundown (1940, Spencer Gordon Bennet)
--- Felt Tex Ritter put on as strong a performance as he could with this material, but when the ones in charge do so little to put life into this dreary production and don't give Tex any good songs to sing, this one falls below par for a cheap Monogram'er. Liked the judge though.
2/10



4. Take Me Back to Oklahoma (1940, Al Herman)
--- Thankfully they let the music take center stage in this cheap western. The special attraction, besides Tex Ritter of course, was a rare film appearance of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys! You kinda get disappointed every time the music get interrupted by the usual western stuff....
3/10



5. Trapped in Tia Juana (1932, Wallace Fox)
--- Duncan Renaldo pretty much mimics Warner Baxter's Cisco Kid persona in this low budget rip-off of the gentleman bandit. Coincidentally in the 1940s Renaldo would take over the lead in the real Cisco Kid franchise. I doubt heavily he got the gig based on his poor performance in Trapped in Tia Juana (1932)! This one ends up being a drowsy and unconvincing melodrama with very little action helping us through the sleep.
2/10



6. Trails of the Wild (1935, Sam Newfield)
--- Good old Kermit Maynard makes at least some of it pleasant in his easy going ways, but the writing piss poor in trying to come up with a new way of an old plot. Plus it was directed by notorious hack director Sam Newfield making sure it was never going to be anything essential.
2/10



7. The Singing Buckaroo (1937, Tom Gibson)
--- If there ever was a Hollywood mismatch, there's Fred Scott. A squeaky clean opera singer turned gritty motion picture cowboy. He was handsome and all... but that kind of voice for a cowhand?! Plus he might be a skilled opera singer, but he fights like he's doing ballet. I've seen Scott do passable westerns, but with no good sidekick, a poor script, The Singing Buckaroo (1937) is just about the worst film he ever did.
1/10



8. The Roaming Cowboy (1937, Robert Hill)
--- The Roaming Cowboy (1937) becomes bearable because of the Fred Scott & Al St. John dynamic. One fresh faced and refined. The other with a face not even a mother would love and as unrefined a man can be. A true odd couple. This western however isn't anything out of the ordinary. Another one without much of a budget, where the action is generic, and only some of the comic moments helps you get through it.
2/10



9. Bar 20 Justice (1938, Lesley Selander)
--- The 18th film in the Hopalong Cassidy series and this time the boys go mining! Someone is screwing over some dame's gold veins and it's Hoppy's job to uncover the scam. This one's got plenty of humor with George 'Gabby' Hayes having hard of hearing and Russell Hayden keeping himself clean. William Boyd takes care of the serious side with a lot of suspenseful moments. While the climax wasn't of the most original after that solid build-up, Bar 20 Justice (1938) is yet another damn fun entry into the best B-western series made in the 1930s.
5/10



10. Pride of the West (1938, Lesley Selander)
--- The 19th film in the Hopalong Cassidy series is more a straight western investigation as Hoppy and his gang go searching for bank robbers. Felt like a lesser episode all the way through, but you can't really go wrong with the William Boyd, George 'Gabby' Hayes & Russell Hayden dynamic. They can make any ordinary scenario fun!
4/10

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? May/June/July/Aug - 2016 Edition.

Have not seen any of these myself. Thanks for the reviews.

3 more Hopalong Cassidy's

Well these are fairly rare westerns so not surprising. Hoping to find more of those obscure ones.


11. In Old Mexico (1938, Edward D. Venturini)
--- In the 20th film in the Hopalong Cassidy series William Boyd plays the waiting game out In Old Mexico (1938). Former nemesis 'The Fox', who Cassidy captured in Borderland (1937), wants to set a trap for Hoppy, but our hero is too smart for him taking no chances. George 'Gabby' Hayes & Russell Hayden on the other hand are too restless to wait for something to happen causing some problems to the plan. That and a few dames keeps us busy before something goes down. A solid entry and fun to get a direct sequel in a series which is mostly singular episodes with little link with each other. Was disappointed however that old Hayes didn't get more romantically involved with that fat Mexican lady! That should have provided some comedy gold!
5/10



12. The Frontiersmen (1938, Lesley Selander)
--- In the 21st film in the Hopalong Cassidy series they are simply too busy running after naughty school kids and flirting with their teacher. There is a rustling plot tucked in there, but you barely notice it during all the educating. At least that leaves a lot of room for comedy and the boys know how to shine that way too!
4/10



13. Sunset Trail (1939, Lesley Selander)
--- The 22nd film in the Hopalong Cassidy series is a blast for the simple reason of William Boyd totally changing his character. He's undercover again, this time as a city elegant with nerve issues on a dude ranch visit. And he brings his screen style of the 1920s and adds a ton of old school slapstick! Such fun to see him go this against his famed persona, and show so much humor in doing it too! They could have done better with the plot of things, but I guess the attraction was always going to be Boyd the slapsticker!
5/10

Re: 3 more Hopalong Cassidy's

Thanks again. Love hearing about Hoppy.

4 more Hopalong Cassidy's

Well here are 4 Hopalong Cassidy's.... weird this famous film series hasn't had more exposure in recent decades.



14. Range War (1939, Lesley Selander)
--- The 25th film in the Hopalong Cassidy series was the first one without George 'Gabby' Hayes, who had jumped saddle to ride with Roy Rogers for better money. While I'll miss old buzzy beard, they repair the loss by giving the guest actors a shot at the comedy portion he would have had and in Range War (1939) that works more then alright! Especially Kenneth Harlan is put to good use here along side regulars William Boyd & Russell Hayden. The plot is one of the more thought out as well making sure people won't mourn out the loss of Hayes once this one is over.
5/10



15. Law of the Pampas (1939, Nate Watt)
--- The 26th film in the Hopalong Cassidy series sees our hero William Boyd and his right-hand man Russell Hayden travel down to Argentina for some questionable deaths. There they are handed Sidney Toler as their comic sidekick, which was a very mixed bag. He was pretty much to doing the Charlie Chan shtick, except he was a South American and a little slower in the brain. And while we had a spicy Chiquita in Hungarian Steffi Duna, the plot wasn't of the most engaging ones. Still Hopalong made himself feel at home in South America. Law of the Pampas (1939) was the last of the Hopalong Cassidy films to be released in the 1930s, and I'm proud to say I've seen them all. Now I got to look forward finding the other 40 released in the 1940s!
4/10



16. Santa Fe Marshal (1940, Lesley Selander)
--- Hopalong Cassidy starts the 1940s by joining a medicine show under the promotional skills of a almost overbearingly loud Earle Hodgins. That as a undercover to break down gangster ma Marjorie Rambeau and her gang. Plenty of fun, though they didn't give Russell Hayden that much to do in this episode. But William Boyd seemed to have a good time dressing up again and fooling around.
5/10



17. The Showdown (1940, Howard Bretherton)
--- Hopalong Cassidy shows he's no fool at playing poker with the fake European aristocrats. Another enjoyable entry with Russell Hayden getting jealous again and William Boyd playing the hero credibly. Perhaps not the best episode, for it lacked something as far as comedy, but as always these films are polished enough to deliver the thrills.
4/10

2 more Hopalong Cassidy's and a Hart

18. Hidden Gold (1940, Lesley Selander)
--- Who is screwing who? That's what our hero Hopalong Cassidy is out to find out with this gold mining confusion. That creates plenty of solid gunfighting action where William Boyd is at his best. Hidden Gold (1940) is still not among the most pleasing episodes. Much is that Britt Wood's role as the comic sidekick is very hit and miss. He's no George 'Gabby' Hayes and I'm really starting to miss him by now as these past couple of films has really lacked that comic sparkle that made the 1930s entries so much fun.
4/10



19. Three Men From Texas (1940, Lesley Selander)
--- After fumbling for a year Hopalong Cassidy finally finds himself a replacement for George 'Gabby' Hayes! Andy Clyde as California Carlson. First impression was good. A comedy veteran since the early 1920s, seemed to fit right in as this boasting old timer. Going to be interesting to see if the Hopalong gang will regain it's dynamic with it's new member. Regardless of having a new comic sidekick, Three Men from Texas (1940) mainly has a serious tone with gunfights and hunt downs as the boys go to California to capture some badmen. This all results in a damn solid entry.
5/10



20. The Silent Man (1917, William S. Hart)
--- The Silent Man (1917) is not one of William S. Hart's best westerns but it's serviceable and he has a pretty girl with him in Vola Vale. The speed was too jacked-up on the print I saw to get the full feel of the drama. Hart's charisma was always suited for a slower focus where you have time to read his emotions simply based on his facial expression. But The Silent Man has plenty of action going and works as a entertaining piece of lonesome cowboy thrills.
4/10

Re: 2 more Hopalong Cassidy's and a Hart

Thanks again

Re: 2 more Hopalong Cassidy's and a Hart

Hidden Gold (1940)
Three Men from Texas (1940) Another one that is well loved.
The Silent Man (1917)

Great stuff Holy, thanks for bringing the oldies to the thread.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

The Proud and The Damned (1972)

The Proud and Damned (1972)

After the Civil War, an ex-confederate sergeant (Chuck Connors) and his pals travel to Mexico and get mixed up in a dispute between a Mexican General and a wealthy Mexican landowner (Cesar Romero). Along the way, some of the men fall for a local woman and find trouble. It's a B western but not too bad. Chuck Connors keeps it from becoming a complete let down.




"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

She Came to the Valley (1979)

She Came to the Valley (1979)

Found this to be a mildly interesting made-for-tv B movie. It's similar in plot to Pioneer Woman (1973). This time around though a family of four pack up their chuck wagon and travel to the Rio Grande border to open a general store and encounter Pancho Villa (Freddy Fender)


"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)

The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)

If you enjoy Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), then you might enjoy this made-for-tv western starring Marjoe Gortner, (I didn’t know who he was at first), but he was very good as the wanted gunfighter hiding out as a preacher. It’s got a nice cast, Slim Pickens, Geoffery Lewis and a very pretty Pamela Sue Martin. Fun movie to watch.

"Anybody who doesn't wanna hang, step out and get shot!"

Moving on to Johnny Mack Brown westerns now...

21. Oklahoma Frontier (1939, Ford Beebe)
--- One of Johnny Mack Brown Universal westerns with Fuzzy Knight as sidekick, as well as short-lived singing cowboy Bob Baker in a minor role and all the regulars present. Works surprisingly well considering the low budget, and Fuzzy sings us a fine jazzy tune on the piano as a welcome bonus. Loved the "romantic" wedding moment too. A few rare seconds where camera movement and acting comes together in a oater.
4/10



22. Chip of the Flying U (1939, Ralph Staub)
--- One of those B-westerns where the action only served to be in the way of the songs. Once more Fuzzy Knight steals the microphone business, but with good competition from The Texas Rangers and Bob Baker. And thankfully they kept Johnny Mack Brown off the mic....
3/10



23. Boss of Bullion City (1940, Ray Taylor)
--- Johnny Mack Brown and his pal Fuzzy Knight continue their run of average B-westerns at the Universal lot. The formula here was a little too standard to make it stand out. Easy cowboy entertainment without any highs, except perhaps for the version of La Cucaracha and a bartender that thinks.
3/10

Re: Moving on to Johnny Mack Brown westerns now...

Oklahoma Frontier (1939)
Chip of the Flying U (1939)
Boss of Bullion City (1940)

Blimey, you are determined to trawl through the early years.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Moving on to Johnny Mack Brown westerns now...

This is such an forgotten period for the western, so I have a soft spot for it even if the quality isn't that great. I've already seen half the 1,000 western output of the 1930s, and I know of another 300 that's available. I'll watch every one that comes my way.

Re: Moving on to Johnny Mack Brown westerns now...

As Gordon has said, we are enjoying reading these. I'm not versed in them myself, I still have about 200 Spaghetti's to watch, and equally the same with 50s and 60s "B" Oaters, but the history of the Western is always of interest to us all.



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Moving on to Johnny Mack Brown westerns now...

I enjoy reading these bits of western film history. Keep them coming.

More Johnny Mack Brown....

Glad to be at service!


24. Bad Man from Red Butte (1940, Ray Taylor)
--- Typical Johnny Mack Brown western. Decent performances, but with a thin script and even thinner budget. Main problem here was the weak baddies. Neither scary or clever. Still cool to see Brown play dual parts and Fuzzy Knight drinking a lot of hair tonic.
3/10



25. Law and Order (1940, Ray Taylor)
--- This Law and Order (1940) feeling like it has a digested script compared to original and later remakes of the same story. Johnny Mack Brown is alright and Fuzzy Knight gets a few laughs, but the complexity of the story is left out in favor of busting out yet another B-western.
3/10



26. Pony Post (1940, Ray Taylor)
--- Johnny Mack Brown's final western of 1940 is a tribute to the Pony Express. Very mildly so. Basically a very standard western production with only a tiny bit of pony'ing, as if they already had a script and just added something else western for variation. Unfocused production, but typical decent oater on a tiny budget with a intermission numbers by Jimmy Wakely and His Rough Riders.
3/10



27. Under Texas Skies (1940, George Sherman)
--- Under Texas Skies (1940) sees some changes to The Three Mesquiteers line-up. Bob Steele is the new Tucson and Rufe Davis takes over the role of Lullaby. Robert Livingston however continues another year as the lead character Stony Brooke.

And with the newcomers they almost do a new origin episode. Not that they were ever faithful to the original idea always changing the time and background of the trio. Here more then usual with Tucson being wrongfully wanted for the murder of Stony's dad, and Lullaby kinda in the background bringing them together for the showdown of the real bad men. Not an amazing western, but because of the different approach to the Mesquiteers this becomes an interesting entry in the Republic Pictures series.
4/10


Re: More Johnny Mack Brown....

Bad Man from Red Butte (1940)
Law and Order (1940)
Pony Post (1940)
Under Texas Skies (1940)

UTS is well regarded. We are all of course wondering now if you ae going to find one that will see you give a rating of 7/8?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)

Very competent cast, filmed in Old Tuscon.



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)

I remember The Gun and the Pulpit very fondly, watched it twice back in the 70s, and I think your comparison to Support Your Local Sheriff is spot on (veteran screenwriter William Bowers also worked on Sheriff.) Marjoe was no actor, but he had a lot of charisma, and the supporting cast is quite good (Jeff Corey, Estelle Parsons, David Huddleston.)

Re: She Came to the Valley (1979)

Another new one to the board, I wonder where it was filmed?



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Top