From the pressbook for Reprisal! (1956) —
The tree in the film created quite a problem for director George Sherman, both as to finding it and transporting it to the picture’s location site, some 30 miles south of Tucson, Arizona… Sherman and producer Lewis Rachmil first thought they’d have to have such a tree fabricated in order to get what they needed. But one day, while searching for location sites in southern Arizona, they found their tree, on the outskirts of Tubac, the oldest white settlement in Arizona.
An old cottonwood, the tree stood about 30 feet high, with twisted, gnarled limbs and completely leafless. Rachmil and Sherman immediately contacted the owner of the land… and made a deal with him to cut down and remove it to the site they’d chosen for the film backgrounds.
Getting the dead cottonwood to the location site became something of a major problem; a 30-foot tree, complete with limbs and huge trunk, is quite a lot of wood to move en masse. The studio hired a huge flat trailer truck, hoisted the tree aboard by crane and then transported it 40 miles over the highway to a dirt road the company had built to the shooting site… The tree had to be moved at dawn, when there was little traffic.
Posted in 1956, Columbia, George Sherman, Guy Madison, Making Movies | 6 Comments »
Here’s a frame from Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (1960), a real landmark in French cinema’s New Wave. That’s about the last thing this blog is about, so let’s focus on the marquee, as Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg stroll past a theater running Budd Boetticher’s Westbound (1959) — and go inside to avoid the police.
Posted in 1959, Budd Boetticher, Post-1959, Randolph Scott, Warner Bros. | 3 Comments »
This is producer Leonard Goldstein. At Universal-International he produced the Ma And Pa Kettle and Francis The Talking Mule films, along with Westerns like Cave Of Outlaws (1951) and The Duel At Silver Creek (1952).
Moving to 20th Century-Fox, he formed Panoramic Productions to produce non-anamorphic films in the midst of Fox’s CinemaScope push. The Gambler From Natchez (1954) was one of those. When that contract was up, Goldstein started a production company with his twin brother Robert, but passed away in July, 1954 at just 51. Robert soldiered on without his brother and went on to make a few excellent low-budget Westerns.
Have a copy of the Fox Cinema Archives DVD of The Gambler From Natchez to give away. So it seems like a good time to have a contest. Look at the two-part question below. Be the first to email the correct answer(s) to fiftieswesterns@gmail [dot] com, and the DVD’s yours. Good luck.
Of the Westerns Robert Goldstein produced, one starred Joel McCrea. What was the film and what color process was used for it?
UPDATE: Lee was the first to come through with the right answers — Stranger On Horseback (1955) and Ansco Color. (It was Leonard that produced Saddle Tramp in Technicolor.) Thanks to everyone who sent in a response.
Posted in 20th Century-Fox, Dale Robertson, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., Joel McCrea | 27 Comments »
You’ve probably heard of getTV, the newest TV sub-channel from Sony Pictures Television. (It’s one of the digital broadcast channels we get here in Raleigh.) Tomorrow, March 1, they’re offering up the excellent Fred MacMurray Western Face Of A Fugitive (1959) at 7:00 and 10:40 PM. It gave James Coburn a really good early role. A great way to spend a Saturday night.
This is one I highly recommend, both to whoever out there has a chance to watch it — and to Columbia for a nice widescreen DVD release.
Posted in 1959, Columbia, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., Fred MacMurray | 35 Comments »
Robert Wagner and Virginia Leith on location for White Feather (1955). For some reason, this Delmer Daves-scripted picture has been overlooked. Seek it out.
Barbara Stanwyck and Allan Dwan chat between scenes on Cattle Queen Of Montana (1954). Dwan could do no wrong during this late phase of his incredible career.
Dan Duryea and Audie Murphy hanging out while making Ride Clear Of Diablo (1954). Both were at the top of their game on this one.
Posted in 1954, 1955, Allan Dwan, Audie Murphy, Barbara Stanwyck, Dan Duryea, Making Movies, Robert Wagner | 3 Comments »
The event commemorates the building of the original Old Tucson sets in 1939 for Arizona. All of us who frequent this blog could probably recite a list of films made there since — Rio Bravo, Buchanan Rides Alone, Gunfight At The O.K. Corral, etc.
The 75th Anniversary Reunion celebrates this enduring history and the contributions of the gunfighter, musical, guest services and support staff who’ve hosted guests from the 1960s to today.
Jack Young is scheduled to be among the performers. Hired in 1962 by then-owner Bob Shelton, Jack was charged with putting together the original professional entertainment program for Old Tucson.
Posted in Jack Young, Locations/Ranches | 1 Comment »
Character actor Hugh Sanders stayed busy throughout the 50s, in both features and on TV — with parts in pictures like The Wild One (1953), Jailhouse Rock (1957) and To Kill A Mockingbird (1962).
From Illinois, Sanders worked in radio before making the move to Hollywood in 1949. He made a number of Western features before his death in 1966 (at just 54), such as Last Of The Comanches (1953, above), The Guns Of Fort Petticoat (1957) and Warlock (1959, below). He played a lot of lawmen, as he did in City Of Bad Men (1953). And as is so common with character actors in this period, he often went without credit.
On TV, you’ll see him in Western shows like The Lone Ranger, Rawhide, Tales Of Wells Fargo and Maverick, along with Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Posted in 1953, 1957, 1959, Charactor Actor Of The Day | 4 Comments »