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Young Guns LC

For us Westerns fans, Warner Archive’s on a real roll this week. In addition to Nick Ray’s The Lusty Men (1952), and Randolph Scott, Angie Dickinson and James Garner in Shoot-Out At Medicine Bend (1957), there’s some good Allied Artists stuff available today.

The Young Guns (1956)
Directed by Albert Band
Starring Russ Tamblyn, Gloria Talbott and Perry Lopez

This one mixes the Western with your typical 50s juvenile delinquency tale, beating both The True Story Of Jesse James (1957, Ray again) The Left-Handed Gun (1958) to theaters.

A couple Allied Artists pictures that were Oldies.com exclusives are now standard Warner Archive titles: Oregon Passage (1957) and Gunsmoke In Tucson (1958).

And if that’s not enough, there’s Raton Pass (1951), Russ Tamblyn again in Son Of A Gunfighter (1965) and a couple spaghetti westerns, including one, Ringo And His Golden Pistol, from Sergio Corbucci. Told you it was a good week.

Happy Birthday, Clayton Moore.

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Clayton Moore
(September 14, 1914 – December 28, 1999)

Being late is something the Lone Ranger certainly would’t approve of, but I didn’t want to let this slip by.

Let’s say you could sit down and have coffee or lunch with anyone, living or dead, from throughout history—who would you choose? That’s a tough one (and a bit weird), but one of my contenders would certainly be Mr. Clayton Moore.

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This blog tends to stay away from modern-day Westerns (well, they were modern in the 50s). But I’ll certainly make an exception with this one: Nicholas Ray’s The Lusty Men (1952). It’s been announced for release from The Warner Archive on September 16. (Blake, I’m sure you’ll be stoked about this one.)

Robert Mitchum often dismissed his work, but this was one he had nice things to say about. Ray gets a terrific performance out of him, and he does the same with Susan Hayward and Arthur Kennedy. They say shooting began while the script was still being worked on, and that many scenes were worked out on the set as a result. However it all came together, it’s one of Ray’s and Mitchum’s best films. And that’s saying a lot. Highly recommended.

This is one of the handful of films I’ve held onto my laserdisc of, and I guess it can be retired now. Thanks for the tip, Paula.

Roy Rogers drinks

My wife came across these the other day. Keep a look out for ‘em—the Lasso Lemon Lime is terrific.

Of course, there’s also Duke Bourbon.

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Gail Davis is just wonderful as Annie Oakley, a part she was probably born to play. This upcoming set from VCI (due October 21) gives you all 81 Annie Oakley episodes, restored, with all sorts of extras: a documentary, the pilot, commercials, photo galleries and more.

Some terrific character actors rode through this series: Slim Pickins, Helene Marshall, James Best, John Doucette, James H. Griffith, Lee Van Cleef, Alan Hale Jr., Dickie Jones, Fess Parker, Clayton Moore, Denver Pile, LQ Jones, Glenn Strange and more. (Even Shelly Fabares!) And in the director’s chair from week to week, you might find the likes of George Archainbaud, Ray Nazarro, Earl Bellamy or John English. Produced by Gene Autry’s Flying A Productions, many of these folks were veterans of Gene’s movies and series. Then there’s Lone Pine locations and those beautiful double-action Colts.

We’re gonna get a lotta mileage out of this thing at my house. My daughter Presley really loves this show.

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durangokid

Here’s a thing on the Durango Kid I did for Classicflix, a quick guide to the few films in the series available on DVD.

Fred F. Sears and Ray Nazarro, whose work I really like, directed many of these, and I’d love to be able to really dive into the series.

RIP, Andrew V. McLaglen.

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Andrew Victor McLaglen
(28 July 28, 1920 – 30 August 2014)

Andrew V. McLaglen, the son of actor Victor McLaglen, was a prolific director who got the kind of apprenticeship any filmmaker would envy: after growing up on his dad’s movie sets, he was made assistant director on John Ford’s The Quiet Man (1952). McLaglen worked on a number of films from John Wayne’s Batjac (he co-produced Seven Men From Now) and got his first directing credit for the company’s Gun The Man Down (1956).

The late 50s and early 60s saw lots of TV work—including 116 episodes of Have Gun-Will Travel—with a feature from time to time. It was usually Westerns. McLintock! (1963). The Rare Breed (1966, above, with Maureen O’Hara). The Way West (1967). In the 70s, he was John Wayne’s director of choice.

Mr. McLaglen passed away at 94. He will probably be known for McLintock! and Shenandoah (1965), two films that showed what he was capable of.

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