The Maverick Queen (1956) paired Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Sullivan (a year before Sam Fuller’s Forty Guns). For Republic, this was a pretty lavish picture — color, widescreen and location work in Silverton, Colorado.
From the New York Times review on June 4, 1956:”The Maverick Queen introduces Republic’s wide screen process, called Naturama. Republic reportedly spent two years developing this anamorphic system. (Its projection aspect ratio of 2.35 to 1 is somewhat narrower than that of CinemaScope). Thus equipped, the film has plenty of room to show, in color, the wide open spaces of Colorado, where it was made. But The Maverick Queen shows also that Republic, too, has recognized the growth of the screen—sideways. For the film is an old horse opera in still another technological dress.”
It’s ironic, and a bit sad, that since its original release, Naturama’s maiden voyage has been seen only via terrible pan and scan transfers.
Director Joe Kane: “The studio was scraping the bottom of the barrel to get a big moneymaker and they finally let me have color and Naturama and Barbara Stanwyck… It was a real pleasure to work with a grand trouper like Missy. She’d do anything, and you had to darn-near hogtie her to keep her from breaking her neck on a dangerous stunt.” (From Close Up: The Contract Director, Scarecrow Press, 1976)
There are similar stories of Miss Stanwyck being repeatedly drug by her horse for Forty Guns‘ sandstorm sequence.