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Archive for December, 2012

IMAG1488

Spending some quality time with my One-Eyed Jacks book this morning, thanks to my understanding, encouraging family and a fabulous crew of commenters (you know who you are) who help keep this blog chugging along, even when I ignore it for a day or two. Thanks to you all.

Hope you all have a nice, fun, safe New Year’s Eve. You can bet that when I start resolution-ing tonight, many of them will involve writing about cowboy movies.

* A reference to the tell-all book of the same name by Anna Brando (Marlon’s wife/ex-wife during the production of One-Eyed Jacks). It’s value as a source for my book is pretty questionable.

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wagon-master1 sized

Harry Carey, Jr.
(May 16, 1921 – December 27, 2012)

My fingers don’t want to type this, as if that would make it not so. Harry Carey, Jr. has passed away at 91.

Above, he stands between Ben Johnson and Ward Bond in John Ford’s Wagon Master (1950). It’s one of the best Westerns of the 50s, and Carey’s easygoing performance is one of its considerable charms. So many pictures benefited from his presence: Red River (1948), Three Godfathers (1948), Rio Grande (1950), Silver Lode (1954) and The Searchers (1956), to name just a few.

He was the son of silent cowboy star Harry Carey and a member of John Ford’s stock company (his nickname was Dobe). His autobiography Company Of Heroes is one of the finest books on Western filmmaking you’ll ever read.

As far back as I can remember watching movies, I’ve been aware of Harry Carey, Jr. So forget about this stupid blog. Go watch Wagon Master.

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il_fullxfull.392595528_lz6f

Don’t know if you’ve been naughty or nice, but one thing is certain: you people sure know your cowboy movies. Going through your responses for this year’s Want List, I was reminded of several films I’d forgotten. Thanks to everyone who played along.

The titles have been grouped by studio, according to their original release — independent productions such as The Hired Gun (1957) are with their distributor (MGM in this case). I’ve indicated the widescreen films (off the top of my head, not researched — sorry, it was really late).

20th Century-Fox
Canadian Pacific (1949)
Caribou Trail (1950)
The Gambler From Natchez (1954)
Pony Soldier (1952)
Sierra Baron (1958, Scope)
The Silver Whip (1953)

Allied Artists/Monogram
Arrow In The Dust (1954)
At Gunpoint (1955, Scope)
Bitter Creek (1954)
Dragoon Wells Massacre (1957, Scope)
Fargo (1952)
Jack Slade (1953)
Kansas Territory (1952)
Oregon Passage (1957, Scope)
The Rawhide Trail (1958)
The Tall Stranger (1957, Scope)
Wild Stallion (1952)

American International
Gunslinger (1956)

03_1957+Domino+Kid+LC sized

Columbia
Ambush At Tomahawk Gap (1953)
Cripple Creek (1952)
Domino Kid (1957)
The Doolins Of Oklahoma (1949)
Face Of A Fugitive (1959)
Fury At Gunsight Pass (1956)
The Gunfighters (1947)
Gunman’s Walk (1958, Scope)
The Hard Man (1958)
Jack McCall, Desperado (1953)
Jesse James Vs. The Daltons (1954)
The Pathfinder (1953)
Reprisal! (1956)
Stage To Tucson (1950)
The Texas Rangers (1951)
The Walking Hills (1949)

MGM
Heaven With A Gun (1969)
The Hired Gun (1957, Scope)

Paramount
The Eagle And The Hawk (1950)
Flaming Feather
(1952)
Red Mountain (1951)

CopperSkyLobby

Regal (all RegalScope)
Ambush At Cimarron Pass (1958)
Apache Warrior (1957)
Badlands Of Montana (1957)
Copper Sky (1957)
Frontier Gun (1958)
The Quiet Gun (1956)
Ride A Violent Mile (1957)
Showdown At Boot Hill (1958)

Republic
Brimstone (1949)
California Passage (1950)
Dakota Incident (1956)
Hellfire (1949)
Last Stagecoach West (1957, Naturama)
A Man Alone (1955)
Man Or Gun (1958, Naturama)
Ride The Man Down (1953)
The Road To Denver (1955)
Rock Island Trail (1950)
The Savage Horde (1950)
The Showdown (1950)
Stranger At My Door (1956)
Timberjack (1955)
Trail Of Robin Hood (uncut, 1950)
Woman They Almost Lynched (1953)

RKO
The Big Sky (1952)
Blood On The Moon (1948)
Great Day In The Morning (1956, SuperScope)
The Lusty Men (1952)
Run Of The Arrow (1957)
Treasure Of Poncho Villa (1955, SuperScope)

United Artists
Abilene Town (1946)
Beast Of Hollow Mountain (1956, Scope)
Gun Belt (1953)
Ride Out For Revenge (1957)

Destry

Universal (-International)
Apache Drums (1951)
Black Horse Canyon (1954)
Bronco Buster (1952)
A Day Of Fury (1956)
Day Of The Bad Man (1958, Scope)
Destry (1954)
Four Guns To The Border (1954)
Incident At Phantom Hill (1966, Scope)
Last Of The Fast Guns (1958, Scope)
The Lone Hand (1953)
The Man From Bitter Ridge (1955)
Man Without A Star (1955)
Money, Women And Guns (1958, Scope)
Rails Into Laramie (1954)
Raw Edge (1956)
Saddle Tramp (1950)
The Saga Of Hemp Brown (1959, Scope)
Showdown At Abilene (1956)
Slim Carter (1957)
The Spoilers (1956)
Stagecoach To Dancer’s Rock (1962)
Star In The Dust (1956)
Walk The Proud Land (1956, Scope)
The Yellow Mountain (1954)

Warner Bros.
The Big Land (1957, Scope)
The Bounty Hunter (1954)
Charge At Feather River (1953)
Drum Beat (1954, Scope)
Shoot-Out At Medicine Bend (1958)
South Of St. Louis (1949)
Sugarfoot (1951)

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Not sure who Doreen and Jack are (our guess is Jack Hawkins and his wife), but I bet they were thrilled to receive this during the holidays of 1958. Taken on location for John Ford’s The Horse Soldiers (1958).

Has John Wayne ever looked cooler than he does here? Fact is, everybody looks terrific, from the beautiful Constance Towers to Ford himself.

Here’s hoping your holidays are safe, fun and filled with whatever it is you want them filled with (cowboy movies, maybe?).

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3h10toyuma2

Blake Lucas pointed this out, and it’s certainly worth highlighting here — 3:10 To Yuma (1957) has been added to the National Film Registry by the Library Of Congress.

It’s the seventh 50s Western to make the Registry, the others being High Noon (1952), Shane (1953), The Naked Spur (1953), Johnny Guitar (1954), The Searchers (1956) and The Tall T (1957). While you can maybe argue the titles (I would’ve gone with Winchester ’73), you certainly can’t complain about the directors they’ve chosen to honor.

So when’s Rio Bravo (1959) gonna get in there?

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wish-list

We did a 50s Westerns Want List a couple years ago and it was a blast — and a surprising number of our wishes have since come true! So it seems about time to do another one. Last time around, I polled a few people offline, but I’ve since learned that a lot of the fun comes from watching y’all feed off each other as you load up the comments box.

So send in your lists. I’ll compile and sort the responses — then see if I can get them to someone who can actually do something about it.

I’ll start. Reprisal! (1956) and The Hard Man (1957), both from George Sherman and starring Guy Madison, and Fred MacMurray and James Coburn in Face Of A Fugitive (1959) — all from Columbia. Then there’s a Blu-ray John Sturges/Kirk Douglas/VistaVision twin-bill of Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957) and Last Train From Gun Hill (1959). I could go on and on.

UPDATE: I’m compiling and sorting all your requests and will post them Christmas day.

guymadison_hardman

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GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the biggest topics of discussion, or debate, here at 50 Westerns From The 50s is what’s coming out on DVD and Blu-ray. What’s on the way? Will it be widescreen? Will there be a Blu-ray? Can I get rid of the subtitles?

I thought it might be fun to look back at the 50s Westerns releases of 2012. There were some good ones. Use the comment thing to “nominate” your favorite 50s Westerns DVDs and Blu-rays.

Let’s try these categories:
1. 50s Western you were the most excited to see released.
2. Best 50s Western DVD or Blu-ray of 2012.

Best doesn’t necessary mean the quality of the film itself, but its video presentation. Limit your picks to titles actually released to DVD or Blu-ray during the calendar year 2012. MOD titles from Warner Archive or the other programs are eligible.

I’m curious to see what you all liked. If there are a lot of responses, a later survey/vote might be in order.

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