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Archive for the ‘Charles Marquis Warren’ Category

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I’m really happy to have been involved, even to a tiny extent, with the CD release of a couple of 50s Western scores — Paul Dunlap’s score for Hellgate (1952) and Bert Shefter’s music for The Tall Texan (1953) — from David Schecter’s label Monstrous Movie Music. Both are Lippert pictures, available on DVD from Kit Parker and VCI.

Over the course of his career, Paul Dunlap scored over a hundred films, mostly B movies of various sorts — from I was A Teenage Werewolf (1957) to Shock Corridor (1963). There were lots of Westerns: Jack Slade (1953), Stranger  On Horseback (1955), The Quiet Gun (1956) and Oregon Trail (1959), to name just a few. While Dunlap wasn’t a big fan of some of the films he worked on, his name’s on some films I love. Every seen Big House U.S.A. or Shack Out On 101 (both 1955)?

Hellgate is an excellent film, a low-budget reworking of John Ford’s Prisoner Of Shark Island (1936). Sterling Hayden, Ward Bond, Joan Leslie and James Arness are directed by Charles Marquis Warren. It’s obvious Dunlap liked this film, and he came through with a terrific score. The CD presents the music in sequence, cue by cue, from a set of original acetates (a few cues have been lost to time). Dunlap’s score for The Lost Continent, a 1951 sci-fi picture starring Cesar Romero, is also included.

1974_Cover__Main_Page_Bert Shefter was a Russian-born concert pianist and conductor. He scored his first film in 1950 and by the time he retired, had more than 60 movies and hundreds and hundreds of TV shows to his credit. His scores include Cattle Empire (1958), Return Of The Fly (1959) and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965). His work on It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958) really knocked me out. Like Dunlap, Shefter never coasted, never give less than 100% — even if if the picture didn’t really deserve it.

The Tall Texan was directed by Elmo Williams, the Oscar-winning editor of High Noon, and shot by Joseph Biroc. A solid, low-budget 50s Western (it cost just $100,000), it stars Lloyd Bridges, Marie Windsor and Lee J. Cobb. Shefter gives themes to several of the main characters, including a menacing piece for the Indians, and makes good use of a couple popular tunes, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “Blow The Man Down.”

I really like these films, and it’s easy to recommend these CDs. Monstrous Movie Music has assembled a nice package, with thorough notes and some fascinating archival material. David Schecter says that if these titles do well, there are other 50s Western scores he’d like to get around to. Let’s help make sure he can.

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Turner Classic Movies is handing Wednesdays to Joel McCrea all through May. And they’re offering up some really good stuff.

There’s great pictures like Sullivan’s Travels (1941) and Foreign Correspondent (1940), lots of ‘em. And there’s a heavy helping of Westerns, too.

The 50s Westerns scheduled are: Stars In My Crown (1950), which is not really a Western, but that’s OK; The Outriders (1950), which has a great part for James Whitmore; The Tall Stranger (1957), a hard-to-find ‘Scope Louis L’Amour adaptation co-starring Virginia Mayo and Michael Pate; Fort Massacre (1958), with McCrea knocking an Ethan Edwards-type role out of the park; Trooper Hook (1957) which co-stars Barbara Stanwyck; and two of McCrea’s Universal Westerns, Frenchie (1950) and Cattle Drive (1951).

You’ll find the full details here. I can’t think of an actor more deserving of this kind of attention.

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Today in 1860, the first Pony Express mail made its way from relay to relay. Buffalo Bill Cody became a Pony Express rider at 15.

By the way, Pony Express (1953) starring Charlton Heston as Cody (and Forrest Tucker as Wild Bill Hickock) will be making its way to DVD later this month.

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The onslaught on new releases continues, which is great news, with a batch of Paramount titles on the way from Olive Films — including a number of 50s Westerns (in addition to Nicholas Ray’s Run For Cover, which I covered in a previous post).

Silver City (1951): Byron Kaskin directs Edmond O’Brien, Yvonne De Carlo, Richard Arlen, Barry Fitzgerald, Gladys George and John Dierkes.

The Savage (1952): Directed by George Marshall. Charlton Heston stars. There was a bit of controversy over the title, with The Savage being switched out with Warbonnet (see below).

Denver And Rio Grande (1952): Byron Haskin and Edmond O’Brien again, this time with Sterling Hayden, Dean Jagger, J. Carrol Naish and Zasu Pitts in tow. Gorgeous Technicolor location work — and Hayden, as always, is cool.

Pony Express (1953): Charlton Heston is Buffalo Bill. Forrest Tucker is Wild Bill Hickock. Rhonda Fleming and Jan Sterling are in it. It’s written by Charles Marquis Warren . What more do I need to say?

The Hangman (1959): I’m dying to see this one again! Robert Taylor, Tina Louise, Fess Parker and Jack Lord make up a terrific cast. Directed by the great Michael Curtiz. Jack Lord was on a roll in this period — Man Of The West (1958), God’s Little Acre (1958) and Williamsburg: The Story Of A Patriot, the VistaVision short subject that has run continuously at the Colonial Williamsburg visitor center since 1957.

The Jayhawkers (1959): Jeff Chandler, Fess Parker and Henry Silva star in this picture, which holds up much better as a Western than as a history lesson about pre-Civil War Kansas. Henry Silva is in a lot of good 50s Westerns — The Tall T (1957), The Bravados (1958) and The Law And Jake Wade (1958), yet we don’t really associate him with the genre. It also features a terrific score by Jerome Moross.

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Here’s a list of Westerns, most from the 50s, available on Netflix Instant Watch. It’s an impressive batch of stuff. (Thanks for the tip, Stephen.)

A particularly interesting one is The Black Whip (1956), a Regalscope picture directed by Charles Marquis Warren. It stars Hugh Marlowe, Coleen Gray, Adele Mara, Angie Dickinson (above), Sheb Wooley and Strother Martin. Wow.

But before you get your hopes up, I’ve been warned that Instant Watch is a real crap shoot as far as transfer quality and aspect ratios go. (Maybe it’s Watch as in “watch out!”) If you give ‘em a shot, and they look like they’re supposed to, please let us all know through the comments.

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Haven’t seen Tension At Table Rock (1956). It was directed by Charles Marquis Warren, who I’ve been reading up on lately — his Little Big Horn (1951) is really good (and 1969′s Charro is awful).

But while I can’t say a whole lot about the picture itself, RKO gave Tension At Table Rock an incredible one-sheet. Anybody know who the artist was?

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