Archive for the ‘Joe Kane’ Category


Rod Cameron
(December 7, 1910 – December 21, 1983)

Rod Cameron never made a Western that could truly be called a classic. But he made some really solid ones, such as Ride The Man Down (1952) — a Republic picture costarring Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Forrest Tucker, Barbara Britton, Chill Wills, J. Carrol Naish, Jim Davis and Paul Fix. It was directed, with the usual breakneck pace, by Joe Kane. Good stuff.

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I haven’t seen the first three Blu-rays of John Wayne’s Three Mesquiteers films from Olive Films. But I’ve heard very good things.

Three more early Wayne Republics are on the way, with one being The New Frontier (1939), directed by George Sherman. They list it under its TV title, Frontier Horizons. This is probably because they’re also bringing out the other John Wayne Republic called The New Frontier (1935)! The 1939 film co-stars Jennifer Jones.

The third title in this batch is King Of The Pecos (1936), directed by Joe Kane. Republic put this one out on DVD several years ago. Confused yet?

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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.

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Plunderers Of Painted Flats was released in January 1959 (the poster calls it “a Republic presentation”). It starred Corinne Calvet, John Carroll, Skip Homeier and Joe Besser — and was in black and white ‘Scope (Naturama). Its director, Albert C. Gannaway, did a short series of these threadbare widescreen Westerns for Republic. At least one of them, Man Or Gun (1958), is pretty good.

That July, Republic was no more. There was no way the Western could be the same after that.

Director Joe Kane, from Kings Of The Bs: “Yates had trouble with the Actors Guild. He refused to pay residuals for pictures that were going on television. So they shut him down. The Actors Guild just closed the place and put him out of business… I went over to television. There was nothing else I could do. Republic was completely out of business. There was nothing left of it.”

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Got the list of Republic Pictures to be shown at The Egyptian Theatre during the Republic Pictures 75th Celebration

Under Western Stars (1938)

Roy Rogers, Smiley Burnette, Carol Hughes

Directed by Joe Kane


Meet Roy Rogers


South Of The Border (1939)

Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, June Storey, Lupita Tovar

Directed by George Sherman


It’s A Grand Old Nag (1947)

The only Republic Cartoon, directed by the great Bob Clampett

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