So many good things to be had here. How about Rod Cameron in The Short Grass (1950)? Or Robert Taylor in The Last Hunt (1956)? Or Joel McCrea in Wichita (1955)? Or Glenn Ford in The Fastest Gun Alive (1956)? Or…
Archive for the ‘Joel McCrea’ Category
November 5, 1905 - October 20, 1990
DVD Review: Movies 4 You Western Classics (Gun Belt, The Lone Gun, Gunsight Ridge, Ride Out For Revenge).
Posted in 1953, 1954, 1957, Dorothy Malone, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., George Montgomery, George Sherman, Joel McCrea, John Ford, Lloyd Bridges, Ray Nazarro, Rory Calhoun, United Artists on April 30, 2013 | 22 Comments »
Shout Factory has done us all a huge favor, pulling four 50s Westerns from the MGM/UA/Fox libraries — featuring no less than George Montgomery, Rory Calhoun and the mighty Joel McCrea — and offering them at a great price. All four pictures boast nice, clean transfers. They’re all presented full-frame, though three (the post-1953 titles) played theaters cropped to widescreen. I played around with the zoom on my HDTV and was satisfied with the results.
As we all know, there are dozens and dozens of films like these, and the more the better. Let’s hope this is the first of many.
Gun Belt (1953)
Directed by Ray Nazarro
CAST: George Montgomery, Tab Hunter, Helen Westcott, John Dehner, Jack Elam, James Millican, Willis Bouchey.
George Montgomery is Billy Ringo, a gunslinger who wants to settle down. We’ve all seen enough of these films to know how that usually works out.
Before the picture’s 77 Technicolor minutes are up, Johnny Ringo hands Ike Clanton over to Wyatt Earp! Director Ray Nazarro began his career as an assistant director in the Silents and ended it with these George Montgomery films, a few with Rory Calhoun and TV for Gene Autry’s Flying ‘A’ Productions.
The Lone Gun (1954)
Directed by Ray Nazarro
CAST: George Montgomery, Dorothy Malone, Frank Faylen, Skip Homeier, Neville Brand, Robert J. Wilke.
Who cares what it’s about when you have Montgomery, Dorothy Malone, Skip Homeier and Frank Faylen, not to mention Ray Nazarro, on hand? For what it’s worth: George Montgomery goes after the Moran brothers — alone, thanks to the gutless townspeople.
Produced by the Color Corporation Of America, it was probably done in the SuperCineColor process. It looks good here, with the color surprisingly true. It was originally run 1.66.
Gunsight Ridge (1957)
Directed by Francis D. Lyon
Cinematography: Ernest Laszlo
CAST: Joel McCrea, Mark Stevens, Joan Weldon, Slim Pickens.
I found this a good, tight little Western — better than its reputation. McCrea’s charm and strength, along with Ernest Laszlo’s beautiful black and white cinematography, make the most of an uneven script. Mark Stevens is a tortured, evil bandit pursued by McCrea, as a Wells Fargo agent, through and around Old Tucson.
Joan Weldon is wasted in a nothing part, but Carolyn Craig — who’s in a couple of my favorite films, Fury At Showdown (1957) and House On Haunted Hill (1959) — has a nice scene at the end of the picture. There are enough ideas here for half a dozen 50s Westerns — Stevens being a frustrated pianist is a good one — but they aren’t given the time and attention they need in this brisk 85 minutes. Those with a keen eye and a nice TV will see a jet trail and an autombile.
Ride Out For Revenge (1957)
Directed by Bernard Girard
CAST: Rory Calhoun, Gloria Grahame, Lloyd Bridges, Vince Edwards.
In the mid-50s, a number of Westerns went beyond the sympathetic, or apologetic, approach to Native Americans of, say, Broken Arrow (1950) and tackled racism itself. John Ford’s The Searchers (1956), of course, is the best of these — though I urge you to seek out George Sherman’s Reprisal! (1956). Ride Out For Revenge is a solid B film, from Kirk Douglas’ Bryna Productions, that manages to make its point without sacrificing action. Probably the best film in the set, and I have to admit I knew almost nothing about it beyond the title and cast. A real find.
Beulah Archuletta, “Look” in The Searchers, can be seen in a couple shots. She’s also in Calhoun’s The Hired Gun, from the same year.
This blog was set up to champion films like these, and I urge you all to give Shout Factory a strong economic reason to release further volumes.
Posted in Andre de Toth, Audie Murphy, Budd Boetticher, Burt Kennedy, Charlton Heston, Delmer Daves, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., Fred MacMurray, Gary Cooper, George Montgomery, Glenn Ford, Jeff Chandler, Jeffrey Hunter, Joel McCrea, John Ireland, Johnny Mack Brown, Kirk Douglas, Lee Van Cleef, Lesley Selander, Randolph Scott, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Robert Taylor, Rory Calhoun, Tim Holt, William Castle, William Elliott on April 4, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Just noticed that someone was led to this blog by the search term “which western had cowboys with bells on spurs.” If you didn’t figure it out, it’s South Of St. Louis (1949), starring Joel McCrea, Alexis Smith, Zachary Scott and Dorothy Malone.
The climactic scene, with the three brothers’ spurs jingling as they blast away, is one of the most satisfying wrap-ups I can think of. I sure wish Warner Archive would get around to this one!
Posted in 1950, 1951, Alan Ladd, Audie Murphy, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., George Sherman, Joel McCrea, John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Paramount, Pre-1950, Randolph Scott, Ray Enright, Universal (-International), Van Heflin, Yvonne DeCarlo on March 6, 2013 | 5 Comments »
If you don’t have these, consider this essential. If you do, it’s a good way to free up some shelf space. Universal has packaged 10 previously-released Westerns — including a couple only available on DVD-R — in a snazzy package. You get:
When The Daltons Rode (1940) George Marshall directs. Randolph Scott leads an incredible cast — Kay Francis, Brian Donlevy, Broderick Crawford, Andy Devine, George Bancroft, Edgar Buchanan. I prefer Scott with more age on him, but this picture has do much action, you don’t have time to care.
Texas Rangers Ride Again (1940) A 67-minute Paramount Western — a sequel to their Texas Rangers (1936) — starring Ellen Drew, John Howard, Broderick Crawford and Anthony Quinn.
The Spoilers (1942) John Wayne and Randolph Scott in the same movie. (Yet some people still wonder if there’s a higher power.) Marlene Dietrich and Harry Carey are in it, too. The climactic saloon brawl is terrific.
The Virginian (1946) Joel McCrea is stunning Technicolor. Universal’s getting a lot of mileage out of this one — it’s also available on DVD-R from the Universal Vault Series and as part of the Joel McCrea Westerns Collection.
Albuquerque (1948) Ray Enright directs Randolph Scott again, this time in color and with Gabby Hayes, Scott Hayden and Lon Chaney on hand.
Whispering Smith (1948) Any movie that has both William Demerest and Frank Faylen in its cast is worth seeking out.
Comanche Territory (1950) The great, and unsung, George Sherman directs Maureen O’Hara and Macdonald Carey.
Sierra (1950) Audie Murphy is joined by Wanda Hendryx, Burl Ives, Dean Jagger, Tony Curtis, Houseley Stevenson and James Arness. It was directed by Alfred E. Green, in Technicolor. Murphy and Hendryx were husband and wife at the time.
Kansas Raiders (1950) Audie Murphy again,backed by Brian Donlevy, Marguerite Chapman, Scott Brady, Tony Curtis and Richard Arlen. Ray Enright directed.
Tomahawk (1951) stars Van Helfin and Yvonne De Carlo and was directed by George Sherman. Also available as part of the Universal Vault Series, where this one film costs more than the set we’re looking at here. Do the math, order one today.
By the way, its release date is Tuesday, March 12. Thanks to Mike for the tip.
Shout Factory! has announced a set of four middle-budget United Artists Westerns from the 50s — coming May 14 for around $10. They call it Movies 4 You: Western Classics.
The Lone Gun (1954) was directed by Ray Nazarro and stars George Montgomery, Dorothy Malone, Frank Faylen, Neville Brand, Skip Homeier and Robert J. Wilke. It’s in color.
Ride Out For Revenge (1957) stars Rory Calhoun, Gloria Grahame, Lloyd Bridges and Vince Edwards. It was directed by Bernard Gerard and shot by the great Floyd Crosby.
Gunsight Ridge (1957) stars Joel McCrea, Mark Stevens, Joan Weldon, Slim Pickens and L.Q. Jones. It was directed by Francis D. Lyon. (As ridiculous as some of these titles seem, there is a Gunsight, Texas. My great-great grandparents lived there at one point. Not sure if it has a ridge.)
Gun Belt (1953) puts George Montgomery, Tab Hunter, Helen Westcott, John Dehner and Jack Elam in the capable hands of Ray Nazarro. In Technicolor.
Haven’t seen any aspect ratio information on these yet.
Don’t know about y’all, but I’ll buy packages like this, at these prices, as long as they can scrape up 50s Westerns to put in ‘em.
A big thanks to Mr. Richard Vincent for the heads-up.
March 6-9, 2013
The Holiday Inn Patriot
Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA
Posted in 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, Andre de Toth, Delmer Daves, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., Gary Cooper, Glenn Ford, Guy Madison, Joel McCrea, Randolph Scott, Robert Taylor, William Wellman on January 10, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Warner Archive is having a Thank You sale through the 14th, with more than 1,000 titles at five DVD-Rs for just $45. And free shipping. The link is here.
There are some really fine films in the Warner Archive Collection, including some terrific 50s Westerns like Westward The Women (1951), Carson City (1952), The Command (1954), Wichita (1955), The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) and The Hanging Tree (1959). Columbia’s Choice Collection and sets like the Tim Holt RKOs are not part of this promotion.
So have at it. And remember, it’s only good through the 14th!