Archive for the ‘Maureen O’Hara’ Category


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John Ford’s Rio Grande (1950) is one of the major 50s Westerns I’ve somehow neglected over the life of this blog. As a small attempt to remedy that, here’s a photo of John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and the crew shooting a scene. Ford’s not visible here, unfortunately.

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Marion Mitchell Morrison AKA John Wayne
(May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979)

Whenever I need an image of John Wayne, it seems I automatically reach for something from Rio Bravo (1959). Here he is, yet again, as John T. Chance.

There’s a big shindig going on in Wayne’s hometown, Winterset, Iowa, this weekend — part of an effort to build a museum there. Maureen O’Hara is in attendance, and she says this is her last public appearance. Wish we could all be there.

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Here’s John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in Rio Grande (1950). This excellent film, the third part of John Ford’s cavalry trilogy, is known as the movie that let John Ford make his Irish picture, The Quiet Man (1952) — which will no doubt be inserted into many DVD and Blu-ray players today.

Rio Grande, of course, is plenty great in and of itself.



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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.

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Coming to Blu-ray and DVD from Olive Films, January 22, 2013 — John Ford’s The Quite Man (1952).

Suddenly, a lot of people have plans for Saint Patrick’s Day. Yeah, I know, it’s not a Western.

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Universal’s Vault Series has made Comanche Territory (1950) available for pre-order. No release date has been given.

MacDonald Carey is Jim Bowie, trying to keep peace after silver is discovered on Comanche territory. Maureen O’Hara and Charles Drake are the sinister siblings trying to break the treaty.

George Sherman, as you’d expect, makes great use of the Arizona locations — beautiful in Technicolor. And it’s cool to see Maureen O’Hara getting in on the action scenes (she’s seen below in a Jergens Lotion ad that appeared in Life in March, 1950). In her book ‘Tis Herself, she described Comanche Territory as “a fairly decent Western and the film in which I mastered the American bullwhip. By the time the picture was over, I could snap a cigarette out of someone’s mouth.”

Comanche Territory isn’t a great Western, but it has plenty to recommend it.

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Happy birthday to Mr. Ben Johnson. The cowboy, actor and all-around swell guy would’ve been 94 today.

Here he is having lunch on the set of John Ford’s Rio Grande (1950). Left to right: Harry Carey, Jr., Ben, Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne. (I’ve been dying to put this picture up here, and this seemed like as good a time as any.)

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Just what we all need — some good news. Olive Films are doing us 50s Westerns fans a real favor these days, and I may need to have my salary direct-deposited into their account.

In recent weeks, they’ve come through with so many cool things: Run For Cover (1954), Denver And Rio Grande (1952), Pony Express (1953), The Hangman (1959), The Jayhawkers (1958), High Noon (1952) and more.

And now they’ve announced two more essential pictures — John Ford’s Rio Grande (1950) and Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar (1954) — with a release date of August 7. Both will be available in standard DVD and Blu-Ray. No info on bonus features as of yet.

Both are Republic pictures. Rio Grande received a nice DVD release several years ago. Laserdisc is the only round silver thing Johnny Guitar has been on in the States.

Thanks to all of you who brought this to my attention.

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Sam Peckinpah’s first film as director, The Deadly Companions (1961), is coming from VCI in what promises be a nice anamorphic transfer.

Starring Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara (who’d just appeared together in The Parent Trap) — and shot in 21 days for $550,000 in Old Tuscon, The Deadly Companions has been represented over the years by shoddy, pan-and-scan tapes and DVDs that were an insult to anybody who worked on it.

Brian Keith and Peckinpah had just collaborated on the terrific The Westerner TV series. O’Hara’s brother, producer of The Deadly Companions, approached Keith. Keith requested Peckinpah, thinking he’d patch up the script.

Though Peckinpah was not allowed to do a rewrite or supervise the editing, his direction is assured and bears his strong visual stamp. It deserves more attention than it normally gets — this is more than just a first-picture curio.

It’s based on the novel Yellowleg by A.S. Fleischman, which at one point was optioned by Marlon Brando’s Pennebaker Productions. Nothing came it, though a script was prepared, and Brando’s Western eventually ended up being One-Eyed Jacks (1961).

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