Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving.


Here’s wishing you all a terrific Thanksgiving. Hope you can squeeze a Western in among all the parades and dog shows and football games and shopping trips.

Don’t forget to stop for a second to think of all you’re thankful for. And when you do, I hope your list is a long one.

What kind of sandwich goes best with Rory Calhoun — leftover turkey or leftover ham?

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Public Service Announcement.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Bob Hope (over a decade before Son Of Paleface) shows us how to carve a turkey. From an old issue of Hollywood magazine.

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Happy Thanksgiving.

Hope your Thanksgiving holiday is a good one, filled with turkey sandwiches and cowboy movies.

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Been wanting to do a contest for quite some time here at 50 Westerns From The 50s, and I’m finally getting around to it.

Identify the film this gorgeous image came from — probably shot by the second unit with none of the lead actors present, and you’ll win a copy of the Fury At Showdown/Along Came Jones two-fer DVD. (This isn’t in connection with TGG Direct, just something I felt like doing.)

Email your answer to fiftieswesterns@gmail.com by Wednesday, September 12 at high noon, EST. (Don’t send it as a comment — others might steal your right answer or ridicule your wrong one.) If a number of you get it right, my daughter will draw the winning name from a (cowboy) hat. That’s all the legalese I can muster. Good luck.

Hint: It’s a 50s Western and it’s in color (not much help, huh?).

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Spread the word, folks. And be sure to friend ‘em on Facebook.

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Plans for the holidays?

Some recent posts have spurred a few of us to make preliminary plans to watch certain films — Westerns, of course — over the holiday break.

Colin mentioned Escort West (1959). I’m thinking about Trail Of Robin Hood (1950), Roy Rogers’ Christmas picture. Then, of course, there’s stuff like It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), The Bishop’s Wife  (1947, if you haven’t seen this, I urge you to) and A Christmas Story (1983) — which aren’t Westerns, but we won’t hold it against ‘em.

As the weather gets colder, I always get the itch to drag out Track Of The Cat (1954) and Day Of The Outlaw (1959). A 16mm adapted ‘Scope print of 1958’s Escape From Red Rock is sitting here, too. And I’ve purposefully avoided the TCM schedule. So many movies, so little time.

So what’s stacked beside your DVD player, waiting its turn?

[The wonderful John Falter illustration appeared on the November 9, 1957 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.]

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How To Play Cowboy, Lesson 1.

On my desk is a bag of Halloween candy orphaned by my daughter (who trick-or-treated as Laura Ingalls, by the way). It’s nice having a kid who’s not much of a chocolate fan.

In that bag are a couple boxes of Milk Duds — make that were a couple boxes of Milk Duds. A co-worker and I got to talking, and I mentioned that as a kid, I’d put a couple Milk Duds in my mouth, chew them up a bit, then spit pretend tobacco juice as I played cowboy. He said he did the same thing.

Growing up in the 70s, I was probably the only kid who’d pretend they were William S. Hart.

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My wife sent this this afternoon. Turns out my daughter hit the pantry and doctored our box of Quaker Instant Grits.

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I found this quite interesting, especially since I’ve been working on a post about the various Earps and Hollidays we were treated to in the 50s. Enjoy.

Arizona Court Discovers Original O.K. Corral Papers.

By Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX — A missing handwritten transcript from a coroner’s inquest done after the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral has resurfaced in a dusty box more than 125 years after the most famous shootout in Wild West history.

The document had been missing for decades – last seen when it was photocopied in the 1960s.

It was found when court clerks stumbled on the box while reorganizing files in an old jail storage room in Bisbee, about 20 miles south of Tombstone, the Arizona frontier town where the gunbattle took place.

Stuffed inside the box was a modern manila envelope marked “keep” with the date 1881.

The inquest was done after lawmen Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holliday confronted a gang of drunken outlaws, sparking a 30-second gunbattle in the streets of Tombstone that killed Frank and Tom McLaury and Bill Clanton.

It made folk heroes of Earp and Holliday and inspired numerous movies (such as 1957’s Gunfight At The O.K. Corral, above) about the untamed Old West.

Officials showed off just one page of the transcript on Wednesday — a thick sheet of paper with blue lines and sloppy cursive writing in dark ink. It appeared to contain the beginning of testimony by William Claiborn, identified by a historian as a friend of the three dead outlaws.

“I was present on the afternoon of Oct. 26th ’81 when the shooting commenced between outlaw parties,” the testimony reads.

Court officials have turned the document over to state archivists. Experts will immediately begin peeling away tape, restoring the paper and ink, and digitizing the pages.

The first pages could show up on the library’s website for historians to review as soon as next week.

It’s unlikely the transcript will provide any shattering revelations about the gunfight, since historians have already reviewed photocopies and the inquest was covered in detail by newspapers at the time.

Still, historians have long argued over who fired first and whether Tom McLaury was armed when he was shot. Earp and the other lawmen said they were defending themselves. Friends of the outlaws called it murder.

Wild West fans still argue over who was right, even though a judge and grand jury found insufficient evidence to try Holliday and the Earp brothers.

History buffs said the transcript is enlightening nonetheless because it has the potential to clear up fuzzy passages and reveal small notes that don’t appear in the photocopies.

“They were handled by the people of that moment, and they’re the actual artifact that encapsulated that time period,” said GladysAnn Wells, Arizona State Librarian.

The document is legible, but the paper has darkened to an amber beer color and is brittle like a potato chip, said Cochise County Court Clerk Denise Lundin. The handwriting can be difficult to read because the court reporter was rapidly taking notes, she said.

The inquest was done by coroner Henry M. Matthews.

Even if the document doesn’t reveal new information, the discovery helps historians feel more comfortable with the record, said Gary Robertson, a Wild West historian and author of the book Doc Holliday, the Life and the Legend. But most importantly, it sparks the imagination.

“Every time you find one it gives you hope that maybe you’ll find some more,” Roberts said. “Maybe there will be something else that we’ve all been dying to get our hands on.”

Lundin is convinced that somewhere in her courthouse are records of the inquest for Johnny Ringo, another legendary outlaw.

“These things aren’t something you can go search for,” she said. “You really just have to watch for them.”

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.

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Jennifer Jones (1919 – 2009)

Just saw that Jennifer Jones, who got her start as Phylis Isley in New Frontier (1939) with John Wayne, has passed away at 90.

She won as Oscar for The Song Of Bernadette (1943) and starred in David O. Selznick’s mammoth Western Duel In The Sun (1946, that’s her with Gregory Peck), which brought with it another Oscar nomination. She’d marry Selznick in 1949.

Her full obituary can be found here. What’s more, Greenbriar Picture Shows has an excellent series of posts about her.

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