Archive for the ‘Raoul Walsh’ Category


This one’s cool, folks. A 35mm print of Colorado Territory (1949) will run at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center For The Arts on Sunday, July 27 as part of their Invasion Of The Cinemaniacs series.

I don’t know about you, but Raoul Walsh’s Colorado Territory is one of my favorite Westerns. It’s the movie that made me go nuts over Joel McCrea. And Virginia Mayo is absolutely wonderful in it.

Jonathan Knapp, who looks at this blog on occasion, is the cinemaniac who picked it. Boy, do I wish I could get to this one.

And another thing: I’ve been waiting months to use that artwork (above)!


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Universal’s Vault Series is serving up a handful of 50s Westerns, basically taking the TCM Western Horizons set and selling them as single discs (available exclusively from Amazon).

Horizons West (1952) has Budd Boetticher directing Robert Ryan, Julie Adams and Rock Hudson in a Technicolor post-Civil War tale.

Saskatchewan (1954) puts Alan Ladd, Shelley Winters, J. Carrol Naish and Hugh O’Brian in the hands of the great Raoul Walsh.

Dawn At Socorro (1954) was directed by George Sherman, which is enough for me. Factor in Rory Calhoun, Piper Laurie, Mara Corday, Edgar Buchanan, Skip Homeier, James Millican and Lee Van Cleef, and you’ve really got something going.
Pillars Of The Sky (1956) stars Jeff Chandler and Dorothy Malone. Support comes from Ward Bond, Olive Carey (both appeared in The Searchers the same year) and Lee Marvin. George Marshall directed in CinemaScope. I love this film.

Backlash (1956) comes from John Sturges and stars Richard Widmark, Donna Reed and William Campbell. Good stuff.

These will make a welcome addition to anybody’s collection, but what I want to know is: where are A Day Of Fury (1956) and Last Of The Fast Guns (1958)?

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Turner Classic Movies and Universal have come through with exactly the kind of set many of us have been waiting for. Western Horizons: Universal Westerns Of The 1950s brings together five excellent examples of why Universal was top gun in Hollywood in the 50s. The absolutely essential set, slated for release on February 18, 2013, will include:

Horizon’s West (1952) stars Robert Ryan and Rock Hudson as brothers on opposite sides of the law. Directed by Budd Boetticher, it costars Julie Adams.

Saskatchewan (1954) gives us Alan Ladd, Shelley Winters, J. Carrol Naish and Jay Silverheels in a Canadian mounties picture directed by Raoul Walsh.

Dawn At Socorro (1954) stars Rory Calhoun, Piper Laurie, Lee Van Cleef and Skip Homeier and was directed by George Sherman. (Love that Reynold Brown artwork, above.)

Backlash (1956) puts Richard Widmark, Donna Reed, William Campbell, and Edgar Buchanan in the capable hands of John Sturges.

Pillars Of The Sky (1956) from George Marshall is a CinemaScope cavalry picture with Jeff Chandler, Dorothy Malone, Ward Bond and Lee Marvin.

Universal made so many worthwhile cowboy movies in the 50s — and this is a good lineup. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

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Coming on DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films in August — Raoul Walsh’s Pursued (1947).

Cool, huh?

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Here’s a still from Raoul Walsh’s The Sheriff Of Fractured Jaw (1958), starring Kenneth More and Jayne Mansfield. It’s one I haven’t seen — and really want to.

Fractured Jaw came to mind after watching More in the true classic A Night To Remember (also 1958). Tucker McGuire is also in both films. A Night To Remember is a picture that really holds up — and doesn’t lose its impact — no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

What’s more, with its attention to detail and commitment to authenticity, it’s a fitting tribute to the 1,500 souls lost on the Titanic 100 years ago tonight. Watching it this evening was a powerful experience.

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Here comes another Walmat exclusive Blu-ray — Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail (1930), the picture that gave some guy named John Wayne his first part in a big picture. It was an early experiment in 70mm widescreen cinematography. The process was called Grandeur — and it is breathtaking at times.

All of which make it a perfect Blu-ray release.

Hitting your local Walmart that same day (May 8th) is another Wayne Blu-ray, John Houston’s The Barbarian And The Geisha (1957) — a picture I can’t make myself like, no matter how hard I try.


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Been making my way through Julie Adams’ book The Lucky Southern Star, taking it slow so I can really enjoy it rather than blaze through it and wish it was twice as thick. I recommend the book highly.

It gets a lot of flak for various things, but I think The Lawless Breed(1952) is a terrific picture. You can’t team up Adams, Raoul Walsh, John McIntire and Rock Hudson and not come away with something worthwhile. It has a beauty to it, with a debt to Director of Photography Irving Glassberg, that makes it special. We can also thank Universal for giving it a lovely transfer for DVD.

In the book, Julie gives us this story about making the film:

“In one of the saloon scenes, a number of character actors were lined up drinking at the bar. One bearded fellow was puffing madly away on a giant cigar, with puffs of smoke rising up towards the ceiling. The camera was rolling, the scene was going on and suddenly our director shouted, “Cut! His muff is on fire!”

Could that be him in the shot below?


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Baltimore was a good place to be on February 23, 1957 — judging from this page out of The Baltimore Afro-American. Take a look at what was playing:

The Searchers (1956), which needs no explanation.

7th Cavalry (1957), a Columbia Randolph Scott picture directed by Joseph H. Lewis — followed by The Gamma People (1956).

The Brass Legend (1956) stars Hugh O’Brien, Nancy Gates and Raymond Burr. It was directed by Gerd Oswald.

Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker in Many Rivers To Cross (1955).

Drango (1957) with Jeff Chandler, paired with The Peacemaker (1956), an early feature credit for Ted Post.

Then there’s Stagecoach To Fury (1957), a Regalscope picture with Forrest Tucker and Mari Blanchard. Looks like a rare booking as the top of the bill.

And sprinkled around other theaters: Clark Gable in Raoul Walsh’s The King And Four Queens (1956); Flesh And The Spur (1957), an AIP Western with John Agar, Marla English and Touch Connors; Phil Karlson’s They Rode West (1954); even James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart in The Oklahoma Kid (1939).

Not sure where I would’ve had my mom drop me off.

UPDATE: Each of these theaters (The Roosevelt, The Met, The New Albert and The Regent) are gone.

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Raoul Walsh.

Raoul Walsh’s later pictures are often dismissed. But when you turn out both White Heat and Colorado Territory in the same year (1949), you’re entering the 1950s with talent very much intact.

His Fifties Westerns, Lawless Breed (1952) and Gun Fury (1953), pale in comparison with Colorado Territory. They’re a great way to kill 80 minutes, however.

He knew how to make movies — and he’s endlessly quotable. Here are a few things pulled from various sources, along with Lee Marvin talking about him.

Walsh (in 1952): “Most movie scripts today are overwritten. I go through them and cut out the dialogue wherever I can. That may be why my pictures are so popular in foreign countries.”

Lee Marvin (who played Blinky in Gun Fury): “I don’t think he was much interested in dialogue. He was an action director. He loved horses, stagecoaches and explosions. He was an old timer and rolled his own cigarettes. If you had a scene to do with dialogue, he’d say ‘You’re over here, you’re over there, roll it.’ Then he’d look down and roll a cigarette and when all this talking had stopped he’d turn to the script girl and say, ‘Did they get it all.’ She’d say, ‘Yeah,” and he’d say, ‘Print it.’ But for the action stuff he’d get all excited… ‘OK, we’re over here with a 35mm lens. Now the stagecoach comes rolling down the pass and the gunmen gallup out from behind this rock.’ Raoul would come to life!”

Walsh: “A lot of actors didn’t want to work with me because I worked too fast. I believed it was a motion picture, so I moved it.”

Walsh: “I made some hits, I made some near-hits and I made a lot of turkeys. You make a lot of pictures. It’s like raising children. Some go out and make good, and some don’t. And you don’t want to play any favorite. Let it go, you know.”

Sources: various newpapers, The Men Who Made The Movies, Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures Of Hollywood’s Legendary Director.

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The Lawless Breed (1952), directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Rock Hudson and Julie Adams, is one of four pictures in Universal’s Classic Western Round-Up, Volume 1. This set and Volume 2 are currently at some Big Lots stores for $6 each. That comes out to a buck-and-a-half per film.

The other titles in Volume 1 are The Texas Rangers (1936), Canyon Passage (1946) and Kansas Raiders (1950, with Audie Murphy). Volume 2 is made up of The Texans (1938), California (1946), The Cimarron Kid (1952, with Audie Murphy) and The Man From The Alamo (1953). Those last two were directed by Budd Boetticher.

Both volumes give you the typical high-quality Universal transfers. Recommended.

No new titles to report, sadly, but these prices are certainly worthwhile.

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