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Archive for the ‘Rod Cameron’ Category

Picture 15

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…

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shortgrass

Warner Archive has announced another group of Westerns, with only one from the 50s: Short Grass (1950). Directed by Lesley Selander, it boasts quite a cast: Rod Cameron, Cathy Downs, Johnny Mack Brown, Alan Hale Jr. and Morris Ankrum.

$T2eC16V,!zEE9s3!Y,10BRbgeTm(gQ~~60_3Based on the novel by Thomas W. Blackburn, who also wrote the screenplay, Short Grass is quite ambitious for an Allied Artists picture from the period. The cowboys here are cowboys, not gunfighters — which really distinguishes what could’ve been just another series Western range war tale. This is a good one.

Blackburn wrote a number of excellent Westerns films throughout the 50s — Colt .45 (1950), Riding Shotgun (1954) and Cattle Queen Of Montana (1954, story only), to name just a few — before making the move to TV — often for Walt Disney. He not only wrote the Disney Davy Crockett shows (which of course became the 1955 film Davy Crockett: King Of The Wild Frontier).  His place in popular culture history is secured by the fact that he wrote the lyrics for “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett.”

Another tip from John Knight.

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Cole Younger TC

Warner Archive has announced another wagonload of Westerns, and there are a few good 50s ones in there.

Cole Younger, Gunfighter (1958) is an Allied Artists CinemaScope concoction with Frank Lovejoy as the famous outlaw. The always capable R.G. Springsteen directed.

Fort Vengeance (1953) is a Cinecolor Canadian Mountie picture from Lesley Selander, starring James Craig and Rita Moreno.

Hiawatha (1953) is an adaptation of the Longfellow poem from Kurt Neumann. John Knight pointed out that this was the last film to bear the Monogram logo.

The Boy From Oklahoma (1954) stars Will Rogers, Jr., Lon Chaney, Wallace Ford and Merv Griffin. Michael Curtiz directed. It was the basis of the Sugarfoot TV series.

The Gun Hawk (1963) isn’t a 50s Western but with Rory Calhoun and Rod Cameron in it, it might as well be. A quick glance at the still below will tell you where some of it was filmed.

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rodcameron2

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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Today is Joanne Dru’s birthday. So today’s a good day to report that Southwest Passage (1954) is coming to MGM’s MOD program. No release date is listed.

This Edward Small production, released through United Artists, has a great cast: Rod Cameron, Joanne Dru, John Ireland, John Dehner, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams and Morris Ankrum. It was directed by Ray Nazarro, an old hand at this sort of thing. It’s got cowboys and camels. And it was originally in 3-D (and Pathecolor).

Dru and Ireland were husband and wife when Southwest Passage was released. They divorced in 1957.

Thanks to John Knight for the info.

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Warner Archive is serving up an odd one, but a good one. The Monogram Cowboy Collection Volume 1 presents nine late-period Monogram Westerns. First up are four Jimmy Wakely pictures, all directed by Lambert Hillyer:

Oklahoma Blues (1948)

Partners Of The Sunset (1948)

Cowboy Cavalier (1948)

Gun Law Justice (1949)

Next are four Johnny Mack Browns:

Outlaw Gold (1950)

Man From Sonora (1951)

Oklahoma Justice (1951)

Texas Lawmen (1951)

And finally, there’s Cavalry Scout (1951), starring Rod Cameron and Jim Davis and directed by Lesley Selander — in CineColor. This was a bigger picture than the usual Monogram product.

Stay tuned. More new release stuff coming on the noon stage!

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