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Archive for the ‘William Wellman’ Category

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Why go to Walmart and get punched in the face over a cheap toaster when you can sit at home and buy cowboy movies? Click the image above and have at it.

And if you haven’t done it yet, do yourself a favor and get Westward The Women (1951). If nothing else, it’ll give you something to be thankful for next Thanksgiving.

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My daughter caught Beverly Garland in Gunslinger (1956, above) yesterday (on broadcast TV!) and loved it. She thought Beverly was about the coolest thing ever — which, of course, she is. She also thought her horse was pretty.

Blake Lucas suggested Johnny Guitar (1954) as a followup, and I thought of Hellfire (1949, below).

By then, this was looking like something we could all have fun with. So, while I have the opportunity to turn my little girl into a (cap) pistol-packing 50s Western fan, let’s program a 12-year-old girl’s 50s Western Film Festival. Put your picks in a comment.

You know, maybe it’s time 50 Westerns From The 50s had a guest blogger.

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iipsrvDid your aunt Suzy put a twenty in your Christmas card? Well, here’s a good place to use it.

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!

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The first drive-in theater opened on this day back in 1933 in Camden, New Jersey. By the 50s, there were thousands of drive-ins in the U.S. And, of course, Westerns and monster movies were their bread and butter.

Thanks to Jennifer and Dick for the images. Have you seen today’s Google Doodle?

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Being on the East Coast, I’m thankful that there are people covering where many of these 50s Westerns were shot. Who knows when I’ll get out that way.

Today I came across Joe Maddrey’s post on film locations around Kanab, Utah, including a Western street from Westward The Women (1951). See below.

It’s part of a series — be sure to check out his photos of Ford locations.

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Back in the early days of this blog, I solicited Want Lists from whoever was out there reading this thing — and the picture y’all wanted above all others was William Wellman’s Westward The Women (1951). It’d been quite a while since I’d seen it, so I tracked it down and it was soon at the top of my list, too.

Laura, a real evangelist for this picture, just passed along the fact that Warner Archive is releasing it tomorrow. Yep, tomorrow.

Researching it for my book (it’s a shoe-in for a chapter), I found out that a promotional short subject, “Challenge The Wilderness,” was done on how the shoot was as hard on the cast and crew as the fictional trek in the film. Well, it turns out Warner Archive’s serving that up along with a commentary by film historian Scott Eyman. Thanks to all concerned for giving this film the kind of treatment it deserves.

This is a great Western.

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Denise Darcel has passed away at 87. The French actress’s film career was a short one, but it included two important 50s Westerns.

Above, she’s seen with Gary Cooper in Vera Cruz (1954). This scene with Denise in a rain barrel does not appear in the film. (Do her shoulder straps look like photo retouching to you?)

She’d previously appeared in Westward The Women (1950, below) along with Robert Taylor and an incredible ensemble female cast. She’s great in this one, handling the demanding physical stuff with ease.

You’ll find obituaries for her here and here.

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