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1 Liberty Ford

James Maitland Stewart
(May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997)

Jimmy Stewart, one of the greatest movie stars of them all, was born 111 years ago today. Here he is with a couple more “greatest of them alls,” John Ford and John Wayne, on the set of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962). One of my favorite movies, and this is one of my favorite photos.

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Directed by Henry King
Starring Gregory Peck, Helen Wescott, Millard Mitchell, Jean Parker, Skip Homeier, Karl Malden

One of the key 50s Westerns, Henry King’s The Gunfighter (1950, is making its way to Blu-Ray from Germany’s Explosive Media. Pictures like this, Winchester ’73 and Devil’s Doorway (all 1950) were a pretty good indicator that something was happening to the Hollywood Western.

This one is absolutely essential. Can’t wait to see Arthur C. Miller’s B&W cinematography in high definition.

Thanks to John Knight for the news.

A.G. “Flint” McCullough
(May 1, 1919 – January 24, 2004)

My grandfather was born 100 years ago today. He had nothing to do with the movies, but plenty to do with the West. He was a real, honest-to-goodness cowboy — and, boy, do I miss him.

Directed by Henry Hathaway
Starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Strother Martin, John Doucette

To mark the 50th anniversary of True Grit (1969), TCM has put together a string of screenings in hundreds of theaters this Sunday and Wednesday, May 5 and 8. To find a theater near you, click the lobby card above.

william-castle-sam-wiesenthal-ursula-thiess

William Castle
(April 24, 1914 – May 31, 1977)

I’m always on the lookout for a photo of William Castle working on one of his Westerns. This one, from the set of The Americano (1955), is the only one I’ve come across. (He became a lot more visible when he started producing his own horror movies.) He’s seen here with executive producer Sam Wiesenthal and Ursula Thiess. The Americano — with Glenn Ford, Frank Lovejoy, Cesar Romero and Miss Thiess, was a troubled production begun by Budd Boetticher in Brazil and finished some time later by Castle.

William Castle might be my favorite filmmaker. From the Whistler series to gimmicky stuff like House On Haunted Hill (1958), he sure made the movies fun. The low-budget Westerns he did at Columbia for Sam Katzman — pictures like Masterson Or Kansas and The Law Vs. Billy The Kid (both 1954) are among my favorites.

RIP, Fay McKenzie.

Fay McKenzie
(February 19, 1918 – April 16, 2019)

Fay McKenzie, who co-starred in a number of Gene Autry pictures — among many other things, has passed away at 101.

“I loved working with Gene, he was terrific! I could sing and that was something the earlier girls couldn’t do. Yates knew I had done Broadway; that helped! I could do more than smile and wave at the cowboy!”

Among her credits, she played a neighbor in The Party (1967), directed by her real-life neighbor, Blake Edwards.

The_Daily_Times_News_Tue__Feb_11__1969_Directed by Victor Fleming
Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Haviland, Thomas Mitchell, Hattie McDaniel, Ward Bond, Yakima Canutt

The Graham Cinema in Graham, North Carolina is running Gone With The Wind (1939) at various times April 28 – May 2.

Sunday, April 28
2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Monday – Thursday, April 29 – May 2
7:00 PM

They ad above was run when the Graham Cinema featured Gone With The Wind back in 1969.