After a string of excellent little pictures for Republic like personal favorites Hellfire (1949) and The Showdown (1950), William Elliott signed a six-picture deal with Monogram (later to become Allied Artists). These six films, which included Kansas Territory (1953), while certainly cheap, are surprisingly adult — and boast some real talent on both sides of the camera. Directors like Lewis Collins and Thomas Carr. Casts that include Peggy Stewart, Fuzzy Knight, Denver Pyle, Robert J. Wilke, George Wallace and Phyllis Coates. Scripts often by Dan Ullman. And top-notch cinematography by Ernest Miller — “filmed in glorious sepia tone.”
When you come across these things, which is seldom these days, they’re inevitably presented black and white. Which is a real shame, since the novelty of sepia tone makes these intriguing films even more, well, intriguing — and gives them a distinguished look. (My less-than-glorious attempt at approximating the sepia look can be seen in the still above.) What a great multi-disc DVD set these would make.