Not long after I started working on 50 Westerns From The ’50s, the book, I became really interested in the Regalscope pictures Robert Lippert made for 20th Century-Fox. The process was the subject of one of my earliest posts.
These short (normally around 70 – 75 minutes) Westerns are usually pretty talky — talk’s a lot cheaper than action — and they seem to have spent $12 and five minutes to prop out the sets, but they feature some great casts: John Agar, Forrest Tucker, Brian Donlevy, Charles Bronson, Jim Davis, Beverly Garland, Mara Corday, Kathleen Crowley, Mari Blanchard, Hank Worden, James Griffith, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Strauss, Barton MacLane and Morris Ankrum.
Lately, I’ve contracted the Regalscope bug all over again — partly due to seeing a letterboxed copy of Frontier Gun (1958). Not a bad little movie. Kit Parker has dedicated a lot of his recent blog posts to organizing a Lippert filmography, including the Regal Films productions. He’s also chatted with Robert L. Lippert, Jr. and Maury Dexter, who actually worked on these things, and a few film historians — there’s a real mystery to sort out with these things. Kit’s posts are fascinating, though they ultimately add to the frustration of these films being so hard to see.