Archive for October, 2020

Happy Halloween!

There’s something about The Phantom Empire (1936) that seems perfect for Halloween.

Here’s wishing boys and girls all around the world — and down in Murania, of course — a safe and happy Halloween.

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Way To Go, Dodgers!

I’ve been sitting on this photo forever, and I’m so happy to be able to put it out there tonight. After beginning this crazy season with a still of John Ford wearing a Dodgers cap in Monument Valley, this seems like the perfect way to end it.

In an incredible Game 6 (Blake Snell had a one-hitter in the sixth inning), the Los Angeles Dodgers have defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 2020 World Series. This was a terrific series — both teams were outstanding and each game was a blast.

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Get Out And Vote!

You wouldn’t want to upset Jane Russell, would you? Especially when she’s armed.

So get out there and give your Constitutional rights a workout. Early voting is happening now, and of course, there’s the honest-to-goodness Election Day on November 3rd.

I’m Toby Roan and I approved this message.

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A new exhibit, John Wayne: An American Experience, is under construction in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.

It will feature over 10,000-square feet of interactive rooms dedicated to Duke’s incredible film career, time as a cattle farmer and close relationships with great American leaders.

The exhibit will open in December.

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A lot of people like all that streaming TV stuff. And when I see how much of my home is dedicated to storing my, my wife’s and my daughter’s favorite movies and TV shows, I wish I did.

But I learned a lesson about streaming. Several years ago, Hellfire (1949) — one of my all-time favorite movies — was available for streaming on Netflix. It was not on DVD or Blu-Ray. Streaming was it. I live in a fairly rural area, and the internet service at the time wasn’t up to snuff, so we never got a Netflix account. A few months later, I heard Hellfire wasn’t up there anymore. I’ve since learned it’s back.

When I feel like watching a favorite movie, I want to watch it — and if it’s sitting on a shelf in my home, I can. I’m not at the mercy of Netflix deciding what they will or won’t offer from one month to the next.

Today, I saw a news story that the Peanuts holiday specials won’t be on broadcast TV this year, something many families make a point of getting together for. The article, in the Los Angeles Times, said “The Peanuts gang and their annual holiday specials have left broadcast television for their new home, Apple TV+…  rather than on ABC and other networks this year.”

As much as I hate it for other folks, Apple TV+ can do what they want, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest are waiting for my family on Blu-Ray. Another lesson learned about streaming vs. DVDs and Blu-Rays.

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Rhonda Fleming
(August 10, 1923 – October 14, 2020)

Rhonda Fleming, “The Queen Of Technicolor,” has passed away at 97. Here she is in Allan Dwan’s Tennessee’s Partner (1955).

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Directed by John Ford
Starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Ben Johnson, Claude Jarman Jr. , Harry Carey Jr., Chill Wills, J. Carrol Naish, Victor McLaglen, Grant Withers, The Sons Of The Pioneers

Olive Films is adding Rio Grande (1950), the third of John Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy,” to its Signature Edition series. (The first two were Fort Apache and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon.) The release date is listed as November 17.

John Ford did Rio Grande for Republic to get the opportunity to do The Quiet Man (1952), but such dealmaking does not take away from this brilliant movie. The cinematography from Bert Glennon alone is worth the upgrade to Blu-Ray. Essential.

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Remember the “WANTED! More Readers Like…” thing in Famous Monsters Of Filmland magazine? (I was too self-conscious to send in a photo, though nothing would’ve been cooler than appearing in FM.)

When Glenn Erickson shared this photo a while back, the FM feature was the first thing that came to mind. Glenn, of course, is the proprietor of Cinesavant.com, one of the go-to places for old movie nuts, and just an all-around nice guy.

So, we’ll let Glenn blaze a new trail here at 50 Westerns From The 50s — pony pictures. Send yours to fiftieswesterns@gmail.com and we’ll get ’em up here.

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Critics’ Choice has really come on with a bang, announcing DVD sets movie nuts have been asking for. The Buck Jones Western Collection sounds terrific, gathering up nine of his Columbia pictures from 1930 to 1933, including one with John Wayne.

Men Without Law (1930)
Directed by Louis King
Starring Buck Jones, Carmelita Geraghty, Thomas Carrmin)

The Avenger (1931)
Directed by Roy William Neill
Starring Buck Jones, Dorothy Revier, Otto Hoffman

Branded (1931)
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Starring Buck Jones, Ethel Kenyon, Wallace MacDonald.

The Deadline (1931)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Loretta Sayers, Robert Ellis

The Range Feud (1931)
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Starring Buck Jones, John Wayne, Susan Fleming

Forbidden Trail (1932)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Barbara Weeks, George Cooper

The Thrill Hunter (1933)
Directed by George B. Seitz
Starring Buck Jones, Dorothy Revier, Arthur Rankin

The California Trail (1933)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Helen Mack, Luis Albert

Unknown Valley (1933)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Cecilia Parker, Wade Boteler

With this set and the serials on Blu-Ray from VCI, this is a great time for Buck Jones fans. Recommended.

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