Archive for January, 2023

The Lone Ranger first appeared on radio on January 31, 1933, on Detroit’s WXYZ.

Serials, comics, movies, a TV show, cartoons and lots of other stuff would follow — unfortunately, not a national holiday.

Thanks to Bob Madison for the reminder.

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Wondered if anybody out there had been to Hoppyland. Then I realized it had been gone for nearly 70 years. 

Man, it must’ve been great.

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George Randolph Scott

(January 23, 1898 – March 2, 1987)

Let’s raise a glass to Randolph Scott, born 125 years ago today. He’s seen here in Budd Boetticher’s Buchanan Rides Alone (1958).

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Directed by Ray Nazarro
Starring Joanne Dru, Rod Cameron, John Ireland, John Dehner, Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams, Morris Ankrum

The folks at The 3-D Film Archive have done it again! The missing reels have been tracked down (it Italy, of all places) and they’ll be bringing Ray Nazarro’s Southwest Passage (1954) to Blu-Ray in 3-D. It’s gonna be a while, so hang tight.

In the meantime, you can see it, flat and full-frame, on DVD from MGM’s old MOD program. It’s a cool movie. And you can get the scoop on its recovery from the Lost Archives” in this podcast.

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I’ve been trying to figure this out for myself, but I should’ve turned to y’all in the first place.

Looking for the best book(s) on the Hopalong Cassidy film. series. There are quite a few out there, from memorabilia price guides to stuff like Hopalong Cassidy: On The Page, On The Screen. The latter is from Riverwood Press, which is usually a good sign. (I miss Packy Smith!)

Drop your recommendations in the comments. Thanks a bunch.

UPDATE: Y’all have spoken and it’s pretty unanimous — Hopalong Cassidy: On The Page, On The Screen by Francis M. Nevins from Riverwood Press is the best book out there on Hopalong Cassidy. Thanks to all of you who commented, emailed or texted — and thanks to Steve Bowen for the photo of his long out-of-print hardback copy. The paperback is still available.

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Packy Smith came up yesterday and I thought it was about time to pay tribute to him. He passed away in 2019.

Morton Packard “Packy” Smith was the absolute authority on B Westerns. And he was a real joy to hang around with. No matter if you ever met him or not, you owe him a debt.

Packy produced the Happy Trails Theater show with Roy Rogers on TNN. He was a founder of a lot of the stuff that goes on in Lone Pine, from the museum to the film festival. And he wrote, edited or published some of the best books on Western films. I’ve got a stack of ’em around here — you probably do, too.

Jennifer and I grabbed something to eat with Packy at a Krystal during the Western Film Festival, years ago, and I think of him every time I go there.

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Exhibitor magazine’s top cowboy stars for 1951. Not a bad batch.

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Happy Birthday, Tom Mix!

The great Tom Mix was born 143 years ago today — and he’s been gone since 1940.

But he rides again in the cool Tales Of Tom Mix series of books by my good friend “Scott McQueen.” The latest (and fourth of six), Deuces Wild, came out this week. Click on the cover above to get yours.

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Directed by George Sherman
Starring Joel McCrea, Yvonne De Carlo, Pedro Armendáriz

Kino Lorber has announced Border River (1954) for DVD and Blu-Ray release in March of 2023. This year’s getting off to a pretty good start already, especially for me — I get to do a commentary for it!

This is the next-to-last of Joel McCrea’s six Westerns for Universal International, released from 1950 to 1954. It’s got a great cast, featuring Yvonne De Carlo, Pedro Armendáriz and the wonderful Mexican character actors Alfonso Bedoya and Nacho Galindo. George Wallace, Commando Cody himself, is in it, too.

It’s directed by George Sherman, so you know you’re in for a good ride. Highly recommended!

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Welcome to 2023. I’m excited about what’s in store this year, with the Hopalong Cassidy series from ClassicFlix being just one example.

Hope you’re all happy, healthy and safe throughout 2023.

Remember: Hoppy says — Brush your teeth at least twice a day.

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