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Archive for the ‘Roy Rogers’ Category

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The Sable Ranch in Santa Clarita, California, has been destroyed by the latest wildfire. One of the films shot there was the Roy Rogers picture Bells Of Coronado (1950). Directed by William Witney and shot in Trucolor, it’s terrific — and it’s the only Trucolor Rogers to get an official release on DVD.

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Here’s wishing you all the merriest of Christmases.

If you’re not into football, or you want to get away from Uncle Bob and Aunt Edna’s constant bickering, I suggest Roy Rogers’ Trail Of Robin Hood (1950), a Christmas movie done up Republic style! It’s a tradition here at the 50s Westerns hacienda — and one of my all-time favorite films.

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This’ll be the third year we’ve done this, and while it’s a long, long way from being any kind of official competition, I couldn’t resist the chance to share Roy Rogers’ belt buckle — presented to him at the Madison Square Garden World Championship Rodeo in 1944. Between now and New Year’s Eve, send me your favorite DVD and Blu-ray releases for 2015 — I’ll do all the accounting and put together our Best Of 2015 list.

The only requirements: they have to have been released during the calendar year and have some relation to 50s Westerns. Since so many terrific movies have come out overseas this year, we’ll count non-U.S. releases.

One of the real joys of this blog, as I see it, is all the sharing and recommending that goes on. So while you’re at it, let me know what your favorite discoveries were for 2015. Doesn’t matter if it’s been on DVD for years, you saw it on GetTV last week or borrowed a bootleg from a friend — what 50s Westerns did you get acquainted with this year?

For both lists, drop your picks in the comments to this post or email fiftieswesterns AT gmail DOT com.

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Roy Rogers
(November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998)

Let’s remember one of my favorite humans on his 104th birthday. And I’d suggest you mark the occasion with something in Trucolor directed by William Witney. With that combination, unless it’s been cut to ribbons, you really can’t go wrong.

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RR Ghost Mystery Rancho cover

Roy Rogers And The Ghost Of Mystery Rancho is a Whitman book from 1950 by Walker A. Tompkins. I read it as a kid — was anybody else reading these things in the 70s? — and loved it. Revisiting it more recently, it held up well.

It seemed like a good way to mark Halloween this year. Of course, you could always pull out John Wayne in Haunted Gold (1932), a picture I found impossibly cool as a kid. John Wayne and ghosts, could it get any better?

Whatever you decide to do tonight (there’s the new Blu-ray of Them!), have fun and be safe. And save the Raisinets for me!

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John Knight mentioned the great Republic director Joe Kane in a comment this morning, and this photo came to mind. Here, Joe’s visiting Roy Rogers on the set of his TV show.

From the mid-30s till the studio’s demise, Kane was a house director at Republic Pictures. He made a slew of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers movies, and produced and directed Republic’s larger-scale films such as Jubilee Trail (1954) and The Maverick Queen (1956). Sadly, his later films are almost impossible to see today, especially if you’re a stickler for things like 1.85 or Naturama.

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Roy Rogers Tru-Vue.

Roy Rogers TruVue

Look what my wife found at the flea market today — a Roy Rogers Tru-Vue film card. You know, there’s nothing cooler than Roy Rogers merchandise. If I won the lottery, that’s how I’d spend my time and money, collecting Rogers stuff.

Thanks, Jennifer.

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