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Directed by Rudolph Maté
Starring Tony Curtis, Colleen Miller, Arthur Kennedy, William Demarest, Robert J. Wilke, Chubby Johnson, I. Stanford Jolley

Explosive Media is really coming through for the rest of the year, bringing some prime 50s Westerns from Universal-International to DVD and Blu-Ray. I’ve already covered Seven Ways From Sundown (1960) and Hell Bent For Leather (1960), excellent Audie Murphy pictures, coming in May and June.

Watch this blog, since we’ll do one of these releases a day through the week.

Coming in July is Rudolph Maté’s The Rawhide Years (1955). Tony Curtis is a riverboat gambler who flees when he’s implicated in a murder. He returns three years later to clear his name, track down the real killers and be reunited with his girl (Colleen Miller).

Curtis is cool and Arthur Kennedy makes a nasty villain here. Irving Glassberg shot this in Technicolor and 2.0. Rudolph Maté and editor Russell Schoengarth keep things moving at a steady pace. Can’t wait to see this in high-definition. Highly recommended.

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To call The Beast Of Hollow Mountain (1956) a Western might be pushing things a bit. After all, dinosaurs don’t turn up in too many cowboy movies. But it’s got Guy Madison in it, which counts for a lot, and Patricia Medina (The Buckskin Lady, 1957).

1175303_331993213604363_732954294_nBased on a story by special effects genius Willis O’Brien (King Kong), this Mexican co-production finds Madison as a rancher trying to find out why his cattle are disappearing. It’s a shame Willis didn’t get to handle the animation, because the effects are only so-so. He had been shopping this story around for years. It was eventually made a second time as Valley Of Gwangi (1969), with effects by O’Brien’s former student Ray Harryhausen. It’s a fun film, and very cool in CinemaScope.

Hollow Mountain will be paired with The Neanderthal Man (1953) for a 2014 Blu-ray release from Shout Factory. As you may know, Shout Factory has a horror specialty label called Scream Factory. I’d like to propose that they launch an all-Western division — Shoot Factory, perhaps. They take great care in their releases.


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forgotten_filmcast_logoI’m excited to announce that a 50s Western will be featured in an upcoming edition of Forgotten Filmcast, Todd Liebenow’s podcast dedicated to films that deserve more attention than they get.

You’ll have to wait to find out what picture we’ll be remembering. A couple hints: 1) It’s from the 50s, 2) Dabbs Greer is in it. I’ll post a link when it’s up and ready to go.

The most recent episode was devoted to a film my best friend and I saw at a kiddie matinee when I was 12, Ishiro Honda’s The War Of The Gargantuas (1966), a Toho monster flick starring Russ Tamblyn.

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Deep Discount has a sale on the Columbia Pictures Classics DVD-R catalog, with titles going for just $11.96 — quite a savings off the normal $24.95.

The 50s Westerns in the collection include:

The Nevadan (1950)

The Conquest Of Cochise (1953)

Battle Of Rogue River (1954)

The Black Dakotas (1954)

A Bullet Is Waiting (1954)

The Gun That Won The West (1955)

Apache Territory (1958)

Return To Warbow (1958)


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Happy Halloween

No matter what you’re going out as, here’s hoping you’re have a fun, and safe, Halloween.

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A status report.

After 365 days, 226 posts and more than 42,000 hits, it feels like time for a status report on both this blog — and the book it was meant to support and promote.

The first post went up October 1, 2009 (19 people looked at it that first day). At the time, I was a little ways into writing a book called 50 Westerns From The 50s.

(The book grew from a stupid idea — a book on Budd Boetticher’s 7 Men From Now that would include a reprint of Burt Kennedy’s original screenplay. I quickly realized only five people would be interested in such a book — but writing about 50s Westerns, that sounded like fun.)

An accompanying blog seemed like a good idea. I didn’t put a lot of thought into how it was going to work, figuring I’d put some cool posters and photos up, along with a little trivia or a quote or whatever. But propelled by your comments and suggestions, it quickly took on a life of its own.

You saw more in it than I did.

So to all of you that’ve read, commented, emailed, encouraged, etc. — thank you. It’s been great to discover all the people, nice people, who love these old things as much as I do.

I’ve certainly benefited from your knowledge and insight. And in the end, the book’ll be all the better for it.

Speaking of the book, it’s coming along. Not as fast as I’d like, but it’s coming along. Guess that’s not much of a status report after all, huh?

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Over the Labor Day weekend, I’ll be taking a few days away from 50 Westerns From The 50s, the blog — hoping to actually spend some time on its literary namesake, 50 Westerns From The 50s, the book.

I’m also hoping Hurricane Earl doesn’t clobber my neighbors up and down the East Coast. Hang in there, folks! Till then —


Let’s all go to the lobby;

Let’s all go to the lobby;

Let’s all go to the lobby

To get ourselves a treat.


Delicious things to eat

The popcorn can’t be beat.

The sparkling drinks are just dandy;

The chocolate bars and nut candy.

So let’s all go to the lobby

To get ourselves a treat.

So let’s all go to the lobby

To get ourselves a treat.

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When I started working on 50 Westerns From The 50s, and the blog that goes along with it, I made a decision to stay away from TV Westerns. Nothing against them, I just didn’t want to take on too much (and to be honest, I don’t know all that much about them).

But I’m gonna make an exception with Robert Culp. Mainly because I like him. And because I was inspired by Stephen Bowie’s terrific piece on him at The Classic TV History Blog. Go read it.

Culp never appeared in a Western feature in the 50s (at least none that I know of), but he did a lot of Western TV — including The Rifleman, Bonanza, Zane Grey Theater and two seasons of Trackdown (which he starred in, and is unavailable on DVD). There’s also a particularly good Rawhide episode, “Incident At The Top Of The World,” with Culp excellent as a Civil War veteran addicted to morphine.

He was good. He was cool. And he will certainly be missed.

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Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. of Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear has been hospitalized recently. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

That’s John Wayne and Gail Russell (center) in Angel And The Badman (1947).

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Just saw that 50 Westerns From The 50s got its 10,000th hit today.

As one of Robert Ryan’s freaks said in The Wild Bunch (1969), “This is better than a hog killin’!” Thanks to everyone that clicked, linked or whatever.

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