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Archive for the ‘William Wellman’ Category

Westward The Women OS

Directed by WIlliam A. Wellman
Screen Play by Charles Schnee
Story by Frank Capra
Starring Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel, Hope Emerson, John McIntire

On the third Thursday of most months, The Western Film Preservation Society has been running B Westerns at NC State’s McKimmon Center, here in Raleigh, since 1981. This week’s second feature (Thursday the 20th) is a bit of a departure: William Wellman’s Westward The Women (1951). It’s one of the best Westerns of the 50s.

The other film is In Early Arizona (1938) starring Bill Elliott, Dorothy Gulliver, Harry Woods and Jack Ingram — and directed by Joseph Levering. (It’s a bit of a stretch, but I guess that makes this a Wild Bill Wednesday post.) The meetings get going at 6:45.

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Why go to Walmart and get punched in the face over a cheap toaster when you can sit at home and buy cowboy movies? Click the image above and have at it.

And if you haven’t done it yet, do yourself a favor and get Westward The Women (1951). If nothing else, it’ll give you something to be thankful for next Thanksgiving.

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My daughter caught Beverly Garland in Gunslinger (1956, above) yesterday (on broadcast TV!) and loved it. She thought Beverly was about the coolest thing ever — which, of course, she is. She also thought her horse was pretty.

Blake Lucas suggested Johnny Guitar (1954) as a followup, and I thought of Hellfire (1949, below).

By then, this was looking like something we could all have fun with. So, while I have the opportunity to turn my little girl into a (cap) pistol-packing 50s Western fan, let’s program a 12-year-old girl’s 50s Western Film Festival. Put your picks in a comment.

You know, maybe it’s time 50 Westerns From The 50s had a guest blogger.

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iipsrvDid your aunt Suzy put a twenty in your Christmas card? Well, here’s a good place to use it.

Warner Archive is having a Thank You sale through the 14th, with more than 1,000 titles at five DVD-Rs for just $45. And free shipping. The link is here.

There are some really fine films in the Warner Archive Collection, including some terrific 50s Westerns like Westward The Women (1951), Carson City (1952), The Command (1954), Wichita (1955), The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) and The Hanging Tree (1959). Columbia’s Choice Collection and sets like the Tim Holt RKOs are not part of this promotion.

So have at it. And remember, it’s only good through the 14th!

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The first drive-in theater opened on this day back in 1933 in Camden, New Jersey. By the 50s, there were thousands of drive-ins in the U.S. And, of course, Westerns and monster movies were their bread and butter.

Thanks to Jennifer and Dick for the images. Have you seen today’s Google Doodle?

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Being on the East Coast, I’m thankful that there are people covering where many of these 50s Westerns were shot. Who knows when I’ll get out that way.

Today I came across Joe Maddrey’s post on film locations around Kanab, Utah, including a Western street from Westward The Women (1951). See below.

It’s part of a series — be sure to check out his photos of Ford locations.

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Back in the early days of this blog, I solicited Want Lists from whoever was out there reading this thing — and the picture y’all wanted above all others was William Wellman’s Westward The Women (1951). It’d been quite a while since I’d seen it, so I tracked it down and it was soon at the top of my list, too.

Laura, a real evangelist for this picture, just passed along the fact that Warner Archive is releasing it tomorrow. Yep, tomorrow.

Researching it for my book (it’s a shoe-in for a chapter), I found out that a promotional short subject, “Challenge The Wilderness,” was done on how the shoot was as hard on the cast and crew as the fictional trek in the film. Well, it turns out Warner Archive’s serving that up along with a commentary by film historian Scott Eyman. Thanks to all concerned for giving this film the kind of treatment it deserves.

This is a great Western.

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