Archive for the ‘Yvonne DeCarlo’ Category

Apache Drums LC

Yesterday, I posted our favorite DVD releases of the year. Today’s list is made up of films we discovered during 2014. Titles that made the list were mentioned by at least three people. It’s a great lineup of fairly obscure, medium-budgeted 50s Westerns — and if you haven’t discovered them yourself, search them out.

Ambush At Tomahawk Gap (1953) Fred F. Sears was extremely prolific, and his 50s Westerns are worth seeking out. This is one of the better ones, available through Columbia’s on-demand DVD program.

Apache Drums (1951) A suspense picture dressed up in cowboy clothes, produced by Val Lewton and directed by Hugo Fregonese. With Stephen McNally, Coleen Gray, Willard Parker, Arthur Shields, James Griffith and Clarence Muse (who’s superb in a small part).

Border River (1954) With George Sherman directing Joel McCrea, Yvonne De Carlo and Pedro Armendáriz, how could it not be great? Shot around Moab, Utah.

Cow Country (1953) Coming across a new Lesley Selander picture is always a treat. This one features Edmond O’Brien, Helen Wescott, Bob Lowery, Barton MacLane, Peggie Castle, James Millican and Robert Wilke.

A Day Of Fury (1956) One of the most unusual, and overlooked, Westerns of the 50s. Harmon Jones directs Dale Robertson, Mara Corday and Jock Mahoney. I’m so glad this one’s being rediscovered.

Four Guns To The Border (1954) Rory Calhoun, Colleen Miller and Walter Brennan in an excellent Universal Western directed by Richard Carlson.


Fury At Gunsight Pass (1956) Another good one from Fred F. Sears. Wish this one would see a real DVD release — black and white widescreen is so cool.

The Silver Whip (1953) Dale Robertson, Rory Calhoun, Robert Wagner, Kathleen Crowley and James Millican star in this taut, tight picture from editor-turned-director Harmon Jones. The staging of the climactic chase is masterful.

Stage To Tucson (1950) Rod Cameron and Wayne Morris. Lone Pine in Technicolor. Surely that’s worth an investment of 81 minutes.

Yellow Tomahawk LC

The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) Sadly, this color film is only available black and white. But it’s still a solid effort from the ever-dependable Lesley Selander — with a cast that includes Rory Calhoun, Peggie Castle, Noah Beery, Jr., Peter Graves, Lee Van Cleef and Rita Moreno.

Thanks to everyone who participated.

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Three excellent little 50s Westerns, previously part of multi-disc sets, are now available as stand-alone discs from VCI and Kit Parker Films. All three are highly recommended.

Hellgate (1952)
Directed by Charles Marquis Warren
Starring Sterling Hayden, Joan Leslie, Ward Bond, James Arness and Peter Coe

Shotgun (1955)
Directed by Leslie Selander
Starring Sterling Hayden, Yvonne De Carlo, Zachary Scott, Guy Prescott and Robert J. Wilke

Four Fast Funs (1960)
Directed by William J. Hole, Jr.
Starring James Craig, Martha Vickers. Edgar Buchanan, Brett Halsey and Paul Richards

4 fast guns

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If you don’t have these, consider this essential. If you do, it’s a good way to free up some shelf space. Universal has packaged 10 previously-released Westerns — including a couple only available on DVD-R — in a snazzy package. You get:

When The Daltons Rode (1940) George Marshall directs. Randolph Scott leads an incredible cast — Kay Francis, Brian Donlevy, Broderick Crawford, Andy Devine, George Bancroft, Edgar Buchanan. I prefer Scott with more age on him, but this picture has do much action, you don’t have time to care.

Texas Rangers Ride Again (1940) A 67-minute Paramount Western — a sequel to their Texas Rangers (1936) — starring Ellen Drew, John Howard, Broderick Crawford and Anthony Quinn.

The Spoilers (1942) John Wayne and Randolph Scott in the same movie. (Yet some people still wonder if there’s a higher power.) Marlene Dietrich and Harry Carey are in it, too. The climactic saloon brawl is terrific.

The Virginian (1946) Joel McCrea is stunning Technicolor. Universal’s getting a lot of mileage out of this one — it’s also available on DVD-R from the Universal Vault Series and as part of the Joel McCrea Westerns Collection.

Albuquerque (1948) Ray Enright directs Randolph Scott again, this time in color and with Gabby Hayes, Scott Hayden  and Lon Chaney on hand.

Whispering Smith (1948) Any movie that has both William Demerest and Frank Faylen in its cast is worth seeking out.

Comanche Territory (1950) The great, and unsung, George Sherman directs Maureen O’Hara and Macdonald Carey.

Sierra (1950) Audie Murphy is joined by Wanda Hendryx, Burl Ives, Dean Jagger, Tony Curtis, Houseley Stevenson and James Arness. It was directed by Alfred E. Green, in Technicolor. Murphy and Hendryx were husband and wife at the time.

Kansas Raiders (1950) Audie Murphy again,backed by Brian Donlevy, Marguerite Chapman, Scott Brady, Tony Curtis and Richard Arlen. Ray Enright directed.

Tomahawk (1951) stars Van Helfin and Yvonne De Carlo and was directed by George Sherman. Also available as part of the Universal Vault Series, where this one film costs more than the set we’re looking at here. Do the math, order one today.

By the way, its release date is Tuesday, March 12. Thanks to Mike for the tip.

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Rory Calhoun
(August 8, 1922 – April 28, 1999)

Since this blog began, I’ve developed a real appreciation for Rory Calhoun. Today is his birthday. He would’ve been 90.

His string of medium-budgeted 50s Westerns, made for a variety of studios, are really underrated. Some really stand out — two for Universal in 1956, Raw Edge (above with Yvonne De Carlo) and Red Sundown, are worth tracking down. He’s not very well represented on DVD, unfortunately.

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Just a reminder that we’re less than two weeks away from this terrific release (April 2) from the TCM Vault Collection (“presented by Universal”).

The set includes: The Virginian (1946), Cattle Drive (1951), Border River (1954) and Mustang Country (1976, McCrea’s last film). Any time a Universal-International 50s Western hits DVD is cause for celebration, but these McCreas are titles we’ve all been hoping and praying for.

Border River is a real treat for us George Sherman fanatics out there. Now if Columbia would come through with Reprisal! (1956) and Universal with The Last Of The Fast Guns (1958).

Judging from the packaging as seen on the TCM site these days (that’s it to the left), they’ve changed the front-and-center image of McCrea.

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For 50s Westerns fans, the Joel McCrea Westerns Collection has to be one of the biggest video releases of the year. We first heard it was coming in early December. There were no titles listed, and it was kind of assumed we’d be seeing the six pictures McCrea made for U-I from 1950-54.

Well, we were right. Sorta. Almost.

Colin pointed out this morning that it’s been officially announced, with a release date of April 2 from TCM. The contents of this much-anticipated set, now that they’re finalized, has me scratching my head a bit.

Two of the six 1950-54 films are there: Cattle Drive (1951) and Border River (1954). Then there’s The Virginian (1946), which is already available from Amazon’s Universal Vault Series, and Mustang Country (1976), which would be McCrea’s last film.

This leaves Universal with four very good pictures to make up the Joel McCrea Westerns Collection Vol. 2. Let’s hope this first one is successful enough to make the second worthwhile. And now that we’re on the subject, where’s the Audie Murphy Westerns Collection Vol. 2?

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The onslaught on new releases continues, which is great news, with a batch of Paramount titles on the way from Olive Films — including a number of 50s Westerns (in addition to Nicholas Ray’s Run For Cover, which I covered in a previous post).

Silver City (1951): Byron Kaskin directs Edmond O’Brien, Yvonne De Carlo, Richard Arlen, Barry Fitzgerald, Gladys George and John Dierkes.

The Savage (1952): Directed by George Marshall. Charlton Heston stars. There was a bit of controversy over the title, with The Savage being switched out with Warbonnet (see below).

Denver And Rio Grande (1952): Byron Haskin and Edmond O’Brien again, this time with Sterling Hayden, Dean Jagger, J. Carrol Naish and Zasu Pitts in tow. Gorgeous Technicolor location work — and Hayden, as always, is cool.

Pony Express (1953): Charlton Heston is Buffalo Bill. Forrest Tucker is Wild Bill Hickock. Rhonda Fleming and Jan Sterling are in it. It’s written by Charles Marquis Warren . What more do I need to say?

The Hangman (1959): I’m dying to see this one again! Robert Taylor, Tina Louise, Fess Parker and Jack Lord make up a terrific cast. Directed by the great Michael Curtiz. Jack Lord was on a roll in this period — Man Of The West (1958), God’s Little Acre (1958) and Williamsburg: The Story Of A Patriot, the VistaVision short subject that has run continuously at the Colonial Williamsburg visitor center since 1957.

The Jayhawkers (1959): Jeff Chandler, Fess Parker and Henry Silva star in this picture, which holds up much better as a Western than as a history lesson about pre-Civil War Kansas. Henry Silva is in a lot of good 50s Westerns — The Tall T (1957), The Bravados (1958) and The Law And Jake Wade (1958), yet we don’t really associate him with the genre. It also features a terrific score by Jerome Moross.

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