Telly Savalas.  Spaghetti Western.  Not-a so good.

Advertisements

 

Sister Sara

I couldn’t figure this film out until I read up on the casting.   It was intended to be a vehicle for a female star.  Barbara Streisand was set to play Sister Sara until the last minute.  The second lead was rewritten at the last minute to make him a (watered down) Clint Eastwood character.

Bob Steele The Comancheros

Saddle The Wind, 1958

March 14, 2017

vlcsnap-2017-03-14-23h25m39s088vlcsnap-2017-03-14-23h06m30s000vlcsnap-2017-03-14-23h06m39s358vlcsnap-2017-03-14-23h06m48s332vlcsnap-2017-03-14-23h06m55s161vlcsnap-2017-03-14-23h07m07s405

ALERT:  Only for the deepest fans of the Durango Kid films!  Do not read if you are not hungry for every tidbit of knowledge regarding this series and its makers!

ray-nazarro-desert-horseman

Ray Nazarro, pictured above during the writing of Desert Horseman, directed many a Western and many many of Charles Starrett’s Westerns.

He also started his career as a law clerk on the team providing defense for William Hickman in the Marion Parker kidnap and murder case of December of 1927.  He quit shortly after Hickman’s convicion.

“Lightning Guns”

December 21, 2016

After a long time, I look at a “new” Charles Starrett film and it is called…

vlcsnap-2016-12-19-22h31m44s618

I have watched 50 of the 59 Durango Kid films that Charles Starrett made for Columbia Pictures between 1945 – 1952.  “Lightning Guns” was the last film made in 1950. Durango will make 15 more films in the next two years, then hang up his six-shooters forever.

There’s a lot that is familiar to me in this film, but, happily, it does not rely heavily on repurposed footage from previous Durango Kid films.  Fred Sears is back as director.  As my readers, and any astute fan of these films, knows Mr. Sears played many bad guys in earlier Durango Kid films (the mastermind type, not the henchman type) before moving behind the lens.

Familiar.  Shot in Corriganville.  The opening VO is the usual variation on “in the old west there were bad men but some good ones, one of them was the Durango Kid” cue the black figure atop the rising white horse.  And, as always, Charles Starrett’s character is named “Steve.”  This time, it’s “Steve Brandon.”

Also.   Jock Mahoney plays double duty as Starrett’s stunt man and the desirable male lead — this time as the sheriff.  He mostly gets beat up and then shot in this one.

Also. Smiley Burnette is in this.  He *groan* plays a *get this* bathtub salesman.  Oh, the comedy gold from “The West’s #1 Comic,” as Columbia liked to bill him.

vlcsnap-2016-12-20-00h08m26s783

Also familiar.  Steve adopting the Durango Kid persona and disguise serves absolutely no purpose in the narrative.  Again, everything that Durango does could have been accomplished by Steve.  In many cases, Steve could have done a better job, since he had already gained the trust of all of the principles.

vlcsnap-2016-12-20-00h10m33s463

There’s a feud and a fight over water rights and bank robberies and arrests.  Meanwhile, two old pals (I guess?) (it changes every picture) are drinking coffee (Steve) and milk (the unfunny guy in the right half of the frame.)

vlcsnap-2016-12-20-00h16m38s053

I really liked that the final fights were mainly Charles and not stunt double Jock.  And he saves the day.  As Steve!

vlcsnap-2016-12-21-20h46m38s906vlcsnap-2016-12-21-20h47m58s137

Cool!

vlcsnap-2016-12-21-20h49m15s651

POSTSCRIPT:

Jock is listed as Jock O’Mahoney.  I’ve never seen that before.

AND:

This is the coolest image of Smiley I have ever come across.

vlcsnap-2016-12-21-20h45m04s114

“Desirable” – Revisited

December 18, 2016

While watching this tonight, I realized that I had watched it once before, in July of 2008.  I couldn’t remember a jot of it, and I was surprised — until I remember that, last time, I had a 3-month-old girl on my lap taking a rare nap.

It’s a pretty good love story.  Odd take on some conventional beats. Charles plays the rival suitor.   He has 5th billing, and is in a handful of scenes.  Here are nearly all of them.

vlcsnap-2016-12-18-19h40m48s698vlcsnap-2016-12-18-19h44m40s973vlcsnap-2016-12-18-20h15m28s619vlcsnap-2016-12-18-20h22m06s701vlcsnap-2016-12-18-21h03m35s771vlcsnap-2016-12-18-21h15m21s159vlcsnap-2016-12-18-21h28m46s852vlcsnap-2016-12-18-21h30m24s670

Director is Archie Mayo, who Starrett never worked with again, but at least one Other Cowboy star did.  That was Dick Foran, playing with Humphrey Bogart in both 1939’s Black Legion and 1936’s Petrified Forest.

The Mechanic did it!

Number 4 in the Lt. Andy Doyle series!

vlcsnap-2016-12-09-20h59m37s354vlcsnap-2016-12-09-20h59m42s756

Timothy Carey is in this one!

vlcsnap-2016-12-09-22h08m52s243vlcsnap-2016-12-09-22h10m07s150vlcsnap-2016-12-09-22h10m52s853

Lots more going on in CHAIN OF EVIDENCE.  But… Timothy Carey!

vlcsnap-2016-12-09-23h35m52s794

PS.  I see our friend Set Decorator Joseph Kish’s mark on this crooked 22.

vlcsnap-2016-12-09-23h39m01s838vlcsnap-2016-12-09-23h55m31s925