Other Cowboy Stars – Tim McCoy
August 27, 2008
In 1935, Tim McCoy left Columbia Pictures to make westerns for Puritan films. Columbia needed a new cowboy star, and Charles Starrett got the job.
The similarities end there. Tim McCoy is short, sort of pudgy, with a roundish face. He rides his horse very erect. He talks to his horse alot – explaining plot points and his motivation. He rolls his own smokes and talks in a slow and lazy sort of way, with an “authentic” drawl. What must have been a real draw for him was the fact that he has this incredible intensity when he’s angry – great eyes.
Tim McCoy was the real deal, a cowboy from Wyoming, with a great past and a lot of schemes. Here is a good concise history of his life.
In “Texas Cyclone”, 1932, Texas Grant rides into Stampede, Arizona. He is mistaken by everyone as Jim Rawlings, missing for over 5 years. Texas decides to stick around and take this identity, cleaning up the town and settling Jim Rawlings’ old scores. So, like Charley often does, Tim has a double identity in this film.
(Interestingly, in most films Tim McCoy is named “Tim” Something.)
Other differences between a Tim McCoy film and a Charles Starrett film: lots of people and background action. Also, they speed up the action – fights and riding – alot, I mean, real fast. There are some featured horse jumps – like over a wagon – I’ve never seen anything like that in a CS flick.
Tim has a nice supporting cast here: Walter Brennan (was he ever young?) and a decidedly young John Wayne as his sidekick, Steve.
So this is Charley’s cinema-father. I like.