Other Cowboy Stars – Bill Elliott “Colorado Pioneers”

October 10, 2008


So, we’ve spent some time exploring an important year in Charles Starrett’s cowboy star career.  That would be the year of 1935.  This is when Starrett first pulled on his boots and starred in his a Western.  That film was “Gallant Defender.”

1945 would probably rank as the second most important year in his career.  That’s when he began to make Durango Kid films exclusively, with “The Return Of The Durango Kid.”

What was Wild Bill Elliott up to in 1945?  Well, he was portraying the creation of comic artist Fred Harman — Red Ryder.  He would be the second of four actors to play the role (Don “Red” Barry, Allan Lane and Jim Bannon were the others).

“Colorado Pioneers” co-stars Robert Blake, and concerns a bunch of city kids who come West to learn a thing or two about being cowhands.  This Republic film is strictly for a younger audience.

This opens the door to a discussion on what the intended audience was for Charles Starrett’s Western films, and how much a consideration of the age-range of the audience effected the filmmakers’ choices in making these films.

Let us continue this discussion on another day.


2 Responses to “Other Cowboy Stars – Bill Elliott “Colorado Pioneers””

  1. mike newton said

    Bill Elliott played Red Ryder in 16 films, but then was graduated to bigger features at Republic where he was billed as William Elliott. In 1951, he left to go to Monogram where he was again billed as “Wild Bill Elliott” playing a mature gunfighter who was either trying to go straight or avenge the death of his brother. Although the Monograms were not on the same production level as the Republic, Elliott’s character has often been compared to that of William S. Hart, whom Elliott allegedly modeled himself. But Elliott was not as theatrical as Hart and probably defined the Western gunfighter more authentically than Hart.

  2. Tim England said

    Wild Bill Elliott, has always been my favorite. Takes a lot to knock down Bill. He don’t play with them, he knocks them and goes on about his business. “Go Get’em Bill”.

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