As regular readers of this site well know, I have a very low opinion of the fat man in the battered hat and the antics he calls ‘comedy.’  Over the years, folks have chimed in with their own opinions.  I am sharing some of them here in the spirit of reasonableness and openness to others’ opinions.  (But he still sucks.)

Ed: I just received a set of DVDs containing 46 Durango movies. The couple I’ve seen so far confirms your opinion that Smiley Burnette was spectacularly unfunny.

Joe, Sr. :  R. SMILEY BURNETT I HAVE NEVER LAUGHT SO MUCH, AS WHEN I SEEN YOU DO YOUR MAGIC ON THE WESTERNS, I DO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT 300-SONGS. SO MUCH TALENT YOU HAVE. GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS. YOUR PAL DRANGO KID WILL SHOOT ME! I DID NOT GET HIS NAME RIGHT!

Luciano: I think that in terms of songs by Smiley Burnette, this film, Cyclone Fury, has some of the best. His song “I’ll be getting some sleep” by the coffin is great, so is “Hear the Wind”, a song that he sings by the chuckwagon in order to earn a bite to eat.

Mun Mun: I agree that Starrett always does a great job of feigning amusement at Smiley’s comedy routines.

Steve:  I think you’re being a bit hard on ol’ Smiley. I always liked the guy, even though he could be a bit too annoying in some films. Of course, it was in the script that he act that way.

Bruce: SMILEY BURNETTE: agree with you on your blog, he is the single most negative factor in every DK movie, thank God for remotes & fast forward. He’s even annoying on many one sheets where frequently he dominates them more than Charley. Autry never gave him the seemingly free licence he had with Charley.

Mike: Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion and while Smiley’s buffoonish comedy may not appeal to you, he was definitely popular with Western movie audiences of the Forties and Fifties. Even after leaving movies, he took his act on the road to state fairs where people still remembered him and then of course to Petticoat Junction. He wrote countless songs, was able to play a number of instruments and his bug-eyed look and gravelly voice always found an audience.

HOMES OF THE WESTERN STARS

DEAN MARTIN

by

SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER 

BOB SILER

PART THREE

In this section you’ll find Dino related sites, film trivia, cars he drove, etc.

MORE HOMES, REAL ESTATE PROPERTY, FAMILY HOMES

SOLVANG RANCH – SANTA BARBARA

He sold his ranch to Jimmy Stewart

HIDDEN VALLEY RANCH – THOUSAND OAKS

His ten – room Spanish colonial mansion on 63 acres of land. In September 1986 it was on the market for $5,900,000.

THE BRADFORD PARK APARTMENT HOUSES

OLD TOPANGA CANYON ROAD AND MULHOLLAND DRIVE

A rental property that he owned.

12812 SUNSET BOULEVARD – WEST HOLLYWOOD

Dean’s first wife was living here in the 1950s until losing the house in 1955.

10634 HOLMAN – LOS ANGELES

DEAN MARTIN JR.

His son was living here until his death in 1987.

LOS ANGELES NATIONAL CEMETERY – WESTWOOD

DEAN MARTIN JR.

WHERE HE WORKED

THE RECORDING STUDIOS

1946

DIAMOND

He recorded his first two singles here.

 “Which Way Did My Heart Go?” / “All Of Me”

“I Got The Sun In The Morning” / “Sweetheart Of Sigma Chi”

1947

APOLLO

Recorded two singles here.

“Oh Marie” / “Walking My Baby Back Home”

“Hold Me” / “Santa Lucia”

EMBASSY (subsidiary label of Apollo)

And one here.

“One Foot In Heaven” / “The Night Is Young”

He then moved to Capitol Records in both New York City and Hollywood.

1948 – 1964

CAPITOL RECORDS

1750 VINE STREET – HOLLYWOOD

 1962 – 1974

REPRISE RECORDS

In 1964 Dean left Capitol and went to Reprise Records, owned by pal, Frank Sinatra.

He stayed here until 1974.

1983

WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS

FILM STUDIOS

SOME OF THE STUDIOS WHERE HE MADE HIS MOVIES

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

5555 MELROSE AVENUE – HOLLYWOOD

Dean and Jerry made all their comedy films here. He also made several movies here after they broke up.

UNIVERSAL PICTURES STUDIOS

WARNERS BROTHERS

TELEVISION STUDIOS

1965 – 1974

NBC STUDIOS – BURBANK, CALIFORNIA

THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW

Dean filmed his hit series here.

THE DEAN MARTIN WESTERNS

THE POSTERS, STUDIOS, LOCATIONS

Between 1956 and 1973 Dean made ten pretty decent westerns, and only except  a few were comedies with music, although most had some comedy in them. He starred along side some of Hollywood’s greats, such as John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Jimmy Stewart and Rock Hudson, and was able to hold his own. Here’s a look at those western movies.

(The following films are annotated with the year that they were released, the movie poster, the studio, and Dean’s role in the picture.  Whenever possible, the filming location is included)

1956

PARAMOUNT STUDIOS

AS SLIM MOSLEY JR. AND SR.

FILM LOCATIONS

IVERSON RANCH

IVERSON LANE, CHATSWORTH, CA.

MELODY RANCH

24715 OAK CREEK AVENUE  – NEWHALL, CA.

1959

WARNERS BROTHERS STUDIOS – BURBANK

AS DUDE

FILM LOCATIONS

OLD TUCSON

201 SOUTH KINNEY ROAD – TUCSON, AZ.

WARNER BROTHERS STUDIOS – BURBANK

STAGE 5

STAGE 26

1962

AS SGT. CHIP DEAL

FILM LOCATIONS

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK – BRYCE, UTAH

KANAB, UTAH

PARIA, UTAH

1963

WARNER BROTHERS STUDIOS

AS JOE JARRETT

FILM LOCATIONS

MOJAVE DESERT, CA.

RED ROCK CANYON STATE PARK

HIGHWAY 14 – CANTIL, CA.

1965

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

AS TOM ELDER

FILM LOCATIONS

CASA BLANCA, DURANGO, MEXICO

CHUPADEROS STUDIOS, MEXICO CITY

EL SALTITO, DURANGO, MEXICO

1966

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

AS SAM HOLLIS

FILM LOCATIONS

ALABAMA HILLS, LONE PINE, CA.

Where Baldy, (Alain Delon), rescues Lonetta (Tina Aumont).

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

STAGE 28

1967

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

AS ALEX FLOOD

FILM LOCATIONS

KANAB MOVIE RANCH

5001 ANGEL CANYON ROAD, KANAB, UTAH

1968

20th CENTURY – FOX

10201 PICO BOULEVARD, CENTURY CITY

AS DEE BISHOP

FILM LOCATIONS

20th CENTURY – FOX STUDIOS

STAGE 20

ALAMO VILLAGE – HIGHWAY 674, BRACKETTVILLE, TEXAS

GLEN CANYON, UTAH

KANAB MOVIE RANCH

5001 ANGEL CANYON ROAD – KANAB, UTAH

1968

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

AS VAN MORGAN

FILM LOCATIONS

DURANGO, MEXICO

1973

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

AS BILLY MASSEY

FILM LOCATIONS

KERNVILLE, CA.

ABIGUIU, NEW MEXICO

CHAMA, NEW MEXICO

His last western film

FOOTPRINTS, STARS, CARS, ECT.

MARCH 21, 1964

GRAUMAN’S CHINESE THEATER

6925 HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, HOLLYWOOD

HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

Dean has three stars on the Walk Of Fame for movies, television and recordings.

6651 HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD – HOLLYWOOD – TELEVISION

6519 HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD – MOVIES

1817 VINE STREET, HOLLYWOOD – RECORDINGS

DINO’S LODGE

SUNSET BOULEVARD – LOS ANGELES

CARS HE OWNED

1962 GHIA COUPE

Dean Martin Ghia: but this is more than just a beautiful car. Originally owned by Hollywood star Lucille Ball and husband Gary Morton, it was then bought by legendary Rat Pack member Dean Martin and customised to his personal requirements by George Barris. Rare, beautifully preserved and with that celebrity connection it’s a true Hollywood car.

Image © Bonhams (Image © Bonhams)

STUTZ BEARCAT

Dean Martin and his Blackhawk

Dean Martin and his Blackhawk

Dean owned three Stutz Bearcats, one was crashed

drunky crash

FASEL VEGA

Bob Siler grew up in Burbank, not far from Universal Studios and Warner Brothers where they made his favorite monster movies.  A long-time fan of Westerns, he still has a hard time believing that the great John Wayne could die.  Bob has created many lists detailing where the famous and infamous lived, are buried, and the cars they drove.  He has recently completed this list of Western Stars homes after many years.  Burbank Bob now resides in Portland, Oregon.

Sam Fuller went and made himself a B-Western.  It was in 1949 and John Ireland rocked it.  John Ireland = awesome.  And such a great film.  Unlike Andrew Dominik’s “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” where the film builds towards Jesse’s murder and his death scene happens near the end of the picture, Robert Ford (Ireland) plugs Jesse in the first reel, and spends the rest of the film dealing with it.

Fuller worked within genres, making genre films, but never the standard fare, and this one sports a narrative structure that is odd and refreshing and winding and disjointed and at 81 minutes feels like an epic.   It’s hard to know how it’s going to end…

…until Tom Tyler shows up at minute 73 of that 81.

Here comes the avenging figure of Tom Tyler as Frank James!

But no, he’s barely there for three lines of dialogue before he gets the knock-out punch from Preston Foster.

In an almost immediate twist, he’s acquitted and lays one heavy heavy line on Bob Ford.  “I don’t have to kill you.  But I’m going to tell you something that will kill you.  You’re aiming to marry Cynthy.  When you put your lips up close to hers, she’ll be kissing you but she’ll be thinking of Kelley.   It’s you she’s sorry for but it’s him she wants.”

And with that, he backs out of the saloon and out of the picture.

Total screen time.  Under three minutes.

Love these cowboy stars and their later roles.  So satisfying knowing that Tyler was the veteran of over 140 films at the time of this brief but rich appearance, many of them as the lead.

(I did mention that John Ireland was awesome in this, didn’t I?)

Forrest Tucker projects such heavy intensity and solemnity in this role that it is nearly impossible to imagine him flourishing in the loony chicanery of his most famous role, that of Sargent O’Rourke on F-Troop.

“The Sarge should get a medal…for meddling!”  Not a fan.

Tucker started his film career with an auspicious role, swapping punches with Gary Cooper in the awesome 1940 William Wyler joint, “The Westerner.”  If you have not seen this film, I suggest that you make a positive step towards real change in your life and watch it tonight.

You don’t have to see “Stagecoach to Fury”, but it’s pretty cool.  The set-up is “Dangerous Hours” in a stagecoach station.  Bandits are holding the passengers of a stagecoach hostage until the gold shipment arrives…if it’s not already there!  As the hours tick by, we are treated to FLASHBACKS! of each of the characters.  Cool huh?

A nice film and a good role for this like-able seeming fella.