Red Ryder Pre-Credit Sequence

February 20, 2013

They start like this.

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I was counting on this being another entry in the beloved but scarce genre of horror westerns.  I was wrong.  It’s kiddie stuff.

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Nothing wrong with that.  It seems that the Red Ryder series is pretty much aimed at the kids, especially when Little Beaver tags along.

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Some folk will claim that the entire oeuvre of B-Westerns from the thirties and forties is for the kiddies.  I would disagree and ask proponents of this thesis to compare this film with any of the other films on this site.

Thank God, Little Durango didn’t catch on.

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Here’s Lash La Rue.

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Lash La Rue is his screen name.  His character’s name is Cheyenne Davis.  The picture is called…

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You do the math.

And Here’s Fuzzy.

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Behold Fuzzy and his threading the needle routine.  Move over Smiley Burnette.  Wait.  Smiley would have dragged this bit out to a tremendously tedious 3 minutes.

Ray Taylor directed a lot of B-Westerns and Jungle pictures.  The element in this film that stands out as unique from both of those genres is the close up.  Close ups are rare!

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We’ve discussed Fuzzy before on this site.  Al St. John was also the side kick for Buster Crabbe and Robert Livingston, Stoney of Three Mesquiteers fame.

You know why they call him “Lash” (the actor, remember, not the character), don’tcha?  Cuz he (occasionally) uses a whip.

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Lash ended his career getting his ass kicked a lot in “Alien Outlaws” (1985) alongside Sunset Carson in his final film role.

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Ah!  Corriganville!

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Good old Corriganville.

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And…

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Frankenstein’s Castle!!!

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We’ve got to get back to Corrigan Ranch.  It’s been a while since our last visit.

Would some one please write a book on Oliver Drake?  A well-researched, 1000+ page book covering his days as a silent film director and his TV work in the 60s & 70s, but with a special emphasis on the years he spent in the 40’S-50’s making cheapo Westerns on his ranch in Antelope Valley?  Films like “Battling Marshall”.

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These clumsy, mean-spirited, discordant westerns starred troubled talent at the end of their ropes. A guy like former Western Swing sensation and future murderer, Spade Cooley, in “Kid From Gower Gulch” and “The Silver Bandit” (both 1950).

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Sunset Carson is the star of “Battling Marshall”.   That’s him on the bottom.

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I’ve written a lot about Sunset in “Sheriff of Cimarron” (1945), “Fighting Mustang” (1948) and “Alien Outlaw” (1985).  By the time he was making “Battling Marshall” in 1950, Sunset was a cast-off almost-was dumped by Republic after some promising Westerns and a scandal or two.

This was his second of five films shot on Oliver Drake’s ranch with his drunken cast and crew.  The Beasties.

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Often plodding.  Sometimes dizzy.  Almost always unsettling.

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This book might not be a best-seller.  But.  I’d like to read it.