Sunset Carson in “Battling Marshall”

February 3, 2013

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).

Spade Cooley

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.

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One Response to “Sunset Carson in “Battling Marshall””

  1. Mike NEWTON said

    Somebody already has written a book on Oliver Drake. Drake did his own autobiography in 1990 – an independent publication called “Written, Produced and Directed by Oliver Drake.” Contains rare photos and memories of the films you mentioned.

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