April 29, 2013
From 1958 to 1960, Rory Calhoun took up residence in “The Texan.” Lots of cool folks dropped by.
And, in case you didn’t catch the spelling on Calhoun’s character’s name, it’s the one on the bottom.
April 27, 2013
— 1944. Boyd Magers has a nice write-up of Dennis Moore’s career over at Western Clippings.
April 27, 2013
For this 1932 RKO serial, Lon Chaney Jr has a secret identity. In town, he’s the smiling if righteous newspaper editor. On the plain, he’s The Black Ghost. He wears all black and a little disguise. And he has an over-the-top accent.
Like the Durango kid would a half-dozen years later, he has a make-shift hide-out for changing on the run.
The plot involves illegal guns, General Custer and stampeding cattle. The Black Ghost must persist!
Chaney is as good as he is in most stuff. He’s an adequate cowboy hero — can convincingly throw a punch, smile at girls and kids, and ride. He looks appropriately corny and honest in his town-folk get-up. He looks jaunty and mysterious as the Black Ghost.
I love a good serial. This one is okay. But it has it’s moments.
And Yakima’s in it somewhere. (I couldn’t find him.) (No, I didn’t watch all 12 episodes, running time nearly 4 hours.)
April 24, 2013
I’ve kicked up a bunch of dust in previous posts on the subject of ‘Forrest Tucker belongs to us!’ Fans of other genres may have a fair claim to the man, but I stand tall and resolute in my belief that his work as a character actor in Western films is beyond par.
The question remains: what do we do with F-Troop?
First billed, you know.
I couldn’t be bothered with this show as a kid. It was low-brow even for an 11-year-old me.
Revisiting it, my opinion hasn’t changed that much. I know there are people out there (including many of you, my dear readers) who really dig this show. And I can see that. Sometimes it feels like “Batman” and the better jokes are for the adults. Sometimes the physical comedy is inspired. And, fuck it, Bob Steele is in the thing!
So let’s focus on Forrest. He is really good in this! He’s spry! He’s lively and light on his feet. And he seems to be having fun.
The alternative reality is deadly. Poor Tucker grinding through each episode with a pained expression, hating every pratfall, ever dopey turn by Ken Berry and Larry Storch (a genius!) Instead he appears to be loving it.
Where’s his damn Emmy?!
April 21, 2013
By 1915, William S. Hart had been making pictures with Thomas Ince for two years and had completed twenty films. The running time for these two-reelers was about 22 minutes. So, (rough math here), he’d clocked about 500 minutes of screen time. What was to become his standard character had already emerged and was solidifying. As were the themes of his dramas.
The key word here is not “Bat” but “reformed.”
He helps old drunky. He’s kind to working women. He sets the table. Just don’t kidnap his gal or try to swindle him out of his mining claim.
He’ll burn down your whole world! (see also “Hell’s Hinges.“)
April 17, 2013
Howdy! This is the part of the blog where we complete our study of the three Science Fiction films featuring Forrest Tucker (v. the 100s of Westerns!) with…
Psst,y’all. Otherwise known as “The Crawling Eye.”
“He’s American. About 40, I should think.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — discard your claim to Mr. Tucker, you scyfy fans, he belongs to us Western nerds.
…wait! What!! Tucker was in a bunch of episodes of a TV show called “The Ghostbusters”?! In 1973 and 1986?! “Night Gallery”?!!!
April 16, 2013
April 12, 2013
April 11, 2013
I’m intrigued by Keno Bates. Why is he a liar?
The set-up is the streamlined, made to scale Thos. H. Ince/ Wm. S. Hart narrative that I love. Keno is a card player by profession. He’s robbed by a sore loser. The rest follows naturally.
From here on in, Keno follows an emerging Hart character arc – he sins to protect the innocent. He lies to the sister about what sort of man her brother was, he lies and tells her that his own home belonged to the dead man — he’s Keno Bates, Liar!
He gives up drink, a fast woman and his gun belt.
He suffers and suffers. He dies?
You get it. Right? Okay then.
I loves me some William S. Hart!
April 9, 2013
As faithful readers know, I’m a sucker for any western with the word “phantom” in it.
A horror western? Naw. Someone plugs old man Markham and Ken Mitchell (guess who?) takes an interest.
What’s a fellah to do, if not put on a black mask?
The year was 1938. Right around the same time that another man destined to wear a mask climbed into the cinematic saddle.
Starrett. Charles Starrett.