Rage at Dawn. 1955

April 25, 2016

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Is Edgar Buchanan in every Western, or just the best thing in it?

Neat story with my Forrest Tucker as a bad guy.  Randolph Scott shows up way late in this, like near the 30 minute mark.

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Nominated for worst title ever:

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Forrest plays Cabel, a name which says more about the central conflict of the film (Ca** & Abel) than about his character.  He’s that asshole you’re waiting the whole movie to see die.

And he does.  Gloriously.

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Okay, let’s get the bad news out of the way: Forrest Tucker’s last film was a TV movie of the Science Fiction persuasion.

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But, c’mon!  It’s one scene.  5 minutes tops!  And he plays a Western character — he’s a collector and historian of the Old West.

I’ve had it with you scy-fy  people who want Forrest!  You can have William Shatner (“White Comanche”) and Patrick Bergin (“King of Texas”.)  Harrison Ford (“A Time For Killing”) is all yours!  Keep ’em.

But hands off Forrest Tucker.  He’s ours.

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ImageSo the great Rod Serling agrees with me.  The creator of two of the classiest science fiction/fantasy/horror TV shows of all time cast Forrest Tucker in a “Night Gallery” episode playing a Western role!

Suck it, Scy-Fi nerds!  Forrest belongs to us Western nerds!

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Welcome to another chapter of “Sure, Forrest Tucker Was In Some Science Fiction Films But I Still Consider Him To Be Primarily A Western Star.”

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I assume the creators of this show built it around the kid-friendly comic reputation of Tucker and co-star Larry Storch from “F Troop,” not Tucker’s appearances in “The Crawling Eye,” “The Cosmic Monsters“, “The Abominable Snowman“, or a spooky episode of “Night Gallery.

I don’t want to shit on anyone’s childhood memories just to satisfy my Completist BS, but even by the standards of 80’s children’s TV shows…

Look, I really don’t want to be a jerk so I am going to stop now.

P.S.  Westerns win!  Again!

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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Where’s his damn Emmy?!

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…

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Psst,y’all. Otherwise known as “The Crawling Eye.”

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“He’s American.  About 40, I should think.”  

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The other two?  “The Cosmic Monsters”, also 1958, and “The Abominable Snowman”, 1957.

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”?!!!

Damn…

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— 1958

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.

Former movie cowboy Forrest Tucker plays a Roaring Twenties tough guy in this 1968 romp.  It’s a pretty over-the-top performance.

You know what I mean?