A Small Fraternity … continued

Big Iron / Cash

 A Small Fraternity / Cowboys to Stars

Richard Farnsworth, Slim PIckens, and Ben Johnson were not only a ‘Small Fraternity’ of Stuntmen who because famous Film Actors – they were the last of a dying breed of Real Cowboys who were also Movie Stars.

I wouldn’t say there aren’t any Real Cowboys around today. Probably plenty? But those that become Movie Stars / Famous Actors … ??? That surely seems to be of another era.

the grey fox stage bar

I wasn’t born till ’48, so most of the early Western Movie Stars had already rode off into the sunset – or were resting at Boot Hill.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t get to see a lot of ’em. Cuz they were galloping back and forth across my B&W TV screen almost non-stop every Saturday morning (down in Homewood, Illinois). I remember that ‘chase scenes’ were particularly popular in those Westerns – with goodguys chasing badguys – or Indians chasing Goodguys – or Cowboys or chasing Indians – or anybody chasing somebody – really fast (I think a lot of those scenes were speeded up). Most of those movies were made in the 30’s and 40’s by studios like RKO and Republic – who churned out dozens of them. A lot of ’em seemed to follow the same plot and were ‘one shot – that’s a take’. I recall watching one movie where I could see a truck driving across the background. No matter – the shot went into the can anyway.

Yet midst all this dust (and foolishness) true artists like John Ford, (Stagecoach (1939), My Darling Clementine (1946 )) and Howard Hawkes, Sergeant York (1941) and Red River (1948) who were already creating Iconic work.

Even further yonder however… before all this – Authentic Cowboys and Western Heroes like Buffalo Bill and Cowgals like Annie Oakley had blazed the trail, setting (and riding) the Stage for the next generation of Heroes to come.

Buffalo Bill is interesting because he was a self-starter – while most of the early Western Western Movie Stars were recruited by studios. Being a Real Cowboy was a definite hiring criteria for a lot (though not all) early Western Stardom.

That said, I had I sorta intended to spit on any Western Movie Stars that wuzn’t REAL cowboys, But hell, how can you spit on William S. Hart!!!?? You just cain’t! A hell of a man with a genuine love for all things Western.

Some images borrowed from Western Movies New Frontier Saloon http://forum.westernmovies.fr/viewtopic.php?t=9508









For his contribution to the motion picture industry, William S. Hart has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1975, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Cowboy Hall of Fame


William S. Hart Filmography:

  • Ben-Hur (1907)
  • The Bad Buck of Santa Ynez (1914) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • The Gringo (1914) (*unconfirmed)
  • His Hour of Manhood (1914)
  • Jim Cameron’s Wife (1914)
  • The Bargain (1914)
  • Two-Gun Hicks (1914)
  • In the Sage Brush Country (1914)
  • Grit (1915)
  • The Scourge of the Desert (1915)
  • Mr. ‘Silent’ Haskins (1915)
  • The Grudge (1915)
  • The Sheriff’s Streak of Yellow (1915)
  • The Roughneck (1915) (?; Library of Congress)
  • On the Night Stage (1915)
  • The Taking of Luke McVane (1915)
  • The Man from Nowhere (1915)
  • ‘Bad Buck’ of Santa Ynez (1915) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • The Darkening Trail (1915)
  • The Conversion of Frosty Blake (1915)
  • Tools of Providence (1915)
  • The Ruse (1915) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • Cash Parrish’s Pal (1915)
  • Knight of the Trail (1915)
  • Pinto Ben (1915)
  • Keno Bates, Liar (1915)
  • The Disciple (1915)
  • Between Men (1915) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • Hell’s Hinges (1916) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • The Aryan (1916) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • The Primal Lure (1916)
  • The Apostle of Vengeance (1916)
  • The Captive God (1916)
  • The Patriot (1916)
  • The Dawn Maker (1916)
  • The Return of Draw Egan (1916) (extant;DVD)
  • The Devil’s Double (1916)
  • All Star Liberty Loan Drive Special for War Effort (1917)
  • Truthful Tulliver (1917)
  • The Gun Fighter (1917)
  • The Desert Man (1917)
  • The Square Deal Man (1917)
  • Wolf Lowry (1917)
  • The Cold Deck (1917)
  • The Silent Man (1917)
  • The Narrow Trail (1917)
  • Wolves of the Rail (1918)
  • The Lion of the Hills (1918)
  • Staking His Life (1918)
  • Blue Blazes Rawden (1918)
  • The Tiger Man (1918)
  • Selfish Yates (1918)
  • Shark Monroe (1918)
  • Riddle Gawne (1918)
  • The Border Wireless (1918)
  • Branding Broadway (1918)
  • Breed of Men (1919)
  • The Poppy Girl’s Husband (1919)
  • The Money Corral (1919)
  • Square Deal Sanderson (1919)
  • Wagon Tracks (1919) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • John Petticoats (1919) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • The Toll Gate (1920) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • Sand (1920) (extant, DVD)
  • The Cradle of Courage (1920)
  • The Testing Block (1920)
  • O’Malley of the Mounted (1921)
  • The Whistle (1921) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • Three Word Brand (1921)
  • White Oak (1921) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • Travelin’ on (1922) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • Wild Bill Hickok (1923)
  • Singer Jim McKee (1924) (extant; Library of Congress)
  • Tumbleweeds (1925) (extant; Library of Congress, others)
  • Show People (1928) (*cameo at studio luncheon)
  • Tumbleweeds (1940/rerelease) (*filmed talkie prologue to accompany 1925 silent)

Author: jcalberta

Howdy! I love Westerns. ... and the intent of MyFavoriteWesterns.com is to celebrate Western Movies/Film - old and new. This site will eventually show my top 30 favorite Westerns - or more. I will have original graphic work with regular updates. All this - and more ... Yee Haw ... !! - jcablerta / Moderator / Administrator

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