My Favorite Westerns

A Celebration of Western Movies … Pardner!

See the Sky about to Rain / The Byrds

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Marilyn (over at Serendipity Blog was asking me why I’m posting all these old John Wayne movies? since most of them were “pretty bad”.  Yup, it’s true – as Gabby said – once you’ve watched one of them, they seem to be pretty much the same thing over and over: The New Frontier, The Lawless Frontier, Lawless Range etc  But … well I’m doing it as a John Wayne Filmography. This interests me. (You too I hope) For me, there are enough excellent images and great posters to sustain this project. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t bother. Historically speaking though – especially in the History of Western Film – all these movies are important. And become even more so every year. In part, because they are John Wayne movies – the greatest Western Film Star of all time – but also just because they are part of early Western Film – going all the way back to the 20’s. Frankly I’m surprised that so many of these old Movies still exist. Much of the film from that era has been lost or thrown away. For instance, many of John Ford’s early works are gone.

But don’t worry … we are gradually approaching that important year in Western Film History: 1939 – the year John Ford and John Wayne made Stagecoach … the movie that broke the Western B Movie mold and elevated Westerns to legitimate Theatre art …

Lawless Range / 1935

Lawless Range poster 1

Another pretty dang nice poster

Lawless Range review 1

Yep … the reviews weren’t too good. 

Lawless Range review 2

Lawless Range poster 3

Lawless Range poster 2

Lawless Range screencap 3

Posters often featured colorized screen caps though the movie was B&W

Lawless Range poster 4

Lawless Range screencap 2

Lawless Range screencap 1

Lawless Range poster 7

Lawless Range poster 6

There were at least 3 attempts to turn John Wayne into a ‘Singing Cowboy’ – but the perpetrators were hunted down and hung

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Lawless Range / 2016 

Lawless Range 2016

NOT based upon the original

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The Real Lawless Range

14 thoughts on “John Wayne … Iconic Images / Lawless Range / 1935

  1. Great post, JC. Do you have a John Wayne picture up your sleeves that was made in the late twenties? Silent is fine. Filmed in AZ.

    1. jcalberta says:

      “Late 20’s”? “Arizona”? Let me do a bit of research and get back to you.

    2. jcalberta says:

      OK … I can find no evidence in the John Wayne’s Filmography that he made ANY Westerns in the 1920’s – anywhere. My mistake. He did work in and around films – often unbilled – but no Westerns that I could see. John Ford made some Westerns in the 20’s. But … maybe somebody else can find something.

      1. Okay, I thought he started in the 1928.

  2. Don Ostertag says:

    And another reason to watch them, JC is to watch the great stunt work of Yakima Cannutt. In the newer Wayne movies I enjoy watching Ben Johnson riding a horse.

    1. jcalberta says:

      You must be psychic Don. I’ve been preparing a post on Yakima.
      Wayne was no slob himself. I saw him driving a stagecoach in one movie. But damn few people were in Johnson’s league.

      1. Don Ostertag says:

        Can’t wait for the Yakima post. Another stunt man that could sit a horse was Jock Mahoney.

      2. jcalberta says:

        I wasn’t going to make a large post on Yak – though he deserves it. But since his name was up there on the Bill, he needs a mention. Yak had some acting parts back then too – but is almost exclusively remembered for his incredible stunts.

  3. I will ask Garry. He will know.

  4. Wayne made a bunch of movies between 1926 and 1929 … more than a dozen. Mostly bit parts. Check the IMDB’s filmography.

    1. jcalberta says:

      Right – they were mostly sports movies it seems – football. He got no billing for most of that. And a bit of work around the sets.

  5. Hard to tell if any of them were Westerns. He was working, for sure.

    1. Garry says “The Big Trail” was 1929 and there were other bit parts in westerns before that. Big Trail was his first lead role.

      1. jcalberta says:

        “The Big Trail” (which I did a very poor post on) is a very important John Wayne movie. His first Starring role as you say. However, most sites claim it was released in 1930 – not 1929. Maybe that’s splitting hairs, but …

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