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One-Eyed Jacks / 1961 / Part 6 / The Cast / Slim Pickens

5 Sep

Pickens and Johnson

Pickens and Johnson? Sounds like a Law Firm or something. Well, Slim Pickens and Ben Johnson ARE indeed members of a unique and small fraternity: Real Cowboys who became Westerns Movie Stars. There would definitely be a small group around that campfire. And both of them had major parts in One-Eyed Jacks.

And they had yet another distinction: they’ve both been in so many Westerns that it would be pretty well impossible to list them all here.

Slim Pickens

One Eyed Jacks Slim Pickens 2

Wikipedia: “Born, Louis Burton Lindley, Jr. (June 29, 1919 – December 8, 1983), known by the stage name Slim Pickens, was an American rodeo performer and film and television actor who epitomized the profane, tough, sardonic cowboy, but who is (possibly) best remembered for his comic roles, notably in Dr. Strangelove and Blazing Saddles.

Pickens was an excellent rider from age 4. After graduating from High School he joined the rodeo. He was told that working in the rodeo would be “slim pickings” (very little money), giving him his name, but he did well and eventually became a well-known rodeo clown.

After twenty years on the rodeo circuit, his distinctive Oklahoma-Texas drawl (even though he was a lifelong Californian), his wide eyes and moon face and strong physical presence gained him a role in the western film, Rocky Mountain (1950) starring Errol Flynn. He appeared in many more Westerns, playing both villains and comic sidekicks to the likes of Rex Allen, John Wayne, Steve McQueen, … many many other Stars.”

One Eyed Jacks Slim Pickens 3

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Slim and Trim

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Yee Haw!!

10 of Slim’s Best

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Ben Johnson

A Small Fraternity … Part 2 Ben Johnson

6 Oct

Roy Rogers & Sons Of The Pioneers – Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Stunts to Stars /  A Small Fraternity: 

Ben Johnson

Wikipedia: “Ben “Son” Johnson, Jr. (June 13, 1918 – April 8, 1996) was an American stuntman, world champion rodeo cowboy and actor. The son of a rancher, Johnson arrived in Hollywood to deliver a consignment of horses for a film. He did stunt double work for several years before breaking into acting through the good offices of John Ford. Tall and laconic, Johnson brought further authenticity to many roles in Westerns with his extraordinary horsemanship. An elegiac portrayal of a former cowboy theatre owner in the 50’s coming of age drama, The Last Picture Show, won Johnson the 1971 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He operated a horse breeding farm throughout his career. Although he said he had succeeded by sticking to what he knew, shrewd real estate investments made Johnson worth an estimated 100 million dollars by his latter years.

Johnson was born in Foraker, Oklahoma, on the Osage Indian Reservation, of Irish and Cherokee ancestry, the son of Ollie Susan (née Workmon) and Ben Johnson, Sr. His father was a rancher and rodeo champion in Osage County. Throughout his life Johnson was drawn to the rodeos and horse breeding of his early years. In 1953 he took a break from well paid film work to compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, becoming Team Roping World Champion although he only broke even financially that year. Johnson was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1973.

Johnson’s 1941 marriage to Carol Elaine Jones lasted until her death on March 27, 1994, they had no children. Jones was the daughter of noted Hollywood horse wrangler Clarence “Fat” Jones.

“I grew up on a ranch and I know livestock, so I like working in Westerns. All my life I’ve been afraid of failure. To avoid it, I’ve stuck with doing things I know how to do, and it’s made me a good living.”

You done good Ben.

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Young Ben

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Later

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… gentleman Ben

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A drink with Brando / “One Eyed Jacks” 1961

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“One Eyed Jacks” 1961

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“The Sacketts” Tom Selleck, Ben Johnson, Glenn Ford. 1979

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“The Wild Bunch” 1969 / Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine

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“The Wild Bunch” Ben Johnson

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Not photogenic at all …

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15 movies with ‘The Duke’ including “The Train Robbers” 1973

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Ben Johnson / Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1973

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Tom Selleck Westerns: The Sacketts

25 Feb

The Sacketts tagline

The Sacketts opening banner

The made-for-television western The Sacketts combines the plotlines from two seperate Louis L’Amour novels, The Daybreakers and The Sacketts. In this film, the three Tennessee-raised Sackett brothers migrate to the West following the conclusion of the Civil War. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Movie Guide.

The Sacketts poster

The Sacketts dvd cover

Made ten years before Lonesome Dove, The Sacketts (1979) may well have been the first great Western Mini Series – and in looking at the cast, it’s easy to understand why some Western fans may hold it with similar esteem, with Western Greats like Glenn Ford, Sam ElliottTom SelleckSlim Pickens, Jack Elam, Ben  Johnson, L.Q. Jones, and some notable support players including John Vernon, Gilbert Roland, Buck Taylor  and on. Pretty impressive. So although The Sacketts does show itself to be a little shy in production values compared to modern fair, it still shines with notable Star Power.

The Sacketts IMDB review

The Sacketts Rotten Tomatoes reviewRatings were favourable … as they should be.

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The Cast

The Sacketts - Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Jeff Osterhage

Sam Elliott

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Tom Selleck

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 Jeff Osterhage

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 Glenn Ford

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Ben Johnson

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Jack Elam

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Slim Pickens

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John Vernon

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cowboy

THE SACKETTS ... doing 'the walk'

Sacketts … doing ‘the walk’

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