CRIMSON-STREAKED ROMANCE HITS THE TRAIL! It took six murdering rustlers and a girl to make a reckless rover settle down to love!
Born to the West (1937) movie went to Public Domain due to a studio screw up which resulted in several versions of the movie of various edits and quality. Re-titled and re-edited, it was re-released on 1954 as “Hell Town“.
On its first reissue, the company added random stock footage of cattle drives, chases, and stampedes to bring the running time to over an hour.
Due to a studio clerical error, Alan Ladd was credited for an appearance in Hell Town. He does not, in fact, appear in it. By the time it was re-released, Ladd had become a prominent and popular player, so his name was prominently displayed, often receiving equal billing right along with John Wayne, not only on all the re-titled advertising material, but also in most television program schedules once telecasts began. Amazing. MFW: Incredibly, there is still media on the Internet claiming that Alan Ladd is in this film.
Born to the West (1937)
Wayne, Marsha Hunt, Johnny Mack Brown
John Wayne Filmography cont. Born to the West / Hell Town / Part 2
I hadn’t intended to do a post on The Shootistuntil I reached it via my series on John Wayne’s Filmography. But Hugh O’Brian’spassing and his role in the important Western Classicmoved it up the ladder. I won’t do a full posting on it here, but there’s some interesting things about this movie and O’Brian’sinvolvement.
I have to confess I’m puzzled why all these posters are different in coloration?
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – origin unknown – Often attributed to Mark Twain
Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) says this:
“Contrary to popular belief, John Wayne did not have cancer when he made this film. His entire left lung and several ribs had been removed in surgery on 17 September 1964, and in 1969 he was declared cancer-free. It was not until 12 January 1979, almost three years after this movie had been filmed, that the disease was found to have returned. According to a 2014 biography “John Wayne: the Life and Legend” by Scott Eyman, Wayne had been found to have stomach cancer in 1975 but it had gone into remission before filming began on this movie.”
MFW: The contention here, of course, is that John didn’t know this was his last film/Western. I’m no detective, but I do know that almost the entire cast of The Shootist– including Director Don Siegel– were handpicked and invited by Wayne to be in this movie. Does that sound like somebody that doesn’t know this is the end of line?
Hugh O’Brian’s role in The Shootistis interesting. He seems to get a bit of preferential treatment. His role basically reprizes his previous portrayal of Wyatt Earp from his popular TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (1955–1961). Also, in The Shootist, Hugh’s character is a Faro dealer in the saloon. This was Earp’s real life side occupation when he was a Marshall in Tombstone.
Hugh also wears the gentleman’s garb of vest and tie vest – almost identical to O’Brian’sportrayal of Earp in his popular TV series.
Next, when John goes to the bar at the start of the final shootout scene, he pours himself a drink – and salutes only one of the three patrons in the bar: Hugh O’Brian. Ignoring Richard Booneand Bill McKinney. I’d say that’s a hell of a compliment – from the Dean of Western Heroes.
Hugh salutes back. ‘See ya John’.
When the final shootout takes place, Hugh – a true gentleman – doesn’t enter the fray until Boone and McKinney are dispatched.
In 1937 John appeared in a real head scratcher: Idol of the Crowds– a hockey movie!
Yes, John made an occasional non-Western,
but I never knew he ranged this far afield!?
I couldn’t access any video, but it looks like John
really knows what he’s doing out there!
In the synopsis you can see that John plays a guy called JohnnyHanson. This is rather interesting coincidence, because one of my favorite (guilty pleasure) movies is Slapshot (1977) – a hockey sendup Starring Paul Newman!(believe it or not) and these amazing characters: The Hanson Brothers, who have become big Canadian celebrities.
The Hanson Brothers – signing their real names
John Wayne as Johnny Hanson
The Hanson Brothers deserve a Post to themselves
so I’ll get back to them later.
Meanwhile … John Wayne plays a chicken farmer who plays hockey. With all due respect to chicken farming, how does one go from
being a Western Hero to a chicken farmer hockey player?
John keeps making ’em – I keep posting ’em. John is 29-years-old now and Winds of the Wasteland being his 5th of 7 Westerns he made in 1936. Though interesting, the movies are not that great. But as long as the images and Posters are good, (and they are) I’ll keep putting them up …
John is ‘The Man’ and his name is Billed above and before the Title of the movie.
Western Movie Stunting 101: The Art of Falling: Part 1:
Elementary Western Horse Stunting
There’s only one good thing about Falling off a horse. It’s damn easy.
(Especially galloping full speed, handling a weapon, or without a saddle)
Making it look good however – and landing safely – is another matter.
Not a good Fall.
So Saddle up … or not … we’re goin’ Stunting!
Those Poor Horses
Yakima Canutt. was a Rodeo Champion, before and during his career as a Western Film Stunt Artist. He knew what Falling was all about – and it’s obvious side effects – injury and death – though he obviously Fell a lot less than most cowboys. But his experience in Rodeo is definitely what led to his place as a Western FilmStunt Master.
But getting bucked off in a Rodeo, and Falling in a Western movie, are not quite the same thing. In Rodeo you don’t want to Fall. And if you do, you aren’t very concerned about how it looks. In Stunt Falling you’re trying to Fall – and make it look good – the more sensational, the better – higher, farther, faster …. always pushing the envelope. And in Rodeo, and especially Stunting, Yak pushed the envelope big time. He pretty well invented the Stunt industry. In either case however, you still need to land safely. Not an easy thing to do.
Unknown bronc rider … and unknown bronc … at an unknown rodeo
But before we ride any further, there’s one thing that needs to be mentioned … the Horses.
Early Western Horse Stunts seemed to demonstrate a tremendous disregard for the safety of the horses.
One example: Stunt Falls from horses sometimes employed trip lines that tripped/yanked the horses down – while galloping at full speed. The Stuntman, of course, knew a Fall was coming – the horse did not. I haven’t seen any statistics, but I can surmise there was a considerable toll on the horses. This was rightfully criticized and eventually stopped. Nowadays Stunt horses are extensively trained in Falls and any other Stunts involving horses. To Yak’s credit he later took great care and pride in inventing techniques which greatly limited injury to both man and beast – culminating in his masterpiece – one of the greatest Stunt events in film history – the spectacular (and dangerous) – Chariot Race in Ben Hur (1959) – a monumental stunting achievement that took Yak two years of planning and preparation. And despite urban legends to the contrary, there is no evidence that any horses (or actors) were killed.
Ben Hur …
Yak gives Chuck (Heston) some pointers …
They’re off !!!
Yakima Canutt’s son Joe does the famous crash jump …
Spiked wheels … ??
Western Movie Stunting 101: The Art of Falling: Part 2: