Tag Archives: Tyrone Power

Jesse James (1939): Blood Brothers / Part 1

16 Apr


the night they drove old Dixie down / Joan Baez / written by Robbie Robertson

“Those who love are never parted.”
– anon

Jesse James (1939)

Young Jesse James

James Family Photo – Jesse James (back row third from the left) next to his first cousin Zerelda “Zee” Mimms who became his wife. 

If there’s a theme that runs through the Jesse James saga,
it’s 
Family and Brotherhood.
Blood.

The James – Younger Gang:

Brothers that rode together:
– Jesse and Frank James
– Cole, Jim, John, and Bob Younger
– Charley Ford and Robert Ford
– Ed Miller and and Clell Miller

James – Younger gang … 1876 edition

Blood Deep / Blood Strong

Back then people stuck together:
‘Right or Wrong’? ‘Law and Order’?
Be damned.
Family is Right. Family is Law.
Clan.
Kin deep.
No bullet could penetrate that.
(Unless it came from within)

No wonder Jesse James seemed so invincible and impossible to catch. And had such a Robin Hood image (that is still intact today)

And why Robert Ford’s betrayal is so unforgivable.

John Carradine

Which brings us to John Carrindine – who played Robert Ford in Jesse James (1939).

Between the 1930’s and he 1990’s John Carradine
appeared in about 230 movies!!!
– not counting TV appearances and TV movies.
That makes him one of the most prolific Actors in Film History.
Not sure how many Westerns he made,
but there would have been a lot.
Several were Western Classics including Stagecoach (1939),
Johnny Guitar (1954) The Kentuckian (1955), The Shootist (1970) …

Between scenes he had time for 4 wives and 5 children,
most of whom also became Actors.

3 of his sons Starred in another Jesse James Western called:

The Long Riders (1980)

Stacy Keatch (center) as Jesse James, David Carradine as Cole Younger (left ), and Randy Quaid as Clell Miller (right).

3 excellent posters

A   Remarkable Cast
of 4 sets of Brothers:

Jesse James (James Keach) and Frank James (Stacy Keach)
Cole Younger (David Carradine), Jim Younger (Keith Carradine) and Bob Younger (Robert Carradine)
Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) and Clell Miller (Randy Quaid)
Charley Ford (Christopher Guest) and Robert Ford (Nicholas Guest)

Most of these depicted outlaws did ride for the James – Younger gang at one time or another, but the movie takes liberty in putting them all together at the same time. But, like most Jesse James movies, this is not a documentary.
Wikipedia says: “The James-Younger gang … had over 50 different members over the years.”
The actual gang that attempted the ill fated Northfield Bank robbery consisted of of brothers Jesse and Frank James; brothers Bob, Jim, and Cole Younger; Clell Miller; Charlie Pitts; and Bill Stiles.

more coming … 

Jesse James (1939) Continued: The Stunt of Infamy

5 Apr


The Long Riders Soundtrack / Ry Cooder

Jesse James (1939)

A Stunt of Infamy

Have you seen this stunt below? It’s in Jesse James (1939).
It’s one of the most famous movie stunts in Film History.

But not because it’s spectacular. (Though it is)But because of what it stirred up.  You see, the horse died. Panicked and drowned.  The public outrage and outcry was so great
that it led to the creation of:

The American Humane Association

http://www.americanhumane.org/

In 1940, American Humane (AH) became the sole monitoring body for the humane treatment of animals on the sets of Hollywood films and other broadcast productions. American Humane is best known for its trademarked certification “No Animals Were Harmed®”, which appears at the end of film or television credits.

“We are first to serve, wherever animals are in need of rescue, shelter, protection or security. Through our innovative leadership initiatives – from our “No Animals Were Harmed®” program in Hollywood to broad-based farm and conservation animal welfare certifications, to rapid response rescue and care across the country – American Humane sets the gold standard as the most visionary and effective animal welfare organization in the nation.”

Prior to this there were no safety standards for beast – or man – in film stunting.

This changed it all.

Meanwhile … 

Coming to the fore was legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt. He, along with other rodeo performers, brought a battery of rodeo techniques that Canutt would expand and improve upon, including horse falls and safer methods for many kinds of stunts, including gear and techniques for performing and planning stunts, harnesses, cable rigs and protective equipment to make many stunts almost foolproof. Both horses and stuntmen were now trained in stunt schools. Medical support and First Aide became readily available. 

Does that mean stunting is now 100% safe?
Of course not. Stunting is a dangerous by it’s nature.
And although such dangers have been greatly minimized and monitored there will always be occasional incidents/accidents.
Yet it is still vastly improved over what went on before.
Prior to 1939 nobody really seemed to care.

The Jump across Devil’s Gulch

But just where did the idea for the infamous stunt come from?

Presently there’s a bridge across the Gulch

I believe it was likely inspired by another piece of Jesse James lore:
Jesse’s famous jump across Devil’s Gulch.
(Good Grief!! I know that sounds like something from a dime novel or a matinee serial … or something?!)
But it isn’t.

The back story:

The James/Younger Gang’s bank robbery at Northfield, Minnesota was a disaster. When the smoke cleared the Younger brothers were badly wounded and captured. Jesse and Frank James raced out of town with a rabid posse hot on their tail.
The ensuing chase resulted in the legend of
Jesse James: the leap across Devil’s Gulch, South Dakota.
Much disputed.

Many believe the 18 to 20 foot jump is impossible
– or at least pretty unlikely .

I don’t. 

Why?

Ask these questions:

Did Jesse have the chops? the will? the courage? the bravado? the desperation? the horsemanship to pull off such a stunt?

Damn right. On all counts. 

The only question that remains is: did he have the horse to pull it off?
My guess is that Jesse wouldn’t be riding a nag. He was an expert horseman who had performed many robberies and holdups
and would likely have a pretty good steed for getaways.

And with a bloodthirsty posse hot on his trail
desperate times call for desperate measures.
The smell of death is a strong motivator.

I definitely think he would chance such a thing. And could pull it off.
But I’m not saying it really happened.
Just that he could have done it.

Doubt that we’ll ever know.

Tyrone Power / Jesse James / Part 2

29 Mar


1972 / Glendale Train / New Riders of the Purple Sage

Jesse James (1939)


Jesse James was a smash hit and the fourth largest-grossing film of 1939, behind Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and in front of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
That’s a hell of a year for Movies – those are 4 Classics.

A sequel, The Return of Frank James, directed by Fritz Lang and with Henry Fonda reprising his role as Frank James along with a variety of other actors playing the same characters as they had in Jesse James,
was released in 1940.

It seems almost daily that somebody finds another photo
of Jesse James or Billy the Kid.
A lot are fakes or false of course, but even some that
are authentic are so bizarre that you have shake your head.
Like this one with Robert Ford (Jesse assassin)
and Jesse himself seated together.
It’s rather amazing.

And is that a top knot on Jesse’s head?
Seem so.

I wanted to post an authentic Jesse James “Wanted Poster” here,
but I couldn’t identify even one that I can confidence in.

 

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) / Tyrone Power / Jesse James

27 Mar


Kingston Trio

Jesse James (1939)

Jesse Woodson James (1847 – 1882) American outlaw, bank and train robber, guerrilla, leader of the James–Younger Gang, member of infamous Quantrill raiders.

I woulda put my money on The Kid.

Tyrone Power as Jesse James / Jesse James as himself (age 17) / Billy the Kid (age?)

Between 1921 and 2007 we count 28 movies about Jesse James
or where Jesse James was a prominent character.
Between 1911 and 2011 we count 23 movies about Billy the Kid
or where Billy the Kid was a prominent character.
If this was a football game, The Kid needs a touchdown.

But it’s not a football game.
It’s the stories of two killers. Two men driven to violence and killing …
who have become Western folk heroes.
Until they were assassinated by their friends.

Jesse James / 1939
Tyrone Power

When Jesse James is played by a Matinee Idol you know he ain’t gonna be a Badguy.

The movie was criticized for Historical inaccuracies.
Not that I care. It is not a documentary.

Jesse James (1939) was the 4th movie about Jesse James.

The Epic Story of the most Colourful Outlaw who ever lived

Motion Pictures’ Supreme Epic !
The world branded him . . . an OUTLAW . . . a KILLER . . . a WOLF . . . but to the simple folk who knew him he was a victim of injustice – and to the girl who loved him he was brave and a gentle lover ! !
The Tremendous Dramatic Thrills Of the Midwest’s Lawless Era will burst from our screen…

Young Tyrone Power (age 25) as Jesse James

1939 – Tyrone was voted the #1 male box-office draw in Hollywood by exhibitors.

Henry Fonda (age 34) as Frank James

Henry’s second Western toward becoming one of the Greatest Western Stars of all time.

Randolph Scott (aged 41) as Will Wright

Westerns personified.

Nancy Kelly as Zerelda “Zee” James

A successful child actress, radio star, then a leading lady in 27 movies in the 1930s and ’40s, Her younger brother was actor Jack Kelly (Maverick).

John Carradine (age 33) was backshooter Bob Ford

In 1939 Carradine also Starred in John Ford’s great Western Classic Stagecoach with John Wayne. 

Reviews:

The whole film can be watched in 720 resolution and glorious Technicolor on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/LZTSwk8P6I

Upcoming … More Tyrone Power and Jesse James 

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) / Tyrone Power / Part 2

21 Mar

From The Eddie Duchin Story 1956

Tyrone Power

Tyrone Power USMC

Power was an excellent pilot and as a
US Marine Corps pilot in World War II,
he flew supplies into wounded troops out of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
and the World War II Victory Medal.


1939 / Stardust / Eddie Duchin and his Orchestra

Up Next:
Tyrone Power Western Posters 

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) / Tyrone Power / Part 1 Updated

20 Mar


Nat

Tyrone Power

Roots that Run Deep

Tyrone Power I

Tyrone was the third Tyrone Power in the Acting profession.
– going all the way back to William Grattan Tyrone Power:
Irish stage Actor, Comedian, Author and theatrical manager.
Sometimes called Tyrone Power I.

Through his paternal great-grandmother, Anne Gilbert, Power was related to the actor Laurence Olivier; through his paternal grandmother, stage actress Ethel Lavenu, he was related by marriage to author Evelyn Waugh; and through his father’s first cousin, Norah Emily Gorman Power, he was related to the theatrical director Sir (William) Tyrone Guthrie, founder of the Stratford Festival (now the Stratford Shakespeare Festival) in Canada and the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We’re talking about an amazing heritage, linage and kinship in the Entertainment and and Acting fraternity/profession.

That’s a hell of a legacy.

Tyrone Power I was lost at sea in March 1841,
when the SS President disappeared without trace in the North Atlantic.
He was 46.

Tyrone Power II

Between 1886 and 1931 appeared worked in 47 Stage productions
– several Shakespearean.

Between 1914 to 1931 me appeared in 40 silent films
and one “Talkie“.
But that Talkie was interesting and notable. It was one of John Wayne’s
first Westerns, The Big Trail.

 Tyrone Sr. seemed to play a lot of badguys.

About as bad as you can get.

At home one night after shooting on the film ‘The Miracle Man‘ in 1931, he suffered a massive heart attack and died literally in the arms of his
17-year-old son, Tyrone Power.
He was 64 years old.

The Death of Tyrone Power

Madrid, Spain / November 1958. While filming the climactic swordfight scene with George Sanders for Solomon and Sheba, Power is suddenly stricken by a heart attack. He dies within an hour. 
Tyrone Power was 45 years old.

The son he had always wanted, Tyrone Power IV, was born 2 months after his death.
Young Tyrone active Actor with 21 acting credits.

UPCOMING:
Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) /
Tyrone Power / Part 2
and possibly a bit of Swashbuckling!

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) Part 2

20 Feb


me & my uncle / michael j. thoma

Rawhide / 1951

International Posters are often interesting
… and amusing.

Spanish Poster:

Spanish interpretation: The Mail of Hell

Croatian (?) poster: 

Croatian interpretation: Postal Station/Post Office

French posters:

French translation: The Attack of the Mail-Coach

I had to laugh at this poster below – it’s hilarious!

Look what they did to poor Tyrone Power!
A peeping Tyrone!

German poster: 

German translation: Two in the Trap

Evidently the word Rawhide doesn’t translate well to other languages.

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