Westerns


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3 Bad Men

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Released – August, 1926 

Directed By – John Ford

Starring – George O’Brien (Dan O’Malley), Olive Borden (Lee Carlton), Lou Tellegen (Sheriff Layne Hunter), Tom Santschi (“Bull” Stanley), J. Farrell MacDonald (Mike Costigan), Frank Campeau (“Spade” Allen).

Description – It’s 1876, and Dan O’Malley has stopped to help fix a broken wagon wheel for Mr. Carleton and his daughter Lee. This chance meeting will change the lives of all.

The Carleton’s are on their way to Custer, Dakota to stake a claim for gold found by Lee’s father in Sioux territory and wait for President Grant to issue a proclamation authorizing exploration of the Indian lands.

Along the trail, they are attacked by horse thieves and Mr. Carleton is killed. Luckily, Lee and Dan are saved by an unlikely trio of outlaws, “Bull” Stanley, Mike Costigan, and “Spade” Allen. the outlaw’s, all wanted by the law from Mexico to Canada, are also on their way to join the anticipated gold rush.

Though they themselves are horse thieves, their sympathy for Lee’s loss of her father inspires them to protect the girl and her new found sweetheart.

In Custer, corrupt Sheriff Layne Hunter rules with a vicious hand and has his sights set on the gold claim that Lee and her father wish to claim.

The unlikely trio of hero’s must protect Lee and Dan from Hunter and his henchmen so that they may stake the claim that rightfully belongs to Lee. This task won’t be an easy one as Sheriff Hunter and his men are ready, and will, kill for the claim.

NOTABLE: One of director John Ford’s earliest, and best silent films.

Location shooting was done in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the Mojave Desert, California.

 

Tumbleweeds

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Released – December, 1925 

Directed By – King Baggot

Starring – William S. Hart (Don Carver), Barbara Bedford (Molly Lassiter), Lucien Littlefield (Kentucky Rose), J. Gordon Russell (Noll Lassiter).

Description – History Recorded In Heart-Throbs!

Government lands in the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma, previously leased to cattlemen, are being opened up to homesteaders. All interested must register and stay out of the Strip until a specific date. Canon fire will signal the start of the land rush.

Don Carver is interested. The former range boss of the now closed Box K Ranch has been a drifter most of his life. Things have changed as Don has met and fallen in love with Molly Lassiter, whose family will also be participating in the land rush, and the time seems right to settle down.

Don hopes to stake his claim on the land that houses the Box K ranchhouse which will control the water for the Cherokee Strip. However, Molly’s half-brother Noll and Bill Freel, who also seeks Molly’s hand, have other ideas.

The pair frame Don for violating the rule against anyone entering into the Strip before the event and Don is arrested. With the land rush about to start Don escapes the stockade, enters the race and heads for the ranchhouse.

When he gets there he finds Noll and Bill already there. It looks as though the dreams of Don and Molly will go unrealized.

NOTABLE: Tumbleweeds is said to have influenced the making of 1931’s Oscar-winning Western Cimarron which also depicts the great land rush.

It has been estimated that over 100,000 men and women participated in the land rush.

Tumbleweeds was the last picture for silent western star William S. Hart and is considered by many as his finest role.

The film was unique for the silent era as it portrayed Native Americans as more than just villains, they were Hart’s friends and also included African Americans among the thousands of homesteaders.

The Iron Horse

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Released – August, 1924 

Directed By – John Ford

Starring – George O’Brien (Davy Brandon), Madge Bellamy (Miriam Marsh), Charles Edward Bull (Abraham Lincoln), Cyril Chadwick (Peter Jesson), Will Walling (Thomas Marsh).

Description – Blazing the Trail of Love and Civilization!

Davy Brandon and his father set off to find a route to build the first transcontinental railroad. They come accross a pass that will shorten the expected route by 200 miles. This is a great find until they are attacked by a group of Cheyenne Indians led by a white renegade.

Davy, who is hidden, witnesses his father’s  murder and scalping at the hand of a killer with only two fingers on his right hand.

Many years pass, Davy is now grown and President Lincoln has just signed a bill authorizing the construction of the Union and Central Pacific Railways. Thomas Marsh is the contractor with Peter Jesson as his Chief Engineer. Jesson is also engaged to Miriam Marsh a close childhood friend of Davy.

The original route is used for the rail line with the work being done by Chinese, Italians, and Irish laborers. The project runs into nothing but trouble with constant attacks by Indians and a stolen payroll.

Davy, who is now a pony express rider, remembers his fathers discovery of the shortcut and offers to help find it again. However, there are those who will greatly benefit with the use of the original route and they are not about to let things change.

An exciting story of love, treachery, and revenge.

NOTABLE: During the filming of a climatic gun battle the cast and crew awoke to find that the area was covered in snow. It took all hands to clear the shooting site in order for the scene to be completed.

Shooting this film in a somewhat romote area necessitated that the crew have their own bootlegger. Sadly, during one of the refreshment runs the bootlegger allegedly struck and killed someone with his car.

The kitchen crew for this film was comprised mostly of Chinese. Some of these Chinese had worked on the original project in 1869.