Hannah Lee

Today, we have another guest post from the pen of regular contributor Gordon Gates. This occasion sees him casting an eye over a rare and little seen western from the 1950s.
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Hannah Lee : An American Primitive (color) AKA Outlaw Territory (b/w) 1953
   Most actors at one time or another decide they should take a shot at producing. This could be because they wanted more creative control or a bigger piece of the pie, or both.
In 1953, actor John Ireland, his wife Joanne Dru and cinematographer Lee Garmes  combined to give production a shot. The one time Oscar nominated Ireland and the four time nominated, one time Oscar winner, Garmes, decided on a western.
A screenplay by Mackinlay Kantor was chosen. Kantor is known to film fans for The Best Years of Our Lives and Gun Crazy. The screenplay here is based on Kantor’s own novel, “Wicked Water”. This is based on the real life story of “regulator” Tom Horn. The team also decided to give the new gimmick of the time, 3-D a go in hopes of increasing box office.
Veteran cinematographer Garmes would handle the direction duties with Ireland shooting the odd scene.
The film stars, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, MacDonald Carey, Tom Powers, Frank Ferguson, Don Haggerty and Peter Ireland.
The story starts out in the town of Pearl City, Colorado at the end of the 1890’s. Gun for hire MacDonald Carey hits town looking for work. As it so happens, a group of local big ranch owners are in need of someone like him. They are having problems with squatters and rustlers taking their land and cattle.

Carey is offered a job as a “regulator” with 600 dollars a body pay. He is supplied with a list of names to be “regulated”. He is told that he must give the people named a chance to leave on their own. Carey leaves notes with the men telling them to clear out of the area. None do, and all soon end up with large alterations to their breathing arrangements.

Carey, a slightly nuts in the head type, uses a sniping rifle he used during the Spanish-American War in Cuba. Carey also takes a fancy to the local saloon keeper, Joanne Dru. Dru finds herself drawn to the hard man.

As the body count rises, some of the local people put out a call for a Federal Marshall. The town Sheriff, Tom Powers, does not seem all that interested in investigating.

Marshall John Ireland arrives in Pearl City to have a look into the killings. He digs around and figures that Carey is the main suspect. The killings started just after he arrived, and he is now flashing a large roll of cash. The cattlemen however want Carey to keep up his thinning of squatters etc. The cattlemen send another gunman, Don Haggerty to dispose of Ireland. Ireland though ends up filling Haggerty with lead instead.Now we find out that Ireland and Miss Dru know each other from years before. Ireland had sent Dru’s brother to prison for a long spell. Dru was sure that her brother was innocent. Ireland asks Dru to tell him all she might know about the latest shootings. Dru refuses to name Carey.

Of course the viewer knows there is going to be some more violence, with exchanges of lead, fists  and a steady supply of bodies ready for Boot Hill.

This is a stark, brutal western that is quite well done considering the obvious limited budget.
Cinematographer Garmes was known for lensing films like, The Jungle Book, Scarface, Detective Story, Angels Over Broadway, Nightmare Alley, Man With the Gun and The Desperate Hours.
Guns, fists, bottles, burning furniture and Miss Dru’s upper works are just a few of the items thrust at the viewer because of the original 3-D format. Ireland and Dru were marries at the time. Peter Ireland was John’s son from a previous marriage.
There are less than perfect prints up on YouTube. There is, I think, a better one on OK.RU
Gordon Gates

121 thoughts on “Hannah Lee

  1. I’ve never heard of this one. It’s certainly been under the radar so thanks for bringing it to light. I like the cast so will certainly try and see it.

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    • Yes, the cast is a big attraction and I though Carey was surprisingly effective in a villainous role. Dru was fine – very assured.
      Online is the only way to see this, but be prepared for a very weak print.

      Like

    • Vienna
      It was unknown to myself till a pal sent me a copy of it 3-4 years ago. Better than I make it sound, but it could use a restore job.
      Gord

      Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely in need of some major repair work. One thing I did find a bit tedious, although it doesn’t happen all that often, was the “throwing stuff at the camera” bit that often blights some of these early 3-D efforts.

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  2. Well done Gordon-Colin’s teaser kept me guessing and yes this is one of the very few 50’s Westerns that I have never seen. With all the on-going interest in 3D there is of course the chance that Bob Furmanek might come up with a fully restored3D/2D version on Blu Ray…I live in hope. There’s also another of these obscure Jack Broder p.d. titles available to view on line BATTLES OF CHIEF PONTIAC which also has an early credit for schlockmeister Herman Cohen. A friend of mine has a 16mm print of “Pontiac” which I viewed recently on his living room wall-I’m not exactly in a hurry to re visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 3-D went through something of a boom a few years ago but that seems to have lessened considerably – I’d still like to think there’s room for restorations of some of these early examples though.

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  3. A good and interesting find, Gordon and Colin! Like John, this is one of only a few 50s westerns I have never seen either. I may have to seek this out……
    John Ireland was an interesting actor – came in at the top, so to speak (I’m thinking “Red River”) and went not exactly downhill, not immediately anyway, but certainly drifted quickly into low budget films. He was very effective in 1954’s “THE GOOD DIE YOUNG”, mentioned here with quite a bit of love recently.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Colin – all

        John Ireland, Raymond Burr and Yvonne De Carlo were all from the same area in Vancouver, British Columbia called New Westminster.

        Ireland’s fondness for other men’s wives probably had something to do with his “up and down” career.

        Gord

        Liked by 2 people

          • This level of speculation is way out. I not only knew John, but he worked for me. As he was not the lead, or anywhere near that in Red River, I see no difference between his work in that film, to his performance years later in 55 Days at Peking. he was once nominated for an Academy Award, All The King’s men, and neither he, nor Brod Crawford, who won, nor Mercedes McCambridge who also won, was able to sustain a career at that level. Other men’s wives are not in play. And by the way, John was not catnip to the ladies, just a big, ugly self centered nit picker. It all comes under the heading of show business.

            Liked by 2 people

            • That’s fair enough. I wouldn’t have thought of him as a lead either but the “shape” of his career, for want of a better word, always seemed curious, at least at a casual glance. There wasn’t that gradual or measured decline that seems more common, but instead a seemingly regular series of peaks and troughs.

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              • A bit more about John’s later career.
                He had an excellent part in Farewell, My Lovely. At that time he was asking $25,000 but shaved his price down to$10,000 with the proviso that his name would be no worse than third and appear in all advertising. The producers made that deal, and kept their word but they also elevated Sylvia Miles, making John not one of three, but one of four. A big difference, especially as Sylvia was not a true film star, and in its way, a double cross.

                Liked by 2 people

  4. My morning re-run of westerns long overdue a re-watch had to take a break this morning as I went to play golf (all responsibly social-distanced of course but boy! was it nice to get out there).
    Last night my wife and I watched “TRUE GRIT”, and I do mean the Wayne original, which was well overdue for a re-watch. Tomorrow morning it’s to be “FACE OF A FUGITIVE”(1959) which could well be my favourite Fred MacMurray western. I like most of his westerns actually but this one is right up there.

    Also watched today “TIMETABLE”(1956), starring and directed/produced by Mark Stevens and it bore his regular hallmarks – tough, gritty, well-told.

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    • Hi Jerry – the Wayne TRUE GRIT is one of those few perfect Westerns for me. It has it all: terrific characterisations, great use if landscape, action and heart. The Coen Brothers’ remake was also a very, very good movie but not quite up to the original in my eyes. The main reason for my preference is the more romantic ending of the Henry Hathaway version. The remake’s ending, beautifully rendered and true to the novel, is just too heartbreaking and sad for me.

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      • Hi Steve – Must confess I haven’t seen the remake, largely because I fear any remake would take away from the original (but I take your recommendation on board).
        I also enjoyed seeing stalwart western character actors John Pickard, Myron Healey and Stuart Randall all make worthwhile appearances in it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pleased to read someone else liked the Coen Brothers remake. I avoided it for a long time, finally caught up with it last year, and liked it a lot. Not as a good as the original, well, it does have John Wayne. I have also read the book years ago, so the sad ending was OK by me, but still very moving.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I was fine with the remake too when I saw it in the cinema, Mike. OK, I preferred Hathaway’s movie for all the obvious reasons but the remake was doing its own thing by looking more to the source novel and I think it achieved what it set out to do.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Guys
            I have not read the novel myself, Seen the films needless to say. Of course I’ve seen the Duke one far more often, but the two times I caught the Coen version I had no problem with it at all.

            Gord

            Liked by 1 person

  5. New to me and since I have an unread autobiography of Carey I thumbed thru it to see if he had anything to say. States it was a participation deal with his neighbor Ireland but film never paid off. He refers to it as Outlaw Territory and claims the 3D was a failure. “House of Wax it isn’t ” he says.
    Either way I’m intrigued so thanks for the heads up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m generally not a fan of 3-D myself and look on it largely as a gimmick. Laying my own prejudice on that score to one side, I doubt it would have added much to the film anyway as it plays just fine in the flat version and those shots calculated to highlight the 3-D are as much a distraction as anything.

      On the title, if you google it, you can see posters which marketed the movie under the Outlaw Territory banner.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Colin
        I wear a big honking pair of glasses that I can never fit the 3-D glasses over. S I do not even try to watch anything in 3D.

        Gord

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    • John, Jerry, Mike
      I thought this one would be rather unknown to most when I decided to write it up. I gave Colin an early warning on it so he could see it first up. It is his site after all.

      Gord

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Colin-I don’t know if the 3D “revival” is over yet,after all Kino have just released TAZA, SON OF COCHISE and WINGS OF THE HAWK is being prepped with the added attraction of a 3D Woody Woodpecker cartoon for those fortunate enough to have the kit to view these releases in 3D.
    Myself I’m just happy to have restored 2D versions of these films I’ve always felt 3D is best viewed in a cinema with an audience as opposed to in ones own living room. I’ve been lucky to have seen most of the 3D Westerns mainly at 3D revivals at London’s National Film Theatre even rarities like THE NEBRASKAN and JESSE JAMES VS THE DALTONS but no HANNAH LEE sadly which I always hoped would turn up. As a little kid, I remember my parents taking me to see HONDO and ARENA and had I been considerably older I would have seen the lot or at least everything I could track down.

    Regarding John Ireland he’s certainly an actor ideal for both Noir and Westerns and as previously mentioned certainly his colourful personal life may have contributed to he career decline. We won’t digress into Ireland and Clift comparing the size of their “pistols” in RED RIVER but certainly John’s affair with Tuesday Weld hit the gossip columns John was 45 and Tuesday 16 just imagine that happening today! John also had a long friendship with Laurence Harvey and he delivered the eulogy at Harvey’s funeral..Harvey’s widow was most displeased when Ireland tried to claim a huge chunk of Harvey’s vintage wine collection at the time. John was also close friends with Robert Mitchum. The point is John kept working from occasional roles in blockbusters (SPARTACUS,FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE) to the usual route for many veteran Hollywood stars A.C.Lyles and Spaghetti Westerns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What I will say about the 3-D revival is that I’m very glad it led to (and may indeed continue to do so) the restoration of a good many neglected movies. Frankly, as long as it’s giving pleasure to those who dig it and at the same time offering that added bonus to others like myself who are more ambivalent, then I have to see it as a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Films for the weekend are?
    My trio are SAPPHIRE 1959 UK followed by THE CRIMSON KIMONO 1959 USA .and finishing with THE NIGHT HOLDS TERROR 1955.USA. I’ll also try and make a dent in my backlog of television episodes recorded during the last few weeks.

    Have a great weekend all.
    Gord

    Liked by 1 person

      • Some nice choices there, Gord. Would I be correct in thinking that the second two films are from those great Noir Archive BluRay sets of Columbia films?

        Not completely certain yet what will be on my movie menu this weekend but tomorrow starts with “CHEROKEE STRIP” (1940), the Harry Sherman film starring Richard Dix.
        I have a couple of Edmond O’Brien films that may feature, or perhaps “THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET” (1949), a Warner film starring Wayne Morris that I have never seen and recently acquired.

        Have a good weekend, all you regulars out there in Colinland!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Please do get back on that Wayne Morris movie, Jerry – it sound like it might be fun.

          And you have a wonderful weekend too – I like that sign off line. Very nice!

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        • Jerry

          Without sounding like a heathen luddite, I must admit I do not own a blue-ray. I have so many dvds to get through that I have not bothered stepping up to a Blu-ray. Speaking of Ricard Dix, I have a film of his coming up on TCM that I have never seen, MEN AGAINST THE SKY with Kent Taylor and Wendy Barrie from 1942. I Must also join Colin in wanting to hear about the Wayne Morris film.

          Gord

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  8. Gord, like you I have not upgraded from dvds. As always, news and views are getting interesting day by day. Have just watched 40 Guns To Apache Pass and Kansas Raiders from the ever popular Audie Murphy. The former is better and more exciting and fast moving. Will be viewing that Paul Newman thriller ala James Bond in The Prize from an underrated director Mark Robson. This could be my 3rd or 4th viewing after seeing it on the big screen ages ago. Stay safe and healthy. Best regards.

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  9. Opps
    Chrisk
    Forgot to comment on your Murphy films, 40 Guns To Apache Pass and Kansas Raiders, Of the two, I also prefer the former of the pair.

    Gord

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    • Folks

      I got my first film for the weekend out of the way. SAPPHIRE 1959 is a nicely paced Police procedural with the always spot on Nigel Patrick leading the cast. Sure is nice to catch up with these titles off the ever growing re-watch list. Of course having the time for it helps. Tonight will be Sam Fuller’s THE CRIMSON KIMONO, also from 1959..

      Gordon

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      • Gord, pleased you like Nigel Patrick too. I was lucky enough to see him on stage in London’s West End in 1977.
        Can I safely assume you have seen him alongside Jack Hawkins in “THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN” (1960)? They were great together in a really fun movie. “SAPPHIRE” is a much more serious role for him. Good police procedural, as you say.
        I watched “CHEROKEE STRIP” this morning. Very entertaining western – produced by Harry Sherman while he was in the midst of the Cassidy series and directed by Lesley Selander.

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  10. “Jerry
    THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN” (1960) I have caught this one several times. Like it a lot. Have not seen CHEROKEE STRIP but will add it to the must see list off your recommend.. “SAPPHIRE” is a good film all the way around. Good cast, good story and smooth direction make it a keeper.

    Gord

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  11. Well, speaking as we have of John Ireland I have noted that our favourite ‘oldies’ channel here in the UK, Talking Pictures TV is showing a Paramount pic I have never seen before, “HURRICANE SMITH”. In addition to Ireland, Yvonne de Carlo, James Craig, Forrest Tucker, Richard Arlen. Interesting cast. Shows a week today.
    I have now watched “THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET” which I promised Colin and Gordon I would comment about. First, it is an OK gangster yarn with comedy touches – sort of typical WB wisecracking journalists getting the dope on a big gangster case. Wayne Morris is fine, Janis Paige most appealing and chief bad guy is Bruce Bennett. Nothing special but entertaining enough.
    I only recently acquired a copy (for about £3.00). I believe it is public domain but By Jiminy if it is then it’s a cracking transfer quality. That was a VERY pleasant surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Whoops-I’m having WordPress error problems I just attempted to
    do a lengthy post so this time I’m going to break things down
    this often happens to me on WordPress sites.
    HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET was released on a double bill
    with HOMICIDE of the two I much prefer the latter.
    As far as Warners B Thrillers go they don’t get much better than
    THE THREAT (Also out on Warner Archive) Charles McGraw is a
    vengeful escaped con out for revenge,need I say more.
    HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET was Wayne Morris’ last leading role
    in a Warner Bros picture.

    Liked by 1 person

      • THE THREAT is everything you want a B Movie to
        be,and then some. Leading man MIchael ‘O Shea had a
        long and happy marriage to Virginia Mayo and when he
        retired from show business became a CIA agent…sort of
        life imitating art.
        BTW Jerry, HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET is NOT p.d.
        it’s still owned by Warner Bros I should imagine your copy
        is a clone of the Warner Archive copy.
        The thing is if you want Warner Archive to release other
        Morris flicks (TWO GUNS & A BADGE,STAR OF TEXAS)
        they need fans to support them…just saying 🙂
        Anyway thanks for the Warner B Crime Thriller nod…
        it’s certainly time I gave THE THREAT another look.

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    • House Across the Street started life as Hi Nellie in the mid -thirties with Paul Muni in the lead. Next, it was in them transferred to a middle American radio station with Ronald Reagan and June Travis, but if you stay with it, a glimpse or two of Bill Hopper, and that was followed by You Can’t Escape Forever with George Brent, Rosco Karns and Brenda Marshall. I am a sucker for all three, and you need to be a sucker to get through this thing. And have fun, which I sort of did. I saw the Wayne Morris film when I was ten, and it was too unsophisticated for me then but my heart went out to Morris, a great actor.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Regarding Talking Pictures TV I just watched LUCY GALLANT. As it goes soap operas/melodramas just aren’t my thing but I’ve never seen LUCY GALLANT so I thought I’d give it a go. Jane Wyman and Charlton Heston lack spark as a romantic duo but the film is bolstered by Lionel Lindon’s photography and Henry Bumstead’s production design which gives the film a certain gloss. The TPTV transmission was OK but 4×3 where a VIsta Vision picture should be 16×9 The color was a tad faded for a VIsta Vision pic but far superior to what’s available on line.
    LUCY GALLANT was Pine Thomas’ only foray into soap opera,certainly as far as their A pictures go and was their final film for Paramount. Jody McCrea appears in a “blink and you miss him” scene as Gloria Talbott’s beau. As far as these melodramas go I much preferred ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE also recently shown on TPTV. LUCY GALLANT I found way outstayed her welcome.
    Regarding all things Paramount the first wave of vintage Paramount titles is available from Imprint,Australia at the end of this month. Imprint also say that they will announce five more new titles next week, I presume mostly from the Paramount vaults…..stay tuned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John, for clarification re the source of my copy of “HOUSE……”. To be honest, I did a quick search on Ebay, found this very inexpensive disc and went for it. I very much take your point about supporting Warner Archive and others. I was not so keen to get this film though that I would have paid top dollar for it.
      I was surprised by how much I enjoyed “ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE” btw. Some great shots of Polperro.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just to say I agree with you about LUCY GALLANT. Robert Parrish ranks very high for me among American directors (among the top 30 and that’s high). I know I weighed in on this pretty recently here, so won’t go over it all again–it’s for a few films especially but I like most of his work, and even in an unsettled career with no real home with a studio or a producer backing him, he inflects a personal sensibility and feels like a purposeful artist.

      That said, I’ve seen all his films and thought LUCY GALLANT was the least of all of them Yes, it’s handsome looking as you say (I too had to allow for 4X3 presentation of this VistaVision movie) but almost inexplicably dull–Parrish himself seemed never to be engaged by it and a director needs to be. I just could not feel his presence there nor be interested for other reasons and I do like both stars in many other movies.

      Not saying not to see it and I’m glad I did and like being complete on Parrish. Everyone has something that is least, and for me, this was it with him and not one I’d be inclined to try another time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I much prefer FIRE DOWN BELOW which a lot of
        folks don’t seem to like but with that picture
        Parrish raises way above fairly middling material.
        Mitchum,of course is always a plus factor-wonder what
        LUCY GALLANT would have been like with him in the lead,
        perhaps it’s me but I felt Heston miscast.

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  14. All
    Weekend films
    Yesterday was SAPPHIRE 1959 with Nigel Patrick. Tonight I took in my second pick, THE CRIMSON KIMONO, This one is a murder tale from writer, producer and director Sam Fuller. The cast includes Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigetta and Anna Lee. A nicely twisted story with police detectives Corbett and Shigetta trying to solve the murder of a stripper. I had not seen this in a good 15 years and quite enjoyed the re-visit.

    Gordon

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  15. Jerry and Colin and anyone else interested in Warner Bros B’s……….
    Jerry to bad you never came across the Warner Archive B double bill
    which had HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET supported by HOMICIDE.
    As mentioned before HOMICIDE is the far superior of the two films
    despite the fact it’s from a totally unknown director Felix Jacoves.
    HOMICIDE has a rare female lead for Helen Wescott who’s career
    never really panned out the way it should have.
    Colin,if you can pick up a copy cheaply enough go for it..recommended.
    My next pick is more “Jerry Territory” as I don’t believe Colin is too
    interested in “Social Dramas” but perhaps I’ve got that wrong as well.
    Furthermore I don’t know if 30’s films are in Colin’s comfort zone but then again
    I could be wrong on both counts.,
    Anyway the Warner Archive double bill of DRAGERMAN COURAGE
    coupled with ROAD GANG are well recommended.
    Economy is the key here both films clock in at just about an hour and
    both were made by the very underrated Louis King.
    Furthermore both films were made when Bryan Foy was running Warners
    B unit before moving up to A features hitting the big time with mega smash
    HOUSE OF WAX.
    DRAGERMAN COURAGE is a mine disaster flick based on actual events-
    the twist here is the actual mine owner is among those trapped.
    Even better is ROAD GANG from Dalton Trumbo yet another innocent
    person sentenced to a brutal Southern chain gang.
    King certainly knew how to keep his B Movies moving which
    ROAD GANG certainly does.
    King attempted the same sort of material/genre over at Paramount
    a year later with PRISON FARM which again is a knockout and even
    surpasses ROAD GANG.
    Sadly PRISON FARM is not available on DVD.
    Well recommended if you can pick up at a reasonable price.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Just thought I’d mention it but our friend Laura some time
    back gave HOMICIDE a very favourable review-too bad for the time
    being at least Warner Archive seem to have abandoned their
    B double features.

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  17. All
    Coming up on my various cable channels are the following, THE ANGRY HILLS 1959, THE STORY OF DAVID 1960 A Jeff Chandler film I have never heard of. THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD 2010 A great South Korean adventure film set in the 30’s. THE BIG KNIFE 1955, THE SCALPHUNTERS 1968, CORNERED1946, THE FLAME AND THE ARROW 1950, ROPE OF SAND 1949, THE UNFORGIVEN 1960, SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE 1960 Never heard of this one but it stars Mamie Van Doren and Tuesday Weld.
    Gord

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  18. Dug out my copy of THE THREAT which I have not watched
    in a couple of years or more..it held up very well indeed.
    a 65 minute gem with nary an ounce of padding-this thing really
    MOVES.
    The Warner Archive DVD is a bare bones release,not even a
    trailer but the print is fine apart from the odd spot of damage
    here and there.
    Recommended for fans of fast moving B flicks.
    To cram in a support I also watched
    SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL which clocks in at 72 minutes.
    “Showdown” is one of the very few RegalScope pictures to get released
    in it’s correct ratio 2.35 these pictures look dreadful as 4×3- don’t bother!
    Charles Bronson plays a quick on the drawer bounty hunter who is
    somewhat sensitive about his height. His character,I guess is supposed to be
    shorter than Bronson’s actual height 5′ 9.
    There’s a neat running gag where Bronson is dwarfed by mannequins in
    stores and co star John Carradine who literally towers over him.
    Audie Murphy or Alan Ladd never encountered such problems.
    SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL has excellent direction from Gene Fowler Jr
    who uses the widescreen framing to impressive effect.
    I would go as far to say that SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL is the best of
    the RegalScope Westerns.
    The one RegalScope I’ve never seen and really want to is Paul Landres’
    THE LONE TEXAN I’d love someone to release that in it’s correct ratio-
    a most interesting cast.I might add.
    Gordon,A STORY OF DAVID was originally made for TV but released to
    cinemas instead.

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    • John
      THE THREAT is a neat little gem of a film with fine work from the entire cast and crew. Thanks for the info on the Chandler film, A STORY OF DAVID.

      Gord

      Like

  19. Well lo and behold! THE LONE TEXAN is actually available
    to view on-line and in widescreen ‘though the quality is none too hot.
    Furthermore SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL is also there in widescreen
    in far superior quality.
    If you can’t beat ’em……………….

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  20. I too have long wanted to see THE LONE TEXAN. But I looked at that copy online (if it is the YouTube one) and though, yes, it’s in wide screen, if you put it to full screen size it’s just too blurry to be watchable–at least for me.

    On the other hand, if you leave it small it looks better but I can’t handle the distraction of everything else that stays on the screen.

    This is for me what I usually encounter there with movies and so have not watched them (with one exception that I guess I feel OK about but it didn’t look too good either–that was MYSTERY SUBMARINE; 1950, to be complete on Douglas Sirk for that decade).

    So will hope for a DVD of THE LONE TEXAN sometime. From the credits, it looked like something I would like with soulful music score by the eternally underrated Paul Dunlap. And I like Paul Landres pretty well from the ones that I’ve seen.

    I kind of agree with John Knight about SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL as best of the Regal Westerns, at least as I’m remembering it. Gene Fowler, Jr. was very talented for low-budget genre films like this–around this time, he also made the excellent I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE.

    But I might hesitate over that choice because THE QUIET GUN is a very effective film too (1957; William Claxton) and I saw a proper widescreen version of this again more recently and looks very good now.

    I am happy to have seen both of these theatrically on first release, more or less holding their own with the A features that topped those double bills. With THE QUIET GUN, it was HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON (John Huston), one of his better movies with that Deborah Kerr/Robert Mitchum chemistry in a two character drama. SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL supported a movie that I feel even more now is truly superb–HARRY BLACK AND THE TIGER, one of the most beautiful and moving works of Hugo Fregonese.

    I didn’t see all of those Regal Pictures but my impression from those I did is a good one. I love black and white ‘Scope–they appreciated what this was and none of those films should be seen flat. A non-Western that still jumps out in my mind is the minimalist crime drama PLUNDER ROAD (Hubert Cornfield), another 1957 movie. Speaking of Wayne Morris…

    Liked by 2 people

    • And maybe we should speak of Wayne Morris, Blake!…… A decorated war hero who had left a pretty promising career at Warners. After the war his time at Warners was pretty fair really but didn’t last.
      The 1950s brought two quite lengthy strands for his career that overlapped a little. He made a number of quite enjoyable films for Monogram/Allied Artists (1951-4) and enjoyed a lengthy run in Britain with 4 or 5 films plus the TV series “Adventures Of The Big Man”. These were all low-budget but he was a likeable and capable actor with that distinct voice. An actor I always enjoy seeing.

      Btw, my wife and I watched “LUCY GALLANT” last evening. I was interested to see it after the discussion about it here. The whole ‘will they, won’t they’ of the couple’s relationship hinged around the premise that a woman could either marry OR run a business, but not both – which seems rather absurd now but I suppose it was a very real issue 50 years ago. Having said that, we did enjoy the film.

      Like

          • That’s a film I haven’t seen in years. Must see what’s available to get. I think Stewart Granger was under-rated (mostly by himself!).

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              • Thanks for your endorsement too, Mike. How are you and your wife faring generally and specifically during this strange time? One plus is I am watching western movies regularly. Can’t be bad!

                I miss seeing the old crew up at Birmingham. Do you ever hear from Roy or any others?

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              • Now I’m really glad I happened to mention HARRY BLACK here. I didn’t know it was available in a good DVD, so thanks to all above for confirming it is that good. I’ve now ordered it too–seeing it’s not prohibitively expensive. This is a movie I will be really glad to have.

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                • Blake, your own comments about “HARRY BLACK” were a large contributing factor in my ordering it. And I remember you like Stewart Granger too.

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  21. Today I watched “CRISS CROSS” (1949), perhaps THE perfect example of Film Noir. It has all the ingredients with a great cast, directed by the great Robert Siodmak. I don’t think I have ever seen Yvonne de Carlo better in anything than she was in this.

    Coming up shortly on our TPTV channel is “I WALK ALONE”, another early Burt Lancaster film that I have not seen in a very long time. Not of the same quality as “CRISS CROSS” but it is Burt and Kirk together and I am looking forward to it. Plus, Lizabeth Scott of course…….

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Really enjoy the exchanges. I was disappointed with THE CRIMSON KiMONA. With Fuller in charge I think I was expecting to0 much and got too little. HOWEVER it prompted me to get out a DVR recording of Fuller’s THE STEEL HELMET which reenforced my liking for Fuller productions. It’s a terrific Korean War saga with all the action, characterizations, and production values intact for a winner. Gene Evans is outstanding as the lead, and shows why he should have gone on to a big career. I suspect that Sam Fuller saw and got more from Evans than other directors thought possible. Also look ahead to the Blu-ray coming next month from Kino-Lorber of Burt Lancaster’s KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS. With CRISS CROSS and I WALK ALONE already being discussed this one will add another worthy subject to Lancaster’s astonishing resume. Robert Newton is down right mean in “KISS”. Thanks for the space.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry to gatecrash this party but I have to add my support for Gene Evans and Steel Helmet. Absolutely a must watch. He never got his due, for no particular reason I can see. With Evans, you should watch Fixed Bayonets and Park Row. Wrote about it ages ago. Evans should be better known.

      Liked by 2 people

        • Colin
          As a kid I recall watching Evans as a guest star on what seemed like every second western series. .Good supporting player.

          Gord

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        • Also as brilliant nuclear scientist now a mental patient in SHOCK CORRIDOR.
          I believe most Fuller aficionados especially value Gene Evans of actors in that director’s world–and likely the director did too. They did well by each other. His third directorial effort, THE STEEL HELMET kind of jolted Fuller’s career being the low-budget success that it was, and Fuller considered PARK ROW his favorite of all his films.

          Though Evans is not in it, I consider THE CRIMSON KIMONO one of the director’s best films so don’t agree with the negative assessment expressed. The interweaving of the personal triangular love story and interracial romance (boldly resolved for that time) with the murder case the two detectives are working is wonderful, likewise the ambiance of Los Angeles at the time, tight scripting and imaginative direction, Anna Lee as a heavy drinking artist, so many great things about that movie. It’s a quieter film than some of Fuller’s others maybe but not less for that–he was able to change keys and tones more than a lot of people seem to allow. This might be one for you write on someday, Colin.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I shall keep that in mind, Blake. The Crimson Kimono is one of those titles I, unfortunately, can’t access till later this summer. By the way, as the movie has been mentioned, I did a short piece on The Steel Helmet here a long time ago.

            There will be a piece on Rogue Cop online in the coming days, and I’ve also finished a write-up of Foxfire for posting early in June.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It seems that unfortunately Evans was often reduced to supporting status. I’m always glad when he has a starring role. I really like Park Row, a very unusual film for Fuller. Sort of a one-off.

            Liked by 1 person

                • Margot, while I was making that brief comment, Colin was linking your piece but didn’t see that until afterward. If I had I would have read your piece then and not been redundant in my own further remarks.

                  That’s a very comprehensive and affectionate look at the film, the history of its production, the special character it has, and Fuller’s own affection for it.

                  In the piece you said something about Fuller’s supremacy with low-budget movies (wish I’d copied that exact line but anyone who reads the piece will see it). That was well said, and I strongly agree. He was the most provocative and individual of filmmakers on that level, stylistically brilliant and a resourceful producer as well as a director and writer passionately engaged with his work.

                  So, I enjoyed reading that and appreciated all that you said there.

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                  • Thank you Blake. I’m a big Fuller fan and I really find Park Row very endearing. That line about Fuller’s low-budget greatness was not entirely my own, I admit. As far as I remember I read something similar somewhere and sort of used it. 🙂

                    I was just looking at his filmography and he really didn’t direct that many features. Wish he had done a few more.

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            • PARK ROW is an unusual film for anyone, isn’t it (even Fuller, whose career is defined by going his own way)?

              Yes, it’s a brilliant film One I wish were better known. And it was a real labor of love for Fuller, who had so much feeling for his own newspaper days.

              Liked by 1 person

      • Margot
        Steel Helmet and Fixed Bayonets are two of my fav war films. Park Row is one I have on my must watch list. I guess I should get around to getting to it.
        Gord

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Folks
    I am having an Eastwood itch that needs to be scratched. So far tonight I took in TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA. Next will be THE EIGER SANCTION, then I will finish off with THE MULE.

    Gord

    Liked by 2 people

    • TWO MULES is one of my least favourite Eastwoods
      despite being a rabid Siegel Fan.
      EIGER is a fun movie wonderful location work and solid
      support from Jack Cassidy and Gregory Walcott.
      THE MULE I loved and would make a great swansong
      for Clint the actor-for me it’s his finest movie since UNFORGIVEN.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. In my catch-up of westerns and other film genres, today I watched “THE MAVERICK QUEEN”. Some breathtaking Colorado locations. It is just a pity that my copy (very good p.q.) is only pan & scan which really does take away hugely from what should have looked amazing in Naturama.
    I checked to see if there are better versions available and found a Spanish release, advertised as widescreen 1.78:1 and a German release, advertised as 2.35:1 which is what it should be. I have ordered the German release and will report back. I don’t hold out much hope though that it will be be in the correct aspect ratio.
    The film itself, while being no classic, is entertaining bread-and-butter western fare from Republic who knew how to mount a western OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought The Maverick Queen just terrible, let down surprisingly by Joe Kane and not so surprisingly by Barbara Stanwyck; too old, too unattractive and too strident. Barry Sulllivan, as fine as he was, could not singlehandedly turn this thing around. Zane Grey’s novel, while no masterpiece, was readable and for its time, sexy as hell.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. There’s a clip on youtube from the forthcoming remastered Blu Ray of THE GOOD DIE YOUNG featuring “homeboy” John Ireland…cannot wait for this to hit the streets.
    Barry, what’s the lowdown on SORRY WRONG NUMBER I note a Blu Ray is due soon but I also understand Talking Pictures TV has this one soon. Never seen the film-the trailer looks great.
    CRISS CROSS on Blu Ray soon from a 4K restoration also a must have from Eureka-have not seen that one in ages. Cannot eat out any more and can no longer drink due to medication “issues” what else can I spend my money on?
    It would seem the announced Blu of THEY WON’T BELIEVE ME has now been withdrawn, for now at least.

    Like

    • If I am the Barry you addressed, I don’t know much about Sorry, Wrong Number other than it was a radio play performed multiple times by Agnes Moorehead. I saw the film just once, seventy plus years ago and I was rooting for Burt, therefore, not a happy ending for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As it happens you are the only Barry I know online or in real life. I’m sort of with you regarding Stanwyck as far as Westerns go but Noir is a different matter altogether. I more or less agree with your comments on THE MAVERICK QUEEN but then again would not turn down a remastered Blu Ray in the correct ratio.

        Liked by 1 person

        • About Stanwyck and me: Her work in the thirties is fine and appealing, especially Union Pacific, probably the only De Mille film I feel warm about. Add Meet John Doe to the plus side, and several other films from the early forties, but somewhere along the way, she became a high society figure; East Side, West Side, B.F.’s Daughter, To Please A Lady and on into the fifties. After that, Walk On The Wild Side, for her and Donald ‘Red’ Barry, but not Harvey as a rodeo star, and then came television. Pass.

          Liked by 1 person

  26. Colin did a great piece on SORRY WRONG NUMBER way back in 2008,long before I was Riding The High Country.
    Cannot explain why but this film has always eluded me for some reason. At least I can rectify that now.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Just relish the exchanges of this enlightening site. The level of respect for the contributors is impressive.
    Regarding “Strangers” with Douglas and Novak. The opening song to the entry credits in my current favorite Amazon Prime series, BOSCH, says it all… GOTTA GET IT, GOTTA GET IT!
    Watched the Novak interview of a TCM Festival

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The Two Gene’s…..

    Firstly,I was amused by Margot’s “Gatecrashing” comment earlier are you kidding- that’s what RTHC is all about,I don’t know what the hard and fast rules are on your superb blog but I seem to be getting away with it up to now at least. 🙂
    Nice to see some love here for the two Genes firstly Gene Fowler Jr. Although Mr Fowler spent most of his career as an editor his foray into directing produced interesting credits including “Cult Classics” I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF and the aforementioned I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE. I’ve not seen a couple of j.d dramas Fowler directed but would really like to especially the RegalScope effort GANG WAR again with Charles Bronson. The other picture THE REBEL SET is not as highly regarded,but does sound intriguing.
    The films we have mentioned including the very impressive SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL show Fowler could do much with very little. Fowler’s last feature THE OREGON TRAIL was hardly his best and was obviously a disaster from the outset. Lippert convinced Fox that he could make a large scale outdoor picture without ever leaving the Fox back lot and Fowler,”like and idiot” as he says, agreed to direct. Huge edits were made to the script just prior to shooting so much so a revised draft of the script was sent at the 11th hour to Fred MacMurray. Lippert’s right hand man Maury Dexter phoned Fred to apologise to which the
    amiable star replied “For what you people are paying me I’d gladly ride down Hollywood Boulevard in the nude on a bicycle” Fowler was also able to use a crane for one day $250 for the crane $250 for the operator for this he had to forgo 25 extras that’;s the way things were in those days Fowler explained. The crane shot used in a street brawl I believe is one of the best moments in an indifferent movie. THE OREGON TRAIL is actually not as bad as it’s reputation,in many respects it’s quiet entertaining but the excessive use of studio set exteriors do undermine the production somewhat. If a patient viewer waits there is a slam bang Indian attack at the end of the picture,the lack of extras on the payroll does not detract too much. Gene Fowler Jr was obviously a pretty creative director and it’s a shame he was never given the opportunity to move up to more prestige projects. I guess at the time having directed the likes of future stars like Michael Landon,Tom Tyron and Charles Bronson the chance to direct Fred MacMurray must have been very appealing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting production info about THE OREGON TRAIL.

      The high opinion of Fowler, Jr. I expressed (which you do plainly share) has remained “pure” for me for the simple reason that I’ve only seen those two excellent movies I mentioned and have never seen THE OREGON TRAIL.

      So now I see there’s that widescreen copy you mention but I’m not going to jump for it because there are too many movies I want more that I don’t have. I’d like to see it sometime but less keen to collect it.

      It is interesting that before THE OREGON TRAIL, Fred MacMurray has such a fine group of half a dozen Westerns as he does going from AT GUNPOINT in 1955 to the earlier mentioned, superb FACE OF A FUGITIVE in 1949 before the Fowler film. Contrary to his own expressed view of it, at this stage of his career (mature, worn) he was ideal for the genre and especially the figure of the checkered protagonist on the hard road to redemption. But I know many of us have agreed on this before so many times here.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. The Two Genes part two…………
    Apart from Gene Fowler I was very heartened to see so much love for Gene Evans. As mentioned previously his promising start to his career did eventually
    wind down to supporting roles,often playing the same type of characters, burly Westerners usually, but at least he kept busy,very busy. At the time Evans made those Fuller classics there were also some interesting credits notably Victor Saville’s THE LONG WAIT.(1954) This striking and rampantly misogynistic Noir (after all it is a Spillane tale) has Evans on top form playing a woman hating hoodlum. The film divides opinion,for obvious reasons,and certainly the film’s
    treatment of the Peggie Castle character is very cruel and tough to watch. On the plus side, apart from a great Noir cast, is the striking photography from
    Franz Planer.THE LONG WAIT is one of several hard to track down United Artists released Noirs another being Hugo Fregonese’s abrasive BLACK TUESDAY. These lost gems keep turning up on the likes of Kino Lorber so here’s hoping.
    Gene Evans is one of those actors we are always glad to see,no matter how small the role. He did have a few more leads in low budget fare like REVOLT IN THE BIG HOUSE the title tells us all we need to know and Robert Blake and Timothy Carey are also in the cast if any further incentive were needed. Mr Evans also helped to save the World from BEHEMOTH THE SEA MONSTER along with Andre Morell in this cheap but endearing Brit Flick. Gene almost got his own TV Western series playing a character called Otis Stockett, the pilot was previewed at the close of Joel McCrea’s WICHITA TOWN show but the Evans’ pilot failed to sell.
    Had this Walter Mirisch TV Western series managed to sell Evans’ career might have taken a different turn,especially if the show had proved a hit.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Just a minor correction….I’ve just seen the trailer for GANG WAR on you tube and it seems it’s not a j.d movie but a gangster film at any rate it looks rather good. I understand a Fox MOD disc was released but I’ve always avoided them as they constantly released CinemaScope films as 4×3.
    THE OREGON TRAIL was released as a Spanish DVD several years back in a lovely CinemaScope transfer-don’t know if this picture is lurking in Colin’s “unwatched” stack-it’s certainly worthy of an RTHC write up despite the films faults. As film fans we all have our favourite methods of watching old movies be it DVD,Blu Ray,Streaming,On Line or whatever at the end of the day it’s our love for these old films that unites us all as proven by the many interesting side roads this thread has taken.

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  31. A minor addition to the Gene Evans filmography is that he starred in 39 episodes of “MY FRIEND FLICKA” (1955-56) on TV. I remember watching it as a kid. He was, as you would expect, very good in it.

    Liked by 1 person

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