The Western career of Steve McQueen

  Vin   Steve McQueen is often thought of as a Western actor and was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers in April 2007, yet he only made three Western movies – four if you count Junior Bonner.   His being thought of as a Western character may be because he became such a […]

The Lone Ranger Green Hornet, Dynamite comics

  The Lone Ranger rides again – in 1938   Francis Hamilton Striker (1903 – 1962), known to one and all as Fran, deserves glory, laud and honor as the principal creative force behind the Lone Ranger.     We LoneRangeristas, who have grown up alongside the masked man (The Lone Ranger on TV was […]

Battles of Chief Pontiac (Realart, 1952)

  A formulaic Mohicans-style ‘Western’     Eighteenth-century tales of conflict with Indians are in many ways not really Westerns at all, or not as we know it, Jim, but they are frontier stories. Just that in those days the frontier was in Detroit. Many of the movies of this kind were basically rip-offs of […]

Tom Mix and Pancho Villa, novel by Clifford Irving

  An entertaining yarn   Clifford Irving (1930 – 2017) became especially famous in the early 1970s when he was about to publish a life of Howard Hughes supposedly recounted to him by the reclusive billionaire but which turned out to somewhat less autobiographical than that. It earned Irving seventeen months in federal prison. In […]

Nevada Smith (Paramount, 1966)

  Mediocre   Nevada Smith was a Joseph Levine production for Embassy (director Henry Hathaway and star Steve McQueen also got producer credits) and was a project first thought of as a sequel (actually a prequel or spin-off) to the Edward Dmytryk-directed The Carpetbaggers, the quite successful 1964 movie made from Harold Robbins’s 1961 best-seller […]

The perfect Western – Part 2

  Casting pearls   Yesterday we put together our Hollywood project for a great Western – click here for that. It’s going to be written by Niven Busch from a novel by Luke Short, it’s to be directed by André De Toth and photographed by James Wong Howe. Harry Joe Brown is going to be […]

The perfect Western – Part 1

  Jeff’s ideal Western     When I was writing about smoothie bad guy Lyle Bettger the other day, I concluded by saying that I sometimes cast a Western movie in my imagination with my favorite star actors, leading ladies and, especially, villains.  In a comment, reader Gumpy remarked on doing that too. That prompted […]

The Westerns of Lyle Bettger

  Best as crooked saloon man in a frock coat   We were talking the other day about Western blond badman David Brian and how good he was, especially as dress heavy. But maybe the best of all fair-haired smoothies in oaters, for me anyway, was Lyle Bettger.     Blond men make good villains, […]

The White Squaw (Columbia, 1956)

  Not riveting     The White Squaw was another Western produced by Wallace MacDonald. MacDonald started as an actor and had first appeared in a Western in 1919, second-billed in Leave it to Susan. He was the Broncho Kid in the 1923 silent version of The Spoilers. He first directed a Western in 1923, […]

Outlaw’s Son (United Artists, 1957)

  Solid, but…     Producer partners Howard W Koch and Aubrey Schenck worked together on 35 feature films, starting with the Anthony Mann-directed noir T-Men in 1947, and a goodly number of these were Westerns. The first was War Paint in 1953 and later ones included others we have reviewed (see index) such asThe […]