Saturday, June 25, 2011

Along The Great Divide(1951).

Along the Great Divide(1951).Directed by Raoul Walsh. Cast: Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar, and Walter Brennan.

The story begins when, Federal marshal Len Merrick and his two deputies save cattle rustler and murder suspect Tim "Pop" Keith, from a lynch mob headed by rancher Ned Roden, whose son was killed. Roden, sends his other son, Dan James Anderson, to round up his men. After Roden leaves, Merrick finds a pocket watch.

Keith suggests that they spend the night at his home and Merrick begins to regret his offer when Keith's daughter Ann, starts shooting at them.  Merrick, is able to get her gun from her. When they leave, Ann decides to go with them. Thinking he won't be followed Merrick, decides to take an the long hot desert route. Unfortunately, he is overtaken by Roden and his men. In the gunfight, Merrick's best friend and deputy, Billy Shear, is wounded and dies.

Merrick and Ann start falling in love. The marshal tells her why he takes his job so seriously, is because the one time he didn't, it cost his father his life. He was a deputy to his marshal father, and refused to help escort two prisoners. All three were lynched. Ann, warns him that her first loyalty is to her father.

Dan convinces the deputy, Lou Gray, to help him escape by promising him a ranch. When the group reaches a waterhole, they find the water undrinkable. Everyone, except Merrick want to head south. Knowing the river is on the Mexican border, Merrick insists on continuing on to Santa Loma. Gray draws his gun, but Merrick shoots it out of his hand.

Later exhausted,  Merrick falls from his horse. Keith grabs his gun, but can not bring himself to shoot. When Gray goes for his rifle, Keith kills him, then hands the gun back to Merrick.

At the trial in Santa Loma, Merrick tells the jury that Keith is not a killer, but all the evidence is against him, and  he is found guilty.  Will Merrick save Keith from being hanged?

This Western , has everything you need : Gunfights, fistfights and the scenery is beautiful. Most of the film was shot in the Alabama Hills, just west of Lone Pine, California. Over 300 movies have been filmed at the base of Mt. Whitney. 

Ray Teal (January 12, 1902 – April 2, 1976), performed in more than 250 movies and some 90 television shows in his 37-year career. His longest running role was as Sheriff Roy Coffee in the western, Bonanza (1960–1972). He also played a sheriff in the film, Ace in the Hole.

Teal had a recurring role as a police officer in the 1953-1955 Where's Raymond?, renamed The Ray Bolger Show. Ray Bolger played Raymond Wallace.

In 1955, Teal played a ruthless cattle baron in the episode "Julesburg" Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker, the first hour-long western series.

Teal, a saxophone player, worked his way through UCLA as a bandleader before becoming an actor. He was a bit part player in western movies for several years before landing a role in, Northwest Passage (1940). Another of his roles was as Little John in, The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946). In his most memorable movie role he played one of the judges in, Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) with Spencer Tracy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roy Rogers: "King of the Cowboys".

Roy Rogers, (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998), was a singing cowboy actor. He and his wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino, Trigger, and his German Shepherd dog, Bullet, were featured in more than 100 movies and The Roy Rogers Show. His shows usually featured a sidekick: Pat Brady, (who drove a Jeep called "Nellybelle"), Andy Devine, or George "Gabby" Hayes.

Roy Rogers, moved to California to become a singer and formed the Sons of the Pioneers, in 1934. The group's most popular songs include: "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds".

Rogers, played a supporting role in the John Wayne film, Dark Command (1940).

Most of his films were in Trucolor during an time when B-movies were filmed in black-and-white. Some of his movies his horse Trigger, would go off on his own for a while, with the camera following him.

There were Roy Rogers action figures, cowboy adventure novels, as well as a comic strip, Roy Rogers Comics, written by Gaylord Du Bois. Roy Rogers was second only to Walt Disney in the amount of items featuring his name.

Rogers and Evans were also well known as advocates for adoption and as founders and operators of children's charities. They adopted several children In Apple Valley, California, where they made their home, numerous streets and highways as well as civic buildings have been named after them in recognition of their work.

Rogers and Evans's famous theme song, "Happy Trails", was written by Evans; they sang it as a duet to sign off their television show. In the fall of 1962, the couple co-hosted a comedy-western-variety program, The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show. He also made numerous cameo or guest appearances on other popular television shows, starring as himself or other cowboy-type characters, such as in an episode of Wonder Woman called "The Bushwackers". Rogers also owned a Hollywood production company which handled his series.

Rogers owned a Thoroughbred racehorse named Triggairo, who won 13 career races including the 1975 El Encino Stakes at Santa Anita Park.