HAPPY VETERANS DAY -- HONORING WESTERN VETS
Back on the 4thof July, 2010, I wrote an article to give a special nod of gratitude to the Westerners, both in front of and behind the camera, who did their part to keep us free. I’m doing an update for Veterans Day, but I know that there are many names left out, and I would be grateful if readers will contribute names for inclusion.
Tom Mix was an artillery sergeant in the Philippine campaign from 1898-1901. Ken Maynard fought with Gen. Pershing against Pancho Villa, and served in the First World War. Hoot Gibson was an Army Sergeant in the Tank Corps during World War One. With the outbreak of World War One, Tim McCoy organized a regiment of cavalry, and was commissioned Captain of Cavalry, later transferred to the Horse Artillery, was a Colonel by age thirty, and was appointed Adjutant General of Wyoming. He also served in the Second World War, and again achieved the rank of Colonel. Buck Jonesenlisted in the Army in his teens, served first on the
The two most highly decorated American soldiers of the Second World War both went on to acting careers: Audie Murphy and Charles Durning. Not far behind in honors was Neville Brand, who won the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and three Battle Stars among many other decorations. One of the Hollywood cowboys who did not return from the war was Lee Powell, U.S.M.C., the screen’s first Lone Ranger, who was killed in action on Tinian,
Among the many western actors who served in the Navy during World War II were Richard Boone, Ernest Borgnine, Charlton Heston, Earl Holliman, Kirk Douglas, Strother Martin, Robert Montgomery, Jack Lemmon, Wayne Morris, Rock Hudson, Paul Newman, Strother Martin, Jeffrey Hunter, Robert Stack, Richard Jaekal, Lee Van Cleef, GUNSMOKE’s Dennis Weaver, and GUNSMOKE on radio’s Matt and Doc, William Conrad and Howard McNear. Harry Carey Jr. was a Navy Medical Corpsman in the Pacific. Henry Fonda won the Navy Bronze Star for Valor, Jason Robards Jr. was a radioman on duty in Pearl Harbor when
Those who served in the Army included John Agar, Charles Bronson, George Kennedy, Eli Wallach, Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, and Gene Evans. Forrest Tucker was in the Cavalry, Dale Robertson was in a tank battalion in North Africa, Burt Lancaster was in the Army Special Services, and James Arness was wounded at
Those in the Army Air Corps included Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Jack Palance, Ronald Reagan, Lee J. Cobb, Joseph Cotten, Van Heflin, Tim Holt, Arthur Kennedy, Alan Ladd, Ray Milland, Cameron Mitchell, George Montgomery, Clayton Moore, Robert Preston, George Reeves, Ken Curtis and Robert Taylor. Parley Baer, radio’s
Among those who served in the Coast Guard were Alan Hale Jr., Buddy Ebsen, Cesar Romero, Jim Davis and Victor Mature.
And in the Marine Corps were Brian Keith, Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen, Tyrone Power, John Russell, Robert Ryan, Sterling Hayden and Jock Mahoney.
Clint Walker served in the Merchant Marine.
And because actors don’t make movies by themselves, Director John Ford commanded the photography group of the
Among those who have served since World War II are Clint Eastwood, Army; Peter Graves, Air Force; Buck Taylor, Navy; Luke Askew, Air Force and Navy; Robert Vaughn, Army drill sergeant; Clu Gulager, U.S.M.C., and James Garner and Ty Hardin, both Army in Korea.
MARK OF THE GUN, ‘NEW’ B&W 1969 WESTERN COMING SOON!
Western fans will soon have the unique opportunity of seeing a ‘new’ black & white 1969 Western for the first time. Fred Olen Ray, the talented and prolific director of films like BAD BLOOD: HATFIELDS & MCCOYS and AMERICAN BANDITS – FRANK AND JESSE JAMES, will be releasing the film to DVD this December. The movie stars Ross Hagen, the handsome, gravel-voiced character actor that played likeable tough guys on both sides of the law, in cop shows and westerns. He passed away in 2011.
Making his first credited appearance on THE BIG VALLEY, Ross was a busy actor from the mid-sixties, when he made multiple appearances on series like GUNSMOKE, THE VIRGINIAN and HERE COME THE BRIDES. He continued throughout his life, also writing and directing films like MURDER ON THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD (2006), and his final credits included the Western SHADOWHEART(2009), and the voice of Landon Ricketts in the RED DEAD REDEMPTION video games.
Fred Olen Ray and Ross Hagen worked together on more than twenty projects. “I bought the copyright and negative (from Ross’ estate)”, Fred told me. “I couldn’t let it disappear. I don’t know if it ever had a release. There’s no evidence I can find.” Although there is some info at IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312950/), there are absolutely zero comments, suggesting no one has seen this movie. When Fred releases it in December, there will be extras, but I don’t yet know what they are. I’ll be back with more details soon.
‘DR. WHO’ WESTERN AIRS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH
‘HEATHENS & THIEVES’ ARE EVERYWHERE!
Just heard from writer/co-director John Douglas Sinclair that HEATHENS & THIEVES is now available on DVD from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, CD Universe and Family Video. It’s available streaming video-on-demand at iTunes, Amazon, Bright House, Charter, CinemaNOW, Comcast, Cox, Dish Network, Google Play, Time Warner, Verizon, Vudu, Xbox Live, YouTube Movies and Walmart.com. It’ll be available at Walmart and Redbox some time in December. John and company got a particular kick when they checked out the YouTube Movie Page ‘Staff Picks’ last week, and found out they were #1, ahead of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and the TWILIGHT SAGA.
‘SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS’ SIGNING
If you’re looking for the perfect Western book to both delight and creep out your loved ones, don’t overlook SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS – you can read my review HERE. http://www.henryswesternroundup.blogspot.com/2012/10/slay-bells-ring-for-holidays.html. And if you’re in Southern California, and would like a signed copy one of the authors, Courtney Joyner will be signing at Dark Delicacies on Friday, November 16th, at 6 p.m. http://www.darkdel.com/.
TCM FANATIC - WESTERN NOW ONLINE!
And speaking of TCM (okay, nobody was), have I mentioned that the segment I was interviewed for is now viewable here?
Built by cowboy actor, singer, baseball and TV entrepreneur Gene Autry, and designed by the Disney Imagineering team, the Autry is a world-class museum housing a fascinating collection of items related to the fact, fiction, film, history and art of the American West. In addition to their permanent galleries (to which new items are frequently added), they have temporary shows. The Autry has many special programs every week -- sometimes several in a day. To check their daily calendar, CLICK HERE. And they always have gold panning for kids every weekend. For directions, hours, admission prices, and all other information, CLICK HERE.
Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first
This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166.
WESTERN ALL OVER THE DIAL
INSP’s SADDLE-UP SATURDAY features a block of rarely-seen classics THE VIRGINIAN and HIGH CHAPARRAL, along with BONANZA and THE BIG VALLEY. On weekdays they’re showing LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, BIG VALLEY, HIGH CHAPARRAL and DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN.
ME-TV’s Saturday line-up includes BRANDED, THE REBEL and THE GUNS OF WILL SONNETT. On weekdays it’s DANIEL BOONE, GUNSMOKE, BONANZA, BIG VALLEY, WILD WILD WEST, and THE RIFLEMAN.
RFD-TV, the channel whose president bought Trigger and Bullet at auction, have a special love for Roy Rogers. They show an episode of The Roy Rogers Show on Sunday mornings, a Roy Rogers movie on Tuesday mornings, and repeat them during the week.
WHT-TV has a weekday afternoon line-up that’s perfect for kids, featuring LASSIE, THE ROY ROGERS SHOW and THE LONE RANGER.
TV-LAND angered viewers by dropping GUNSMOKE, but now it’s back every weekday, along with BONANZA.
Veterans Day Weekend is a three-day weekend, so if you haven't had a chance to thank a vet for his or her service, you've got another chance tomorrow. And if you already have, find another to thank. There are plenty of men and women out there who have put their lives on the line to make us free!
All Original Contents Copyright November 2012 by Henry C. Parke -- All Rights Reserved