The Doolins of Oklahoma

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Movies inspired by real life historical people and events can sometimes come in for a bit of stick. It’s common enough to read reviews and see complaints that things didn’t happen as portrayed on the screen. Personally, I have no objection to people pointing out the inaccuracies in such cases, indeed I’ve done so myself on occasion, but I never feel a movie should be judged or criticized too heavily on that score. Ultimately, history is fact and film is art; if the former is a priority, then I feel a well researched history book should be sought out. While I do think film can stimulate an interest in history, and encourage people to dig into the real facts, it fulfills an altogether different function. A movie needs to be evaluated on its own merits, as an artistic endeavor, and granted the license which comes with that. All this is by way of introducing The Doolins of Oklahoma (1949), which uses a set of authentic historical characters, and some events from their lives, to tell a classic western tale. Sure it departs from what is known to have happened but, for me anyway, this doesn’t detract from the quality of the film in the least.

Our story concerns what was known as The Wild Bunch (no, nothing to do with the Peckinpah movie) who raided banks and trains mainly in Kansas and Oklahoma. It all starts with the botched bank robbery in Coffeyville that saw the Dalton gang wiped out, or almost. Bill Doolin (Randolph Scott) was a member of the gang whose horse came up lame, meaning he had to hang back. Having avoided the massacre of his fellow outlaws, Doolin nevertheless gets involved in a shooting that necessitates going on the run. Putting together his own crew, he proceeds to carry on where the ill-fated Daltons left off. However, as the prologue has already stated, this is the last decade of the 19th century and the frontier is closing fast, civilization and the law are spreading and men like Doolin are being squeezed out. Essentially, Doolin and his confederates are men living on borrowed time and they know it – most of the film involves pursuit, and relentless pursuit at that. The posse led by US Marshal Sam Hughes (George Macready) never lets up once they get a handle on Doolin. However, a western of this period has to be about more than mere hold-ups and shootouts, although there are plenty of those on view. Doolin is one of those classic gunmen yearning to leave his violent and lawless past behind him. For a brief period it even looks like he might have managed it too; an attempt to shake off the marshals leads him to a church in the middle of a service and that in turn introduces him to Elaine Burton (Virginia Huston), whom he weds. Doolin adopts a new identity and settles down, but it’s not to be. His old friends turn up and somewhat cruelly expose him to the in-laws, leaving him with little choice but to strap on his guns again and return to banditry. It’s that old familiar theme of the bad man trying to outrun his past and redeem himself. There are no happy Hollywood endings in this movie but, in a sense, he does achieve his goal. Perhaps it’s appropriate for an outlaw like Bill Doolin that he finally gains his desired redemption in an oblique, left-handed fashion.

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Gordon Douglas is a director who I think it’s fair to say has a few fans among regular readers of this blog. I’m quite fond of his work myself and the more I see of it, the more I like it. As was usual with the studio professionals of the era, Douglas made movies in each of the major genres and did notable work in all of them. There’s a tendency to downgrade the efforts of many of these directors by dismissively labeling them journeymen. I find that as one looks deeper into the filmography of a man such as Douglas it becomes apparent how well crafted his films were. There are a number of highly accomplished pictures to be found, containing memorable scenes and moments of great sensitivity. The Doolins of Oklahoma features a number of what I’d term “instances of realization”, points at which the characters become aware of the full import of their actions. Lesser filmmakers can either downplay or over-egg such key moments, thus robbing them of their impact on the viewer. Two scenes spring to mind in this film, where Douglas hits just the right note and leaves us in no doubt regarding their significance: there’s the aftermath of the Coffeyville massacre where Doolin guns down the traitor who betrayed his friends and so seals his own fate in the eyes of the law, and later there’s his reluctant acceptance of the need to leave his new bride despite everything inside him wanting to do just the opposite. Those scenes are not overplayed in any way, nor are they brushed aside. The characters on the screen know how important they are, we know how important they are, and we know it because the director wanted it that way.

Aside from Douglas, there were other influential figures at work behind the camera. Yakima Canutt is noted for his stunt and second unit work on a range of pictures during the classic era – John Ford’s Stagecoach being one of the best known – and his hand is in evidence here. The action scenes have the kind of drive, authenticity and heart-stopping quality often associated with the man. In particular, the climactic stampede bears all the hallmarks of Canutt. And then there’s the cinematography of Charles Lawton, a man capable of capturing beautiful images in both black and white and color. The Doolins of Oklahoma makes excellent use of those Lone Pine locations which are a familiar sight to western fans, and the interior scenes are also expressively and atmospherically lit by this experienced and talented cameraman.

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Randolph Scott’s decision to focus almost exclusively on westerns in the post-WWII years was not only a smart career move on his part, but also benefited the genre enormously. Most leading men of the time were capable of playing western characters, and indeed a significant number of them did so. Having said that, Scott was what I’d call the perfect fit for the genre – his slow Southern delivery and lean, leathery looks simply belonged in the west. More important than that though was the personality of the man, which shone through in all his roles, embodying three key ingredients: dignity, decency and resignation. These characteristics meant he was in a position to play the kind of complex figures who made the post-war western such an interesting and rewarding viewing experience. Scott’s heroes were nearly always three-dimensional because the man playing them invested them with that quality. And his anti-heroes, as is the case in The Doolins of Oklahoma, were all the more credible as a result of the subtle little quirks he brought to them. Two scenes in this movie stood out for me as marvelous examples of Scott at his best. The first occurs when Doolin returns to the home he once reluctantly abandoned, in the hopes of laying up there for a time. On arrival, he’s immediately struck by how well-kept the place is, and then the truth hits home – his wife had never left despite his absence. There’s something remarkably poignant about the way this flash of understanding affects him, and the way his innate integrity colors his reaction. The second comes right at the end, as Doolin and Elaine are reunited in the little church where they first met. This is a moment of destiny, a make-or-break point for the character. Scott’s playing is faultless; as he stands in the dark with the woman he loves in his arms, the regret and sadness wash over his features with the knowledge that there’s only one honorable course of action open to him.

Stoicism is a word often used in relation to Scott, and it could be applied here too. However, it’s the term I’d more readily employ to describe Virginia Huston’s portrayal of Doolin’s wife. Hers was a brief film career, but she was presented with a fine opportunity to shine in this movie. It’s a pivotal role in a sense, not flashy or showy, but one on which much of the script’s logic hangs. It called for a woman whose faith in and loyalty to her husband is sufficiently strong to force a character like Doolin to reassess himself. I think Huston nailed those aspects and thus rendered the relationship with Scott wholly believable. The supporting cast is particularly strong and features parts for George Macready, John Ireland, Jock Mahoney (who apparently also doubled for Scott in the fight scenes), Louise Allbritton, Noah Beery Jr, Frank Fenton and Charles Kemper among others.

The Doolins of Oklahoma was a film I’d never seen until it came out via a TCM/Sony collection of Randolph Scott westerns – a set which now looks like it may be out of print actually. The movie looks very well with no significant damage on show, and good contrast levels leave the black and white photography appearing nice and crisp. The extra features offered consist of a series of galleries highlighting the posters, lobby cards, still and publicity photographs. Anyone who is a fan of Randolph Scott, or just westerns in general, will surely take something positive away from this film. I was highly impressed both by Scott’s lead performance and by the smooth direction of Gordon Douglas. The film shows the progression taking place in the star’s work that would lead inevitably to those towering roles in the late 50s and the beginning of the 60s. It also provides evidence of the growing maturity of the genre itself on the eve of its golden decade. Recommended.

This piece is offered as part of the Randolph Scott Blogathon hosted by Toby of the ever entertaining and informative 50 Westerns from the 50s. I strongly urge all readers should head over there and check out the other contributions to this celebration of Scott’s work by following the link above. Alternatively, you can click on the badge below and that will lead you to the same destination.

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51 thoughts on “The Doolins of Oklahoma

  1. Pingback: The Blogathon For Randolph Scott. | 50 Westerns From The 50s.

  2. A very fine review of a very fine Western, Colin.
    What really impressed me,among other things, was your mention of Virginia Huston, a little known actress with very few credits. It’s spooky because only last night I watched Virginia in a rare lead role in WOMEN FROM HEADQUARTERS (1950). This was made just after DOOLINS and I found Virginia quite impressive as a stalwart policewoman who goes undercover after criminal scumbags have got her kid sister hooked on drugs. It’s a really nifty Republic B and made me wish Virginia had made more movies. She also had a good role in Lesley Selander’s gothic swashbuckler THE HIGHWAYMAN. It’s all rather lovely discovering these unheralded talents.
    Among DOOLIN’S many virtues is a most spirited performance from Dona Drake as Cattle Annie. Dona was 35 when DOOLINS was made but she sure don’t look it. I think the real Cattle Annie was a teenager at the time! I LOVE the scene where Dona literally slides off her horse and breezes into town.
    As an alternative view on the Doolin-Dalton gang I highly recommend CATTLE ANNIE AND LITTLE BRITCHES (1980) and it’s fun comparing Burt Lancaster’s Bill Doolin to Scott’s. It’s such a shame that the only version on the market at the moment is from Sidonis with their horrid “forced” French subtitles on the English version. At any rate THE DOOLINS OF OKLAHOMA and CATTLE ANNIE AND LITTLE BRITCHES would make an awesome double bill!

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    • Cheers, John. I really should have mentioned Dona Drake as she does indeed make an impression in a small but showy role – but the movie is packed full of strong performances.
      Never seen Cattle Annie and Little Britches myself but I intend to at some point.

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  3. Great article, Colin, on a particularly fine early-cycle Scott western but one I have viewed only once. I like the film a lot and your review makes me want to pull out my copy and watch it again – immediately!

    It’s nice that a number of folks are commenting on “journeyman” director, Gordon Douglas, so favourably. A lot of those so-called “journeyman” directors are among my favourites. Douglas directed two fine Scott westerns as well as three of Clint Walker’s movies (in particular the super “FORT DOBBS”) but arguably his biggest success was in 1953’s “CHARGE AT FEATHER RIVER” which turned out to be the highest-grossing western of the year.

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    • Cheers, Jerry. I think Douglas is worthy of a bit of praise and he made quite a few films I’m very fond of – if posts like these introduce him to a few others, then that’s all to the good in my book.

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  4. An excellent and thorough review – per usual.
    I grew up on Scott Westerns and Yes they were always a notch above most of the competition. I really haven’t seen any Scott Westerns that I didn’t find at least watchable.
    History: of course, what we know of much Old West History is often debatable and muddy at best. And when some Western History becomes well known do we really want to watch a story where we know the ending? When it’s pretty obvious anyway that we aren’t watching a documentary, In modern Westerns though we usually do see the end matching Historical reality – that ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’. ‘Tom Horn’, ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ – didn’t ride off into the sunset. Yet these are Westerns of a different era/flavour/time …

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    • Agreed on the fact Scott’s westerns are all very watchable – some are obviously a cut above but none are really poor, and that’s a significant achievement in itself.

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    • Ha! Yes, Scott and the western are inseparable to me too. Sure he worked in other genres but he very astutely recognized that he was suited to a western environment and, fortunately for all us movie fans, threw himself into it.

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  5. Any film with Randolph Scott AND Jock Mahoney automatically gets four stars from me. Been a while since I’ve seen it, and your blog has inspired me to give it another viewing. I like what you said about “journeymen” directors like Gordon Douglas. There were a lot of old pros like him back in the day, and its a shame todays young directors don’t have guys like them to learn from.

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    • Yes, the efforts of sure hands like Douglas are sorely missed. Men like this had real talent and were in no way hacks simply chasing a buck – their movies were well crafted and frequently featured moments of real cinematic class. I honestly think it’s time film criticism broadened its scope and fully embraced more of these men who added so much to our cultural heritage.

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  6. I have not seen this and will look for it. I have always enjoyed a Gordon Douglas movie. I too like Tony Rome and Lady In Cement. Most if not all, Gordon Douglas movies are enjoyable and entertaining. Best regards.

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  7. This is an excellent piece – I just saw this movie for the first time 2 weeks ago so I was very interested in your excellent take. Agree with an earlier comment that Randolph Scott makes any western watchable in and of itself – for me one reason is that his characters generally embody the rugged individualism of the West and the second – again for me – is that he sits a horse beautifully.

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    • Well thank you very much. I always enjoy watching and writing about Scott, and I concur with your points about his suitability as a western lead. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this blogathon is seeing how well regarded the man still remains among film fans.

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  8. I’m glad you wrote about Yakima Canutt’s contribution to the film. Canutt lead quite a unique life in regards to his moving from rodeo work to stunt work (a pioneer) and then to impressive second unit directing credits. Stunt men and women were often overlooked in the western movies we so love, usually receiving no screen credits. Always enjoy seeing Jock Mahoney too, who was one of the stuntmen who didn’t mind acting as well. I think it was John Ford’s stunt co-ordinator, Cliff Lyons who said something like, “I hate it when they give me lines”.
    Colin, I never tire of reading your excellent reviews. Great contribution to the Randolph Scott blog!

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    • Thanks, Elise. I wanted to mention Canutt’s work as I feel you can tell when he worked on a movie without even having to see his name in the credits – it’s very distinctive.
      Mahoney doesn’t have a very big part in the film, or at least it’s low-key, but he would go on to star in a number of important westerns in the 50s and these kinds of roles played their part in getting him there.

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  9. Very much enjoyed your post, Colin. This is one I haven’t seen but fortunately I have the TCM set. (So many movies…) I’m interested in the chance not only to see Scott’s performance, as you have so nicely described it, but to see Virginia Huston of OUT OF THE PAST in another role, and more Lone Pine is always a good thing too!

    Best wishes,
    Laura

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    • I’m pretty sure this film is one that will appeal to you, Laura. Lone Pine and Scott just seem to naturally go together and I enjoyed Virginia Huston’s performance.

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  10. Great piece. Of course the film is practically unobtainable, at least with my lazy level of searching for it, but it is available in full on YouTube so I checked it out that way. A very fine 90 minutes’ entertainment it was also, with Scott’s stoicism (and I think ‘stoic’ probably should come with a photo of Randolph Scott) shining through. The moments you mention, in particular the scene in the church at the end, are very good and show Scott at his best, an actor capable of saying everything through a look rather than the unnecessary expense of words.

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    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Mike, and even more pleased it spurred you on to see the movie, and that you were able to find it.
      Scott’s laconic quality is often mentioned, and rightly so as it was one of his real strengths as an actor.

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      • Well it seemed the only fair thing to do, considering the number of times you have posted and I’ve been like ‘Wish I’d seen it…’ Plus I’m never less than entertained by films starring Scott – as the saying goes, you’d do it for Randolph Scott. And I did.

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  11. A thoughtful, insightful piece as always, Colin, and I especially enjoyed this one for two reasons. First, like you and most others here I go back to Randolph Scott movies, some more than others. This is one which I’d only seen once and then watched it a second time just last year so it’s one of the ones I watched most recently and was fresh in my mind. My responses align closely to your own so don’t have much to add.

    The other reason is that as a fellow contributor to the Blogathon, I chose the other Scott movie directed by Gordon Douglas, THE NEVADAN, which followed this the next year. It was gratifying to me and I’m sure to you that we both took up for this fine director and said good things about him that he richly deserves. Colin, I agree that in the wider world, Douglas remains underrated, but I have to add that in the circles of the film critical community I feel closest to, his reputation has gained a lot in recent years. When writing his home video/DVD column for the New York Times (which he left about a year ago), Dave Kehr was a strong defender, writing favorably of Douglas and of a number of his movies at different times. In Paris, there was a retrospective a few years ago I believe and when that happened, Jean-Pierre Coursodon wrote another very positive consideration for POSTIF.

    Douglas worked well in many kinds of films. TONY ROME has been mentioned and I like that too (haven’t seen LADY IN CEMENT yet) but I like other Sinatra/detective movie THE DETECTIVE from that period even more. Some melodramas, like YOUNG AT HEART (Sinatra with Doris Day), are beautifully done. And though that doesn’t include the misguided HARLOW, Douglas’ earlier movie with Carroll Baker, SYLVIA, is an almost criminally unknown, very strong and interesting film. Of the Westerns, along with the two Scott movies and the three with Clint Walker, I especially like THE IRON MISTRESS (speaking of fictionalized history, this movie about Jim Bowie is just a story built around that famous figure, and couldn’t be called a biography, but it’s an excellent movie), but most especially RIO CONCHOS, arguably one of the best Westerns of the 60s and a key movie of its period, which you’ve written about so well. I think that’s one you and I strongly agree about.

    I really liked what you said about Virginia Huston. She’s very good in this and has excellent chemistry with Scott. I always wish she’d made more movies. Her role in OUT OF THE PAST (which Laura has already cited) assured she won’t be forgotten–as Mitchum’s present girlfriend Ann, she strikes just the right note, and though we will inevitably think of Jane Greer’s Kathie Moffat first when thinking of this classic, the balance and contrast between the two women is very important to the whole movie.

    Finally, getting back to THE DOOLINS OF OKLAHOMA, though John Knight mentioned CATTLE ANNIE AND LITTLE BRITCHES (wish I remembered this better), I’m surprised no one has cited THE CIMARRON KID made just two years after DOOLINS and basically covering the same story and characters though with significant differences. The first Western of Budd Boetticher no less, it’s excellent in its own right–not on a level with any of his later Ranowns, but very good and I think compares well with DOOLINS. Though he did not have the maturity or easy authority of Scott, Audie Murphy was already a good actor who made a believable Bill Doolin in his interpretation.

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    • Great response, Blake, and thanks for that.
      Much of what you’ve written here relates to Douglas and that’s what I want to follow up on – your own excellent article on The Nevadan for the blogathon can be found here, and I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t read it to do so, not least for good things you have to say about the director.

      I haven’t seen all of Douglas’ movies yet – there are quite a few titles I still have to get round to in fact – but those I have caught up with have impressed me. Sylvia seems to be a difficult one to access easily but I agree it’s a fine movie and well worth making the effort to seek out. As for the trio of Sinatra thrillers, while it’s been some time since I last saw it, I felt Lady in Cement was the least of them. I quite agree that The Detective is a powerful piece of work.

      Of the westerns, I need to catch up with The Big Land and The Charge at Feather River and hope to do so sooner rather than later. I rarely see many people have a good word to say about Only the Valiant yet it’s a film I’m fond of, and it contains some extremely tense and atmospheric passages.

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  12. Another insightful, thoughtful piece, Colin – well done! I have the TCM Vault Randolph Scott Collection you refer to, bought at a cheap price, before it went out of print…alas, it ‘s still languishing at my folks’ place in the U.S. I hope to get it shipped over here soon, and I’ll make sure that DOOLINS will be the first film from the set I’ll watch.

    Your summation of Scott’s three main characteristics – dignity, decency and resignation – is an astute one. I hadn’t thought about the “resignation” aspect before you articulated it, but you’re right, it is a trait very apparent in Scott’s work in many of the Boetticher westerns, and it’s a trait he plays very well. Agree fully on the dignity and decency parts, too…Scott is one of those actors, like Gary Cooper and Gregory Peck, who just naturally exude those characteristics. Another trait I always associate with Scott, particularly in westerns, is competence. He just always seems like a man who knows exactly what he’s doing at all times, and why.

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    • Some nice points about Scott’s on-screen strengths, Jeff. His competence and strength of character are usually upfront. Maybe the one time this slipped (intentionally in the script of course) was “DECISION AT SUNDOWN” where Scott’s character has almost lost his reason. It is an unusual tangent for Scott but an effective change.

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      • That’s a good call, Jerry. I haven’t watched Decision at Sundown for a good few years now and felt, aside from the fact the script is not as compelling as Kennedy’s efforts, that Scott’s characterization was quite different there.

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    • Thanks, Jeff, and it’s great you got one of those sets – seems odd they didn’t stay in print longer, doesn’t it? The on-screen Scott persona is such a big part of what made his movies, and him, so good. And it’s something he worked on and honed over the years as you can see it developing as time passed.

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      • I also managed to nab the TCM Joel McCrea and Western Horizons sets as part of a sale…sadly, I their Audie Murphy set had already been sold out. I really wanted that one, too…though it does seem like I can still get most of them as individual titles.

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        • I have all the movies in those sets as individual discs from other territories myself. I think most, maybe even all, were eventually released on their own in the US as MOD discs.

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  13. Great post, Colin.

    There was a time when this was my favorite Randolph Scott movie. It’s got a great cast and crew and they all seem to have been firing on all cylinders.

    Thanks a million for being part of the blogathon.

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    • I could well believe it was once your favorite, for just the reasons you stated. It was a new one to me until I got the DVD set and left me mightily impressed despite the fact I’d already seen and become familiar with all of Scott’s finest movies.
      Thinking back now, I first saw those mid-range westerns Scott made for Columbia and Warner on TV when I was a kid – they were great as far as I was concerned and I loved them all. It was only later that i got to see what we’d term the really top titles. The point here is that these supposedly lesser films were so good that they drew me in and hooked me at a very early age, which I think speaks volumes for them.

      It’s been a real pleasure to be part of this blogathon, which has produced so much good writing and created a very positive buzz about Scott.

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  14. It’s rather cool that Colin and Blake Lucas have chosen a Gordon Douglas film as their
    contribution the the now epic Randolph Scott Blogathon. (Blake’s choice was THE NEVADAN
    and is a must read for any Western fan)
    Whatever one thinks about Douglas you have to admit between the late Forties and the
    mid Fifties he turned out an awesome portfolio of top notch films.
    Apart from the two very fine Scott Westerns we have BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN,
    KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE,THE GREAT MISSOURI RAID,THE IRON MISTRESS,
    CHARGE AT FEATHER RIVER and THEM!
    There were some fine films to follow notably the excellent Clint Walker trilogy.
    Of course later in his career Douglas was forced to take the money and run like many fine
    directors were in the seventies.
    The only drawback,for me in Douglas’ later work,was not to “reign in” some of the OTT
    performances that crop up in some of his films.
    Even in earlier films I find Ward Bond irritating in ONLY THE VALIANT yet in KISS TOMORROW
    GOODBYE he is outstanding.
    FIEND THAT WALKED THE WEST is scuppered by a terrible,laughable Robert Evans
    performance yet Douglas’ direction is stellar. Actually that film would have worked better over
    at Universal with Jack Arnold directing Audie Murphy. I hasten to add Murphy would have played
    the hero not the Evans role. That would never have happened as Fox owned the original
    property Fiend was based on-KISS OF DEATH.
    There is a difference between Evans going OTT than say Edmond O Brien in RIO CONCHOS
    a barnstorming performance,to be sure but a highly entertaining one.
    To remake STAGECOACH was foolhardy,to say the least,even though the set-pieces and
    action scenes are fine. What scuppered that one for me was the excruciating double act
    of Bing Crosby and Red Buttons there was just far to much of their tiresome antics in the film.
    Jeff mentioned BARQUERO over at Toby’s and for me the film is one of Douglas’ better
    later works. Again a very hammy Warren Oates nearly sinks the film.
    Oates’ dope smoking heavy is hard to take but the action scenes make up for it.
    As I mentioned over at Toby’s I love the Forrest Tucker, John Davis Chandler combo.
    The scene where Tucker gives Chandler a lecture on ants (a homage to THEM! ?)
    and then starts to eat the darn things is priceless. The expressions on Chandler’s face have
    to be seen to be believed!
    Some of the best of Douglas’ early films are yet to be released;Warners still cannot decide
    if they are going to release CHARGE AT FEATHER RIVER in 3D but it will get a release
    at some point. (A flat version will do very nicely for me I might add)
    THE GREAT MISSOURI RAID is an excellent and very well cast Jesse James movie,
    but it’s one of several Paramount A Westerns that are lost in the ozone at the moment,and
    that’s a shame because it’s a real goodie.

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    • Great overview of Douglas’ directing career there, John. Recent years have seen a lot more of his movies available to view than was the case and I’ve been enjoying them mostly. Like yourself, I’d be delighted to see more of the missing titles become obtainable – no doubt they will in time.

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  15. It’s funny but in the early Sixties Fox paired up FIEND WHO WALKED THE WEST with THE FLY as a great CinemaScope double bill. Of course FIEND WHO WALKED THE WEST was not a horror film but it certainly was marketed as one. I remember seeing this double bill at the lovely old Empire cinema in Islington, now sadly
    demolished. As horror mad kids we thought this was the greatest pairing ever and needless to say we were very impressed with Robert Evans performance. Time has not been too kind to Evans’ performance and I still think that the film should have been made over at Universal with Jack Arnold directing Audie Murphy or Rory Calhoun as the hero. The phycho Felix Griffin would have been an ideal role for Grant Williams. There is a chilling scene in Arnold’s RED SUNDOWN where Williams plays a psychotic gunslinger called Chet Swann who intimidates Trevor Bardette and his wife. The scene is full of understated menace.
    Arnold always felt Hollywood never did right by Grant Williams,who he always considered to be a fine actor. It always amused me the following year that Williams and Bardette teamed up to save America from THE MONOLITH MONSTERS one of my favorite Universal Fifties Sci-Fi movies.

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    • Interesting you should mention Grant Williams and Red Sundown. I don’t know if you ever read it but I wrote a piece on that movie here a few years back. Overall, I’m quite fond of the film but felt that Williams’ portrayal of the gunman was one of the weaker elements.

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  16. You make this sound well worth seeing, Colin – I’ve enjoyed the Gordon Douglas films I’ve seen so far, especially ‘Come Fill the Cup’ starring James Cagney, and would like to see this one too. Must admit I haven’t seen many films starring Randolph Scott, although I know he is a favourite of yours – I did see him in ‘Sugarfoot’ a while back and enjoyed that one.

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    • It is worth looking out for, Judy. Douglas is one of those directors badly in need of reassessment as his films have a lot to recommend them.
      Sugarfoot is a fun movie but there are better examples of Scott’s work out there – his films with Boetticher are superlative and I have no hesitation in recommending them. Check out some of the other entries in the blogathon and you won’t go far wrong regarding his movies.

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