||Augst 26, 2006
The lavish 272 pages of facts and posters in this large format book, make it an absolute must for real western movie fans. However, if you're strictly a John Wayne and/or a Charles Starrett fan, you may be disappointed. True, Wayne and Starrett do get a lion's share of attention. Many of Wayne's ventures are covered in detail. Starrett is provided with a complete filmography, Between them, Wayne and Starrett probably take up a quarter of the book. But that still leaves over 200 pages for a rich selection of detailed movies from other western stars such as William Boyd, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Ken Maynard, Wild Bill Elliott, Buck Jones, Randolph Scott, Audie Murphy, Wayne Morris and Johnny Mack Brown.
Barnes & Noble.com
Informative New Movie Books
Movie Westerns; Hollywood Films the Wild, Wild West
This mammoth book of 272 large-format pages provides a feast of entertainment for movie western fans. Originally published under the title, "Westerns for a Rainy Saturday", this greatly expanded edition details not only typical matinee westerns like "Riders of Destiny" (starring John Wayne), "The Duel at Silver Creek" (one of the best pictures Audie Murphy ever made), "In Old Monterey" (an unusual entry from Gene Autry with one of the most large-scale action climaxes ever lensed for a "B" western), and "Rough Riders' Round-Up" (another very unusual entry from Republic, this time with Roy Rogers as the nominal lead, but would you believe, it's actually the heroine, Mary Hart aka Lynne Roberts, who has the larger role?), but the big "A" productions everyone has heard of, e.g. "The Searchers" (John Wayne), "San Antonio" (Errol Flynn), "The Big Country" (Gregory Peck) and "The Spoilers" (Marlene Dietrich, Randolph Scott as the villain for once, and John Wayne).
Hollywood doesn't make movies like these any more, but fortunately they are still available on cable TV and DVD.
In addition to all the films that are reviewed and detailed with complete cast, technical credits and release information, this book also provides an index to Charles Starrett's complete career (a listing with main cast details for all his 166 movies), a list of all the "Zorro" pictures (including serials and television), and a year-by-year rundown of the top western stars at the USA box-office from 1936 through 1954.
As if all this were not enough to bring joy to every western fan, the book is attractively illustrated with reproductions of original cinema posters.
Ross Adams, in the August 2008 printed issue of
"Movie Westerns: Hollywood Films the Wild, Wild West" will delight western fans no end! This is genuine John Wayne and Gene Autry territory, complete with poster and lobby card reprints. In fact this book is a "must" not only for all serious "western" aficionados, but for every man, woman and child who wishes to relive their Saturday matinee days. Of course, as John Howard Reid points out, many of these movies are now available on DVD.
In all, 174 westerns are reviewed in this book. The reviews list all the actors (not just the main stars), every credited person in the production team, plus copyright and release dates, and running times, as well as a story synopsis, production notes and comments.
There are also several bonus features, including one in which J.H.R. lists the top western money-making stars from 1936 through 1954. Of course, at one time or another, certain actors were tagged exclusively as "western" stars. A few, like John Wayne and Randolph Scott, made the grade to "A" movies; while three – Gary Cooper, Alan Ladd and James Stewart – were always "A"-grade stars. In many of the "B" films, the star's horse played a more important role than the leading lady!
It's interesting to note that Dale Evans was the only female star ever to make the annual lists of "Western Money-Makers"! John Howard Reid has her listed as number 9 for 1947.
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