Classic Movies

“He’s all speed…the fastest thing in horseflesh…”

In a booklet that was originally supposed to accompany the DVD collection Becoming Charley Chase (it’s still online—which was a tremendous relief because the copy I downloaded succumbed to the recent hard drive clusterfudge), Richard M. Roberts had this nice take on why the comedian didn’t do more feature film work: “He wasn’t particularly ambitious.  Chase never… Continue reading “He’s all speed…the fastest thing in horseflesh…”

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Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Richard Arlen Double Feature – Gun Smoke (1931) and The Secret Call (1931)

Boston gang lord Kedge Darvis (William ‘Stage’ Boyd) starts to feel the heat in Beantown after a robbery and a killing…and so he hits upon the idea of laying low for a while after spotting an ad in a periodical inviting “capitalists” to the tiny burg of Bunsen, Idaho.  Accompanied by a few of his top… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Richard Arlen Double Feature – Gun Smoke (1931) and The Secret Call (1931)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Nevada (1927)

Gunslinger Jim “Nevada” Lacy (Gary Cooper) successfully springs his sidekick Cash Burridge (Ernie Adams) from the Lineville hoosegow, and the two men decide to emulate the heroes of TV’s Alias Smith and Jones by taking the straight-and-narrow for a change.  They find their salvation in the tiny hamlet of Winthrop, “a quiet, calm, peaceful place”—but no sooner have they… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Nevada (1927)

Classic Movies

Buried Treasures: Frontier Gal (1945)

Johnny Hart (Rod Cameron) comes a-ridin’ into the town of Red Gulch after successfully eluding a posse…and no sooner has he entered the town saloon when he’s engaged in a barroom brawl.  (It will not take us too long to suss out that Monsieur Hart has anger management issues.)  His attentions are quickly drawn toward the “Boss… Continue reading Buried Treasures: Frontier Gal (1945)

Classic Movies

From the DVR: Gun the Man Down (1956)

“The only crime of which a person must be ashamed and for which there must be retribution is a double-cross.” – Danny Peary, in a Cult Movies 2 essay on Rowland Brown’s Blood Money (1933) Matt Rankin (Robert J. Wilke) is masterminding a bank heist in a pre-credits sequence of the underrated 1956 western Gun the Man Down.  His partners are… Continue reading From the DVR: Gun the Man Down (1956)

Classic Movies

Buried Treasures: Cattle Empire (1958)

In the sleepy little hamlet of Hamilton—a cow town (literally) named after cattle baron Ralph Hamilton (Don Haggerty)—the townsfolk are taking ex-con John Cord (Joel McCrea) for a drag through the burg’s dusty streets.  The populace of Hamilton has a bit of a beef (apologies for the pun) with Cord; five years earlier, drovers from a… Continue reading Buried Treasures: Cattle Empire (1958)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: No Man’s Law (1927)

When I mention the name of “Hal Roach,” the first thing you generally think of is the legendary producer-director’s “Lot of Fun,” which was responsible for many of the funniest comedy shorts in the 1920s/1930s, with stars like Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase and Our Gang.  Every so often—and this is something that’s touched… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: No Man’s Law (1927)