1930s Western Films


(korano) #1

I have not heard a lot about 30’s westerns but Isaw a three stooges episode in the west. (Bad basis I know but…)Being a spaghetti western fan, I kinda like the cheap feel. Stufio sets and all. Nothing John Ford please. Any suggestions? Cheap please. ;D


(Bad Lieutenant) #2

Here’s one for you. Texas Terror. A very wooden John Wayne in an ultra cheap and very bad western. Enjoy!

There are loads more on that site that you can watch online. I’d recommend the ones with Tim McCoy instead of John Wayne.


(Romaine Fielding) #3

I don’t know. I don’t like series westerns from the thirties. Other than the occassional “A” Western (the Plainsman, for instance) most thirties westerns were pretty simple stuff. Really for kids (and kids at heart).
1939 was a big year. Destry Rides Again (a light hearted film) is worth seeing for Marlene Deitrich.
If you don’t want Ford you might try Dodge City.

Have you seen many 40’s westerns? They are much better (IMHO).
Two by William Wellman:
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Yellow Sky (1948)

Also excellent:
Pursued (Raoul Walsh 1947)
Blood On The Moon (Robert Wise 1948)
Four Faces West (Alfred Green 1948)

Fron 1929 there is In Old Arizona (the first western talkie and the movie that during the filming of, Raoul Walsh lost an eye).

But you proably knew all this already!

Oh, yeah. Nice cheap 1938 double feature:
The Terror Of Tiny Town (all midget western)
Harlem Rides The Range (all Black western)


(korano) #4

Thanks, I’ll check those except, I rented Pursued yesterday and Will watch it soon. I always like the idea of mxing a western with anther genre and never thought they could do that with a film noir. Supposed great camera work and and first use of infared camera on a hollywod film. Sounds good.

Oh and yes I did know about In Old Arizona and Raoul Walsh losing his eye. I think it was a bar fight or car accident. Do you know Romaine?


(Stanton) #5

1939 was one of the great western years. The quality rebirth of the genre. Somehow a year zero for the “adult” western.

But I generally put this year to the 40s as most of the pre WW2 westerns were clearly following the patterns of these 5 classics:

Stagecoach
Jesse James
Union Pacific
Dodge City
Destry Rides Again

The 30s were basically series western time


(korano) #6

Are there any good or at least entertaining series westerns?


(Stanton) #7

Don’t know, as I’m not interested in these.

One of the Three Mesquiteers films named Wyoming Outlaw (1939, directed by George Sherman with John Wayne) was praised as the B-picture version of Grapes of Wrath and as one of the most astonishing of all b-pictures.

But regularly they are very, very simple and totally outdated.

Maybe they have their fans somewhere …


(Romaine Fielding) #8

[quote=“Stanton, post:5, topic:1421”]1939 was one of the great western years. The quality rebirth of the genre. Somehow a year zero for the “adult” western.

But I generally put this year to the 40s as most of the pre WW2 westerns were clearly following the patterns of these 5 classics:

Stagecoach
Jesse James
Union Pacific
Dodge City
Destry Rides Again

The 30s were basically series western time[/quote]

As usual Stanton is spot on.
I think of the westerns done in 1939 as more properly 40’s westerns as well.

@ Korano
Like Stanton, I pretty much can’t abide series westerns. They are so dull to me.
But I did buy a kinda interesting one…
The Phantom Empire (1935) with Gene Autry
He plays a singing cowboy (god save us) who battles the evil doers and robots of an underground empire. Yes, underground. Yes, robots.
So far I have been unable and unwilling to watch this so I can’t even recommend it.


(korano) #9

Watched the one I mentioned. I actually thught it was pretty fun. Nothing special obviously but simple, easy to follow, dumb fun. I get shit from some kids my age for being a little more mature than them (only thats not what they would say) but I suppose now there still maight be a kid inside somewhere. ;D


(Phil H) #10

All of the suggestions by Stanton and RF are recommended although you really should see Stagecoach too. It is a great film and did more than any other to elevate the western as a serious genre at the time.

As for the series westerns…well I am probably alone here for finding them often entertaining and charming. These films really are of a different time and were aimed largely at a juvenile audience so they are much gentler and simpler than the sort of fare most of us enjoy in our movies today. I guess my soft spot for them was born of many happy hours spent as a child at the ‘Saturday morning pictures’ we used to have here. The films shown at these weekly kids events were often very old serials and b pictures from the 30s, 40s and fifties and I still remember them fondly. Should you decide to give them a go then I would recommend films featuring the following actors:

Johnny Mack Brown
Ken Maynard
Bob Steele
Tim McCoy
Lash La Rue

The Three Mesquiteers featured various actors in this trio and changed over the years. At different times these included John Wayne and the aforementioned Ken Maynard among others.

As I said before, they are simple stuff and usually ended with the hero sorting out the bad guys with his fists rather than his guns and although there was usually a love interest of sorts the horse is more likely to get kissed than the girl. Not to everyone’s taste but they can be fun if you approach them in the right way.

N.B. I would not recommend any of the ‘singing cowboy’ films. Although most of the above tried their arm at warbling the odd tune (even John Wayne) for the most part this was left to stars like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Both of which were hugely popular in their day but pretty hard to take now even by the most forgiving of us.


(scherpschutter) #11

Reading about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly I found out that it has something in common with this film, Stagecoach.
One of the sources of inspiration for GBU apparently was Deux Amis, a novella by 19th Century French author Guy de Maupassant; it’s a novella about two french fishermen who get lost between the lines during WW I and end up in a POW camp.

Like most of you might know, another novella by Maupassant, Boule de Suif, is often called as inspiration for Stagecoach (Ernest Haycock, who wrote the novel Stagecoach was based on, is usually said to have stolen Maupassant’s story outline)

For those who don’t know Maupassant: Boule de Suif is a story set in war time too, about the passengers of a stagecoach who are saved by the very one person the all despise , this Boule de Suif.
Only this Boule de Suif is a prostitute (she saves the passengers because she accepts to sleep with the Prussian officer who threatens to kill them); in Ford’s movie the prostitute has become Ringo, whose name and fame would become legendary …


(Paco Roman) #12

I remember a TV Show from my childhood which was on German TV in the 80’s: “Western von Gestern” . There were screened many B-Western of the 30’s and 40’s . Most of them were with guys like Zorro, Fuzzy and a young John Wayne. I cannot recall one single episode but the Intro was pretty cool:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpk49t2hn4Y ;D


(Bluntwolf) #13

Which German boy growing up around the 70s and 80s wouldn’t remember Western von Gestern !? I used to love this show back then !!! Zorro, Fuzzy and “Rauchende Colts” (smoking Guns/Colts) were just fabulous !!!


(Stanton) #14

Hey and there is also this beautiful intro for Der Phantastische Film which intoduced then the Horror films


(Paco Roman) #15

[quote=“Stanton, post:14, topic:1421”]Hey and there is also this beautiful intro for Der Phantastische Film which intoduced then the Horror films

That reminds me that it was fun to watch German/Austrian TV in the 80’s. Now … ::slight_smile:

Here is one of my favourite Intro of Austrian TV for the TV Show “Trailer” of the 80’s (which was always a good info and critic show about cinema!).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y47uTkYe8RI


(Bluntwolf) #16

[quote=“Stanton, post:14, topic:1421”]Hey and there is also this beautiful intro for Der Phantastische Film which intoduced then the Horror films

Yeah right ! That intro reminds me of (secretly) watching “Dr. Jackyl and Mr. Hide” (b/w) for the first time when I was a child. I was already scared after seeing the intro and the movie made it even worse !