1939 Dodge City… as Wade Hatton
1940 Virginia City… as Kerry Bradford
1940 Santa Fe Trail… as Jeb Stuart
1942 They Died With Their Boots On… as George Custer
1945 San Antonio… as Clay Hardin
1948 Silver River… as Mike McComb
1950 Montana… as Morgan Lane
1950 Rocky Mountain… as Lafe Barstow
At the beginning of Dodge City, before Flynn appeared on-screen, a few of the characters were discussing the background-reasons of how a cultured Irishman with a British-accent came to be ‘out West’… he was with the British Army in India, was a mercenary in Cuba, joined cattle-drives in Texas, etc. I guess the studio felt a need to ‘explain’ it to male-audiences. Female-audiences automatically accepted him as the lead-character in a western. After that, no explanation was ever given again on how Flynn’s characters thrived in western-settings.
Somehow, he was the only actor to give location-shots a broad sweeping appearance. It all looked a little more vast and wide-open. The prairie-scenes in Santa Fe Trail seemed 3-D, thanks to Flynn’s aura. -Probably because of the impact that The Charge Of The Light Brigade’s sweeping battle-scene had on audiences, critics, and studios. That certified Flynn as an outdoors-action icon. Which made him a ‘natural’ for westerns. The broad, distant-shots of Custer’s 7th-Cavalry chasing hundreds of horse-riding ‘extras’ across the crests-and-gullies of the Little Big Horn-plateau in TDWTBO was the penultimate cinemascopic-shot. The ending was (no pun intended) a little over-the-top, with Flynn as the last man standing in a huge configuration of dead bodies. -A situation that ‘Hollywood’ rectified a bit, with the final scene in Rocky Mountain. The same breathtaking lighthorse-charges, but a more logically-appealing ‘last man standing’ effect.
Flynn attracted a large spectrum of female-audiences. -Even more-so internationally. Until SW’s came-along, Flynn’s westerns set the standard for international, beyond-the-box-office influences. -Specifically, how young-males’ incorporated cowboys into the fabric of childplay. The dimensionality was more than a gunfight-surrounded-by-an-action-movie…