Billy the Crabbe had nerves of Steele
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 06/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fifteen titles in MILL CREEK's BILLY THE KID 20 MOVIE PACK have never been previously issued by this manufacturer.
The "Billy the Kid" movie series recasts an outlaw gunslinger as a hero. The real "Kid" wasn't as noble or noted.
Henry McCarty (alias "William Bonney") was gunned down at age 21 and would've faded into obscurity if his killer, Patrick Garrett hadn't published a fictionalized biography, "THE AUTHENTIC LIFE OF BILLY, THE KID." Over time, the Kid's legend grew. At last count, 21 men died at his hands. This number is wildly inflated.
As for the cinematic Billy, Buster Crabbe played him in 13 programmers in 1941-43. Many of that number are here, as are Crabbe as Billy 'Sunset' Carson. Al St. John, who's "Fuzzy" in this series, was the nephew of Fatty Arbuckle. In the silent era, St. John had a penchant for leaping into the air with legs pointed in opposite directions. Sam Newfield directed all.
Bob Steele was Billy before Mr. Crabbe (Steele later played Pvt. Duffy on TV's F TROOP). Others who portrayed the Kid include Johnny Mack Brown, Robert Taylor, Audie Murphy, Scott Brady, Paul Newman, Michael J. Pollard, Kris Kristofferson, Val Kilmer and Donnie Wahlberg.
Also from MILL CREEK:
WESTERN LEGENDS 50 MOVIE PACK features vintage programmers starring John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tom Tyler, Hoot Gibson, Tex Ritter, Buck Jones and others.
Parenthetical numbers preceding titles are 1 to 10 viewer poll ratings found at a film resource website.
(*previously issued by MCE)
(6.6) Billy the Kid in Texas (1940) - Bob Steele/Terry Walker/Al St. John/Carleton Young/Slim Whitaker
(6.2) *Billy the Kid Trapped (1942) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/'Bud' McTaggart/Anne Jeffreys/Glen Strange
(?.?) Billy the Kid Wanted (1941) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Dave O'Brien/Glenn Strange/Slim Whitaker
(5.4) *Billy the Kid's Gun Justice (1940) - Bob Steele/Al St. John/Louise Curie/Carleton Young/Rex Lease
(5.4) *Billy the Kid's Range War (1941) - Bob Steele/Al St. John/Joan Barclay/Carleton Young/Rex Lease
(?.?) Blazing Frontier (1943) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Marjorie Manners/Milton Kibbee/I. Stanford Jolley/Kermit Maynard (uncredited: Slim Whitaker)
(7.3) Cattle Stampede (1943) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Frances Gladwin (uncredited: Hal Price/Glenn Strange)
(6.7) *Devil Riders (1943) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Patti McCarty/Charles King/Kermit Maynard
(5.1) Fugitive of the Plains (1943) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Maxine Leslie/Jack Ingram/Kermit Maynard/Hal Price
(5.5) Gangster's Den (1945) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Sydney Logan/Kermit Maynard/I. Stanford Jolley
(6.3) *His Brother's Ghost (1945) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Karl Hackett/Charles King/Roy Brent
(6.5) The Kid Rides Again (1943) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Iris Meredith/Glenn Strange/I. Stanford Jolley/Slim Whitaker (uncredited: 'Snub' Pollard)
(6.3) The Mysterious Rider ("Panhandle Trail") (1942) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Caroline Burke/Slim Whitaker/Kermit Maynard
(6.2) Oath of Vengeance (1944) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Mady Lawrence/Jack Ingram/Kermit Maynard/Hal Price
(7.0) Rustlers' Hideout (1945) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Patti McCarty/Charles King/Hal Price/Lane Chandler
(6.4) Shadows of Death (1945) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Dona Dix/Charles King/karl Hackett/Eddie Hall
(6.0) Sheriff of Sage Valley (1942) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Dave O'Brien/Maxine Leslie/Kermit Maynard/Hal Price
(5.2) Western Cyclone (1942) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Marjorie Manners/Glenn Strange/Hal Price/Kermit Maynard
(6.0) Wild Horse Phantom (1944) - Buster Crabbe/Al St. John/Janet Warren/Kermit Maynard/Hal Price (uncredited: Slim Whitaker)"
Still another great Mill Creek package!
Harold K. Errington | Qualicum Beach, B.C. | 02/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Could have used less Bob Steele, but, then again, I'm Buster & Fuzzy's #1 fan!"