MAN IN THE SADDLE (1951)

Reading Colin’s review of Coroner Creek (http://livius1.wordpress.comgot me started re-watching some of my favourite Randolph Scott westerns.


Man In The Saddle 
is a rather nondescript title for this Randolph Scott western which has a lot going for it. – range wars, jealousy, obsession, stampedes, storms and a love triangle! All you can hope for in a good western.

The film opens in the middle of the story. We learn quickly that big landowner Will Isham (Alexander Knox) is about to marry Laurie Bidwell (Joan Leslie) who has previously been involved with rancher  Owen Merritt (Randolph Scott).

It also becomes clear that Isham wants to buy up all the small ranches around him and that includes Merritt, Bourke Prine (Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams) and  Pay Lankershim (Clem Bevans).

 

Merritt isn’t too happy that Laurie is marrying  Isham.

 

Ellen Drew, Randolph Scott.

Ellen Drew  is Nan Melotte whose small holding is next to Owen’s ranch. She and Owen and Bourke Prine are about to start their drive to market to sell their cattle.

 

Alexander Knox is suitably cold and menacing as Isham .  He becomes convinced  his new wife still has feelings for Merritt.

 

Richard Rober, always good in villainous roles. Sadly he died in a car accident shortly after Man In The Saddle was completed.

He plays the Isham’s hired gun who stampedes Owen’s cattle and brings death and destruction to the peaceful ranchers.

 

John Russell’s character, Hugh Clagg is a surprising addition to the film’s plot. He plays a loner whom nobody really likes, but he is obsessed with Ellen Drew’s Nan who is kind to him.

 

 

Richard Crane and Cameron Mitchell as the Vird  brothers who work for Owen.

 

Clem Bevans

Always a pleasure to see Clem Bevans as Pay Lankershim  (love that name!). Unfortunately Clem is only in the film briefly. Pay reluctantly accepts Isham’s generous offer to buy him out.

 

Guinn Williams, Ellen Drew, Randolph Scott.

One of the few lighter scenes where anyone smiles in the film. The light moments come from Alphonso Bedoyo as Owen’s ranch cook.

 

 

Man In The Saddle was a Scott/Brown production, written by Kenneth Gamet from Ernest Haycox’s novel.

Producer Harry Joe Brown and Randolph Scott had known each other since 1941’s Western Union and The Desperadoes and continued their association from 1947 through the 1950s. No doubt a lucrative partnership for the two men who could turn out good westerns at not too great a cost.

Man in the Saddle has great locations in the Alabama Hills in California . And fortunately it was in color. Though there were too many night scenes which weren’t well lit – where was the ‘moonlight’.

It was the first of six films Andre De Toth made with Randolph Scott. The others are Carson City, The Stranger Wore A Gun, Thunder Over The Plains, Riding Shotgun, The Bounty Hunter.
Deserving of a box set release. I particularly like Carson City and The Bounty Hunter.

The screenwriter was Kenneth Gamet  whom I discovered did the scripts for 8 of Randolph Scott’s westerns.  He also co-founded the Screen Writers Guild.Like Scott’s producing partnership with Harry Joe Brown, it makes sense that this writer would become familiar with the Scott formula.

It’s interesting that in many of Scott’s westerns there was a group of actors common to many of them – Lee Marvin, Frank Faylen, Michael Pate, Dorothy Malone, Clem Bevans, Ray Teal.

Clem Bevans had a much bigger role in Scott’s Hangman’s Knot the following year, whereas Guinn Williams , a solid friend of Owen in Man in the Saddle, returns to his more usual type of role as a blustering bad guy in the latter film.

Question. Owen’s trail herd seems to be forgotten as the film progresses, or is it being tended by Tennessee Ernie Ford who plays a ranch hand and sings the title song round their campfire !

Tennessee Ernie Ford, Alfonso Bedoya.

 

Publicity shots:

Joan Leslie, Randolph Scott, Ellen Drew.

 

Randolph Scott, Ellen Drew.

 

Love this rare picture on the set, with director Andre de Toth on left, Randolph Scott, Ellen Drew, Guinn Williams.

 

On her wedding night, Laurie gets a visit from Owen . She makes it clear she will marry Isham. Owen says, “You always figured you could make your  mind pull your heart along. I hope you can.“

I liked Joan Leslie as Laurie who has plans to better herself by marrying the rich Isham. She can be ruthless – when her father (Don Beddoe) drinks and talks too much at her wedding reception, she simply tells him to leave the area and she’ll send him money.

Her marriage to Isham is strictly  a bargain, in name only. “I’ll play the part you  want me to play.”

But Isham doesn’t share anything, be it land or a woman – his philosophy is “Whatever I have is mine and mine alone. I’ll share with no one.”

Later he warns Owen, “Stay away from everything that belongs to me.”

So that’s the set up for this 87 minute film which is well paced and full of action.

 

HELL LAND.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

57 responses »

      • Can’t fault these! At the moment, mine would be Seven Men From Now,, Hangman’s Knot, A Lawless Street, The Bounty Hunter, Carson City.
        (But it could change!)

      • That the way with top anythings, isn’t it? My own would be pretty much fixed in this particular case, but the order would vary.

  1. Vienna,
    A nice appreciation of one of Scott’s best westerns. Although the title is somewhat generic that was nevertheless the title of Ernest Haycox’s fine novel, published in 1939. The book is a fine read too!

    • That’s hard for me, Vienna, as 5 just isn’t enough, if you know what I mean? But……
      “SEVEN MEN FROM NOW”, “RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY”, “THE TALL T”, “CORONER CREEK”, “HANGMAN’S KNOT” but how can I not include “MAN IN THE SADDLE”, “COMANCHE STATION” Ah, me!!!
      I have somewhat riskily gone on record as saying “Ride The High Country” is my favourite movie of all-time. Rash statement of course but with two of my heroes giving such wonderful performances together it blew my socks off when I saw it at the cinema in 1962 and visited a second time the same week. Very moving film.

      • It’s interesting to see the same two or three titles coming up. By the way my top five is in no particular order. For whatever reason I haven’t watched Ride the High Country in an age, but will make up for that.

  2. Vienna, thank you for the good write-up of MAN IN THE SADDLE(1951). I like this solid Randolph Scott Western and so many of the others he made. These movies are so re-watchable. Good scripts, actors, actresses, direction, locations, photography, and on and on.

    I always enjoy your selection of photographs to use, that enhances your written material. I like the behind the scenes one and that is a good photo of John Russell. Also the posters are good, especially the portuguese(am I correct?) one. The title is quite different. I liked your comment about Tennessee Ernie Ford and the cattle herd.

    I can’t just name a top five list, when it comes to Randolph Scott movies, because there are so many to choose from. Here goes, but I’ll leave out some that I really like: THE TALL T(1957), RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY(1962), CORONER CREEK(1948), THE NEVADAN(1949), SEVEN MEN FROM NOW(1956), and so many more.

    • Always good to hear from you, Walter. I love finding photos, especially rare ones like that on the set one showing André De Toth.
      Yes, that’s a Portuguese poster. Wouldn’t mind having some of these hanging on my walls,
      You’ve made me think I need to watch The Nevadan again. I don’t recall it.

  3. I very much enjoyed this appreciation of MAN IN THE SADDLE, Vienna.

    I’ll throw in my top 5 here. It happens they are the same 5 as Colin’s though in a different order. Colin, I noted, interestingly, that yours happen to fall chronologically, though you said that might vary. My own may have varied a little over time, but not much.

    SEVEN MEN FROM NOW, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, COMANCHE STATION,
    RIDE LONESOME, THE TALL T

    and since I know it’s a numbingly conventional choice, I’ll add my next five, especially as they fortuitously include the one Vienna wrote on here —

    DECISION AT SUNDOWN, BUCHANAN RIDES ALONE, HANGMAN’S KNOT,
    A LAWLESS STREET, MAN IN THE SADDLE

    When I was making this up awhile ago, I was interested to compare with Joel McCrea, since the two stars are linked in my mind, for artistic stature and because they both specialized on Westerns from 1946 (I didn’t think of their prewar films but it likely would not affect things).
    So here is my top 10 McCrea and I consider this comparable in quality to the Scott list:

    COLORADO TERRITORY, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, STARS IN MY CROWN,
    SADDLE TRAMP, RAMROD, WICHITA, THE LONE HAND,
    SOUTH OF ST. LOUIS, STRANGER ON HORSEBACK, FORT MASSACRE

    Yes, the same movie is a close second on both lists! I didn’t plan it that way but this is my true estimation and it does make sense.

    Jerry, no apologies ever needed for loving RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY. It knocked me out the first time too so many years and still has the same effect on me years later. Being older now might even add something to it. A very moving film as you say–the last scene/ending especially is one of the most beautiful and affecting that exists.

    • Thanks, Blake. And I like your next five too. Must think about reviewing A Lawless Street.
      Not surprising you should think of that other great western icon Joel McCrea. My favourites of his are The Tall Stranger ( who can forget Leo Gordon as a good guy), South of St.Louis and Trooper Hook.

    • Blake, I listed my 5 chronologically for the simple reason there is little to separate them in my estimation, I’ll shuffle them around in order on different days, perhaps depending on my moods or thoughts on those days, but I see them all occupying a broadly similar level.

      I was interested in your McCrea list and couldn’t fault it, but I will say I was surprised at one omission. I would have though The Outriders would make your top 10.

      • This just shows the high level of films there, because I do have great affection for THE OUTRIDERS, which barely missed there and would probably be next, the same as THE NEVADAN on the Scott list, another I’ve admired all the more since writing about it. I’m more inclined to make these lists if someone has a filmography that I strongly respond to.

        As you say, it’s pretty close when movies reach a certain level, so I’m not surprised those five Scotts you named are chronological. Though I didn’t do it that way, they are a top tier and any order of those seems pretty reasonable.

        Someone said they thought we were just supposed to say 5. That’s right–that is what Vienna asked for. Honestly, I just thought, well it’s OK to answer in the way we want in discussion like this. Glad she seems OK with it.

      • I didn’t add any McCrea titles myself as I feel there are still a few too many gaps in my viewing of his films for me to be happy about settling on a selection, there are some gaps with Scott too, but not as many.

  4. Walter just reminded me of “THE NEVADAN”, another of Scott’s finest. I can think of at least a dozen that ought to be in Scott’s ‘Top Five!

  5. I really like this one. Joan Leslie talks at length about the film in a Western Clippings interview. Interestingly she was given her choice of the female roles and decided to go against type and take the unsympathetic one. The producers were angry when Joan missed a days shooting when her children were ill and cut the scene rather than reschedule!
    Joan has this to say of Randolph ‘a joy to work with. Elegant, such a gentleman and devastatingly good locking. A charmer with beautiful eyes. I compare him to Gary Cooper, but Cooper had more versatility’.

  6. Good to have your second five, Blake. Mine might be “THE NEVADAN”, “MAN IN THE SADDLE”, “COMANCHE STATION”, “RIDE LONESOME”, “DECISION AT SUNDOWN”. But I cannot rule out “THE DOOLINS OF OKLAHOMA”, “RETURN OF THE BADMEN” and????

    Great also to talk about five favourite McCreas. I concur very much with your list but would also want to add in “FOUR FACES WEST”, “THE TALL STRANGER” & “THE GUNFIGHT AT DODGE CITY”.

    What wonderful westerns that we now have in high-definition (some of them) and can watch them whenever we fancy.

    Thanks for hosting this Scott & McCrea ‘love-in’, Vienna. Loved your review with some great stills.

  7. A bit late in the day but here goes anyway,and all this sudden Scott
    attention appearing on-line is most welcome.
    Could not agree more regarding Rober,I love the moment where he taunts
    Knox pointing to the stairs that lead up to Leslie’s bedroom stating that
    while he lives Scott will always be an invisible barrier on those stairs.
    Parts of the film are more Noir than Western especially the Knox character.
    Certainly the best of the Scott DeToth Westerns.
    Interesting that De Toth fought for Knox being cast in NONE SHALL ESCAPE
    (Columbia wanted Paul Lukas)
    and Knox then suggested Lewis Milestone should direct but it all ended OK
    as De Toth cast Knox in several other of his pictures.

    • Good to hear from you,John. And yes, great scene where Rober taunts Knox. Richard Rober never disappoints.
      The scene where Isham shoots Clagg is also so reflective of the Isham character – three deliberate shots!
      I wish in a way the film had started earlier than it did so we could see what happened when Laurie left Owen for Isham.
      Interesting to hear about De Toth/Knox history.
      I’ve yet to see the film Knox made with Irene Dunne – Over 21.

      • Our good friend Laura also has a slight dislike for a story starting part way through, Vienna, and I am thinking particularly of “RIDE THE MAN DOWN”. But it was something Luke Short did but also Ernest Haycox in his “MAN IN THE SADDLE” but I feel really comfortable with it. The scene is already set and the viewer is dumped down in the thick of the action.

  8. And the skill is in the writing to make viewers aware in a short space of time what is going on, as happens in Man in The Saddle. Opening it when the marriage is about to happen draws you in right away. We learn quickly who is who and what the dynamics are.

    • Yes exactly, I really enjoy that. As you say, Vienna, the skill is in the writing.
      I can recommend the novel by the way. Same story more or less but the lead character has been adapted quite a bit to suit Scott’s persona for the film.

      • I haven’t read any of the novels on which some of Scott and McCrea’s films were based. Maybe I should start!
        Just caught up with Coroner Creek and have commented over at Ride The High Country. Glad I’ve seen it at last.

  9. Wow! What a terrific number of comments. Canadian born Alexander Knox began his career in Britain but left for Hollywood when war seemed imminent. When he ran in to trouble with the Unamerican Activities Committee he promptly came back. His wife Doris Nolan was an active member of the Communist Party.

    • Blake, I am just delighted to see this great response and only suggested a top 5 just to see if the same films would appear in everyone’s lists. Seven Men from Now and Ride The High Country seem to be the top two.
      It occurs to me that in my 100 favourite films, Randolph Scott might feature more than any other star.
      I must watch The Outriders again.

      • Yes, and I should have inserted “THE OUTRIDERS” in my list of top McCreas. How did I manage to forget it?

  10. Vienna, as I mentioned earlier on your other post, writing about Randolph Scott Westerns will stir up things, but in a good way. I didn’t realize that we could name more than five, because like Jerry, I could name about twelve for the top five.

    I think Randolph’s Scott’s stature as the quintessential movie “Man of the West” just keeps on rising and will continue to do so. He had quite a career in Western movies going back to HERITAGE OF THE DESERT(1932) and riding on through RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY(1962). Scott left an amazing body of work and he rode into the sunset when he was at the top of his legacy, which he has left us.

    • Yes, we tend to think of Scott westerns from the mid 40s onwards, but as you say, he had been making westerns since the early 30s. I haven’t seen the early ones.

      • Vienna, the early Scott Westerns of the 1930’s were taken loosely from the novels of Zane Grey and most of them were directed by Henry Hathaway. We can’t really compare these early ones to the later Scott Westerns, but I think they were rather entertaining for their day and they do have some things going for them. First of all, everyone is younger. Scott, as a younger actor, had a screen presence and appeal, but he just hadn’t developed the persona that most are familiar with today.. This would come forth with Scott hooking up with director Fritz Lang in WESTERN UNION(filmed 1940, released 1941).

        TO THE LAST MAN(1933) has some good things going for it, especially actress Esther Ralston. She is quite good and possess an unbeatable strength throughout the movie. She has a surprising final showdown scene with badman Jack La Rue, which is something to behold. The movie was filmed during the Pre-Code years, so there are some risque scenes and violence that wouldn’t be passable within a year of the movie’s original release. This movie has Historical significance, which I won’t be a spoiler here and spill all of the beans. The rest of the cast has Buster Crabbe, Barton MacLane(in a good guy role), Noah Beery, Gail Patrick, and a very young future star, who I won’t name.

        In 1950 Paramount Pictures sold 20 of the Zane Grey movies to Favorite Films for theatrical re-release, and then to Unity Television Corporation for television syndication in 1953. Of these, 6 starred Randolph Scott and TO THE LAST MAN was included. Since then, this movie fell into public domain hell. In 2010 NEW POST movie reviewer Lou Lumenick wrote about this neglected movie and about its Historical significance. Film Historian David Stenn, who’s on the preservation board at the Museum of Modern Art, got on board as well as curator Dave Kehr. In 2014 the 74 minute TO THE LAST MAN was restored and screened at the Museum of Modern Art.

        As far as I know the restoration print is not out on DVD or Blu-ray. Does anyone know for sure about this? John K? So, if not, what we still have is the raggedy prints. The best of these, is a DVD put out by the Roan Group in 2005. Hopefully some day in the future, we all will have a chance to see the restoration TO THE LAST MAN.

        Here is the YouTube print.

  11. Thanks Walter for all that interesting information. I will definitely watch To The Last Man. Thanks for link.I don’t know Esther Ralston.

    • Vienna, you are most welcome and thank you for your wonderful website. Esther Ralston was a silent movie actress known as the “American Venus.”

      • Vienna, I made a mistake in the above. I actually meant Lou Lumenick NEW YORK POST movie reviewer. He did a wonderful service by planting the idea of restoring TO THE LAST MAN. The power of the written word.

  12. Some really great background from Walter there! From my perspective, Scott’s recognisable persona was beginning nicely two years before “WESTERN UNION” when he starred in “FRONTIER MARSHAL” but I agree completely that it flowered in “Western Union” during which he met the film’s associate producer, Harry Joe Brown, who was to play a major role in Scott’s future.
    I have only ever seen “TO THE LAST MAN” once (in the 1970s) when it was screened at London’s National Film Theatre. I remember enjoying it considerably, found Esther Ralston most appealing and just wish it’s restored version would appear on DVD. I would buy it, no question.

    J.P.’s point (above) raises mention of two of Scott’s earlier westerns after WW2 that are generally not mentioned when discussing Scott (as we do, quite a lot, natch). I have both films and will always enjoy watching them though they are arguably lesser Scott but I have a distinct soft spot for “GUNFIGHTERS” and would not hesitate in recommending it to those unfamiliar with it.

    • Jerry, you are so right about FRONTIER MARSHAL(1939). When making a list, I will always invariably leave out a title that I like. When we discuss Randolph Scott Westerns there are so many to talk about, which is a good thing.

      I’m envious of you, in that you were able to see TO THE LAST MAN on a big screen at London’s National Film Theatre. I hope it was a good print.

      • It WAS a long time ago of course, Walter, but generally I believe it true to say the NFT would not have screened a film unless a good print was available. I was a NFT member for 14 years (until the appearance of children rather curtailed such after-work activity). I even attended two all-night showings, one for Blake Edwards films and the other an all-night John Wayne marathon. Needless to say, I managed to stay awake through it all (just) then had to drive home from central London!! Ah, the stamina of youth…….

  13. Thanks Jerry. Always good to discuss Scott’s development in the characters he plays. I think if Gunfighters had been done in the 50s, there would have been more dramatic impact of a gunfighter trying to give up his guns and lose his reputation for being a top gun.
    I understand Scott was a good business man ( in oil) and , dare I say, he didn’t find these westerns much of a chore. – while adding to his income!

  14. As we have been talking about Mr. McCrea, I wonder if Jerry and Blake would like to see my review of Trooper Hook (7 years ago!) which John K. and Colin commented on at the time. I feel it’s a film which can provoke a lot of discussion.
    http:// viennasclassichollywood.com/2013/07/19/trooper-hook-1957
    (Hope I’ve got that link correct)

    • Thanks for taking me back 7 years to your fine review, Vienna, of a western I like quite a lot. I know from past reading that John K. is not a fan of Charles Marquis Warren but the man will always have a place for me for being the creator and producer (first seasons) of “RAWHIDE”. He also acted as producer on early seasons of both “GUNSMOKE” and “THE VIRGINIAN” and there you have three of the very finest western TV series ever made.
      Warren as a director maybe less outstanding but he seemed to not shy away from racism and bigotry in his films (“ARROWHEAD” and ‘Trooper Hook’) and made some powerful statements but without fanfare.
      Stanwyck and McCrea, I agree, were always good together (they shared a love of ranching which probably enhanced their friendship) and here they gave mature performances that raise the film considerably.

      • Glad to hear your views on Trooper Hook, Jerry. It’s always a pleasure to see John Dehner in a film. A pity he never got a strong starring role in any film ( I don’t think so anyway)
        I watched first 8 seasons of Gunsmoke and was very impressed – did a review in 2017. I preferred the half hour format.

  15. Vienna, add me to the large John Dehner fan club! In Season 4 of “THE VIRGINIAN” he came in as the new owner/caretaker of Shiloh Ranch as Morgan Starr and had a good starring role, but only for 4 episodes sadly.
    Also he had a terrific role alongside Audie Murphy in “CAST A LONG SHADOW”, raising that film considerably by his strong presence.

    • Just ordered Cast A Long Shadow In view of your comments on John Dehner’s role.
      Dare I say in this company that I’m not a big Audie Murphy fan. (Still, as Colin once said, we can’t all like the same stars.)

  16. I read the TROOPER HOOK piece and it did make me want to see it again. I’ve only seen it once–I respond to the subject but with Warren I mostly tend to like his writing more than his direction. I don’t want to be too dismissive. Unless something makes a deep impression, I don’t have as strong an opinion if I’ve only seen it once.

    I have seen every post-war Joel McCrea movie (from THE VIRGINIAN), though still working on a few unseen Randolph Scott ones from those years. Of 26 McCrea’s, I do like most of them, some much more than others, of course, and only found a few to be really weak. I know I thought better of TROOPER HOOK than Warren’s CATTLE EMPIRE but need to see them both again.

    John Dehner had a great career–personally, I feel that Claude in MAN OF THE WEST is his greatest role and gives a powerful touch of tragedy to the film, given his relationships with the Cooper and Cobb characters.

    Just a gentle note of advice to others who are contributing lists of 5 or 10 films for someone, and then later say, “How could I forget (fill in the title)?” Get the filmography of the person in front of you so you are remembering everything you’ve seen, make the choice that feels right and reflect on it a few minutes–and you won’t have to say “How could I forget (that other title)?”

  17. Thanks Blake. Doubt I’ve seen as many McCrea westerns. He’s someone I can enjoy In anything he does. It’s funny he too, like Scott, decided to concentrate on westerns.

    • I too enjoy McCrea in anything. He is an ideal actor, always natural and unaffected. Pre-war he is generally better than Scott but by the end, the two are equal. To be more precise, in the post-war ones McCrea’s first ones have the edge for about five years (that’s reflected in my own list), 1951-1955 they are perhaps equal, and then with Ranown cycle Scott stands out much more than McCrea for the later 50s before they are sublimely together in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY.

      The comparison is worth making because they did both deliberately concentrate on Westerns beginning in 1946, feeling most comfortable in the genre and also feeling it suited them better as they got older.

      But no doubt on his own McCrea was a most appealing leading man in the 30s and early 40s. In some Westerns too, of course, but I’m mainly thinking of comedies and melodramas–those Preston Sturges movies for example (everyone likes those and he is great in them), or THESE THREE, things like that. My favorite of them all I’m sure is COME AND GET IT (1936; Howard Hawks and William Wyler) though McCrea does not appear in the first half of the film–the half that makes it great–that is all Hawks who is at his peak there with Frances Farmer as her indelible first of two characters.

      Still, given my love of the genre in those post-war years, I lean more toward the later Westerns, but I really do like so many of those earlier films. With Scott too–a number of people mentioned WESTERN UNION; yes, Scott is superb there–there’s nothing like a caring director and Fritz Lang saw more in him than most were back then.

      • I agree McCrea had the edge pre-war – films like Palm Beach Story and The More The Merrier.
        It’s funny to think of Scott being in several musicals . I liked him in Roberta, Follow The Fleet and High Wide and Handsome.

  18. I’m with our friend Laura in having a great fondness for “FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT” from McCrea’s pre-1946 films. I also think he was excellent in “DEAD END” (1937) & “PRIMROSE PATH” (1940). And I recently bought the Warner Archive reissue of “ESPIONAGE AGENT” (1939), yet to view.

  19. WOW! Itl looks as if this Randolph Scott thread is a record breaker as far as number of responses go. I have been enjoying all of the discussions here and most people seem to agree on their favourite Scott titles. I will not make a list except to say my own two favourites are COMANCHE STATION and RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY,both films have incredibly moving endings.
    I’ve never liked TROOPER HOOK that much and it’s a pity Jacques Tourneur never directed as I feel he would have made much more of the material. The ending of the film is incredibly flat and looked as if it was rushed. CATTLE EMPIRE is somewhat better because it has the advantage of being in color and CinemaScope.
    Oddly enough Charles Marquis Warren at the same time as TROOPER HOOK made a 90 minute Playhouse 90 filmed episode with many of the same people and with plot elements similar to TROOPER HOOK. The Playhouse 90 episode was called WITHOUT INCIDENT and had a stellar cast incliding Errol Flynn,Ann Sheridan,Julie London and John Ireland. Like TROOPER HOOK it’s pretty turgid (what Warren film wasm’t) but overall it’s much better.

    • Certainly a record for my blog. Thanks to everyone who has joined the discussion.
      Must watch Cattle Empire again .
      That TV movie with Flynn and Ann Sheridan sounds intriguing. No sign of it on You Tube.
      I know we can agree to disagree on the merits of Trooper Hook.

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