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Comments on old movies from an old and passionate guy

"West of Cheyenne" - Cowboy Western Adventure
released on March 1, 1931

The Actors: Tom Tyler (Tom Langdon), Josephine Hill (Bess), Harry Woods (Kurt Raymer, aka the Laramie Kid), Fern Emmett (Rose), Ben Corbett (Banty), Lafe McKee (Lafe Langdon), Robert Walker (henchman Nevada), Ethan Allen (sheriff), Tom Bay (Langdon cowhand), Bob Burns (bearded henchman), Frank Ellis (Jim Halliday), Lew Meehan (henchman), Tex Palmer (Langdon cowhand), Henry Roquemore (John Holden), Slim Whitaker (henchman Steve)

The Cowboy and Captain Marvel

Tom Tyler in West of CheyenneVince Markowski was born in 1903 in New York, but his Lithuanian family moved to Detroit Michigan area where he grew up and would retire and die at the age of 50. Vince was a weightlifter and in 1928 was considered the strongest man in the world when he lifted 760 pounds, and was on the 1928 Olympic weight lifting team. During this same period Vince was getting work in Hollywood as a stunt man and eventually as a leading cowboy in silent movies. When talkies came along, like this early talking movie, he changed his name to Tom Tyler and worked hard to lose his Lithuanian accent. In this recently discovered well-worn copy of a Harry Webb cowboy adventure he is Tom Langdon, son of Lafe Langdon, who has been sentenced to death for shooting his neighbor. Tom will go to the outlaw paradise in the rocky hills west of Cheyenne to find the real killer. As the 1930’s cowboy movie stars like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers emerged, Tom Tyler was soon out of work as a cowboy star. Watching this movie today, I am thinking that the directing style of his movies is what may have killed his cowboy career. This movie has none of the slick polish that audiences got accustomed to with the big cowboy stars. . . . The dialogue and action remind me of the ‘reality’ shows that are currently popular on television. It is a very cool thing and gives me the feeling that it isn’t a staged movie, but a real peek at western life. Unfortunately back in 1931 movie audiences probably wanted the slick productions that came along with the big cowboy heroes of the next decades. This movie comes off like someone just filming real events and people, and today almost a hundred years later, I find it fascinating because it is so ‘real’ looking. Tom Tyler would not star in many more cowboy movies, but he would become famous as the first ‘Captain Marvel’ superhero in the 1941 twelve episode movie serial. But today he is just a roaming cowboy hoping to save his papa from hanging for a murder that he didn’t commit. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

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Thank You!

2014 was an exciting year for me, and I want to say thank you to every visitor that enjoys these old movies as much as I do. Four years ago I found myself with the knowledge to create nice web pages, along with a stack of old public domain movies that I owned and enjoyed. I decided to share them with the world . . . I thought that the 150 or so movies that I had collected were all the public domain movies in existence, but soon discovered more, and with good research and the help of the internet I am still discovering lost classics to share. Thanks to the amazing people at the New Dream Network I am able to share more than 2,000 almost forgotten classics, with many more sitting on my shelf waiting their turn to be added to this web site.

The question that I am asked most often is whether these movies are really public domain, or am I sharing movies that are still copyrighted and owned by movie studios and independent producers. Some folk believe that I am clever enough to share movies still owned by studios and independent producers without them knowing, but that would not be 'clever' . . . . merely 'stupid.' The first month that I started this web site I uploaded the stack of movies that I had on hand that I believed were public domain. Within days, when only a handful of visitors found my site, a movie studio contacted me and let me know that a couple of their copyrighted movies were among my uploads. I quickly apologized and removed them, and I started learning how to research copyright office records instead of taking the word of movie bloggers. To guarantee that I don't make a mistake, and encourage any studio or producer to correct any mistake that I might make, I do not hide the files with cryptic file names like movie pirates do, and I do not host the movies in a small offshore nation to prevent movie studios from finding either me or the movies. Every movie is named and dated and very easy for motion picture studios to search for and find . . . . . And believe me, they are constantly watching. You may have only discovered this web site recently, but all of the movie studios watch my listings very closely, and have since the very early days. Our legal system makes it very easy for movie studio lawyers to quickly shut down an offending web site, and I am a very cautious person who wants to be around for a while, and have no interest in abusing the rights of others. I am also very easy to find . . . . I am a very public person with my face on every page of the web site, and a contact link on every page of the web site, and if you look at the 'meet Jimbo' page you can even easily discover my cell phone number by following the link to my personal pages. The movies that have been here for five years now are still here because they have no current legal owner.

If you find an error or factual mistake, please use the contact page to let me know so that I can correct it for everyone else. This web site attempts to celebrate the efforts of every actor from the first decades of motion pictures - not just the stars - because like a grand stew, every actor adds a unique flavor to the film, and without any of them the movie would not be the same. If you are one of these actors, or a friend or family member of an actor, please send me any anecdotes and stories that you know about any of them, and I will gladly add them to the site to enrich our knowledge about that actor or the movie they played in.

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