The Terror of Tiny Town (December 1, 1938)
Released on December 1, 1938: The first and probably the only full motion picture with a cast of little people riding Shetland ponies in a cowboy western adventure.
Directed by Sam Newfield
Written by Fred Myton and Clarence Marks.
The Actors: Billy Curtis (Buck Lawson, the hero), Yvonne Moray (Nancy Preston), 'Little Billy' Rhodes (Bat Haines, the villain), Billy Platt (Jim 'Tex' Preston, the rich uncle), John T. Bambury (Pop Lawson, good guy ranch owner), Joseph Herbst (the Sheriff), Charles Becker (the cook), Nita Krebs (The Vampire, Nita, the dance hall girl), George Ministeri (the blacksmith), Karl 'Karchy' Kosiczky (Sammy the barber), Fern Formica (Diamond Dolly), William H. O'Docharty (the old soak), Jerry Maren (townsman), August Clarence Swenson (the preacher).
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How big is your dream? How large is your vision of who you will become and what you will do and have. Are you following the dream that your parents or your spouse or your friends planted in your mind, or have you discovered a bigger passion that can fill your life with bigger challenges and bigger successes than anyone could ever imagine of you? Is your passion as large as the passion of Billy Curtis? Billy Curtis was born in 1909 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and like all babies his potential future was unlimited. But by the time he was a teenager everyone in his family and all of his friends told him that his only productive future was to join a circus or carnival as part of the 'freak show.' You see, Billy was a 'little person' only a bit over four feet tall (1.27meters), but Billy had a much larger vision. While searching for his passion he met Shirley Booth, most famous in the U.S. for playing maid 'Hazel' in a television show of the 1950's. She gave Billy tips and instruction on how to break into the acting field, and Billy was on his way. After several years of successfully performing on Broadway, in 1938 he got his first part in a Hollywood motion picture as the leading man, and this is that movie. Billy went on to appear in 108 motion pictures and several television shows before his death in 1988. His vision and passion was bigger than anyone around him could imagine. If he had listened to all of his 'friends' - he would have had a much different and much less abundant life. But Billy Curtis had a bigger passion and a bigger dream of his future, and while everyone was telling him that he couldn't be anything bigger, he just moved one step at a time into that bigger life anyway. He was smart enough to listen to the little voice inside instead of the big voices all around him telling him that he could never be more than a side show freak. He was called a midget and little person, but he enjoyed a life that was bigger than most of the movie goers that bought the tickets and enjoyed his movies.
How big is your passion? I sure hope that it is so big that everyone around you scoffs at you, because if it isn't - you are cheating yourself out of a wonderful life that is so big that it might scare even you. Just hold that passion and take small steps towards it every day, and one day you will look back and surprise yourself at how far you have travelled towards that dream. It will be much further than anyone ever expected you to get, and your life will be bigger than most people can even imagine. Pop a bowl of popcorn with warm melted butter and watch one of the big Hollywood stars at work, and measure your passion with the passion of big Billy Curtis.
Baby Face in The Terror of Tiny Town
The Barber Shop trio singing in The Terror of Tiny Town
Billy Curtis in The Terror of Tiny Town
Billy Curtis singing and playing guitar
Billy Platt and Billy Curtis talk it over
Billy Platt and Yvonne Moray
Billy Platt in 1938
Fern Formica sings with a bar patron in The Terror of Tiny Town.
George Ministeri is the blacksmith in The Terror of Tiny Town.
John T. Bambury and Billy Curtis at the Sheriff's office.
John T. Bambury and Billy Curtis
John T. Bambury in 1938
Joseph Herbst and Billy Curtis
Karl 'Karchy' Kosiczky and Billy Platt
Karl 'Karchy' Kosiczky
'Little Billy' Rhodes
'Little Billy' Rhodes and his henchmen in The Terror of Tiny Town.
'Little Billy' Rhodes and Nita Krebs
'Little Billy' Rhodes warns Joseph Herbst that he had better go along with his treachery.
'Little Billy' Rhodes in The Terror of Tiny Town
'Little Billy' Rhodes dumps Nita Krebs, and she becomes the lady scorned.
Nita Krebs singing with a barfly in The Terror of Tiny Town
Nita Krebs in 1938
The bartender in The Terror of Tiny Town enjoys a big beer.
Yvonne Moray in 1938
Yvonne Moray aims her gun at Billy Curtis
Yvonne Moray and Charles Becker in The Terror of Tiny Town.
Yvonne Moray asks Charles Becker to prepare a big picnic lunch for her.