Where the West Begins (February 2, 1938)
Released on February 2, 1938: Singing cowboy Jack Manning is in a tough spot when outlaws frame him for rustling - but he shoots his way out in a rousing fight-to-the-finish.
Directed by J.P. McGowan
Written by Stanley Roberts and Gennaro Rea.
The Actors: Jack Randall (Jack Manning), Fuzzy Knight (Bizz, Jack's sidekick), Luana Walters (Lynn Reed), Arthur Housman (Beano, Jack's cellmate), Budd Buster (Sheriff Judson), Kit Guard (henchman Smiley), Richard Alexander (Barnes), Ralph Peters (Hawkins), Joe Garcia (henchman Miller), Ray Whitley (bandleader / singer), Six-Bar Cowboys (Ray Whitley's Six-Bar Cowboys), Victor Adamson (waiter), Buzz Barton (rider), Barney Beasley (poker player), Ken Card (banjoist), Rube Dalroy (barfly), Jack Evans (man in lynch mob), Jack Ingram (henchman), Milburn Morante (townsman), George Morrell (townsman), Tex Palmer (Tex), Cliff Parkinson (barfly), The Phelps Brothers (cowboy band), Earl Phelps (band member), Norman Phelps (band member), Willie Phelps (band member), Archie Ricks (croupier), James Sheridan (barfly), Bob Terry (henchman), Blackie Whiteford (barfly), Kay Whitley (saloon girl).
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Mae West's Fuzzy Knight
John Forest Knight was born in 1901 at the dawn of the twentieth century and the earliest days of motion pictures. He studied law at the University of West Virginia, but music was his passion along with a comic wit, so he was a natural for the Burlesque travelling circuits of the early 1900's. When legendary Burlesque comedienne Mae West encountered him, she insisted that he get a movie part in her famous 1933 movie, She Done Him Wrong. With his soft but enticing voice he was nicknamed 'Fuzzy,' and that name stuck with him until his death in 1976. That movie with Mae West was the beginning of a long and star-studded movie career as a character actor and cowboy side-kick. Fuzzy Knight made a small fortune acting alongside Johnny Mack Brown, Tex Ritter and others. In the 1940's his income from side-kick cowboy roles made him one of the top ten money makers among all of the cowboy movie stars. This movie is a great motion picture to be introduced to Fuzzy if you haven't met him yet, because for my money he steals the show. He is the side-kick to leading man Addison 'Jack' Randall, who tries to sing and shoot his way into the hearts of cowboy fans in this western adventure, without much luck. While the leading man, the leading lady and the big bad guy are good . . . but not great . . . Fuzzy Knight steals the show with his wit and music. The hero sings four or five cowboy songs during the movie, and Fuzzy sings only one while playing his own piano accompaniment . . . and you know what? Fuzzy's song is the best performed and delivered song in the whole movie. You can just imagine him on a burlesque theater stage in Chicago or Detroit or New York in front of a full audience as you watch him belt out his tune. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and become friends with one of the best cowboy western comedy side-kicks in the business, Fuzzy Knight.
Fuzzy Knight in Where the West Begins
Addison Randall and Fuzzy Knight keep the henchmen covered with their guns
Addison Randall and Fuzzy Knight call the sheriff
Addison Randal and Luana Walters
Addison Randall as Jack Manning is behind bars
Addison Randall in Where the West Begins
Arthur Housman as Beano, the drunk in jail with Addison Randall
Budd Buster, Tex Palmer and Luana Walters
Budd Buster arrests Addison Randall
Budd Buster as Sheriff Judson in Where the West Begins
Fuzzy Knight as Buzz in Where the West Begins
Fuzzy Knight plays and sings in the saloon
Luana Walters and Budd Buster
Luana Walters as Lynne Reed
Luana Walters in Where the West Begins
Luana Walters discovers that her cattle have been rustled
Ralph Peters in Where the West Begins
Richard Alexander and Fuzzy Knight
Richard Alexander and Luana Walters
Dick Alexander in Where the West Begins