The Outlaw (February 5, 1943)

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Jane Russell in The Outlaw
 

Released February 5, 1943: Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday become friends after the Kid steals Doc Holliday's horse, and then the Kid takes Doc Holliday's girlfriend as well, but Sheriff Pat Garrett is hot on their trail.

Produced by Howard Hughes

Directed by Howard Hughes and Howard Hawks

The Actors: Jack Buetel (Billy the Kid), Jane Russell (Rio McDonald), Thomas Mitchell (Pat Garrett), Walter Huston (Doc Holliday), Mimi Aguglia (Guadalupe), Joe Sawyer (Charley), Gene Rizzi (stranger), Bobby Callahan (boy), Martin Garralaga (Mike the waiter), John Howard (face on the wanted poster), Ben Johnson (bit part), Dickie Jones (boy), Cecil Kellogg (officer), Ethan Laidlaw (deputy), Ted Mapes (guard), William Newell (drunk cowboy Fred), Emory Parnell (Dolan, the man entering the saloon), Edward Peil Sr. (Swanson), Wallace Reid Jr. (bystander), Julian Rivero (Pablo), Lee Shumway (card dealer), William Steele (deputy), Harry Strang (townsman in the Sheriff's office), Frank Ward (boy), Pat West (bartender)

 

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Open Fire at the Last Coo-Coo

Whether you are a fan of cowboy westerns or not, in my humble opinion this movie is a turning point in the history of big screen cowboys, and a ‘must see’ movie. Like many revolutionary things, it was not appreciated or enjoyed when it was shown in theaters, and alas, to this day many folk who write about the movie proclaim that it is a terrible example of a Western adventure. I may be the only one, but I think it was a stroke of genius on the part of the eccentric millionaire producer Howard Hughes. First off, the movie was filmed two years before the Hays Office would allow it to be shown in movie theaters. It was widely advertised that the cleavage of Jane Russell in her first motion picture was the reason, but there are examples of similar cleavage in earlier films that were not tampered with by the censors. I think that it was the overall sexy nature of her part of the story that bothered the censors. Up until this movie, everyone ‘knew’ that the leading girl in a cowboy movie should be a pretty, but prim and proper gal who needed to be rescued and helped by the good guys . . . . Not the sexy and saavy girlfriend of a bandit who will love the one she is with if she cannot be with the one she loves.

This movie is, I believe, the first sexy American Western movie targeted at adult movie patrons instead of the little kids on Saturday afternoon matinees. This is also one of the first cowboy stories that focuses on the lives of the outlaws instead of the white-hat good guys. This is the first cowboy movie . . . . Indeed, possibly one of the first American movies in general . . . . That incorporates the amazing, witty conversation style long used by the British in movies, integrating the comedy relief right into the story. Some American reviewers claim that this movie has a muddled plot that doesn’t know whether it wants to be a comedy or a serious cowboy story . . . . Because a good cowboy adventure has a wacky side-kick to bring the comedy relief that the drama demands, and this movie doesn’t have one character who brings the smiles amid the tumbleweed terror. Each of the main characters in this movie will have script lines scattered throughout the story that are hilarious, and they say them with a straight and serious face. If you have enjoyed many of the British movies that I share, you will recognize the witty way that this is accomplished. On the face of it the story is about Marshal Pat Garrett who is chasing Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday, and history is tossed to the wind, but not drama, comedy, and . . . . . Yes . . . . . Even sex is deftly integrated into an amazing tale of the Wild West that you might just enjoy and remember. In additon to sexy Jane Russell in her first movie there is a really, really good cowboy adventure. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Gene Rizzi
Gene Rizzi
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel and Walter Houston
Jack Buetel and Walter Houston
Jack Buetel and Walter Houston
Jack Buetel and Walter Houston
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel as Billy the Kid
Jack Buetel as Billy the Kid
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel
Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel
Jane Russell and Walter Houston
Jane Russell and Walter Houston
Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Mimi Aguglia
Mimi Aguglia
Mimi Aguglia and Walter Houston
Mimi Aguglia and Walter Houston
Mimi Aguglia
Mimi Aguglia
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell and Jack Buetel
Thomas Mitchell and Jack Buetel
Thomas Mitchell and Jack Buetel
Thomas Mitchell and Jack Buetel
Thomas Mitchell and Walter Houston
Thomas Mitchell and Walter Houston
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Walter Houston
Walter Houston
Walter Houston
Thomas Mitchell and Jack BuetelWalter Houston
Walter Houston and Jack Buetel
Walter Houston and Jack Buetel
Watler Houston and Jane Russell
Watler Houston and Jane Russell
Walter Houston
Walter Houston
Walter Houston
Walter Houston
William Newell and Pat West
William Newell and Pat West