On the New Mexico frontier, war is breaking out behind rancher Sam Chew (Noah Beery) and rustler Sonora Joe (Luis Alberni). Both want to control the land and the cattle that graze upon it and innocent settlers are getting trapped in the middle! The governor decides to send a young sheriff named John Steele to maintain order. No sooner has Steele arrived then he meets a young woman (Mae Madison) and her father, who have both been attacked by and had their cattle stolen by Sam Chew. After Sonora Joe and his gang save his life from Sam’s men, Steele realizes that Sam is more malicious and dangerous than Sonora Joe so he decides that the best way to handle the situation is to deputize Joe and team up with him to stop Sam and his men. It’s a tall order but John Steele is just the man to handle it because John Steele is John Wayne!
This was one of the many B-westerns that the former Marion Morrison made in the decade before John Ford made him a star by casting him in Stagecoach. Wayne was always a good hero, even in a 54-minute programmer like this one. Though there is, as the title promises, an impressive stampede, Wayne is the main attraction here, with Noah Beery serving as a good heavy as always. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this movie, if you’re a western or a John Wayne fan, is that Wayne’s horse is named Duke. This was one of six films that Wayne made with Duke. Back in the 30s, the horses were often as a big a star as the men who rode them and, from the posters I’ve seen, it does appear that The Big Stampede was advertised as starring, “John Wayne and DUKE!” At least Wayne was still able to get top billing.
The Big Stampede had previously been made as a silent film and the remake reuses a lot of old footage from the original. John Wayne, needless to say, did not star in the original film, though he did wear the same costume that Ken Maynard wore in an attempt to keep people from noticing that the footage didn’t always match. It’s not a totally successful ploy, though undemanding audiences in 1932 probably accepted it. The Big Stampede would be remade one more time, in 1936, with Dick Foran taking the starring role.
4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!
Yesterday was John Ford’s birthday. Better late than never, here are four shots from four of my favorite John Ford films!
4 Shots From 4 John Ford Films
The Informer (1935, directed by John Ford. Cinematography by Joseph August)
Stagecoach (1939, directed by John Ford, Cinematography by Bert Glennon)
The Quiet Man (1952, directed by John Ford. Cinematography by Winton C. Hoch)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962, directed by John Ford. Cinematography by William Clothier)
Needless to say, I support this message. All rules should be broken.
Also, the top of a school bus apparently makes for a good performance space. Actually, the same thing can probably be said of all buses in general. If you’ll remember the classic film Degrassi Goes Hollywood, Studz ended up performing on top of a bus and really impressing Kevin Smith. As anyone who watched Degrassi can tell you, Studz was actually a pretty sucky band that only had about three songs (one of which was that terrible House Arrest song) so obviously it was not the band’s sound that won Kevin Smith’s attention. Instead, it was all about the fact that they were standing on top of a bus….
At least, that’s the way I remember it. It’s been a while since I watched the movie. They could have been standing on a van, to be honest. Or maybe they were on one of those boats that got jammed up in the Suez Canal last year. I don’t quite remember. I probably need to watch Degrassi Goes Hollywood again, both for the bus performance and the Ellie/Craig scenes. Perhaps that’s what we should all do this week. Canada needs the love, eh?
Anyway, break the rules. I’m going to start by parking wherever I feel like parking. Take that, parking police!