Best Western Movies of 1949
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard, wife of the Fort's commanding officer, and her niece, the pretty Olivia Dandridge, who are being evacuated for their own safety. Brittles is only a few days away from retirement and Olivia has caught the eye of two of the young officers in the Company, Lt. Flint Cohill and 2nd Lt. Ross Pennell. She's taken to wearing a yellow ribbon in her hair, a sign that she has a beau in the Cavalry, but refuses to say for whom she is wearing it.
High Diving Hare
Yosemite Sam tries to force Bugs Bunny to do a high-diving act when the regular act cancels.
In Colorado territory, outlaw Wes McQueen escapes jail to pull a railroad robbery but, upon meeting pretty settler Julie Ann, he wonders about going straight. Western remake of High Sierra with Joel McCrea taking over the Humphrey Bogart role.
I Shot Jesse James
Bob Ford murders his best friend Jesse James in order to obtain a pardon that will free him to marry his girlfriend Cynthy. The guilt-stricken Ford soon finds himself greeted with derision and open mockery throughout town. He travels to Colorado to try his hand at prospecting in hopes that marriage with Cynthy is still in the cards.
Lust for Gold
A man determined to track down the fabled Arizona gold mine known as The Lost Dutchman has an affair with a married treasure hunter, whose pursuit of the mine has lead her to double-cross her husband.
The Fighting Kentuckian
John Breen (John Wayne), a Kentucky militiaman falls in love with French exile Fleurette De Marchand (Vera Ralston). He discovers a plot to steal the land that Fleurette's exiles plan to settle on and aims to foil it.
The Red Pony
Peter Miles stars as Tom Tiflin, the little boy at the heart of this John Steinbeck story set in Salinas Valley. With his incompatible parents -- the city-loving Fred (Shepperd Strudwick) and country-happy Alice (Myrna Loy) -- constantly bickering, Tom looks to cowboy Billy Buck (Robert Mitchum) for companionship and paternal love.
The Doolins of Oklahoma
When the Daltons are killed at Coffeeville, gang member Bill Doolin arriving late escapes but kills a man. Now wanted for murder, he becomes the leader of the Doolin gang. He eventually leaves the gang and tries to start a new life under a new name. But the old gang members appear and his true identity becomes known. So once again he becomes an outlaw trying to escape from the law. Written by Maurice VanAuken
The Cowboy and the Indians
Finding Indians stealing from his ranch, Gene learns they are suffering from malnutrition. Store owner Martin is cheating them and now he is after the Chief's valuable necklace. When the dying chief is found, having been attacked and robbed, Martin blames Lakhona who would become the new chief. When Gene helps Lakhona they soon find themselves fleeing from the law.
Down Dakota Way
In Roy Rogers' Down Dakota Way, the deadly hoof-and-mouth disease has struck the herd owned by evil rancher H. T. McKenzie (Roy Barcroft). To avoid an expensive quarantine on his stock, McKenzie plans to murder the local veterinarian (Emmet Vogan) before the latter can report his findings to the government. Rogers manages to straighten out the situation by appealing to the sensibilities of the aunt (Elizabeth Risdon) of McKenzie's hotheaded hired assassin (Byron Barr). The film also bears several musical numbers from Roy, Dale Evans, and Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage.
Bad Men of Tombstone
A marshal goes up against a collection of vicious outlaws terrorizing his own.
Wallace Beery, in his final film, plays a bandit in this period drama set in Colonial America.
A U.S. Marshal goes undercover to stop a cattle smuggling gang, but when his cover is blown, the hunter becomes the hunted.
The Gay Amigo
The Cisco Kid and Pancho are mistakenly identified as leaders of an outlaw band. While the cavalry runs them down, they must hunt down the real bad guys.
The Golden Stallion
Diamonds are being smuggled across the border from Mexico in a specially made shoe of a palomino mare. One of the smugglers is killed when the mare runs off. The sheriff blames Trigger for the death. To keep his horse from being destroyed, Roy confesses and goes to jail. The smugglers buy Trigger and put him to work smuggling diamonds. The mare, who had earlier heard a trist with Trigger, foals Trigger, Jr. who Roy, finally out of jail, uses to help capture the smugglers.
A lawman takes on gangsters attempting to steal property wanted for a railroad.
A young man with a love of horses, Scott Jordan (Roddy McDowall) lives on the family ranch with his uncle Bill (Damian O’Flynn). When he buys a wild stallion from his black-sheep cousin Daniel (Rand Brooks), Scott names the horse Midnight and does his best to tame him. But when the sheriff (Sky King’s Kirby Grant) suspects the stallion was stolen and Daniel’s plan to get rid of the horse ends with a man being trampled, Scott must prove Midnight acted in self-defense before his uncle destroys him. The fourth of six films McDowall coproduced and starred in for Monogram Pictures, Black Midnight was directed by Oscar “Budd” Boetticher, whose seven Westerns with Randolph Scott are considered classics of the genre.
Zeb Smith is a gambler with a larcenous streak, but when an itinerant preacher takes a bullet meant for him, Zeb vows to fulfill the preacher's mission of building a church. Frustrated in his attempts to get donations, Zeb attempts to capture fugitive Doll Brown in order to obtain the reward. But he finds that there's more to Doll than meets the eye. When his old friend Bucky McLean shows up gunning for Doll, Zeb sees a chance to redeem them all... one way or another.
The Last Bandit
About to marry Jim Plummer, Kate Foley runs off to Nevada when Ed Bagley convinces her a quick fortune can be made robbing gold shipments that are being transported by the railroad. In Bannock City she meets reformed-bandit Frank Plummer, posing as Frank Norris, brother of Jim Plummer, who has being going straight and working as an express shipment guard. Jim also shows up and plans a robbery by stealing a train and hiding it in an abandoned tunnel. The two brothers are on opposite sides of the law with the now-reformed Kate caught in the middle.
Streets of Laredo
Texas, 1878: cheerful outlaw-buddies Jim, Lorn and Wahoo rescue spunky orphan Rannie Carter from rustling racketeers, then are forced to separate. Lorn goes on to bigger and better robberies, while Jim and Wahoo are (at first reluctantly) maneuvered into joining the Texas Rangers. For friendship's sake, the three try to keep out of direct conflict, but a showdown begins to look inevitable. And Rannie, now grown into lovely young womanhood, must choose between Lorn and Jim
Two Cavalry Officers clash over the Colonel's Daughter at a remote outpost with Indian troubles.
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend
Saloon-bar singer Freddie gets very angry whenever boyfriend Blackie seems to be playing around. She always packs a six-shooter, so this is bad news for anything that happens to be in the way. As this is usually the local judge's rear-end, Freddie and friend Conchita are soon hiding out teaching school in the middle of nowhere.
The Fighting Redhead
Red Ryder gets a telegram from his old friend Dan O'Connor asking for help in his fight against Faro Savage and his gang of rustlers. A gun dropped by Faro during a rustling raid makes Red and Sheila O'Connor, Dan's daughter, think they have ample proof against Faro but they are stymied by the law. Buckskin Blodgett and the Duchess, Red's aunt, find the body of O'Connor who was killed when Faro's men sent the sheriff out on a ruse. Sheila, discovered while rifling Faros office for evidence, escapes but not before she is recognized. Faro kills one of his own henchmen and then frames Sheila for the murder. Red and Little Beaver set out to clear Sheila and to try to find evidence against Faro and his gang. Written by Les Adams
The Gal Who Took the West
In order to gain passage to the West, a woman poses as an opera singer, and causes a feud between two cousins.
Rim of the Canyon
20 years ago, 3 men robbed a stage and hid $30,000. They were caught and sent to prison by Marshal Steve Autry. 20 years later, the men bust out of prison and return to the ghost town where they stashed their treasure searching. Steve's grandson picks up where Steve left off to foil the plans of the outlaws.
Rancher Clay and his brother, Steve, head out across the Sonora mountain pass, followed by Lednov, an ex-con seeking revenge on Clay for putting him behind bars. Clay and Steve unexpectedly cross paths with a group of dance hall girls -- including Mary, Marcia and Helen -- whose stagecoach has broken down, and help them get to the nearest ranch, where Lednov unfortunately catches up to Clay.
Set in the diamond fields of South Africa, Stafford Parker is a lawman trying to maintain a semblance of law and order in the "Wild South".
Fighting Man of the Plains
Former bandit Jim Dancer becomes marshal of a Kansas town and cleans up the criminal element - with the help of his old pal, Jesse James.
Brothers Mike and Tim McCall own a large ranch in Arizona, using the surrounding lands for grazing cattle. Stanley Cox and LeRoy Stanton sell this land to settlers who arrive to find it bone dry, as a dam on the McCall ranch controls the water. Among the settlers are John Dawson and his daughter Connie. The latter goes to the nearest town to take action, but Sheriff Ball tells him there is nothing he can do. Tim falls for Connie but Mike is unimpressed with her charms. While returning from a town dance, Tim discovers Stanton trying to dynamite the dam, and is killed in the ensuing gunfight. Stanton later sends his men to stampede the cattle while he and Cox blow up the dam. Despite the efforts of Mike and Sheriff Ball, the cattle are wiped out and Mike races to the dam and kills Stanton in a gunfight.
A former outlaw goes straight and is determined to catch and tame a wild stallion. Western.
Riders in the Sky
When asked about the Ghost Riders song he sings, Gene Autry tells this legend: Gene is about to resign as an investigator for the county attorney and go into the cattle business with his pal Chuckawalla Jones but decides instead to help Anne Lawson clear her father, rancher Ralph Lawson, of a false murder charge. He looks for the three witnesses who can testify that Lawson shot only in self defense in killing a gambler, but the witnesses are terrorized by another gambler, town boss Rock McCleary, who shoots witness Pop Roberts Morgan. Fatally wounded, Pop gives Gene the information needed to clear Lawson, then dies crying the "Ghost Riders" are coming for him. Gene then heads for a showdown with McCleary.
Another of RKO's profitable Tim Holt western series, Rustlers costars Holt with his popular sidekick Richard Martin (as Chico Rafferty). Holt and Martin are arrested by sheriff Harry Shannon, who accuses them of being members of a vicious rustling gang. Actually Shannon is the head of the operation; he hopes to throw suspicion off himself by framing Our Heroes for the crime.
A meddlesome reporter sporting a young bride takes on a gang of modern day cattle rustlers. Donald "Red" Barry plays Dan Reilly, a newspaper reporter just returned to LA with his wife, photographer Margie (Marjorie Steele). Margie insists on taking pictures of everywhere they go, and so as she's walking into a butcher shop she poses for Dan - while at the same time three thugs make their way quickly out after beating up the proprietors. Soon Margie and Dan are involved in investigating an illegal meat operation that rustles cattle and forces butchers to buy it - or else. Dan gets beaten up a couple of times, but is undaunted in pursuing the great story - and hey, he's only got 64 minutes to do so, he'd best get cracking!
Ex-confederate officer Clay Fletcher jumps at the chance to reunite with his once lady-friend, Susan Jeffers, when his father, Judge Fletcher, sends him on an errand to El Paso, Texas to get the signature of Susan's father, Judge Jeffers, on a legal document. Once there he finds the judge has become a drunk and a laughing stock, doing the bidding of local magnate Bert Donner and his running dog, Sheriff La Farge. Just as Clay starts straightening out the town's problems, events occur which force him to abandon the legal system and instead adopt the murderous tactics of a vigilante.
The Walking Hills
A study in greed in which treasure hunters seek a shipment of gold buried in Death Valley.
Calamity Jane and Sam Bass
Drifter Sam Bass shows up in Denton, Texas (soon to host a great horse race) looking for work. Before long, he attracts the attention of pretty storekeeper Katherine Egan (the sheriff's sister) and that wild frontiers woman, Calamity Jane. Circumstances make Sam richer by a very fast race horse. But his seemingly good luck with horses and women leads him to disaster. Will he be forced into a life of crime?
Enter the Lone Ranger
The sole surviving Texas Ranger of a murderous ambush - John Reid, becomes the great masked hero. He fights for justice with his companion, Tonto.
Square Dance Jubilee
Two talent scouts for a New York-based country music TV show called "Square Dance Jubilee" are sent out West to get authentic western singing acts. They find what they're looking for, but also get mixed up in cattle rustling and murder.
South of St. Louis
With the advent of the American Civil War, three partners in a ranch see how this is destroyed. Needing money, will join the Confederate troops, each for their particular motivations.
Riders of the Whistling Pines
While trailing Forest Ranger Charles Carter, who is suspected of permitting lumber man Henry Mitchell to cut restricted timber, Gene fires at a dangerous mountain lion and apparently kills Carter. Actually, Bill Wright, Mitchell's associate, killed Carter because the ranger had discovered tussock moth infestation in the forest, and if the infestation was not reported, the trees would die and have to be cut, thereby profiting Mitchell and Wright. In order to compensate the best he can, Gene sells his sportsman's camp and gives the money to Carter's daughter Helen . En route to Texas, Gene discovers the infestation and is assigned by the Forest Department to supervise the program of spraying the area with DDT from the air. After the first day of spraying, the DDT is blamed by furious stock men for the many animals found dead of poisoning.
Novelist Will James, a specialist in horse stories, wrote the yarn upon which 20th Century-Fox's Sand was based. Mark Stevens plays horse breeder Jeff Keane, who loses his prize stallion in a train accident. While the stallion roams wild and free, Keane enlists the aid of rancher Joan Hartley (Coleen Gray) in searching for the animal. Once the horse is located, it is clear that it has developed a mean streak, the result of various cruelties inflicted upon it by humans. Jeff and Joan combine their efforts to regain the horse's friendship. Veteran Native American actors Iron Eyes Cody and Jay Silverheels make significant supporting appearances. Sand was attractively filmed in Technicolor on location in Colorado.
A surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railroad must fight fur trappers who oppose the building of the railroad by stirring up Indian rebellion.
The Big Sombrero
Gene is hired to be foreman of the Big Sombrero ranch by Jim Garland, who is handling all the business affairs of the owner, Estrellita Estrada, who is more interested in going to America than taking care of her Mexican holdings. Gene, discovering Garland's plan to run all the Mexican rancheros off the ranch, turns against his boss and shortly finds himself in the middle of cattle stampedes and an avalanche started by Garland's men.
The Younger Brothers
Brothers who rode with a notorious outlaw gang led by Frank and Jesse James decide to go straight and try to get pardons so they can return to a law-abiding life.
Call of the Forest
A prospector is looking for a lost gold mine and finds aid in his search through the efforts of his friend, Stormcloud, whom he has aided in the past. Stormcloud gives the prospector's son a map leading to the mine in repayment for his past kindness. When a claim jumper learns about the map, he targets the prospector and his son in order to get the treasure.
Lash goes south of the border looking for a counterfeiter, a kidnapped engraver and his daughter, and the mysterious Frontier Phantom, while Fuzzy St. John studies hypnotism.
The Wolf Hunters
Compared to his later "A" westerns, director Oscar "Budd" Boetticher's The Wolf Hunters is often exasperatingly slow. This was the second of producer Lindsley Parson's efforts to create a series based on the Great White North yarns of James Oliver Curwood. Kirby Grant plays a Canadian Mountie who follows a fugitive to a small fur-trapping community. Most of the action is handled by Chinook, a handsome German Shepherd. Jan Clayton handles the leading-lady responsibilities, while the supporting cast includes Charles Lang and Helen Parrish, who were then husband and wife (Parrish later married TV producer John Guedel, of People are Funny and Best of Groucho fame).
It took a lot of courage to set up a new production company devoted to "B" westerns in 1949, a year when the genre was showing signs of winding down. Filmed in Trucolor, Stallion Canyon was the maiden effort from Kanab Productions, a Utah-based organization. Former Sons of the Pioneers vocalist Ken Curtis made his starring debut in this one, playing a ranch foreman who does his best to track down a rogue stallion. The rest of the cast is comprised of unknowns, save for villains Ted Adams and Forrest Taylor. Cheaply produced, Stallion Canyon has the twin advantages of a relatively new leading man and excellent location photography.
Shadows of the West
U.S. Marshal Whip Wilson (Whip Wilson) decides to take a vacation and visit his old friend Winks Grayson (Andy Clyde), the ex-sheriff. Upon his arrival Whip learns of Winks' suspicions regarding newly-elected Sheriff Tanner (William Ruhl as William H. Ruhl), and the story of a frame-up of Paul Davis (Ted Adams) and his son Bud (Riley Hill), now being released from prison. Following a holdup and a killing, a band of outlaws hide at the Davis ranch, implicating them again. Paul is hot and Bud goes to jail. Whip and Winks work to clear Bud and expose the real leader of the outlaw gang.
Singing cowboy Whip Wilson, the foreman on a cattle drive, quits his job to pursue five bank robbers who murdered his brother.