2 search results for Larry Thorne

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    Tom Hanks returns to directing, brings Julia Roberts with him

    Type: Post | Date: Monday, Jan 11, 2010

    First time as a filmmaker since 1996... will the wait be worth it?
  • Billy the Kid: 20 Classic Features

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009

    Includes:Billy the Kid in Texas (1940) Billy the Kid's Gun Justice (1940) Billy the Kid Wanted (1941) Billy the Kid's Range War (1941) Billy the Kid Trapped (1942) Panhandle Trail (1942) Sheriff of Sage Valley (1942) Cattle Stampede (1943) Fugitive of the Plains (1943) Western Cyclone (1943) The Kid Rides Again (1943) Devil Riders (1944) Oath of Vengeance (1944) Wild Horse Phantom (1944) Rustler's Hideout (1944) Blazing Frontier (1944) Frontier Outlaws (1944) Gangster's Den (1945) His Brother's Ghost (1945) Shadows of Death (1945) Billy the Kid in Texas The second entry PRC's "Billy the Kid" series was 1940's Billy the Kid in Texas. The titular Kid is played by Bob Steele, who this time out becomes sheriff of a Texas town (despite the price on his own head). In this capacity, he is forced to do battle with any number of outlaws, one of whom turns out to be his own brother (Carleton Young). Al "Fuzzy" St. John, comic sidekick to every one of PRC's western heroes, does his usual here. Eventually, the "Billy the Kid" series would serve as a showcase for Buster Crabbe-whose sidekick, of course, was the inescapable Fuzzy St. John. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Billy the Kid's Gun Justice Sherman Scott is credited as director of Billy the Kid's Gun Justice, but you can't fool us: Scott is none other than the incredibly prolific Sam Newfield. We'd like to tell you what the picture's all about, but not even our most reliable sources can offer us any info. Judging by the rest of PRC's "Billy the Kid" entries, we can safely assume that Billy (Bob Steele) is accused of a murder he didn't commit. We can also rest easy that Billy will bring the genuine killer to heel before the film's 57-minute running time has fully elapsed. One thing we know for sure: Billy the Kid's Gun Justice is the third in PRC's B-western series based very loosely on the exploits of William H. Bonney. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Billy the Kid Wanted Buster Crabbe makes his first appearance as frontier do-gooder Billy Carson in PRC's Billy the Kid Wanted. The film also marked the first teaming of Crabbe with ineluctable comedy sidekick Al St. John. Like the previous "Billy the Kid" oaters with Bob Steele, this one begins with Billy and Fuzzy being accused of a crime they didn't commit. Together with fellow fugitive Jeff (Dave O'Brien), our heroes seek refuge with a group of sympathetic ranchers. From this vantage point, Billy is able to plan his strategy to expose land-grabber Saunders (Charles King) as the genuine culprit. Though shabbily produced, Billy the Kid Wanted coasted by on the star power of Crabbe and St. John. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Billy the Kid's Range War Small-but-wiry Bob Steele plays the title role in the PRC western Billy the Kid's Range War. Once again rewriting history, the script contrives to have honest Billy falsely accused of a series of killings. The actual murderers are trying to sabotage an under-construction stagecoach road. Hiring on as a stage driver, Billy not only clears his name but corrals the crooks. He also exposes the brains behind the scheme, who turns out to be a supposedly respectable peacekeeper. Ubiquitous PRC cowboy sidekick Al St. John shows up in his customary role of Fuzzy Q. Jones to offer Billy some much-needed assistance. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Billy the Kid Trapped Here's another entry in PRC's long-running "Billy the Kid" series, again starring Buster Crabbe as Billy Carson and Al St. John as his comic sidekick Fuzzy Q. Jones. In this outing, a bandit posing as Billy manages to pin several crimes on Our Hero. Cleverly eluding the law (never mind the film's title), Billy endeavors to track down his impostor and put him behind bars. The plot is resolved by a typical PRC fistfight, which as usual is more energetic than expert. Young Anne Jeffreys, a starlet on the threshold of bigger things, is definitely an improvement over the standard western ingenue. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Panhandle Trail In this western, Billy the Kid confronts an evil con artist who has been trying to gull two children out of their inherited mine. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Sheriff of Sage Valley In this episode of the "Billy the Kid" series of westerns, outlaw Billy (Buster Crabbe) is mistakenly appointed Sage Valley's new sheriff. He likes the job and works hard to maintain order. Unfortunately his crooked twin brother, who runs a casino and is in hiding after a murder, wants to keep the town a haven for crooks. To do this, he masquerades as Billy and starts causing trouble. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Cattle Stampede Cattle Stampede was the 200th production of that legendary B-picture mill, PRC Studios. Buster Crabbe plays Billy the Kid (not the real one), while Al St. John, as ever, is Fuzzy Q. Jones. This time Billy and Fuzzy ("our old pals," as they were always billed) come the aid of a group of Oklahoma ranchers. The villains belong to a gang of cattle rustlers, headed by the swarthy Charlie King (whose character name, surprisingly, isn't "Blackie" ). The titular stampede isn't such a much, but Buster Crabbe's gunplay and Al St. John's buffoonery is well up to par. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Fugitive of the Plains Billy the Kid, in the person of former swimming champion Larry "Buster" Crabbe, is once again falsely accused of a crime in this low-budget oater from Poverty Row studio PRC. This time, the sheriff of Red Rock accuses the Kid (Karl Hackett) of terrorizing communities on the border to Mexico. Deciding to investigate the matter, Billy and sidekick Fuzzy Q. Jones (Al St. John) ride into Red Rock, where they stumble across a murdered deputy and a note claiming responsibility signed by "Billy the Kid." Following a couple of mysterious riders to a nearby cabin, Billy is surprised to learn that the leader of a gang of outlaws is a woman named Kate (Maxine Leslie). She agrees to let Billy join the gang provided that he robs the stagecoach. Jealous henchman Dillon (Jack Ingram) attempts to get rid of his new rival by secretly warning the sheriff, but our hero once again eludes the law and is soon holed up in a cabin with Kate. When the girl flatly refuses to abandon her life of crime, Billy warns the sheriff of an upcoming raid on the bank. The town erupts in gunfire and when the dust settles, Kate and her gang are on the run for their lives. In the end, a mortally wounded Kate shoots Dillon to prevent him from killing Billy. Fugitive of the Plains was reissued in 1947 as Raiders of Red Rock. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide Western Cyclone In this "Billy the Kid" series western, Billy (Buster Crabbe) is framed by an outlaw gang. Fortunately, state governor Arnold (Karl Hackett) is in Billy's corner, and surreptitiously helps Our Hero prove his innocence and bring the crooks to heel. But he'd better hurry: part of the bad guys' frame involves the kidnapping of Mary (Marjorie Manners), the governor's daughter. Al St. John as usual provides genuine laughs as Billy's sidekick Fuzzy Q. Jones. Though Buster Crabbe's PRC westerns were as a group pretty threadbare, Western Cyclone is definitely better than usual. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Kid Rides Again In this western, Billy the Kid has been wrongfully arrested for robbing a train. In order to prove his innocence, the Kid breaks out of the pokey and hits the dusty trail to search for the real robbers. Along the way, he discovers an outlaw band impersonating upstanding ranchers. They are the real thieves, and naturally, the Kid brings them to justice. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Devil Riders Buster Crabbe is back as Billy Carson, aka Billy the Kid, in the PRC western The Devil Riders. In this one, Billy and his saddle pal Fuzzy Q. Jones (Al St. John) try to keep an beleagured stagecoach line in business. This they can do only after foiling the outlaw gang that has been raiding the coach during its runs for the Pony Express. The bad guys include Charles King and John Merton, formidable foes indeed (did those guys ever shave?) Patti McCarthy handles the leading lady duties in Devil Riders as the obligatory daughter of the stagecoach operator. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Oath of Vengeance Larry "Buster" Crabbe, as Billy Carson, and his sidekick Fuzzy (Al St. John) decide to turn in their spurs and instead operate a general store in this low-budget Western from PRC. But owning a shop in the wild and woolly West can be hazardous, as our heroes discover when they land in the middle of a range war between a group of cattle ranchers led by pretty Dale Kirby (Mady Lawrence) and the local homesteaders. In reality, the ranchers have been misled by crooked money lender Steve Kinney (Jack Ingram) and his vile henchman Mort (Charles King), who are hoping to gain control of the range. It all comes to a head when farmer Dan Harper (Karl Hackett) is falsely accused of killing one of Dale's cowhands. But Billy, on his steed Falcon (which earned second billing!), comes to the rescue with guns a-blazing. When the Crabbe series changed its name from "Billy the Kid" to "Billy Carson" in 1944, the unit also had a change of cameramen (from Jack Greenhalgh to Robert Cline). The murkiness of the photography, alas, prevailed. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide Wild Horse Phantom In this western, a courageous cowboy stops the land-grabbing conspiracy of a corrupt banker. The banker was planning to wait until hard-working local ranchers made their mortgage payments and then was going to stage a phony robbery so he could foreclose upon their land. Fortunately, the hero finds out about it and brings the crook to justice. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Rustler's Hideout Rustler's Hideout is more of the same from PRC's resident cowboy stars Buster Crabbe and Al St. John. Cast once again as Billy Carson and Fuzzy Q. Jones, our heroes declare war against a gang of cattle rustlers. Even the villains are making their umpteenth return appearances in the Crabbe - St. John series: Lane Chandler as a clever cardsharp, Charles King and John Merton as the cattle thieves. And, as always, there's the faintest hint of a romance between Billy Carson and the ingenue du jour, in this case Patti McCarthy. Despite the repetitiousness and predictability, Rustler's Hideout posted a profit, as did all of PRC's Buster Crabbe - Fuzzy St. John vehicles. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Blazing Frontier Buster Crabbe and Al St. John (or "Our Old Pals", as they were invariably billed) star in the PRC western Blazing Frontier. As ever, Crabbe plays Billy the Kid, aka Billy Carson, while St. John is the daffy Fuzzy Q. Jones. This time, Billy intervenes in a feud between the railroad company and local settlers. Crooked land agents are busily stoking the flames of the feud, and it's up to Billy and Fuzzy to keep things from getting out of hand. Also known as Billy the Kid in Blazing Frontier, this 6-reel western didn't make it to New York theatres until April of 1944, nearly eight months after its regional release. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Frontier Outlaws One thing is certain in Frontier Outlaws. Despite evidence to the contrary, Billy Carson (Buster Crabbe) and Fuzzy Q. Jones (Al St. John) do not play the title characters. It's true that Billy joins the outlaws for a spell, but that's only so he can trap them in the act. Outside of the usual sagebrush stuff, the highlight of Frontier Outlaws is a riotous courtroom sequence, presided over by grizzled judge Emmett Lynn. With such villains as Charles King and Jack Ingrim on hand, not to mention two formidable comedy-relief actors (and be assured that Emmet Lynn and Al St. John indulge in scene-stealing aplenty), Buster Crabbe really has to keep his head about him in this 6-reel PRC oater. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Gangster's Den The "urban" nature of the title notwithstanding, Gangster's Den is another PRC Studios B-western. Buster Crabbe and Al St. John, as usual, fill the roles of cowboys Billy Carson and Fuzzy Q. Jones. This time, Billy and Fuzzy are partners in a gold mine. Using his earnings, Fuzzy opens a saloon, which unfortunately turns into a safe harbor for every thief and varmint within shouting distance. Billy comes to Fuzzy's rescue, dispersing the crooks and bringing the worst of the bunch to justice. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide His Brother's Ghost An otherwise typically cheesy Billy "the Kid" Carson B-Western series entry from Poverty Row studio PRC, His Brother's Ghost is unusual in having no leading lady. Yes, that's right: no rancher's daughter or schoolmarm for Larry "Buster" Crabbe to romance and embrace at the fade-out and no damsel for the evil Charles King to bring in distress. In what could have been another departure from the norm is the fact that the comic sidekick is killed off early on. That, of course, is merely a plot contrivance to bring on his identical twin brother, who then goes about scaring the living daylights out of the gang that has been terrorizing Wolf Valley. The outlaws are so frightened that their leader, Thorne (King), takes the extreme measure of exhuming the dear departed to prove that he really is completely and irrevocably dead. Al St. John, as Andy Jones and his twin, Jonathan "Fuzzy" Q. Jones, had a field day playing the dual role, and Charles King got to utter such lines as "the only good sharecropper is a dead one." But all in all, His Brother's Ghost is typical PRC: shoddy production values (the bandits' hideout resembles, and probably was, a nice suburban tract house in the San Fernando Valley), occasionally inept direction, murky photography, and a wonderful overall sense of fun. But what happened to the girl? The handsome but somewhat stuffy Crabbe seemed lost without her. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide Shadows of Death Larry "Buster" Crabbe and Al St. John -- "Our Old Pals," as they were billed -- get in trouble with a murderous Charles King in this typical "Billy Carson" Western from Poverty Row company PRC. Billy and railroad agent Dave Hanley (Karl Hackett) are discussing plans to run the new railroad through Red Rock, but their discussion is overheard by crooked hotel operator Steve Landreau (King), who unbeknownst to Billy kills Hanley for a map of the proposed line. In Red Rock, Billy discovers that Steve opportunistically has bought the local saloon, which he is planning to turn into a gambling den. Jealous of Billy's growing friendship with pretty Babs Darcy (Donna Dax), rancher Clay Kincaid (Edward Hall) becomes beholden to Steve, who wants his valuable land before news of the planned railroad arrives. Billy, who is suspicious of both Steve and Clay, confronts the latter in the saloon. In the ensuing gunfight, Steve and his men are apprehended. Clay repents, and Fuzzy (St. John) later officiates at his wedding to Babs. Busy B-Western heroine Lorraine Miller was cast as the leading lady in this film but was replaced in the last minute by Donna Dax, whom PRC borrowed from Columbia Pictures' large stable of starlets. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide