Friday, March 30, 2007

Gunfights in the DVD corral

Looks like Hollywood studios are continuing to dig deep in the vaults for Westerns worth releasing in restored DVD editions. Coming May 8 to a video store near you: Volumes 1 and 2 of Classic Western Round-Up, a couple of four-title collections from Universal.

Volume 1 includes King Vidor's The Texas Rangers (1936), with Fred MacMurray, Jack Oakie and -- no kidding! -- Gabby Hayes; Jacques Tourneur's Canyon Passage (1946) , with Dana Andrews, Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward and Ward Bond (as a character named, believe it or not, Honey Bragg); Ray Enright's Kansas Raiders (1950), with Audie Murphy as Jesse James, Tony Curtis as Kit Dalton, James Best as Cole Younger and Brian Donlevy as William Qunatrill; and Raoul Walsh's The Lawless Breed (1953), with Rock Hudson (as John Wesley Hardin) co-starring with John McIntire, Hugh O'Brian, Dennis Weaver and Lee Van Cleef.

But wait, there's more: Volume 2 includes James P. Hogan's The Texans (1938), with Randolph Scott, Walter Brennan, Robert Cummings and Joan Bennett; John Farrow's California (1946), with Ray Milland, Barbara Stanwyck and Anthony Quinn; Budd Boetticher's The Cimarron Kid (1952), with Audie Murphy, James Best, Leif Erickson and Hugh O'Brian; and another Budd Boetticher classic, The Man from the Alamo (1953), with Glenn Ford, Julie Adams, Chill Wills -- and, hey, Hugh O'Brian again.

Now if only the folks at Columbia would finally get around to releasing DVDs of the great Westerns that Boetticher filmed with Randolph Scott between 1956 and '60!

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