Mr. Lahue, who previously told the story of the silent western stars in his Winners Of The West, now turns his attention to those who talked without the benefit of subtitles and in doing so, tells a story with words and pictures that ill evoke a sense of nostalgic longing for an era that can never return. He has supplied brief biographies of 28 of your favorites, and there are over 250 memory-jogging stills from a time in our history in which heroes were still popular.
The B western of the thirties and forties is primarily remembered for the singing cowboy. But some sagebrush stars followed in the footsteps of Hart and Mix, although none managed to capture the popular fancy in quite the same way. While the program western has been gone only two decades, if you consider television at all, they only moved from a large screen to a smaller one.
The program or B western seems to have drawn its stars from the football field and the National Barn Dance. But come they did and, for over a decade, western fans were surfeited with their favorite type of escapism. An entire generation grew up wiht Saturday matinees and many will agree with Don (Red) Barry's observation that today's problems with morals and ethics can be traced to the demise of a heroic image, one that galloped weekly across the screen seeking virtue as its own reward.
Kalton C. Lahue is is an educator by training but writer-photographer by choice. His interests in the history and development of photography and the cinema have resulted in a lengthy series of books dealing with both fields. Widely acclaimed for his Bound and Gagged, Clown Princes and Court Jesters, Winners of the West, Dreams for Sale, Ladies in Distress, Mack Sennett's Keystone, and Motion Picture Pioneer: The Selig Polyscope Company, he has played a large part in the revival of interest in the film. Recently Mr. Lahue's interest in automobileshas led him to explore the field and he has acquired a new following as the result of his numerous articles in the Hot Rod and Motor Trend Technical Library Series. A member of the Society for Cinema Studies, he now resides in Hollywood with his wife,Julie, and sons, Kevin Carlyle and Kory Cale, also avid movie fans.
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