WHISPERING SMITH was also a very good Western novel, but the movie didn't follow much of the plot. Ladd's sidekick was played, I believe, by Harry Carey, Sr., who'd been making Westerns since the silent days. Carey was from NY & he never lost that NY accent.
His son, Harry Carey, Jr., was in just about every movie John Wayne made back in the late '40s & '50s. Carey Sr was a stage-trained actor & one of Wayne's mentors. The 1st time I recall seeing Carey Jr was in The Three Godfathers, which I saw at a drive-in back in the '40s. It was a John Ford Western, & Ford was always the director who could get the best work out of Wayne. The 3 central characters were played by Wayne, Carey Jr, & Pedro Armendariz, & they had to carry abt 90% of the movie. They're 3 guys who've escaped from prison. They come across a house where a woman's just given birth but is dying. She doesn't know they're prison escapees. She gives 'em the baby & dies. Except for the final scene, when Wayne & Carey finally get to civilization--Armendariz's character gets killed abt half way thru--it's just the main characters, traveling mostly afoot, trying to dodge the law & some Indians while keeping themselves & the baby alive. It's a very good movie--all John Ford movies are good, especially if they have Wayne in them--& I saw a DVD of it several months ago.
A fun 1950's western with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster.Look for small standout roles by Charles Bronson,Jack Elam and George McCready.The action takes place during the Mexican revolution of 1866 and the plot,cinematography and acting are first rate.
This is not really the exactly appropriate spot for the film I'm gonna recommend as it isn't a fictional or dramatized western, but a documentary. I just finished watching the film"Buck" on TV. Especially for you westerners, cowboys, wranglers, horse trainers, ropers out there, it's a fine documentary about Buck Brannaman, a true "horse whisperer"( he was an inspiration and advisor for the movie with Robert Redford), cowboy, horse trainer, trick roper ...all of the above, and apparently a great teacher, parent, and fine and wise human being. Buck seems to embody the virtues that those cowboy codes of Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, etc. preached, but he's the real deal. Catch the film, if you can.
Jock Mahoney started out a a stunt-man. If you ever see the old Charles Starrett 'Durango Kid' films, you'll see a lot of very spectacular stunts. Mahoney was Starrett's stunt-double in those films. The stunt-coordinator, for a lot of 'em, was either Yakima Canutt or one of his two sons. They were the best stunt-men/stunt-coordinators in Hollywood for years.
Does the Series Hell on Wheels count? I loved this Series...good to see a Western Series on TV again:)
I know it has a lot of reenactors in it but watched a show called '6 Gun' over the weekend and it was one I had recorded from a while back. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. From the ridiculously poor story line to the equally really bad acting, directing, filming, etc... etc... This was a real wanker, and that is about as nice as I can get.
Glad to see some of my reenactor friends working but...
Only occasionally is a reenactor actually an actor and you are very right -it shows!
My favorite quote on acting from George Burns.
"Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made."