DRAGNET
1954, Universal, 88 min, USA, Dir: Jack Webb

This feature-length expansion of the hit TV series has taciturn Sgt. Joe Friday (Webb) and Officer Frank Smith (Ben Alexander) investigating the murder of an organized-crime bookie. Webb gets tougher-than-TV in his often brutal pursuit, backstopped by Capt. James Hamilton (Richard Boone) and undercover policewoman Grace Downey (Ann Robinson). A no-holds-barred version of the famed TV series, this is a rarely screened melding of mid-20th-century American history and vintage pop culture.


THE TALL T
1957, Sony Repertory, 78 min, USA, Dir: Budd Boetticher

A tense, sexually ambiguous story of rancher Randolph Scott’s kidnapping by killer Richard Boone (in a career-making performance) and his gun-happy henchmen. Brilliantly scripted by Burt Kennedy (based on an Elmore Leonard story), THE TALL T switches effortlessly from folksy humor to tragic violence, leaving the viewer literally breathless. “In every one of the Scott pictures, I felt I could have traded Randy’s part with the villain’s.” - Budd Boetticher. With Henry Silva and Maureen O’Sullivan.


BIG JAKE
1971, National General, 110 min, USA, Dir: George Sherman

John Wayne is Jacob McCandles, a former gunfighter summoned by his estranged family when his grandson (played by Wayne’s son Ethan) is kidnapped. Ruthless outlaw Richard Boone holds the boy hostage in Mexico, demanding a fortune in ransom; Big Jake rides in for a shootout rather than a pay-off. With music by Elmer Bernstein and plenty of bloody action (writers Harry and Rita Fink also penned DIRTY HARRY), this is one of the Duke’s best latter-day Westerns. Co-starring Maureen O'Hara.


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