All posts by Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is the director of Jesus and Her Gospel of Yes!, voted Best Experimental Film in the 2004 New York International Film and Video Festival (which can be downloaded from here), and the feature W the Movie. He writes the column "Alfred Eaker's Fringe Cinema" for this site, covering the world of underground film, as well as regularly contributing essays on other subjects.


In the documentary Looking for Charlie Bowers, film archaeologist Raymond Borde recollects buying a box of silent film reels marked “Bricolo” from a gypsy.  Borde was unable to identify the films or the filmmaker, but found the films quite unique.  The character in the Bricolo shorts was clearly patterned off of Keaton, but the gags were highly surreal, mixing animation with live action.  The search for the identity of Bricolo took Borde to the Belgium Royal Film Library and the Annecy Animated Film Festival.  Still, no one could identify the films.  Borde searched the exhaustive reviews of “Midi Minuet Fantastique,” which lead to a dead end.  Finally, Borde discovered a 1928 reference to Charley Bowers as Bricolo in a “Meric Cinematographers” ad in Mareilles.  From there Borden contacted Louise Beaudet of the Montreal Film Library.  Beaudet knew Bowers as the animator of the “Mutt and Jeff” series.  Together, Borde and Beudet contacted the Library of Congress and struck gold.  With much material, including press releases and hundreds of photographs, they were able to positively identify Bowers as the Bricolo of the reels.

Bowers life story proves as fascinating as his films and the discovery of his films.  Charley Bowers joined the circus as a tightrope walker at the age of five.  From there he worked as a jockey, cowboy, horse trainer, theatrical performer and caricaturist for newspapers.  In 1916 Bowers took on the role of producer, opened his own studio, and began producing a series of animated shorts with a small, ragtag team of animators.  In 1924, Bowers began producing shorts which mixed live action with animation, casting himself as the lead.  Bowers character was called Bricolo by French critics of the time.  Bizarre animated objects and puppets were part of the animated sequences.

Borden discovered a late 1930s reference to Bowers by Surrealist Andre Breton.  Breton had only seen Bowers’ short “It’s a Bird” as an introduction to a feature film.  Breton was surprised by the film and listed it as an important surrealist film in “The Surrealist Almanac.”  Borden discovered that Breton’s admiration for Bowers was shared by the avant-garde poet Rafael Alberti.

Still from Charley Bowers' "Now You Tell One"Bowers died, destitute and obscure, at the age of 57 in 1946, following a long illness.  Although he made hundreds of animated short films, along with the live action shorts, only fifteen of his films survive.  These were restored and distributed by Lobster Films in France.  This indispensable collection of Bowers films is on the two-disc set Charley Bowers, The Rediscovery of an American Comic Genius.

Like all great surrealism, Bowers film are imaginatively and aesthetically provocative.  Recurring obsessive themes permeate Bowers shorts.  “Egged On” (1926) and “Say Ah-h!” (1928) both feature unbreakable eggs.  In “Egged On” Charley is an inventor and Continue reading DISCOVERING CHARLEY BOWERS


Another slam bang, one-hour, packed oater collaboration from star Tom Mix, director Lewis Seiler and, of course, Tony the Horse.  The story for The Last Trail varies only slightly from the previous year’s Great K & A Train Robbery (both available from Grapevine Video, God love ’em).  Hollywood did not argue with success, even in the 1920s.
Tom Mix is introduced as, yup, Tom, who has the fastest gun, the fastest horse, and the fastest smile in the west.  Tom has just saved Joe Pacal’s wife from marauding Indians.  A grateful Joe (Lee Shumway) tells Tom (as he hugs his wife), “We’ll name the first one after you, Tom!”

Ten years later Tom receives a letter from Joe and learns that Joe’s wife has recently passed away.  Plus, Joe is now sheriff and is having a heck of a time with a series of stagecoach robberies.  “Can you come and help, Tom? Besides, little Tommy wants to meet ya!”

True to his code, Tom comes, but not in the nick of time.  Tom finds Joe driving a stagecoach as he flees from bandits after gold.  One of the bad guys shoots Joe.  Nita Carrol (Carmelita Geraghty) is a neighbor who has been helping raise little Tommy since Joe’s wife died, and Nita has might purty legs, so we just know she’s set up to be Tom’s love interest.  Nita is on the coach with Joe in hot flight when Tom drives off the robbers.  Tom safely escorts them into town, telling the townspeople, “I saved your gold, but they got my old pal.”

Joe dies in Tom’s arms, but not before he hands him his badge, charge of little Tommy, and a black book, which gives the names of suspected bad guys.  Joe tells Tom, “Looks like the last trail for me” and expires.

With Tom as the new Sheriff, the bad guys are concerned: “Hold-ups ain’t safe with that gun totin’ cyclone on horseback actin’ as Sheriff.”  Time for them to come up with dastardly plots to rid themselves of our hero.

Meanwhile, the owners of the stagecoach line are sick and tired of the robberies, so they decide to hold a stagecoach race, with the winner getting their contract as the prize.

Tom is having a time adjusting to fatherhood.  Little Tommy hates baths and cough syrup.  Tom flings his lasso to catch his fleeing charge, but reels in Nita instead.  Tom and Nita engage in an eye batting contest.  Then, Tom finds out about the stagecoach race from Kurt Morley (Willam B. Davidson), who is the man behind the robberies and, naturally, also has a thing for Nita.  Morley accuses Tom of not living up to his promise to clean up the town.  Tom tells the rude Morley, “If there wasn’t a lady present I’d clean up this town’s mangiest coyote right now.”

Morley orders Tom’s death and his gang blow up Tom’s house, so they are surprised to see Tom show up for the stagecoach race the next day, alive and healthy.

The stagecoach race gives Ramon Novarro and Francis X. Bushman a run for their money, with, again, Tom doing all of his own fantastic stunts and no CGI in sight.  Tom saves the day, gets the girl, wins the race, and nabs the villains . One should expect no less from the likes of Tom Mix.

To top off a perfect evening, Grapevine Video adds a silent Felix the Cat cartoon, “Sure-Locked Holmes,” which was delightfully surreal enough to make me cave in with the chocolate raisins.


The Great K & A Train Robbery, and movies like it, are why God invented popcorn.  Tom Mix is detective Tom.  Tom has been hired by Cullen (Will Walling), the President of K & A Railroad, to put a stop to a series of robberies that has a put a hurt good to his business.  Unknown to Tom and Cullen, it is the president’s secretary, the dastardly mustachioed Holt (Carl Miller) that has been tipping off the robbers and is in cahoots with them.

Tom must disguise himself as a masked bandit.  Even Cullen does not know Tom’s secret identity!  This is a mile-a-second silent oater that’s certain to burn some brain cells, but it’s a helluva lot safer than illegal substances, and a lot more fun too.

The opening shot of Tom as he descends upside down a rope over a raging river in Royal George of Colorado is a thrill a second as he finally lands right onto the back of Tony the horse.  The scene sets the tone for the whole movie, which director Lewis Seiler keeps moving at a break-neck pace.

The corny dialogue is priceless too.  Tom tells his comedy relief assistant Deluxe Harry (played by Harry Grip), ” I’m trailin’ train robbers for Cullen, president of the K & A–but he doesn’t know it! I just learned his secretary is one of the crooks and that’s why I am keeping a secret identity!”

Still from The Great K&A Train Robbery (1926)

Of course, there is a beautiful girl, Madge (Dorothy Dwan) who is the daughter of Mr. Cullen.  She is resisting Daddy’s efforts to get her engaged to his man, Holt.  Never fear, Tom is going to save the day and get the girl.  Mr. Mix bounces off the walls.  Remarkably, he was 46 years old in this film.  Tom, doing all of his own stunts, prevents desperadoes from kidnapping the heroine by pulling her off a runaway carriage and on to his horse Tony, runs atop a locomotive, then hides from the bad guys underneath the speeding train, and all that within the first fifteen minutes.  Later,  Tom and Tony jump from a two story window into a pool below, Tom engages in fisticuffs aplenty atop the railroad cars in a dark tunnel,  and defeats the entire gang barehanded when he discovers the gang’s underground cavern (which looks like something out of the Phantom of the Opera’s lair).  Indiana Jones has nothing on this guy.

There is embarrassing stereotyped comedy relief with an African American K & A employee, named Snowball, but it’s mercifully brief.  Harry provides the bulk of the comedy relief, which is slightly less painful.

Still, it is a crammed 60 minutes. I resisted temptation and went with the buttered light popcorn. I probably should have indulged.


The Black Cat has been promoted onto the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies ever made. Please make comments general comments about the film on the official Certified Weird entry.

Edgar G. Ulmer has a cult reputation, particularly in France. The late British film critic, Leslie Halliwell, believed that reputation to be wholly undeserved, since most of Ulmer’s films ranged from B to Z status. Ulmer did not begin that way when, in 1934, he was handed “complete freedom” in an A (A-) production, teaming, for the first time, Universal Studio’s reigning horror stars Bela Lugosi and in the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired The Black Cat. The resulting film, and Ulmer’s affair with his employer’s wife, quickly ended a promising top-notch studio career almost as quickly as it began.

This first Karloff/Lugosi teaming was also their best. That is because of their eight collaborations this was their only joint-starring project directed by a visionary auteur. In The Black Cat Lugosi was cast as protagonist Dr. Vitus Werdegast, and Karloff as antagonist Hjalmer Poelzig. In the original, uncut film, Lugosi’s hero does some less than heroic things. Enough of Vitus’ sinister quality remains that Lugosi gives us a hero we are never quite comfortable with. Under Ulmer’s direction, Lugosi’s performance is superb, an extreme rarity for this actor. As good as Lugosi is, Karloff is even better and, as unpopular as it may be to say now, Karloff was always a far better actor than his co-star.

Ulmer’s “complete freedom” came to a screeching halt when universal execs saw the filmed footage and script. Lugosi’s hero rapes the heroine, the heroine occasionally turns into a black cat, and Karloff’s Poelzig is skinned alive and last seen crawling on the floor with his skin hanging from his body as Lugosi’s mad hero laughs hysterically. All of these scenes were cut from the film and, par the course at that time, were destroyed. There are conflicting accounts as to whether the scenes were shot and then burned, or merely scripted and axed.
Still from The Black Cat (1934)
Regardless, what remains of The Black Cat is a flawed, baroque masterpiece, intoxicating to watch and simultaneously frustrating, especially in light of Ulmer’s original intent. Lugosi’s Hungarian psychiatrist Vitus is traveling by train, and he is on a journey of revenge and retaliation. Vitus meets two newlyweds—American novelist Peter Alison and his wife Joan (played by David Manners and Jaqueline Wells)—who are as bland a 30s couple as one is likely to find. Lugosi sees something in the young woman Joan and touches her hair as she sleeps. The Hays Code be damned, it’s an erotic, Continue reading EDGAR G. ULMER’S THE BLACK CAT (1934)


Marlon Brando is not the quintessential American male movie star. That honor belongs to John Wayne. John Wayne was a shrewd actor who carefully manufactured his on screen persona. For many, Wayne represents the All-American WASP, yet he was of Irish descent and a Roman Catholic. Most of the B western actors had a favorite horse. In his B western beginnings, Wayne had the horse Duke, yet he disliked horses, preferred slacks and dinner jacket to western duds, wore a toupee through most of his career, and felt more at home on his boat than he ever did on a ranch.

In addition to the being the archetypal cowboy, Wayne represented the ideal American soldier, yet he never served a day in the military. When the second World War broke out in 1941, many of Wayne’s contemporaries, such as Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, and Henry Fonda, all enlisted. These actors were already established as “A” list stars in 1941. Even with Stagecoach (1939) behind him Wayne was not yet secure in his career and still languished in numerous “B” films. Wayne saw this as a golden opportunity, while the competition was away, to grab the number one spot, and he did just that. It was less a case of draft dodging, and more a calculating career move, one for which John Ford would relentlessly needle him ever after. The war interrupted the careers of numerous actors, such as George Reeves, who seemed to be on the way up, but had not yet established themselves in a large enough body of “A” productions. Upon his return, Reeves and many others found they had been virtually forgotten while they were away, never to regain their previous career position, let alone surpass it. So much for studio patriotism towards its contract players.
Still from The Shootist (1976)
Wayne symbolized American virtue, yet he had countless affairs with married women. Some maintain he was racist. In a 1971 interview he made naive and blatantly ignorant remarks about African Americans and Native Americans, yet he enjoyed working with African American co-stars, and was drawn to native American spirituality, an interest on display in his film Hondo (1953), produced and distributed by Continue reading JOHN WAYNE AND THE SHOOTIST (1976)


This odd hybrid could only have been produced in an era which gave no credence to genre labels.  Riders of the Whistling Skull is the kind of movie which is so delightfully in love with its period that one could easily imagine a true genre geek like Tarantino falling in love with it today.  Director Mack V. Wright is completely comfortable throwing horror, western, jungle, mystery and comic relief into a seamless mix.

The Three Mesquiteers (Bob Livingston, Ray Corrigan, and Max Terhune), for those not in the know, were the starring trio of a number of “B” westerns.  The well-photographed, well-paced Riders of the Whistling Skull is, by far, the best of these.  Pretty girl Betty Marsh (Mary Russell) is searching for her lost father, Professor Marsh (John Van Pelt), who, along with Professor Flaxton (C. Montague Shaw), has been kidnapped by a diabolical Indian cult.

Enter the Three Mesquiteers, who have found the injured Flaxton in the desert.  They take him to Miss Marsh.  Flaxton revives long enough to tell all that he and Professor Marsh found the lost city of Lukachukai (!) hidden deep in the region of the Whistling Skull Mountain.  Flaxton tells them of vast hidden treasures and of the unspeakable horrors of the ancient cult.  Before Flaxton can reveal the location of Lukachuka, the lights suddenly go out.  When the lights are turned back on Flaxton is discovered on the ground with a knife in his back.  Inscribed in the handle of the murder weapon is ancient Indian curse.  The mystery begins!

After a treasure map is discovered, The Mesquiteers join Betty and travel into dreaded taboo territory in order to find Professor Marsh and to uncover the identity of Flaxton’s murderer.  Shortly into the expedition, one member of the party is murdered, shot by an arrow inscribed with the same ancient Indian curse as the knife.  Another member of the party, Professor Fronc (George Godfrey) is kidnapped, tortured by Indians, and tied half naked to his horse, after being branded with the brand of the ancient Indian cult of Anastasia.
Still from Riders of the Whistling Skull (1937)
Silhouetted Indians atop Coachella Valley (atmospherically shot) attack the expedition with flaming arrows shot into the wagon, which of course, demands late 30’s, western-styled expert stunt work.  Betty goes missing in the ensuing chaos.  The Three Mesquiteers go out in search of her and find her in the middle of an ancient Indian cult ceremony.  Russell’s tight, white shirt competes with her equally tight slacks and the even tighter jeans of our three cowboy studs for inducing the most testosterone and smoldering sex appeal.  One halfway expects King Kong to come out of nowhere and seize the heroine from the clutches of the natives, but no such luck.  Never fear, because the Mesquiteers are old hands at heroically saving virginal heroines when danger looms.

When the expedition finds Whistling Skull, they stumble upon more killer natives, secret passage ways, living mummies, and Professor Marsh.  Corrigan wins the testosterone contest when he loses his shirt, bares his chest, fights off the cult, and saves pal Livingston.  The mystery is solved when the murderer is exposed.  Luckily, the Sheriff and his band have been following from afar.  They lend a hand in dealing with the murderer, defeating the natives, and surviving a terrible avalanche, all before the neatly wrapped last line of comedy relief.

The End.


There used to be a theory in art college that many of the professors blandly bandied about like religious dogma. It was the theory of “aesthetics only.” This theory maintained that it did not matter whether a painting was of a landscape, a penis, or non-representational. A work of art could only be judged by aesthetic criteria.

The biggest problem with that theory is that it rarely holds true. A good example of this would be in comparing the work of Diego Riveria to the work of his wife, Frida Kahlo. Riveria was clearly a better painter, aesthetically. He had a far better sense of composition, and a keener sense of color than Kahlo. However, Riveria lacked Kahlo’s obsessive vision, and it is her vision that remains far more memorably etched in our conscience.

Another example which blows the “aesthetics only” theory out of the water would be in comparing D.W. Griffith to his one-time assistant Tod Browning. There is no doubt that, aesthetically, Griffith was a far more innovative and fluid director. However, Griffith lacked two important qualities which Browning had in spades: obsessive vision and pronounced human empathy. It is the latter of these two vivid Browning qualities that renders Griffith a grossly inferior artist when compared to the inimitable Tod Browning.
Poster for Freaks (1932)Browning was consistently drawn to and connected with the social outcast, while Griffith espoused his racial superiority and reprehensibly tidied that up in his protruding “aesthetics” chest.  That Griffith was ( and still is) celebrated, smacks of American and Hollywood hypocrisy and superficiality at its most blatant.

Of course, this is nothing new, nor is it confined to the film community. Conductor Rafael Kubelik was mercilessly attacked and driven out of Chicago Continue reading TOD BROWNING’S FREAKS (1932)


Before Hollywood beckoned, Indiana native Ken Maynard had been a champion rodeo rider in the Ringling Brothers Circus and the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.  Maynard was, possibly, the most popular of the “B” Western stars from the late twenties through the mid thirties.  Audiences loved him, but virtually everyone who worked or dealt with Maynard thoroughly hated him.  Excessive drinking, foul-mouthed, ego-driven tirades, supreme arrogance, and prima donna ways eventually burned every single bridge Maynard ever crossed, despite being given numerous chances to straighten out his act.  Eventually his excesses, reckless spending, womanizing, and difficult personality all caught up with him.  His last few films, from the mid-forties, show a dissipated, grotesquely overweight star well past his prime.  Since Maynard’s popularity had severely waned, his antics were no longer tolerated, and he was forced into retirement.  After his film career ended, Maynard did a few rodeo circuit shows, a radio show, started a circus, lost it, went through several more marriages, and filed bankruptcy.  His last few years were spent living in drunken solitude at a run-down trailer park, being cared for by his brother and fellow “B” Westerner Kermit Maynard, hawking off memorabilia (fake and real) and (secretly) receiving financial assistance from Gene Autry (Maynard gave Autry his start In Old Santa Fe, below).  Ken Maynard died destitute and suffering from severe malnutrition in the early 1970s.

When he was in his prime, one can easily understand Maynard’s appeal.  Personality quirks and sad ending aside, Maynard had undeniable, amiable charisma and, with his famous palomino horse, Tarzan, he seems the quintessential idea of a period “B” Western star.

Tombstone Canyon (1932) is a grand-guignol western directed by Alan James. As Ken and Tarzan are riding along Tombstone Canyon (actually Red Rock Canyon) they encounter the masked, cloaked Phantom Killer villain Sheldon Lewis (a hold-out, villainous favorite from the silent era).  Some bad local hombres try to jump Ken and Tarzan, but cutie Cecilia Parker appears from nowhere to lend Ken a helping hand in driving away the thieves.  When Cecilia introduces herself, Ken amiably exclaims, “Well that’s a might purty name you have there.”  The Phantom Killer, having observed from the rocks above, gives off a banshee cry and Ken tells Cecilia, “I’d like to meet up with that Phantom fellar.”

Still from Tombstone Canyon (1932)Cecilia finds out that Ken is in search of his identity and long lost father.  Local baddie Frank Brownlee has reasons for not wanting Ken to find out and it was his men who tried to bushwhack Ken in the desert.  Plenty of intrigue is afoot and Ken finds himself in numerous predicaments, including a run-in with the hideously scarred Phantom Killer (shades of the Phantom of the Opera, and even of Darth Vader to come).  The Phantom has sworn revenge against Brownlee and his gang, since it was they who beat him, scarred Continue reading PASSING THE TORCH FROM MAYNARD TO AUTRY: TOMBSTONE CANYON (1932), IN OLD SANTA FE (1934) & RIDERS OF THE WHISTLING PINES (1949)


Two B westerns, two years apart with the same title.  Both are off the beaten path and good in their own way.

First is the 1932 Mystery Ranch, atmospherically directed by David Howard and starring George O’ Brien.  This Ranch might be aptly described as a Gothic western, often looking more like an early thirties horror film than a western.  Charles Middleton is a tyrannical land baron and a piano playing, manipulative sadist who is holding his dead partner’s daughter, Cecilia Parker, hostage in order to force her into marriage and seize control of the Arizona valley.  Middleton is so chilling, so slimy that he leaves a trail and, in the process, steals every scene he is in.  Joseph August’s expressionistic camerawork certainly helps when the villain is so moodily lit.  You know from that outset that any villain who would stoop to bullwhipping a deaf-mute native American henchman is going to mean trouble for O’Brien, and our hero has his hands full trying to save the fair maiden from her evil guardian.

Mystery Ranch (1932) is suspenseful to the nail-biting level, has a great action sequence, is aptly scored, and climaxes with a great end for the villain.  Many of O’ Brien’s westerns were a notch above (of course, quite a few were several notches below) and the star holds his own with Middleton.  The scene in which the two are riding side by side, playing a suave cat & mouse dialogue until Middleton lays it all down, has a quality similar to the best James Bond/villain scenes.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Mystery Ranch (1934), directed by B.B. Ray and Starring perennial “B” favorite Tom Tyler (who also played a strange Mummy in Universal’s The Mummy’s Hand).

This Mystery Ranch opens with a bizarre scene in grotesque, high melodramatic, grand stand vaudeville style.  The added-on, delivered dialogue is just as flowery and absurdly theatrical.  It turns out that it’s just a scene from the latest book of pulp novelist Tom Tyler.  Tom’s daddy lectures his son for trivializing the west.  Soon, an opportunity comes, in the form of a invitation by letter, for Tom to get a glimpse of the real west.  Tom goes to visit The Mystery Ranch.  Only, it’s a scam to get some publicity for the ranchers, who, at first see Tom merely as a hack dime western novelist.  They stage a fake lynching, hold-ups, and a duel.  Tom gets wise and decides to turn the tables on his pranksters.  Of course, a real hold-up takes place and it’s a case of “the boy who cried wolf.”  The real hold-up scenario gets mixed up with Tom’s fake hold-up, which in turn gets another “one good gag deserves another good gag” gag.  One halfway expects Tom to shout out, “Let’s go play hide and seek!”

This film plays, at time, like an unintentionally surreal sitcom comedy filtered through B-western sensibilities. Of course there is a pretty girl and the obligatory fight between the real bad guys and Tom, in tight jeans,over some stolen gold bullion. There is even a spanking and, of course, a happy ending, with Tom proudly proclaiming “Now I have a great idea for new story,” getting the pretty girl and a last line of comedy relief.  A real curio.

Opening to Mystery Ranch (1934)


Robert North Bradbury often seemed to add a pinch of the offbeat into his westerns, but when it came to directing his son, star Bob Steele, there was a downright oedipal underpinning because, quite often, Bob was thrust into an onscreen situation in which he lost his father.

Big Calibre utilizes this plot situation yet again, but regardless what Sigmund would have to say about it, it is of little consequence to this enjoyably odd oater. Bob’s father is killed and robbed of his cattle cash by a local chemist, played by screenwriter and Steele friend Perry Murdock. Bob pursues him, but the chemist escapes. Some time later, Bob, still in pursuit of his father’s murderer, is accused of holding up a stagecoach and murdering Peggy Campbell’s father, who also was robbed and killed with corrosive gas while en route to save his ranch from foreclosure.

The local banker wants Peggy for himself and is behind her father’s supposed killing (the body is missing).  He has a hunchbacked, fanged, bespectacled assistant/henchman. Peggy knows Steele is innocent since it was she who held up the coach in order to prevent the delivery of a letter, from the banker, seizing her ranch.

Still from Big Calibre (1935)The local mob is itching to hang Bob, and so an anonymous benefactor breaks Bob and his comedy relief sidekick out of jail, using corrosive gas! There is an unintentionally surreal, misplaced barnyard dance with Bob and the sidekick dancing with Peggy while masked! The dance ends in a planned brawl and Bob barely escapes with his life. Unsurprisingly, the hunchbacked assistant is none other than the low-life chemist who butchered Bob’s pa. When Bob knocks him to the ground his fake fangs and glasses come off to reveal his true identity.

An exciting and atmospheric desert chase follows with the assistant making his getaway in an automobile. All ends well, of course, with the bad guys reaping what they sow, the hero and his girl hooking up after she finds out her daddy is still alive, and Bob’s sidekick being chased off by an ugly childhood sweetheart who won’t leave him alone.

Big Calibre has more loopholes than plot. The loopholes hardly matter because it has an admirable low budget, authentic western weirdness. It’s strangeness is organic and subtle, rather than on-the sleeve. The lack of a musical score, which is the norm in early 1930’s B westerns, actually adds to the unique flavor.

Bob Steele possibly made more B westerns than anyone and few of them were good, but he had an amiable and hip personality that audiences responded to. He is probably best known as the low-life Curley in Lewis Milestone’s 1939 version of Of Mice and Men. Big Calibre, released by Sinister Cinema, is available on Amazon and the Sinister Cinema website.