It all began with the legendary Tom Mix, the yardstick by which all B-Western stars are measured.
Born in 1880, Mix had worked with the Texas Rangers, had been a bartender, a sheriff, and a champion rodeo rider in his Wild West Show. Hollywood had a bona fide true blue western legend. After becoming THE cowboy movie star at the age of 30, the extremely prolific Mix worked and played equally hard, developing a love for fast cars, fast women (married five times) , and reckless spending. Most of his 20’s westerns were adapted from Zane Grey novels and were high quality entertainment for the masses. Mix often wrote, produced and directed in addition to acting. He was the polar opposite to William S. Hart’s dusty realism. Mix combined humor, increased action which featured his own stunt work, a star horse named Tony, flashy showmanship and enthusiastic energy in his films. When his stardom naturally began to dim in the 1930’s, mainly due to age, he toured with his beloved Tom Mix Circus before an untimely high speed auto accident and a flying metal suitcase to the back of the head on an Arizona highway put an end to all the Circus in 1940, but not to the legend. For ten years after his death, the Tom Mix Radio Show continued on with immense popularity. Tom Mix comic books were also extremely popular for several decades, as was the touring Tom Mix festival which finally ran down (but not entirely out) in the mid 90’s. Since most of his films are silent, few today have even seen a Tom Mix film, and his reputation by far exceeds the actual films. Here are two Mixs from Sinister Cinema’s Sinister Six-Gun collection.
Just Tony begins, aptly enough, with a trailer. “Hit the Trail! The Gun Ranger is out to clean up the town! Bob Steel, two-gun deputy whose twitching fingers itch for fights! Outlaws Rustlers Cowboys Posses and Bob Steel as the Gun Ranger! A Republic Release.” This trailer promises white hat cow dude Steel kicking black hat bad guy butt, a mix of masked bandits, pencil-thin mustached villains and a pretty girl exclaiming “Oh, Dan!”
Tom has his eyes on the beautiful black wild stallion, Tony, that he wants to tame, but first things first as he has Continue reading JUST TONY (1922) & SKY HIGH (1922)