Friday, June 5, 2009
Western Films: The Star Packer (He Wore A Star)
Recently, in celebration of The Duke's 102nd birthday, The Encore Westerns film channel ran a 28 hour John Wayne marathon. And what could get any better than that?
Included in the marathon were a number of Lone Star Westerns from the 1930's, including "The Star Packer" from 1934, which for my friends in the UK was released under the title "He Wore A Star". I happen to be a big fan of these old Lone Star Westerns, even though they were shot on the cheap.
"The Star Packer" features John Wayne as U.S. Marshall John Travers, who together with his Indian side kick Yak (played by Yakima Canutt) are looking for wanted men in an unnamed area of The West, but they soon get more than they bargain for when they encounter a gang of outlaws run by a mysterious man known only as "The Shadow".
"The Star Packer" was written and directed by Robert N. Bradbury (1886-1949), a very prolific writer and director of many early Westerns. "The Star Packer" was one of the eight Westerns Bradbury directed in 1934. Originally born in Walla Walla, Washington Territory, Bradbury's NorthWest heritage shines through, in that on numerous ocassions, Yakima Canutt's character can clearly be heard speaking some very broken Chinook Jargon when his atypical Injun sidekick character continually exclaims "Hiya Skookum!(Much good!)Big fun!" every time John Wayne's character does something particularly impressive.
See a trailer for The Star Packer.
You can also download the whole film at:
Or grab yourself a DVD at Amazon.