Wednesday, June 29, 2011

George Marshall and Tom Destry

1891 - 1975

Chicago born George Marshall hit Hollywood at the age of 25 and for the next 50 years worked in that industry town as a director/writer/actor. In the era of learn as you go, George Marshall wrote and directed his first western short for Bison Pictures in 1916. It was called Across the Rio Grande and starred Harry Carey. For the next 15 years Marshall excelled at the short films which provided much of the entertainment of the silent era - westerns, comedies and action thrillers. He worked with western stars Neal Hart and Tom Mix, with legendary golfer Bobby Jones and with serial star Pearl White's rival, spunky Ruth Roland.

Ruth of the Rockies
Will she escape these dastardly fiends?

It wasn't until the 1930s that George made his first feature films including Life Begins at Forty with Will Rogers and Hold that Co-Ed starring John Barrymore. Action and comedy, entertainingly dished out to the public, are the hallmarks of George Marshall's pictures. Audiences of the day, and audiences who grew up in the time when studio movie fare was prevalent on local television, have fond feelings toward such westerns as Texas with young Bill Holden and Glenn Ford, Valley of the Sun with Lucille Ball and When the Daltons Rode with Randolph Scott. Comedies in George Marshall's resume run from the Laurel & Hardy classics Pack Up Your Troubles, Towed in a Hole and Their First Mistake to The Ghost Breakers, Monsieur Beaucaire and Fancy Pants with Bob Hope and the zany Murder, He Says starring Fred MacMurray, Pot o' Gold with Jimmy Stewart and Scared Stiff with Dean and Jerry.

Among Marshall highlights I would include the perfect little noir The Blue Dahlia starring Alan Ladd, the oddly likable musical-western Red Garters with Rosemary Clooney, the Technicolor actioner The Forest Rangers with Fred MacMurray, the low-key comedy-western The Sheepman with Glenn Ford, Papa's Delicate Condition with Jackie Gleason and the railroad portion of the all-star epic How the West Was Won.

Most of Marshall's pictures can be described as solidly entertaining, but only one has ever been acclaimed as a true classic and it is 1939's Destry Rides Again based on a Max Brand story of a lawless town and the man who would try to tame it without guns. It has that unmistakable combination of comedy and action which was George Marshall's forte.

James Stewart was becoming America's favourite image of itself in 1939 as Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Tom Destry in Destry Rides Again. The 30 year old actor had trained and paid his dues, and the film gods had smiled as he cemented his image of the appealingly shy, yet honest and determined screen hero.

The story moves at a fine clip as the audience is introduced to the town of Bottleneck and the folks who run the whole, if you'll pardon the expression, shooting match. Brian Donlevy is the brains and the money who keeps a crooked judge/mayor played by the usually sympathetically cast (think Peter Bailey) Samuel S. Hinds in his back pocket. Great comic support is supplied by Mischa Auer as a hapless Russian immigrant married to a strong-minded, possessive Una Merkel. Irene Hervey is a nice girl who charms our lead and Jack Carson is her obnoxious brother. The town drunk, and former lawman, Washington Dimsdale, is played with all his well-known charm by Charles Winninger. It is "Wash" who calls on the son of his famous boss Destry to help clean up Bottleneck.

All the elements are in place for a memorable movie including the queen of all the dance hall gals. Marlene Dietrich revitalized her career with her portrayal of "Frenchy". Her box office appeal had waned as it seems audiences had grown tired of the allure of the fascinating foreigner. With her vibrant and touching "Frenchy", Miss Dietrich became a relatable and earthy screen presence.

No Academy Award nominations came Destry's way in that crowded year of excellence, but it played to big box office and quickly and consistently became a film fan favourite. In 1996 Destry Rides Again was placed on the National Film Registry.



Universal Studios was having success with medium budgeted westerns in the 1950s starring Audie Murphy and the property of Destry Rides Again seemed like a perfect fit. Indeed, the character of Destry was natural for the 30-year-old Texas born war hero turned actor. George Marshall was again tapped to direct and was happy to do so, "filching the best parts" from his greatest success.


James Stewart was at the major breakthrough point of his career when he gave up Hollywood to enlist in the Army when the United States entered World War II. Audie Murphy was a school drop-out from a family of poor sharecroppers when he enlisted in the Army. James Stewart had his acting career to return to after the war. What becomes of America's most decorated soldier, the winner of the Medal of Honor? In hindsight we might think of Hollywood as a natural step for Murphy, but it wasn't in his thoughts. It was James Cagney and his brother William who saw potential and who signed Murphy to a contract and brought him to the movies. Audie Murphy's acting training would come from learning on the job, keeping in mind Cagney's advice to "look the other guy in the eye and tell the truth". Murphy had over a dozen starring roles to his credit when he took on Destry. He had become a confident actor with a natural instinct, and the ability to use his background and experience on screen.

Mari Blanchard played saloon hostess and resident bad gal "Brandy". It was not to be expected that she give something akin go the iconic turn given by Dietrich in the earlier film, but she does bring a certain zing to the proceedings. Lyle Bettger takes over Brian Donlevy's job of head baddie. Edgar Buchanan does his scene-stealing best as the crooked politico. The comic character couple is played in this remake by Wallace Ford and Mary Wickes. Oscar winner Thomas Mitchell takes on the role of "Wash", only here called "Rags". Lori Nelson plays the nice girl rival for Destry's heart.

Both films run at a brisk 95 minutes. Both films have popular and talented character actors in support. Both films have an ideal western hero in their leading man. Destry Rides Again also has the star power of Dietrich, the breathtaking black and white cinematograhy of Oscar winner Hal Mohr and the freshness of the story. It is truly a classic. Destry relies on the familiarity of the story, the novelty of the Technicolor and the appeal of leading man Murphy. Destry was the expected success, but not a classic.

Both movies have had a place in my heart since childhood. It is fun to spot the little differences between the pictures.

Destry Rides Again: they are investigating if the sheriff has died.
Destry: they are investigating how the sheriff died.

Destry Rides Again: the good girl is the sister of the cattleman.
Destry: the good girl is related to the rancher cheated in the card game.

Destry Rides Again: funny subplot with the "Callaghans" (Auer & Merkel).
Destry: a doctor and his wife take over the comic duties (Ford & Wickes).

Destry Rides Again: final shootout a free-for-all involving the whole town.
Destry: final shootout involves only the bad guys, Brandy and Tom Destry in the saloon.

Destry Rides Again: Tom whittles.
Destry: Tom whiles away the time with a piece of string.

Destry Rides Again: Tom always related a story he heard.
Destry: Tom always related something he read in a book once.

Dig that cap!

George Marshall's career went from silent shorts to sound features and then to television where he directed old friend Lucille Ball in Here's Lucy and frequent star Glenn Ford in Cade's County, as well as shows like Daniel Boone, Hec Ramsay and The Odd Couple. His last screen credit is in 1972, just three years before his passing.

By the way: western movies/musical theatre buffs will be happy to know that a musical version of Destry Rides Again directed by Michael Kidd with songs by Harold Rome and starring Andy Griffith and Dolores Gray ran for almost 500 performances on Broadway (1959-60 season). My favourite song from the show is the lovely ballad "Anyone Would Love You". Perhaps the time is right for a revival.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lenny's Lesson Plan #4

Using some of TCM's Essentials Jr. summer programming as a guideline, I have appointed myself Grand Poobah of my niece Lenny's introduction to classic film.

It is never too early to begin opening your mind to the riches of entertainment and art available to us.







Big news, Lenny. This week's entry for TCM's Essentials Jr. is a musical. Not just any old musical, but one considered by a lot of folks to be the musical, 1952s Singin' in the Rain. Critics and film historians feel that way about the movie because it is a perfect combination of a truly funny script that could stand on its own and skilful, entertaining musical numbers. A lot of fans feel that way about the movie because it may have been their first favourite musical or favourite classic movie. Your cousin Janet has loved it since her toddlerhood and had quite a crush on Gene Kelly who plays Don. (Since those days her affection has turned to Dana Andrews as Lt. MacPherson in Laura, but that's another lesson.)

Singin' in the Rain is bright and beautiful as it was filmed in Technicolor that we spoke of in the The Adventures of Robin Hood lesson. The story is set in Hollywood as movies make the transition from the silent film days, as we looked at in the The General lesson, to the era of sound pictures.

Lenny, you will like the characters in Singin' in the Rain, Cathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) and think of them as your friends. They are your singing and dancing friends. People love to sing and dance, and love to watch other people sing and dance. In Singin' in the Rain your friends make music for their job, and when they are happy and sad.

Most of the songs in the movie were written by Nacio Herb Brown with lyrics by Arthur Freed. Mr. Freed was a producer at MGM, the company that made Singin' in the Rain. He wanted a movie featuring his songs and the writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green came up with the idea of the story and all the funny lines that the actors say. In the story of Singin' in the Rain, your friends Cathy, Don and Cosmo have a big problem, but by the end of the movie they discover that they have the answer to their problem and the ability to solve it with their own skill and work. Lenny, when you are faced with problems remember your friends from Singin' in the Rain and you may find the answers right at your finger tips.

Lenny, it has been fun for me to talk to you about these movies. Here is TCM's Essentials Jr. line-up for the rest of the summer:

King Kong - A Caftan Aunt fave
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Uncle Garry and cousin Janet love this one
Horse Feathers - Ask Aunt Mo about the Marx Brothers
The Thing from Another World - A Caftan Aunt super fave that frightened Janet when she was little
Road to Utopia - Liking Bing & Bob is a family requirement
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Broke Janet's heart when she was little
His Girl Friday - A Caftan Aunt essential
Gunga Din - All your aunts and your mommy enjoy this comedy-adventure movie
My Man Godfrey - All your aunts and cousin Janet love William Powell

Saturday, June 18, 2011

For Father's Day - TV's Best Pappy

Jack Kelly, James Garner

Legends of the West, Bret and Bart Maverick, of the perpetually popular Maverick TV series (1957 - 1962) roamed the TV west with a deck of cards and a ready wit, conning con men, romancing pretty Warner's contractees and being generally adventurous. How did they become these dashing, rascally rogues with their peculiar brand of honour? Anyone familiar with Maverick knows that the greatest influence on these boys was their oft-quoted "Pappy".


The third season of Maverick featured the episode Pappy wherein James Garner, under age make-up, played Bret and Bart's father, and also Bret in disguise as Bret and Bart's father. Are you with me?

The story, written and directed by Montgomery Pittman, finds the boys forced to extricate Pappy out of a complicated situation involving a young woman. Well, they think they have to extricate Pappy out of a complicated situation involving a young woman. Youngsters seem to strongly hold to the position that old folks require constant guidance and assistance. Bret and Bart should have had more faith in the man who handed them a legacy of sage advice. After all, they quoted Beau often enough to make him the real Legend of the West.

- As my old pappy used to say, "work is fine for killin' time, but it's a shaky way to make a living."

- As my old pappy used to say, "a man does what he has to do - if he can't get out of it."

- As my old pappy used to say, "if at first you don't succeed, try something else."

- As my old pappy used to say, "son, the best time to get lucky is when the other man's dealin'."

- As my old pappy used to say, "a fox isn't sly; he just can't think any slower."

- As my old pappy used to say, "you can be a gentleman and still not forget all you know about self-defense."

- As my old pappy used to say, "faint heart never filled a flush."

- As my old pappy used to say, "man is the only animal you can skin more than once."

- As my old pappy used to say, "love your fellow man, and stay out of his troubles if you can."

- As my old pappy used to say, "marriage is the only game of chance I know of where both people can lose."

- As my old pappy used to say, "never play in a rigged game, unless you rig it yourself."

- As my old pappy used to say, "if you haven't got something nice to say about a man, it's time to change the subject."

- As my old pappy used to say, "never cry over spilled milk... it could've been whiskey."

- As my old pappy used to say, "early to bed and early to rise, is the curse of the working class.”

- As my old pappy used to say, "if the Lord had more respect for money, He would have given it to a higher class of people."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lenny's Lesson Plan #3

Using some of TCM's Essentials Jr. summer programming as a guideline, I have appointed myself Grand Poobah of my niece Lenny's introduction to classic film.

It is never too early to begin opening your mind to the riches of entertainment and art available to us.







Lenny, be warned, Caftan Aunt is about to go total movie geek on you like you've never seen her before! This week TCM has scheduled the perfection that is 1939s Stagecoach. Why is it perfect? Number one, it is directed by John Ford. Number two, it is a western. Number three, it is a western directed by John Ford.

Storytellers are often told "show, don't tell". Storytellers, particularly cinematic storytellers, sometimes find this rule a challenge. John Ford was not one of them. With an artist's eye he knew where to put the camera to fill the screen with images of people and surroundings that create beauty of frame and enhance our emotional response to characters and situations.

Stagecoach is a movie filled with drama, humour, adventure and romance. It is a story of many characters facing their individual problems and their combined danger on a trip through wild western territory. The movie is an expanded adaption by Dudley Nichols of Ernest Haycox's story Stage to Lordsburg. Screenwriter Nichols and director Ford collaborated on 16 movies. They understood each other's sensibilities and story goals.

John Ford liked to bring his audience into a society fully formed and through a bit of dialogue or business introduce us to characters and let us make of them what we will. An example in Stagecoach would be of the gambler, Hatfield. His actions and words, both bold and evasive, tell us about his character and hint at his background. We round out his life from our imaginations with these clues.

John Ford was a director who displayed a fond understanding for the characters in his films, and a respect for their triumphs. He sometimes told the stories of great accomplishments, but his deepest admiration seems to me to be for those who never give up the struggle of the everyday and are sometimes allowed a victory. In your life, Lenny, you will know both struggles and victories. You share this with all humanity.

Lenny, you should know that you come from a family with a strong Fordian background going back to your great-grandfather. When you grow up and go to film school, they will try to turn you into a Kubrickian. Don't you let them!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Favourite movies: The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)


The writing/producing/directing team of Gilliat and Launder, and their 40 some films, are probably responsible for the image most of us have of British humour. Humour in the face of adversity and absurdity - that stiff upper lip resourcefulness and ready wit to which we would all like to claim ownership. It's an amazing partnership beginning with the screenplay for The Lady Vanishes through to Oh, Mr. Porter! for Will Hay, the Inspector Hornleigh series, Geordie, Green for Danger, The Smallest Show on Earth, The Belles of St. Trinians plus sequels, and more. If laughter is indeed the best medicine then Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder were the world's pharmacists.

Frank Launder collaborated with John Dighton, screenwriter of The Man in the White Suit, Went the Day Well? and Roman Holiday, in bringing his 1948 stage hit, starring Margaret Rutherford, The Happiest Days of Your Life to the screen.


Margaret Rutherford, Joyce Grenfell, Alastair Sim

Mythology tells us that the happiest days of your life are your school days and while that may be true for some, the staff of a boy's school in rural England, Nutbourne College, exemplified by teacher Mr. Briggs played by Richard Wattis, does not agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment. In fact, Briggs keeps up a sarcastic running commentary about everything that occurs at benighted Nutbourne. "Benighted", you ask? Well, the college is a bit seedy, as is its Games Master played by Guy Middleton. The Headmaster, one Wetherby Pond played by Alastair Sim, is hoping soon to see the last of dear old Nutbourne. Much to the amazement of his fellows, Pond has been short-listed for the position of Headmaster at Harlingham. "That's a good school!"

The first day of the school year presents a problem in the form of an unaccountable number of bags from the railway station and a letter from the Ministry of Education, Department of Resettlement. A further 100 students, plus staff have been foisted upon dear old Nutbourne. Rising to the occasion, Pond decides this will be the perfect opportunity to show Harlingham what he is made of. The domestic staff of Nutbourne has no such lofty goal and walk out en masse, leaving the teachers to sort out such problems as where to place the incoming boys and what to feed them.

While the teachers are thus engaged, the interlopers arrive. The staff of St. Swithin's all girls school is just as put out with the high-handedness of post-war bureaucracy, but Headmistress Miss Whitchurch played by Margaret Rutherford is a take charge person and take charge she does. Her staff includes Joyce Grenfell as gawky gym teacher Miss Gossage ("Call me sausage.") and the sometimes reliable Miss Jezzard played by Muriel Aked. They become increasingly disheartened as they tour their new facilities, ending in the staff room. "Gaming, nicotine, fisticuffs - we're moving in a descending spiral of inequity. Whatever else this establishment may or may not be, it's clearly not a suitable place to bring carefully nurtured young girls to."

Miss Whitchurch's misgivings are felt just as keenly when the horror of having a girls school billeted in Nutbourne is brought home to Mr. Pond. "It means that not only has the Ministry made a mistake in sending a school here at all, but they have apparently been guilty of an appalling sexual aberration."


The Displaced and the Distracting

Repeated calls - urgent calls - to the Ministry are of no assistance whatsoever so staff and students make do in what Miss Whitchurch calls a "rough and ready harmony". All of the harmony falling to the side of that formidable lady.

At his wits end, Pond responds when being urged to vote in an upcoming election for a Miss Wilson that: "If there is a male candidate - whether he be conservative, socialist, communist or anarchist - or, for that matter, liberal, he will have my vote."


Margaret Rutherford, Alastair Sim

Second Tuesday of the term arrives. The day some of the girl's parents have been invited for tea and a tour of St. Swithin's new facility. The day Miss Whitchurch forgot and the day Miss Jezzard forgot to remind her of. This is the day the Board of Governors of Harlingham decide would be opportune for an unscheduled visit to Nutbourne to check out their new Headmaster candidate. Miss Whitchurch cannot afford to lose any students and Mr. Pond cannot afford to lose his career opportunity. Thus, the entire staff and student body are roused to great feats of hilarious deception to keep up the pretense of being either a girl's or boy's school depending on which group turns which corner.

The Happiest Days of Your Life is perfectly executed and perfectly delightful, capped off by the magnificent Margaret and the sublime Sim. It is the ultimate battle of the sexes and a timeless comedy classic.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lenny's Lesson Plan #2

Using some of TCM's Essentials Jr. summer programming as a guideline, I have appointed myself Grand Poobah of my niece Lenny's introduction to classic film.

It is never too early to begin opening your mind to the riches of entertainment and art available to us.







Lenny, you are in luck this week. TCM has scheduled Buster Keaton's The General, a superb adventure-comedy that speaks your language. The movie, like a ten-month-old, doesn't speak.

During the first few decades of movie making, the ability to synchronize sound to film had not been developed. The lack of spoken dialogue did not impede motion pictures, instead it led to an entire art form that could be called pure cinema. Just as the fact that you do not yet have a vocabulary with which to express yourself makes you purely human. You cannot hide your feelings; they are on the surface for all to see.

In a silent picture, you will be able to understand the characters by their reactions. Often the reactions in a silent movie or from a baby are described as "over-the-top", but if you think about it, the reactions are perfectly natural. It is words that suppress natural reaction. Words are very important communication tools. The words we choose, carefully or carelessly, tell us a lot about one another. However, words are not the only way people communicate and that is important to remember as you grow and add more people to your circle.

Silent movies, like babies, are never completely silent. In the theatres where they played to audiences, musicians would accompany the movie with appropriate background music. Sometimes a piano or organ, maybe a fiddle or two and maybe an accordion would be played. The music would set the mood of comedy or romance or create excitement in a chase scene. The music added to the pleasure of seeing the movie.

Buster Keaton is the director and the star of The General. As the director Buster was in charge of how the scenes are played and how the movie looks. He was the boss. Some people have to be the boss because they like to have power and push people around. Some people, like Buster, have to be the boss because his movies were his ideas and only he knew how to make them turn out exactly right. Buster was very proud of The General because it was his dream, his vision come to life. A very important thing to remember in life is not to let anyone step on your dreams.


If you want to know anything about Buster Keaton, you can ask your Aunt Maureen. If you want to know anything more about The General, check out Another Old Movie Blog of May 30, 2011, http://anotheroldmovieblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/general-1926.html.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

James Arness (1923 - 2011)

Marshal Matt Dillon, Gunsmoke

The hero of my childhood became the TV pal of my middle years.


Dennis Weaver, James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake
Gunsmoke, 1955-1975 / 5 TV movies 1987 - 1994

From Burt Reynolds' foreword to James Arness, An Autobiography by James Arness with James E. Wise Jr. published by McFarland & Company, Inc in 2001:

"The biggest surprise for everyone who had the good fortune to work on a few episodes of Gunsmoke in those days was Jim Arness. He was funny. I mean get-the-giggles, wrap-up-for-the-cast-and-crew, "time-out"-and-get-it-together funny. He had that wonderful ability to surprise you, make you laugh at yourself or the situations that actors often find themselves in."


Ann Doran, William Kirby Cullen, Katherine Holcomb
Richard Kiley, James Arness, Eva Marie Saint
Vicki Schreck, Bruce Boxleitner
The Macahans, 1976 / How the West Was Won 1977 - 1979

Did you know that Uncle Zeb is even cooler than Marshal Matt? It's true. Zebulon Macahan is one extremely cool cat and How the West Was Won breathtakingly memorable television.

I find in the earliest of James Arness' screen performances a joy and an earnestness that would grow into the confident professional able to create such commanding and legendary characters as Dillon and Macahan. It is work I admire most, work that hides the work.

James Arness was an intensely private individual during his time in the spotlight, however in his later years he reached out in kind to the affection that came his way from his many, many fans through his autobiography, his participation in the TV Archives oral history project (found on YouTube) and through his website. Fans who turned to that site upon hearing of his passing, perhaps to leave a note of condolence, would instead find themselves condoled by Jim:Hi friends,

I decided to write a letter to you for Janet to post on our website in the event I was no longer here.

I had a wonderful life and was blessed with some many loving people and great friends. The best part of my life was my family, especially my wife Janet. Many of you met her at Dodge City so you understand what a special person she is.

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for the many years of being a fan of Gunsmoke, The Thing, How the West Was Won and all the other fun projects I was lucky enough to have been allowed to be a part of. I had the privilege of working with so many great actors over the years.

I was honored to have served in the army for my country. I was at Anzio during WWII and it makes you realize how very precious life is.

Thank you again for all the many letters, cards, emails and gifts we received from you over the years. You are and always have been truly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Jim Arness

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lenny's Lesson Plan

Eileen Agnes Clayton

My niece Eileen, affectionately called "Lenny" by one and all, is about to reach her 10th month birthday. It is time for Aunt Paddy aka Caftan Woman to stake her territory and I offer myself as a consultant in Lenny's classic movie education. Her parents are certainly more than capable, as her musician father knows all there is to know about Star Wars and her mom, my sister, was raised in a read-the-credits family. However, as I look back on my parenting the only thing I can recall doing was introducing my kids to classic movies - and yet, they thrived.

I think it is for busy parents such as Tracey and Jim that TCM introduced their summertime feature Essentials Jr. and this year's host, Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader, will probably already be familiar to Lenny from many a late night teething session (check out those choppers!). I don't believe 10 months is too early to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by everyone's favourite cable channel. First up on June 5 is Warner Brothers The Adventures of Robin Hood. Not to overwhelm Lenny, I will suggest a few tidbits to mention while the movie is playing and she is chewing on something (again, the choppers!).



Number one: Look at all the pretty colours, Lenny. The movie was filmed in "Technicolor". Oooh!

Aunt Paddy's supplemental: Technicolor was a special system using three strips of film, very big cameras and lots of lights to film a movie. It was a difficult process and cost a lot of money. The movie studios used it when they wanted something to look extra special. Nowadays we do not have movies in Technicolor because people found less expensive ways to make colour and because it is not fashionable. Sometimes people think things are better if they are new, but this is not always true. It is important to know what people have done before you were born so you can decide what should be changed and what is worth keeping.



Number two: How do you like that music, Lenny? It was written by a man named Korngold. Can you say Korngold?

Aunt Paddy's supplemental: Mr. Korngold did not want to write the music for the movie of Robin Hood because he thought it was a silly story about men in tights fighting with swords. He wanted to go home to his country of Austria, but some bad men called Nazis marched into the country and took away everything he loved. Mr. Korngold was very mad and sad, and he thought the movie of Robin Hood fighting for people who had everything they loved taken away was not a silly story after all. He wrote music that makes your heart beat fast in your chest.



Number 3: Isn't the lady in the movie riding a pretty horse, Lenny? The horse's name was Golden Cloud, but he would become world famous as Trigger, the Smartest Horse in the Movies.

Aunt Paddy's supplemental: Roy Rogers was a singing actor who made western movies that kids loved to see. The studio he worked for rented Golden Cloud for Roy to ride and Roy thought he was the most beautiful and smartest horse in the whole world. Roy called the horse Trigger. Roy asked his boss to buy Trigger to be in all his movies. Roy's boss, Mr. Yates, was cranky and said "Do you think I am made of money? You like the horse so much, you buy him." That is just what Roy did and every time Trigger was needed for a movie, Mr. Yates had to make sure it was okay with Roy. Ha, ha. Roy and Trigger were best friends forever.



Number 4: "Hooray!" At the end of the movie when the good guys beat the bad guys we shout "Hooray!".

Aunt Paddy's supplemental: In the world outside of adventure movies the good guys do not always win and that is sad. However, no matter what you do in your life the number one most important thing is to be a good guy. Hooray!