Golly! Look at this! I sure did. The first two times through the book I hardly read a single line of the text. The many movie posters, advertisements, book jackets, images of paraphernalia, comic book shots, theatrical playbills, Golden Book imagery, glamour shots, sheet music covers and the like just lure this viewer from page to page like I was a young boy back in
It's not just Gene Autry, Dale Evans, Trigger, the Lone Ranger, Cisco, and Hoppy. Barson goes back to Tom Mix, William Desmond, Errol Flynn, Randolph Scott, and the rest of the gang.
The text includes summaries of maybe 200 films and so forth, with industry history. Even John Wayne went through dry spell before his ascension to the throne. Surely you remember The Magnificent Seven came from the Japanese Seven Samurai. And that Hud came from McMurtry's first novel, Horseman, Pass By. Barson's essay on the once Western dominance of the small screen will leave any reader amazed.
Barson does miss reference to some main points. My father almost certainly was a consultant to the development of the character Ward Bond in the television show, Wagon Train, or so it seemed to me. Nor does he recount how each week at the opening scene of the televised Gunsmoke, young boys across the nation stood in the middle of the room, drew their gun against Matt Dillion, and crumpled to the floor, taken down in the showdown with the law. But forgive Barson such, and get this book before the
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