Last of the Cowboy Heroes

The Westerns of Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy


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SKU: 9780786422616 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

In the world of Western films, Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy have frequently been overlooked in favor of names like Roy Rogers and John Wayne. Yet these three actors played a crucial role in the changing environment of the post–World War II Western, and, in the process, made many excellent middle-budget films that are still a pleasure to watch.
This account of these three Western stars’ careers begins in 1946, when Scott and McCrea committed themselves to the Western roles they would play for nearly twenty years. Murphy, who also joined them in 1946, would continue his Western career for a few years after his cohorts rode into the film sunset. Arranged chronologically, and balanced among the three actors, the text concludes with Audie Murphy’s last Western in 1967. Covering both the personal and professional lives of these three Hollywood cowboys, the book provides both their stories and the story of a Hollywood whose attitude toward the Western was in a time of transition and transformation. The text is complemented by 60 photographs and a filmography for each of the three.

About the Author(s)

Robert Nott is a staff writer for The Santa Fe New Mexican. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Nott
Foreword by Budd Boetticher
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 205
Bibliographic Info: 60 photos, filmographies, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [2000]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2261-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1372-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Foreword by Budd Boetticher     1
Introduction     5

Randolph Scott     9
Joel McCrea     29
Audie Murphy     42
The Code of the West     57
Scott at Warner Bros. and Columbia, 1950–1955     67
McCrea at Universal, 1950–1955     85
Money, Women and Guns     96
Murphy on the Rise, 1956–1960     105
McCrea in Decline, 1955–1959     121
Scott, Boetticher and Kennedy     129
Guns in the Afternoon (Ride the High Country)     145
Murphy Rides Alone, 1962–1967     154
End of the Trail     165

Selected Filmography     173
Randolph Scott     173
Joel McCrea     178
Audie Murphy     181
Bibliography     187
Index     191

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “An elaborate filmography and dozens of great stills…sparkles brightly”—Film & History
  • “Excellent”—Wrangler’s Roost
  • “Remarkable…his commentary is sharp and very colorful…he makes you think about the films—all aspects of them…an intelligent study”—Classic Images
  • “Excellent…absorbing insight into each man…recommended”—Western Clippings
  • “Detailed…outstanding insight”—Western Mail
  • “I heartily recommend this book…Nott has obviously done his research”—Nostalgia Westerns
  • “Recommended…wonderful photographs”—The New Mexican.