Western Gunslingers in Fact and on Film

Hollywood’s Famous Lawmen and Outlaws


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About the Book

Billy the Kid, Wild Bill Hickok, Belle Starr, Wyatt Earp, the Younger Gang, the Dalton-Doolin Gang and Bat Masterson—these real-life lawmen and lawbreakers have been the basis of so many Hollywood Westerns that it has become difficult to discover where the truth ends and the legend begins. All actually became larger-than-life characters during their lifetimes, as contemporary newspapers and books embellished their deeds for their own purposes. But it was in Hollywood that the line between reality and myth was completely blurred. Each chapter-length entry here first focuses on the known facts of the people’s lives and how each became truly legendary during their lifetimes. The reality is then compared to how they have been portrayed in the movies.

About the Author(s)

The late Buck Rainey wrote scores of articles for Western and serial fanzines and several books. He lived in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

Bibliographic Details

Buck Rainey
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 349
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 1997
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0396-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0328-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Introduction      1

1. Billy the Kid      3
2. The James-Younger Gang      55
3. The Dalton-Doolin Gang      111
4. Myra Belle Shirley Starr      131
5. Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp      145
6. James Butler (Wild Bill) Hickok      177
7. William Barclay (Bat) Masterson      223

Bibliography      265
Index      305

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating…recommended for all collections dealing with the film industry and/or western Americana”—Public Library Quarterly; “a great idea for a book, very well realized”—Past Times; “recommended”—Big Reel; “looks at the historical and cinematic careers of Billy the Kid, the James-Younger gang, the Dalton-Doolin gang, Belle Starr, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, and Bat Materson”—AB Bookman’s Weekly; “illustrated with well-chosen black-and-white photographs…detailed index…most libraries will want this for their circulating collection for the universal appeal of the subject and for the extensive filmographies”—ARBA; “handsome, well-researched softcover…also features a useful bibliography”—Book and Magazine Collector.