John Wayne in The Three Mesquiteers

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    • John Wayne in The Three Mesquiteers

      JOHN WAYNE
      in the
      THE THREE MESQUITEERSduke_542.jpgIntroduction
      The Three Mesquiteers is the umbrella title for a
      Republic Pictures series of 51 Western B-movies
      released between 1936 and 1943, including 8 films starring John Wayne.
      The name was a play on mesquite and The Three Musketeers,
      and each film featured a trio of stars.

      The series was based on a series of western novels by William Colt MacDonald,
      which began with The Law of 45's in 1933.
      A film version of The Law of 45's was made by a different film company in 1935
      and introduced the characters Tucson Smith and Stony Brooke.

      The series blended the traditional Western period with more modern elements,
      which was not unknown with other B-Western films and serials.
      Towards the end of the series, during World War II, the trio of cowboys were opposing Nazis.

      duke_309.jpg

      Reception
      The Three Mesquiteers series was extremely popular at the time of its release.
      The series was the only one of its kind to be specifically named and ranked
      in contemporary polls of the top western film stars.
      For example, from 1937 to the end of the series in 1943,
      The Motion Picture Herald consistently ranked
      the series in its top ten,
      reaching a peak of 5th place in 1938,
      when a pre-Stagecoach John Wayne was the series lead

      Influence
      The success of the series led to many imitators at other studios.
      The first was The Range Busters (1940–43) from Monogram Pictures
      which starred original Mesquiteer Ray "Crash" Corrigan as the character "Crash" Corrigan.
      Monogram also released The Rough Riders (1941–42), again poaching a Mesquiteer
      in the form of Raymond Hatton, and The Trail Blazers (1943–44).
      Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) produced two similar series,
      The Texas Rangers (1942–45) and The Frontier Marshals (1942).

      wayne336.jpg

      John Wayne in The Three Mesquiteers
      Duke had just completed the disastrous Universal Series
      and made one more contracted out movie for
      Paramount, Born to the West (1938)

      Duke returned to Republic where Herbert J. Yates,
      welcomed him back with less than open arms.
      Rather than the $24'000 a year Duke
      had made by his earlier studio
      he received $16'000

      Duke said:-

      duke wrote:

      Yates put the screws on me....and I would have
      to go into those terrible series they had
      wayne828.jpg

      A series of 'B' Westerns, was being updated, with Duke
      being invited into the role of Stony Brooke,
      recently vacated by Bob Livingston.
      The Three Mesquiteers was a popular series for Republic
      and Duke's winning personality,
      soon worked in, with the established characters,
      Ray Corrigan, as Tuscon Smith,
      Max Terhune as Lullaby Johnson,
      and Terhune's dummy, Elmer.

      The 8 movies Duke starred as Stony Brooke were
      Pals of the Saddle (1938)
      Overland Stage Riders (1938)
      Santa Fe Stampede (1938)
      Red River Range (1938)
      The Night Riders (1939)
      Three Texas Steers (1939)
      Wyoming Outlaw (1939)
      Frontier Horizon (1939)

      (For individual movie profiles and reviews
      please click on the above links)

      George Sherman
      The Three Mesquiteers were all directed by
      George Sherman who also later directed Duke in
      Flying Tigers (1942) and Big Jake (1971)

      sgeorge_L.jpg

      George Sherman was responsible for 9
      very important films for the Duke, and was involved in one other,
      as Second Unit Director (uncredited) Flying Tigers (1942)
      In reality George Sherman carried on,
      where Robert North Bradbury, had left off,
      but without anywhere near, the impact
      Bradbury,had been on Duke's career!!

      For more information
      please see:-
      George Sherman

      The Series
      The first six Duke starred in featured
      John Wayne .... Stony Brooke
      Ray Corrigan .... Tucson Smith
      Max Terhune .... Lullaby Joslin

      10030572_110670678853.jpg
      Ray Corrigan

      e0563e61c28e1e96afac6ccacaaa58a3.jpg

      Max Terhune & Elmer

      The last two
      Wyoming Outlaw and Frontier Horizon (New Frontier)
      featured
      John Wayne .... Stony Brooke
      Ray Corrigan .... Tucson Smith
      Raymond Hatton .... Rusty Joslin


      raymond-hatton.jpg
      Raymond Hatton

      While Duke's provincial fans loved The Three Mesquiteers
      the series was inexpensively produced
      and represented an embarrassing comedown for Duke

      Duke said, he found them to be dreary, and a drudgery.

      duke wrote:

      They were horrible montrosities
      he told writer Maurice Zolotow.

      Legacy
      However, what Duke didn't realise, is that they had exposed him,
      to a much bigger audience, including 'A' pictures, audiences.

      They may have been a drudgery, but within months
      around the corner was a Stagecoach
      with John Ford on board....
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 19 times, last by ethanedwards ().