Randolph Scott – Trail Street 1947 from RKO Radio

Trail Street 1947 RKO Radio Pictures

Trail Street TC
Directed by Ray Enright Produced by Nat Holt Cast: Randolph Scott (Bat Masterson), Robert Ryan (Allan Harper), George “Gabby” Hayes (Billy Burns), Anne Jeffreys (Ruby Stone), Madge Meredith (Susan Pritchett). R Scott blogathon badgeWhen Randolph Scott films are talked about it is more often than not his Renown films released mainly through Columbia Pictures . These films could be considered  “Western classicx.” Randolph Scott, however, had  been a major Western star long before his association with Budd Boetticher. Most of his films after 1950 were made or released by either Warners or Columbia However his earliest Western successes were probably those produced by Nat Holt and often released by RKO. The Nat Holt productions quickly became favourites. One that doesn’t seem to get a mention very often is Trail Street from 1947. So I am a little bit early with my film here – as it is technically not a 50s film – although it must have been shown on Television here in England in the fifties possibly – I am not sure. trailstreet19462_th
The story is a range war drama with the matter of law and order interwoven as farmers and ranchers are at loggerheads. The farmers cannot get their wheat to grow due partly to climate but mainly due to the free roaming of the ranchers’ cattle. 
On top of this there is a  lack of local law and order. Into this situation rides Bat Masterson (Randolph Scott) who is enlisted as town marshal to bring a degree of order.
He has with him non e other than George ‘Gabby’Hayes in one of the best parts he ever had. Randolph Scott also deputises Robert Ryan who has discovered  a wheat species  that will withstand the drought conditions, so making a brighter prospect for the farmers and local families
There is of course plenty of action
As if the presence of Scott and Hayes wasn’t enough, we have the beauty of Anne Jeffries in support and of course –  Robert Ryan too.
Randolph Scott had been in films for quite a few years in 1947 yet had only recently decided to concentrate exclusively on Westerns and as a result his star was on the rise (within a year or two he was in the Top Ten most popular male stars at the box office ) and Robert Ryan was also on his way building a name in both westerns and dramas.
Trail Street 1947 2
ABOVE:   Randolph Scott with Madge Meredith and Anne Jeffreys
I quite liked this post below from someone who had seen the film – and one scene stuck with him all his life :
I watched this film a few days ago and realised that the scene where Robert Ryan is given a glass of milk and the lady rancher elevates the horizontally hinged panel beside the table to reveal a field of waving wheat was an image that had stuck with me for many years without me being able to remember the film’s title. I saw this film in my local picture house as the featured film of a saturday matinee about 1960 -the image was indelible but the title and actors were a total blank -until a few days ago. Do cinematographers/directors realise they are creating a haunting image when they set up shots like this?The film itself is watchable but not a classic – apart from the image of the wheat
Trail Street 1947
This was an RKO Radio film
Just a foot note to this, the same year that this film was released 1947  – Madge Meredith was convicted and sentenced to prison for 5 years to life for complicity in an assault of her former manager, Nicholas D. Gianaclis, and his bodyguard, Verne V. Davis.
She was later fully cleared.
Madge Meredith
ABOVE  Madge Meredith
Gianaclis and Davis testified that were beaten, kidnapped, and robbed by a group of men as they neared Meredith’s home in the Hollywood Hills. In March 1951, the California Assembly Interim Committee on Crime and Corrections issued an official report concluding that Meredith had been framed. The case was handled sloppily in court and inconsistent allegations by the perpetrators were overlooked by police.
In July 1951, Gov. Earl Warren commuted her sentence to time served and issued a statement of disgust at how her trial had been handled. Mr. Gianaclis was found to have set-up Miss Meredith to gain ownership of her home. Following her release from Tehachapi, prison, the court ordered that Miss Meredith receive back ownership of her home from her accuser.
Mr. Gianaclis, an immigrant from Greece, was afterwards denied U.S. citizenship by the U.S. Immigration Service.
She did resume her film career with some success but also started to help people wrongly accused of crimes – which she had been.
On a happier note – she got married in 1953 and on 10 July 1955 gave birth to her Daughter – and hopefully this helped her put a dark period in her life well and truly behind her.
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