Roddy McDowall at Monogram

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drednm
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Roddy McDowall at Monogram

Unread post by drednm » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:04 am

In 1948, 20-year-old Roddy McDowall signed with Monogram, probably seen as a big comedown from his major studio days as a boy star. This was a smart move that kept the young actor in starring roles and also allowed him input as a credited producer. The six films featured McDowall in adventure roles on the sea, on a ranch, in the timbers. Black Midnight, which I watched several months ago, is a solid and realistic film about a boy and a horse. Tuna Clipper (1949) is another winner, with McDowall as the son of a fisherman who gets involved in a bet on the horses (thanks to Dickie Moore) and feels honor bound to pay off the debt by working on a tuna boat. As with Black Midnight, the film subtly reinforces the importance of honesty and honor without hitting the audience over the head with the message. It also places the young star in an adventurous action role that would appeal to teenaged boys. Low budget yet highly entertaining. The film co-stars Roland Winters as the bettor, Elena Verdugo as the girl, and Rick Vallin as the bad guy/good guy.
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Re: Roddy McDowall at Monogram

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:15 am

"I know Monogram may be small potatoes, but someday I'll be one of the few good things in the most godawful expensive movie ever made!"
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Re: Roddy McDowall at Monogram

Unread post by Brooksie » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:46 am

I notice that McDowall also worked in England, including on a screen version of one of my favourite childhood series of books, Richmal Crompton's Just William (1940), which at its best is a sort of junior version of P.G. Wodehouse. Has anyone seen it?

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Re: Roddy McDowall at Monogram

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:05 pm

Brooksie wrote:I notice that McDowall also worked in England, including on a screen version of one of my favourite childhood series of books, Richmal Crompton's Just William (1940), which at its best is a sort of junior version of P.G. Wodehouse. Has anyone seen it?
Think so. Some years back I picked up a set of all three 'William' films, but have only played two of them. They looked as if they had been from PD uploads, or perhaps tv broadcasts as the quality was not too clever. At £1.00, it was a case of 'buyer beware'...

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Re: Roddy McDowall at Monogram

Unread post by Aaron Neathery » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:33 pm

Monogram made a definite point of giving McDowall the best material they could muster. I know it gets knocked a bit because of William Beaudine's reputation as "that Bowery Boys director", but Monogram's Kidnapped is a fine film with another strong performance from McDowall. A shame they didn't cast him in more period dramas.

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Re: Roddy McDowall at Monogram

Unread post by drednm » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:42 am

The third McDowall Monogram films I've been able to kind is the badly titled Killer Shark (1950) which uses the same Ensenada locales and some of the cast from Tuna Clipper. This time McDowall is a green college student long estranged from his father (Roland Winters). He comes along on a shark hunting trip (they only want the livers which are loaded with vitamin A) but is so totally unprepared he arrives in his yachting outfit. A few funny bits as when he "dresses" for the job on the small boat all dressed in pristine white and then later when he's forced to bunk with 3 other crewmen amid snorts and snores and a hand dangling from the upper bunk. After he causes a major accident which sidelines the expedition, he naively hires a rough crew and sets sail again with the idea of paying everyone back for all the trouble he's caused. But he unwittingly hires modern-day pirates. Dickie Moore and Rick Vallin are back from the earlier film. Douglas Fowley, Ralf Harolde, Nacho Galindo, Edward Norris, Frank Sully, and Laurette Luez co-star.
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Re: Roddy McDowall at Monogram

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sat May 05, 2018 2:15 pm

drednm wrote:The third McDowall Monogram films I've been able to kind is the badly titled Killer Shark (1950) which uses the same Ensenada locales and some of the cast from Tuna Clipper. This time McDowall is a green college student long estranged from his father (Roland Winters). He comes along on a shark hunting trip (they only want the livers which are loaded with vitamin A) but is so totally unprepared he arrives in his yachting outfit. A few funny bits as when he "dresses" for the job on the small boat all dressed in pristine white and then later when he's forced to bunk with 3 other crewmen amid snorts and snores and a hand dangling from the upper bunk. After he causes a major accident which sidelines the expedition, he naively hires a rough crew and sets sail again with the idea of paying everyone back for all the trouble he's caused. But he unwittingly hires modern-day pirates. Dickie Moore and Rick Vallin are back from the earlier film. Douglas Fowley, Ralf Harolde, Nacho Galindo, Edward Norris, Frank Sully, and Laurette Luez co-star.
Haralde, Moore and Fowley were also in the same director's (Oscar / Budd Boetticher) BEHIND LOCKED DOORS, two years earlier...

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