All posts by PGreen

Published work in U.S.A. for McFarland & Co. Inc. : A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 (2006, 2009 Softcover edition) Pete Duel : A Biography (2007, 2009 Large Print edition; Kindle edition) Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns (2009) Jennifer Jones : Life and Films (2011)

Gary Clarke Joins Caribou Moving Pictures for Two Films


Green Valley, AZ — Caribou Moving Pictures Producer Daryl Mallett has recently announced that actor/writer Gary Clarke will join the Caribou production company, bringing with him two feature films he has written, Greenbriar and Viva, McDuff! Clarke will direct Greenbriar, while Viva, McDuff! will be directed by Caribou Staff Director Ethan Moe (Rosa Peligrosa, The Message, Retrocausality).

“We love the screenplays Gary has brought to the table!” said Mallett. “And we are just thrilled to have been selected by him to produce his films.”

Clarke’s very first professional job was in 1957 as the lead in a movie aptly named Dragstrip Riot. (Clarke says that your life will be incomplete until you see it.) While he’s appeared in many shows over the years, he is best-known for his role as “Steve Hill” on the western television series, The Virginian. He has more recently appeared in The Paperboy with Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and Zac Ephron; Tombstone, with Kurt Russell and Sam Elliott; and Parkland with Zac Ephron (again).

Greenbriar is a murder mystery comedy that takes place in a mansion of the same name. Will it remain the crime-fighting mansion it used to be, or will it be turned into the old folks home the state wants it to be? 65-year-old Emma Eames, Greenbriar’s current owner and Girl Friday to the late, great criminologist, Zachary Charles King, goes to war with the state. They are about to learn that many are the dastardly villains who have crossed swords with her and discovered, only too late, that she and her gang are one gaggle of geriatric geezers you don’t want to mess with.

Viva, McDuff! is a comedy western. It’s 1885 and Eddie, a naïve 17-year-old, is on his way to prison wrongly accused of shooting Sheriff Whipple, his young sweetheart’s dad. But, he has an infallible plan: Escape, cross the border into Mexico and plead with McDuff, the meanest “bandido” leader in the whole southwest (and the real killer), to come back to Texas and give himself up, or at least write a nice note of confession, “’Cause, gee whiz, ain’t that the right thing to do?” Cavalry, federales, bandits, true love and $400,000 are at the center of this twisty, turney tale.

“These are two films the likes of which have not been seen for a long, long time. I promise that you’ll laugh a lot, talk about them a lot, then go see them again,” said Clarke.

Caribou has started development on both projects, with filming slated to begin in late 2018/early 2019.



Medicine Bow Set Destroyed by Fire 51 Years Ago this Week

10919046_908179905870966_1822517873261353603_nOn May 15, 1967, the Universal Studios backlot caught fire resulting in roughly $1 million worth of damage. Denver Street (Medicine Bow) was one of the sets destroyed in the fire. It was rebuilt to enable filming on “The Virginian” and other Universal TV series and films to continue without major disruption. (UPI photo)

Shiloh Ranch

10368755_692756607469483_4872386452503667226_oThe iconic Shiloh Ranch set was built in 1962, specifically for “The Virginian” TV series. A few years earlier the same location (minus Shiloh Ranch) was used in the final scenes of “Spartacus” (1960) where Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) was crucified along with many of his followers.

Falls Lake Backlot

The locations used in “The Virginian” are always of interest to viewers. One particular set was used frequently in Universal TV Westerns in the 1960s and early 1970s. The waterfall set was often used as a backdrop. Originally built in the 1920s the “Falls Lake” set remained intact until 1980 when it was re-modeled in a large construction project.  The ground level was raised considerably.Old Falls Lake3

Happy 55th Birthday to “The Virginian.”

An early publicity photo from 1962 featuring the original cast. Left to right: James Drury, Doug McClure, Pippa Scott, Gary Clarke, Roberta Shore and Lee J. Cobb.

“The Virginian” is 55 today. It was first broadcast on NBC September 19, 1962 where it was promoted as the first 90 minute TV Western (length before adverts approx. 74 min.). A testament to its lasting quality is the fact the show is still in syndication today.

The Virginian: The Men From Shiloh on INSP

isStarting September 30 at 2 P.M EST the cable station INSP will start broadcasting “The Virginian: The Men From Shiloh.” This was the final, revamped season of “The Virginian.” Sadly for fans of the first eight seasons INSP will no longer be broadcasting “The Virginian.” The contract has run out. “The Men From Shiloh” was something of a departure, with Trampas and the Virginian no longer wearing their regular costumes and most of the stories taking place away from Shiloh Ranch. The only episode featuring Trampas and the Virginian together at Shiloh Ranch was the first episode of the season.

The Virginian-Men From Shiloh INSP