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(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Jones sneaking up on Ward Bond (on the left) and Bob Kortman (center) in a re-release lobby card from THE CRIMSON TRAIL (Universal, 1935).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Jones, Charlotte Wynters and Frank Rice in a re-release lobby card for THE IVORY-HANDLED GUN (Universal, 1935).




(From Old Corral image collection)
In the webpages on Ken Maynard, I noted some of the problems that he caused during his 1933-1934 stay at Universal.

With Maynard's exit, Carl and Junior Laemmle, the bosses at Universal, needed an established range rider as a replacement. Earlier, they had used Buck in the serial GORDON OF GHOST CITY (Universal, 1933) and apparently liked what they saw as well as the positive fan reaction at the box office. They hired Buck, and as part of the deal, gave him production powers and started him off with a $1,000.00 per week salary plus extra pay for stories used in the productions. Jones would stay with Universal through 1937, do twenty-two films and three additional chapterplays.

His first Universal sagebrusher was ROCKY RHODES (1934) ... not great but not bad either. The plot has Jones returning to his home in Cactus City, Arizona only to discover that his father was murdered and the ranch foreman framed for the crime and then killed. The head baddie turns out to be Walter Miller, one of my favorite no-goods. However, if you prefer something completely different from a nasty like Walter Miller, take a look at THE CRIMSON TRAIL (1935) --- John Bleifer is the crazed and crazy 'Loco' who is seeking vengeance on Buck and the family of heroine Polly Ann Young (Loretta Young's sister).

On the negative side were slow moving entries THE COWBOY AND THE KID (1936) and SUDDEN BILL DORN (1937). And I wish Jones was still around so I could ask the "what" and "why" behind the dreadful STONE OF SILVER CREEK (1935), a tedious and preachy tale with Jones as the owner of a local gambling establishment ... and wearin' a suit.

Lesley Selander and Ray Taylor were the primary directors on Buck's Universal oaters. As to the cliffhangers, Taylor was at the helm of GORDON OF GHOST CITY, THE ROARING WEST and THE PHANTOM RIDER, while Louis Friedlander (Lew Landers) did THE RED RIDER. Taylor, along with Ford Beebe, was in charge of THE RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY (1941), the serial in which Jones plays second banana to Dick Foran.

While some ponder the negatives with the above chapterplays - and/or with Universal serials in general - there was a significant benefit to Jones. He was on the screen week after week after week.


Peggy Campbell restrains Buck in a scene from WHEN A MAN SEES RED (Universal, 1934).

Campbell did a handful of films in the mid 1930s and that included a couple westerns with Jones and one with Bob Steele.

(From Old Corral image collection)



(From Old Corral image collection)

In the lobby card above, Buck Jones is cuddlin' with pretty Madge Bellamy.  Of Jones' five starring cliffhangers, GORDON OF GHOST CITY (Universal, 1933) is probably the best. The plot involves a rich vein of gold that runs under an old store in Ghost City which is owned by Bellamy's grandfather.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Jones on Silver chats with George Hayes, several years before he became 'Windy' and 'Gabby', and in the right background is Frank LaRue.  From THE THROWBACK (Universal, 1935).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Fred Kohler, Sr. versus Buck Jones in BORDER BRIGANDS (Universal, 1935).  Hank Bell, with his usual handlebar moustache, is in the middle watchin' the action.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Polly Ann Young (Loretta Young's sister) and Buck Jones comfort the injured Carl Stockdale in THE CRIMSON TRAIL (Universal, 1935).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Charles Brinley, Buck Jones, Charles K. French and Paul Fix in this re-release lobby card for THE CRIMSON TRAIL (Universal, 1935).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Buck Jones vs. the crazed John Bleifer (as 'Loco') in this re-release lobby card from THE CRIMSON TRAIL (Universal, 1935).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Ezra Paulette, Harold Hodge, Frank McGlynn, Sr., and Buck Jones in a lobby card and crop/blowup from SUDDEN BILL DORN (Universal, 1937), one of Buck's worst oaters. Cyprian 'Ezra' Paulette was a musician and is best remembered for his years with the Beverly Hill Billies. McGlynn, Sr. did five films with Jones, including THE ROARING WEST (Universal, 1935) chapterplay. If his 1866 birth year is correct, McGlynn, Sr. would have been about 72 years old when he worked in this Buck Jones western.



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