(Courtesy of Don Swinford)
Above - Daniels portrayed the famous Apache chief Geronimo in the 1939 Paramount film of the same name and is shown prominently in the left side of this lobby card. Star Preston Foster is in the small photo at the bottom left. The photo inset shows from left to right: Andy Devine, Charlie Stevens, William 'Bill' Henry, Addison Richards, two unidentified players, Ellen Drew, Ralph Morgan (facing the crowd) and Preston Foster.
(Ad cut courtesy of Les Adams)
|Les Adams, the co-author of Shoot-Em-Ups, provided some interesting tidbits about Daniels, the GERONIMO movie at Paramount, and a later role at Monogram Pictures. Les writes:|
"While Paramount didn't pay much attention to Daniels as their title character, Monogram did a few months later in MURDER ON THE YUKON (Monogram, 1940), one of the Renfrew of the Mounted films. He is 3rd billed as Chief (Geronimo) Thunder Cloud behind James Newill and Polly Ann Young, on the one and six sheets and on all of the various size ad cuts. And very much on display on the 22x28's and the insert cards. There is about a half page of Exhibitor Tips that also advise "Mr. Showmen" to be sure and take advantage of the tie-in with the Paramount film."
Pressbook ad shown on the left.
During this film-making period, most Native Americans were relegated to playing Indians. And cinema Indians were generally "bad" and on the "warpath".
In addition to portraying warring Indians, henchman and assorted baddies, Victor Daniels was able to land several significant roles portraying Native Americans in a very positive light (such as playing Tonto in the LR serials).
Monogram Pictures Corporation was a small but prolific B-movie company that is best remembered for their 1940s Charlie Chan flicks with Sidney Toler and the Bowery Boys escapades. Monogram was planning a new western series using a trio of heroes, and a wild horse yarn named SILVER STALLION was to be the initial film from producer/director Edward Finney. Veteran Finney had been doing low-budget films since the silent days. Most recently, he brought singer Tex Ritter to Hollywood and western films, initially at Grand National Pictures and later migrating the series over to Monogram. Stuntman and actor Dave Sharpe was hired as the primary lead in the new series, and the other two members were Daniels and Le Roy Mason. Mason had appeared in over a hundred films, generally portraying a baddie.
Monogram already had two "Trigger Trio" series on their lot --- Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton were the Rough Riders, and Ray Corrigan, John King and Max Terhune were the Range Busters.
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above are (from left to right) Victor Daniels, stuntman Dave Sharpe brandishing a pair of sixguns, and Le Roy Mason in a photo of a lobby card from Ed Finney's SILVER STALLION (Monogram, 1941).
Above from left to right are Daniels, Le Roy Mason and stuntman Dave Sharpe in another still from Monogram's SILVER STALLION.
SILVER STALLION was released in 1941, and was not a great western but it certainly wasn't the worst of that period. To save production costs, director Finney used lots of old stock footage. But the film was not on par with the existing Range Busters and Rough Riders entries. And then World War II arrived.
Whatever the reason, the new series began and ended with SILVER STALLION. Mason continued his bad guy roles in various westerns and serials. Dave Sharpe would continue acting on occasion, but that became less of a priority as he devoted more time and energy to stuntwork and doubling for stars. He also became a second unit director, and would continue his stunt work into TV productions. Among Dave Sharpe's filmwork are two classic serials: he was one of the heroes in DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE (Republic, 1939), and did the stunting for star Tom Tyler in THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (Republic, 1941). Sharpe was also one of many movie people who served in World War II.
Daniels continued to play supporting roles at various studios and production companies. Another of his "good guy" roles was in Monogram's KING OF THE STALLIONS (1942), and the lobby card below shows him on the bottom left (next to Dave O'Brien) as 'Hawahi'. Ric Vallin (white buckskins above Daniels' head) played 'Little Coyote'. Edward Finney was the director. An alternate title for this film is CODE OF THE REDMAN.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Remember the Renfrew ad above where Monogram had Daniels credited as CHIEF (GERONIMO) THUNDERCLOUD? Note the lobby card above from KING OF THE STALLIONS (Monogram, 1942) with Thunder Cloud referred to as 'Tonto'. Dave O'Brien, Thunder Cloud (next to O'Brien in bottom left), and Ric Vallin (white buckskins above Daniels head) were the stars of KING OF THE STALLIONS (Monogram, 1942; alternate title: CODE OF THE REDMAN).