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After touching all those bases, Dean finally got a chance to showcase his singing voice in the Walt Mattox production of HARMONY TRAIL (WHITE STALLION) (1944), with Ken Maynard, and WILDFIRE (1945), an Action Pictures/Screen Guild Cinecolor vehicle for Bob Steele.

In the first, Dean performed as part of a medicine show; in the second, he was a local sheriff who actually got the girl in Steele's film about a wild horse.  Both were directed by Robert Emmett Tansey, the veteran producer, director and jack-of-all-trades who would produce the initial entries in Dean's series at PRC.

With PRC's SONG OF OLD WYOMING in 1945, Dean finally got to be the star. It was the first of five color films he would make for that studio, making him the first star of a western series in color (other color westerns had been made earlier, but were not a series). Finally, he did something ahead of Roy and Gene, not to mention Monte Hale. Dean appears to have been unselfish about sharing good scenes with other actors. So Lash LaRue got to showcase his talents sufficiently in three Dean films to spin off his own series, David Sharpe got to show off his stunting, and Dean even let himself take a beating in one (although he eventually won the fight). He was a hero who could cry. He also did the unthinkable, gunning down a female outlaw in one of his last ones, something other heroes somehow always managed to avoid.



(Courtesy of John F. White)

Above right is Dan White mixing it up with Eddie Dean in a scene that's probably from the Ken Maynard HARMONY TRAIL (Mattox, 1944; re-released in 1947 by Astor as WHITE STALLION).



(From Old Corral image collection)

From front to back are Steele, Eddie Dean and Sterling Holloway (the voice of Winnie the Pooh) in a lobby card and a crop/blowup from the Cinecolor WILDFIRE (Action Pictures/Lippert, 1945).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is the front cover of the six-page pressbook anouncing PRC's SONG OF OLD WYOMING as well as the new series of Cinecolor westerns starring Eddie Dean.  Note the spelling of LaRue as 'Al La Rue' with a space between La and Rue.

The producer and director on the film is Robert Emmett, whose real name was Robert Emmett Tansey.  He had done just about every film related job in Hollywood since the silent days.  A couple years prior to working with Dean at PRC, Tansey put together the Trail Blazers trio series at Monogram.

The size of the pressbook is approximately 11 inches wide x 17 1/2 inches long.  On the right side, you will note a difference in the backgrounds, and there's a tannish line running top to bottom.  This is because I had to scan in two parts and merge them into a full size image --- and there was a color variation between the two scanned images that were used to form the final pressbook image.




(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are Sarah Padden, Emmett Lynn, Eddie Dean, Jennifer Holt and Al LaRue in his days before becoming 'Lash' in this lobby card from the Cinecolor SONG OF OLD WYOMING (PRC, 1945), Dean's first starring western.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - the fumbling, bumbling Emmett 'Pappy' Lynn (1897-1958) was Eddie Dean's first sidekick. This scene is from CARAVAN TRAIL (PRC, 1946), and Dean is atop 'War Paint', the first of four different cayuses he would ride at PRC/Eagle Lion (the others were Flash, followed by White Cloud, which was followed by Copper).


In his SONG OF OLD WYOMING starring debut, Eddie played a ranch foreman who was reluctant to use his guns because of an incident in which a man was killed. He is suspicious of a new hire called the Cheyenne Kid (Al LaRue, not yet known as Lash), and with good reason: the Kid has been planted on the ranch by the outlaws seeking to steal it from Ma Conway (Sarah Padden). Only when the Kid learns that he is Ma's long-lost son does he switch sides and join Eddie in the final shootout, in which he is fatally wounded and has Eddie remove his boots so he won't die with them on. That leaves Eddie to win lovely leading lady Jennifer Holt.

ROMANCE OF THE WEST (1946) casts Eddie as an Indian agent. In the story, an Indian boy (Don Reynolds) is killed and Dean's character is moved to tears, unheard of (until then) for a western hero. CARAVAN TRAIL (1946) saw him as a wagon train scout turned lawman, rejoined by LaRue as a minor outlaw who Dean reforms and saves in the final shootout. COLORADO SERENADE (1946) featured ace stuntman David Sharpe as an undercover operative, whose action when he joins Dean and Roscoe Ates in a saloon fight must be seen to be believed. This was Ates' debut as comic sidekick Soapy Jones; the previous films featured Emmett 'Pappy' Lynn doing comic relief as a character named 'Ezra'. Lynn had wanted to leave the series earlier due to a personality dispute with one of the studio representatives, but stayed on as a favor to Eddie.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are Black Jack O'Shea, Al LaRue, Charlie King, Eddie Dean and Emmett Lynn in a lobby card from CARAVAN TRAIL (PRC, 1946).


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are Emmett Lynn, Al LaRue, Charlie King and Eddie Dean in another lobby card from CARAVAN TRAIL (PRC, 1946).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Dean does battle with Bob Duncan in a lobby card from CARAVAN TRAIL (PRC, 1946).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, Chief Thunder Cloud (Victor Daniels) and Eddie Dean in a scene from ROMANCE OF THE WEST (PRC, 1946), one of the Dean oaters in Cinecolor.



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