Back to prior page            Go to next page



(From Old Corral image collection)

Hollywood stuntman Dave Sharpe and singing cowboy Eddie Dean mix it up in this lobby card from COLORADO SERENADE (PRC, 1946), a pretty good western filmed in Cinecolor.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is the intrepid trio from one of PRC's best westerns, the Cinecolor WILD WEST (PRC, 1946) which has a running time of about 66 minutes. A couple years later, this film was edited, shortened and released in a B&W version titled PRAIRIE OUTLAWS. From left to right are rangers Al LaRue, Eddie Dean and Roscoe Ates.


WILD WEST was the last Cinecolor outing and reunited Dean and LaRue, this time as rangers with Ates making it a threesome western not unlike the Hopalong Cassidy trios, Three Mesquiteers and Range Busters predecessors. There is no reforming, no undercover work; the three are on the same side from the start, helping build a telegraph line across a territory where evil whites are trying to incite Indian violence. There is some hint of competition between Dean and LaRue for the favors of heroine Louise Currie, but she clearly prefers Eddie and LaRue settles for her tomboy sister. The picture features hard riding (including all three rangers, or their stand-ins, doing running mounts in unison from the rears of their horses) and lots of shooting, with Dean and LaRue cleaning up opposite ends of the street with blazing two-gun action and then engaging in a saloon brawl with the outlaw leaders. The movie was too good to leave alone; a black and white version called PRAIRIE OUTLAWS, with new footage of Dean and Ates at the start and the romantic bit with the sisters edited out, was released in 1948.

Up until then, Eddie had ridden a paint horse named War Paint.  With WILD WEST, the credits became 'Eddie Dean and his horse Flash'. A few movies later, it was 'Eddie Dean and his horse White Cloud'. Before the end of the series, it was 'Eddie Dean and his horse Copper'. Dean would later comment in an interview that he kept changing so he would never be upstaged by his horse.

The rest of Dean's films were black and white, with one break from his series. He and Ates both appear in PRC's DOWN MISSOURI WAY (1946), but they are down in the cast below Martha O'Driscoll and John Carradine in this comedy about a blowhard movie producer who wants to star an intelligent mule in his newest film. But Eddie does get to croon a number of tunes.

Then it was back to the westerns, starting with DRIFTIN' RIVER (1946), which seemed to try and do for Lee Bennett what SONG OF OLD WYOMING had done for Lash LaRue. Bennett plays a two-gun outlaw named Tucson who infiltrates the hired help on a ranch owned by pretty Shirley Patterson (who was Miss California of 1940 and would later change her screen name to Shawn Smith). There's a knock-down, drag-out bunkhouse fight with Dean just as LaRue and David Sharpe had in their pairings with him. But Tucson, like the Cheyenne Kid, changes sides and saves Eddie and Soapy (Ates) from being shot down. There is yet another major shootout on the streets at the end, with Dean, Tucson and the outlaw leader played by Dennis Moore, all blasting away with two guns, in which Tucson is killed and Eddie beats the daylights out of Moore, his killer. But Bennett lacked LaRue's charisma, and never rose above supporting player. In Dean's last western, THE TIOGA KID, he reprises his early scenes as Tucson but this time sticks with the villains and is shot in the same street fight, this time by the good guys. PRC and later Eagle Lion tended to re-use a lot of their footage, and pretty obviously.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above center is Roscoe Ates (1892-1962), who rode the trail as singing cowboy Eddie Dean's stuttering sidekick 'Soapy Jones' (he replaced Emmett Lynn who was Dean's first screen helper). Dean is on the right and Black Jack O'Shea is on the left in a still from TUMBLEWEED TRAIL (PRC, 1946).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are Roscoe Ates, Eddie Dean (riding Flash) and Shirley Patterson (later known as Shawn Smith). Lobby card and crop/blowup from DRIFTIN' RIVER (PRC, 1946), one of four Dean oaters in which Shirley played the heroine. Eddie's Flash is easy to identify - the horse has a white splotch on the nose and another white mark between the eyes.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the pressbook cover for Dean's DRIFTIN' RIVER ... notice the mention that Eddie has a new horse named Flash, which was his hoss #2 (after War Paint). In his later films, Dean would ride two more horses, White Cloud and Copper.



Back to prior page            Go to next page