Above is another great still from Ed Phillips. The back of the photo identifies the two people as Hal Byrnes and Lupe Beltran. In the bottom right corner is a logo that reads National Pictures Gulf Coast Studios, A Kier Phillips Production. Take a gander at the size of that fallen tree. A blowup of the two players and the logo is below.
Anyone have ideas as to who these folks were ... and what this film was?
And was this National Pictures, Gulf Coast Studios one of the Regional film companies which operated in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, etc.? And could this be from a short/soundie? Details follow.
|Hans Wollstein provided some info on Kier and National Pictures Corp.:
"H. W. Kier produced CLIPPED WINGS as well as an obscure 1951 oater entitled BORDER FENCE and starring Walt Wayne (?). In between those, he seems to have dealt only in African-American productions. CLIPPED WINGS was released in April of 1938 through National Pictures Corp. According to the files held by AMPAS*, Philips copyrighted the film in 1936. Victory was apparently planning to release the film in June of 1937 but that didn't happen. Set on the border to Mexico, this is a hybrid aviation melodrama-modern western starring Llloyd Hughes (of the silent era) and Rosalind Keith, both of whom were darkhaired."
*=Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
|Boyd Magers provided the following:
Sinister Cinema offers CLIPPED WINGS ('38) with Lloyd Hughes, Rosalind Keith. AFI says it was copyrighted in 1936 by Kier Phillips. However, AFI found no copyright record or reviews. Some letters indicate Victory intended to release it but actually came out thru Ace Pictures. Played in New York April 29, 1938. WWI aviation picture.
As to BORDER FENCE, I have that one on video. Worst B-western ever made without a doubt. Made around San Antonio.
|Ed Tabor dug through some dusty archives and found the following tidbits:
1935-1936 Motion Picture Almanac:
National Pictures, 411 South Texas Bank Bldg.
H. W. Kier, A. A. Phillips, producers one reel westerns and comedies.
1934 Film Daily Production Guide:
221 Brackenridge Ave., San Antonio
Chief Executive H. W. Kier
Assistant to Executive A. A. Phillips
General Manager H. W. Kier
Production Managers H. W. Kier, A. A. Phillips
AFI Catalog Feature Films, 1931-1940:
The Galloping Kid
National Pictures Corp.
Dist Imperial Distributing Corp.
Dir. Robert Emmet
Wrt Robert Emmet
Cast: Little 'Buck' Dale, Karla Cowan, Al Lane, Fred Parker, A. E. Anderson, H. B. Carpenter, Larry Warner, George Bates.
The AFI entry for CLIPPED WINGS lists Prod. Kier Philips (with one l)
The Handbook of Texas Online is a project of the Texas State Historical Association and their website has info on Texas-based film production companies which includes National Pictures: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ecf01
|April, 2006: more info from music researcher and author Kevin Coffey. Kevin writes:|
Hal Byrnes became better known as Hal Burns. Happy Hal Burns. A longtime country music performer mostly active in Memphis and Birmingham - very popular regionally. Born in 1908 and only died a few years ago. The movies with Byrnes/Burns appear to have been made about 1933 or so.
This is from an article about Burns by music historian Wayne W. Daniel, published in Bluegrass Unlimited, November, 1989:
"The movies in which Hal Burns appeared were made in San Antonio. They were part of a series of six western one-reel musical shorts made by National Pictures. A San Antonio newspaper at the time reported that the production would be known as 'Songs Of The Plains', and would feature 'the old, home-made tunes which once lulled Longhorn steers to placidity on their last bedding grounds'. According to another newspaper story, the movies in which Burns appeared were titled Songs Of The Plains, My Gypsy Sweetheart and My Cowboy Romeo. Appearing with Burns in these movies was one-time well known cowboy singer Jules Verne Allen."