Back to prior page            Go to next page



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above, O'Brien and Beatrice Roberts in PARK AVENUE LOGGER (George Hirliman/RKO, 1937).  About a year later, Roberts would do her most remembered role portraying 'Queen Azura' in the serial FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS (Universal, 1938).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are: Frank O'Connor, Rita Oehmen, George O'Brien and Paul Everton in a 1947 re-release lobby card from GUN LAW (RKO, 1938).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Laraine Johnson, shown far right (green jacket) in this 1947 re-release lobby card from BORDER G-MAN (RKO, 1938), would become better known as Laraine Day. She made three oaters with O'Brien. The gal with the green riding pants is Rita La Roy.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Carl Stockdale, Rosalind Keith, Tom Chatterton, Lloyd Ingraham, O'Brien, and two unidentified players in a scene from TROUBLE IN SUNDOWN (RKO, 1939).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from THE FIGHTING GRINGO (RKO, 1939). The female lead is Mexican actress Lupita Tovar who may be best remembered by B western fans as the love interest to Gene Autry in SOUTH OF THE BORDER (Republic, 1939). She was also featured in Universal's Spanish language version of DRACULA. In the early 1930s, Tovar married producer and later agent Paul Kohner and they had two children, producer Pancho Kohner and actress Susan Kohner.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Howard Hickman, Virginia Vale, George O'Brien and Charles 'Slim' Whitaker in a still from BULLET CODE (RKO, 1940). Whitaker portrayed O'Brien's sidekick "Pop Norton" in this film.



George O'Brien Filmography
Sound films only
includes westerns, non-westerns, starring and supporting roles:

     Blue = non westerns
     Red = George Hirliman productions for RKO release
     Green = Sol Lesser productions for Fox release
Special thanks to Les Adams for providing this filmography


Date Title Company Star O'Brien Role Director Leading Lady
5/1/29 NOAH'S ARK (non-Western) Warners George O'Brien Travis / Japheth Michael Curtiz Dolores Costello
9/1/29 SALUTE (non-Western) Fox George O'Brien Cadet John Randall John Ford & David Butler Helen Chandler
1/5/30 LONE STAR RANGER, THE Fox George O'Brien Buck Duane A. F. Erickson Sue Carol
6/22/30 ROUGH ROMANCE Fox George O'Brien Billy West A. F. Erickson Helen Chandler
8/31/30 LAST OF THE DUANES Fox George O'Brien Buck Duane Alfred L. Werker Myrna Loy
2/2/31 FAIR WARNING Fox George O'Brien Whistlin' Dan Barry Alfred L. Werker Louise Huntington
7/19/31 HOLY TERROR, A Fox George O'Brien Tony Bard Irving Cummings Sally Eilers
11/28/31 RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE Fox George O'Brien Jim Lassister Hamilton McFadden Marquerite Churchill
2/14/32 GAY CABALLERO, THE Fox George O'Brien Ted Radcliffe Alfred L. Werker Conchita Montenegro
3/3/32 RAINBOW TRAIL, THE Fox George O'Brien Shefford David Howard Cecilia Parker
3/29/32 SEAS BENEATH, THE (non-Western) Fox George O'Brien Commander Bob Kingsley John Ford Marion Lessing
7/1/32 MYSTERY RANCH Fox George O'Brien Bob Sanborn David Howard Cecilia Parker
12/3/32 GOLDEN WEST, THE Fox George O'Brien David Lynch / Motano David Howard Janet Chandler
12/30/32 ROBBERS ROOST Fox George O'Brien Jim Wall Louis King Maureen O'Sullivan
2/17/33 SMOKE LIGHTNING Fox George O'Brien Smoke Mason David Howard Nell O'Day
7/7/33 LIFE IN THE RAW Fox George O'Brien Jim Barry Louis King Claire Trevor
8/25/33 LAST TRAIL, THE Fox George O'Brien Tom Daley James Tinling Claire Trevor
3/25/34 EVER SINCE EVE (non-Western) Fox George O'Brien Neil Rogers George Marshall Mary Brian
11/19/34 FRONTIER MARSHAL Fox George O'Brien Michael Wyatt Lewis Seiler Irene Bentley
11/29/34 DUDE RANGER, THE Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien Ernest "Dude" Selden Edward F. Cline Irene Hervey
2/15/35 WHEN A MAN'S A MAN Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien Larry Knight Edward F. Cline Dorothy Wilson
4/25/35 COWBOY MILLIONAIRE, THE Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien Bob Walker Edward F. Cline Evelyn Bostick
5/15/35 WHISPERING SMITH SPEAKS Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien Whispering Smith David Howard Irene Ware
7/1/35 HARD ROCK HARRIGAN Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien "Hard Rock" Harrigan David Howard Irene Hervey
9/27/35 THUNDER MOUNTAIN Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien Kal Emerson David Howard Barbara Fritchie
3/27/36 O'MALLEY OF THE MOUNTED Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien Constable O'Malley David Howard Irene Ware
6/20/36 BORDER PATROLMAN, THE Sol Lesser/Fox George O'Brien Bob Wallace David Howard Polly Ann Young
10/16/36 DANIEL BOONE George A. Hirliman/
RKO
George O'Brien Daniel Boone David Howard Heather Angel
3/16/37 PARK AVENUE LOGGER George A. Hirliman/
RKO
George O'Brien Grant Curran David Howard Beatrice Roberts
5/28/37 HOLLYWOOD COWBOY George A. Hirliman/
RKO
George O'Brien Jeffrey Carson Ewing Scott Cecilia Parker
8/6/37 WINDJAMMER (non-Western) George A. Hirliman/
RKO
George O'Brien Lane Ewing Scott Constance Worth
5/13/38 GUN LAW RKO George O'Brien Tom O'Malley David Howard Rita Oehman
6/24/38 BORDER G-MAN RKO George O'Brien Jim Galloway David Howard Laraine Johnson
(Laraine Day)
8/12/38 PAINTED DESERT RKO George O'Brien Bob McVey David Howard Laraine Johnson
(Laraine Day)
9/16/38 RENEGADE RANGER, THE RKO George O'Brien Jack Steele David Howard Rita Hayworth
11/4/38 LAWLESS VALLEY RKO George O'Brien Larry Rhodes David Howard Kay Sutton
1/20/39 ARIZONA LEGION RKO George O'Brien Boone Yeager David Howard Laraine Johnson
(Laraine Day)
3/23/39 TROUBLE IN SUNDOWN RKO George O'Brien Clint Bardford David Howard Rosalind Keith
6/14/39 RACKETEERS OF THE RANGE RKO George O'Brien Barney O'Dell D. Ross Lederman Marjorie Reynolds
6/30/39 TIMBER STAMPEDE RKO George O'Brien Scott Baylor David Howard Marjorie Reynolds
11/28/39 FIGHTING GRINGO, THE RKO George O'Brien Wade Barton David Howard Lupita Tovar
12/3/39 MARSHAL OF MESA CITY, THE RKO George O'Brien Cliff Mason David Howard Virginia Vale
1/5/40 LEGION OF THE LAWLESS RKO George O'Brien Jeff Toland David Howard Virginia Vale
4/12/40 BULLET CODE RKO George O'Brien Steve Holden David Howard Virginia Vale
6/14/40 PRAIRIE LAW RKO George O'Brien Brill Austin David Howard Virginia Vale
7/26/40 STAGE TO CHINO RKO George O'Brien Dan Clark Edward Killy Virginia Vale
9/20/40 TRIPLE JUSTICE RKO George O'Brien Brad Henderson David Howard Virginia Vale
12/27/47 MY WILD IRISH ROSE (non-Western) Warners Dennis Morgan William "Duke" Muldoon David Butler N/A
4/17/48 FORT APACHE RKO John Wayne Capt. Sam Collingwood John Ford N/A
7/28/49 SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON RKO John Wayne Major Allshard John Ford N/A
9/14/51 GOLD RAIDERS (Three Stooges) United Artists George O'Brien George O'Brien Edward Bernds Sheila Ryan
12/19/64 CHEYENNE AUTUMN Warners Richard Widmark Major Braden John Ford N/A

Footnotes and tidbits:

Note the name of David Howard in the director column above. Howard (1896-1941) cut his teeth in early Hollywood working on Spanish language film versions. He was a co-director for Nat Levine in a couple of Mascot cliffhangers, MYSTERY SQUADRON (1933) and THE LOST JUNGLE (1934). His first film with O'Brien was THE RAINBOW TRAIL (Fox, 1932), the sequel to THE RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE. He and O'Brien collaborated on a total of 25 films, including George's last series western, TRIPLE JUSTICE (RKO, 1940). When O'Brien retired, Howard helmed the initial films in the Tim Holt series at RKO. If you like O'Brien's films, give some credit to director David Howard.

Note the approximate ten month gap between WINDJAMMER (George A. Hirliman/RKO, 1937) and GUN LAW (1938), O'Brien's first western made directly by RKO. There is some scuttlebutt that George Hirliman sold O'Brien's contract to RKO. But I have a February, 1938 Boxoffice trade paper article about O'Brien agreeing to a release from a new six picture deal with the Condor (Hirliman) production unit which had been forced into involuntary bankruptcy. The article reports that the bankruptcy trustee had obtained a court order freeing O'Brien from his contract and that "O'Brien had asked for the release in order to sign with RKO Radio ...". Other comments in the article are "O'Brien cancels his claims for $135,000 which would have been due him in salary if the Condor films had been produced, in addition to a 15 per cent share of the profits. Production starts almost immediately on the first O'Brien vehicle for RKO Radio, an untitled western which Bert Gilroy will produce ..." and "O'Brien still holds claim to 15 per cent of the profits on four pictures previously produced by Condor for RKO Radio ..."

In the updated version of Don Miller's Hollywood Corral by Packy Smith and Ed Hulse (Riverwood Press, 1993), there's a chapter authored by Karl Thiede on the costs and financing of the B-western.  Included are the negative costs as well as domestic and foreign rentals for O'Brien's sixteen westerns for RKO which were released 1938 - 1940. In summary, the negative costs ran $75,000 - $96,000 per film, and the filming / production days ranged from 8 - 13 days. Each film brought in over $100,000 in domestic rentals, and the foreign/overseas rentals added more to RKO's bottom line.



Back to prior page            Go to next page