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(Courtesy of Boyd Magers)

Above are Lina Basquette and Hoot atop the palamino "Goldie" in a scene from HARD HOMBRE (Allied, 1931).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the cover of the pressbook RAINBOW'S END (First Division, 1935).


Finally, independent producer M. H. Hoffman, producing under his Allied banner, made an offer to Gibson, who snapped it up even though the salary was much less than his Universal paydays. At least, as he says, "he would be back in the saddle".

Hoffman, a former general manager of Universal, later head of Tiffany Pictures in 1927, formed Allied in 1931. He produced 22 films through 1934, half of them starring Hoot --- CLEARING THE RANGE, WILD HORSE, HARD HOMBRE, etc. Hoffman apparently intended to use the profits from Hoot's oaters to finance his real interest, the filming of famous literary properties.

CLEARING THE RANGE ('31), the first for Hoffman, (remade as DUDE BANDIT in '33) co-starred wife Sally Eilers, whose career would take a definite rise to stardom when she landed a Fox contract while Gibson's career continued on the downgrade, resulting in some marital disharmony. 'Skeeter' Bill Robbins, a lanky cowboy, appeared in several with Gibson supposedly as comic relief, but certainly unnecessary in a Gibson western. Robbins, in real life Hoot's ranch manager, died in '33, the last year of Gibson's association with Hoffman.



(Courtesy of Boyd Magers)

Above are Hoot and his real life wife Sally Eilers (1908-1978) in a scene from CLEARING THE RANGE (Allied, 1931). Hoot and Sally, whose full name was Dorothea Sally Eilers, worked together in three of Gibson's Universals: THE LONG, LONG TRAIL (Universal, 1929), ROARING RANCH (Universal, 1930) AND TRIGGER TRICKS (Universal, 1930). They were married for 3+ years, from June, 1930 through September, 1933 when Eilers obtained a divorce decree.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Stanley Blystone, Hoot Gibson and "Skeeter" Bill Robbins in a lobby card from Gibson's offbeat/dreary THE FIGHTING PARSON (Allied, 1933). "Skeeter" Bill Robbins turned up in several of Gibson's films - in real life, he was the foreman on Hoot's ranch. Robbins passed away from injuries suffered in a multi-car accident in late November, 1933.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are heroine Marceline Day, Hoot and "Skeeter" Bill Robbins in another lobby card from THE FIGHTING PARSON (Allied, 1933).


Hoot wanted to return to Universal, the studio wanted him back, but Hoffman, reluctant to let him go, refused to release him. Litigation followed which proved costly to Hoot and contributed further to keeping him off the screen for two years until 1935. Also Hoot cracked up his airplane in the 1933 National Air Races and was hospitalized for several months. At that time, First Division, a releasing company for independent companies who had been distributing the Allied product, obtained Hoot's contract from Hoffman. They set up a production company for a proposed four film deal with Hoot. But after the first two (SUNSET RANGE, RAINBOW'S END), they released him from his agreement and Hoot signed for six westerns with Walter Futter's Diversion Pictures ... whose titles were oddly sold on a state's rights basis by First Division! Then in 1936, Grand National absorbed the exchanges.

Besides these six titles, Hoot co-starred in RKO's POWDERSMOKE RANGE and THE LAST OUTLAW in '35 and '36. In '37 he was in the cast of Republic's THE PAINTED STALLION serial.



(Courtesy of Ed Tabor)

Above and below are Gibson and pretty June Gale in a lobby card and photo from SWIFTY (Walter Futter/Diversion, 1935). In this film, Hoot rode Jack Perrin's white horse "Starlight". June worked with Gibson in three - the forementioned SWIFTY as well as RAINBOW'S END (First Division, 1935) and THE RIDING AVENGER (Diversion, 1936) which was Hoot's last starring role until he teamed with Ken Maynard in the Monogram Trail Blazers in 1943. In Boyd Magers Best (and Worst) of the West review of RAINBOW'S END, Boyd included the comment that "Leading lady June Gale (to whom Hoot was romantically linked for a spell) was one of four Gale sisters - June, Jane, Joan, Jean ..."

I do have a poor quality newspaper image circa July 5-6, 1933 which shows Hoot in a hospital bed recovering from his July 4, 1933 National Air Race plane crash. Sitting next to his bed is a smiling June Gale. If anyone wants a jpg image, shoot the Old Corral webmaster an e-mail. June Gale (1911-1996) wed pianist and composer Oscar Levant in 1939, and they were together through Levant's death in 1972.



(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Hoot Gibson and George Hayes in a scene from SWIFTY (Walter Futter/Diversion, 1935).



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