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Ralph McCutcheon's Dice (Pair O'Dice)


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Duncan Renaldo and 'Dice' in a scene from an early chapter of ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1937). Dice portrayed Zorro's horse 'El Rey'.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is John Carroll riding 'Dice' in a scene from Chapter 11 of ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1937).
Dice was an overo paint horse owned and trained by Ralph McCutcheon.

The real name of the steed was 'Pair O'Dice' and was ridden by John Carroll in the chapterplay ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1937), by Bill Elliott in the serial THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK (Columbia, 1938), by Jennifer Jones in DUEL IN THE SUN, by Russell Wade in the independently produced SUNDOWN RIDERS (Film Enterprises, 1948) and the horse even showed up in TARZAN'S DESERT MYSTERY (Sol Lesser/RKO, 1943). Dice also had a large role in the Blondie and Dagwood comedy IT'S A GREAT LIFE (Columbia, 1943), and he does a routine with Dub 'Cannonball' Taylor in COWBOY CANTEEN (Columbia, 1944).

Jack Mathis confirms in his book Valley Of The Cliffhangers that McCutcheon's 'Pair O'Dice' was the pinto 'El Rey' in ZORRO RIDES AGAIN.

As with most famous and valuable movie horses, there were several doubles/lookalikes for the real Dice, and I've been able to spot Dice impersonators in various westerns and serials including THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK and ZORRO RIDES AGAIN.

Dice - and a Dice double - had a significant quantity of screen time in ZORRO RIDES AGAIN, including the chapter opening titles and credits as the masked Zorro/John Carroll (probably Yak Canutt doing the riding) gallops right to left on the screen with scenic Red Rock Canyon in the background.




Above - left and right side views of Dice.



There's a bit more on 'Dice' at the Horsefame website, including a mention that the horse was put down in 1958 when it was about 30 years old: http://members.tripod.com/~horsefame/pinto.htm

There's a 1960 magazine photo showing Ralph McCutcheon and his wife Mary Kornman (of Our Gang fame): http://marykornman.atspace.com/mary/photos/photo422.html

There's a brief biography of McCutecheon on the My Friend Flicka website: http://www.myfriendflicka.com/flickasowner.html

The article "Memories of Ralph McCutcheon, Champion Movie Horse Trainer" by Ian Whitcomb is at: http://www.picklehead.com/ian/ralph.htm

There's info about the overo paint at the American Paint Horse Association website: http://my.apha.com/breed

There's several images of Johnny Weissmuller and Johnny Sheffield riding Dice in TARZAN'S DESERT MYSTERY at the Edgar Rice Burroughts ERBZine website:
http://www.erbzine.com/mag13/1380.html
http://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0624.html

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has a DUEL IN THE SUN video clip of Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones, and Dice: http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/205412/Duel-in-the-Sun-Movie-Clip-Bareback.html

YouTube has a poor quality trailer from TARZAN'S DESERT MYSTERY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfUL-VGGe_w



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

The above blurb on Dice is from the pressbook for SUNDOWN RIDERS (Film Enterprises, 1948) which starred Russell Wade and former Hoppy sidekicks Jay Kirby and Andy Clyde.



(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above, Bill Elliott rode Dice in the serial THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK (Columbia, 1938) ... and a good right side view of Dice.



(From Old Corral image collection)

The above lobby card is from the 1959 re-release of ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1937) and contains one of the most published photos on serials and stuntwork (see below). This horse-to-truck transfer was done by Yakima Canutt and occurred in Chapter 11. And the answer is NO! - I didn't fool with the colors of this lobby card at all ... gads, were those trucks really pink? This is probably a double for the real Dice. Take a look at the top of the truck trailer and you might see an area that's painted over. Underneath that paint are the letters P I E which stands for the Pacific Intermountain Express trucking company.


(From Old Corral image collection)


I'd like to get more details on both horses. If anyone has contact information for a relative of Ralph McCutcheon, please let me know.

For those that might be interested: I have two large jpg images containing photos and DVD screen captures showing Dice and Diablo. If you want one or both, shoot the Old Corral webmeister an e-mail.


Diablo ... another paint from Ralph McCutcheon


In her book Hollywood Hoofbeats: Trails Blazed Across the Silver Screen (BowTie Press, 2005) author Petrine Day Mitchum mentions that Duncan Renaldo's paint horse Diablo was owned by Ralph McCutcheon.

The horse named Diablo shows up in many 1940s westerns. Examples:

Bob Wills rides Diablo in the Russ Hayden SADDLES AND SAGEBRUSH (Columbia, 1943) and THE VIGILANTES RIDE (Columbia, 1944).

Charles Starrett's singing saddle pal Tex Harding rode Diablo and you can spot him in RETURN OF THE DURANGO KID (Columbia, 1945), BOTH BARRELS BLAZING (Columbia, 1945), and BLAZING THE WESTERN TRAIL (Columbia, 1945).

In the Cisco Kid adventures, THE GAY AMIGO (United Artists, 1949) and THE DARING CABELLERO (United Artists, 1949), Duncan Renaldo rides this horse.

In Gene Autry's THE STRAWBERRY ROAN (Columbia, 1948) and THE BIG SOMBRERO (Columbia, 1949), Diablo appears in both, ridden by Gene in ROAN and by George J. Lewis in SOMBRERO.
YouTube has a poor quality trailer for Autry's THE STRAWBERRY ROAN. At about the 14 second mark, you can see Gene, Dick Jones and a good face shot of Diablo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E9-IOu81SE



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Russell Hayden, Shirley Patterson (later, Shawn Smith) and Bob Wills of Texas Playboys fame, in a scene from Hayden's THE VIGILANTES RIDE (Columbia, 1944). Hayden is riding Copper which has a smaller white face blaze than Banjo, Hayden's earlier mount. Bob Wills is riding what I originally thought was Dice. After viewing tapes and DVDs of several dozen films and TV shows, this paint appears to be the horse that became Diablo in the Duncan Renaldo Cisco Kid movies and TV shows. Crop and blowup below which shows a unique marking on this horse - a dark streak behind the left eye.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, Duncan Renaldo (right) as the Cisco Kid, and Leo Carrillo (left) as his trail partner Pancho, and the above image is probably a still from THE DARING CABELLERO (1949). Renaldo starred as Cisco in several Monogram films (but was replaced by Gilbert Roland). Later, Renaldo reprised the Cisco role in films released by United Artists and then he continued the portrayal in the TV series. Cisco's paint hoss was named Diablo and Pancho's palomino was named Loco. Renaldo rode several hosses during his reign as the Cisco Kid, including a white during the series at Monogram Pictures.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above is Duncan Renaldo as the Cisco Kid and riding the horse he called Diablo. I recently viewed Cisco Kid features THE GAY AMIGO (United Artists, 1949) and THE DARING CABELLERO (United Artists, 1949) and Renaldo was riding this hoss. But in SATAN'S CRADLE (United Artists, 1949), Renaldo rode a lookalike.

I also began viewing Cisco Kid TV programs, and in all the shows that I've watched, Renaldo is atop this horse (and he does call him "Diablo") ... except for some chase scenes where less valuable doubles are used.

Wanta see Diablo and a Diablo double? Pop a Cisco Kid TV show in your VHS machine or DVD player, and view the opening titles and credits. Renaldo and Carrillo ride down a hill and pull up as the announcer blares "Here's Romance!", and Renaldo is riding Diablo (with that long, dark streak behind the left eye). A few seconds later, Cisco and Pancho are galloping on a dusty trail - and Renaldo is riding a double. YouTube has the opening of the Cisco Kid TV show showing Renaldo with the different horses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VZgBl-t7vY

I found an article that notes that Renaldo purchased Diablo and it was stabled at his Santa Barbara ranch/home (along with another paint which he used for parades). Anyone have any photos, interviews or notes to confirm this?




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Johnny Mack Brown on a paint in VALLEY OF THE LAWLESS (Supreme, 1936), one of his series for producer A. William Hackel. Some folks have asked if this horse was trainer Ralph McCutcheon's Dice (Pair O'Dice) or Diablo. The answer is No!



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