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Chandler starred in eight for producer Willis Kent. A few years after the Chandler series, Kent signed Northwestern University fullback Lafayette H. 'Reb' Russell to a contract for a series of western flicks.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Richard 'Dick' Cramer has his grip on Gertrude Messinger while Chandler looks on in this title card from LAWLESS VALLEY (Willis Kent, 1932). Gertie was a co-star in "The Boy Friend" series for producer Hal Roach. Future stuntman Dave Sharpe was also a member of the cast and Gertude was briefly married to Sharpe.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is a stained and well worn title lobby card from BATTLING BUCKAROO (Kent, 1932), and Chandler is cuddling with pretty Doris Hill. BATTLING BUCKAROO is another B western that is lost/missing.


Oliver Drake and the Kent series

Les Adams knew Oliver Drake and chit-chatted and interviewed him on several occasions.  Les adds:

Chandler's films for Willis Kent were made at least two at a time back to back and possibly in two groups of four, the first being shot in the fall of 1931 and the last in late spring of 1932.

They were booked through various independent exchanges all across the country which is why there are all kinds of different distributor names attached to them. Only a few of them were ever reviewed (usually in New York) and they may have played all over the country by then.

The dates I have attached to them in the filmography are the first play dates from a states rights exchange in Denver, and a similar play date (i.e., made available for booking) from the Marcy exchange in the Midwest or a Monogram exchange in the South may find them in a completely different order. I use Denver based as they were probably delivered in a west coast to east coast method, and, more importantly, the Denver exchange is the only one I have dates on all eight films.

Drake had screenplay on all eight and story on five as three of them had a story credited to somebody else. His penchant for Mexican characters only applied to the leading ladies in three of them which was a bit below his average for calling the heroine Tonita, Tonia or Rosita, but Lafe McKee did get to play a character named Senor Lopez Mendoza in BATTLING BUCKAROO.

Economics rears it's ugly head many times with footage and whole sequences from one film repeated in other films. I am somewhat in awe at their ability to make some of these sequences fit a whole new plot line and different character names.

Oliver did tell me (as I'm sure he said to others) that he thought Lane Chandler would be the next Tom Mix or Buck Jones, and added that he also was the one who predicted that Gene Autry would never make it.

I have always thought that GUNS FOR HIRE was the most interesting as the plot was a bit more complex, relatively speaking, than the other seven, the villains were fleshed out a lot more than usual with Neal Hart and Bill Patton given about the best they ever had in a sound film, and two sets of semi-romantic leads, Chandler with Sally Darling and John McGuire with Frances Morris. McGuire would see duty again for Kent in a Reb Russell.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Lane Chandler battles stuntman and supporting player Yakima Canutt in BATTLING BUCKAROO (Kent, 1932).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

From left to right are Lane Chandler, Phyllis Barrington, Arthur Thalasso, J. Frank Glendon (as the local minister/parson) and Bart Carre in a still from THE RECKLESS RIDER (Willis Kent, 1932).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Lane Chandler versus Harry Semels in a crop from a lobby card from WYOMING WHIRLWIND (Willis Kent, 1932), Chandler's finale for producer Willis Kent.


Kinematrade and Empire had plans for a half-dozen "Phantom Rider" adventures starring Chandler. Only two were completed. Empire was also responsible for the John Preston "Morton of the Mounted" films ... and the company lasted about 18 months circa 1934-1935 before going belly-up.




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a 1935 trade magazine announcement from Empire on the Phantom Rider series noting "6 'PHANTOM RIDER' fast-action Westerns with famous cowboy stars."



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from THE OUTLAW TAMER (Empire, 1935). In the upper right are 'Slim' Whitaker vs. leading lady Blanche Mehaffey, here billed as 'Janet Morgan'.



(From Old Corral image collection)

From left to right in this lobby card from THE OUTLAW TAMER (Empire, 1935) are Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, Lane Chandler and J. P. McGowan. McGowan portrayed the lawman and also directed.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Chandler and Blanche Mehaffey (billed as 'Janet Morgan') in a still from THE OUTLAW TAMER (Empire, 1935).


Chandler was "Davy Crockett" in HEROES OF THE ALAMO.

When HEROES OF THE ALAMO was first released as in indie from Sunset, Bruce Warren and Ruth Findlay were top-billed. But when Columbia picked it for distribution as a Columbia film, they redid all the optics and printed material and Lane Chandler and Rex Lease got first place on the posters and ads.  See pressbook ads below.


(Pressbook ad courtesy of Les Adams)

(Pressbook ad courtesy of Les Adams)

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Bruce Warren, Lane Chandler (in buckskins), Lee Valianos and Rex Lease in a scene from HEROES OF THE ALAMO (Sunset, 1937).



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