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(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, a tender moment between Sunset and pretty Marie Harmon in THE EL PASO KID (Republic, 1946). The horse is Silver (Silver Chief) which was the white horse used in the Lone Ranger serials.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Tom London, without his false teeth, and Sunset.


After going undercover as an outlaw in so many movies, Sunset really is an outlaw in THE EL PASO KID (1946) but breaks with the gang led by James Craven when it won't help its wounded old-timer member Hank Patterson.  The two ex-gang members plan to begin their own outlawry, but the sheriff's daughter (diminutive Marie Harmon, Sunset's only other leading lady besides Stewart and Stirling) sees them drive off their rivals in a stage holdup attempt and embarrasses them into changing their ways.  Sunset actually becomes a deputy, although he is still playing a waiting game until he can make a big score.  Eventually, he does move over to the side of Right and wins both a pardon and the girl.

Tom London is back as the sidekick in RED RIVER RENEGADES (1946), a mystery about vanishing stagecoaches, but London is actually the senior postal inspector.  Ed Cobb, who played the competent sheriff of EL PASO KID, is working with undercover Pinkerton detective Peggy Stewart here.  But all the undercover operatives keep stumbling over one another in their search for the real crooks before everything is straightened out.

Sunset's farewell Republic opus was RIO GRANDE RAIDERS (1946) in which he gets yet another brother, played by none other than Bob Steele.  This time, Sunset's brother is the ex-con and falls into bad company among outlaws led by Tris Coffin.  Carson and Steele end up as rivals in a stagecoach race, but Steele changes sides in time to stop a fatal bullet and Sunset avenges him in a shoot-out.  Linda Stirling is back one last time as the leading lady, who rides off with Sunset aboard a stagecoach for a wedding.  Sunset and Bob Steele made an odd pairing for brothers, considering Sunset's height and Bob Steele's short stature.  But Steele capitalized on the seeming oddity by constantly referring to Sunset as 'Shorty.'

It would not be until 1948 that Sunset began his new low-budget -- really low -- at so-called Astor Pictures, also known as Yucca Productions.  The casts were mostly unfamiliar, with leading lady Pat Starling hardly able to measure up to Stewart and Stirling or even Harmon.  Steven Keyes as Sunset's most frequent adversary was no Barcroft, either.  Young Al Terry had a few sympathetic roles as a youngster, but it never quite jelled for audiences used to Republic standards.  In SUNSET CARSON RIDES AGAIN, the picture did have left-handed heavy Bob Cason as the leading villain and was in color with Sunset as a ranch owner.  DEADLINE makes him a Pony Express rider, FIGHTING MUSTANG puts him back in the rangers, BATTLING MARSHAL makes him (what else?) a marshal, and RIO GRANDE (not to be confused with the John Wayne/John Ford picture) makes him a cowboy.  All but the last were directed by veteran Oliver Drake, but it didn't help.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)


Sunset tried to get two other films made --- OUTLAW GRIZZLY in 1971 and MARSHAL OF WINDY HOLLOW in 1972 which featured an elderly Ken Maynard as the Texas Ranger that sends Sunset on his mission. GRIZZLY was never filmed and MARSHAL was lensed but not released. In 1977, Sunset played a supporting role in BUCKSTONE COUNTY PRISON, also known as "Seabo" (the lead character's name) as a lawman sending bounty hunter Earl Owensby (as Seabo, and who also owned the studio where the film was made) on his mission. Don Barry is effective as a crooked prison warden. In 1985, Sunset and Lash LaRue play supporting roles in a low-budget sci-fi opus called ALIEN OUTLAW.



(Courtesy of Jerry Whittington)

Above is a lobby card from the missing/un-released MARSHAL OF WINDY HOLLOW (1972), with Ken Maynard in the center and star Sunset Carson on the right. Thanks to Jerry Whittington for the image of this lobby card - Jerry had a role as Sunset Carson's deputy and also was the director and film editor on MARSHAL. There's a lot more details and images from Jerry in the Old Corral section "Sunset, Ken & Tex in the MARSHAL OF WINDY HOLLOW".



(Courtesy of Jerry Whittington)

Above is a great photo of Sunset Carson doing his hero duties in MARSHAL OF WINDY HOLLOW (1972). He was about 52 years old when he did this film.



(Courtesy of Jerry Whittington)

Above are Sunset Carson and Jerry Whittington during the filming of MARSHAL OF WINDY HOLLOW.


Sunset had a traveling act where he would reminisce about his movie career and do some trick shooting.  Around 1980, he hosted "Six-Gun Heroes", a PBS TV show produced by South Carolina Educational TV (SCETV) which showed some of the old westerns. Later still, he was a frequent guest at western film conventions around the country until his death May 1, 1990, in Reno, Nevada, leaving a legacy of some of the most actionful westerns ever turned out by the actionful Republic.

Sunset was one of the first recipients of a Golden Boot award, and he received that recognition during the 1983 ceremonies. If you want more info, go to the Golden Boot Awards page on the Old Corral.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

During his later Republic films as well as his 'Wild West Show' personal appearance days, Sunset Carson identified his hoss as Cactus. The photo that Sunset used in the above advertisement and flyer is a Republic publicity still showing him riding Silver (Silver Chief).


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