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(Courtesy of Bill McCann)

The above lobby card is from THE LONE HORSEMAN (Syndicate, 1929), one of Tyler's last silent oaters.


Switching to Syndicate Pictures, Tom concluded his silent work with eight 1929 and 1930 releases which included THE CANYON OF MISSING MEN (Syndicate, 1930) and CALL OF THE DESERT (Syndicate, 1930). And then came the conversion to sound, a chaotic period that literally destroyed many reigning stars, but Tyler possessed a marvelous voice, and although his dialogue delivery wasn't great, it was sufficient for B westerns and serials.

Reining in at Mascot's thrill factory, Tom's first "all talking" venture was for Mascot owner and producer Nat Levine in the ten-chapter THE PHANTOM OF THE WEST (Mascot, 1930), a vintage cowboy cliffhanger sporting a mysterious secret villain, typical fare to bring the kiddies back every Saturday matinee.

Stuntman and trick rider Kermit Maynard, the brother of Ken Maynard, was of similar height and build to Tyler, and doubled him in the more dangerous work and second-unit filming.

Returning to Syndicate for his first talkie feature, WEST OF CHEYENNE (Syndicate, 1931), Tyler battled a young Harry Woods. And George Hayes, long before his days as Windy or Gabby, appeared in GOD'S COUNTRY AND THE MAN (Syndicate, 1931). Tom's final Syndicate adventure, RIDER OF THE PLAINS (Syndicate, 1931) included one-time big-gun Jack Perrin and youngster Andy Shufford, the future sidekick of range rider Bill Cody. Handling the directorial chores on WEST OF CHEYENNE was a young gent named Harry Webb. Webb and Tom would cross trails again.


Tim McCoy, who had several successful serial stints at Universal, was about to star in another twelve-chapter adventure, BATTLING WITH BUFFALO BILL (Universal, 1931).

But McCoy signed a lucrative deal for a long series at Columbia Pictures, and Universal brought Tom Tyler in as the replacement for McCoy.

With Tom sporting a long moustache and goatee to "age" himself into the more mature McCoy role, BATTLING WITH BUFFALO BILL was a yawner about Indians and gold. The picture on the right shows Tyler with the extra facial hair as well as buckskins.

The chapterplay featured William Desmond, blond-tressed Lucile Browne, and stunter Yakima Canutt. Tom's saddle pal was portrayed by former Fox silent cowboy Rex Bell.

[Rex Bell would star in some reasonably decent 1930s westerns for Monogram and Colony; he married Clara Bow, the silent film actress known as the "It" girl; and in later life, he became Lt. Governor of Nevada.]

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - heroine Lucile Browne and Tyler as 'Buffalo Bill'.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from the lost/missing THE MAN FROM NEW MEXICO (Monogram, 1932).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)
W. Ray Johnston and his Monogram Pictures needed some well-known cowboy talent to bring in the audiences at Depression Era double-features.  Trem Carr was in charge of Monogram's sagebrush series, and Tyler and Bill Cody were signed for the 1931-1932 season.

The Monogram's were typical "quickies", with budgets of around $8000 each.  Even though the newfangled sound recording gear occasionally popped and wheezed, MAN FROM DEATH VALLEY (Monogram, 1931), HONOR OF THE MOUNTED (Monogram, 1932) and the other six enjoyed rather good fan reaction.

But fickle Monogram sent Bill Cody and Tom packing after completing their contracted blocks of eight yarns, replacing them with Bob Steele and Rex Bell for the 1932-1933 season.



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