BUCK JONES FILMOGRAPHY - SOUND FILMS
(Does not include his silent supporting roles
and bit parts, nor silent starring westerns at Fox)
THE LONE RIDER (Columbia, 1930)
BRANDED (Columbia, 1931)
HIGH SPEED (Columbia, 1932)
ROCKY RHODES (Universal, 1934)
HEADIN' EAST (Columbia, 1937)
ARIZONA BOUND (Monogram, 1941)
DAWN ON THE GREAT DIVIDE (Monogram, 1942)
GORDON OF GHOST CITY (Universal, 1933)
UNMARRIED (Paramount, 1939) (non-western)
|In the prior pages, I've noted some of my favorite Jones films. To round out the life and chronicles of Buck Jones, I asked Les Adams, Boyd Magers and Buck Rainey to provide their 'favorites':|
|Buck Rainey's Favorites|
|GORDON OF GHOST CITY (Universal, 1933) (Serial)|
THE PHANTOM RIDER (Universal, 1936) (Serial)
SMOKE TREE RANGE (Universal, 1937)
THE IVORY-HANDLED GUN (Universal, 1935)
THE RED RIDER (Universal, 1934) (Serial)
BOSS OF LONELY VALLEY (Universal, 1937)
|Boyd Magers' Favorites|
|1) THE THRILL HUNTER (Columbia, 1933)|
2) THE IVORY-HANDLED GUN (Universal, 1935)
3) THE SUNDOWN RIDER (Columbia, 1933)
4) ROCKY RHODES (Universal, 1934)
5) HELLO TROUBLE (Columbia, 1932)
6) SHADOW RANCH (Columbia, 1930)
7) MEN WITHOUT LAW (Columbia, 1930)
8) LEFT HANDED LAW (Universal, 1937)
9) GUNMAN FROM BODIE (Monogram, 1941)
10) WHITE EAGLE (Columbia, 1932)
|Les Adams' Favorites|
|RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY (Serial) --- We're all a product of our times and environment (which accounts for the Durango Kid, Lash LaRue and Rocky Lane fans). My introduction to Jones came when my father, on a rare Saturday off, took my twin brother and I to the Lyric Theatre in Lubbock, Texas and this was the serial. We were six years old quickly approaching seven and from that point on allowed to walk the 32-blocks round trip to the Lyric on Saturdays on our own. (6-7 year olds who could tell red lights from green were safe otherwise on the streets in 1941.) Okay, Buck was third-billed and second-in-command but he dominated the screen in my eyes. If nothing else, he had the best horse, costume and character name---Tombstone. RIDERS has many faults ... repetitious to the point of dullness, past experience is ignored at all times and half the serial consists of the Riders, Dick Foran, Jones, Leo Carrillo, Big Boy Williams and Glenn Strange (Noah Beery, Jr. is always someplace else) being chased by and running from Charles Bickford and three henchmen. Besides knowing red from green, I could also count and didn't know then, or now, why five heroes were always running away from four outlaws. Tom Wolfe said you can't go home again (and was correct) but RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY is the exception for me.
ARIZONA BOUND --- Because it was the second Jones film I ever saw and it only reinforced the opinions I had formed while viewing chapters of RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY. He was good at what he did and did it better than anybody else. And the Rough Riders were far and away the best trio of them all. At that time my only exposure to trio westerns were The Range Busters and two different sets of Three Mesquiteers. Since then, I've seen all of the trio entries (combinations and films) through a bit more critical and detached eyes but have seen nothing to change that six decades opinion, even though the opinion was made by a six-year-old who 'never saw a bad movie'. I hasten to add that I've seen a lot of bad movies since including a bunch of B-westerns I once thought were good.
THE TEXAS RANGER --- If I had seen it as a kid, it would be at the top. An undercover Ranger joining an outlaw gang led by a girl seeking retribution was done many times --- George O'Brien's RENEGADE RANGER being the next best. But it's Basic Buck Jones at work here minus most of the affectations that Jones overly employed in a lot of his films.
BORDER LAW and THE FIGHTING RANGER --- Same film made three times by Jones but I don't like Mountie pictures and won't include McKENNA OF THE MOUNTED. Undercover Ranger below the border (above in McKenna) --- minus the female gang leader --- and again basic Jones. Buck was a good actor, but not great, and too many of his films had him doing versatile bits that were not his long suit. Ben Johnson once said that he wasn't a good actor himself, but that nobody could do Ben Johnson better than he. I look at Jones the same way.
WHITE EAGLE (Serial) --- Yes, I know that the 1932 feature version was a far better piece of 'cinema offering' but this isn't a Best list. And, in 1941, I wasn't picking up on the 'over-the-top' direction and acting by James Horne and James Craven. Viewing it now, I am amazed at Buck's ability to play it straight while all around him reigns chaos. Just proves Buck could handle all obstacles --- STONE OF SILVER CREEK excepted.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Yes! Buck did portray a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer ... twice! On the far left is Buck in BORDER BRIGANDS (Universal, 1935). He also wore the red tunic in McKENNA OF THE MOUNTED (Columbia, 1932).