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Last of the Cowboy Heroes: The Westerns of Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy [Paperback]

Robert Nott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Jan 2005
In the world of Western films, Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy have frequently been overlooked in favor of names like Roy Rogers and John Wayne. Yet these three actors played a crucial role in the changing environment of the post-World War II Western, and, in the process, made many excellent middle-budget films that are still a pleasure to watch. This account of these three Western stars' careers begins in 1946, when Scott and McCrea committed themselves to the Western roles they would play for nearly twenty years. Murphy, who also joined them in 1946, would continue his Western career for a few years after his cohorts rode into the film sunset. Arranged chronologically, and balanced among the three actors, the text concludes with Audie Murphy's last Western in 1967. Covering both the personal and professional lives of these three Hollywood cowboys, the book provides both their stories and the story of a Hollywood whose attitude toward the Western was in a time of transition and transformation. The text is complemented by 60 photographs and a filmography for each of the three.

Product details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc; New edition edition (31 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786422610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786422616
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 18 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 794,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"provides an intelligent study of the careers of three major figures in...Western film history"--Classic Images --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which has a wealth of information about the Westerns made from 1946 onwards by three of my personal favourites: Randy, Joel & Audie. Containing an essential foreword by Budd Boetticher, the book offers an honest appraisal of these movies and includes critics' reviews at the time of their release. The book covers the heyday right down to the decline of B Westerns which, if you are such a fan as I, is quite sad. I love B Westerns; I love Randy, Joel & Audie and I love this book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but over priced. 2 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An interesting insight into these actors westerns. Would have preferred more biographical content although it does what it says on the 'can'.
Poor value for money.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last out of the old corral... 14 Aug 2000
By Rory Coker - Published on Amazon.com
Apart from John Wayne, there were only three cowboy stars who hung on in the late 50s and early 60s, before spaghetti westerns briefly revived the genre, and created a new cowboy hero, Clint Eastwood. These were Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea and Audie Murphy. The films made by Scott between 1956 and 1960, directed by Budd Boetticher and written by Burt Kennedy, are among the best westerns ever put to film. What Nott has done here is to briefly survey the careers of all three performers before the late 50s, then give a detailed look at their final films. His research is excellent (I only found one error, the often repeated nonsense that Billy the Kid was born in New York City or Brooklyn) and his writing style is coherent and clear. Although Nott clearly loves these performers and these films, this is not a gushing fan publication... a comment that cannot be made for much of the output of this particular publisher. Recommended.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shooting Stars - Golden Age of The Western Film 25 Jun 2000
By Bv Lander - Published on Amazon.com
With "LAST OF THE COWBOY HEROES" Robert Nott pays a long overdue tribute to three of the most enduring stars of the Western film genre. Each of the three stars has his career in the westerns covered in the period 1946-67 fully detailed,with a brief plot synopsis of each film and its making. Additional anecdotal material by colleagues and supporting actors in the trio's films provides a fascinating insight into their personalities. The book is written by Mr.Nott in a thoroughly readable style and in chronological order,like many of his readers he obviously has fond memories of the three stars and their films. The book is a must for anyone who enjoys western films and even more so for those of us who can remember seeing these movies back in the Golden years of the Western Movie. Excellently illustrated with movie stills and off screen shots this book sets a standard for others to follow.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riding high! 30 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Entertaining and well-written book about the 3 movie-cowboys: Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea and Audie Murphy. Book tells not so much about their private lives and relations - but focuses on all the westerns they made since 1946. The writer tells detailed about each film and gives his personal opinion. Don't think that he considers all of them to be masterpieces - far from that! So, if these actors were some of your movie heroes from the 50's and 60's, the book is recommendable and easy read (even for a foreigner).
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book but Facts Could Be Reviewed 27 Sep 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book reviews the lives of three long-neglected cowboy stars - Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy. Specifically, it follows the western films of these three actors. The book presented a good deal of information on the films and it is too bad most don't seem to be available on dvd as I would like to see the films that I have not seen. There were great descriptions of the plot and making of the films which was well done because it was evident that the author had viewed most of the available films. However, what bothered me was the inaccuracy of the very first line of the book that indicated Scott was born in Orange, North Carolina when all references I have seen indicate it was Orange County, Virginia. When I see something I know to be inconsistent with many other sources, I begin to wonder if anything in the book is accurate as to the biographical data on the stars. However, I would still recommend this book to anyone interested in these films or the stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WESTERNS FOREVER 26 Feb 2012
By Deborah M. Prowse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being a Western movie fan for as long as I can remember, I was excited to find this book about my three favourite actors (the only other being Gary Cooper).

I found it a most interesting read and actually wished that it was longer. A lot of the movies detailed in the book I have seen however there were quite a few I have not seen but have now ordered through DVD and am looking forward to viewing them.

I have always been a huge fan of Audie Murphy who I believe with the right scripts could have been a major player in Hollywood, and Randolph Scott of course is the quinessential cowboy.

There is just enough personal information on the three men to keep it from just being a movie review book. I was moved by the foreword from Budd Boetticher (one of the great western directors) as you can fully believe it came from the heart.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves their westerns and has a soft spot for any of the 3 men in question.
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