Monday, April 23, 2012

"Lightning" Deal

Smoke Lightning had a two day run at Fredonia, New York’s Winter Garden Theatre in May 1933, but the headline attraction wasn’t all-American George O’Brien. Topping the bill that week was Mussolini Speaks!, A six-reel documentary produced by Columbia Pictures and promoted with ad art showing a crowd of Blackshirts giving “today’s man of the hour” the fascist salute. Cult director Edgar G. Ulmer (Detour) reportedly worked on it as a director.

When Hollywood cowboy George O’Brien left Flagstaff for Los Angeles in October 1932, having completed three weeks of filming in and around Sedona for Robbers’ Roost, he had good reason to expect he’d be back. Before Roost’s cast and crew departed, Fox Film representatives told The Coconino Sun that David Howard (who’d directed O’Brien’s Mystery Ranch in Sedona six months earlier) was coming back soon to film the Zane Grey story Canyon Walls. Beyond that, Fox intended to shoot one or two unspecified Zane Grey stories in the area immediately afterward. Local rancher Lee Doyle was already engaged to help select locales and, as usual, handle transportation and supplies. O’Brien, whom Fox was now declaring the “most popular Western actor in pictures” had every reason to expect he’d be back on the train soon to star in one or all of these pictures.

But it didn’t turn out that way. While O’Brien did star in Canyon Walls, it wasn’t in Sedona. When the project was released on February 17, 1933, it was retitled Smoke Lightning, bore little resemblance to Grey’s story and was filmed entirely in California. Fox cameras would return to Red Rock Country, but not until almost a year later, in August 1933. And then it was not for an O’Brien/Grey western, but for Smoky, based on a best seller by cowboy author/illustrator Will James and starring Victor Jory. Given that Fox would chalk up a devastating $19.96 million loss in 1932, and surely had an inkling of that by the time the Roost company left town, it’s not such a leap to imagine that filming a low-return Western in Arizona had become a luxury Fox decided it could no longer afford; the three post-Roost Grey adaptations starring O’Brien (Smoke Lightning, Life in the Raw, and The Last Trail), were filmed entirely in California, a sign of the changes to come that would contribute to O’Brien and Fox parting ways.


  1. Hello there,
    I have really like your blog. You have some really nice stuff here and I do hope you will carry on writing.
    I am looking for writers to join our community of bloggers and I was wondering whether you would consider sharing your posts on Glipho and become a member?
    It might be a good idea to give your writing and your blog more exposure while having fun and meeting fellow writers.
    Please check us out at and drop me a line at for any questions.

  2. Howdy!

    We love your blog and we just want to let you know that we've nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award! we hadn't heard of this but it's a fun way to recommend other blogs so yours is one of the first we thought of!
    (Look for the questions that are multilingual at the bottom of the post)

    Best wishes,
    Jica and Lou

  3. Nice Article, Thank you for sharing a wonderful blog post

  4. Are you looking for Erotic Services in Vancouver We provide best Escorts Services.

    Contact one of the many girls who advertise for free on 5escorts and check all the escort services offered, only for you: all sex positions, BDSM, GFE, gangbang, anal sex, orgy, dominatrix, oral... Choose and call now!

  5. This website is very awesome I love its article I hope we will get more article like this the article is very important for all of the uses . Hope you will get more post like this . I hope your website in google. You can know about iphone se 3 if you are interested

  6. NOT TALK JUST SEX :- watch sex video
    deliver sex video in which you watch masturbation, orgasm, amateur sex, hard sex, sensual orgasm, public nude girls, public video and much more.

  7. .....
    Best Hollywood Movies, Hollywood movie download, hollywood movie, hollywood movie action, hollywood movie actress, hollywood movie actor, Best Hollywood Movies, Hollywood movie download, hollywood movie, hollywood movie action, hollywood movie actress,
    .>>....Best American Movies

    .>>....Best Hollywood movie download
    Top Performing Countries:
    United States,..... Best American Movies