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on July 31, 2005
50 westerns, seems like a bargain?! Well... maybe, depending on your tolerance for sub-par film transfers. There are some great films here to be sure, but at least a third are pretty bad transfers, and the rest are mostly just marginal at best. Virtually all of the more commonly available films offered here can be found in significantly better quality elsewhere.

Virtually all of the half dozen or so of the films from the 1960's are total trash - you can not watch these without getting a headache - totally unwatchable!!! For example, check out "The Grand Duel" starring Lee Van Cleef in the sixties - a totally washed out, blurry disaster, probably one of the very worst film transfers I have ever seen on DVD (note: a much better film transfer of this movie is available on the Platinum issued Lee Van Cleef DVD). On the other hand, in this collection you get an early 1940's era film like Howard Hughes' "The Outlaw" in near pristine condition. Most of the other films in this collection fall somewhere in between quality wise.

But, you should be aware that in most cases these same films can be found in significantly better quality in other generally superior DVD collections - see my other Amazon reviews for several examples. Check out "Tough Guys of the West" for a much better collection of 20 similar B-Westerns or check out any of the Platinum issued DVDs included in "The Great American Western" series.

Included in this collection are several commonly found Roy Rogers and Gene Autry films - however, these are mostly just copies from fuzzy VHS and as a result most of them have a slight out of focus look to them - you get used to it after awhile and you can watch them o.k., but just be warned that the quality is somewhat lower than your average VHS tape. I have found that the Madacy or Platinum issued Roy Rogers films are generally as good and in some cases better film transfers than what you find in this collection (see my review for the Madacy issued Roy Rogers DVDs). Also, you might want to check out the Roan Group issued DVDs for some other Roy Rogers titles not included here in this collection (see my review for more details on those great DVDs).

And then you have the Tex Ritter and Bob Steele films - these appear to be actually mastered from original 16mm or 35mm film - the only problem is that they tend to have a lot of scratches and splices at certain points. In one Tex Ritter film the soundtrack gets out of synch with the action and talking for about 20 minutes. But even so, you do get a reasonably sharp image direct from film instead of a third rate, fuzzy VHS copy. And often these films run for quite a long time without any problems and when problems do pop up it's only for a minute or two - in other words, you can mostly enjoy the films without eye strain. Even so, I will warn you that these particular early Bob Steele and Tex Ritter films are not really that great even considering the time period and the genre. Both Tex and Bob have made better films than the ones offered in this collection - these are mostly just "o.k." performances - nothing great.

If you like Bob Steele you should check out a superior performance in the film credited to Roy Rogers, "The Carson City Kid" which is included in this collection. This is an early Roy Rogers (pre-Dale Evans) film which co-stars Bob Steele. "Carson City Kid" is very enjoyable, but again, as noted above, the transfer of the Roy Rogers films here are not very sharp (the one put out by Madacy, for example, while still not perfect, is far better than the transfer included in this collection, while the one issued by Platinum easily has the best best picture of all, but that soundtrack is easily the worst! So, take your pick!) - but, in any case, my point is that Bob Steele's performance as the bad guy in this film is much better than the other earlier films he stars in that are included in this collection.

"Vengence Valley" with Burt Lancaster is in color and a great movie, but the image here is not very sharp and the color is severely faded out as if copied from a VHS copy someone left on the dashboard of the car a bit too long! I have the version issued by Platinum and it is nearly perfect with pretty good color and very sharp looking. Get the Platinum version and avoid the one in this collection!

"The Kansan" and "Abilene Town" are both really great movies, but here they are both particularly fuzzy looking - again, another case of bad transfers from VHS? "Abilene Town", for example, can be found in much, much better quality on the "Tough Guys of the West" DVD collection (see my review for "Tough Guys of the West"). "The Kansan" is also available on Alpha Video and while Alpha has a very mixed track record for some of these films, their version in this case is much better than the one in this collection - see my Amazon review).

The early John Wayne films are also a mixed bag - most are fuzzy looking, but some might actually be from film instead of VHS copies - it's hard to tell. "McLintock" from 1963 is basically trash in this collection - very fuzzy and very faded color. Please also note that "McLintock" is being released very shortly (or has been released by the time you read this) by the John Wayne estate on DVD - you will probably want get that one!

Better film transfers of some of these early Lone Star Production John Wayne films (at least not any worse and in some cases significantly better) can found on the Roan Group DVD, "The Early Years Collection." I have a much better, near perfect DVD transfer of "Angel and the Bad Man" (from Good Times) compared to the fuzzy version you find in this set.

A couple of other films are rare in that I have never seen them offered on DVD before, so you might need to get this set for those. "Billy the Kid Trapped" and "Arizona Stagecoach" for instance are ones I had never seen before on DVD - I found both to be very enjoyable and are from film transfers, but again with a lot of splices and scratches at various points - but still very enjoyable and very watchable. I don't think any of the Tex Ritter films are available elsewhere. The same Bob Steele films in this collection are also offered on Alpha Video DVDs, but I don't know if they are in any better condition on Alpha than what you find here in this collection, but my guess is you would likely be better off with the Alpha versions.

So, the bottom line is that you should get this if;
(1) You need a good copy of "The Outlaw" - it's the only film here that is in pristine condition.
(2) You need to have the few films that only appear in this DVD collection and nowhere else.
(3) You don't want to spend a lot of money, and don't care about quality, yet you want to sample a lot of early B-Westerns to get some idea of what the genre looks like. Actually, on second thought, you would be far, far better off in getting the 10 DVD 20 movie collection "Tough Guys of the West" if that is your goal. That collection gives you a much better bargain in terms of quality than the "50 Western Classics."

Here's another tip for you. If you are looking at B-Westerns for the first time you might want to check out the Hopalong Cassidy films offered by Platinium - there are 40 films total on 5 DVD volumes that you can get really cheap! Some vendors sell these for less than two dollars a disc (each disc has 5 films on it)! Do the math - with shipping you are looking at about $1 per film. And they are in absolute pristine condition! Check it out - the Hopalong Cassidy films are among the very best B-Westerns ever made. The Red Ryder series is also available on DVD issued by VCI and I have seen most of them - they are great films with pretty good film transfers - you will not be disappointed in those.

Here is the complete list of films in this set:

John Wayne:
Angel and the Badman
Blue Steel
Sagebush Trail
Hell Town

Roy Rogers:
The Carson City Kid
Young Bill Hickok
In Old Caliente
Rough Riders Round-Up
Sheriff of Tombstone
My Pal Trigger
Cowboy and the Senorita
Bells of San Angelo
Under California Stars

Tex Ritter:
Rollin Plains
Sing Cowboy Sing
The Mystery of the Hooded Horseman
Arizona Days
Song of the Gringo
Springtime in the Rockies

Gene Autry:
Round-Up Time in Texas
Man of the Frontier
Riders of the Whistling Pines

Bob Steele:
Paroled To Die
The Oklahoma Cyclone

Bruce Bennett:
Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer

Vengeance Valley starring Burt Lancaster
Billy the Kid Trapped starring Buster Crabbe
Kentucky Rifle starring Chill Wills
Painted Desert starring George O'Brien
It Can Be Done Amigo starring Jack Palance
Gone with the West starring James Caan
The Outlaw starring Jane Russell
White Comanche starring Joseph Cotton
Phantom Rancher starring Ken Maynard
The Grand Duel starring Lee Van Cleef
Mohawk starring Neville Brand
Abilene Town and 7th Cavalry starring Randolph Scott
Arizona Stagecoach starring Ray "Crash" Corrigan
Broadway to Cheyenne starring Rex Bell
The Santa Fe Trail starring Errol Flynn
American Empire starring Richard Dix
The Kansan starring Richard Dix
Gunfight at Red Sands starring Richard Harrison
Stagecoach to Denver starring Robert Blake
The Sundowners starring Robert Preston
China 9, Liberty 37 starring Warren Oates
Judge Priest starring Will Rogers
55 comments|241 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 4, 2004
No, I've not picked this one up but been looking for a movie listing for this one.....Finally found one!

so here ya go:

Rollin' Plains (Tex Ritter) B&W (1938)

Sing Cowboy Sing (Tex Ritter) B&W (1937)

The Mystery of the Hooded Horseman (Tex Ritter) B&W (1937)

Arizona Days (Tex Ritter) B&W (1937)

Song of the Gringo (Tex Ritter) B&W (1936)

Round-Up Time in Texas (Gene Autry) B&W (1937)

Springtime in the Rockies (Tex Ritter) B&W (1937)

The Carson City Kid (Roy Rogers) B&W (1940)

Colorado (Roy Rogers) B&W (1940)

Young Bill Hickok (Roy Rogers) B&W (1940)

Phantom Rancher (Ken Maynard) B&W (1940)

Broadway to Cheyenne (Rex Bell) B&W (1932)

Stagecoah to Denver (Robert Blake) B&W (1946)

Angel and the Badman (John Wayne) B&W (1947)

Paroled -To Die (Bob Steele) B&W (1937)

The Oklahoma Cyclone (Bob Steele) B&W (1930)

Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer (Bruce Bennett) COLOR (1956)

Kentucky Rifle (Chill Wills) COLOR (1955)

American Empire (Richard Dix) B&W (1942)

Billy the Kid Trapped (Buster Crabbe) B&W (1942)

Vengeance Valley (Burt Lancaster) COLOR (1951)

The Sundowners (Robert Preston) COLOR (1951)

Man of the Frontier (Gene Autry) B&W (1936)

Riders of the Whistling Pines (Gene Autry) B&W (1949)

Painted Desert (George O'Brien) B&W (1938)

Gunfight at Red Sands (Richard Harrison) COLOR (1964)

China 9, Liberty 37 (Warren Oates) COLOR (1978)

Gone with the West (James Caan) COLOR (1978)

The Outlaw (Jane Russell) B&W (1949)

Arizona Stagecoach (Ray "Crash" Corrigan) B&W (1942)

Blue Steel (John Wayne) B&W (1934)

The Santa Fe Trail (Richard Arlen) B&W (1930)

McLintock (John Wayne) COLOR (1963)

Sagebush Trail (John Wayne) B&W (1933)

In Old Caliente (Roy Rogers) B&W (1939)

Rough Riders Round-Up (Roy Rogers) B&W (1939)

Hell Town (John Wayne) B&W (1937)

The Kansan (Richard Dix) B&W (1943)

White Comanche (Joseph Cotton) COLOR (1968)

Mohawk (Neville Brand) COLOR (1956)

Sheriff of Tombstone (Roy Rogers) B&W (1941)

The Grand Duel (Lee Van Cleef) COLOR (1974)

It Can Be Done Amigo (Jack Palance) COLOR (1973)

Abilene Town (Randolph Scott) B&W (1946)

7th Cavalry (Randolph Scott) COLOR (1956)

My Pal Trigger (Roy Rogers) B&W (1946)

Cowboy and the Senorita (Roy Rogers) B&W (1944)

Bells of San Angelo (Roy Rogers) COLOR (1947)

Under California Stars (Roy Rogers) COLOR (1948)

Foo I'm still going to have to pick up Robin Hood Of the Pecos....I was hoping that Rogers one would have been on here!!
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VINE VOICEon December 12, 2004
The premier American cinematic drama is the western, and this collection brings together some bona fide classics from the golden age of westerns. This set comes with twelve discs each packaged in a cardboard slipcase with brief descriptions of the plot, every disc is double sided and contains two films on each side. There aren't any extras aside from a limited amount of scene selections.

It's true that the majority of these are b-films, and some are unintentionally hilarious to view today. There are some definite classics (McClintock, Under California Stars) along with plenty of simply enjoyable films.

Just a note, there are a few mistakes. For example, "The Santa Fe Trail" included on this set is *not* the 1930 Richard Arlen version. It's the 1940s Errol Flynn, Olivia Haviland version - which I personally feel is superior anyway. Also, some films were taken either directly from television (you'll see a IN STEREO flash across the screen when you play the film) or didn't transfer very well (slight distortions in video or audio) - but considering the age of these movies and the cheap price tag this is an amazing deal!
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on March 18, 2007
This collection is well worth the price paid. I haven't viewed all the titles, but those I have are great. As for those who complain about the "quality" of some of these flics, I guess it all depends on how you define "quality". These are old films and you can't expect them to stand up to the picture quality of more current films. If you define "quality" as good old fashion, wholesome, family entertainment, when there were "good guys" and "bad guys", and morality, then they far surpass the trash put out from the 70's and on. I plan to buy more of these 50 movie packs and would recommend you do the same.
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on January 4, 2006
i have reviewed many of these sets and have liked them all so i had no problem buying this set. i still can't get over the number of people who talk about the quailty of the pictures and sound. come on at 40 to 50 cents per movie what do you want. part of these old movies charm is the poor pictures and sound. the scrachs and audio pops are a part of the joy here. the ones i saw on saturday noon and late night t.v. did the same thing but i watched them anyway. as always some good some bad and some that really can't be placed in a pigon hole movie wise.i will say my young sons sit and watch these westerns with me and love them. i has become a time to sit eat popcorn talk and cheer on the bad guys. really the fact that most of these movies are family friendly makes them an even better reason to buy this set. when was the last time your kids sat and watched a movie with you and said they liked these "old movies". get over it and enjoy the shows
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on December 24, 2013
Definitely not quality prints, nor classic films, but for some of these, it's the only chance to see them at all. It's pleasant to have this big pack of "ordinary" rather than top-notch westerns, for a laid back evening of retro politically incorrect imaginary thrills of yesteryear.
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on June 23, 2006
A real mixed bag is this lot from the 1930's to the 1980's and please don't get carried away and think that the most recent ones will be the best quality this includes most of the color films most of which are awful including this version of McCLINTOCK Talking of color probably the best one on show here is CHINA 9, LIBERTY 37 (despite the fact that I dislike Spaghetti Westerns intensely). Followed by the two Roy Rogers films BELLS OF SAN ANGELO and UNDER CALIFORNIA STARS. Both shot in Trucolor (a cheap version of Technicolor adopted by Republic) a misnomer if ever there was one.

Of the fifty films on show here we have at the top of the list Roy Rogers (10), Tex Ritter (6) John Wayne (5) Gene Autry (4) Richard Dix (2) Bob Steele (2) and all the rest are solo outings (22)

The five most viewable and interesting films for me here, all shot in black and white, were in release-date order:

An early John Wayne western with an almost serious George "Gabby" Hayes as the sheriff and Wayne is the wrongly accused newcomer mistaken for The Polka Dot Bandit who is played by Yakima Canutt who is also responsible for the stunts in the film including John Wayne's All in all a most likable B-Western.

A John Ford film starring Will Rogers in the title role as the judge in southern (Confederate) town after the war. Hardly a western at all really, but much to enjoy by this Master Director full of his usual comic touches, still raises a smile some 70 odd years later.

THE OUTLAW 1941 (Released, then withdrawn, limited release again 1943)
Billy-the-Kid is the Outlaw in question played by a young Jack Buetel. But most of the attention in this film was focused on 19 year-old Jane Russell and Director Howard Hughes, and his fixation with her ample bosom from various camera angles. An interesting A-Western beautifully filmed plus some very clever camera work on the lightening fast gunplay. Not fully released until 1950 to more sceptic post war audience.

Richard Dix (Him of the jutting jaw fame) is elected marshal of a Kansas town, in this A-Western. Directed by George Archainbaud also staring Jane Wyatt and Victor Jory with Albert Dekker as the heavy. Excellent cinematography by Russel Haran raises it above the norm.

Said to be Rogers' own favourite amongst all his movies it also well received by the critics of the day. The story is about Roy being accused of killing a highbred stallion. But not before he has put Roy's mare in foal. The foal is born whilst Roy is in jail. Later he gets to train the young stallion who turns into none other than "Trigger". Also starring Dale Evans and George "Gabby" Hayes who is once again half-serious.

Although I have seen better transfers of the following black and white westerns they're all at least worth a mention here

1. THE SANTA FE TRAIL 1943. Starring Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan
2. ABILENE TOWN 1946 Starring Randolph Scott and Rhonda Fleming.
3. THE ANGEL AND THE BADMAN 1946 Starring John Wayne with Harry Carey (A John Ford favourite former star) and Gail Russell. Which was John Wayne's first film as Producer and Star!

Finally most of the remaining Rogers and Autry films are okay and well worth viewing, which maybe reflects their bigger budget than the likes of say Tex Ritter etc. My three star rating here had to be repressed due to the dross, which is a great pity, if someone had the sense or care to delete the 50% or so of the rubbish on offer here and left us with the remainder which probably would have readily retailed for the same price or even better. If like me you are a western movie aficionado and buy this boxed set to view the above-mentioned 20 odd films then you shouldn't be disappointed. And at the price on offer it's a steal.
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on February 12, 2010
I enjoy all types of movies and often will watch the "Oldies,But Goodies". This is one that I will treasure. There will never be another John Wayne. We had a John Wayne Weekend, invited our 3 grandsons over, ages 4-12, popped corn and watched all the series. Fun, enjoyable and different.
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on June 18, 2010
I purchased this set for my husband who is an avid western fan. If it has horses, guns, and cowboys he is normally pretty happy with it. When we got the movies we noticed that we had duplicate dvd's and that some were missing. We received 2 of disc 10 and 2 of disc 6. which means that we are missing disc 1 and disc 8 in the set.
One of the dvd's when I put it in the player all it says is disc error and it cannot be read on either side. It happens to be a disc that has five movies on the one disc. One of the movies when it was re-recorded onto the dvd stops in the middle of the movie and begins back at the beginning.
I expected the movies to be in black and white, this wasn't a surprise. So many people put in their reviews that is an issue. If you have movies made in the 30's and 40's they are going to be in black and white.
For the price, we still got a good array of movies, quality leaves something to be desired and of course the missed dvd's didnt make my husband very happy.
So for this one I would say purchase at your own risk. You never know what you will be getting.
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on June 6, 2014
Back in the day, well back in my days, before I had grandchildren, we used to go to the movies on Saturday, and spend all day watching this kind of Western movie, I thought I would get a kick out of showing my grandies, what their granddaddy watched when he was a little boy......well they said, " how can you watch something so faked. They found fault with everything, including the sound and black and white, even the introduction. I even told them that a had walked the streets of "Old Studio" in Tucson, AZ. just a couple of years ago where they filmed most of the old western movies, and would they like to travel to Tombstone, and Tucson and see the site. I got a big NO Thanks.....Well I do wish they made up to date, good acting, western movies with no cussing and sex scenes, where I could sit down with my grandkids and watch a good old fashion movie....and leave out the "singing cowboys"....ha.....:)
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