Hollywood Magic

Laramie is rich in Western History; Native Americans, Fur Trappers, Fort Sanders, the Union Pacific Railroad and famous outlaws made up just a part of our western heritage. Hollywood built on Laramie’s western heritage to base its movies and TV shows. Over 14 movies and TV shows used Laramie’s as a backdrop to promote the Wild West and to promote the American folklore of the Western. The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday for Westerns, from shows like “Lawman” (1958-62) starring John Russell, “Laramie” (1959-63) starring John Smith and Robert Fuller, films like “The Man From Laramie” (1955) starring James Stewart, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford to more modern western shows like “Hell on Wheels” (2016) that starred Anson Mount. There was a lot of “B” movies to use Laramie as well, there was a western on every major network and popular western books would have a movie and a TV show, it was a grand time in Hollywood for the Westerns and Laramie sure had their share.

Browse the Western videos below or click here for more westerns on the web.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Description: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Western 1969, starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Katharine Ross with Strother Martin, Jeff Corey and Henry Jones. Written by William Goldman. Produced John Foreman.

Hell on Wheels (2011-2016) Season 5 in Laramie, Wyoming

Description: AMC production. Starring: Starring: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, and Dominique McElligott. Aired on AMC. Now available on Netflix. Created and Produced by Joe and Tony Gayton, and developed by Endemol USA

Jack Slade (1953)

Description: Allied Artist Picture, Western 1953. Starring: Mark Stevens, Dorthey Malone, Barton MacLane and John Litel. Written by Warren Douglas. Directed by Harold Schuster, and Produced by John Burrows.

Laramie (1955)

Description: A Columbia Picture film. Directed by Ray Nazarro. Written by Barry Shipman. Starring: Charles Starret, Smiley Burnette, Fred Sears, Tommy Ivo and Elton Brit.

Laramie Mountains (1952)

Description: Columbia Picture Western 1955. Starring: Charles Starrett, Smiley Burnette with Fred Sears, Tommy Ivo and Elton Britt. Written by Barry Shipman. Directed by Ray Nazarro. Produced by Colbert Clark.

Laramie TV show (1959-63)

Description: A Revue Studios production. Starring: Starred John Smith as Slim Sherman; Robert Fuller as Jess Harper; Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy; and Robert L. Crawford, Jr. as Andy Sherman and Actress Spring Byington. Aired on NBC.

Lawman TV show (1958-62)

Description: A Warner Bros. production. Starring: Starred: John Russel as Marshall of Laramie Dan Troop, Peter Brown as Deputy Marshal of Laramie Johnny McKay. Aired on ABC

My Friend Flicka (1956-1958)

Description: AMC production. Starring: Johnny Washbrook as Ken McLaughlin, Gene Evans, Rob McLaughlin, Anita Louise and Frank Ferguson. Aired on CBS then later on the Disney Channel. Flicka is based on a novel by Mary O'Hara.

Rails into Laramie (1954)

Description: American Western film 1954. Directed by Jesse Hibbs. Written by D.D. Beauchamp and Joseph Hoffman. Starring: John Payne, Mari Blanchard, Dan Duryea, Joyce Mackenzie, Barton MacLane and Ralph Dumke.

The Laramie Kid (1935)

Description: A Bernard B. Ray film 1935. Directed by Harry S. Webb. Starring: Tom Tyler, Alberta Vaugnn, Al Ferguson, Murdock Maquarrie, George Chesebro, Snub Polland and Steve Clark.

The Man from Laramie (1955)

Description: American Western Film 1955. Directed by Anthony Mann. Written by Thomas T. Flynn. Starring: James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp and Cathy O’Donnell.

The Virginian (1962-1971)

Description: NBC production. Starring: James Drury, Doug McClure and Lee J. Cobb. Based on The Virginian: Horseman of the Plains, a 1902 western novel by Owen Wister. Medicine Bow Wyoming is 5 miles from the Albany County Border.

Tom Horn (1958-62)

Description: Directed by William Wiard. Produced by: Fred Weintraub Steve McQueen (exec. producer) Written by: Thomas McGuane, Bud Shrake, Tom Horn (autobiography. Starring: Steve McQueen, Linda Evans and Richard Farnsworth.

Smoky (1946)

Description: Filmed location Remount Ranch - 198 County Road, Buford, Wyoming, USA. Drama about the strong bond between a cowpoke and a wild bronco set during the 1940s. Stared: Fred MacMurray, Anne Baxter, Bruce Cabot, Esther Dale, Roy Roberts, J. Farrell MacDonald, Hoyt Axton, with Slim Pickens and Burl Ives. Writer: Lillie Hayward, Dwight Cummins.

The Squaw Man (1914)

Description: Renowned as a movie producer, DeMille toured Wyoming in 1902 with a theater company. A decade later, he planned to make his film, The Squaw Man, in Wyoming. Due to time pressures, the film had to be completed during the late fall of 1912 and DeMille was well aware of the unpredictability of all weather in Wyoming. He decided to film in the southwest at a location that could pass for Wyoming. Flagstaff, Ariz., was singled out as one possibility. When DeMille arrived there on the train, he nixed the choice because it “did not look like Wyoming” to him. Consequently, the film company stayed on the train, riding to the end of the line in Los Angeles. There, DeMille located a barn he could rent in the tiny nearby hamlet of Hollywood. DeMille’s film was the first motion picture ever made in what became the movie capital of the world.

From the Wyoming Almanac Seventh Edition

Deadwood Ellsworth (2004-2006)

Description: Jim Beaver played Ellsworth on HBO’s series Deadwood

Beaver was born in Laramie, Wyoming, the son of Dorothy Adell (née Crawford) and James Norman Beaver, Sr. (1924–2004), a minister. Although his parents' families had both long been in Texas, Beaver was born in Laramie, as his father was doing graduate work in accounting at the University of Wyoming.

Deadwood Series: Ellsworth has spent most of his days prospecting for gold in one part of the country or another, and has managed to scrounge enough, apparently, to cover for his appetite for whores and booze. Despite his somewhat disheveled appearance, Ellsworth is no fool, and he knows exactly how dangerous Swearengen can be; he knows to keep quiet about witnessing Brom Garret's murder. Still, at Bullock's urging, he accepts responsibility for overseeing Alma Garret's claim and proves himself to be extremely knowledgeable about mining. He is also fiercely loyal to Alma and Sofia.

Jim Beavers also has played in TV Series Supernatural as Bobby Singer, Sheriff Shelby Parlow on FX series Justified, Gun Dealer in Breaking Bad and prequel Better Call Saul.

From the Wyoming Almanac Seventh Edition

The Macomber Affair (1947)

Description: Ernest Hemingway and the Cooper’s from Laramie #ThatsWY

Richard Cooper, a close friend of Ernest Hemingway, fished and hunted with the famed author. Hemingway frequently visited the Coopers in Laramie. The Coopers are said to have been the models for the couple about whom Hemingway wrote in his short story, “The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomer.”

The Book: "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway. Set in Africa, it was published in the September 1936 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine concurrently with "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". The story was eventually adapted to the screen as the Zoltan Korda film The Macomber Affair (1947).

The Movie: The Macomber Affair is a (1947) set in British East Africa concerning a fatal triangle involving a frustrated wife, a weak husband, and the professional hunter who comes between them. The film was distributed by United Artists and directed by Zoltan Korda, and features Gregory Peck, Joan Bennett, and Robert Preston.

The screenplay was written by Casey Robinson and Seymour Bennett and adapted by Bennett and Frank Arnold, based on "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", the 1936 Ernest Hemingway short story.

The film was rereleased in 1952 by Lippert Pictures as The Great White Hunter.

COLT .45 TV Theme Song (1957)

Description: Wayde Preston (September 10, 1929 – February 6, 1992) was an American actor cast from 1957 to 1960 in the lead role in 67 episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, Colt .45. He is also known for his appearance in the title role of an acclaimed 1959 episode entitled "The Saga of Waco Williams" of another ABC/WB western series, Maverick.

Background: Born William Erksine Strange in Denver, Colorado, Preston was reared in Laramie in southern Wyoming by his educator parents, John and Bernice Strange. He had two younger sisters, Joan and Mary. In 1947 he graduated from Laramie High School, where he was active in football, track, the school band and the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he studied pharmacy. He became an accomplished musician and played in many bands during the late 1940s. In 1950 Preston was drafted into the United States Army. Trained in an artillery unit at Fort Bliss, Texas, Preston attained the rank of first lieutenant and fought in the Korean War. For a time, after his military service, he was a park ranger at Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming and rode the rodeo circuit before he got his break as an actor.

Acting Career: In Colt .45 he played Christopher Colt, a government undercover agent who masquerades as a pistol salesman traveling throughout the Old West. The series lasted until Preston, like James Garner and Clint Walker during the same period, ran afoul of the Warner Brothers studio and their production demands. Donald May replaced Preston in 1959 and 1960 in the role of Colt's cousin, Sam Colt Jr., but only in four episodes.

Preston also played the role of Christopher Colt in 1958 and 1959 in four episodes relating to "The Canary Kid" of the ABC/WB Sugarfoot series, starring Will Hutchins.

"The Saga of Waco Williams" is a critical favorite that paired Preston with James Garner, as Bret Maverick, and drew more viewers than any other Maverick episode; it remains one of Preston's career milestones. Tom Selleck's recurring comical character of Lance White in NBC's later The Rockford Files, starring James Garner, is loosely based by writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell upon Waco Williams (Selleck and Preston resembled each other.) After these appearances, Selleck in 1980 immediately procured his own CBS series, Magnum, P.I.

Preston played some 20 roles in television and films between 1957-91. Following his departure from Colt .45 he went to Europe, where he appeared in numerous spaghetti westerns including Vic Morrow's A Man Called Sledge opposite James Garner as well as the 1968 film Anzio about the World War II Battle of Anzio. Preston played the role of Logan in another 1968 film, Wrath of God; he was then cast in 1969 as Marshal Johnny Silver in Death Knows No Time.

Preston later appeared on episodes of NBC's Bonanza and ABC's Starsky and Hutch. His last screen appearance was a supporting role in the 1990 film version of Captain America.

Centennial: Pasquinal's song.

Description: In James A. Michener's 1974 historical novel, Centennial and the 1978-1979 NBC television mini-series, of the same name, the colorful, French Canadian or French Metis, coureur des bois, from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, named "Pasquinel", was introduced, as an early, frontier mountain man and trapper, in 1795 Colorado, Spanish Upper Louisiana Territory of Mexico, now the present-day state of Colorado. Pasquinel was portrayed, in the NBC television mini-series, Centennial, by American TV actor, Robert Conrad. The fictional character of Pasquinel was loosely based on, the life of French-speaking, fur trader, Jacques La Ramee. Also, Pasquinel explains to his French Canadian and Arapaho, now known as French Metis, son, Jacques, that he was named after the friend and former trapping partner, of his father, "Jacques La Ramee".

The miniseries was one of the longest (26½ hours, including commercials) and most ambitious television projects ever attempted at the time. It had a budget of US $25 million, employed four directors and five cinematographers, and featured over 100 speaking parts spanning 26 hours of television viewing time. Centennial was released on DVD on July 29, 2008.

West of Laramie (1949)

Description: Universal International, Western 1949. Starring Tex Williams, Patrica Hall, Patricia Alphin, Duece Spriggens and Smokey Rodgers. Written by Bennett Cohn. Produced and Directed by Will Cowman

The Man from Painted Post (1917)

Description: Staring Douglas Fairbanks, Eileen Percy, Frank Campeau, Frank Clark, Herbert Standing, William Lowery, Rhea Haines, Charles Stevens and Monte Blue. Director: Joseph Henabery, Writers: Douglas Fairbanks, Jackson Gregory. In order to find out who's behind a cattle rustling operation that's hurting ranchers, a detective for the Cattleman's Protective Association pretends to be a tenderfoot from back east who's just arrived in the area and doesn't know how to ride, rope or shoot. Bucking bronchos, crack riding, trick roping, and bulldogging steers are among the interesting features offered by this comedy-drama of the Southwest.

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