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The Oregon Trail [Import]

Johnny Mack Brown , Louise Stanley , Ford Beebe , Saul A. Goodkind    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
VCI Entertainment and Universal Pictures present..."The Oregon Trail" (1939) (Dolby digitally remastered), a 15 Chapter cliffhanger from an action packed Universal western serial era featuring an outstanding cast with Ford Beebe and Saul A.Goodkind at the helm...."The Oregon Trail" was the last of four serials that Johnny Mack Brown made for Universal Pictures in the 30's he moved back to full feature films and B-Westerns...story line has our hero Jeff Scott (Johnny Mack Brown) and his sidekick Deadwood Hawkins (Fuzzy Knight) working undercover to investigate missing wagon trains who never make it to Oregon....who is behind the Indian attacks and what eastern syndicate is involved with all the problems our early pioneers are dealing with...is Bull Bragg (Jack C. Smith) and his gang of cutthroats Breed (Charles Stevens), Daggett (Forrest Taylor), Dirk (Charles King) and Pete (Tom London) (what an outstanding lineup of screen badies) taking orders from Sam Morgan (James Blaine) who leading this dastardly pack of heavies...can we count on the cavalry riding to the rescue and keep all serial fans wanting more....will Bull Bragg blow the whistle on all who are involved in these 15 Universal episodes....don't leave the theater until the final chapter is over and done with "The End of the Trail"....just remember double thrills, chills, mystery and suspense...hitting the bull's eye with excitement...don't miss a single spine thrilling episode..return next week to this local theater for another episode of action and adventure that will keep you thrilled until the next chapter.

Under director's Ford Beebe and Cliff Smith, associate producer Henry MacRae, screenplay by George Plympton, Basil Dickey, Edmund Kelso and W.W.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The King of Serials & B-Westerns...VCI Entertainment ~ The Oregon Trail (1939)" Nov. 22 2005
By J. Lovins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
VCI Entertainment and Universal Pictures present..."The Oregon Trail" (1939) (Dolby digitally remastered), a 15 Chapter cliffhanger from an action packed Universal western serial era featuring an outstanding cast with Ford Beebe and Saul A.Goodkind at the helm...."The Oregon Trail" was the last of four serials that Johnny Mack Brown made for Universal Pictures in the 30's he moved back to full feature films and B-Westerns...story line has our hero Jeff Scott (Johnny Mack Brown) and his sidekick Deadwood Hawkins (Fuzzy Knight) working undercover to investigate missing wagon trains who never make it to Oregon....who is behind the Indian attacks and what eastern syndicate is involved with all the problems our early pioneers are dealing with...is Bull Bragg (Jack C. Smith) and his gang of cutthroats Breed (Charles Stevens), Daggett (Forrest Taylor), Dirk (Charles King) and Pete (Tom London) (what an outstanding lineup of screen badies) taking orders from Sam Morgan (James Blaine) who leading this dastardly pack of heavies...can we count on the cavalry riding to the rescue and keep all serial fans wanting more....will Bull Bragg blow the whistle on all who are involved in these 15 Universal episodes....don't leave the theater until the final chapter is over and done with "The End of the Trail"....just remember double thrills, chills, mystery and suspense...hitting the bull's eye with excitement...don't miss a single spine thrilling episode..return next week to this local theater for another episode of action and adventure that will keep you thrilled until the next chapter.

Under director's Ford Beebe and Cliff Smith, associate producer Henry MacRae, screenplay by George Plympton, Basil Dickey, Edmund Kelso and W.W. Watson , dialogue director Dorothy Cormack, musical director Charles Previn ...the cast includes Johnny Mack Brown (Jeff Scott), Louise Stanley (Margaret Mason), Fuzzy Knight (Deadwood Hawkins), Bill Cody Jr (Jimmie Clark), Edward LaSaint (John Mason), James Blaine (Sam Morgan), Charles Stevens ('Breed'), Roy Barcroft (Col. Custer), Lane Chandler (Corporal in Sherman's office), Charles King (Dirk/henchman), Tom London (Pete/henchman), Jim Toney (Idaho Ike), Forrest Taylor (Daggett), Charles Murphy (Tompkins), John C. Smith (Bull Bragg), Iron Eyes Cody (Crow Foot), Karl Hackett (Mr. Clark), Lafe McKee (character part), Tom Steele (character part) and Jim Thorpe (character part).......special footnote, they're several character actors who have made their mark in B-Westerns and Serials...Roy Barcroft who is normally cast as a villain is Col. George Custer, Barcroft's unmistakable smooth voice and his swager made him the perfect heavy in many a Rex Allen, Gene Autry, Johnny Mack Brown, Sunset Carson, Hopalong Cassidy, Eddie Dean, Wild Bill Elliott (Red Ryder), Rocky Lane and Dale Evans & Roy Rogers...the other actor is Charles King, who they called "Blackie" in just about every film, King worked in silent films when sound came in his career took off with many a B-Western hero Buster Crabbe, Buck Jones, Ken Maynard, Tim McCoy and little Bob Steele where his knockdown dragout fist fights with King became legend, you couldn't wait for that scene in the film to arrive and you were never disappointed.........meanwhile back to our Universal Serial which is always good till the last drop and this serial is no exception...there is a great deal of entertainment here for the cliffhanger fans out there...all courtesy of VCI Entertainment, who in my humble opinion is the best there is in restoring early serials and features.

Bobby J. Copeland's book on "Johnny Mack Brown: Up Close & Personal" is chuck full of answers to all the questions his fans had from early on...when you went to see him on the big screen, you got exactly what the marquee said...plenty of thrills, adventure and loaded with action...Johnny Mack was a natural for the western, his riding abilities and fight scenes were of the the same caliber as Buck Jones and Bob Steele...Johnny Mack sets the saddle better than Duke Wayne...seems Johnny got better with the more films he made and the scripts were always top notch...he was one of the best-liked people in films, what you saw on the screen is what he really was...a great human being.

BIOS:
1. Johnny Mack Brown
Birth Date: 9/01/1904 - Dothan, Alabama
Died: 11/14/1974 - Woodland Hills, California, USA. (cardiac condition)

CHAPTER TITLES:
1. The Renegade's Revenge
2. The Flaming Forest
3. The Brink of Disaster
4. Thundering Doom
5. Stampede
6. Indian Vengeance
7. Trail of Treachery
8. Redskin's Revenge
9. The Avalanche of Doom
10.The Plunge of Peril
11.Trapped in the Flame
12.The Baited Trap
13.Crashing Timbers
14.Death in the Night
15.The End of the Trail

If you're into vintage serials as I am, why not pick up a copy of the following titles from VCI Home Video:
VCI CLIFFHANGER TRAILERS:
1. Adventures of Red Ryder (Don "Red" Barry)
2. Adventures of the Flying Cadets (Bobby Jordan)
3. Buck Rogers (Buster Crabbe)
4. Captain Midnight (Dave O'Brien)
5. Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere (Judd Holdren & I. Stanford Jolley)
6. Dick Tracy's G-Men (Ralph Byrd)
7. Don Winslow of the Navy (Don Terry)
8. Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (Don Terry)
9. Drums of Fu Manchu (Henry Brandon)
10.Fighting Kit Carson (Johnny Mack Brown)
11.Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (Buster Crabbe)
12.The Green Archer (Victory Jory)
13.Jungle Girl (Frances Gifford)
14.Jungle Jim (Grant Withers & Raymond Hatton)
15.Lost City of the Jungle (Russell Hayden & Keye Luke)
16.Mandrake the Magician (Warren Hull & Dick Curtis)
17.Miracle Rider (Tom Mix & Tony Jr)
18.The Painted Stallion (Ray "Crash" Corrigan)
19.The Phantom (Tom Tyler)
20.The Return of Chandu (Bela Lugosi)
21.Riders of Death Valley (Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo & Buck Jones)
22.Secret Agent X-9 (1937) (Scott Kolk & Henry Brandon)
23.Secret Agent X-9 (1945) (Lloyd Bridges & Keye Luke)
24.Sky Raiders (Donald Woods & Billy Halop)
25.Undersea Kingdom (Ray "Crash" Corrigan)
26.Winners of the West (Dick Foran, Harry Woods, Roy Barcroft & Charles Stevens)
27.Zane Greys "King of the Royal Mounted" (Allan "Rocky" Lane)
28.Zorro's Cliffhanger Collection (Reed Hadley, John Carroll & Linda Stirling)

Great job by VCI Entertainment for releasing "The Oregon Trail" (1939), the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '30s, '40s & '50s...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment where there are plenty of copies available on VHS, stay tuned once again for top notch action mixed with deadly adventure from the "King of Serials" VCI...just the way we like 'em

Total Time: 296 mins on 2 DVD ~ VCI Entertainment 8439 ~ (1/17/2006)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned western serial is worthy of a look...or fifteen April 17 2006
By John Hartzell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Johnny Mack Brown plays an unusually dapper fur trapper hired to investigate a series of attacks preventing wagon trains from reaching the Oregon territories. He joins up with the most beleaguered wagon train in history, which spends several sequential episodes trying to get out of the same dusty town. Whenever the train starts moving, it falls under attack by Indians or stampeding cattle or some other stock footage, which digital technology makes even easier to spot.

Don't try to watch more than one or two chapters at a time, because this serial bears the marks of the form. Serials were a unique format completely beholden to the circumstances under which they were viewed. There was no guarantee that viewers attended the theater the previous week, so every installment contains a certain amount of redundant footage. Each chapter has opening credits, scrolling text describing the story thus far and usually about a minute of footage from the previous chapter, including the cliffhanger. There are no obvious cheats, though there is often an added shot or two (such as Johnny jumping clear of a crashing wagon) that shows how the cliffhanger was resolved. I have to knock off one star because of the disappointing ending and the fact that 15 chapters is simply to much for the story.

Johnny Mack Brown has a very physical method of fisticuffs that is a nice contrast to his easy-going acting style. He's not the most charismatic cinema cowboy, but he's charming enough to anchor the creaky cast. The strongest supporting character is Fuzzy Knight, who made dozens of films and serials with Brown. His performance, while amusing, never degenerates to the point of simple comic relief. You'll probably get a laugh out of how coyly the romantic elements are handled, chaste even by 1939 standards. This serial is very similar to Flaming Frontiers, which is also available on DVD and is just as much fun.
5.0 out of 5 stars Who said only bad guys wore black? Jan. 17 2014
By Michael Royer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hey...what can I say? It's Johnny Mack Brown and the last of his Universal cliffhangers. Sure, it's loaded with Universal's dependency on old stock footage. Sure Universal sometimes constructed entire episodes around old existing footage. So?
Hey, it's Saturday Matinee time on a small budget. Transport yourself back to a time when filmed entertainment wasn't overblown by CGI and every character wasn't bent on getting laid. It's called "escapism," pal. If you weren't interested you wouldn't be reading these buyer reviews. And if you are even slightly interested, buy the dern thing. It's a time machine. Jump aboard and travel the fictional Oregon Trail. 'Nuff said!
5.0 out of 5 stars Plan on starting movie at 1 pm and not going anywhere for 8 hours. Oct. 6 2013
By Randall Guinn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Plan a date night for this movie, but start it early like 1 p.m. and lasting until 8 p.m. and action packed. The fact that you got up to go to the little room during the breaks within the movie. Very good movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Western! Feb. 21 2013
By K. Oliver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a classic B western starring Johnny Mac Brown. He was a star in the 1930's to 1940's. He is the icon hero of these western!. He always defeats his enemies. He really is a great actor! This dvd would make a great gift...
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