Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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Window Card: "Man of the West"
Melody Ranch | Placerita Canyon

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Julie London and Bobby Troup on TV's "Emergency!" (1972-1979). Click to enlarge.

Hear JULIE LONDON Sing "Man of the West" !

So proclaims this 14x22-inch window card that apparently hung in the window of a Rialto theater (a chain) to advertise its Feb. 13, 1959, showing of Walter Mirisch's 1958 production of "Man of the West," partially filmed at Gene Autry's Melody Ranch movie studio in Placerita Canyon.

There's just one problem. Julie London doesn't sing "Man of the West" in the movie.

Yes, her then-manager and future husband Bobby Troup ("Route 66") wrote it for her. And yes, she recorded the song in 1958. But for whatever reason, the recording didn't make the final cut.

The theater must not have gotten the memo — and yes, there was a memo.

On the front page of the pressbook United Artists sent out to exhibitors (movie theaters), the following IMPORTANT NOTICE appeared under the prominent heading, "IMPORTANT NOTICE:"

JULIE LONDON'S RENDITION OF THE SONG, "MAN OF THE WEST," IS NOT HEARD IN THE MOVIE.

Exhibitors are required therefore to delete the panels reading "Hear Julie London Sing 'Man of the West'" from all ad mats; snipe over similiar panel copy on posters and lobbies; delete all reference to the song from publicity and exploitation copy.

Click here to hear what movie audiences missed.


"Man of the West" was filmed on location at Gene Autry's Melody Ranch movie studio in Placerita Canyon and at Red Rock Canyon (which wasn't yet a state park); the Sierra Railroad in Jamestown, Calif.; Janss Conejo Ranch in Thousand Oaks; the Mojave Desert in California and Arizona; and Sonora, Calif. Interiors were filmed at Samuel Goldwyn Studios in West Hollywood.

The United Artists pressbook plays up the "authentic" (non-studio) locations:

"Man of the West" was filmed largely in California's magnificent Red Rock Canyon in the Mojave desert. Opening sequences wherein Cooper boards the train were filmed near Sonora and Jamestown, in the heart of the '49 gold rush country along the 57-mile track of the Sierra Railroad. The ancient train is real — not studio constructed.

The movie bombed in theaters, but in hindsight, many critics consider it one of Gary Cooper's best performances.

Cooper stars as Link Jones, a reformed outlaw who is traveling by train to find a schoolteacher for his small hometown in Texas when the train is robbed. The robbers try to convince him to revert to his old ways and help them pull one last bank job. Julie London and Arthur O'Connell are fellow travelers. Lee J. Cobb and Jack Lord ("Stoney Burke," "Hawaii Five-O") are bad guys. John Dehner, Royal Dano and Robert J. Wilke round out the credited cast.

Uncredited cast includes: Joe Dominguez, Dick Elliott, Frank Ferguson, Herman Hack, Signe Hack, Ann Kunde, Tom London, Tina Menard, Emory Parnell, Glen Walters and Guy Wilkerson. Stunt performers are Chuck Roberson, Jack Williams and Jack N. Young.

"Man of the West" is directed by Anthony Mann ("El Cid," "The Glenn Miller Story") from a story by Will C. Brown (novel) and Reginald Rose (screenplay).

Further reading: Melody Ranch: Movie Magic in Placerita Canyon.


LW3303: 9600 dpi jpeg from original window card purchased 2018 by Leon Worden.
MAN OF THE WEST (1958)

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UA Pressbook 1958

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Lobby Cards 1958

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Window Card Used 1959

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Danish Herald 1960

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