13 January 2018 | morrisonhimself
Different and just wonderful!
"Thunder River Feud" meant a lot to me, for several reasons. One, I had met Ray "Crash" Corrigan about a month before his death. It was at a Western film collectors convention in Los Angeles. He was still a good-looking and healthy-looking -- he started his career as a physical-fitness trainer -- man, totally deserving of the adulation I and so many others felt.
Then, a couple years later, I met Ted Mapes, who played the villain "Buck" in this film. We used to sit on his front porch and talk. Once he said to me that he and Crash Corrigan had had a lot of fights. I said, "I guess he won them all," figuring he had meant such fights as he and Corrigan had performed in this film.
No, he said, I won my share -- and then I realized he had meant real fights!
Seeing him in "Thunder River Feud," I also realized something else he had told me should have come true: He said he had been under consideration for his own series, but somebody else got picked. Watching him in this, and knowing he was one great cowboy, I concluded he would have been also a great cowboy star, fully capable of all the riding and other action we Western fans want and expect.
He was tall and slender, a good-looking man, and fully capable of handling dialog as well as action.
Ted Mapes continued as stunt-man and stunt double, for Charles Starrett, Gary Cooper, and Jimmy Stewart, among others. (At Ted's induction into the Stuntmen's Hall of Fame banquet, where his induction was second after Yakima Canutt's, Jimmy Stewart and Charles Starrett were the keynote speakers!)
One more reason to love this movie: Max "Alibi" Terhune got to be a genuine partner, showing some acting ability he did not often get a chance to exhibit in his roles, and getting to fight and physically subdue the bad guys.
John "Dusty" King also showed he was a talented actor as well as excellent singer.
All three of the stars gave us, along with the expected excitement and action, an unusual and thoroughly enjoyable display of comedy, very integral to the story and not just silly stuff so often damaging Westerns. Earle Snell and John Vlahos wrote a charming and entertaining script, S. Roy Luby did his usual yeoman job of directing, and the result was a Monogram production of surpassing value.
Westerns on the Web and Bob Terry have earned a HUGE thank you from us Western fans. For years I bemoaned the unlikelihood of being able to see the hundreds, maybe thousands of seemingly lost-to-me movies with my favorite performers and stories. Westerns on the Web has loaded probably hundreds of them to YouTube, which is where I was able to watch "Thunder River Feud." And I highly recommend this movie.