When B-Movie Maven William Castle Filmed The Old West

Although he is best known for his marketing gimmicks that made films like The Tingler and 13 Frightened Girls such cult successes, B-movie legend William Castle also worked in genres other than horror. The sagebrush gems of the schlockmaster director are celebrated in Mill Creek Entertainment’s new release The William Castle Western Collection. This two-disc set includes the following films:

Klondike Kate (1943)

A young woman (Ann Savage) heads to the Great White North to claim the mining town saloon that her father bequeathed her. Unfortunately, a local cardsharp (Savage’s future “Detour” co-star Tom Neal) is squatting on the premises, and he’s got the corrupt authorities in his pocket! Glenda Farrell, Sheldon Leonard, Constance Worth, Dan Seymour co-star; William Castle directs. 64 min. BW/Rtg: NR

Conquest Of Cochise (1953)

Future shockmeister William Castle directed this western adventure starring Robert Stack as the cavalry major who tries to halt the growing war between Apache and Comanche tribes and a group of Mexicans. With the odds against him, he struggles to complete his mission. John Hodiak, Rico Alaniz, Edward Colmans co-star. 71 min. C/Rtg: NR

Battle Of Rogue River (1954)

Set against the backdrop of Oregon’s struggle to gain statehood in 1850, this western classic concerns a no-nonsense cavalry man who is assigned to protect settlers in the area around Rogue River. As some black hats attempt to rile local Indians as a means to distract attention from their true plans of claiming mineral-rich lands, our hero sets out to stop them. George Montgomery, Richard Denning, Charles Evans star; directed by William Castle. 70 min. C/Rtg: NR

Jesse James vs. The Daltons (1954)

Young drifter Joe Branch (Brett King) lived with the legend that he’d been fathered by Jesse James…and that the notorious outlaw lived, his murder just a ruse to throw off the Pinkertons. He rode into Kansas to confront James’ old cronies in the Dalton Gang about the truth…and if that took stealing the Army payroll transport they’d been casing, that’s what he’d do! William Castle’s rousing oater “Jesse James vs. the Daltons” (1954) co-stars Barbara Lawrence, James Griffith, William Phipps, Rory Mallinson. 65 min. C/Rtg: NR

Masterson Of Kansas (1954)

George Montgomery saddles up as legendary Dodge City lawman Bat Masterson, riding to the aid of a landowner framed for murder because of his peaceful relations with the Kiowa. Masterson turns to Wyatt Earp (Bruce Cowling) and Doc Holliday (James Griffith) in uncovering the real killer before range war erupts. Nancy Gates, Jay Silverheels co-star; William Castle directs. 73 min. C/Rtg: NR

The Gun That Won The West (1955)

Directed by William Castle, this western adventure follows a frontier scout as he leads the army through Sioux territory in the late 1880s. Determined to stop the Indians from attacking railroad workers in the area, our hero and his associate keep the peace with the assistance of the newly developed Springfield Rifle. Dennis Morgan, Paula Raymond, Richard Denning star. 70 min. C/Rtg: NR

Duel On The Mississippi (1955)

In early-1800s Louisiana, a Creole gambling hall queen (Patricia Medina) is determined to put the local gentry in its place, and she begins by forcing an aristocrat (John Dehner) into bankruptcy and making a bonded servant of his son (Lex Barker). Will she forego her ambitions when she falls in love with her new charge? Costume actioner co-stars Warren Stevens, Craig Stevens; William Castle directs. 72 min. C/Rtg: NR

Uranium Boom (1956)

After partnering to prospect for uranium in the Colorado badlands, fortune hunters Dennis Morgan and William Talman hit a vein that sends the Geiger counters crazy. Back in civilization to register the claim, Morgan falls into a whirlwind courtship with Patricia Medina…and when it turns out she’s Talman’s ex, things go fissionable fast. Explosive adventure from William Castle co-stars Tina Carver. 67 min. BW/Rtg: NR

Yee-haw! Are you ready to get in the saddle with these fun-filled Western faves? This collection is a great chance to witness just how multi-talented Castle was, as we was so much more than just the B-movie marketing genius he is remembered as!

Previously on MovieFanFare:

William Castle and the Five Best Movie Gimmicks

Saddle Up with Western Idol George Montgomery