Monday, May 14, 2012



Starting in the midst of a nameless Civil War battle, where we meet our first McCoy, Fred Olen Ray’s BAD BLOOD: THE HATFIELDS & MCCOYS establishes a cold ‘blue’ look that could have come from Ingmar Bergman’s cinematographer, Sven Nyquist (actually it’s the work of Ray’s frequent collaborator Theo Angell).  It’s a blue, cold, sad world we enter, and when the smoke clears we see the humanity of Union soldier Asa McCoy (Scott Thomas Reynolds), who knows his friend can’t survive his wounds, but stays with him, speaking encouragement until his friend passes.  When Asa leaves the sea of battlefield corpses for home, you have some hope that he’ll make a new life. 

But the territories of the Hatfields and the McCoys flank Tug Fork, part of Big Sandy River, with the McCoys on the Kentucky side and the Hatfields in West Virginia.  When Asa McCoy cuts through the West Virginia side in a hurry to get home, he runs into a group of Hatfields.  They’re members of the Logan Wildcats, a Confederate splinter group lead by Uncle Jim Vance (Tim Abell), and they hate both the Union and the McCoys.  Asa’s fate is sealed.

From there the story unfolds, with aspects of both Shakespearean tragedy and an impending car crash you can’t steer away from.  As the patriarchs who dread what is coming but can see no other way, Perry King as Ran’l McCoy and Jeff Fahey as Devil Anse Hatfield posses the gravitas to hold the screen with a quiet, unblinking stare.  As the deadly feud accelerates, their wives, Lisa Rotondi as Sarah McCoy and Priscilla Barnes as Vicey Hatfield, in a world where women have respect but not power, must look on helplessly as their menfolk dwindle.  The pain in Priscilla Barnes’ face is so deep and raw that it hurts to see it. 

And because it wouldn’t be a truly Shakespearean tragedy without star-crossed lovers, there is the forbidden romance of Johnse Hatfield and Rosanna McCoy, played by Errol Flynn’s grandson Sean Flynn, and Australian beauty Kassandra Clementi. 

BAD BLOOD: THE HATFIELDS & MCCOYS draws you in with a fascinating, largely true story, solid direction, and plenty of realistic, motivated gunplay. 

While the almost gothic feud captured world attention, and has frequently been portrayed on film, incredibly, it has usually been played for laughs, by Abbott and Costello, the Bowery Boys, or in cartoons, with barefoot, bearded hillbillies taking potshots at each other.  Writer-director Fred Olen Ray’s script treats them as rural folks, but not as backwoods trash.  They are people of humanity and dignity, and you care what happens to them.  It would be easy to make Uncle Jim Vance a goggle-eyed caricature of a homicidal redneck, but though he is the instigator and catalyst for all of the trouble, Tim Abell, in one of my favorite performances, plays with a restraint that makes you believe otherwise reasonable men would follow him.  

Perry King

Also turning in strong performances are Christian Slater as Kentucky Governor Thomas Bramlette who is trying settle the feud; Ted Monte as the tremendously undersupplied and outgunned government agent whom Bramlette sends into the field; and Jerry Lacy as Union General Burbridge, who would like nothing better than to use the feud as an excuse to declare martial law and take control of the state.  It’s a particular treat to watch Lacy, who first made his mark on Broadway in 1969, playing the spirit of Humphrey Bogart in Woody Allen’s PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM.  He reprised the role in the film, and in the 1970s was the priest on DARK SHADOWS.  He makes a perfect Civil War general, and is soon to be starring in the title role of the sinister DOCTOR MABUSE. 

Finding no convincing California locations, director Ray took his cast and crew to the place where the events took place, Kentucky, in the dead of winter, and the authenticity is as palpable as the cold.  Among the period structures used in the film were the Stephen Foster house, and the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln.  It’s not a surprise that Ray would go to that trouble, in spite of the limited budget, because this is clearly a heartfelt project, first to Ray, then to the cast and crew.  Ray’s script and direction drew poignant and moving performances from a cast made up of fine actors who have turned in many fine performances before, but who have, in many cases, not had such powerful material to work with in a long time.  They did the Hatfields and the McCoys, and themselves, proud.


Fred Olen Ray

When I’d last interviewed prolific genre director Fred Olen Ray in June of 2010, it had been just before the release of his western, AMERICAN BANDITS: FRANK AND JESSE JAMES.  (You can read that interview here: )

In the interim, Fred has directed sixteen more movies (!).  Among them are SUPER SHARK, toplining John Schneider, and TURBULENT SKIES, starring Casper Van Dien, Brad Dourif and Nicole Eggert.  Many of the rest have the word ‘bikini’ somewhere in their title – BIKINI FRANKENSTEIN, BIKINI JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF EROS – and are made for late-night screenings on Showtime.  He’s also produced JERSEY SHORE SHARK ATTACK (the trailer looks hysterical), which will be premiering on Syfy this summer.  I spoke to him the Monday after the BAD BLOOD: THE HATFIELDS & MCCOYS screening, and he was deep into a rewrite of a Christmas movie for TV.  It’s not his first Christmas movie; “I like Christmas as much as the next guy.”  I asked him if he was aware of the Hatfield & McCoy feud as a kid.

FRED: Oh, sure.  They were the basis of so many cartoons and gags.  Abbott and Costello did SHE’LL BE COMIN’ ‘ROUND THE MOUNTAIN.  And the Bowery Boys did FEUDIN’ FOOLS, which laid into that territory for comic relief.  And I’m from West Virginia; I looked really hard to see if I was in that Hatfield McCoy family tree, but I did not fall into that territory. 

HENRY:  How did this project come about?

FRED:  They came to me.  I’d made AMERICAN BANDITS for the same company, Aro Entertainment, and they came to me and said there was a lot of interest right now in the Hatfields and McCoys, and could I write and make a picture, for a price, that dealt with that subject matter.  And that’s kind of all they said.  I went back and I looked up the history, and what surprised me was how many years this feud went on, and how years would go by between incidents.  There would be years, sometimes between any troubles between these people.   So I looked at it, and all of the incidents were different, so the trick was to see if I could squeeze (the timeline) down to where one of them triggered the next one and triggered the next one.  And make a story out of it.  And that’s what I did.

HENRY: This film seems to carry a sense of urgency.  How long was it from the beginning of the project to rolling camera?

FRED: I can’t exactly remember.  I wrote the script while we were preparing to shoot JERSEY SHORE SHARK ATTACK.  The production was going on, and I was sitting in the room where all the people were making telephone calls, and all these meetings were going on all around me, and I’m standing there, trying to write.  I kind of wondered if anybody realized that I was trying to do creative writing.  Not that they didn’t have their own jobs to do; they did.  My problem is that I don’t work well on a laptop, and I had to use the bigger computer that was in that room.  But it was funny that that script came out of a room where just all kinds of noise and racket were going on all the time.  That was probably back in September last year.

HENRY:  You’ve assembled a very impressive cast.  How did you go about casting this picture?

FRED:  Well, we knew we were going to go to Kentucky.  Initially it was meant to be here (in Southern California), but I just could not see how we could do that and want to put my name on it.  So I convinced them to let me go to Kentucky, which was a stretch, because we normally don’t do things like that.  And one of the things we agreed we would do is fill out the cast with people we already knew.  People we knew that could go there in the middle of December, in the freezing cold, that could stand there and not lose it.  Who wouldn’t pull the old, ‘I’m not coming out.’  We grabbed a handful of the actors that we liked, that we knew were good horsemen.  Dylan Vox and Scott Reynolds, Tim Abell, Ted Monte.  And Ted’s married to Priscilla (Barnes), so we approached Priscilla, figured we could put them both in the same hotel room.  (laughs)  And Perry King came to mind for McCoy.  I hadn’t worked with Perry before, but I knew him because he was a friend of Ted and Priscilla, and we’d had dinners together.  So I sent him the script; when I sent people the script, I got a lot of good responses.  Actors liked the script.  Perry really loved it, and he was an excellent horseman as well.  So that all worked out pretty good.  Jeff Fahey was brought in by (producers) Jeff Schenck and Barry Barnholtz – they’re normally involved in casting at the very top tier.  They basically tell me who the leads are going to be;  it’s not something that I normally have a lot to say in.  He was an excellent choice, to my mind.  I thought he was just great.  There was so much going on, with him seemingly doing so little.  He could just sit in a scene and not say anything, and it would just speak volumes.  

HENRY:  I thought Jeff Fahey and Perry King as the two patriarchs brought the film such gravitas.

FRED:  Each one of them approached their role so differently.  That’s what I liked, is that the two families were not cookie-cutter copies of each other.  We didn’t play them off as ignorant, slouching hillbillies.  And we were lucky.  We landed a wardrobe lady in Kentucky who specialized in that period, and we were able to get the wardrobe together that was very authentic.  Because a lot of times I would look at a color or a pattern of a paisley vest, and I would say, are you sure this is authentic?  And she would say yes, this is just right.  And we found a guy there for the art department.  These were not really film people, they were re-enactor type people,  but they had everything we needed, and we had to work with them, so they could understand how films were made, and what was expected of people on a day-to-day basis.  They weren’t really knowledgeable about that, but they knew everything else, they knew historically what should be there and what shouldn’t be there. 

Ted Monte

HENRY:  Speaking of re-enactors, you open with a Civil War sequence, which was very exciting.  How did you like filming a Civil War battle?

FRED:  Well, I’ve always wanted to do that.  I’m a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans, and I’m a member of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.  So I had a lot of family involved, mostly Confederate, though.  My great, great grandfather was a Reb, and three of my uncles, one of them’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery; he was killed in the Battle of Williamsburg.  So I’ve always been very interested in that, and I went to re-enactments.  And there is (re-enactment) footage available, but the problem with that is the cameras are where the audience is, and that’s a long, long way away. 

HENRY:  I go to re-enactments, and you’re mostly facing the soldiers’ backs.

FRED:  Yeah.  You can’t get close to them; you can’t control the background, the telephone lines and all that stuff.  So I said, you know, we need to do a sequence where we actually get right in the middle, right up front, and have them stop.  And that was the thing we had to do, we had to tell these kids, listen, when this starts, you’ve got to be ready to move, and when I yell ‘Cut’, you’ve got to stop.  You can’t just go at it for twenty or thirty minutes; we have to get it.  So we worked with those guys, and a fellow named Doug Key.  He was the King of the Re-enactors, organizing them, and he had a big farm, with no telephone poles, no power lines – no nothing.  They had horses, they had cannons, they had everything you could possibly imagine.  And it couldn’t have been done without those people.  And a lot of the re-enactors, that was their clothes that the re-enactors were wearing.    Our woman rented the re-enactors clothes and organized them to the different actors.  It was a fun thing to do; it was a fun sequence.  I know when they first open the script and it says, ‘bodies fly and men die, they thought, ‘What are you thinking?’  (laughs) Well, I got a plan.

Jeff Fahey

HENRY:  Is it a lot better to do that kind of scene with re-enactors, rather than regular extras, where you give them a gun and tell them what to do?

FRED:  I would think so, because I didn’t have to say too much.  I’d say, what’s going to happen here?  And they’d say, we all march up in line, we stop, this guy calls it out, and we fire.  Then they all reload – and we just said okay, great!  And we just kind of filmed everybody.  And then we said we’ve got to get people off the horses, get them on the ground.  Get the horses circling around, have hand-to-hand (fighting) here, and Scott, of course, had to take a shot to the head.  And of course we did the scenes where everybody’s kind of laying around the battlefield; had to keep moving them around to keep the bodies in the shot.  I was like a kid in a candy-store, a candy-store that just happened to be 14 degrees! (laughs) 

HENRY:  You picked a mighty cold time to do it, and I’ve got to say it was very effective, just seeing the soldiers on the battlefield, talking, and just seeing the steam from their breath. 

FRED:  That’s how I kind of sold it to the actors, that we knew it was going to be pretty miserable, but just think what it’s going to look like.  And in real life, the big shoot-out house-burning came on New Years Eve.  So it really worked out great, beyond the fact that we didn’t acknowledge Christmas at any point in the story.  It worked out great that we actually did film it at about the same time (of year) that, all of these events happened. 

HENRY:  It must have felt very real to people.

FRED: It did, and it was very cold.  And unfortunately I was wearing a lot more than the actors could at times, but then again I had to stand out there at five a.m., before they had to.  The other thing that should be noted here.  All those guns were black-powder guns.  There were no blanks used in this movie.  Every one of those guns was loaded just the way it was, (laughs) in the same timely fashion – and it wasn’t easy in 1865.  That’s why, when the fight happened, Perry King got one rifle shot, and the other kid got one rifle shot, and then they had to go to their sidearms because there was no time for anyone to reload.  That’s why they had so many guns on them, because all of these guns had to be loaded by hand, one chamber at a time.  They’ve got them modified now, for blanks, for movies, but none of these were modified.  These were the real deal, and you had to load each one of them with black powder by hand.  And there were a lot of misfires.  There’s one in the film; I don’t think anybody sees it, but the kid, after he throws the torch at the roof, he fires one shot, and as he steps back, the other cylinders in the gun ignite, and it just becomes a Roman candle in his hand, shoots out flames and sparks as he runs out of the scene – the whole gun exploded in his hand.  Nobody got hurt.  

HENRY:  I understand you used some historical locations.

FRED:  Yes, that was the big thing in going to Kentucky.  We location scouted, and we found the Lincoln Homestead, which was several cabins, and Mordecai Lincoln’s house was just down the road from it.  The park was closed for the winter months, and they were so friendly, they really just kind of handed us the keys to the door and said, here you go.  We said we would leave it in better condition than we found it, which I believe we did.  And right across from the hotel where we were staying was the Stephen Foster home, which was a big mansion that was completely tricked out with all the furnishings.  We went over there, and same thing: they actually came up to us during the shoot and thanked us for filming there; no, we’d like to thank you!  It was great, and they had two ladies who lead tours, who were dressed (in period), and we said, would you like to be in the movie?  They said sure, so we had them open the door and let Ted in.  We shot between 4th grade elementary school tours.  That was our last day in Kentucky. 

HENRY:  I noticed there were credits for a Los Angeles crew, so you shot something in L.A.  Was that the Christian Slater scenes?

FRED:  The Christian Slater – Jerry Lacy scenes were all shot here.  We were going to shoot at Stephen Foster, for the Governor, but at that point, no one had been cast.  So we’re right across from the hotel, we’ve got the equipment, I said guys, we’ve got this place, we’ve got to shoot it.  We can’t leave here and not shoot this.  So we shot the exteriors, we shot Ted coming up the walk and inside.  And then everything where Ted walks in with Jerry Lacy and Christian Slater, was shot in Newbury Park. 

HENRY:  I hadn’t seen Jerry Lacy in a few years.

FRED:  He was in SUPERSHARK for me.  I had met him years ago, back in the 80s, but we’d never worked together.  Then I saw his picture when we were casting, and I said call that guy up; see if he’ll take this part.   And he did, and we sort of became friendly.  I loved Jerry Lacy on DARK SHADOWS; he was a star.   Having him in my show was very exciting.  He was perfect, too.  That first scene where he comes in to Christian Slater and tells him that he’s taking over the military operations of the state; that could have been in GETTYSBURG.  I don’t know of any of those big Civil War movies that would have shot that any differently.  I mean, not to be talking about our own work, but when I look at that scene, it really looks like it could have been from anybody’s movie.  And his face is great – he almost looked like Robert E. Lee.  He could probably play Lee.

HENRY:  I particularly liked Tim Abell in this.

Tim Abell

FRED:  Yes, Tim was in my head all the time when I wrote it.  I was always thinking that he would play that role.

HENRY:  What kind of cameras did you shoot it with?

FRED:  I shot it with the SONY CineAlta.  That’s the same camera I used on AMERICAN BANDITS and SUPER SHARK, TURBULENT SKY and a bunch of the others. 

HENRY:  Do you miss 35mm film?

FRED:  You know, on and off we still shoot in 35 occasionally.  It depends on the delivery requirements of the show.  But to me, the 35 cameras have gotten so sharp anyway, mastering them to HD tape; they were starting to pick up that sharp-sharp-sharpness that people talk about with HD.  So I’m really not sure if HD has come up to the level of film, or film is up to the level of HD.  I can hardly tell them apart now, when I watch something on television.  The HD certainly makes the project go faster, gives you more time and more takes, and you don’t have to call ‘cut!’ so quickly.  The whole process, I think, is improved, and I like the picture quality.  We’re way ahead of where we were in film.  If you want to make something look colder or warmer, it’s instantaneous now.  Color-timing that 35mm negative used to be a real chore.  Now you can just sit there and adjust it while you watch it.  You can sign off in minutes now, instead of months. 

Lisa Rotondi

HENRY:  Speaking of cool and warm images, it’s a really cold looking film; you’ve got a chill through the whole thing. 

FRED:    Theo Angell, and I have been working together for a long time.  That whole business where Tim Abell is chasing the kids, and they’re hiding behind the old, abandoned fireplace.  There was a lack of color, and Theo, the D.P. said, you know, if you’re not wearing red or yellow, it’s almost monochromatic out here.  Everything is grey; it’s almost like a black and white movie.  And I went with the cool look because it was so cold, and I wanted to try to transmit that. 

HENRY:  What’s next for you?

FRED:  Well, I just finished another airplane-crash type movie with Tia Carrere.  And I’m doing the Christmas show for television.  It’s kind of like a Christmas movie mixed with GROUNDHOG DAY, where a girl has to keep reliving her girlfriend’s wedding over and over and over again until she works out some personal problems.  I’m re-writing it right now.

HENRY:  Are there any other Westerns on the horizon?

FRED:  I had mapped out another one for somebody, but then everyone moved on to another project, but there’s a good chance that may come back.  Perry King tells me he has this incredible spread up north near Donner Pass, they have all these horses; everything’s as it was in the 1800s.  Maybe I’ll fly up there and take a look.  There doesn’t appear to be a huge market overseas for Westerns; I don’t know why.  So you have really to be able to make your money here domestically. 

HENRY:  Does the proliferation of Redbox machines at supermarkets make much of a difference in the home video market?

FRED:  Well, with the brick and mortar type stores like Blockbuster and Tower Records going by the by, I think it’s very difficult other than Netflix for people to actually rent a DVD.  So anything that makes renting a DVD more accessible to the average guy is probably a good thing for the business.  What’s eventually going to happen – what’s happening now – is the same day that the DVD comes out, you can also go on and pay a lesser price, and download and watch it on your television that very day.  I think that’s going to continue to grow. 

HENRY:  Anything I should have known to ask but didn’t?

FRED:  Well, the main thing for me is I was glad to be able to write my own script, because I keep getting scripts, like this Christmas one I’m rewriting.  People keep telling me, I want to do this, I want to make this kind of film, and at the end of the day I understand what you’re selling.  But it has to be about something.  And most of the scripts that we work with, with our budgets, we’re really not able to invest a lot of money into huge action pieces.  The stories have to be about people and their problems, and what they want.  I think people gets more involved in a story, because it’s about people, than they do in a film where there’s just gigantic eruptions in the street, things are bursting from the ground…  You get these big actions scenes, and they’re very impressive, but at the same time you start to hear people talking during the movie.  You know, you could hear a pin drop in that theater yesterday.  And I think it’s because people were really following what was going on.  It wasn’t just gigantic visual stimulus, where you sit there and you’re in awe of how much is exploding.  Not that those aren’t the big blockbuster movies – they are.  But when you have a limited budget, I think you’d better have a good story. 


The California State Assembly will be voting on SCR 70, the bill to make the National Day of the Cowboy a permanent day of celebration in California, on Thursday morning, May 17th.  To the great surprise of everyone involved, there is an organized assault against the bill by one Eric Mills, an anti-rodeo activist.  He has proposed re-writing the language of the bill to remove all references to the word ‘cowboy’, equating the meaning of the word ‘cowboy’ with cruelty to animals.  He actually suggested changing it to ‘The National Day of the Rancher.’ 

Certainly Mr. Mills has the right to oppose rodeos if he thinks they are cruel, but rodeos are not what the National Day of the Cowboy is about.  In Executive Director Bethany Braley’s words, “This resolution has always been about ALL who are part of heritage preservation and cowboy culture. It's about the music, the art, the artisans, the literature, the cowboys, the cowgirls, poetry, ranching, land and animal stewardship, historic events, cowboy organizations, the cowboy's horse, landmarks, family stories, ferriers, saddlemakers, those who simply 'love' cowboys, and our mythical cowboy too.”

“What we need is for folks to write to the Assembly Rules committee chair and copy all the Rules Committee members. Their letters should state that they want the NDOC Resolution passed and why they support the NDOC resolution as it stands and just as it passed in the CA Senate in March. They should say they do not support any of Mr. Mills changes.” 

The hearing on Mr. Mills’ proposals will be Tuesday, tomorrow morning.  If you’d like to voice your support for preserving SCR 70 as-is, please fax or email Assembly Rules Committee Chair Nancy Skinner and cc the other members of the committee, Jim Silva -- Vice Chair, Luis A. Alejo, Betsy Butler, Mike Davis, Tom Donnelly, Curt Hagman, Ben Huseo, Steve Knight, Das Williams, Tony Mendoza – Democrat Alternate, Jim Neilson – Republican Alternate.  As Anna McCabe will be doing the analysis, she said you can send the letters directly to her at, or fax: 916-319-2800.   

To learn more about the National Day of the Cowboy campaign, visit their website here:


The Michael Biehn, James Russo, Lenore Andriel starrer the Round-up has been championing since they day they rolled camera, has been acquired for distribution by SCREEN MEDIA for an August release.  Suzanne Blech, president of Screen Media Films said, “We are thrilled to work with Director Nick Vallelonga, and Producers Lenore Andriel and Steve Doucette, to bring this prestigious independent Western to the marketplace. Winning the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Theatrical Motion Picture, Screenplay, Director, and Lead Actors is a wonderful endorsement telling the world what a fantastic film this is.”

Screen Media acquires the rights to high quality, independent feature films for the US and Canada. Recent releases include “La Mission,” starring Benjamin Bratt; “The City of Your Final Destination,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney; “Lymelife,” starring Alec Baldwin, Emma Roberts and Cynthia Nixon and “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” starring Robin Wright and Keanu Reeves.


Until recently only available by antenna, ME-TV, at CH. 20, features a great TV western line-up, including THE REBEL; BRANDED; GUNS OF WILL SONNET; GUNSMOKE, BONANZA; BIG VALLEY; WILD, WILD WEST and THE RIFLEMAN!

Having recently interviewed A.J. Fenady (part one HERE , part two HERE), who created and produced THE REBEL, and produced BRANDED, I called him and asked how he felt about his series running again, and back-to-back.  He was happy to have them on, but, “Those (insert expletive) took the REBEL theme off and play some generic music over the credits!  The words in the song tell the story, but they don’t want to pay for the rights to use it!” 


More and more, classic TV Westerns are available all over the TV universe, but they tend to be on small networks that are easy to miss. Of course, ENCORE WESTERNS is the best continuous source of such programming, and has been for years. Currently they run LAWMAN, WAGON TRAIN, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, LAREDO, RAWHIDE, GUNSMOKE, THE REBEL, and MARSHALL DILLON, which is the syndication title for the original half-hour GUNSMOKE.

RFD-TV is currently showing THE ROY ROGERS SHOW, first at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Pacific Time, then repeated several times a week. They show a Roy feature every Tuesday as well, with repeats -- check your local listings.

INSP-TVshows THE BIG VALLEY Monday through Saturday,LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE seven days a week, DR. QUINN: MEDICINE WOMANon weekdays, and BONANZA on Saturdays.

WHT runs DANIEL BOONE on weekdays from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time, but they’ve just stopped showing BAT MASTERSON. They often show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.

TVLAND has dropped GUNSMOKE after all these years, but still shows four episodes of BONANZA every weekday.

For those of you who watch TV with an antenna, there are at least a couple of channels that exist between the standard numbers – largely unavailable on cable or satellite systems – that provide Western fare. ANTENNA TV is currently running RIN TIN TIN, HERE COME THE BRIDES, and IRON HORSE.


Built by cowboy actor, singer, baseball and TV entrepeneur Gene Autry, and designed by the Disney Imagineering team, the Autry is a world-class museum housing a fascinating collection of items related to the fact, fiction, film, history and art of the American West. In addition to their permenant galleries (to which new items are frequently added), they have temporary shows. The Autry has many special programs every week -- sometimes several in a day. To check their daily calendar, CLICK HERE. And they always have gold panning for kids every weekend. For directions, hours, admission prices, and all other information, CLICK HERE.


Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first Hollywood western, The Squaw Man. They have a permanent display of movie props, documents and other items related to early, especially silent, film production. They also have occasional special programs. 2100 Highland Ave.,L.A. CA 323-874-2276. Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for senior, $1 for children.


This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166. 333 S. Grand Street, L.A. CA.

That's all for now, folks.  There's some trouble about the National Day of the Cowboy bill in the California Legislature, and if I find out more on Monday, I'll update the Round-up.

For now, Happy Trails!


All Original Contents Copyright May 2012 by Henry C. Parke -- All Rights Reserved


  1. Henry, the Hatfield and McCoy feud was tragic, but was nothing compared to the feud between the Moderators and Regulators, that happened here in East Texas, in Harrison and Shelby Counties. Our feud (which killed one of my multiple-great uncles) killed thirty men, more than any other feud in American history.
    By the way Henry, have you had time to start my book?
    thanks, Julia Robb, Marshall, Texas

    1. Hey Julia, I hadn't even heard of the Moderators and Regulators feud, but I Googled it, and it sounds fascinating! Just the thing for HATFIELDS & MCCOYS 2!

  2. Henry- Thanks for the good news! A lot of my pals are on Fred's Bad Blood film, as you know, and I am very pleased to hear how good it is! Terriffic!

  3. The brick two story structure in the film, rather than the "Stephen Foster House" in your article, should be referred to as Federal Hill, "The Old Kentucky Home" in Bardstown, KY.