For, Aug. 1, 2014

The 1951 color Western "Cattle Drive" stars Joel McCrea as a cowpuncher on, what else, a cattle drive, and that would have been enough to bring in audiences in the 1950s for an "oater," as they were sometimes called.

McCrea was one of the biggest Western stars of the period. In fact, he and Randolph Scott, starred almost exclusively in Westerns for so many years that no one, save John Wayne, was more closely associated with the genre.

But what distinguishes "Cattle Drive" as something a bit different is the presence of Dean Stockwell as the surly teenage son of a wealthy railroad owner (Leon Ames). When he leaves the train one day and it takes off without him, he's soon lost, until McCrea moseys along and finds him.


                Dean Stockwell, left, Joel McCrea, 'Cattle Drive'

But the lad has to learn the hard way that he won't be coddled on this trip. If he wants to eat and travel with this band of cowboys, he'll have to earn his keep.

Sound a bit like "Captains Courageous"? That's probably not an accident but this is nonetheless a most enjoyable twist on the familiar tale of a young spoiled teen being taken in by a gentle workman and learning to be a man.

Also in the cast are Chill Wills and Bob Steele.


"Cattle Drive" will be shown Friday, Aug. 8, at 10 a.m in the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem.