Friday, November 05, 2010

A Birthday Tribute to Joel McCrea

Joel McCrea was born 105 years ago today in Pasadena, California.

An interview with McCrea's grandson Wyatt appeared this week in the Deseret Times. Wyatt recently visited Utah to attend a special screening of RAMROD (1947), where he shared excerpts from an oral history he created with his grandfather.

Wyatt shares some wonderful stories about his grandfather and says, "Being the best actor in the world was not that important to him. He wanted to be a good person. He wanted to be good to his family. His main goal was to make a contribution to society."

As posted here in April, Wyatt is currently working on building a visitor's center at the McCrea Ranch. I am really thrilled at the prospect of one day being able to visit the home of one of my favorite actors, who even more importantly was a very fine man.

Related articles of interest: a 2009 article with photos, Joel McCrea Gets Plaque On Western Walk of Stars; a 1983 interview; and a 2009 tribute at the blog Happy Thoughts, Darling: "Joel McCrea, Where Have You Been All My Life?"

Joel McCrea films previously reviewed here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: THE SILVER HORDE (1930), THE SILVER CORD (1933), THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1934), BARBARY COAST (1935), WOMAN WANTED (1935), ADVENTURE IN MANHATTAN (1936), WOMAN CHASES MAN (1937), INTERNES CAN'T TAKE MONEY (1937) (also here), THREE BLIND MICE (1938), FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940), HE MARRIED HIS WIFE (1940), THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942), THE VIRGINIAN (1946), RAMROD (1947), FOUR FACES WEST (1948), THE SAN FRANCISCO STORY (1952), THE LONE HAND (1953), and STRANGER ON HORSEBACK (1955).

May 2012 update of additional reviews: WELLS FARGO (1937), ESPIONAGE AGENT (1939), SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941), THE UNSEEN (1945), BORDER RIVER (1954) (also here), and THE GUNFIGHT AT DODGE CITY (1959).

Update: A celebration of Joel McCrea's birthday at the Grand Opening of his ranch on November 5, 2011.

And here's another McCrea review: SHOOT FIRST (1953).

2013 Update: Here's a recent review of WICHITA (1955) and my account of my second visit to the McCrea Ranch.

2014 Update: I had another wonderful visit to the ranch, where I saw THE MORE THE MERRIER (1943)! And here's reviews of SADDLE TRAMP (1950), STARS IN MY CROWN (1950), and THE TALL STRANGER (1957).  I also wrote about Joel for ClassicFlix, including recommendations of a dozen McCrea films.

2015 Update: Here are reviews of DYNAMITE (1929), UNION PACIFIC (1939) (also here), and THE OKLAHOMAN (1957).

2016 Update: Here's a review of GUNSIGHT RIDGE (1957).

2017 Update: A Visit to McCrea Ranch (and McCrea Blu-ray News!) plus a Blu-ray review of RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY (1962).

January 2018 Update: Here is my review of the Kino Lorber Blu-ray release of FOUR FACES WEST (1948).

May 2018 Update: Here's my review of the new Warner Archive release of ESPIONAGE AGENT (1939). An older review is linked above.

February 2019 Update: I've now posted a review of the new Warner Archive release of WOMAN WANTED (1935). My previous review from 2010 is linked above.

March 2019 Update: I enjoyed seeing Joel McCrea in THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932) at UCLA.

2020 Updates: Here are reviews of THE OUTRIDERS (1950) and a new Blu-ray release of THE VIRGINIAN (1946).

February 2021 Update: Here's a review of THE GREAT MAN'S LADY (1942), one of several films in which McCrea starred with Barbara Stanwyck.

December 2021 Update: I wrote about Joel's film CATTLE DRIVE (1951) for my Classic Movie Hub Western RoundUp column.

April 2022 Update: Here's a review of Joel McCrea in Preston Sturges' THE GREAT MOMENT (1944).

November 2022 Update: A Tribute to Joel McCrea, adapted from my 2014 ClassicFlix column.

2023 Update: Here's a new review of WICHITA (1955) which has now been released on Blu-ray.


Blogger DKoren said...

Very nice! I just love Joel McCrea too. I used to live in Thousand Oaks, and I also cannot wait to be able to visit his ranch one day.

7:57 AM  
Blogger James Corry said...

One of the great tragedies of film is that Joel McCrea did not play Jack Driscoll in "King Kong."


5:35 PM  

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