Broken Arrow: Western Movie, Book, TV, and History Discussion

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 Warren Oates

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Chain Lightning
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PostSubject: Warren Oates   Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:28 pm

Howdy Pards!!

Since I couldn't find any good western movies on today, I decided to watch an episode of The Big Valley that was filmed in 1966, titled The Great Safe Robbery. Lo and behold, there in the role of the leader of 3 bumbling hillbillies, was none other than one of my all time favorite actors, Warren Oates. The storyline has Victoria (Barbara Stanwyck) and Audra (Linda Evans) about to catch the train, when up rides these 3 fellas, with robbing the safe at the train station on their mind. It was a comedy episode about these 3 harmless bumpkins and gave Oates the opportunity to display his wonderful comedic talent. I thought I was gonna crack up!! First, they tried to beat the hinges off with a sledgehammer, then they hoisted it with a rope and tackle to turn it over, which resulted in breaking the beam and the safe fell through the floor. Then they attached a team of horses to it to pull it out of the building onto a wagon, which resulted in tearing out the front of the building and missing the wagon. All the while, Victoria(Stanwyck) is telling them the door is too narrow, while they have Audra locked in the back room with a big bank sack over her head!!!! They finally tie it to the back of the wagon and drag it away, so they can dynamite it. As you might guess, they put a whole case of dynamite under the safe and blow it onto the outhouse!! With that Kentucky hillbilly accent and that lopsided grin, Oates played it to the hilt. Oates appeared in every western series you can name during the 50's and 60's including 10 episodes of Gunsmoke, Laramie, Lawman, Bonanza, Wagon Train, Have Gun Will Travel, Rawhide and too many to name here, while appearing in many of the great western movies of all time. He met and became friends with Sam Peckinpah, while filming Ride The High Country and as a result of this friendship, Peckinpah put him in Major Dundee, The Wild Bunch and finally rewarded Oates with the starring role in Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia. Along the way, Oates appeared in Welcome To Hard Times, In The Heat Of The Night, Barquero, Dillinger, China 9 Liberty 37 and Stripes as Sgt. Hulka. This man made every big name star in Hollywood look good, such as Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Charleton Heston, Sidney Poitier, Lee Van Cleef, Henry Fonda, William Holden and even Bill Murray in Stripes. There was NO ROLE he couldn't play. Gunslinger, Sheriff, Psychotic killer, Town Drunk, Military, Hard Nosed Detective or buffoon. Born in the little town of Depoy, Kentucky, he served in the U.S. Marines before becoming an actor. He started appearing in the late 50's in supporting roles and acted through the early 80's in Blue Thunder and Tough Enough. I don't think I've ever seen a role he played that I didn't enjoy. Born in 1928, he passed away much too early at the age of 53 in 1982 of heart problems. Every time I watch him, I realize just how wide his range of talents were and just how much talent the film industry lost with his demise. A complete actor and I've seen none to fill his shoes come down the pike since!!

Ed


Last edited by Chain Lightning on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:51 pm

Warren Oates was one of those actors who could play a character with a screw loose one time, a dead serious drama the next, and a comedy role after that and he was believable in all three. He was one of those actors when you saw his name in the opening credits you couldn't wait for him to appear on screen. Like Chain Lightning he was one of my favorite actors also. It's sad he left us way too soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:12 am

I have to agree, Warren Oates was a great actor. I didn't realized he was only 53 when he passed on.
You could be blind folded and here his voice on TV and you would know who he was without seeing his face.

We do have different actors that all we had to hear was their voice and we knew right away who they were. Didn't have to see their voice because we could see them in our minds. Ole Warren Oates was one of them.

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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:17 am

My cousin, Ron Kelsay, who was a student in Louisville, Kentucky at a university met Warren Oates there when Warren was a student. They became friends and when Warren told him he was heading off to become an actor, Ron told him that he should get into a more reliable business. Ron later told me that that was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made cause Warren became one of the finest actors to ever come along. Glad Warren didn't listen to this cousin of mine. Tom.
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:05 am

One other role Oates was very good in was an episode of "Twilight Zone" entitled "The 7TH Is Made Up of Phantoms". One of my favorites, it was about a National Guard tank on manuevers near the Custer Battlefield. Tank breaks down, noise of battle is heard over the ridge, soldiers investigate and find a Sioux teepee and a 7th cavalry canteen with fresh water in it. Next day tank breaks down again at same spot. Dust and battle noise comes from over the ridge so young trooper (played by Randy Boone) goes to investigate while Oates and Ron Foster stay behind to fix the tank. Boone returns with an arrow in his back! Foster and Oates grab rifles out of the tank, which they cant fix, and with Boone held up between them go over the ridge into battle. Thats the last you see of the trio. National Guard comes out looking for them, finds the tank, and also finds their names listed on the roster of Custer's troopers on the battlefield monument. Greg Morris from "Mission:Impossible" plays the officer who finds the names on the monument. Pretty cool episode! Ranks right up there with "The Passersby", "The Grave" (starring Lee Marvin! James Best! Strother Martin! and Lee Van Cleef!) and "Still Valley" as my favorite episodes of that all time classic series.
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:38 am

Howdy Steve!!

Got to watch him again today, in an episode of The Rifleman, titled Day Of Reckoning!! Good ole Royal Dano played a former outlaw turned preacher, with two bounty hunters on his trail, played by Warren Oates and L.Q. Jones!! Ole L.Q. weren't too shabby an actor himself, especially as a bad guy. With that sneering face and high pitched southern drawl, like in Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid, he could give any of the Hollywood villains a run fer their money. They set the preacher up, with Oates on the top of a building, but ole Chuck showed up with that slicked up model 92 Winchester and Oates caught 2 rounds and ole L.Q. caught about 5!!!!! I remember both episodes of the Twilight Zone you referred to. The Grave with Lee Marvin and The 7TH Is Made Up Of Phantoms with Oates and Boone. They put the Twilight Zone back into production back in the 80's, but it never measured up to the original with Rod Serling.

Ed
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Howdy Ed, have you ever seen the TZ episode "The Passersby" starring James Gregory? Its a good one about a Confederate soldier walking down a road with a steady stream of other Civil War soldiers who stops at a destroyed southern mansion to ask the lady of the house for a drink of water. Turns out all the soldiers are dead and walking towards heaven, followed by Lincoln! Its my all time favorite TZ episode.
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:21 pm

Howdy Steve!!

Pard, I can't believe I actually missed an episode of the Twilight Zone, but it appears that I did!! Was this an episode from the ORIGINAL series?? Sounds like a good'un. I'll have to look for it. I always liked Inspector Luger(James Gregory).

Ed
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:02 pm

Yup, one of the original run. Its a really good one! If SOMEBODY had ur mailing address SOMEBODY might find a way to get u a copy. Just sayin'.
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:01 pm

Howdy Steve!!

Not to worry pard!! C.H.I.L.L. runs The Twilight Zone every day, both original and the 80's version, along with The Outer Limits, so I'm bound to catch it sooner or later. I still can't git over the fact, that, somehow I missed an original episode of The Twilight Zone. What wuz I thinkin?????????

Thanks Pard!!

Ed
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:45 pm

Haven't gotten around to chipping in my two cents to this thread until now, but I do love Warren Oates. He added so much to every production he appeared in. A utility player who became a Hall of Famer (I'm in real baseball withdrawal).
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PostSubject: baseball withdrawal   Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:23 pm

Art,

You aint in baseball withdrawal Pard,Warren Oates was class,and you cant get better than class,Mr Oates was "welcome" in anything he did,especially westerns,imo,he,s UP THERE!!!!

Davy,westernnut.
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:54 am

Art, Davy, agree with you, Oates was a scene-stealer and it was a pity he died so young. His rapport with Ben Johnson in The Wild Bunch brought so much to the movie. In some ways he was Bogart-like, and when you watch him in Alfredo Garcia, it isn't difficult imagining Bogart playing this role in a more tamed-down 50s version. If he'd lived longer I believe he would have evolved into a leading man in the Lee Marvin mould. Yes, definitely a class act.

Iain
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:52 am

Davy, I very much AM in baseball withdrawal - why else would I have just been reading that in 2012 the Baltimore Orioles will, for the first time since 1992, be wearing orange jerseys for some of their home games (the Saturday ones)? That's why I made the analogy of Oates as a "utility player" in his early career; nobody predicted stardom for him (as far as I know) but he did rise to iconic status, especially for guys like us. His presence in the Stoney Burke series is a big reason to anticipate that show's DVD release.
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PostSubject: Re: Warren Oates   Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:25 pm

I well remember both The Passersby and The Seventh Is Made Up of Phantoms. Great episodes in a great series. And, on the subject of Warren Oates, he was, indeed, just a marvelous "utility" actor. I'd take his Dillinger any time over Johnny Depp's (which wasn't bad). I always wanted to see a work-together film with Oates and Jack Elam. Don't really recall one, but feel such would have been a blast. And, oh hell, throw Strother Martin and Dub Taylor in there for extra fun!
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