Tyrone Power is the Pony Soldier from Toronto

April 7, 2013 | By

For the Australian campaign, it seemed Fox felt the pic would sell better if Canadian + Mounties were present in the revised title. Naturally, this illustrated moment of guy-girl bonding between a radiant Canuckle and his decolletage'd babe NEVER HAPPENS. She's not even blonde, nor wears a green cocktail dress while held hostage in a teepee.

Tyrone Power made a lot of movies for Fox, but most of his work from the fifties is largely unavailable on DVD or Blu-ray, perhaps due to the perceived (and sometimes real) variable quality of those films.

A good case in point is Pony Soldier [M] (1952), newly released by Twilight Time on Blu with another isolated score track (this time featuring Alex North, a composer’s who’s benefited quite a bit in TT’s other releases, such as The Sound and the Fury [M] and Desirée [M]).

Pony is essentially a B-movie, and it’s rather odd to see Power in something generic when every so often Fox would drop him into a prestige picture, like King of the Khyber Rifles (1953) and The Sun Also Rises (1957) – both sporting superb scores by Bernard Herrmann and Hugo Friedhofer, respectively.

In any event, the real curiosity for Power fans is seeing one of his smaller films which likely received little play on TV; and for Canadians, there’s seeing Hollywood transplanting the western genre to the borderland between Canada and the U.S.

Power plays not only a Mountie, but a Mountie freshly graduated from Toronto! Pity Fox didn’t see fit to send a second unit up here to capture some local scenes in Technicolor, but it was a surprise to hear the city mentioned in a 1952 Hollywood film. Then again, you’ve got Project Moon Base [M] (1953) in which the starring space stud and space bunny fly off to an orbiting station in the spaceship Canada. For a city known for doubling as other places, when I hear “Toronto” in a movie, my first reaction is sometimes a great big ‘What did I just hear?’

Pony Soldier has some interesting casting, and fans of Fox’ fifties films will chuckle when they hear Michael Rennie (Desirée) delivering yet again some uncredited narration. In Mel Gussow’s hysterical and informative bio on Darryl F. Zanuck, Don’t Say Yes Until I FinishTalking, I think there’s an anecdote of how the Fox production bigwig cast films based on a big personnel spreadsheet on his immense desk. I gather under Rennie’s name, Zanuck may have scribbled “His voice is good. USE IT.”

Coming next: soundtrack reviews of some action heroes, a review of Twilight Time’s quite out of print Night of the Living Dead + Synapse’s Document of the Dead (this is called ‘themed review positioning’), and some Japanese naughty movies from Impulse Pictures.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor
KQEK.com ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

Tags: ,

Category: Uncategorized

Comments are closed.