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The Highwayman

The Highwayman(1951)

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Some of the onscreen crew and cast credits of the viewed print were not readable; the above credits were amended from a studio production sheet. Hollywood Reporter items from 1946 and 1947 noted that James S. Burkett, a Monogram producer, had purchased Alfred Noyes's poem and consulted with the author while developing the screenplay, and negotiated with major studios for a release. A August 15, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Allied Artists then purchased the poem's screen rights from Burkett in addition to a treatment and screenplay prepared by him. According to a July 30, 1998 Hollywood Reporter news item, blacklisted writer Henry Blankfort, under the pseudonym January Jeffries, wrote the final screenplay for the film. His credit was officially restored by the WGA in 1998.
       During the rule of King George II, the period in which the film was set, a well-known reformist named James Edward Oglethorpe, possibly the basis for the film character "Lord Oglethorpe," presided over an English Parliamentary committee that brought about prison reforms. In 1733 Oglethorpe accompanied settlers to America and in 1734 founded Savannah, GA. He returned to England in 1743 to resume his parliamentary career.
       According to 1951 Hollywood Reporter news items, Richard Bare was to direct the film, but was replaced by Lesley Selander. Florence Marly and Rory Calhoun were considered for the leads in the film, according to a April 22, 1950 Los Angeles Times article, but were later replaced. Hollywood Reporter news items from 1951 add the following actors to the cast: Faire Binney, Robert Karns, James Logan, Vernon Steele, George Slocum, Keith McConnell, Lane Chandler, Marjorie Bennet, Sue Carlton, Roland Varnu, Frank Hagney, Mark Lowell, Peter Foster, Toby Perkins, Trevor Ward, Michael Mark, Ivo Henderson, Terry Gilkyson, Rocky Shahan, Gil Stuart, Phyllis Morris, Post Parks, Isham Constable, George Kirby, Pat O'Moore and David Cavendish; however, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Although a February 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that actor Alan Napier, who portrayed "Lord Barton" in the film, would also narrate, Brian Aherne was the narrator of the released film. Portions of the film were shot at the Ray Corrigan Ranch in Simi Vally, CA.
       Columbia also produced a film loosely based on Noyes's poem, The Lady and the Bandit, which was released in 1951 (see below). In 1958, McGraw-Hill produced a short film version of Noyes's poem, also titled The Highwayman.