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Last of the Duanes

Last of the Duanes(1941)

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The film's opening title card reads: "Twentieth Century-Fox presents George Montgomery in Zane Grey's Last of the Duanes." Although the exact relationship between the sources is unclear, according to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, Grey's short story, "The Last of the Duanes," was expanded into novel form and entitled The Lone Star Ranger (New York, 1915). In 1914, Grey also wrote a serialized story entitled The Lone Star Ranger, which first appeared in All Story-Cavalier Weekly (May-June 1914). The legal records note that the first halves of the stories "The Last of the Duanes" and "The Lone Star Ranger" were identical and used for the first half of the screenplay of this film, but that only "The Last of the Duanes" was used for the second half. In 1942, the studio released a picture entitled The Lone Star Ranger, based on the second half of the book The Lone Star Ranger, which continued the adventures of "Buck Duane," "Major McNeil" and "Euchre."
       According to a July 30, 1940 Hollywood Reporter news item, contributing writer Norman Foster was to direct the film, while a January 20, 1941 Los Angeles Times news item reported that the picture would probably have Randolph Scott, Dean Jagger and Virginia Gilmore in the cast. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, the picture was partially filmed on location at Lone Pine, CA. The Daily Variety review erroneously lists the film editor as Thomas Little, while the Hollywood Reporter review lists him as Thomas DeMaggio. Fox filmed Grey's story four times previously: a 1919 version directed by J. Gordon Edwards and starring William Farnum (Farnum appears in the 1941 picture as "Major McNeil"); a 1924 version directed by Lynn Reynolds and starring Tom Mix; a 1930 version directed by Alfred L. Werker and starring George O'Brien; and a 1930 Spanish-language version entitled El ultimo de los Vargas, which was directed by David Howard and starred George Lewis.