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The Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers(1936)

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According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Paramount considered changing the title of the film to Lone Star Rangers because Columbia Pictures had already titled a picture Texas Rangers. The song "Alla en rancho grande" was derived from files at the Texas Folk-Lore Society and was sung by Elena Martinez. At the time of this film's release, Texas was celebrating its centennial. Press releases also give the following information: Over 500 actors and members of two Indian tribes (Navajo and Zuni) were employed, particularly for the 1876 battle scene. This scene was reportedly a re-enactment of a famous 1876 battle in which Vicorio, a nephew of Geronimo, led the Apaches against the Texas Rangers and Union Army soldiers. A former governor of New Mexico, Clyde Tingley, performed in this film. Governor James Allred of Texas directed the opening scene over the phone. Maria Martinez of the San Ildefonso Indian Pueblo, who was famous for her distinctive black pottery, was used as a walk-on in one scene. Bennie Bartlett's real-life mother played his character's doomed homesteader mother. The role of Jim Hawkins was originally slated for Gary Cooper, who was filming This Breed of Men at the time. Paramount felt it was inappropriate to release two "outdoor pictures" with the star concurrently and therefore cast Fred MacMurray. According to Daily Variety, production was held up for a few days due to a severe dust storm near Gallup, NM. Unlike most of his previous films, Jack Oakie's character meets his death in this film. (One year earlier, however, Twentieth Century changed the ending of The Call of the Wild after audiences protested the death of Oakie's character.) Contemporary sources note that Fred MacMurray sings a love song in the film. However, the viewed print did not contain this scene. According to press releases, the oldest operating train engine, "Montezuma No. 1," built in 1881, was used in a hold-up scene filmed in New Mexico. A 125-year-old building in Gallup, NM, the oldest building in town, was used as a sound stage for the Ranger office building. The exterior shots of the Ranger office were taken at an old nearby Indian pueblo. The film was shot on location in Gallup and Santa Fe, NM and in TX. Producer King Vidor notes in an interview that some scenes were also filmed in Santo Domingo, NM.