Item 43 | What the Deuce?! -- Fearless Cultural Mania
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Tex Quest
Long years of searching ended last week. I finally managed to locate a video copy of the old Tex Ritter western, Rainbow Over the Range (1940). An inept and silly movie it may be, but it is notable for featuring the film debut of  my old man (the short blonde lad, to the right of the stocky dark-haired kid, who happens to be the younger version of my uncle). To his dying day the old man was still burned up that his brother got more money (something like $3 a day, versus the buck and a quarter he'd gotten). But after all, his brother had a speaking part—he got to trade lines with Tex Ritter himself (father of Three's Company's John Ritter).

My grandfather is also in the film, which was shot in Prescott, Arizona, where he was a cowboy (he supplied the horses for the film). Rainbow Over The Range also marked the film debut of Sonny, my grandfather's much-beloved trick horse. Gramps & Sonny have quite a bit of screen time—so much so that Gramps ends up playing multiple roles, sometimes absurdly appearing to be on both sides of the same battle.

(But the most absurd moment in the movie has to be the maudlin cowbell number performed by "Arkansas Slim." Like he's gonna saddle-pack thirty cowbells all over the trail? Second most absurd moment: Slim's balloon rendition of "My Old Kentucky Home." Anachronism alert: latex balloons in the Old West?)

Unfortunately, my grandfather died suddenly at the age of 33, three years after this film came out.

I'm looking for anything else connected with the film Rainbow Over the Range: posters, lobby cards, whatever. If you know where I can find anything, contact Deuce of Clubs.

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