Joseph Kane | Rankings
| Gold Mine in the Sky
Cheyenne: War Party | Deadline
| Big Ghost Basin
Classic Film and Television Home Page (with many articles on directors)
| Television Western Articles
Joseph Kane is an American film and television director, especially of Westerns.
Some common subjects in the films of Joseph Kane:
- Westerns mixed with modern crime (high tech and crime: Public Cowboy No. 1, gangsters: Gold Mine in the Sky)
- Westerns mixed with science and technology (high tech and crime: Public Cowboy No. 1, paleontology: Big Ghost Basin)
- Westerns with much music (Gene Autry: Public Cowboy No. 1, Gene Autry: Gold Mine in the Sky,
saloon singer and quartet: In Old Sacramento, saloon singer: Deadline)
- Fancy cities in the Old West (In Old Sacramento, St. Louis: The Plainsman and the Lady)
- Pro Native Americans (The Plainsman and the Lady, Big Ghost Basin)
- Hero develops friendship with younger man (In Old Sacramento, Big Ghost Basin)
- People who dress as other people (Burnette impersonates woman sidekick: Gold Mine in the Sky,
heroes swap clothes: Big Ghost Basin) related (Burnette dresses as cow: Public Cowboy No. 1)
- Outdoors activities (fence mending: Deadline, paleontology, investigating monster: Big Ghost Basin)
- Mud and tripping (motorcycle cops, detective fall in creek: Public Cowboy No. 1,
mud in Old West street: In Old Sacramento)
- Buckskins (mountain family: Mountain Men)
Here are ratings for various films directed by Joseph Kane. Everything at least **1/2 is recommended.
- Public Cowboy No. 1 ***
- Gold Mine in the Sky ***
- In Old Sacramento ** (songs ***)
- The Plainsman and the Lady **1/2
- The Last Bandit **1/2
- War Party **1/2
- Deadline **
- Big Ghost Basin ***1/2
Gold Mine in the Sky
Gold Mine in the Sky (1938) is a Western. It is rich in delightful music,
with near constant songs from Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette.
Cheyenne: War Party
War Party (1957) is a lively episode of Cheyenne.
Deadline (1957) is Kane's second episode of Cheyenne.
Deadline sometimes shows a geometric visual style:
- Cheyenne moves through a V-shaped gap in two rocks.
- He finds a body in a V-shaped area framed by two tilting tree trunks.
- In the final gunfight, we see a deep focus framing between the V of Cheyenne's legs: a striking shot.
- The close-ups in the shoot-out have the heads framed against geometric, rectilinear
compositions of the town's buildings and signs. These seem Mondrian-like.
Cheyenne: Big Ghost Basin
Big Ghost Basin (1957) is a Western-mystery combination.
It is one of the best episodes of Cheyenne. The mystery elements are eerie, suspenseful
and richly puzzling.
Big Ghost Basin is based on the short story "The Fire Killer" by Steve Frazee.
Frazee was a Western writer who was also prestigious in the mystery field,
for his tales that hybridized crime and the Western. "The Fire Killer" is reprinted in
The Best Western Stories of Steve Frazee (1989).
The basic premise, a mystery about an unknown monster (?) attacking in the countryside by night,
is also the subject of the French film Le Pacte des loups / The Brotherhood of the Wolf
(Christophe Gans, 2001). The two films have very different solutions, however.
Bob Hover, one of the actors, is perhaps better known as a bodybuilder, and a model for physical culture magazines of the era.
This is likely one of his best roles.