Hidden in a long string of comments about Walter Albert’s review of the Buck Jones movie Unknown Valley (1933) is a separate thread about Charles Starrett and the Durango Kid movies, which I expressed a great fondness for as a kid growing up in the late 1940s. This long comment by Ed I thought could use more exposure. My response? He certainly has me pegged.

— Steve

   Re: Charles Starrett. He holds the record for most starring Westerns made by one star at the same studio: 131, for Columbia Pictures, produced and released over a 17-year period. He played the Durango Kid in half of them, all but the first released between 1945 and 1952.

CHARLES STARRETT Outlaws of the Prairie

   Although the Durangos are very fondly remembered by aging Western fans who saw them in Saturday-matinee engagements, they’re generally cheap, shoddy productions with cookie-cutter plots and puerile comic relief.

   Starrett’s earlier Westerns — especially the 1937-40 pictures in which his regular leading lady was Iris Meredith (the subject of a recent M*F thread) and his sidekicks the Sons of the Pioneers — were his best.

   I met Starrett twice and spoke to him at length about his career. His favorite among those early Westerns was also mine: Outlaws of the Prairie (1938, based on a Harry F. Olmsted story originally published in Dime Western), which cast him as a deadly “fanner” who has spent his entire adult life looking for the renegade who killed his father and cut off his trigger fingers.

   Starrett was also very fond of a short-lived series — also based on pulp stories — casting him as Dr. Steven Monroe, aka The Medico, a frontier doctor who occasionally used his guns in defense of the law.