(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Clark/Clarke Stevens, John Carpenter, the short man in the doorway is Bill Chaney, behind him is Troy Tarrell, and the man on the far right is unidentified. Lobby card from BADMAN'S GOLD (1951).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above - Carpenter wearing a left-handed, cross-draw holster and gunbelt in BADMAN'S GOLD (Jack Schwarz Productions, 1951).
(Pressbook ad courtesy of Les Adams)
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above - clipping from the OUTLAW TREASURE pressbook with Carpenter billed as 'John Forbes'.
John (Johnny) Carpenter
1914 - 2003
Johnny Carpenter, the last of the shoestring B-western independent combination producer/stars, didn't make top drawer B-westerns, but through all the budget pinching and corner cutting, his love of western films shows through on the screen in much the same way his friend Ed Wood's did in low echelon horror films. Johnny tried. And tried hard to make decent, exciting B-westerns. His best was BADMAN'S GOLD (1951). Johnny didn't get started til it was nearly all over. If he'd come along ten years earlier --- who knows. But at least we must give him A for effort when every other producer was fleeing for the TV range.
"He talked me into investing $10,000 up front to finance a western script he called 'Johnny Ringo', which he'd direct. Everyone would get paid when it sold. It was shot in Jacksboro, a small town in Texas. One day, the leading lady's (Elaine Walker) husband misunderstandably told them (the cast) that I had money to pay their salaries. He organized a work stoppage only halfway into the film. So, it had to be shut down. I returned to L.A. minus my 10 grand. Johnny kept the film. I'd sure like to see it! What there is of it!"
It's very likely this was some of the footage Johnny showed me, my wife and stuntlady Evelyn Finley one 98 degree day in 1984 in his barn at his "Heaven on Earth" ranch in Lake View Terrace.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Johnny Carpenter: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0139383/
Carpenter's Heaven On Earth ranch is back in operation: http://www.nhoer.org/home
There's a two minute video on YouTube with some film from the original Heaven on Earth ranch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0GpJSRF03o
You can stream or download several of Carpenter's films from the Internet Archive:
SON OF THE RENEGADE (1952) from the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/son_of_the_renegade
I KILLED WILD BILL HICKOK from the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/i_killed_wild_bill_hickok
I KILLED WILD BILL HICKOK is a Wheeler Company production and is generally listed as a 1956 release. However, the end credits show a 1954 copyright date. And watch the first minute or two of the film - a trains runs from right to left on the screen. But they got the (stock) footage reversed and you can see that the Denver and Rio Grande name on the steam locomotive is reversed.
Boyd Magers Western Clippings website has more on Carpenter's starring films: http://www.westernclippings.com/westernsof/johnnycarpenter_westernsof.shtml
Confusion on his birth location:
Various biographies have Carpenter born in the small town of Debinsville, Arkansas. Over the years, ye Old Corral webmaster has received an occasional e-mail questioning that Debinsville, Arkansas location. One recent e-mail noted that Debinsville, Arkansas does not exist and that Carpenter was born in Dardanelle, Arkansas. That appears to be correct as the family is living in Dardanelle, Yell County, Arkansas at the time of the 1910 and 1920 census. Additionally, the search for Debinsville, Arkansas draws a "no such location" in Google Maps and Yahoo Maps. Do a search on your own:
Google Maps (and enter "Debinsville Arkansas" in the Search box at the top): http://maps.google.com/maps
Yahoo Maps (and enter "Debinsville Arkansas" in the Search box at the top): http://maps.yahoo.com/
The Family Search website (free), Fold3 military records (subscription), California Death Index and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) provide some information on Carpenter and family. Johnny is "Josh L. Carpenter" in 1920 and "J. L. Carpenter" in the 1930 census.
There are various websites with biographical information on Carpenter. Most all of them use and re-use information published at the time of his death. And there are at least two errors - the first is that the obit biography has his name spelled "Johny" (with a single N). The second is that Debinsville, Arkansas birth location (when it should be Dardanelle, Yell County, Arkansas). An obituary mentions that Carpenter was survived by sister Corinne Bostion of New Mexico (sister Corinne is listed above in the census for 1930 and 1940):
Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for John Carpenter who is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10064847/johnny-carpenter
It's always interesting to click through newspaper headlines and clippings at the Google newspaper archives. There are several free articles about Carpenter and his Heaven on Earth ranch:
(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
|Above from L-to-R are Al LaRue (before his days as 'Lash'), Sarah Padden, Jennifer Holt, Lee Bennett, unknown player (possibly Ray Elder), Eddie Dean, and Emmett 'Pappy' Lynn at the desk in a scene from the Cinecolor SONG OF OLD WYOMING (PRC, 1945), singing cowboy Eddie Dean's first starring oater.|
Carpenter, as ranchhand 'Buck', is in the upper right corner and was about 30 years old when this film was made.