Robert Taylor in “Cattle King,” 1963

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Cattle King is the last film Robert Taylor made under his MGM contract. His full-time contract had ended in 1959 but he agreed to do three more pictures. Cattle King is the third. Mr.Taylor plays a large scale cattle rancher whose living is being threatened by a Texas cartel who want to build a cattle highway from Texas to Canada. This would bring thousands of undesirable cattle to Mr. Taylor’s Wyoming home. It’s a nice twist on the old cattle ranchers vs. sheep herders story. Instead of wanting to leave the range free for cattle to roam, Sam Brassfield (Mr.Taylor) wants to fence in land for the controlled¬† breeding of high quality bovines. The only sheep herder in the picture ends up siding with Brassfield. The cinematography is outstanding with a pallette that brings out the beauty of the area near Yellowstone Park. There are numerous scenes of groups of people riding which must have looked wonderful on the big screen.

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Left to right: a French poster and three promotional photos.

The acting is done by seasoned professionals like Robert Middleton, Ray Teal and William Windom and a newcomer, Robert Loggia. They are all excellent. As usual in westerns, Joan Caulfield as the love interest for Sam isn’t given enough to do. President Chester A. Arthur (Larry Gates) plays a pivotal role. In many ways Robert Taylor’s colleagues at MGM made this a warm farewell. The name Robert Taylor fills the screen from top to bottom in the credits. He is photographed lovingly with numerous close-ups. There’s a wonderful scene where Mr. Taylor stands proudly, legs apart in the western stance facing his enemy when the camera slides into a screen filling close-up. Robert Taylor was very good at playing characters who were larger than life, people who made a difference without losing their integrity. There’s even a bit of humor as he spends a fair amount of time fussing with his various ties. “Cattle King” is a solid, well-acted, beautifully photographed western.

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Left to right: who, me?; on horseback with Robert Loggia; with Joan Caulfield and William Windom.

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Left to right; with Ursula Thiess, Terry and Tessa Taylor on the set; taking his place in the chow line like anyone else; with Maggie Pierce, Robert Ivers and Virginia Christine.

Frame grabs:

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About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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4 Responses to Robert Taylor in “Cattle King,” 1963

  1. dianne345 says:

    Great photos, but the first lady shown is Patricia Owens, RT’s leading lady in “The Law & Jake Wade.” TCM hasn’t shown “Cattle King” recently but I watched my DVD of it several weeks ago. I don’t know why the script writers had to kill of Joan Caulfield, however.

  2. giraffe44 says:

    Oh, drat, you’re right. It’s time to edit. Thanks for pointing that out. I don’t see why Caulfield had to die either. Thanks, Dianne.

  3. Mario says:

    Good Western with Bob Taylor, but it comes third for me, after Saddle the Wind and Return of the Gunfighter. But the cast here, is the best of all of them.

  4. giraffe44 says:

    I like all three of these, plus The Law and Jake Wade. “Cattle King” does have an outstanding cast, especially Robert Loggia. Thanks for writing.

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