Friday, April 17
In 1943 Howard Hughes' new movie blockbuster "The Outlaw" came to Hazard. It was well advertised and publicized for months before it arrived. And we were all right down there on "Cowboy Row" with our cap pistols. We had seen all the movie previews, newspaper ads, billboards and now it was finally here. I'll admit it was a pretty racy movie for its time. But for a twelve year old movie fan I thought it was a flop. Jack Beutel was no Clark Gable and Jane Russell was no Vivien Leigh. Beutel as Billy the Kid was unbelievably corny. Jane Russell was O.K. but she had this shrill high pitched voice that caused you to wince every time she spoke. When I left the theater I wondered what all that hype was about. What a loser. I probably would have liked it better if I had not already seen Robin Hood, Stagecoach, Tarzan, Beau Geste, Sherlock Holmes, Drums along the Mohawk and GWTW. My buddies and I were not impressed and we didn't go home and play Cowboys and Indians the rest of that day. Jane Russell went on to be a Hollywood Super Star, but Jack Beutel made one more movie and then disappeared.