Friday, April 26, 2013

Arleen Whelan (from my unpublished "FADEOUT: The Final Film of ..."

20th Century-Fox saddled red-headed Arleen Whelan, a former Hollywood manicurist, with playing the female love interest in KIDNAPPED (1938), a character never imagined by Robert Louis Stevenson. Arleen had to "make love" to a miscast, aging, Warner Baxter, as Scottish renegade Alan Breck, and the results were miserable. She hightailed it to Broadway after several uneventful trips to Fox's B-movie factory but returned to Hollywood later in the 1940s and became something of a regular in Westerns. Whelan was married three times, including actor Alexander D'Arcy, and spent her retirement at Dana Point, CA.

RAIDERS OF OLD CALIFORNIA (Republic, 1957) D: Albert C. Gannaway. CAST: Jim Davis, Arleen Whelan (Julie Johnson), Faron Young, Marty Robbins, Lee Van Cleef. The second of two Westerns filmed on location at Kanab, UT, and released by Republic (the other was TTHE BADGE OF MARSHALL, also featuring Davis and Whelan). RAIDERS OF OLD CALIFORNIA was originally intended to be in color, which certainly would have helped what is really a sub-par effort from a waning studio that used to be a proud Western genre specialist.

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