Wednesday, March 07, 2007's my first ever purchase from e-bay! A trade ad for Tom Tyler's second series of westerns from F.B.O. studios in the mid-1920s. Regular readers may recall my fascination with Tyler, a B-western hero who broke the shackles of the genre by becoming a character actor in A films.

Only one of Tom's F.B.O. films stills exists, "Texas Tornado" and it's available from Sinister Cinema. It's very well made and entertaining. The company was owned by Joseph Kennedy ( yes the fathe rof the president and senator) who made a deal that created RKO at the beginning of the sound era.

F.B.O. was a silent version of Republic Studios and turned out many low-budget westerns and other action films. When the new RKO management took over they junked stars such as Tyler and the output of the studio gradually faded away.

The kid in the ad is Tom's co-star Frankie Darro (or Darrow, he was billed both ways) who later turned in a great performance in "Wild Boys of the Road," one of the best Warner Brothers "torn from the headlines" Depression films.

© 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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