In classic Hollywood, where cowboys were usually cowboys (period), Randolph Scott stands out as a pleasant anomaly. His screen career, begun at the dawn of the “talkies,” covered at least four phases, the last being the most productive by far.
He started off playing genial supporting parts in various romantic comedies. He then emerged as a romantic leading man. Then came action movies. And, as he approached middle age, Scott started making westerns. Bingo!
Scott’s naturally laconic style, his rugged good looks and his stature (he stood more than 6-feet, 2-inches) meshed perfectly with the heightening demands of the genre. Plots of westerns had taken on overtones of moral dilemmas often pitting fiercely independent heroes battling violence and betrayal against great odds.
A decade before Clint Eastwood ever heard of the name Sergio Leone, Scott had made the role of the tough, uncompromising, seen-it-all westerner hero hugely his own. By 1968, he was done — riding off into the sunset of off-screen retirement.
How much do you know about this durable American western star? Try our Monday Quiz, and find out. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: After attending the Univ. of North Carolina, Scott discovered acting and moved to Hollywood. Which one of these figures jump-started his career? a) Cecil B. DeMille; b) Howard Hughes; c) William Fox; or d) Jack Warner.
2) Question: Scott’s best westerns were directed by a) Allan Dwan; b) Andre DeToth; c) Budd Boetticher; or d) Michael Curtiz?
3) Question: Scott’s name is forever linked with that of Cary Grant. Why?
4) Question: How many movies did Scott make with Grant? a) four; b) two; c) 12; or d) one.
5) Question: At a particularly low point in his career, Scott actually costarred with Shirley Temple in which one of the following titles? a) Rebecca of Sunnybook Farm; b) Heidi; c) Little Miss Broadway; or d) Just Around The Corner.
6) Question: Scott was one of Hollywood’s biggest box office stars of the 1950’s? a) True; or b) False.
7) Question: Scott remained single for his whole life (he died in 1987). a) True; or b) False.
8) Question: Perhaps the capstone to Scott’s 33-year screen career was a western directed by one of the foremost directors of Hollywood’s “new wave.” Who is he? a) Michael Cimino; b) Sam Peckinpah; c) Francis Coppola; or d) Martin Scorsese.
9) Question: Which one of the following actors played significant roles at both the beginning and the end of Scott’s movie career? a) Eddie Cantor; b) Gary Cooper; c) Joel McCrea; or d) Cary Grant.
10) Question: Although hailing from a wealthy North Carolina family, and despite his well-paid career, Scott died in penury, the recipient of public charity. A) True; or b) False?