B-Movie Cowboy Hats

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B-Movie Cowboy Hats

B-Movie Cowboy Hats are characterized by exaggerated dimensions made possible by starting with an over sized hat body.

Sound and Silent B-Movie hats usually featured tall crowns and large brims, and often had massive kettle curls.

To understand the importance of the B-Movie western of both Silent{1890s-1920s} and talkies {1930s-1950s}, you need to look at them in the context of their times, the impact they had on the culture of those days, and the legacy they left later generations – one of which was to inspire the three founding members to form the Single Action Shooting Society {SASS} in 1981. Silent westerns from 1903-1920s are important records of the last days of the Wild West, and in the case of movies like Hells Hinges {1916}, made by a Cowboy holdover from the Old West, William S. Hart, they are of almost documentary quality.

And here lies the real value of the Silent and B-Western – as a record of those days.

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In the 1930s B-Western stars like Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, William Boyd, Buck Jones, and Yakima Canutt popularized denim and showcased the modern rodeo.

Several B-Westerns featured a rodeo cowboy that’d get ripped off by a shady promoter, robbed of their winnings or framed for a crime/murder. Often authentic newsreel footage of rodeos was spliced into the story to add realism.

By 1930 the World had slipped into the Great Depression and to boost attendance theaters started offering Double Bills, or two movies for the price of one admission. Studios like Republic and Lone Star started churning out low budget serials and westerns to be shown before the “A” movie. These movies were tailored towards a younger audience, and followed simple themes that featured plenty of action. Stories generally involved a crooked banker, businessman or thug taking advantage of the honest hard-working townsfolk or ranchers.

Then a stranger comes to town and sorts out the bad guys with iron fists and a quick draw, inevitably winning the girl and restoring the money, land or justice to the people. It is often revealed that the hero is a Government Agent or Marshal sent by Washington to fix all the problems, and during the Great Depression there were lots of them.

Serious westerns were mostly shunted to the side when the Tom Mix western formula became immensely popular in the Depression. Mix developed a comic style that emphasized fast action and lots of chases, and was a favorite at the Saturday Matinee.

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Yakima {Enos} Canutt {1895-1986} is an important figure in early movie history.

A gifted athlete, and 4 time World Champion Rodeo rider, Canutt was an early silent film star. When sound came to motion pictures in 1927, his voice ended his career as a leading man so he focused his talent on stunt work. Along the way Yak invented the movie punch, taught young western stars his famous walk and how to handle a six-gun. Yak was a pioneer in inventing safety equipment for stuntmen, and stunt-doubled for virtually every famous male actor of his day. And even some of the women!

B-Movie Cowboy Hat

In The Star Packer {1934} he not only doubles the star, but also the bad guys so in effect he’s chasing himself in the action sequences! In those days when the story needed an action scene, the script writer would simply pencil in: “Action by Yakima Canutt”, and Yak would deliver the footage needed.

John Ford made Yak his action director on Stagecoach {1939}, and it was Yak that staged that famous Stagecoach chase near the end of the movie. Watch the video and you’ll appreciate it once again, or maybe for the first time. Over his career Yak’s stunt work blazed new ground; often doing things never before attempted. For this Yakima paid a grave price, breaking most of the bones in his body.

Even today Yak is a legend with the people who know and appreciate the history of Rodeo. He was the only man {83 went before him} to ride the legendary bucking horse Tipperary. This feat, and the invention of safety equipment for stuntmen, were among Yak’s most proud achievements.

 


  • Tom Mix B-Movie Hat

    $380.00$790.00

    A hat style popular with early film star Tom Mix

    Tom Mix was likely cinema's first movie star, starring in dozens of silent and talkie westerns, at the dawn of cinema in the 1920s and 30s. Mix was a small man who liked big hats, and was the first movie star earning 40,000 a week in 1925. This classic old B-Movie hat has a sagebrush crown, and a big 4 3/4 inch brim with a large kettle curl and bound brim edge.
    • Crown: 6 inches, Modified Sagebrush
    • Brim 4 3/4" Kettle Curl, bound edge
    • Color Shown: Bone
    • Hatband: 1 inch satin with bow.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Yakima Cowboy Hat

    $380.00$790.00
    Our take on the Yakima Cowboy Hat - a classic b-western cowboy hat Yakima Canutt rode his success as a Champion Rodeo Cowboy, into the early days of Hollywood to become one of the first silent movie stars.
    • Crown: 6" inches 4 Dent Military
    • Brim: 5 inches Kettle Curl with bound edge and hand roll
    • Color: Granite.
    • Hatband: 1 inch satin with 1898 bow.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Blue Steel Custom Handmade Hat - Many famous old time actors got their start during the Great Depression in the 1930s, and appeared in all the B-Westerns and Serials that they could get. At the height of the Great Depression 1 in 3 men didn't have a job and in tough times any pay day is a good pay day.
    • Crown: 3 pinch B-Movie crease.
    • Color: Charcoal Gray
    • Brim: Kettle Curl Bound edge Hand rolled
    • Hatband: 1 inch satin with 1898 bow.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • King Of The Sagebrush Handmade Hat - A client had us take our Wild Bill and put a homberg dent in the crown, changed the hatband and voila an instant B-western Classic!
    • Crown: Homburg Dent
    • Color: Undyed Natural.
    • Brim: Kettle Curl Bound Edge Hand shaped
    • Hatband: 1 1/2 inch satin with 1898 bow.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Poker City Jim B-Movie Hat

    $380.00$790.00
    Our take on a classic b-movie hat  One of our favorite b-western cowboy hats, the Poker City Jim B-Movie Hat was the hat style worn by actor Paul Fix, in the classic B-Western: The Desert Trail. The crown has the 3 pinch cavalry crease like the Wyatt and the classic B-Movie hand rolled and kettle curled brim.
    • Crown: 6" inches 3 pinch cavalry or Gus crease
    • Brim: 4 1/2" Kettle Curl Bound Edge Hand Rolled
    • Color: Black
    • Hatband: 1 1/2 inch satin with  bow.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks

  • the classic western buscadero hand made by the last best west Paladin Buscadero Leather Holster - Our Classic Buscadero is sleek and elegant - patterned after that holster worn by Richard Boone as Paladin in Have Gun Will Travel. Or you can order the plain buscadero we show as well. This is the one seen in shows like Gunsmoke, The Magnificent Seven, The Rifleman, Westworld and so on . Either rig comes with hammer and leg tie downs. If you prefer the plain version just request it in the production notes.
  • Fancy Buscadero Leather Holster - Our Fancy Buscadero has loops all the way around, and the belt and holster have a distinctive border edging. Shown with better buckle #2, the holster comes with hammer and leg tie downs.

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