LOVE ME TENDER – Elvis Presley's First Film Role (Part 2)

Share your Love for Elvis Presley on Social Networks:



The filmmakers made the Reno brothers the heroes of the production – a legendary criminal group that spread fear in the mid-western United States during the US Civil War (and just after its end). The gang specialized mainly in robberies (although it also had murders on its account). Her bold thefts on trains have gone down in history. Most of them were robbed by the Jackson Thieves, the Reno Gang, or simply the Reno Brothers Gang, as the members of the organization were called, after the end of the war (which was alluded to in the script of Presley’s first film), which drew the wrath of law enforcers (and not only).

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

In fact, the gang, founded in 1864, was made up of real brothers – Franklin (Frank), John, Simeon (Sim) and William (Bill). Four of six siblings, which also included Clinton (Clint, called “honest” by some sources) and Laura. The latter, however, never took part in the criminal activities of their relatives.

According to various sources, the Reno brothers got into trouble with the law very quickly. As the story goes, it started with petty card fraud or horse theft. With time, however, the siblings began to commit more and more serious robberies – they were even suspected of a series of arsons, and during the war, attacks on shops and a post office.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

In October 1866, the Reno Gang committed their first train robbery. Their loot was then sixteen thousand dollars (and a safe, which they only managed to push out of the speeding warehouse). Unfortunately, the contents of the safes looted at that time were insured by the Adams Express Company, which immediately commissioned the Pinkerton Detective Agency (founded in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton and Edward Rucker) to track down and capture the bandits.

Despite this, from then on, with relentless investigators on their shoulders, the members of the group continued their robbery activities. In 1867 alone, they committed two more train robberies, and a year later, in response to the townspeople of Seymour setting up a vigilante to kill gang members, they robbed the Harrison and Mills county treasury. In just two days, they took $14,000 and $12,000 from them, respectively.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Eventually, the Reno brothers were caught by employees of the Pinkerton agency in the first days of July 1868, during an attempt to rob another, already fifth train (it is worth adding here that just a few months earlier, in May of the same year, the bandits made their biggest heist by stealing from ninety-six thousand dollars in the safe on the train).

However, before the judiciary could impose appropriate punishments on the gang members, a self-proclaimed group of masked men calling themselves the Jackson County Ranger Committee lynched the siblings (most of the gang were dragged from the train and hung from a tree).

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The Reno Brothers Gang only lasted four years. Despite this, he managed to commit many “spectacular” thefts and inspire the creation of more bandit groups attacking and robbing trains.

It could therefore be assumed that the history of the group would also become an inspiration for later creators – writers, filmmakers, etc. All the more so that both its criminal activities, multiple escapes from prison and evasion of responsibility by its individual members, as well as the tragic death of siblings, seemed to be a dream material for a film script or a novel. But for some reason it turned out differently. ” Given the fascination Western fans have for the outlaws, it’s surprising that so little is still known about the Reno Gang ,” noted Ron Scheer of Buddies In The Saddle in one of his studies. “While the stories of the James-Young gang and Billy The Kid are widely known, the Reno brothers robbing trains in southern Indiana are associated with only a few Hollywood movies “

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The first of these productions was the Western “Rage At Down” (Polish title “Ambush”) directed by Tim Whelan, which hit the screens in March 1955.

In the opinion of some critics, the picture with Randolph Scott, Forrest Tucker and Mala Powers in the lead roles was extremely realistic and much closer to the viewers of the famous gangsters than the film made a year later with the participation of Elvis*

The screenplay for the latter was based on a story by Maurice Geraghty, an American screenwriter, director and producer.

20th Century Fox acquired the filming rights in August 1952, but the project was put on hold until 1956.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Unlike “Rage At Down”, the plot of “The Reno Brothers” – because that was the title of the first film with Presley’s participation – focused more on the complicated love story of the main characters – Vance Reno, his younger brother, than on the criminal activities of the gang Clint and beautiful Cathy.

* On the screen, in addition to shots from train robberies, you could see, among others, the moment of arresting the gang by employees of the detective agency and even committing lynching.

Information provided by Marius Ogieglo of EP Promised Land (Poland)

If you liked this article and this radio, we ask you to share it in order to reach more Elvis fans around the world. Thank you very much ?


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Share your Love for Elvis Presley on Social Networks: