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Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

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cmvgor
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Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby cmvgor » May 7th, 2007, 9:17 am

I tracked down the 1957 film Black Patchwith the thought of adding it to the "Norish Westerns (devotees of that topic may want to look it up), but I got sidetracked when I found that co-star Leo Gordon had been one of the screenwriters. I remembered him most vidivly for getting knocked about the streets by John Wayne, and getting called "Pilgrim" a lot. He was a familiar face in a lot of mid-and-late century Westerns. Turns out he had a respectable list of writing credits, also. There were also his occasional appearences on The Rockford Files as bodyguard-for-hire
Charles Martel. Any posters with more recent memories than mine about
Leo (sometimes Leo V.) Gordon?
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klondike

Postby klondike » May 9th, 2007, 3:54 pm

I've often heard Gordon referred to as "the man with a face like a clenched fist", and Boy Howdy, if you can recall what the man looks like, you can sure appreciate that simile!
I seem to remember reading somewhere he was a bona fide ex-con, specifically an "Alcatraz graduate". :twisted:
Right off the top of my head, I'd have to say that his greatest related body of work was in guest starring on various TV westerns from the late 50's to early 60's; I can think of at least a half-dozen Bonanza episodes featuring LG over the course of their first eight or nine years.
It would be interesting to see who made more guest appearance on Western TV shows: Leo Gordon, Robert Wilke or Morgan Woodward.

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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » May 9th, 2007, 4:03 pm

Klondike:

I always felt like John Saxon had been in every tv show ever made.
Chris

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cmvgor
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Postby cmvgor » May 9th, 2007, 10:26 pm

Now this goes beyind trivia right in to downright minutiae.
Was it in a scene addressing Leo Gordon that John Wayne first used the
term "Pilgrim" as a sneering form of address? It was the first time I saw him do it, but that doesn't mean it was the first time. Some really avid and attentive John Wayne fans may know.
"Faint heart never filled inside straight"

--Bret & Bart's Pappy

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Postby movieman1957 » May 10th, 2007, 8:06 am

Didn't Wayne use the term "pilgrim" in "Liberty Valance"? (I'm not really sure.)
Chris

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Postby cmvgor » May 10th, 2007, 10:44 am

To: movieman1957;

Chris, you're quite likely right, and I am waaaay out of my depth here.
I just remember, I think it was in McLintock! (1963), that he called
Gordon "Pilgrim" several times in an encounter that went on to a butt-stroke with a rifle, and from there to fisticuffs. Gordon was certainly big
enough for the Duke to attack him without looking like a bully. And it's
my impression that Wayne made use of the term often. Considering that
'Liberty Valence' was a 1962 release, its quite likely he used it then.
"Faint heart never filled inside straight"

--Bret & Bart's Pappy

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Postby movieman1957 » May 10th, 2007, 11:36 am

Duke and Leo Gordon had a prior meeting in "Hondo." He played Geraldine Page's husband who was barely in the picture before their fight scene.

Your mentioning Duke shoving that shotgun in Gordon's belly reminded me I just saw the scene the other night when a friend brought the mud fight scene to show off as one of their favorites.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby markfp » September 6th, 2007, 10:56 pm

You should check out his bio on the imdb website. He has 168 acting credits including many movies and just about every western tv series. He was also a writer. He co-wrote Roger Corman's THE TERROR and B-films like ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES and THE WASP WOMAN. Many many tv series like ADAM-12 which he even directed some episodes. We think of him as the tough screen "badguy", but the man had many talents. He died in December, 2000.

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Re: Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby Vienna » October 30th, 2012, 3:43 pm

It's interesting to see Leo Gordon in Joel McCrea 's TALL STRANGER . Leo plays a sympathetic character for maybe the only time in his career? And he did it so well. Such a nice surprise.

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Re: Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby MissGoddess » October 30th, 2012, 4:12 pm

What do I know? He has a pair of the bluest eyes I've ever seen! :D

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Re: Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby Western Guy » November 26th, 2012, 3:18 pm

A buddy of mine who knew Gordon well and even wrote a movie script with him said that Leo Gordon was the scariest man he'd ever known. In fact, on his discharge from the army Leo's C.O. said to him: "Try not to kill anyone, Gordon" - which didn't happen, though Leo himself got gut-shot when he and some pals held up a bar in L.A.

He was acting in a John Wayne Western and his character got shot and he fell forward. John Wayne said, "Wait, wait, wait -- you don't fall forward when you get shot, you go flyin' backward." Gordon insisted you fall forward. Wayne said, "No, you gotta do it again, you don't fall forward." Gordon pulled up his shirt to show an old bullet wound: "When I got shot, I fell forward!"

Though as an actor he later said: "I'm being a good boy and making lots of money playing bad boys", he carried a semi-automatic tucked in his trousers (a no-no for ex-cons) and often scared other actors in Westerns by firing off live ammo during gunfights.

Director Don Siegel called Leo "Scary, violent and unpredicatable." Kudos to Siegel for directing both Gordon and the equally violent and predictable Neville Brand in RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 13. Yet, to be fair, others have said that Leo was a very thoughtful, kind and intelligent man.

Makes sense. Gordon enjoyed one of Hollywood's happiest marriages to the gorgeous Lynn Cartwright.

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Re: Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby Maricatrin » November 26th, 2012, 4:02 pm

Leo Gordon makes a great villain, but I never had a hard time accepting him as a good guy on those rare occasions when he got the chance to play one. Big Mike McComb was, to me, the most likeable of all Brett and Bart's cohorts on Maverick.

His daughter has a wonderful facebook page for him: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Leo-Gordon/163870180296567

Lot's of great pictures there, like the following one...

Image

Guess who?
Last edited by Maricatrin on November 26th, 2012, 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby Western Guy » November 26th, 2012, 4:05 pm

Great pic. Sure doesn't look like a future San Quentin inmate, Duke Wayne adversary or John Dillinger there.

Mary-Kate, as the Western Guy, LOVE your avatar!

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Re: Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby Maricatrin » November 26th, 2012, 4:13 pm

Western Guy wrote:Great pic. Sure doesn't look like a future San Quentin inmate, Duke Wayne adversary or John Dillinger there.


You can say that again! Such an adorable looking little tyke. He's getting a bit more recognizable here, in a picture with his father:

Image


Western Guy wrote:Gordon enjoyed one of Hollywood's happiest marriages to the gorgeous Lynn Cartwright.


Image


Western Guy wrote:Mary-Kate, as the Western Guy, LOVE your avatar!


Thank you! I kinda like it too. :wink:
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Re: Whaddya know about Leo Gordon?

Postby Western Guy » November 26th, 2012, 5:41 pm

You know what's kinda weird? I mentioned Leo playing Dillinger (in Don Siegel's BABY FACE NELSON). In that picture you posted of 12-year old Leo and his dad, his pop bears a resemblance to Dillinger's father, John Herbert Sr.


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