Monday, May 18, 2020

Repackaging Tom Tyler: “Brothers of the West” as “Cowboy Musketeer”

"Brothers of the West" repackaged on 16mm film
It was the following Ebay auction which caught my eye that made me think about how westerns of the 1930’s were repackaged as 16mm or 8mm/Super 8mm for home viewing: “Brothers of the West” (1937). In this case, “Brothers of the West” received the title of “Cowboy Musketeer” for the 16mm print, possibly a paean to Tom Tyler’s silent film made for FBO in 1925.

Outside of the 1925 silent film “Cowboy Musketeer” made by FBO Productions, Tom Tyler’s name has also been attached to a movie of the same name back in the early 1980’s television schedule listings.  “Cowboy Musketeer” is often accompanied by a “no date” in parentheses, along with the name Tom Keene, who was also a western star of the 1930’s:

From The Orlando Sentinel, FL, March 9, 1983

The SAT cable channel abbreviation stands for Satellite Program, with this time showing being at 6:30 AM on a Wednesday, March 9, 1983. While it cannot be determined what this movie actually was – whether it was “Brothers of the West” purchased by Satellite Program or another Tom Tyler western, the nickname “Cowboy Musketeer” seems well suited to Tom as it connotes a heroic figure, someone who seems to arrive out of nowhere to aid someone in dire need. With that, it is not wrong to consider Tom Tyler to be the “Cowboy Musketeer” of FBO.

A still of Tom in the original "The Cowboy Musketeer" 1925

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