Profile

James Ellison

James Ellison (May 4, 1910 - December 23, 1993) was an American actor, born James Ellison Smith in Guthrie Center, Iowa, son of Edward James Smith and Ona Mary Ellis. Ellison appeared in nearly seventy films between 1932 and 1962. Ellison worked for a time in a film laboratory and while there was offered a screen test. He developed it himself and when he saw it, decided it was not satisfactory so he would not show it to the director. But he saw it anyway and Ellison got a contract. Despite his rugged good looks and height of 6 feet 3 inches, Ellison's limited range and somewhat wooden screen presence kept him from the first (or even second) ranks of stardom. He spent much of his career in Westerns, including a stint in the mid-thirties as the sidekick of Hopalong Cassidy in Paramount's successful series. In 1938, he played a charming, romantic character opposite 26 year old Lucille Ball in the comedy, "Next Time I Marry", a film where Ball had her first top billing on screen credits. Before that, in 1936, he played his highest-profile role, as Buffalo Bill in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman, which also starred Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. Despite that film's success, Ellison spent most of the remainder of his career shuttling between cowboy pictures and more varied roles, primarily in B movies with titles like Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case and The Undying Monster. He had a supporting role in 1941's Charley's Aunt (which starred Jack Benny) and played the romantic lead in 1943's The Gang's All Here, a Twentieth Century Fox musical in which he seemed somewhat lost among the vivid antics of Carmen Miranda, Charlotte Greenwood, and Edward Everett Horton (and was the only principal not to sing a note). He also co-starred with Tom Conway and Frances Dee in Val Lewton's production of I Walked with a Zombie, directed by Jacques Tourneur. Ellison landed another romantic lead role as 'Jerry Gibson' in the musical film Lady, Let's Dance (1944) which starred ice skating sensation 'Belita'. In the early 1950s, Ellison moved from acting to real estate. Joining fellow veteran Jackie Coogan, Ellison returned to the screen only once to play Axel 'Longhorn' Gates in a picture called When the Girls Take Over (1962). James Ellison died at age 83 in Monterey, California after suffering a broken neck as the result of a fall. Full list of TV and Movie credits for James Ellison (actor).. Born : 4th-May-1910

Movie Credits

The Undying Monster

A werewolf prowls around at night but only kills certain members of one family. It seems like just a coincidence, but the investigating Inspector soon finds out that this tradition has gone on for generations and tries to find a link between the werewolf and the family, leading to a frightening conclusion.
Released : 27th-Nov-1942

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Crooked River

Ellison is the star searching for the killer of his parents while Hayden's a not-too-bad bandit leader.
Released : 9th-Jun-1950

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The Ghost Goes Wild

Young artist Monte Crandell is being sued for an unauthorized caricature. To escape arrest, he disguises himself as a mystic, only to conjure up a genuine ghost during a seance. Things come to a head during his trial, where the invisible ghost takes the witness stand on Our Hero's behalf.
Released : 8th-Aug-1947

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Hollywood and Vine

A young girl arrives in Hollywood determined to become a star in the movies but finds that attaining stardom is a lot more difficult than she counted on. However, she does become a star of sorts — as the owner of a dog who DOES become a movie star.
Released : 25th-Apr-1945

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Last of the Wild Horses

A cowboy must clear himself of a murder he did not commit.
Released : 27th-Dec-1948

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Almost a Gentleman

Saving a dog from the pound gets a man mixed up in murder.
Released : 31st-Mar-1939

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Annapolis Salute

The adventures of three disparate cadets at the US Naval Academy--one the son of a Navy enlisted man, the other the scion of a wealthy family, the third decent but somewhat slow-witted--and their struggles with the rigors of the academy, women, and each other.
Released : 10th-Sep-1937

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23 1/2 Hours Leave

Army training Sgt. Gray makes a bet that he can get himself invited to breakfast with his commanding officer, General Markley. But he gets into an unhappy tangle with a couple of enemy spies (and a happy tangle with the general's daughter) before the bet is finally decided.
Released : 21st-Mar-1937

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Kentucky Jubilee

A film director travels to Kentucky to seek out local talent for a hillbilly musical film. There, he gets kidnapped.
Released : 18th-May-1951

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Ice-Capades

Bob Clemens is a cameraman for newsreels. Assigned to shoot the Swiss ice skater Karen Vadja, he arrives too late, so decides to film a woman skating on a different New York rink and pass her off as Karen. The scheme backfires when promoter Larry Herman takes a look at Bob's film and decides to make the skater a star. Unfortunately, it's actually amateur (and illegal immigrant) Marie Bergin in the newsreel footage, not the great figure skater from Switzerland. Chaos ensues as Bob tries to straighten everybody out.
Released : 19th-Aug-1941

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Army Surgeon

Drama about military doctors and nurses during wartime.
Released : 4th-Dec-1942

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Colorado Ranger

The Shamrock Kid, Lucky, and The Colonel get caught in a feud between outlaws and homesteaders.
Released : 12th-May-1950

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Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case

Like the first entry, this one is played mostly for laughs, with Radio's Mister District Attorney. James Ellison replacing Dennis O'Keefe as feckless assistant DA P. Cadwallader Jones. The publisher of a tony fashion magazine is murdered, requiring Jones to sift through a colorful array of suspects. He is helped along by snoopy girl reporter Terry Parker.
Released : 18th-Dec-1941

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Fast on the Draw

As a boy, Shamrock's parents were killed. He took possession of a pistol belonging to his father, a famous marshal. Now that he is grown, he takes the job of marshal and uses the same gun, but he still has to solve the mystery of what happened to his parents.
Released : 30th-Jun-1950

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West of the Brazos

An outlaw impersonates Shamrock in order to lease his land to an oil company for $75,000.
Released : 2nd-Jun-1950

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Marshal of Heldorado

Shamrock and Lucky team up to drive the Tulliver Brothers out of Heldorado.
Released : 21st-Apr-1950

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Hostile Country

In this remake of No Man's Range (1935), Shamrock travels to the ranch of his stepfather who he has never met and finds himself caught in the middle of a range war.
Released : 24th-Mar-1950

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I Killed Geronimo

Going undercover as the notorious "Waco Kid," U.S. Army Captain Jeff Packard manages to infiltrate a gang of gold-shipment thieves lead by nasty Walt Anderson. But Anderson and his gang are not the only troublemakers around: Packard must also contend with Geronimo and his Apache warriors, who are demanding guns in exchange for peace.
Released : 8th-Aug-1950

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Heart of the West

Problems come in the form of one of Hopalong Cassidy's neighbors, but the matter is settled when Hoppy roots out the troublemaker.
Released : 24th-Feb-1936

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Hop-a-long Cassidy

An evil ranch foreman tries to provoke a range war by playing two cattlemen against each other while helping a gang to rustle the cattle. Each cattleman blames the other for missing cattle. With the help of Bill Cassidy (Hop-along, because of an earlier bullet wound) and Johnny Nelson, the warring cattlemen join forces to do in the outlaws.
Released : 23rd-Aug-1935

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Borderland

Hoppy goes undercover as an outlaw (which permits him, for once, to drink and be mean to children) to track down a bunch of outlaws operating along the border. Loco, the head bad guy, deflects suspicion from himself by pretending to be a moron.
Released : 26th-Feb-1937

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Bar 20 Rides Again

Cattle rustler Nevada dreams of living like an emperor in the West. Hoppy and the Bar 20 boys aim to put an end to his dream.
Released : 6th-Dec-1935

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Call of the Prairie

Hoppy returns to find Johnny in trouble. Buck Peters has been shot by Porter who made it look like Johnny did it. When Johnny flees he runs into Linda. He takes a liking to her only to learn her father Shanghai is one of Porter's gang. Going after Shanghai, he gets captured by the gang and Porter now plans to kill him. But Hoppy is near by and Johnny will get unexpected help from Shanghai.
Released : 6th-Mar-1936

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Trail Dust

Hoppy, Johnny and Windy are fighting a malicious gang trying to stop a cattle drive from reaching a drought-stricken North.
Released : 11th-Dec-1936

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The Eagle's Brood

When the outlaw El Toro saves Hoppy's life, Hoppy agrees to find his missing grandson.
Released : 25th-Oct-1935

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Play Girl

When a gold digger starts to get a little old to ply her trade, she teaches a younger woman all her tricks.
Released : 29th-Jan-1941

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Anne of Windy Poplars

Sentimental drama about an ambitious young teacher who arrives in a small town to take the job of vice-principal. Based on one of L M Montgomery's 'Anne of Green Gables' sequels.
Released : 28th-Jun-1940

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Texas Lawmen

A Texas Ranger goes up against the Morrow outlaw gang.
Released : 2nd-Dec-1951

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Johnny Doesn't Live Here Anymore

A young girl rents an apartment from a man who has recently enlisted in the Marines. The trouble is that he's given out keys to a half-dozen of his friends, and they all keep dropping in.
Released : 7th-Jul-1944

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Sorority House

A young girl begins to wonder if she really fits into the upper-class sorority she's trying to join.
Released : 5th-May-1939

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Careful, Soft Shoulders

In this espionage movie, set in Washington during WW II, the daughter of an ex-senator has become a dress model. She is approached by an American counter-espionage agent who offers her a chance to serve her country. The carefree son of a naval official receives a similar offer. He is asked to secure secret Naval plans. Unbeknownst to them, the man they work for is actually a Nazi spy. The two dupes finally figure it out, and the spy kidnaps them. Somehow they escape and break up the spy ring.
Released : 18th-Sep-1942

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The Texan Meets Calamity Jane

A western in which Calamity Jane's rightful ownership of a gambling hall is challenged. She nearly loses the business to a shady crook, but Texas lawyer Ellison puts up a legal battle to help her stay in charge. After a sensational fight, the letters proving her right are discovered.
Released : 15th-Nov-1950

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Lady, Let's Dance

Singing, dancing, and ice skating are featured in this musical that focuses on ice-skating sensation Belita. The story begins as she travels to a California resort where she has been hired as a replacement for a dance team. The resort is run by a handsome fellow. As a result of the gig, the skater becomes a national star while the resort manager gets fired and becomes a drifter until he ends up in the Army. The Oscar nominated score includes the following songs: "Silver Shadows and Golden Dreams", "Dream of Dreams", "Rio", "In the Days of Beau Brummel", "Lady, Let's Dance", "Happy Hearts", "Ten Million Men and a Girl", and the rhumba standard "Esperanza".
Released : 11th-Apr-1944

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You Can't Fool Your Wife

Longtime school sweethearts discover married life, thanks to a disagreeable live-in mother-in-law and pressing business obligations, is more rocky than idyllic.
Released : 21st-May-1940

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Next Time I Marry

Heiress Nancy Crocker Fleming will only receive her inheritance if she marries a "plain American." Her late father was afraid a foreign gigolo would steal her heart and money. So Nancy pays Tony Anthony, working on a WPA road project, to marry, then divorce her. When Nancy inadvertently drives off with Tony's dog, Tony seemingly kidnaps her to retrieve the pooch, which leads to a cross-country race between the two to reach Reno and the divorce court since neither one wants to be the second to file papers.
Released : 9th-Dec-1938

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They Met in Argentina

A Texas oil millionaire, after failing to secure oil lands in Argentina, seeks out a famous racehorse in Buenos Aires and orders his representative to buy the nag at any price. The representative, Tim Kelly, has a love affair with Lolita O'Shea, the beautiful daughter of the prize horse's owner.
Released : 25th-Apr-1941

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That Other Woman

A secretary by the name of Emily Borden comes up with a convoluted plan to get her boss to marry her which backfires after some bad advice.
Released : 13th-Nov-1942

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Dixie Dugan

Roger Hudson, a wealthy businessman who has moved to Washington to work for the government as a "dollar a year man," is late for a radio broadcast about his new department, the Mobilization of Woman Power for War. He takes a cab driven by Dixie Dugan, who hopes that being a cabbie while the country's men are away fighting will help the war effort. Her incompetent driving, however, results in an accident for which Roger must take responsibility in order to reach the radio station in time. Dixie then returns home, where she lives with her father Timothy, who is constantly practicing his air raid warden duties, her mother Gladys, an aspiring Red Cross worker, and cousin Imogene, who studies incessantly to become a "quiz kid." The Dugans rent out their spare rooms to Dixie's fiancé, Matt Hogan, and to blustering Judge J. J. Lawson. Matt, who works in a munitions factory, wants Dixie to settle down and marry him, but Dixie is determined to help her country.
Released : 12th-Mar-1943

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Oklahoma Justice

Johnny Mack Brown goes up against a lady bank robber in this average Mack Brown series late-entry from Monogram. The lady, played by Barbara Allen, is of course called "Ma." In order to get the goods on "Ma" and her "brood," Mack Brown must masquerade as a lone bandit.
Released : 18th-Aug-1951

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Man from the Black Hills

As other "B"-western series kept dropping like flies in 1952, Johnny Mack Brown kept grinding 'em out for Monogram. In Man From Black Hills, Johnny tries to help locate his saddle pal Jim Fallan's (James Ellison) long-lost father. Arriving in a small mining town, Johnny and Jim discover that Jim's father has established a financial empire--and that a local opportunist (Randy Brooks) has capitalized on this by claiming to be the old man's son.
Released : 29th-Mar-1952

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Dead Man's Trail

Johnny Mack Brown was nearing the end of his starring career when he appeared in the Monogram oater Dead Man's Trail. Brown and his youthful sidekick Jimmy Ellison come to the aid of imperiled Barbara Allen. At this point, Johnny was too long in tooth and thick around the middle to qualify as a romantic lead, hence the presence of Ellison.
Released : 19th-Jul-1952

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Texas City

Johnny Mack Brown substitutes brains for brawn during most of Texas City. Cast once more as a U.S. marshal, Johnny investigates when several government gold shipments are hijacked. Someone has been tipping of the outlaws as to when and where the supposedly secret shipments will take place. The principal suspect is dishonorably discharged cavalry officer Kirby (James Ellison), but Johnny has a gut feeling that Kirby is innocent on all counts.
Released : 27th-Jan-1952

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Whistling Hills

Johnny Mack Brown was recruited by Chet Norman, the owner of a stagecoach line, to end the heist perpetrated by a mysterious knight who plays strange notes with a hiss of money before robbing them.
Released : 6th-Oct-1951

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G.I. War Brides

Linda Powell, and English girl, stows away on a ship bound for the United States in order to join the G.I. she loves. She assumes the identity of an English war bride, Joyce Giles, who has decided she no longer loves the American soldier she married and is not going to join him in the U.S. Linda arrives to find that her soldier no longer wishes to marry her...
Released : 12th-Aug-1946

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Vivacious Lady

College town life gets turned upside down after a button-down botany professor secretly weds a sizzling night-club singer.
Released : 13th-May-1938

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I Walked with a Zombie

A nurse in the Caribbean turns to voodoo in hopes of curing her patient, a mindless woman whose husband she's fallen in love with.
Released : 21st-Apr-1943

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Charley's Aunt

In 1890, two students at Oxford force their rascally friend and fellow student to pose as an aunt from Brazil--where the nuts come from.
Released : 1st-Aug-1941

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The Plainsman

Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill go up against Indians and a gunrunner.
Released : 16th-Nov-1936

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Three on the Trail

An evil gang is involved in both cattle rustling and the robbing of stagecoaches. Hoppy must stop them without help from the sheriff who turns out be a major outlaw himself.
Released : 14th-Apr-1936

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Buried Loot

An embezzler who expects to serve his time in prison and then pick up his buried loot is in for a surprise.
Released : 19th-Jan-1935

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The Leathernecks Have Landed

Dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Marines after starting a barroom brawl that gets his leatherneck buddy "Tubby" Waters killed, hothead "Woody" Davis infiltrates a gang of Shanghai gunrunners to bring the culprit to justice.
Released : 17th-Feb-1936

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