Annie Oakley Productions, Inc.
Filmed along Southern Pacific Railroad’s bucolic narrow gauge line (SPNG) in the Owens Valley of California, the picture stars SPNG #9, a 4-6-0 Baldwin built in 1909. Annie and the Brass Collar was the first episode of the Annie Oakley TV show which ran for three seasons (81 episodes) until 1957.
Lots of train action in this short (30 minute) show, so let’s get started.
Old #9 is pedaling along furiously on its 44″ drivers as the bad guys make their move.
The 3 train robbers have placed “torpedoes” on the track. As the engine passes over them, it gives a large report (“BANG!!”) which is a railroad signal to stop.
Coming and going views of SPNG #9 and its little mixed (freight & passenger) train.
I apologize for the fuzziness. Screen caps were taken from an old print on YouTube
Good view of the fireman and engineer in cab. Bringing up the markers is what appears to be a home-built combine (baggage/coach) #401.
The fireman and masked bandits exchange gunfire. Ai-Yeee! The fireman is hit and tumbles off the gangway into the cinders in fine, dramatic display.
The newspaper headlines tell the story. Management gets the station agent (wearing de rigueur eyeshade) to telegraph for help. Yes, it was the fireman who got plugged, but why let facts ruin a good headline?
Great sequence of narrow gauge train in low light arriving at the depot. In the last frame we see a young chap with two grips nimbly hop off the combine.
It’s the “Brass Color” — a fancy pants, college boy, big shot from railroad management come to clean up the trouble in this here town!
The Sheriff and Annie come riding down the tracks as the station agent glumly collects the Brass Collar’s luggage. The Brass Collar further antagonizes the manager by announcing he’s taking over.
Note: that appears to be a map of the state of Texas behind the B.C.
Put up your dukes! With a nice view of the freight station platform and distant water tower, the Brass Collar (prancing around like a show pony) takes on the Sheriff with some fisticuffs!
(He doesn’t make friends easily…)
After taking on water, SPNG #9 drifts up to the depot. Annie’s kid brother is up in the cab having the time of his life as the engineer shows him around. Brass Collar is a by-the-book type and quickly hauls the kid down from his lofty perch. Those are the rules! Bastard.
The train robbers are at it again! One bandit holds the telegrapher and Sheriff at bay, whilst the other two board the engine and combine as the train prepares to leave the station.
Great shot of a masked bandit blasting away from the combine door. Gaaah! The station master gets it! Right in the epiglottis! Sheriff, Annie and kid brother set off in pursuit down the tracks.
Annie quickly dispatches the combine bandit who does a spectacular tumble off the train. Note the dusty road to the left — used for the upcoming pacing shots.
Sheriff rides alongside the combine and boards the rear platform. Soon he’s on the roof of the car after the other bad guy.
Great fight scene atop SP boxcar #126 – which soon moves to the adjoining flatcar.
Meanwhile, the baddie in the cab (fireman’s side) is exchanging pot shots with Annie coming up on the outside.
The onboard fight has moved to a gondola behind the engine. The Sheriff does a great Captain Kirk flying leg kick as the two now battle it out in the cab.
Oops! BOTH battling boffos tumble from the cab. The engine is running wild with no one at the controls!
Annie to the rescue! Under snow-capped mountains, Miss Oakley clambers aboard and brings the locomotive to a stop.
With two disgruntled outlaws handcuffed to the tender, Annie and boyfriend Sheriff discuss their perilous adventure. Soon Annie moves to the cab for a classic pose from the fireman’s seat.
This was a fun and entertaining little episode to review. I understand there were other Annie Oakley episodes that featured train scenes, but Brass Collar seems pretty hard to top in the train-action department.
If you’d like to see this episode yourself, it is available on YouTube:
Here’s what IMDb has to say about Annie and the Brass Collar:
If you have ANY information about this movie you’d like to share, please contact me at: Lindsay.Korst@gmail.com, or leave a comment. Thanks and enjoy the blog!