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During a series of recent classes about the history of B-Western Movies, the Old Cowpoke (Nikki Ellerbe) and John “Latigo” Cudd told a group of enthusiastic western movie fans about the golden days of Republic Pictures, the greatest of the B-Westerns production companies.

In its heyday, Republic established the careers of the greatest Cowboy Stars in the business including John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Additionally, the creative supporting artists at Republic Pictures developed many of the action film techniques, stunts and visual effects we expect to see in movies today. The B-Westerns made possible the financing of other projects including the Orson Welles production of “Macbeth” in 1948 and the Oscar-nominated film “The Sands of Iwo Jima” in 1949.