Friday, February 23, 2018

Ron Ormond

Ron Ormond (August 29, 1910 – May 11, 1981) was an American author, showman, screenwriter, film producer, and film director of Western, musical, and exploitation films. Following his survival of a 1968 plane crash, Ormond began making Christian films.


Ron Ormond was born Vittorio Di Naro, anglicised to Vic Narro. He took his surname from his friend the magician and hypnotist Ormond McGill. Ormond married the vaudeville singer and dancer June Carr (1912-2006) three weeks after he met her when they were performing on stage in 1935. Ormond was performing as a magician calling himself “Rahn Ormond” and was acting as the master of ceremonies of the show he and June were in. They remained married until his death. They became partners in film production and had one son Tim who appeared in several of their films. June Ormond’s father actor, former nightclub owner, and burlesque comic Cliff Taylor also appeared in many of the Ormond’s films

Ormond’s first film was as an uncredited technical director on The Shanghai Cobra (1945). Ormond formed Western Adventures Productions, Inc in 1948 and formed a partnership with Lash La Rue writing and producing and eventually directing his films. Ormond’s first credit was Dead Man’s Gold in that year. Ormond made his directing debut in King of the Bullwhip with La Rue in 1950. Ormond also wrote a series of Western s starring former Hopalong Cassidy sidekicks James Ellison and Russell Hayden and filmed vaudeville acts for a film released by Robert L. Lippert.

As B picture Westerns became replaced with Western television series, Ormond moved into other exploitation genres with films such as Mesa of Lost Women, Untamed Mistress, Teenage Bride aka Please Don’t Touch Me and country and western films such as White Lightning Road

During the 1950’s Ormond spent eight months with Ormond McGill in Asia writing the book Religious Mysteries of the Orient/Into the Strange Unknown that centred Western attention on Psychic surgery. Other books by McGill and Ormond include The Master Method of Hypnosis, The Art of Meditation, and The Magical Pendulum of the Orient.

Ormond also produced roller derby on television for Leo Seltzer for a year with his son Tim as one of the players.

After making more exploitation films such as The Monster and the Stripper] and The Girl from Tobacco Row surviving a plane crash led Ormond to Christianity. Ormond’s productions include 39 Stripes, If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?, and The Burning Hell.

Ormond’s popularity after his death mushroomed as many enjoyed his films as “so bad they’re good”.

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