The Wonderful Country

The Wonderful Country, 1959 Movie Poster, 11" x 17" From the Collection of Charles Horak

Since I had such a profitable time with The Brave Bulls, I wanted to do something that had been in my mind since I was a kid: write about this borderland and about the people on both sides of the river. That's The Wonderful Country….The Literary Guild took The Wonderful Country on as one of their books. It was an alternate choice of the month…[The book] was translated in Spain, called La Frontera…Bob Parrish had gone on to direct pictures and by the time The Wonderful Country came up as a possibility for a movie, why, he had done two or three successful pictures…so he was in a position then to ask me if I would let him..make a movie….Anyway, we got it all arranged and I was down there on location with them [in Mexico. And Bob said, "there's only one way I can get you some money. I can give you a speaking part. If you only say two words, you can get a very nice [sum] of money." All the money I ever made out of the movie The Wonderful Country was as an actor…I was Peebles, the barber. I gave Bob Mitchum a shave and a bath…"

Tom Lea talking to Adair Margo in Tom Lea, An Oral History, El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1995, pps. 107.