JENNINGS, Al

(1863–1961)
   The last of the old-time outlaws, Al Jennings was born Alfonso Jackson Jennings in Tazewell County, Virginia, but spent his early adult life in El Reno, Oklahoma, as an attorney who eventually went bad and formed his own outlaw gang, the Jennings gang. For a short time Jennings and his gang developed a reputation as train robbers, and Jennings himself, despite his fivefoot-one-inch frame, became a notorious gunfighter, killing 18 men (“I always shot ’em in the throat so they could not talk back”) and even standing down Jesse James at one time. At least, these are the legends Jennings cultivated through the years. After serving his prison term and receiving a presidential pardon, Jennings entered the film business when it was in its most primitive state. In 1908 Jennings the reformed outlaw collaborated with legendary sheriff Bill Tilgman in making A Bank Robbery, filmed on location in Cache, Oklahoma, a town that still had the classic old West look. The 19-minute film, with no story boards, shows the outlaw gang planning their holdup, then riding into town, entering the bank, shooting it up (we see the scene only from the outside), coming out, and riding down the street out of town. As they ride down the street, the camera pans the townspeople on the street. Several are waving at the camera.
   The film was the beginning of an attempt by Jennings and Tilgman to establish the film industry in Oklahoma as New York was becoming impractical, especially for filming Westerns. In 1918 Jennings established his own production company, the Al Jennings Company, located in Tucson, Arizona. Thereafter, he had a long career in Hollywood, being associated with over 100 films, including nonWesterns, in various phases of the industry. Two film biographies of him were made, Beating Back (1914), starring Jennings as himself, and Al Jennings of Oklahoma (1951), starring Dan Duryea and Gale Storm. Jennings died at 98 in Tarzana, California, the last survivor from the old West.
   Jennings’s Hollywood career, as with the Hollywood career of Wyatt Earp, brings up the interesting question: How much of what Hollywood saw as the authentic West truly was historic? While most of Jennings’s claims to gunfighter notoriety have been shown false, much of what early Westerns relied on for authentic detail was based solely on the testimony of Jennings and others who claimed to have lived through the legendary days of old.
   See also HISTORICAL AUTHENTICITY.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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  • Jennings — heißen die Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Jennings (Florida) Jennings (Kansas) Jennings (Louisiana) Jennings (Missouri) Jennings (Montana) Jennings (Oklahoma) Jennings (Texas) Jennings (Wisconsin) Jennings County, Verwaltungseinheit in Indiana… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jennings — Jennings, MO U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 15469 Housing Units (2000): 6798 Land area (2000): 3.688938 sq. miles (9.554305 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.688938 sq. miles (9.554305… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Jennings, FL — U.S. town in Florida Population (2000): 833 Housing Units (2000): 321 Land area (2000): 1.805571 sq. miles (4.676408 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.805571 sq. miles (4.676408 sq. km) FIPS code …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Jennings, KS — U.S. city in Kansas Population (2000): 146 Housing Units (2000): 99 Land area (2000): 0.271451 sq. miles (0.703054 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.271451 sq. miles (0.703054 sq. km) FIPS code:… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Jennings, LA — U.S. city in Louisiana Population (2000): 10986 Housing Units (2000): 4541 Land area (2000): 10.242267 sq. miles (26.527349 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.018150 sq. miles (0.047008 sq. km) Total area (2000): 10.260417 sq. miles (26.574357 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Jennings, MO — U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 15469 Housing Units (2000): 6798 Land area (2000): 3.688938 sq. miles (9.554305 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.688938 sq. miles (9.554305 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Jennings, OK — U.S. town in Oklahoma Population (2000): 373 Housing Units (2000): 173 Land area (2000): 0.555410 sq. miles (1.438506 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.555410 sq. miles (1.438506 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Jennings — Jennings, 1) Grafschaft im Staate Indiana (Nordamerika), 17 QM.; Flüsse: Muscatatuck River u. Sand Creek; Producte: Mais, Weizen, Hafer, Bauholz, Schweine; die Madison Indianopolis Eisenbahn durchschneidet die Grafschaft; 1817 organisirt u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Jennings —   [ dʒenɪȖz],    1) Elizabeth, englische Lyrikerin und Kritikerin, * Boston (County Lincolnshire) 18. 7. 1926; Bibliothekarin und Verlagslektorin; seit 1960 freie Autorin; schreibt kühl zurückhaltende Bekenntnislyrik, zum Teil mit religiöser… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Jennings — Jennings, Sarah, s. Marlborough 2) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Jennings — A surname of early medieval English origin, Jennings can refer to several people, places, or things:People*Adam Jennings, British actor and film director *Alex Jennings, British actor *Brian Jennings, NFL player *Charles Edward Jennings de… …   Wikipedia

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