Unlike many actors, George Nader was lucky enough to create a body of work which is remembered and respected some 60 years after his career began. Just like most others in the industry, though, he still had to pay his dues in his early years. Before the big Hollywood roles arrived, he had a number of smaller, lower profile parts. We’re going to take a tour of those early film roles right now.
Rustlers on Horseback
In 1950, while he was still mostly appearing on stage at the Pasadena Playhouse, Nader secured his very first film role in Rustlers on Horseback. The one-hour long western was directed by Fred C. Brannon and gave top billing to Allan Lane, Claudia Barrett and Eddy Waller.
Nader played the smaller yet important part of Jack Reynolds. Jack was the son of a rancher murdered by a gang of outlaws. Jack’s efforts to discover his father’s fate and kill those responsible ultimately clash with Marshal Rocky Lane’s attempts to infiltrate the gang.
Early Uncredited Roles
Following Rustlers on Horseback, Nader was cast in a number of other films throughout 1951. Unlike his first role, however, these were primarily bit-part roles for which the young actor did not receive an acting credit.
The movies were diverse and covered everything from the comedy You’re in the Navy Now to the film noir The Prowler and the musical Two Tickets to Broadway. Perhaps the most notable amongst them was the 1951 WWII epic The Desert Fox, which told the story of Nazi commander Erwin Rommel. Nader’s uncredited role in the movie was as a commando in one of the many action sequences.
Just like his first credited role, Nader’s second came in a Western. Overland Telegraph was released late in 1951 and had Nader in a large and important role.
He played shopkeeper Paul Manning who was attempting to sabotage a telegraph line that was under construction. He knew that the line would cause a nearby fort to be abandoned and it was from that fort that he got all of his business.
In order to stay afloat and to have a chance to marry his sweetheart, Paul gets involved in all manner of shady dealings. He has many run-ins with the law and is double-crossed by a friend who also has designs on his beloved. Ultimately, though, Paul gets the girl at the end of what is an action-packed one-hour long movie.
Quite a departure from Nader’s other early films, Monsoon was a romance set in India. Nader’s lead, Burton, is engaged to marry Julia (played by Diana Douglas) and the pair travel to India to visit her family before the wedding.
That family includes Julia’s beautiful and seductive younger sister, Jeanette (Ursula Theiss). Amidst the monsoon rains which arrive, Burton and Jeanette fall in love, creating a dramatic love triangle that can’t possibly end well.