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Seve
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:34 am

colly wrote:
Interesting to have you here Seve, its good to have someone else here who might actually consider watching a Van Heflin western. ;)
And yep, Boetticher and Scott paired up for SEVEN MEN FROM NOW. Love that title.

he was a perfect fit for the roles in "Shane" and "3:10"
but that's about all I seen
did he do any other good Westerns?
can you recommend anything else?

colly wrote:

The Raid (1954) Dir. Hugo Fregonese
Terrifically intense and surprisingly enjoyable Civil War western, a dramatization of the real life St Albans raid. Van Heflin leads a gang of confeds who escape a Union prison to Canada - from there they plot their next move: rounding up a small battallion and garnering funds by ransacking the town of St Albans in Vermont. Needing reconnesaince, Heflin enters the town as a Canadian businessman, shacking up at the hotel of Anne Bancroft. Inadvertantly, he becomes a hero to her son (Tommy Rettig), fancied by her, garners the respect of the Union soldier about town (an excellent Richard Boone) and indeed becomes a town hero once he's forced to shoot one of his own men in public. Which makes it all the more difficult as his men begin the enter the town - will Heflin give in? In a rare case for a Civil War film - the South wins and Heflin and co proceed to ransack the town, escaping in time, leaving Heflin and Bancroft on opposite sides, ruminating on how war has destroyed what people couldve held together.
Also featuring quality early roles for Lee Marvin and Peter Graves, its a terrific little film.
colly wrote:

Gunman's Walk (1958) Dir. Phil Karlson
An absolute corker.
A 50s western in every sense, it tackles themes of youth, fathers, race, equality and justice - starring a masterfully against-type Van Heflin (playing the complete opposite of his Joe Starrett persona from SHANE; actually he's playing a Riker role), with Tab Hunter and James Darren terrific as his sons. Completing the cast are familiar faces Kathryn Grant, Mickey Shaughnessey, Will Wright, Robert Simon and Ed Platt - and they're all terrific.
My only qualm was that I had to see this on a really crappy ioffer quality - much worse than the usual one I get from there. Now the Columbia archive is getting into full swing, I hope they release this soon.

I guess you can…

Salomé wrote:
ambler wrote:
Anyone here seen the first 3:10 to Yuma? I'd be interested to know how it differs from the remake. I found the ending of the Mangold version unbelievable and wondered whether that had been lifted from the original.

In the original version, the rancher does not die, instead Wade makes sure the both of them get on the train and can escape. And just Charlie Prince dies - by the rancher's hands, not Wade's - the rest of the gang survives.
I think the new version was a bit of writing cowardice in that they didn't want the audience to go home without the pay-off of one last stand-off.

the original movie is not as action packed, as you would expect given the period when it was made, but builds some good suspense in the manner of "High Noon"
however I found the payoff to be rather unsatisfactory, IMO they'd painted themselves into a corner and couldn't come up with a good way out
after I thought about it, I decided that if I'd been writing it I would have had a Marshall of some sort step down off the train just when Van Heflin was facing Ford's gang on the platform
being behind the villains, the Marshall would have the drop on them and the good guys would win the resulting shoot out
maybe Glenn Ford could give Van a bump on the head and escape in the confusion…?
but I guess they were trying to make some point about Ford's character not wanting Heflin to die in the end, mutual respect etc, which would be negated doing it my way

so anyway, when I heard there was a new version with the Rascal and Bale coming out I was looking forward to it, hoping they could come up with a better ending
however IMO they not only messed up the ending, but the rest of the movie too
beginning with Rascals pitiful excuse for a 'plan' in attacking the Gatling gun protected wagon, which is irresponsibly reckless and yet he then has the gal to kill one of his own men for 'endangering the safety of the gang' or some such nonsense… farcical!
then the ending, having Rascal gun down all his own men Clint Eastwood style, after they spent the whole movie trying to save his ungrateful arse… despicable disloyalty and yet the audience is supposed to regard Rascal as the cool anti hero of the movie! moral bankruptcy strikes again...
another nail in the coffin of the modern Western, give me "Open Range" any day

by the by, I've also read the original short story by Elmore Leonard, which was part of an anthology of his Western work I found in a second hand book store
he also wrote the stories that the movies "The Tall T", "Hombre" and "Valdez Is Coming" were based on


Last edited by Seve on Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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colly
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:46 am

We've discussed it before, but I loved the ending to the original 3:10 TO YUMA. So glorious.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:40 pm

colly wrote:
We've discussed it before, but I loved the ending to the original 3:10 TO YUMA. So glorious.

yes we have, once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away...

I miss your old avatar, with the snooker balls
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:09 am

The Searchers
Reverend Clayton: "You wanna quit, Ethan?"
Ethan: "That'll be the day"
Martin: "I hope you die!"
Ethan: "That'll be the day"
John Wayne in his ultimate 'badass' role
whether he's shooting out the eyes of an already dead Indian, to prevent his spirit entering the after world, or taking the scalp of an already dead Indian to avenge his brothers family
his is always prepared to go the extra mile to hurt his enemy on their own terms
no room for noble savages here, the primary story is about the individuals struggle to survive in a hostile environment
the view point one of bitter personal loss
none of the characters here is questioning the wider socio-political implications or considering the historical morality of how they came to be there
the film aims to show how the lives of ordinary human beings with modest aspirations can be caught up and torn apart by larger events outside their control or understanding
Ethan has been irreparably altered by the Civil war and the defeat of the cause he fought for, he is frustrated, adrift and unable to settle back into everyday life
a quest for vengeance gives him renewed purpose
however in the end he does eventually relent and the Grail-like Natalie Wood is recovered and returned, although he himself remains lost
the wider socio-political issues are also addressed and illustrated indirectly, with the viewer left to draw their own conclusions
a story with a human scale that the viewer can relate to, which is also able to encompass the larger events of it's setting
a great movie

the scenery is magnificently framed and shot in glorious colour
and most of the "Usual Suspects" from John Ford's posse are present, Ward Bond, Harry Cary Jr, Mose Harper…
I thought I saw Ben Johnson early on but I may have mistaken Charlie McCorry for him?
McCorry himself is in vintage form, providing comic relief, with his poor mans Kirk Douglas looks and OTT yokel voice
Patrick Wayne is also along for the ride, as a green young cavalry officer
Harry Brandon (who's face looks remarkably "Sean Connery-esque" to me) leads the Comanche
who also include such marvellous names as
Chief Thundercloud, Pipe Line Begishe, Exactly Sonnie Betsuie, Pete Grey Eyes, Feather Hat Jr, Jack Tin Horn, Harry Black Horse, Away Luna, Bob Many Mules, Smile White Sheep, Many Mules Son, Percy Shooting Star and Billy Yellow
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The White Tuxedo
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:14 am

Guys like Anthony Mann? I plan to revisit his westerns.
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Lazenby.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:24 am

Salomé wrote:
3:10 to Yuma?

so anyway, when I heard there was a new version with the Rascal and Bale coming out I was looking forward to it, hoping they could come up with a better ending
however IMO they not only messed up the ending, but the rest of the movie too

Very anonymously directed as well, may as well have been a Ron Howard film.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:43 am

One of my favourite non-Sergio Leone movies....

Trinity is still my name.

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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:02 am

The White Tuxedo wrote:
Guys like Anthony Mann? I plan to revisit his westerns.

I do.

His 5 that he made with Jimmy Stewart are all pretty top notch, with my fave being THE NAKED SPUR.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:13 am

colly wrote:
The White Tuxedo wrote:
Guys like Anthony Mann? I plan to revisit his westerns.

I do.

His 5 that he made with Jimmy Stewart are all pretty top notch, with my fave being THE NAKED SPUR.

Doh!
and that's the only one I haven't seen
(well not since I was a kid, so I've pretty much forgotten it)
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:14 pm

I have just seen The Searchers for what feels like the millionth time but looks like Seve beat me to reviewing it.



colly wrote:
The White Tuxedo wrote:
Guys like Anthony Mann? I plan to revisit his westerns.

I do.

His 5 that he made with Jimmy Stewart are all pretty top notch, with my fave being THE NAKED SPUR.


My fave is THE MAN FROM LARAMIE but all 5 are top class.


Last edited by bondfan06 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:15 pm

Netflix no longer has MAN OF THE WEST. :x
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:32 am

Mrs Aural Sects wrote:
One of my favourite non-Sergio Leone movies....

Trinity is still my name.

"Trinity" and "Trinity Is Still My Name", comedy favourites from my adolecent years
have you seen "My Name Is Nobody"?
basically Trinty meets Henry Fonda
and on that basis I found it to be very enjoyable
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:43 pm

Man Without A Star
an enjoyable effort from Kirk Douglas
I like the way Kirk always tries to inject some "trade craft" into his action roles, here he drops offhand cowpoke tips to the young novice without making a song and dance about it
I also quite enjoy the way Kirk likes to personally master whatever the physical demands of role are and then show off his new skills to the audience, here he shows off his gun twirling tricks but also makes a point of reminding the young cowboy twirling trickery is not the important part
I also find it interesting to ponder why I don't find the broad comedy of the 40s / 50s westerns incompatible with dramatic tension, whereas I find the broad comedy of the late 60s early 70s westerns often undermines the drama fatally
this isn't a classic by any means, but I found it to be good entertainment, apart from a somewhat perfunctory ending
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:42 pm

What is the most violent Western ever? Was it Soldier Blue? I remember seeing a tribe of Apaches being brutalised. Blofeld and Murphy Brown were in this movie too.

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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:46 am

alas I've not seen it
and reviews I've read have not encouraged me to seek it out

other than for shock value, is it really worth a look?
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:32 am

Seve wrote:
Man Without A Star
an enjoyable effort from Kirk Douglas
I like the way Kirk always tries to inject some "trade craft" into his action roles, here he drops offhand cowpoke tips to the young novice without making a song and dance about it
I also quite enjoy the way Kirk likes to personally master whatever the physical demands of role are and then show off his new skills to the audience, here he shows off his gun twirling tricks but also makes a point of reminding the young cowboy twirling trickery is not the important part
I also find it interesting to ponder why I don't find the broad comedy of the 40s / 50s westerns incompatible with dramatic tension, whereas I find the broad comedy of the late 60s early 70s westerns often undermines the drama fatally
this isn't a classic by any means, but I found it to be good entertainment, apart from a somewhat perfunctory ending

Kirk's gun twirling skills were ptetty awesome - though I was more distracted by his massive shock of blonde hair than anything else. laugh
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:26 am

here's western a top ten based on Collie's Favourite Actors top ten

10. James Dean - "Giant" by default, but I haven't seen it, sounds a bit soapy for my taste
9. Peter Finch - was he ever in one? How about "Eureka Stockade"? so far west it's Australia and only a bit part, but "Robbery Under Arms" as bushranger Captain Starlight sounds more like it
8. James Cagney - I haven't seen any with him in, his accent would surely seem out of place, "Run For Cover" just edges out "Tribute To A Bad Man" on the IMDB ratings, he's a villain to Rock Hudson's hero in "Gun Fury, but for "The Oklahoma Kid" Bogart is also along for the ride, so that's the one I'd most like to see
7. Jack Lemmon - "Cowboy" sounds interesting, but I haven't seen it
6. Arthur Kennedy - "Rancho Notorious"
a rare opportunity to play the good guy in this Marlene Dietrich vehicle
5. Kirk Douglas - "Last Train To Gun Hill"
while he's been in some good ones, I'm not sure Kirk was ever in a truely 'great' western, "The Gunfight At The OK Corral" is very good, but bursting with health and vitality as he is, Kirk always seems an ironicly odd choice to play the tubercular Doc, and I haven't seen "Lonely Are The Brave"
4. Burt Lancaster - "Vera Cruz"
for me this is the western role that best captures Burt's energy, edging out "The Professionals"
3. Van Heflin - "3:10 To Yuma"
he was also great in "Shane" but in "3:10" he's the real focal point, rather than than Glenn Ford's gunfighter
whereas in Shane IMO the balance is in favour of Alan Ladd's doomed wanderer
2. James Stewart - "Destry Rides Again"
good comedy westerns are rare, but this is one and Stewart is perfect as the underestimated son of a legend, whose mild appearance conceals a tough and wily customer
1. John Wayne - "Rio Bravo"
He's at his most ruthless in "The Searchers" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" but I have to go for "Rio Bravo" as the epitomy of John Wayne the Legend

I was surprised that Greg Peck didn't make Colly's top ten, I thought he was a bit of a personal favourite?
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:19 am

Peck is one of my favourites yep, but along with other long-time faves in Caine, Eastwood and Bronson, the "common men" actors rose to the top. Trying to contain a list to 10 is hard work. ;)

I've seen ROBBERY UNDER ARMS and its okay - but Cagney is not in GUN FURY and I dont know how that remains on IMDB. I've had THE OKLAHOMA KID recorded for months and months and months, but I still havent watched it.

And do watch GIANT expecting it to be a Western. Apart from the fact its set in Texas oil I'm not sure where you got that idea. :)
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:41 pm

colly wrote:

And do watch GIANT expecting it to be a Western. Apart from the fact its set in Texas oil I'm not sure where you got that idea. :)

from the Texas oil I guess, I'm from the generation who had to suffer through the Dalla years...
laugh
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Sun May 01, 2011 2:23 am

Bandito
Robert Mitchum goes south of the border to seemingly always revolutionary Mexico, in a likeable action romp in the style that Howard Hawks was the master of
Mitchum plays an explosive carrying character who is something of a precurser to James Coburns in "A Fist Full Of Dynamite", overcoming numerical odds by judicious use of a suitcase full of grenades
Gilbert Roland provides his usual strong support as Escobar, the leader of the revolutionairies
the gun runner villain is played by someone who reminds me of Lee Van Cleef, which is no bad thing
his side kick is the guy who played chief 'Scar' in "The Searchers"
while the female lead reminds me of Jane Russell, so she's not bad either
recomended
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Wed May 11, 2011 1:48 am

Has anyone seen the 1966 version of STAGECOACH?

Twilight Time's releasing it in October and I think I might give it a looksie; its a got a fairly cracking cast: Ann Margret, Red Buttons, Mike Connors, Bing Crosby, Robert Cummings, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn, Stefanie Powers and that god among men, Van Heflin. Theres some dude called Alex Cord playing the Duke's role (which I can only assume ended badly) but I think i might take the plunge none-the-less.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Wed May 11, 2011 2:04 am

I can't say I have, (or ever will)
although I'm sure, taken on it's own merits, it's perfectly respectable...
but it must inevitably suffer when compared to the original
the supporting cast look like they would hold their own, but Alex Cord was no John Wayne and whoever did the stunts won't be able to measure up to the bodacious Yakama Kanut
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Wed May 11, 2011 3:51 pm

colly wrote:
Has anyone seen the 1966 version of STAGECOACH?

Twilight Time's releasing it in October and I think I might give it a looksie; its a got a fairly cracking cast: Ann Margret, Red Buttons, Mike Connors, Bing Crosby, Robert Cummings, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn, Stefanie Powers and that god among men, Van Heflin. Theres some dude called Alex Cord playing the Duke's role (which I can only assume ended badly) but I think i might take the plunge none-the-less.

I dunno. I've heard of this film and it doesn't sound very promising. Personally I'd pass on it, especially if the DVD is expensive.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri May 20, 2011 2:51 pm

Extremely exciting newsflash - having listened to the themes of both RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY and SHANE since watching the former a few days ago, I have decided that I love westerns. A very surprsing revelation I'm sure.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Thread   Fri May 27, 2011 11:43 pm

Giant
pure soap ( sorry, I mean drama...)
a long drawn out movie with nothing to say that hasn't been said better elsewhere, more concisely, more poignantly (but certainly not using more footage)
what is this film about, Texas growing up?
the grand tradition of Texas cattle versus new rich oil economy story is superficial and never properly developed
James Dean remains a peripheral figure, popping in for a colourful cameo every half hour or so, but his character is never properly fleshed out
is Dean supposed to be some great villain of the piece? if so he never actually does anything to live up to this, generally I felt sympathy for him most of the time
it's never really clear why he and Rock don't get along, no scene where they express their views in such a way that I could really understand where they are coming from
just vague resentment by one man of another's privileged life and the other sensing this and returning it, there needed to be a more personal aspect to it
and the resolution of this conflict, such as it was, was of questionable moral value
what was the message? once a punk always a punk and you can't rise above your lowly birth? money can't by you class?
Deans performance is quirky and interesting as always, in fact I think he over does it, but he was only young and sadly we never got to see him mature
in any case he fairly drips charisma, in contrast to the apply named "Rock" Hudson
to be fair Rock's not bad in this and quite well suited to the part, but despite his magnificent physical attributes I always feel there is some spark missing from his performances, and this is thrown into stark relief whenever he shares the screen with Dean
I'm guessing Rock represents raw, gauche young Texas, growing up and learning to be civilised from sophisticated easterner Liz Taylor? (how patronising)
from the get go I found it hard to believe someone from Liz Taylor's silver spoon, fox hunting, black servants background would be less racist than a Texan rancher
this seems to be the other main moral thread of the story, but as with everything else in this movie, it is a secondary consideration, fitted in where they can around the very mundane and predictable family soap opera which dominates and overwhelms this film in the end
it soon becomes apparent that none of Rocks family will ever do what he wants them to do in life
it is all tediously predictable, as soon as Dennis Hopper meets the Mexican girl you know he will marry her, as soon as you see the worthy but expendable Mexican boy in uniform, you know he will be coming home from the war in a box
if the second daughter had married James Dean things might have got interesting, but that would have required another interminable hour of film
the half baked racism angle does however provide the only decent piece of action in the whole film, as Rock finally sees the light and engages in a battle royal with the owner of a diner
but my favourite scene was when the kids found out that the turkey on the table for thanksgiving was the pet they had been feeding the day before and all burst into tears
for me this is film does not meet my definition of a "western", basically it lacks any life and death drama or moral dilemma on a personal level, and IMO you can't have a western without guns
by the end I was thinking "well that's three and a quarter hours of my life I will never get back..."

(sorry collie)
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