Author Topic: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon  (Read 32121 times)

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2009, 11:28:45 PM »
Yes, Rio Lobo had some similarities but I think both Hawks and Wayne were coasting at that point.  So I figure to just skip that one.  And before I do this dual review, I need to find a copy of the new edition of El Dorado which is a 2-disc "Centennial" edition.  I've looked but not found it in my area yet.  8)

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2009, 03:25:14 PM »


Arizona Bound (First movie in The Rough Riders series)
Cast: Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, Raymond Hatton, Luana Walters, Tris Coffin
Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet

This movie is what they used to call a "B" western...a low-budget movie shot quickly (often in as little as a week) and which usually only ran about an hour in length though some (such as the Hopalong Cassidy movies) would be afforded a slightly longer running time. As movies entered the late 30's, studios tried to give kids more for their pennies and one idea that came up was to give them 3 stars in each picture...the first "buddy" movies in a sense. The most popular such series was probably The Three Mesquiteers (John Wayne was a member of that group for about 2 years just before he became a true star). This series was The Rough Riders and it co-starred two cowboy actors who had enjoyed many successful years as solo stars, Buck Jones and Tim McCoy. Raymond Hatton, who had a humorous bent as a cowboy sidekick, joined them as the third member of the group.

This was the first film of the series (there would be 8 official films of the group...a 9th film is not considered an official Rough Riders film since McCoy was unable to appear in it and Jones died shortly after filming was completed). They took advantage in the plot that this was the first as it appears the three leads don't really know each other but in time we find they do and are acting to throw off the criminal element, led by a popular bad guy actor Tris Coffin. There's lots of action in it's 1-hour running time before the conclusion though. In the end, they ride off in separate directions but there is the promise of future adventures. I like both Buck and Tim but Buck is probably my favorite of the trio...he's a hard-nosed kind of guy who could've been another John Wayne if he'd gotten the right breaks. I remember Bill Cosby doing a comedy routine about Buck and he mentiioned that you knew Buck was getting mad because he'd then pull out and start chewing gum...that's actually alluded to in this film. When he actually goes for his gum, the bad guy (who knows about the gum) is actually unnerved.

These old short films are in the public domain and you'll often find a couple of versions put out by different companies. I bought three DVD titles from Critics Choice and each is a triple play so I have all 9 films. Despite the fact the front is labelled "Digitally Restored", don't believe it. Like most PD releases, quality is fair at best. It's watchable, though. Just don't expect to confuse it with a Criterion Collection disc...

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2009, 05:22:16 PM »


High Noon
Cast: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney, Henry Morgan, Lee Van Cleef
Director: Fred Zinnemann
DVD Extras: Original Theatrical Trailer, The Making of High Noon (hosted by Leonard Maltin)

Here's a classic western just about everyone has heard of...even those who aren't western fans. And this copy has been in my collection a long time...just over 8 years or so now.

The basic plot has Gary Cooper (in an Oscar-winning performance) finding out on his wedding day that a killer he sent to prison is free and coming back...for him...on the noon train.. At first, he and his wife leave town as planned to begin their new life elsewhere (he has given up being a marshal for her as she is a Quaker). But he decides he can't do it and heads back to face him. With little more than an hour before the train arrives, he begins looking for deputies to back him up but again and again he is turned down. The movie is played out in real time which makes it even more effective and there are several shots of clocks throughout the film to let you know just how much time is left. When the showdown actually occurs, it actually happens in an amazingly short amount of time. At the end, with all the bad guys dead (one at the hand of his new bride), Kane drops his badge in the dirt of the street and he and his wife leave town, never to return. It's definitely a must-have for any western movie library.

My DVD copy was the first of two. Mine has a few extras including a making-of featurette hosted by Leonard Maltin and the trailer for the film. The making-of featurette is 22 minutes long and has some interviews with several of the filmmakers...the producer (Stanley Kramer), director (Fred Zinneman) and even part of an old interview with star Gary Cooper.  Interestingly, host Leonard Maltin makes a mistake during his hosting...he refers to Gary Cooper's portrayal of Marshal Will Kane as his only Oscar...I guess he forgot about a little film titled Sergeant York!  The print of the movie itself is clear and sharp. Another version came out in 2002 featuring more extras including an audio commentary featuring several people including John Ritter. John Ritter, you ask? Yes, but remember that the "High Noon" song was sung by his father, Tex Ritter. I may pick that up someday if I ever come across it somewhere.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2009, 05:24:56 PM »
I forgot to add to my review of High Noon that it actually won 4 Academy Awards.  Besides Gary Cooper for Best Actor, it also won for Best Film Editing, Best Original Song and for it's musical score by Dimitri Tiomkin.

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2009, 05:31:04 PM »
I heard of it... but never seen it. I am sure you are surprised by that.  :P
Pete

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2009, 05:35:18 PM »
I just looked up High Noon on Amazon... and not only seen this one at a decent price... and I also see a TV Movie version made in 2001 with Tom Skerrit.  Have you seen that one Roger? Worth adding to my collection as well? I always liked Tom Skerrit for some reason.
Pete

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2009, 05:49:15 PM »
I should do a double-feature review of Rio Bravo and El Dorado since El Dorado was a virtual remake of Rio Bravo.  In Rio Bravo, you had a young gunslinger named Colorado...in El Dorado you had James Caan playing a young guy (who couldn't be worse with a gun) whose name is that of a different state, Mississippi.  And, if you can believe it, we had Ed Asner playing the bad guy...
Roger, is that the one where he can't shoot a gun but is good with knifes? And since they need him shooting they give him a shotgun, as aiming is not so important for that?

...and if it's not this one, do you know which film matches my description?

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2009, 06:00:04 PM »
Achim, yes, you got the plotline right.  Caan can't hit the proverbial broad side of a barn so they give him some kind of a scattergun if not exactly a shotgun.  It packs quite a kick.  When he uses it in a fight it illicits one of my favorite lines...

"Well, he was limping when he left," says Mississippi to which John Wayne's character retorts "He was limpin' when he got here!"  :laugh:

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2009, 06:05:00 PM »
In reply to Pete's post, I have heard of the Tom Skerritt film but have never seen it myself.  I usually don't care for most remakes like that, especially if they're done for TV.  I see there was also one called High Noon, Part Two: The Return of Will Kane and that one actually stars Lee Majors.  No, I've never actually seen that one, either.  :tease:

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2009, 06:12:08 PM »
LOL.... well I like Tom Skerrit and I like TV Movies... so I will probably try to get both versions before too long.
Pete

Offline Achim

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2009, 06:20:06 PM »
Achim, yes, you got the plotline right.  Caan can't hit the proverbial broad side of a barn so they give him some kind of a scattergun if not exactly a shotgun.  It packs quite a kick.  When he uses it in a fight it illicits one of my favorite lines...

"Well, he was limping when he left," says Mississippi to which John Wayne's character retorts "He was limpin' when he got here!"  :laugh:
:laugh: Yeah, I can now actually recall that line...

Thanks. We discussed this before but didn't find the final answer at the time. I remember enjoying this a lot and will order it soon.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2009, 06:25:35 PM »
Since I haven't had any luck finding it locally (as well as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance which also came out in the new 2-disc "Centennial" edition) I may go ahead and order both myself.  I'm trying not to repeat stars too much so maybe I'll hold off on more John Wayne westerns until I get them.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2009, 03:55:03 PM »
A couple years ago, Warner Brothers released some Triple Feature DVDs...two of John Wayne's early "B" films and two featuring 3 Randolph Scott westerns.  This review features one of the Wayne westerns...this movie was on a disc that also included The Big Stampede and Haunted Gold...



Ride Him Cowboy (1932)
Cast: John Wayne, Ruth Hall, Henry B. Walthall, Frank Hagney
Director: Fred Allen

Back in the 1930s, many cowboys had horses that were nearly as famous as they were...Tom Mix had Tony, Gene Autry had Champion and, of course, Roy Rogers had Trigger. When John Wayne signed a contract with Warner Brothers, it was decided that he should have a horse that would also get billing in the movies. In a rather odd decision, they named the horse Duke, which of course also happened to be John Wayne's nickname.

The horse equated himself well enough but the film is only okay, a typical B-oater. The horse Duke is the only witness to a crime and the mysterious villain known as The Hawk (in his civilian guise) tries to have the horse destroyed in an outdoor trial. John Wayne (as John Drury) comes along and convinces the judge to spare the horse. Drury helps the girl on whose ranch Duke lives and, of course, Duke eventually become's Drury's horse. All is eventually brought right and Duke himself winds up killing The Hawk.

All in all, a low rung on John Wayne's trip up the ladder of fame.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2009, 12:13:56 AM »


The Tin Star (1957)  92 minutes
Cast: Henry Fonda, Anthony Perkins, Betsy Palmer, Neville Brand
Music: Elmer Bernstein
Directed by Anthony Mann

As this movie begins, bounty hunter Morg Hickman (Henry Fonda) comes to town with a dead man draped over one of his horses. When he gets there, he finds a new tenderfoot of a sheriff (Anthony Perkins) who's not had his badge long and he winds up getting versed by Morg in lessons on being a successful lawman. Morg also becomes involved with a local widow (Betsy Palmer) and her son.

Though this film did get an Oscar nomination for it's story and screenplay, I've always considered this an overlooked little gem of a western. I like it's spare look with it's fine black & white photography and the character-driven story peopled with fine actors, even if Anthony Perkins is the last person you'd expect to find in the genre. I try to watch this film at least once a year...it's a film I never seem to tire of. The print on this DVD is sharp and clear but there are no extras, not even the ever-popular trailer.

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2009, 01:40:21 AM »
That is my pet peeve.... At least give us the trailer!  :voodoo:
Pete