Author Topic: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon  (Read 29825 times)

Najemikon

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #60 on: July 13, 2009, 12:19:54 PM »
I have The War Wagon. Very quirky in places!

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2009, 03:25:35 AM »


A Lawless Street  (1956) 77 minutes
Cast: Randolph Scott, Angela Lansbury, Warner Anderson, Jean Parker, Wallace Ford
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Music: Paul Sawtell

Yes, it's time for yet another Randolph Scott western! In this one, he is a lawman who moves from town to town in the Colorado territory, ridding them of outlaws. He is married to a lovely singer (Lansbury) but she leaves him and won't return as long as he is involved in this dangerous duty but he has one last town he wants to clean up. This was a good western with some dynamite stuntwork (especially in one big fight scene between Scott and a large extremely strong foe) and is quickly paced. The DVD has a good quality print but no real extras...apart for some trailers of other westerns.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #62 on: July 15, 2009, 02:00:02 AM »


The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)
Cast: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Shirley Jones, Sue Ane Langdon
Director: Gene Kelly

This movie is available on a double-feature DVD...it is also part of the box set James Stewart: The Signature Collection.  A lot of people think of Jimmy as an "Aw, shucks" kind of actor but he's been downright serious in most of his westerns. He did do a couple comedy-westerns in his time as well, one was the comedy classic "Destry Rides Again" and this was another. In this he co-stars with another big-name actor who also did his share of westerns, Henry Fonda. The film is directed by that legendary song and dance man, Gene Kelly...but no musical numbers in this movie.

As the movie opens we find them in texas branding cattle when Stewart's character receives a letter from a lawyer in Wyoming. It seems his brother has died and left him something so he and Fonda set out for Cheyenne to see what it's all about...with Fonda yapping all the way to Wyoming. Stewart finally tells him to pipe down after Fonda starts telling a particular story for the third time. It turns out that what Stewart's character has inherited was a brothel, populated with a handful of pretty ladies and quite popular with the men of the town. Stewart, uncomfortable with the whole situation, plans to close down the brothel and that's what starts the trouble.

I guess you would call this a fairly amiable comedy...it's got some nice humor but never falls into the slapstick-style humor that films like McLintock! do. There's a bit of action to keep it moving and I enjoyed it...but it's not the kind of film I'll be seeking out too often. It can currently be found on a double-feature DVD (along with another Stewart-Fonda teaming, Firecreek). The DVD includes a short featurette on the film (and you even get a few words from Gene Kelly so you can know for sure it was really him) and the original theatrical coming attraction.   :)

Najemikon

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #63 on: July 15, 2009, 12:55:28 PM »
Have you ever seen Fool's Parade, Roger? I think that was a James Stewart western, also known as Dynamite Man From Glory Jail. A friend of mine mentions it a lot, but it isn't available sadly.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #64 on: July 15, 2009, 02:41:37 PM »
I have heard of "Fool's Parade" but have never actually seen it.  It's not really a western, though, as it takes place in West Virginia (actually in the eastern part of the U.S.) during the 1930s.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #65 on: July 15, 2009, 05:08:12 PM »


3:10 to Yuma (1957)
Cast: Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Felicia Farr, Leora Dana, Henry Jones, Robert Emhardt
Title song performed by Frankie Laine
Music by George Duning
Directed by Delmer Daves

Even people who are not big western movie fans are familiar with the titles of many of the greatest westerns of all time...films like The Searchers, The Magnificent Seven, Shane and High Noon. I imagine many of them are not familiar, however, with 3:10 To Yuma. They should...it doesn't need to take a back seat to any of those movies.

As the movie begins, a stagecoach is being held up and a farmer (Van Heflin), looking for some cattle that have strayed, comes face to face with the gang and it's cool leader (Glenn Ford). They don't harm the farmer but take the horses he and his sons were riding. The farmer walks back to his ranch, gets a couple of horses and then goes back to help those still with the stagecoach. Returning to town, the farmer finds that the gang leader is in the saloon, his men having left town. The farmer talks to the outlaw and others get the drop on him. Discussing things, they feel they have to get the outlaw to the 3:10 train to Yuma and the farmer agrees to guard him once they reach the next town where that train will be as he can use the $200 the stage line owner offers him as he needs the money to bring in much-needed water for his livestock. Up until the time the train comes, the outlaw is cool as a cucumber and begins to psyche the farmer out. By the time the train comes, the farmer is all alone and must get his man to the train while surviving against a half-dozen gunmen.

This is a really great film. It's incredibly intense and has some fantastic black & white photography. It's based on a short story by Elmore Leonard and is definitely a true classic. Look it up the next time it shows up on your favorite classic movie channel. Oh yes, they did do a remake a few years ago with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.  That was a good movie, too...but I still prefer the original.

I bought this DVD several years ago...and it has no real extras.  It doesn't even have the original trailer...but it does have trailers for 2 other westerns, Silverado and Mackenna's Gold.

Najemikon

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #66 on: July 15, 2009, 07:12:17 PM »


3:10 to Yuma (1957)
Cast: Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Felicia Farr, Leora Dana, Henry Jones, Robert Emhardt
Title song performed by Frankie Laine
Music by George Duning
Directed by Delmer Daves

Even people who are not big western movie fans are familiar with the titles of many of the greatest westerns of all time...films like The Searchers, The Magnificent Seven, Shane and High Noon. I imagine many of them are not familiar, however, with 3:10 To Yuma. They should...it doesn't need to take a back seat to any of those movies.

As the movie begins, a stagecoach is being held up and a farmer (Van Heflin), looking for some cattle that have strayed, comes face to face with the gang and it's cool leader (Glenn Ford). They don't harm the farmer but take the horses he and his sons were riding. The farmer walks back to his ranch, gets a couple of horses and then goes back to help those still with the stagecoach. Returning to town, the farmer finds that the gang leader is in the saloon, his men having left town. The farmer talks to the outlaw and others get the drop on him. Discussing things, they feel they have to get the outlaw to the 3:10 train to Yuma and the farmer agrees to guard him once they reach the next town where that train will be as he can use the $200 the stage line owner offers him as he needs the money to bring in much-needed water for his livestock. Up until the time the train comes, the outlaw is cool as a cucumber and begins to psyche the farmer out. By the time the train comes, the farmer is all alone and must get his man to the train while surviving against a half-dozen gunmen.

This is a really great film. It's incredibly intense and has some fantastic black & white photography. It's based on a short story by Elmore Leonard and is definitely a true classic. Look it up the next time it shows up on your favorite classic movie channel. Oh yes, they did do a remake a few years ago with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.  That was a good movie, too...but I still prefer the original.

I bought this DVD several years ago...and it has no real extras.  It doesn't even have the original trailer...but it does have trailers for 2 other westerns, Silverado and Mackenna's Gold.

Amazing film, brilliantly written central characters. I especially enjoyed Ford, apparently truly the fastest gun in the west (amongst the Western actors anyway!). I heard this was made in response to the unfashionably liberal High Noon. Never fancied the remake because it looked like they overdid the action (which it doesn't need) and much as I like the actors, I can't see them pulling off the same charm.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #67 on: July 15, 2009, 08:56:13 PM »
One side note about one of the actors.  When I went to Hollywood in 1974, I found myself at the famous Chinese theater there where they had the footprints of various stars.  I recall that my feet were bigger than John Wayne's (I had always heard he had small feet) but my feet were a pretty good fit for the footprints of Van Heflin...  :P

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2009, 04:22:50 AM »


Albuquerque
Cole Armin (Randolph Scott) comes to Albuquerque to work for his uncle, John Armin (George Cleveland), a despotic and hard-hearted czar who operates an ore-hauling freight line, and whose goal is to eliminate a competing line run by Ted Wallace (Russell Hayden) and his sister Celia (Catherine Craig). Cole tires of his uncle's heavy-handed tactics and switches over to the Wallace side. Lefty Tyler, an agent hired by the uncle, also switches over by warning Cole and Ted of a trap set for them by the uncle and his henchman Juke Murkil (Lon Chaney Jr.).

The DVD
Video: 1.33:1 Full Frame (as it should be, shot in 1948)
Audio: English Mono 2.0
Extras: None

My Thoughts: There's nothing like a good western.  If you remember in "Blazing Saddles", the townspeople don't want to give the black marshal a chance until he intones "You would've done it for Randolph Scott!" and this is a good example why.  Scott doesn't do it all but gets help from his friends including bewhiskered Gabby Hayes.  It's a rootin-tootin great western with great photography and just enough action to keep you interested.  Unfortunately, this is a prime example of the old saying "they don't make 'em like that anymore".  It's not what I'd call a western classic...not quite...but it's very entertaining.   Recommended.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2009, 07:35:24 PM »


The Villain

The cowboy Handsome Stranger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) will escort miss Charming Jones (Ann-Margret) to get a large sum of money from her father, Parody Jones. But the rich Avery Jones wants to lay his hands on the money and hires an old cowboy, Cactus Jack (Kirk Douglas), to rob them when they ride back from her father. However, Cactus Jack is not very good at robbing people.

The DVD:
Video: 1:33.1 Full Screen
Running Time: 89m
Extras: Trailers--Not for this movie but for 3 other films including The Quick & The Dead and Cat Ballou.

My Thoughts:
First off, Kirk Douglas doesn't play a cowboy but is an outlaw from the very start...and his age is never mentioned in the movie.  I really wanted to like this movie but after a nice overhead opening showing off the majestic Monument Valley, it went downhill from there.  It's just painfully unfunny with jokes telegraphed a mile in advance and not carried off very well.  Great stars like Strother Martin, Paul Lynde and Jack Elam are wasted and even Kirk Douglas & Ann-Margret, pros though they may be, couldn't bring this to life.  The director is Hal Needham...best known as a stuntman and director of Smokey and the Bandit.  This movie may explain why you never hear of him anymore.  If you're looking for a funny comedy-western, avoid this turkey and watch Support Your Local Sheriff, McLintock! or Cat Ballou instead.

Adding insult to injury, the movie is presented in pan & scan format.  :thumbdown:

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #70 on: August 16, 2009, 05:52:28 AM »


Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
Director: Burt Kennedy
Cast: James Garner, Suzanne Pleshette, Jack Elam, Harry Morgan, John Dehner, Chuck Connors, Joan Blondell, Dub Taylor, Marie Windsor

A few years after the success of Support Your Local Sheriff, this follow-up was produced and released.  Despite the similar title, same director and much of the same cast (but with Suzanne Pleshette as the leading lady instead of Joan Hackett), the film is not a sequel to the earlier film...but it's done in the same humorous bent.  In this film, Latigo Smith (James Garner) has escaped the clutches of a woman with matrimony on her mind and finds himself in the town of Purgatory where two mining factions are in a race for the mother lode.  Latigo winds up with a comical sidekick of a cowboy (Jack Elam) who he gets to pretend to be gunslinger Swifty Morgan and his scheme seems to be working...until the real swifty (Chuck Connors) comes to town.  While I enjoy this movie, for some reason I didn't find it quite as funny as Support Your Local Sheriff but it's still better than a lot of the so-called comedy-westerns out there.  And there's lots of familiar faces in this which always makes such films fun to watch.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #71 on: August 31, 2009, 06:26:21 AM »


Sunset (1988)
Director: Blake Edwards
Music: Henry Mancini
Cast: Bruce Willis, James Garner, Mariel Hemingway, Kathleen Quinlan, Jennifer Edwards, Malcolm McDowell

They broke every rule loved every woman took every risk and solved the most shocking murder in the history of beverly hills. And its all true. Give or take a lie or two.

My Thoughts--I wasn't quite sure what to make of this...and it's not really a western but I'm including it among my "westerns" reviews because it does have as its two lead characters famed lawman Wyatt Earp (James Garner) and cowboy movie star Tom Mix (Bruce Willis).  According to the write-up in the booklet, they originally wanted Robert Duvall in the Tom Mix part, but they couldn't get any financing for that casting and when Willis showed interest, he was cast and the movie was made.  Casting is also a small quibble I had here...Bruce Willis doesn't really look much like Tom Mix...he looked okay when in the white cowboy outfit but usually he just looked nothing like Mix to me.  This movie takes place around 1929 or so...how old would Wyatt Earp have been then?  Somehow, I think he would have looked a lot older than James Garner looks in this film...but perhaps Garner didn't want to be made up to look 70 or so...I guess we'll have to chalk this up to dramatic license.

In the film, Tom Mix has been cast to star as Wyatt Earp in a new movie and the real Wyatt is brought on board as a technical adviser.  He doesn't cotton much to studio politics but he and star Tom Mix hit it off pretty well.  Before long, they get embroiled in a murder mystery and it's an interesting tale...apparently based on an actual novel.  I actually found this film to be more entertaining than I originally thought it would be and it certainly kept my interest throughout, though there are so many characters it does get just a bit confusing at times.  I liked the opening which is a recreation of a typical Tom Mix western rescue and I liked the western-style music...the music is actually awfully familiar sounding to me.  But I'm not going to go listening to the music from all my films to figure out where I may have heard it before.  Much of the film does take place in glitzy Hollywood...the nightclubs, mansions and the first ever Academy Awards.  If you get a chance, check it out...you may enjoy it.  Just don't include it as an "official" Wyatt Earp movie...

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #72 on: September 07, 2009, 01:49:29 AM »


Bar 20 Rides Again (Part of a double-feature DVD that includes "Hopalong Cassidy", the first film in the series)
Cast: William Boyd, Jimmy Ellison, George "Gabby" Hayes, Harry Worth, Jean Rouveral, Al St. John, Paul Fix
Director: Howard Bretherton   Camera: Archie Stout  Year of Release: 1935

Plot: Hoppy gets a letter from a friend (and the father of a girl Johnny has seen) telling him he is having rustling problems...and not to tell Johnny since his daughter Margaret is now seeing someoone else.  Hoppy reveals to Johnny part of the message (about Margaret, not the rustling) and the impetuous Johnny (Jimmy Ellison) takes off for the ranch ahead of Hoppy.   It turns out that the man Margaret is seeing is secretly the mastermind behind the rustling and someone who sees himself as a Western Napoleon...he even has Napoleon's personal snuff box.  Hoppy disguises himself as a gambler and infiltrates the rustler's band of outlaws while also befriending a prospector named Windy (Gabby Hayes).  It all eventually comes to a head ahd Hoppy, with the aid of his Bar 20 riders, once again emerges victorious.

I enjoyed this film a lot...of course, you have to be in a "Hoppy" mood to watch such a film.  Luckily for those of us who aren't into singing cowboys, there's only one short number (Johnny serenading Margaret) and lots of action, well-shot by Archie Stout who would eventually go on to "A" pictures (for instance, he was one of the photographers for The Quiet Man).  Gabby Hayes had appeared in the first two Hoppy films as different characters, getting killed in both films, but in this film he first played Windy and survived to aid Hoppy in several future films.  The Hoppy films are fun to watch with Hopalong having a great sense of humor and Johnny being a hothead who usually rushes headlong into action without thinking.  A good film for the kid in all of us.  ;D

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2009, 05:42:01 AM »


When The Daltons Rode (1940)  81 minutes
Director: George Marshall
Cast: Randolph Scott, Kay Francis, Brian Donlevy, George Bancroft, Broderick Crawford, Andy Devine, Stuart Erwin

Plot: Lawyer Tod Jackson (Randolph Scott), childhood friend of the Dalton family, stops by upon his arrival in Kansas.  Before long, circumstances conspire to put the Daltons on the wrong side of the law with Jackson having to decide on who to help while falling for Bob Dalton's girl.

As with most earlier movie westerns dealing with real historical figures of the Old West, this is a highly fictionalized account of the Dalton family.  Still, director George Marshall (who had directed the comedy-western Destry Rides Again the year before) keeps things lively with some light comedic touches (mostly in the person of Andy Devine) and with some excellent stunt work including such stunts as gunmen jumping in unison onto the top of a moving train, jumping from a railroad car while on horseback and falling under a moving stagecoach, grabbing hold of the back end and hauling himself back onto the top of it.

Surprisingly, Randolph Scott is not the stalwart hero with a six-gun in this film...I'm not sure if he even touches a gun during the entire picture.  He plays a lawyer and tries to help the Daltons in his own way (much of it happening offscreen) while we get a lot of the film concentrating on the doings of the Daltons themselves.  As in real life, the movie ends with the entire Dalton gang meeting their end while trying to pull off a daring daytime bank robbery.  The movie is bookended with Scott talking with a rambling wagon repairman played by Edgar Buchanan.

The DVD has a fine black & white print but there are no extras.

Rogmeister

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Re: Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon
« Reply #74 on: October 06, 2009, 06:28:58 PM »


Silverado: 2-Disc Gift Set
Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Music by Bruce Broughton
Cast: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Linda Hunt, John Cleese, Rosanna Arquette

This edition of Silverado is one I probably got a year or two ago...and was my third copy of the movie on DVD.  The first copy I got they goofed up on and put it out in the wrong aspect ratio...1.85:1 (or what I call moderate widescreen).  I got another copy of the movie later in it's proper 2.35:1 aspect ratio (a more pronounced widescreen).  Then, when this 2-disc gift set came out I picked it up.  It came with a Silverado deck of cards inserted into the center where "saloon doors" open up to reveal it.  It also came with a nice booklet with an article inside titled "Silverado and the American Western" by Frank Thompson and it also includes many nice color photos from the movie.  I think you can still get this as a 2-disc set but probably not in the gift set packaging anymore.  The 2-disc set alone was re-issued at the beginning of this year.

The movie itself is in a case holding two discs.  Disc 1, of course, holds the movie in "Superbit" presentation...this was a technique where they used all a disc's memory for the movie itself to give you the highest quality image and sound (this has now been pretty much replaced by the newer Blu-Ray systerm).  Along with the movie, Disc 1 also holds an audio commentary by 3 western writers and historians and this is an interesting discussion.  I'll have to watch the movie again soon so I can listen to this in it's entirety.  Disc 2 has some extras...not a lot...a couple items there are basically promos for other westerns from Columbia...The Quick and The Dead, Hangman's Knot and some others.  Then there is "A Return to Silverado with Kevin Costner" which is Costner sitting and discussing the film and his involvement with it.  There's also a nice piece on the making of the movie featuring interviews with the other stars and such filmmakers as director Lawrence Kasdan, his co-writer and brother Mark Kasdan and composer Bruce Broughton.  I liked Broughton's score to this movie a great deal and am surprised I haven't seen his name on more movies.

Regarding the movie itself, it deals with four men (two brothers, played by Scott Glenn and Kevin Costner, plus Kevin Kline and Danny Glover) who wind up working together to take on the criminal element in the town of Silverado.  There's lots of action, though I wonder if they couldn't have edited the film just a bit more...this is still one of my very favorite PJW westerns (Post John Wayne) but at 132 minutes, it is just a little long.  You have everything in here you could want in a western...jailbreaks, saloon brawls, showdowns, a cattle stampede...about the only thing missing are Indians.  This might be considered the last of the classic westerns in that while there's lots of action and shooting, you don't get people spurting blood in slow-motion as in The Wild Bunch or anything else too objectionable.  The film garnered an appropriate PG-13 rating.  As the movie ends and the two brothers ride off, Jake yells back "We'll be back!" which was a teaser that a sequel might happen but unfortunately the movie didn't make enough money to warrant one so this wound up the one and only Silverado adventure.  Dust off your chaps, strap on your gunbelt and enjoy this one, pards...it garners a full 5 yee-haws from this ol' westerner.