We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

X

Jump to content


Photo

Recently Watched Westerns


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted Yesterday, 12:01 PM

Haunted Gold (1932) - Stupid B-movie programmer from Warner Brothers/Four Stars and director Mack V. Wright. A motley assortment of characters show up in a ghost town when it appears that the local abandoned gold mine may still hold some treasure. Among them are white-hat John Mason (John Wayne) and his sidekick Clarence (Blue Washington); lovely damsel Janet Carter (Sheila Terry); and black-hat scoundrel Joe Ryan (Harry Woods). They all have to deal with the "Phantom", a ghostly figure that is said to haunt the town. Also featuring Erville Alderson, Otto Hoffman, Martha Mattox, Slim Whitaker, and Duke the horse.

 

Dumb even by 30's B-Western standards, this plays like a bad episode of Scooby-Doo. The racist caricature that Washington plays is also unfortunate (one character describes him as having a "watermelon accent"). Washington had been a Negro Leagues baseball player back in the teens. Leading lady Terry had a 5~ year career before the roles dried up. She died broke and of an apparent suicide 25 years after this film's release. This was a remake of a silent Ken Maynard Western, and even reused some footage.   3/10

 

Source: TCM.

 

1932hauntedgold3.jpg



#2 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted 19 October 2017 - 09:05 PM

The Big Stampede (1932) - Silly B Western from Warner Brothers and director Tenny Wright. John Wayne stars as Marshall John Steele, a newly assigned lawman over the New Mexico territory. His job is to find out who is chasing away homesteaders and stealing their cattle. It soon becomes apparent that local ranch boss Sam Crew (Noah Beery Sr.) is behind it, and Steele must bring him to justice as well as protect local newcomers from Crew's cutthroat killer Arizona (Paul Hurst). Also featuring Mae Madison, Luis Alberni, Berton Churchill, Sherwood Bailey, Lafe McKee, Joseph Girard, Iron Eyes Cody, Glenn Strange, and Duke the horse.

 

With the juvenile script, meager plot, and cardboard cut-out characterizations, this must have been intended for young audiences. Wayne is still a bit green but showing more screen presence than in earlier efforts, and I liked the goofy character trait of Steele leaving little star symbols around to scare the bad guys. Otherwise, this is strictly routine.   5/10

 

Source: TCM.

 

1932thebigstampede3.jpg

 

 



#3 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:31 PM

The Squaw Man (1931) - Director Cecil B. DeMille goes to this well for the third time, courtesy of MGM. Warner Baxter stars as English gentleman Jim Wingate. He's in love with Lady Diana Kerhill (Eleanor Boardman), only Diana is the wife of Jim's cousin Henry (Paul Cavanaugh). When Henry steals some pensioner funds, and the theft is discovered, Jim gets the blame. Instead of clearing his name, he heads to the US, where he changes his name and becomes a cattle rancher out West. His problems are just beginning though, as fiendish rival rancher Cash Hawkins (Charles Bickford) wants Jim's land, and local native girl Naturich (Lupe Velez) falls in love with Jim. Will Jim return her affection and risk being called a "squaw man" by the other townsfolk? Also featuring Roland Young, J. Farrell MacDonald, Raymond Hatton, Julia Faye, DeWitt Jennings, Mitchell Lewis, Victor Potel, Lilian Bond, and little Dickie Moore.

 

I'm not sure why DeMille was so enamored of this story, but the audiences of the day apparently weren't, as this proved to be a costly failure at the box office. Baxter, with his pencil mustache and greasy hair, doesn't sound or act British, nor does he seem to fit in the Western setting. Velez, as pretty as ever, and getting a titillating scene where she undresses before an embarrassed Baxter, also has professional-grade movie makeup in most scenes, which is not quite the look of a poor native woman. Most of the film isn't actively awful, really, just unexceptional.   6/10

 

Source: TCM.

 

BLOG+-+Squaw+Man,+The+(400+px).jpg

 

Warner%2BBaxter%2B%2526%2BLupe%2BVelez%2



#4 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:16 PM

The Range Feud (1931) - Instantly forgettable B-Western from Columbia Pictures and director D. Ross Lederman. Buck Jones stars as Sheriff Buck Gordon, who's trying to keep the peace during a brewing feud between rival ranchers. When one of the ranchers is murdered, the suspicion falls on Clint (John Wayne), the son of the other rancher. Clint has secretly been seeing their rival's daughter Judy (Susan Fleming), and when her father found out and forbade the union, Clint had a motive to see the old man dead. But Sheriff Buck thinks the culprit isn't so easily found and sets out to find the real killer. Also featuring Edward LeSaint, Will Walling, Wallace MacDonald, Harry Woods, Frank Austin, and Glenn Strange as Slim.

 

Buck Jones was one of the biggest Western stars of the late silent era, but he saw his fortunes wax and wane over the following decade. He's said to have been a genuine horseman, and the young Wayne looked up to him. He makes for a suitable, if now cliched, white-hat hero. Wayne was already showing some screen charisma here, and he was just getting on the B-Western assembly-line treadmill that he would trudge for the next several years. The film itself is standard stuff: sped-up horse chases and bar fights, some shooting without really hitting anything, obvious bad guys, and big hats. I mean really big hats. I don't recall seeing so many out-sized cowboy hats in one movie before.   5/10

 

Source: YouTube.

 

320465.jpg



#5 cigarjoe

cigarjoe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,211 posts
  • LocationNY

Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:30 AM

A Thunder Of Drums (1961) Finally was able to catch up with this film today, enjoyed it. I bought the cast, a mix of new and up and coming new talent and some old Western Genre hands. I like Richard Boone a lot, but there's not a whole lot of his Western films that I can point to and admire. The Tall T, his small bit part in The Alamo, Rio Conchos, and his menace oozing Cicero Grimes in Hombre, and now this one. I'll go a 7/10, some great Western landscapes also.


  • LawrenceA likes this

#6 cigarjoe

cigarjoe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,211 posts
  • LocationNY

Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:50 PM

Ride in the Whirlwind (1966), first viewing, can't believe I'd never caught this before, I did see Hellman's The Shooting which I didn't think much of it so I probably shied away from seeking this out. It's way better with some decent cinematography. 7/10
 
An Acid Western sub genre. Lump it in with The Shooting (1966), El Topo (1971), McCabe & Mrs Miller (1971), The Hired Hand (1971), Kid Blue (1973) Rancho Deluxe (1975), all the way to China 9, Liberty 37 (1978) and you could call Jim Jarmusch's 1996's film Dead Man a modern outlier along with Renegade (Blueberry) (2004).
 
There may be a few more.
 
 
 
 
 

  • LawrenceA likes this

#7 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted 06 October 2017 - 03:11 PM

A Holy Terror (1931) - Silly pseudo-Western from Fox and director Irving Cummings. George O'Brien stars as Tony Woodbury, a rich-kid aviator and polo star who is understandably upset when his father is murdered. He learns that his dad had been paying for surveillance of a rancher out in Wyoming for over 20 years, so Tony decides to fly out and investigate whether there's a connection with his father's death. He meets lovely Jerry (Sally Eilers) as well as shady ranch foreman Steve (Humphrey Bogart) and his thuggish sidekick Butch (Stanley Fields). Also featuring Rita La Roy, James Kirkwood, Richard Tucker, Earl Pingree, Wong Chung, Oscar Smith, and Robert Warwick.

 

This less-than-50-minute programmer has some really ridiculous moments, including one of the most absurd "meet-cute" moments I've ever seen, when Tony crashes his plane into a building where Jerry is taking a shower. Tony staggers out of his wrecked plane as Jerry, wrapped only in a shower curtain, screams at him to leave. Although set in contemporary times, the film resembles a Western once the action moves to Wyoming, with horseback chases and six-shooters worn on their belts. My favorite line was delivered by Bogart to Fields, instructing him to kill O'Brien - "Go in there and cook him a gooseberry pie."   4/10

 

Source: YouTube.

 

a_holy_terror-299126229-mmed.jpg

 

AHolyTerror15.png

 

AHolyTerror7.png


  • rayban likes this

#8 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted 04 October 2017 - 11:57 AM

Fighting Caravans (1931) - Would-be epic Western from Paramount Pictures and directors Otto Brower and David Burton, very loosely based on a Zane Grey novel. Gary Cooper stars as scout Clint Belmet, a hard-drinking troublemaker who nonetheless gets hired to escort a large wagon train west to California. Along with his crusty pals Bill (Ernest Torrence) and Jim (Tully Marshall), he finds the safest path through the hills, and away from "wild Injuns". He also makes time with solo pioneer woman Felice (Lili Damita). Also featuring Fred Kohler, Eugene Pallette, Roy Stewart, May Boley, Eve Southern, Frank Campeau, Jane Darwell, E. Alyn Warren, Chief John Big Tree, Iron Eyes Cody, and Charles Winninger.

 

Paramount hoped to make this a real epic, but it gets bogged down in cliches, pointless character digressions, and some miscasting. Damita has trouble with her English, while Cooper looks too clean and neat to be hanging around with the sloppy likes of Torrence and Marshall: where does he keep getting his clothes laundered, and why aren't his pals using the same service? There's a big barroom brawl scene played for laughs, and the inevitable Indian attack, but the outcome of this is obvious from the opening credits. Speaking of which, one of the few stylistic touches I liked was having Native Americans in costume walking toward the camera during the credits, obscuring words and even blacking out the screen.   6/10

 

Source: Amazon Prime, but this fell into the public domain, and is easily available from multiple sources.

 

MOV_92bd62c9_b.jpg


  • TopBilled, cinemaspeak59 and rayban like this

#9 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted 26 September 2017 - 02:50 PM

Cimarron (1931) - Award-winning western epic based on the book by Edna Ferber, from RKO and director Wesley Ruggles. Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix) is a newspaper publisher who participates in the Oklahoma land rush of 1893. Even though he gets cheated out of his hoped-for claim by prostitute Dixie Lee (Estelle Taylor), Yancey decides to bring his wife Sabra (Irene Dunne), young son Cimarron (Junior Johnston), and stowaway young black boy Isaiah (Eugene Jackson) out to the new boom-town of Osage, where he sets up a newspaper office. The story follows Yancey and Sabra through the decades and their various confrontations with outlaws, injustice, and bigotry. Also featuring Edna May Oliver, Roscoe Ates, William Collier Jr., Stanley Fields, Nance O'Neil, George E. Stone, Robert McWade, Judith Barrett, Edith Fellows, Otto Hoffman, Dennis O'Keefe, Helen Parrish, and Robert Mckenzie.

 

The western was one of the foundation genres of American cinema, although after the 1910's, it was often considered a B-level type of film. 1929's The Virginian proved to be a big hit, and it was thought that the western was primed for a major resurgence. But by the time Cimarron was released in early 1931, the genre was back out of fashion, and this proved to be a financial disappointment. That was bad news for RKO, which had made this their most expensive feature to date, and coupled with the Great Depression now blanketing the nation, they needed a hit. They had to settle for critical acclaim, instead, and the film garnered that in droves, although now the film's appeal seems to escape most critics and viewers, and this frequently ranks near the bottom of critical lists of Best Picture Oscar winners.

 

Watching movies in year proximity to one another helps one to appreciate how something that seems corny or cliched was regarded differently in comparison to others of its time, and that's true for me here. I've seen this two or three times before, but this time, in the midst of a lot of films from 1930/31, I see the film's qualities more clearly. Dix is still prone to some silent-film pantomime over exaggeration, but he cuts a striking figure for the most part, with his slightly-maniacal eyes, deep voice, and white hat. Dunne is more subtle, and she's good, showing real growth as a character over the 40+ years covered in the story. And there are a number of terrific character performers doing what they do best, including Edna May Oliver, Roscoe Ates, George E. Stone, and Stanley Fields. The sets, including an entire frontier town built from scratch, are terrific, and the land rush sequence is rightly applauded.

 

One aspect that turns off a lot of modern viewers is the racial stereotyping. But that's a little more complicated than usual here. While the Isaiah character is certainly saddled with a lot of cringe-worthy details, from his outfit, to the "Yas, Massah" speech, to watermelon jokes, his character is also considered part of the family, and his fate affects them as if he were a son. Some people also object to the lack of sympathy for the natives whose land is being given away left and right, but the Yancey character argues for native rights late in the film. 

 

This was nominated for Oscars for Best Actor (Dix), Best Actress (Dunne), Best Director (Ruggles) and Best Cinematography (Edward Cronjager), and it won for Best Art Direction (Max Ree), Best Writing, Adaptation (Howard Estabrook), and Best Picture.    7/10

 

Source: Warners DVD, with a comedic short and an animated short included as extras. 

 

18624_1.jpg

 

cimarron_3.jpg


  • TopBilled and rayban like this

#10 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Watchman

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,185 posts
  • LocationThe Wild Frontier

Posted 07 September 2017 - 06:21 PM

The Virginian (1929) - Iconic western from the early days of sound, based on the book by Owen Wister. Gary Cooper stars as the unnamed Virginian, a ranch hand and cowpoke who meets up with old friend Steve (Richard Arlen) after a cattle drive. The two are soon rivals for the same girl, recently arrived schoolteacher Molly Stark Wood (Mary Brian). Things get even more contentious when Steve falls in with cattle rustler Trampas (Walter Huston). Also featuring Eugene Pallette, Chester Conklin, E.H. Calvert, Helen Ware, Victor Potel, Ernie Adams, Ed Brady, George Chandler, and Jack Pennick.

 

Director Victor Fleming helps write the cinematic language of the sound western here, along with creating the screen persona of Gary Cooper, making his talkie debut. His laconic man of few words and strong action is indelibly drawn, and the cowboy-as-hero was reborn for the sound era. Arlen and Brian are adequate, while Huston is almost too good as the stereotypical "Black Bart" style villain. This was adapted for the stage back in 1904, and had been filmed previously in 1916 and 1923. It would return to screens in 1946, again in 1962 for the long-running TV series, another TV movie in 2000, and once again in 2014. This version remains a great piece of history, for film in general as well as for the western genre, although its sparse soundscape and minimalist plot may have aged poorly. From Paramount.   7/10

 

Source: Encore Westerns.

 

Virginian29Poster2.jpg

 

20101130161919-the-virginian.jpg


  • TopBilled, cinemaspeak59 and rayban like this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users