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CitySlicker

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About CitySlicker

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  1. RE: *3:10 to Yuma* ... I think the fact that Ford's character is, at times, likeable, funny and nearly human gives the movie tremendous conflict. It's a staple of Elmore Leonard's writing, of course. And it does sort of remind us of the Boetticher-Kennedy-Scott vehicles where the villains (Lee Marvin, Claude Akins and Pernell Roberts) often get more screen time, more of the better lines, etc. than the hero, Scott. A likeable, personable bad guy gives the writing such depth. I absolutely loved *3:10 to Yuma* ever since I first watched it, and Heflin is one of those unlikely heroes, conflicted, etc. He gives excellent performances is almost everything he's done.
  2. CitySlicker

    Shane

    I think the "end" of the gunfighter, or the large "cattle ranch" is obvious in most Westerns, including Shane. Civilization is coming to the West, in the form of more organized law enforcement, family farms, homesteaders, the decline of the Native American, etc. ... it's the evolution of the final frontier, so to speak. ... I think it often makes for great dialogue, but the idea is a common thread, from *Shane* to *Monte Walsh* to *Unforgiven.* Your time has passed, move aside ...And then the shootin' commences ...
  3. I haven't seen this for several years, but I recall it as a tightly directed and edited film. I think the tension between Douglas and Quinn is fantastic. Old friends who respect each other, but Douglas -- and Quinn himself -- know that the boy is guilty. I am not sure that Lancaster would have been better in the Quinn role. Quinn provides an element of vulnerability when it comes to being a father ... he can't understand how his son turned out the way he did, and he feels terrible guilt for it ... Lancaster did have a dark side, as portrayed in several films, however, he doesn't come across as dark and VULNERABLE .. In any case, I think the film's casting, sets, costumes and script are excellent. This is one underrated and often overlooked Western.
  4. I don't disagree, cigarjoe ... I think the Westerns that are really, really good are few and far between, based on the number made. I do not like many of the B-Westerns, and neither do I like the singing cowboy series (Autry, Rogers, etc.) Today, I do not consider many of the Scott Westerns as B material, and the B-Westerns that were good and that I like (*Trooper Hook*, for example) had such a good cast that they really can't be considered true B movies. I try to pick and choose, like good sci-fi or horror. But a good "oater" is something special, to be sure.
  5. I guess I am like Valentine in that I also find GWTW a terribly overacted, overwritten movie. Love Gable, adore deHavilland and like many of the other performers in the cast. But it so over the top; now I understand why Carol Burnett & Friends spoofed it so many times. I did really like LoA. The cinematography alone is worth a look, but the frustration and then elation of TE Lawrence, the lead character, is fascinating. He hates the idea of war yet is drawn into the act of killing and the treachery behind it. He also is torn between his allegiance for his country and the Arabs he works so hard to align into a military unit. I found it good stuff.
  6. Any list is to invite discussion. And I would not list *Once Upon a Time ...* as No. 1, but that's me. What the list does accomplish is a thread of discussion. I personally enjoy the idea of bringing a more serious, realistic vision to the Western. For example, Westerns like *Bad Compan*y (Jeff Bridges) and *The Assassination of Jesse James ...* (Brad Pitt) bring a darker, edgy vision of the genre, and I like that. Fact is, not enough Westerns are made nowadays, and I miss the hell out of 'em ...
  7. I liked *Valdez Is Coming* and would not mind a remake ... As for movies that fall flat at the end, I think there are dozens and dozens of films of all genres that do this. Hollywood just can't seem to figure out how to END a film ...
  8. I never have thought of *The Big Country* as being underrated. Now, critics, that's another story. The NY Times review said: "It skims across standard complications and ends on a platitude." I've always thought it a great Western, with a big cast, a big story and a great score ... The hell with the NY Times, I say.
  9. A factual remake of *Broken Arrow* would, in my opinion, be an excellent pick ... The Jeffords character probably is one of the most overlooked in Western films. I think the fact that Stewart, a film great, played him in a very successful Western is one reason. But how many times has the Wyatt Earp character been played by DOZENS of leading men, from Lancaster and Scott to Russell and Costner. Oh, and James Garner, too. I think this would be great material for a remake. How about a few more of you Western fans chiming in? I'd be curious to know what else would make "remake" material...
  10. I don't think the remakes have to be *The Gunfighter* and *The Naked Spur*. And, like you, I don't know if anyone could replace a Peck or a Stewart. I'm just sort of tossing it out there. What I am looking for are these Westerns that have a deeper element than just gun play. With censorship and restrictions, movies of the 50s were limited in what they could show, what they could do. There were so many good themes unexplored in both movies, because of censorship. ... I think one of the best Western films recently was the AMC production of *Broken Trail*, which explored prostitution, slavery, etc. ... I'm just sayin' there are a great many candidates, like *True Grit*, for possible remake. What would be high on your list?
  11. My first experience was actually a TV Western, *The Rifleman*, which I thought was a fantastic half-hour morality play. There was a magic between Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford that really tugged at your heart. And being the only son in a one-parent family, I could always relate to Crawford being without his mother. He's only a couple of years old than I am, so I could really identify with this young boy looking to a courageous single parent for guidance and direction. As for the movies, I believe it was *Fort Apache* over the TV screen that first introduced me to Western movies. I remember the tremendous scenery, the realism of the actors playing the Apaches and, of course, the GREAT *John Wayne*. My mother was a big, big fan of movies, so there was always a movie on the TV when she was cleaning the house and we were playing indoors.
  12. *Man of the West.* This is a movie that, looking back, gets pretty good reviews, too. I agree that it makes for great storytelling ... Not only did it have Cobb, but there were excellent performances by John Denher and Jack Lord, too ... this would be a fun movie to cast, as well as rework ... Again, it has the elements of a changing West and a main character caught in the middle.
  13. I agree, Dargo ... *Nevada Smith* also has a great cast, led by McQueen. I think it was a good story, too, which sort of gets lost in today's epics. I also agree Malden was fantastic. Lots of terrible people, mixed in with some good intentions (*Suzanne Pleshette*'s character, for example) ... good pick!
  14. I absolutely loved the Coen brothers' remake of *True Grit*. Although I did not dislike the original and thought John Wayne was excellent in the role of Rooster Cogburn, I much preferred the way the new version stayed true to the book. That Mattie lost her arm, never saw Rooster again, grew into an old maid ... it led to a more realistic feeling of the time and the genre. At least it did for me. That said, what Western would you like to see REMADE? Is there one that screams out to you for a remake? If so, play along and do a little casting. Perhaps identify a leading man, leading lady and a prominent supporting role. Who today would replace the original star? For example, how about *The Gunfigher* with Tom Hanks in the Gregory Peck role? Or maybe *The Naked Spur* with Josh Brolin in the James Stewart role and Natalie Portman in for Janet Leigh? Can you imagine the way these two stories could be retold, reshaped? Who cares to play along?
  15. Obviously, these two movies have the same story line. In fact, during the introduction of *Broken Lance*, I distinctly remember one of the TCM hosts indicating the studio had remade the film/story three different times. I am not sure if *House of Strangers* is the first or second production of the same story. Much like *Colorado Territory* and *High Sierra*, when a good story came along studios were not averse to giving it a little different treatment -- setting, stars, etc -- and telling it again. This has been done with recent movies, too. I remember director/producer types saying that *Four Brothers* (2005) with Mark Wahlberg is a modern-day twist on *The Sons of Katie Elder*.
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