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Posts posted by Gorch

  1.    The only film I can recall about the Spanish American War may not technically qualify. In 1997 John Milius directed a two part (four hour) movie made for TNT. It was called Rough Riders and starred Tom Berenger as Teddy Roosevelt, Sam Elliot, Gary Busey, Brian Keith and George Hamilton. The first half addresses forming and training the unit and most of the latter part focuses on the charge up San Juan Hill.

       It's on DVD and well worth renting.

    • Like 1
  2. Top is correct. Stella in "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" is a marvel. She projects effortless sex appeal, vulnerability, humor and class as, of all things, an old west hooker. She is completely captivating and easily the best reason to watch this movie (although Jerry Goldsmith's score, Slim Pickens, L. Q. Jones, Strother Martin and David Warner don't hurt).


    I once met Donnie Fritts - a member of Kris Kristofferson's band - who was in a couple of other Peckinpah films and he said that Peckinpah did proclaim that Cable was his personal favorite. That being said, from what I've read Sam also said "Major Dundee" and "The Wild Bunch" were also his favorites at various times.

  3.    If I recall correctly (and given my age, that's not a given), the screenplay for "Harper" is based on one of a series of mystery novels featuring a PI named Lew Archer. Some negotiating could not free up that name, so Paul Newman suggested the name Harper instead. This was after "The Hustler" and "Hud", but before "Hombre" which made some fans think that Newman was fond of the letter H.

       I also would love to see the theatrical release of "PJ" instead of the sliced and diced bilge that was used for network television. It's an entirely different movie.

    • Like 1
  4.    When I was tweleve years old I saw Kim Novack in "Boys' Night Out" in 1962. I think it was a second feature because otherwise my buddy and I wouldn't have seen that type of movie. Anyway, I was infatuated with Ms. Novack and thought that she was the epitome of womanhood (at that age, that meant blonde hair, throaty voice and ample breasts). Went to see it two more times on my own and caught up with every one of her movies I had missed on the tube. "Picnic" made my hormones rage.

       For the next three years Kim haunted my fantasies but I had taken my first date to see "The Adventures of Moll Flanders" in 1965 and when we held hands in the theater, Kim lost some of her charms.

       Decades later I enjoyed her appearance on TCM no end, but I still envision her (and myself) as we were in '62.

    • Like 1
  5.    I wish that I had seen "The Unforgiven" in the theater with stereophonic sound. I first caught it on Sunday Night at the Movies in the mid-sixties and while I loved Tiomkin's score, it sounded as if it had been recorded in someone's garage.

       Even on VHS, DVD and the original LP soundtrack, it sounded as if the music had wafted in from a neighboring theater.

       Audie Murphy though, really stands out as well as Joseph Wiseman.

  6.    Agreed about Ms. Leigh's bodice filling outfit. I kept waiting for her to poke out Douglas' other eye in a clinch.

       An interesting (to me anyhow) item about the castle-top sword battle is that it served as the model for the animated duel between rats Jenner and Justin in The Secret of Nimh (1982). It is copied almost frame for frame.

  7.    Has anyone else noted the absence of James Donald's character - Egbert - from the end of the movie? He is present during the attack on the castle but is never seen again.

        After Morgana confronts Einar on the parapit and tells him that Eric is his brother, Einar calls to Eric, then there is a jump cut of Einar leaning over the wall with an aghast Morgana next to him.

       Apparently there was a scene excised wherein Egbert reached Einar first and confirmed Morgana's tale. Einar than picks Egbert over his head and tosses him over the wall. I've seen a still picture of Einar holding Egbert aloft and thought it was a publicity shot, but noticed the jump cut and the look on Morgana's face and figured it was filmed and then cut. That scene would also re-enforce why Einar hesitates before striking at Eric.

       Can anyone post that photo?

  8.    I introduced myself to Mr. Maltin at Cinefest in Syracuse a couple years ago. I told him that I bought his Guide every year. I read each entry and circled in pen every title that I had seen from beginning to end title. My goal was to have a title circled on every page but never made it. He looked at me as if I had two heads but thanked me for supporting his work.

       In a stammering effort to appear normal, I also told him that his introductions to "High Noon" and Disney's "Davy Crockett" DVDS were favorites. Didn't help. He made a polite but hasty getaway.

  9.    I saw "The Great Escape" on July 4th, 1963. I knew all the American actors from "The Magnificent Seven" and James Donald from "The Vikings" but the Brits and Germans were all new to me.

       I thought that the fellow playing Big X was formidable. He was obviously nervous about the Gestapo and SS but determined to continue the good fight, even if it cost his own life. He was under considerable pressure (he snapped at a tardy Ashley-Pitt and snarled at MacDonald - "all the documents are dated today!") but tried to maintain professional authority to the men under his command. His last uncompleted sentence to Mac is almost heartbreaking.

       Anyway, I became a fan and even went to see "Guns at Batasi", "The Third Secret" and several others just because of his presence. He never disappointed.

       Vaya con Dios, Sir Richard.

  10.    Mr Wallach's passing is very saddening to me, but I'm glad he lived such a long life doing what he loved.

       He was one of the few actors who always made me smile when he was onscreen, even in a small role. His performance as a myopic hitman in "Tough Guys" still makes me laugh out loud, but today I'm going to watch "The Magnificent Seven".


       Vaya con Dios.

  11.    Elmer Bernstein's score to "The Magnificent Seven" seems to be a favorite - I know that it's mine.

    I'm not talking about just the widely known Main Theme, but the whole score. The segment titled "After the Brawl" occurs when Brynner and McQueen turn the hearse away from Boot Hill in triumph after facing down the town bigots. As Lawrence Kasdan said, that music lifts you off your seat. The variations of the main theme during "The Journey" is inspired. The theme for Calvera's banditos as they ride toward the village to meet the seven is riveting. Eli Wallach said that if he had heard that music while filming he would have rode his horse better.

       Best of all though is Bernstein's scoring of the final gunfight. It balances the Seven's theme with that of the Calvera motif as one side or the other seems to be winning.

       Despite being nominated for Best Music Score, there was no soundtrack released until 1966 when Bernstein recycled the music for the tepid sequel. It was only about 30 minutes long and lacked some major cues. Eventually in 1998 a longer version was released but was only "enhanced" and not stereo and still lacked several cues.

       Bernstein's original notes indicate that he scored a reprise after the end title. Director Sturges had added a list of the actors/characters as he later did in "The Great Escape" but the studio cut it before the release.

  12.    I'm an old guy and lucky to be able to navigate around this much, so, no, I can't provide a direct link. However, if you just go to Facebook and enter MGM Studios you should hit the forum.

       Hope to learn how to post pictures and posters someday soon. I have a collection of over 15,000 vintage movie stills plus hundreds of posters and pressbooks and would enjoy sharing them with like minded fans.

       Please contact MGM either on Facebook or Tweeter (whatever) or any other means and let them know that you would like them to restore Wayne's Alamo.

  13.    Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits posted a dinner conversation with film restorer Robert Harris which concerned the Director's cut of John Wayne's "The Alamo".

       Harris pointed out that the only surviving roadshow print which was discovered in Toronto is deteriorating from within and is one step ahead of degenerating into industrial waste. MGM which owns the film is uninterested in saving this print. At one point, private donations were being offered but the Lion declined to accept outside financing.

       Bill Hunt started a grass roots campaign to encourage MGM to reconsider and is asking that anyone interested in film preservation contact MGM Studios on Facebook.

       I realize that not everyone who visits this site is a fan of Wayne, but this is only one of two films directed by him. It is the version that is shown here on TCM and should be restored like Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus and Bridge on the River Kwai.

       Please drop MGM a polite request on their Facebook page to restore this historic film.

  14. Bruce Dern exudes villainy in The Cowboys.


    Eli Wallach is a bit smoother in The Magnificent Seven but admits to stealing from chuch poor boxes and starving villagers with no compunction.


    Emilio Fernandez gives villains a bad name in The Wild Bunch.


    Alan Rickman tries to exterminate Aborigines in Quigley Down Under.

  15.    The diner clerk is played by Anthony James. Director Jewison decided against using Sam the Sham's hit song "Little Red Riding Hood" in favor of the one heard in the film which is "Fowl Owl on the Prowl" by Glen Campbell. Either one sets the proper tone, er, tune.

  16.    Sepiatone has a great notion about TCM saluting film composers. I would enjoy seeing documentaries or even a composer of the month selection. My first exposure to Herrmann was as an eight year old viewing 7th Voyage of Sinbad. I think the music was effective because I had my eyes shut tight.

  17. Richard, if Curtis' hairpiece flies off, I would not be surprised, but I never caught it. I do know that John Wayne's rug flops back onto his noggin in North To Alaska during the first saloon brawl.


    Glad to find another soul who admits to giving this one a modicum of praise.


    When my son was about 20 years old, he and some friends stumbled in while this movie had just started. They were (appropriately) incredulous until Andrei was caught and shot by his old man. It's now 15 years later and they all still remember the movie.


    I read someplace that Yul was supposed to sing at least four more songs. It could have turned into "Taras and I".

  18.    Well, I thought of another extravaganza that would make most sane people flee in horror but that I enjoy. It's another self-basted turkey from 1962 by the redoubtable director J. Lee Thompson and (as in Kings of the Sun) starring Yul Brynner and featuring Brad Dexter.

       This one is Taras Bulba and although it's meant to be taken seriously, it's instantly subverted by casting an over-aged Tony Curtis as Brynner's young son. The blue screen inserts are appalling, the dialogue is ripe and Argentinia is supposed to be the Ukrainian steppes. The uplifting finale revels in the heroic Cossacks sabering the Polish Cavalry into a crevass.

       So why do I own it and watch it every few years? Probably because I have severe daddy issues, but I like the photography, Franz Waxman's rousing score, supporting players Sam Wanamaker, Mickey Finn, Vladimir Sokoloff, Perry Lopez, George Macready and Guy Wolfe.

       This was supposed to be UA's big Christmas epic that year. It wasn't.

       Are there any other defenders out there?

  19. Sepiatone, I was 14 in 1963 when I saw Soldier in the theater. I agree that the relationship between Slaughter and Bobbie Jo is a highlight of the story. The exchange between them on their first date is priceless. Slaughter - "And what did you learn in school today, little girl?". Bobbie Jo - "Donna Mae Parker's gonna have a baby".


    I also enjoy when she calls him a fat Randolph Scott.


    And here I thought I was the only person who remembered this one.

  20.    Been anticipating this topic.

       First is a clunker from 1963 titled "Kings of the Sun". Yul Brynner is an American Indian - sorry, I don't know if the tribe was ever specified. George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field, Richard Baseheart, Leo Gordon and Brad Dexter are Mayans! Despite, or because of the casting, I just pop open a beer and soak this one up. Perhaps the beer is the problem.

       Another is from the same year, Ralph Nelson's "Soldier in the Rain". It stars Steve McQueen (advertised as the Great Escape Guy) and Jackie Gleason (the Great One) and features Tuesday Weld, Tom Poston, Adam West and Tony Bill. It's supposed to be a wacky military comedy until it turns dark and has a really nasty bar room brawl tossed in. McQueen (rightly) later dissed his own performance but I find it charming and it reminds me of my own service time.

       Most of my fellow fans mock me for wasting my time rewatching these turkeys, but just writing about them makes me want to see them again, or maybe I just want another beer.

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