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pandorainmay

Glorious Western Vistas, but [b]Not[/b] by John Ford

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I think that anyone who loves Westerns knows that John Ford's bleak and beautifully photographed landscapes are among the unsurpassable best. Are there other, less celebrated Western movies that reveal to us the timeless beauty of harsh nature in her most magnificent arraignment? One of the joys of Western movies, to an Easterner like me, is the sight of a vast wilderness landscape filling the screen in such films. Though it's unlikely to be able to see such eye-dazzling natural beauty in the movie theatre these days, can you think of any Westerns in which the land is almost another character?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions for the tenderfoot.

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a big sprawling Western " The Big Country ", directed by William Wyler, with Peck, Heston, Jean Simmons, and Carroll Baker , has a number of scenes that show the vact landscape of the big country. Also great perfomances by Charles Bickford, Burl Ives, and Chuck Connors. It is too bad that the DVD doesn't have an audio commentary,

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Moira,

 

It's a new Western but "Silverado" is beautifully shot on location in New Mexico.

 

Also, "Heaven's Gate" shot on location in Wyoming and Montana is beautifully shot as well.

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"Shane" was filmed near Jackson's Hole, Wyoming and is extremely lovely to look at.

 

The landscape is nearly a character in most of Anthony Mann's westerns. Try "The Naked Spur" and "Far Country" for rugged terrain.

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It's funny you mention "Heaven's Gate." I saw a review by Roger Ebert (I think) and he mentioned everything was brown. I've only seen part of it and I saw the review first so it may have tainted my perception but it did look awfully brown. From a landscape standpoint you're right. It is a beautiful area.

 

There is a western, I want to say it's Audie Murphy, that was shot in some of the most interesting rock formations I've ever seen. It was a mountain of boulders. I don't think I've ever seen it in any other western. I wish I could remember .

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Hundreds of old westerns were shot at the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA. A director could not get a bad shot with all the unique rock formations and Lone Pine Peak and Mt. Whitney standing in the background on the Eastern Sierra Range. Within a few miles one has a choice of the unique rocks, forest area, desert (Death Valley is nearby), and ranches to film on. I have been to many of the movie locations in that area and they are the same as they were filmed 50-80 years ago.

 

I'll list a few movies:

 

Seven Men From Now

The Tall T

Ride Lonesome

Comanche Station

Rawhide (1951)

Yellow Sky

 

more of them listed here:

 

http://www.lonepinefilmfestival.org/movielist.asp

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There is a western, I want to say it's Audie Murphy, that was shot in some of the most interesting rock formations I've ever seen. It was a mountain of boulders. I don't think I've ever seen it in any other western. I wish I could remember .>>

 

It could be the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine where everything from Gunga Din to Randolph Scott westerns were shot.

 

Or the other possibility is the Garden of the Gods area in Chatsworth where the famed Iverson Movie Ranch was located.

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Well, The Far Country, Bend of the River, River of No Return, Rio Conchos, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good The Bad & The Ugly, and Yellow Sky (too bad its B&W)

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One of the few Western movies that I can remember vividly seeing in a real movie theatre was True Grit (1969). Parts of the movie were filmed in various sites in Colorado and Inyo National Forest in CA, as well as Durango, Mexico. Wherever they photographed those beautiful Aspen trees in the Autumn sunlight were located, I've always wanted to go there. The Duke was good too.

 

Even though this movie turned out to be in b & w, in my memory of Across the Wide Missouri (1950) with Clark Gable and Ricardo Montalban, the beauty of the mountainous area around Durango, CO was in vivid color.

 

What was once the West for a time in this country figured prominently in the Michael Mann version of The Last of the Mohicans (1992). The lush landscapes standing in for the Adirondacks region of NYS were actually in the Blue Ridge mountains area in North Carolina. They were astoundingly beautiful.

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Across the Wide Missouri,is in glorious color.However i could never figure

out why a prestige Film with glorious panoramas such as The Big Sky

was not filmed in glorious technicolor. It was colorized in the eighties,remember

colorization?

Shane,i think,is as beautiful a western as has ever been made.

filmed at Jackson hole as was the Big sky.

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"Across the Wide Missouri,is in glorious color."

 

Thanks for the correction, nishlinil. I think that the most recent broadcast of this movie was of a black and white print on my local PBS station. Glad to hear that it was in color.

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Hi Moira, I have a couple more suggestions to add:

 

Vengeance Valley - The cattle drive sequences are in some very pretty country, with one sequence showing hundreds of head being manoeuvered precariously on a winding, mountainside trail.

 

River of No Return - Filmed in the quite spectacular Canadian Rockies, I believe.

 

Garden of Evil - Filmed in Mexico, it covers some very interesting terrain.

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Anything by Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott is usually pretty good with good backrounds. I would say the movie called Seven Men From Now is about the best one that they made together and they made a bunch. It has Lee Marvin in it also. Definitly a western to watch and enjoy!

 

Vengence Valley is also really good!

 

Some Audie Murphy westerns have good locations in them, esp. 40 Guns to Apache Pass which you can see on the Westerns Channell.

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> There is a western, I want to say it's Audie Murphy,

> that was shot in some of the most interesting rock

> formations I've ever seen. It was a mountain of

> boulders. I don't think I've ever seen it in any

> other western. I wish I could remember .>>

>

 

 

The movie I think you are talking about is called 40 Guns to Apache Pass. Encore's the Westerns Channell plays it in heavy rotation.

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McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) One of the most beautiful looking films PERIOD.

 

Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)

The Big Sky (1952)

Unforgiven (1992)

The Naked Spur (1953)

Ride the High Country (1962)

Johnny Guitar (1954)

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A couple more suggestions not yet mentioned:

 

"The Unforgiven" (John Houston, 1960, not to be confused with Clint Eastwood's

1992 film with a similar title.) The long horseback chase scene, with John Saxon

pursuing Joseph Weisman across the desert, shows some beautiful country,

especially in the low-angle shots which take in the cloud-dappled sky.

 

"The Law And Jake Wade" (1958) pits Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark against

each other in some absolutely breathtaking Rocky Mountain terrain--Wyoming,

I think. Its worth the effort to look this one up.

 

cmvgor, aka fllickerfan

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Just watched "Yellow Sky" this afternoon. Beautiful black-and-white photography throughout. The scene toward the end when the outlaws tried to kill Peck took place among rocks in a way that foreshadowed what Anthony Mann would do in his westerns.

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cmvgor,

 

> "The Unforgiven" (John Houston, 1960...

 

That's a good one for scenery! Some nice cloud shots as I remember too.

 

> "The Law And Jake Wade" (1958) pits Robert Taylor and

> Richard Widmark against

> each other in some absolutely breathtaking Rocky

> Mountain terrain--Wyoming,

> I think. Its worth the effort to look this one up.

 

That's a good one too. It was filmed mostly in Death Valley. The scenes in the rocky hill like maze area in the middle of the film was at an area known as Zabriskie Point. The beginning of the movie was filmed at the Alabama Hills and the end at the ghost town was filmed just a few miles east of there.

 

Kevin

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>There is a western, I want to say it's Audie Murphy,

>that was shot in some of the most interesting rock

>formations I've ever seen. It was a mountain of

>boulders. I don't think I've ever seen it in any

>other western. I wish I could remember .>>

 

Oh yeah, I was going to say my gut feeling on this one is it is the movie Hell Bent For Leather. To evade a posse Audie and Felicia Farr run up up a hill of rocks in the area known as Cattle Pocket in the Alabama Hills. You can see those same rocks at the end of the movie Seven Men From Now. In the final duel, Lee Marvin has his back to that same rock formation.

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Kevin:

 

That sounds more like it. After Kim mentioned "40 Guns" it was on TV yesterday and I saw most of it and that wasn't the right film. Seeing your post and checking the plot summary that one seems like the right film. Thanks for chiming in.

 

Chris

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To: KevinC

 

Re: "The Law And Jake Wade" setting.

 

Thanks for giving me the information about this filming site. If I am ever able to play

tourist and see that part of the country, I would dearly love to visit the ghost-town

settilng. Thanks again.

 

Regards,

cmvgor aka flickerfan

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The first one that comes to mind is Howard Hawks' *Red River*, although that might be partly because I just watched it a couple of days ago. I was very impressed because I thought the vistas were as awesome as anything that Ford ever got in his movies.

 

Many have already mentioned the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. I like those vistas, too, but somehow I can never overlook the fact that these movies were all made in Europe, although they're apparently set in the U.S.

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Leone actually came to the US - and to Monument Valley - to shoot some sequences of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

 

There are some gorgeous shots in WESTERN UNION that rank with the best of the period and THE HANGING TREE has some great compositions that only serve to remind me of how much I'd like to see a widescreen version of that film.

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> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}

> Leone actually came to the US - and to Monument Valley - to shoot some sequences of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

>

 

I guess I didn't know that; it's been ages since I have watched it. I take it that the *Dollars* trilogy was completely shot in Europe, though?

 

> There are some gorgeous shots in WESTERN UNION that rank with the best of the period and THE HANGING TREE has some great compositions that only serve to remind me of how much I'd like to see a widescreen version of that film.

 

*The Hanging Tree* is available on DVD only as an import, IIRC. Do you have a multi-region player?

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No, I don't have a multi-region player, although I am presently investigating a hack for my unit that would solve that problem.

 

I wish I could remember the site, but I recall reading somewhere that the Region 2 release of THE HANGING TREE was a pan-and-scan job. I already have that on my VHS copy, so I can wait if that's the case.

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