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Liberty Valance


mrsl
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Just a reminder for those of you who have never seen it, or haven't seen it in a long time, make sure you tune in at 7:00 p.m. CST. Great showcase for the two old timers - Wayne and Stewart. BTW, come back later and tell me your comments, especially first timers.

 

Anne

 

Message was edited by: Me, to add the last sentence.

mrsl

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Yes Baker, and don't forget Woody Strode. I've only seen him in this and The Last Voyage, but he's so good at being the strong, silent helpmate, you can't help but look for him to say or do more. Did everybody catch the two shots that rang out, which none of the towns people seemed to hear?

 

Anne

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Anne, if you enjoyed Woody Strode in LIBERTY VALANCE, then you must check him out in SERGEANT RUTLEDGE, a 1960 western also directed by the great John Ford. This was one of the few (possibly only) times Strode had the chance to assume the lead role in a film. In it he is a black soldier on trial for the rape and murder of a white woman. A very powerful film and one in need of rediscovery.

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In another John Ford Western, " Sergeant Rutledge ", Woody Strode was the title character. The film dealt with racism in the aftermath of the Civil War. He is accused of murdering a White girl. Jeffery Hunter and Constance Towers also co - star, with a number of the Ford Stock Company on hand .

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> Anne, if you enjoyed Woody Strode in LIBERTY VALANCE,

> then you must check him out in SERGEANT RUTLEDGE, a

> 1960 western also directed by the great John Ford.

> This was one of the few (possibly only) times Strode

> had the chance to assume the lead role in a film. In

> it he is a black soldier on trial for the rape and

> murder of a white woman. A very powerful film and one

> in need of rediscovery.

 

" Sergeant Rutledge " is on DVD, alas without commentary.

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"You got a choice, Dishwasher. Either you get out of town, or tonight you be out on that street alone. You be there, and don't make us come and get you. "

 

This film introduced me at a young age to Lee Marvin. I have loved him and his voice ever since. I miss him and wish that he had a longer life.

 

Thank the Lord this film was made in black and white.

 

If it had been made in color I think it would be a very different film.

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Thanks guys, I saw that long before I knew who he was, so I didn't pay much attention to Sargeant Ruttledge, I'll have to look it up at the video store.

 

Andy Devine reminded me of his part on Wild Bill HIckock, "Gee, Wild Bill, wait for me'.

 

Every bit, actor, and scene was so good, it's a real keeper.

 

Anne

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Strode may have the title role in SERGEANT RUTLEDGE, but Jeffrey Hunter has the lead. The film is a typically soft-peddled "racial-tolerance" story, in which the romance between Hunter's Lt. Cantrell and Constance Towers's Mary Beecher was the chief selling point to audiences, and allowed the movie to be booked into theaters in the still-racist and segregated US South.

 

As for Strode, he was a wonderful presence in his films, as anyone who's ever seen SPARTACUS will attest.

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I watched the last hour of it last night. I had seen it before and like it a lot.

 

Everybody is good in this. Wayne is darker than he usually was allowed to be. The villains are wonderful. It is a great coincidence that Lee Van Cleef and Strother Martin are the two subordinate bad guys. One almost imagines that after Liberty Valance gets shot, Van Cleef rides out to spaghetti western land, while Strother Martin drifts into Wild Bunch country.

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I can't help but wonder how great she would have been in Vertigo.

 

Had Vera Miles been in VERTIGO, there may have actually been a reason why Jimmy Stewart was obsessed with her. As the film stands, I'm completely confounded by his obsession with Kim Novak, whose existence in any film is rather confounding to me. She's like a wax works. She's about as appealing as THE ASTOUNDING SHE MONSTER, a role, for which, I think her "talents" are better suited. I love VERTIGO right up to the moment that she throws herself into San Francisco Bay and Jimmy Stewart rescues her. From the point forward, it becomes my least favorite Hitchcock film. A complete bore.

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Vera has been one of my favorites. I thought she was great in "Linerty Valance." The scene where she tells Stewart she can't read she has just the right amount of truthfulness and embarassment in her voice that who wouldn't want to help her. Her playfulness with Hunter in the "The Searchers" is what won me. It doesn't hurt that she's beautiful.

 

On "Vertigo", I've always been a bit perplexed at this movie. I like it well enough but not so much as so many critics. Of course, that leads to the conclusion that it is probably me. I wonder though if Stewart's obsession with Novak isn't based in her beauty? Would we accept Miles as that woman? I don't know.

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I agree about Vera, but not about Kim.

 

I think Kim was quite beautiful, and might have become a better actress if given the opportunity, it was just her bad luck to appear during the stupid '60's sexpot era. She quit the acting for just that reason. Instead of being taken seriously, all the parts offered to her were 'sex kittens'. A little glimmer of talent shows up in Lylah Clare and Strangers when we Meet, but she's overpowered by Kirk Douglas in the latter. A less formidable co-star might have given her a chance to shine more, like Greg Peck or even Paul Newman.

 

What was in that freaking hatbox?

 

Anne

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Well actually Kim Novak's career goes back to 1954's Pushover, and by most accounts Harry Cohn tried to develop her career so that she could become the studio's new glamour girl since Rita Hayworth was, well, getting old.

 

I think Vertigo is a masterpiece just the way it is and wouldn't change a thing about it. Anyone who doesn't enjoy it is simply missing out on some amazing stuff.... and it's particularly gorgeous when shown in 70mm (doesn't happen often, but worth catching if it does).

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> If not her beauty, then what?

 

That was my point. Does Stewart care about her personality? He's remaking her so it's not important to him. He wants that face, that hair, etc.

 

I agree in that Miles was a better actress but does that change the dynamics (or lack thereof) of Hitchcock wanted? I thought her personality was to be secondary. Am I misreading it?

 

I did think Novak did well in her small part in "Pfffft." If that was her impression of Monroe she had it.

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Well, whatever Hitchcock was going for, it doesn't work for me. Like I said, once she opens her mouth, I don't get what it is Stewart sees in her, making his obsession utterly tedious. A film about obsession that I do get, is Brian De Palma's OBSESSION, starring Cliff Robertson and Genevieve Bujold; and, like VERTIGO, it features a spectacular score by Bernard Herrmann.

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If my memory is correct about the cactus, Wayne brought Miles one as a present early in the film. Later he had a bunch of them planted around the house where he was making it ready for her before everything happened.

 

I'll have to get back to you about the hatbox. (I'll have to watch my copy.)

 

Chris

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