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Western Movie Rambles


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Hey Kathy---I just found out that *The Vanishing American* is on DVD and I've added it to my

rental queue. I hope to get it next week sometime so I'll let you know how it is. This is the silent

movie with Richard Dix from which I posted a still photo in the Gallery.

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The Vanishing American

 

Yes! I remember that one. In fact...little did you know...thanks to you and a few others on here...not only do I have a Wanna See list..I also have a Wanna Read list going. (not nearly so long) and this one was on that list. If it's out on DVD I will add it to the Wanna See list now as well.

I still remember the brief synopsis you gave and it just sounded like such a compelling story. Definitely let me know what you think. :-)

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Hey Movieman Chris...(and anyone else for that matter) Guess what I bought today??? I was in Office Depot for something totally not movie related. But I always glance at their DVD racks because they sometimes have a good selection.

 

I got the Tom Selleck Monte Walsh and Crossfire Trail. (They were $9.99 buy one get one free)

 

(See Grey Guy...I CAN spend money when I am getting a bargain! :-) But I have to confess...the money I spent was the last bit that was left over from my "Johnny Appleseed Day" money. So it was easier to spend than other money might have been. :-)

 

I don't think I am going to get them watched this weekend. There's a lot going on around here the next few days. But hopefully I will get to them soon. I also still need to watch The Undefeated (still left over from my big Movie Watching Extravaganza of last weekend) I haven't seen either of these Selleck movies since they first came out on tv several years ago. I hope they are as good as I remember. (Chris... I will be watching to see if Mark Harmon slaps anyone on the back of the head or not) :-)

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

> The Vanishing American

>

> Yes! I remember that one. In fact...little did you know...thanks to you and a few others on here...not only do I have a Wanna See list..I also have a Wanna Read list going. (not nearly so long) and this one was on that list. If it's out on DVD I will add it to the Wanna See list now as well.

> I still remember the brief synopsis you gave and it just sounded like such a compelling story. Definitely let me know what you think. :-)

 

I just added it to my queue as well, I'm curious what others here think of it. You said you didn't have Netflix, right?

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You said you didn't have Netflix, right?

 

Correcto! Probably the closest thing I come to a "net anything "is those little guys in white coats I see running around behind me all the time w/ that great big net...but they'll just have to run a little faster cuz they haven't caught up to me yet! ;-) (I am sure it is only a matter of time, though) :-)

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Ah, you get those too? J/K ;)

 

The truth is, who knows, maybe at some point in the near future it might become easier to stream movies on your computer instead of playing a disc.

 

Like someone once said, "nobody knows what will happen tomorrow" ;)

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Well I am just so happy. I got to watch High Noon this evening. I missed it the other night when it was on and I am so glad I saw someone (FF was it you?) who mentioned it was coming on again tonight.

 

I first saw HN when I was in college (about a gazillion years ago.) I took a Film Lit class and this was one of the movies we watched. In fact, this is the first Gary movie I can ever recall seeing for certain. And this is probably the first time I ever saw Grace Kelly too. (I think)

 

I love the story and the way it all comes together. The beginning is so unusual. Someone else posted this clip earlier this week but here it is again...

 

 

 

What a great way to begin this movie. First of all you have these three guys just sitting around out on the middle of nowhere waiting...just waiting. Life as a "Toadie" (anyone remember the Scott Farkus affair??) must really stink when the head bully is up the river for a while. All you can do is sit around and wait for him to get back so you can stir up trouble again. Anyway....what I am trying to say is these guys are the focus of the action...but the music tells a different story than the one on the screen. And it reflects all the thoughts and emotions that are going to be a part of Gary Cooper's entire motivation in the next couple of hours.

 

The words and the tune of that song are so right for that purpose. The attitude of the song is quite melancholy and yet it is very "driven" with the drum beating in the back ground. Because every time you see Gary walking along trying to find someone to stand up and fight with him, you can hear the music reminding you of his constant thought..."Do not forsake me, Oh my darlin'" And in the face of almost certain death...that is his only regret. He is doing what he has to do as a man and an officer of the law...but really all he wants is the one he loves. It is a great technique and it cuts down the need for extra dialogue to tell you what's on his mind. He doesn't need to talk it all out....you just have to hear the music and you know what's going on in his head.

 

What a challenge for him to have to go it alone. One by one he is let down...first by Grace...and then by the entire town as everyone turns their back on him...except just a few....and he can't let them fight because they are too much in need of protection themselves. So he is left to do what he has to do and he is utterly alone.

 

And what about Bridge's character??? When they were having it out in the livery stable...do you think he was trying to stop him from facing Miller to protect him...or to make himself feel better for not fighting along side him? That was bothering me for a bit...but the truth is...I think it was both.

 

And I know the other day that I read a couple of comments elsewhere where people said that they wished Gary had chosen Katy over Grace...but I don't think so . May I suggest that had he stayed with her, he would not have been happy. Maybe for a time he would...but it would not be a lasting happiness. She had too much "self" and too much history. I think he was drawn to the "purity" of Grace's character. The way the two women were dressed is so telling of how the characters were thought of as individuals.Yes...this is a "black and white" sort of judgement, but it is very typical of movies of that era and of stories of this genre. The good guys always stand up and fight the bad guys and the women with a past are always left behind...even though they may have a heart of gold. Stereotypes work sometimes, and this one works for me.

 

I really liked the different "face" shots in this. The way the camera focuses in on individuals and small groups at select times in the story. I am sure I don't know the first thing about direction and movie making techniques, but the scene where it is finally noon....those faces all tell their own stories.

 

And when Gary steps out of the jail just before the train pulls in. He is standing there all alone. And there...for a moment....is no sound at all. Just him. And no more music to tell us what he is thinking. And the only sound after that is the wagon pulling away and the train pulling in. Then the next music you hear is a warped and distorted version of the same old tune. It sounds as though the brief moment of disbelief is almost overwhelming to him. He is really all alone. (the camera even pulls away and leaves him standing there in the street.)

 

There are just so many things that come together in this film for me. And it may be a bit "predictable" and perhaps even a bit "cliche"...one man fighting alone, doing what he has to do. But it is perhaps the standard by which a great many movies with similar plots could and should be judge. (not too many hit the mark.)

 

A few passing thoughts before I finish rambling....these are in no particular order...

 

I remember hearing (last year when I was on here) that there were some political implications with this movie but if those are true...they are lost on me. I just think this is a great story about a man who stood up and did what he had to do because he had to do it. He didn't sit around and whine about it, he didn't debate it over and over (though he did have a passing thought about leaving--who wouldn't?) But he knew what was right and he did it. End of story. VERY appealing to the "black and white" mindset in me.

 

How would you like to have been Harry Morgan's wife...what a let down for her to have to see a completely new and unattractive side to the man she thought she knew all these years....a guy who was probably a decent and standup sort of fellow by most people's estimation. What an eye opener....and a let down for her I am sure.

 

If I had been Grace Kelly I would have slapped that hotel clerk....what a lowlife jerk. Especially when you consider that he knew who she was. If he hadn't, then maybe there could have been some excuse....but he took way too much pleasure in being so nasty and snide.

 

And what day of the week is this movie supposed to be taking place???? I got to thinking of this. Why were all those folks in church on a weekday??? Or why were so many businesses open and doing business on a Sunday???? (back then I am sure the whole town closed up on Sunday...but the Barber shop, the saloon, the hotel...the train station....etc. were all open for business. That is not something you usually see in movies like this (especially made when this one was made) Oh well--I don't know why I am thinking of it...but it caught my attention. ("Inquiring minds want to know)

 

And of course, I can't possibly watch this movie without remembering the little "blunder" that my film lit teacher pointed out to us when I was in school. In the church scene where Gary is there asking for help, they send all the kids outside to let the grown ups talk....and all the kids get up and leave. Then a couple of seconds later...there they are again in the congregation...hmmm...maybe it is that "High Tech Noon" after all (I am still laughing over that clip from the other day) And all those kids just beamed back in. HA! :-)

 

Well...I guess I have gone on and on enough for now...thanks for letting me Ramble. :-)

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Kathy, that was beautifully written and a real pleasure to read. :) I watched the movie, too,

as I was doing other things, but it always pulls me in at certain points. You hit all the high

spots.

 

I think this movie is remarkably edited. I can see how much of the drama and tension is

created in the post production.

 

I agree with you about why Kane does stay with Amy, even if my sensibilities root for Helen's

character. Amy's values are actually closer to my own than Helen's are, with the exception

of how she feels about sticking to Will through the fight.

 

He didn't sit around and whine about it, he didn't debate it over and over (though he did have a passing thought about leaving--who wouldn't?) But he knew what was right and he did it. End of story.

 

Very interesting observation, Jackie. I couldn't have said it any better. :)

 

Message was edited by: MissGoddess because the wine went to her head.

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Believe me...I only WISH I were blonde sometimes. I have to blame mind on "dain brammage" :-)

 

Oh--nuts! I just remembered I am missing my sweet Maureen OHara in the Spanish Maine--it's even on my list...Gotta go! :-0

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

> Well I am just so happy. I got to watch High Noon this evening. I missed it the other night when it was on and I am so glad I saw someone (FF was it you?) who mentioned it was coming on again tonight.

>

 

I'm glad you caught it so time. You must really enjoy this movie to give it such a loving write-up.

 

Hope you are enjoying *The Spanish Main* ;)

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And I just noticed something else for the first time watching Fort Apache again (it was on

Encore Westerns).

 

SPOILER

 

Does it not seem, entirely in retrospect, as though the ending with John Wayne stepping into

the command after Thursday dies, and the way he even wears his cap (or whatever you

call that funny thing with the fabric on it) illustrates the passing of the baton from Henry Fonda

as primary Ford heroic player, to John Wayne?

 

(I realize Fonda would work, abortively, with Ford one more time in *Mister Roberts* but I don't

really count that, for reasons of my own thinking.)

 

I'm always finding something new in that movie, just when I think I've exhausted it.

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

> Does it not seem, entirely in retrospect, as though the ending with John Wayne stepping into

> the command after Thursday dies, and the way he even wears his cap (or whatever you

> call that funny thing with the fabric on it) illustrates the passing of the baton from Henry Fonda

> as primary Ford heroic player, to John Wayne?

>

 

It's a good point, I think that was mentioned in the Peter Bogdanovich documentary *Directed by John Ford*.

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That was a very enjoyable read, Mrs. Black and White. I happen to agree with

many of your comments. I'm glad to know there is at least one gal who understands

that my little lamby is best.

 

If I had been Grace Kelly I would have slapped that hotel clerk....what a lowlife

jerk. Especially when you consider that he knew who she was. If he hadn't, then

maybe there could have been some excuse....but he took way too much pleasure

in being so nasty and snide.

 

Gasp! My little lamby is a Quaker. This slapping business seems to be very popular

with you ladies. :D

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Fort Apache

 

I need to see this one again..it has been a long time for me. But I know that I often find new things in old favorites as I watch them

 

I am still contemplating a Ramble on "Things I never noticed or thought about before about Stagecoach" after watching last weekend. Just haven't been able to decide if I wanna or not. :-)

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Kathy:

 

Sorry to be so long responding. I've been out of town. I hope you enjoy those Selleck westerns. Nice films and Selleck looks so much the cowboy part. Be careful of Harmon. You won't recognize him playing that character.

 

Let me know after you've seen them.

 

Chris

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I'm glad to know there is at least one gal who understands

that my little lamby is best.

 

Oh Mr. Grey....she was only "the best" for HIM. I still think "the other woman" had many fine qualities in her own right. :-)

 

Gasp! My little lamby is a Quaker. This slapping business seems to be very popular

with you ladies.

 

Only when it is well deserved....that creep had it coming...surely even the Quakers could have made an exception.

 

Ok...I know....not very "turn the other cheek-ish" I apologize for that. Maybe if she had even just gone over to him and said something like..."If I weren't a Quaker, I'd slap you." I would have been happy with at least that much!! :-)

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

> Hope you are enjoying The Spanish Main

>

> Oh...it was only so-so. At least to me anyway. But Maureen was never lovelier...and Paul was quite lovely too! :-)

 

I agree, they were very charismatic. Do you generally like pirate movies?

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I may have seen The Sea Hawk but I can't say for sure. I have seen The Pirate. In fact there were portions of The Spanish Main that reminded me a bit of that movie.

 

I also remember a movie with Maureen OHara where she plays a pirate herself. (Against All Flags--I had to look up the title) I don't remember a whole lot about it, but I do think I liked it....would have to see again to say for sure.

 

I actually like a lot of "sea" and "sailing" movies....but not too many about "pirates" really stand out. I loved the "Sinbad" movies when I was a kid, though again,I wouldn't really call those "pirate" movies. And I always liked the Horatio Hornblower series on A&E.(I wish they would show those again) And the movie w/ Russel Crowe--Master and Commader was really good too.

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

> And the movie w/ Russel Crowe--Master and Commader was really good too.

 

I liked that one, too. I also have to confess I enjoyed the first *Pirates of the Caribbean*, at least as far as dumb summer movies go, but I don't have a very high opinion of the sequels, even though I really like the main actors.

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Pirates of the Caribbean,

 

That is one I haven't really ever been able to get into. I saw the first one but it didn't really bowl me over so I more or less just passed the sequels by. ( and I just have such a hard time seeing my beloved little Legolas so "scruffy-looking--he was such a beautiful elf.)

 

 

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