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Western Movie Rambles


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Howdy, Chris! That's great that you got to see a "new" western! :) I haven't watched

*Devil's Doorway* in a couple of years so I'll have to watch my dvd-r for a "refresher". I

remember liking Taylor's enigmatic character (yes, I knew all the time it was RT and

not a real native american, especially with that midwestern drawl of his, but I think I'd

feel that way about any leading ethnic character played by someone white. In limited

supporting parts, I can swallow a Henry Brandon as a "Scar" because he is presented so

carefully but with a main character that has to carry the whole story it becomes much less

credible. If Yul Brynner had been around he might have been fantastic---did he ever play any

native americans? Wow, imagine him as Scar! Anyway, I digress.) I remember really

loving the stark black-and-white photography and thinking Paula Raymond was so lovely,

she even reminded me a bit of Gene Tierney. I was surprised she didn't have a bigger career

because she seemed quite good in this movie.

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Now that you mention it Raymond does remind one a little of Tierney. Maybe she was like too many other women in the late 40's or early 50's. Pleasant and good enough but they didn't jump off the screen. She did a good job but I imagine there were many who would have done as well.

 

I don't remember Brynner playing an Indian. I guess the thing that struck me about Taylor was in playing an Indian the difference between his Indian-ness and the rest of his family seemed rather more than it might be. I would have liked to have had some more background on his character. How he came to be in the Union Army. I do think that they showed he got the Medal of Honor is enough to show what kind of man he is. Even having said that I think he did a fine job.

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> Now that you mention it Raymond does remind one a little of Tierney. Maybe she was like too many other women in the late 40's or early 50's. Pleasant and good enough but they didn't jump off the screen. She did a good job but I imagine there were many who would have done as well.

>

 

I'm sure you're right about that. I feel that many who really had something special that jumped

out at you eventually got the breaks and attention they deserved. And maybe she found a

husband and preferred to quit acting, lots of women did that.

 

> I don't remember Brynner playing an Indian. I guess the thing that struck me about Taylor was in playing an Indian the difference between his Indian-ness and the rest of his family seemed rather more than it might be. I would have liked to have had some more background on his character. How he came to be in the Union Army. I do think that they showed he got the Medal of Honor is enough to show what kind of man he is. Even having said that I think he did a fine job.

 

I'd love to see background, too, but Mann's "M.O." seemed to be not to tell us much about

a character's past. Maybe he preferred to supress it so that inklings of the past could be

gradually revealed through character later on. For instance, my only real qualm with

*Winchester '73* ---and for me it's a significant one---is the fact that we are only told about

the rift between Stewart and his brother. I never really felt like they were brothers at all,

but just conventional foes. I didn't get that added complexity out of their relationship and

I think had some sort of scene been included that showed them as brothers, before the

rift, I would have felt the tension more strongly. And maybe then Stewart would not have

needed to go so overtly ballistic in certain scenes. It tended to make me think he was the

crazy one, not his brother. I mean, why was his brother so bad?

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Re: "Winchester '73."

 

I didn't have any problem with the information coming later in the movie. THe thing that got my attention was their reactions to each other. It tells you right away that there is a history there. Giving you that much gives you a reason to invest in that realtionship. What could make two guys hate each other so much? Well, there's a darn good reason. When it finally comes out all hell breaks loose.

 

I still like this one better than "Devil's Doorway" but "Doorway" is certainly worth repeated viewings.

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Hiya, Chris! B-)

 

Just watched *Devil's Doorway* and enjoyed it thoroughly. Yes, I agree that the photography is great - Anthony Mann reportedly insisted that MGM hire John Alton to photograph this movie. They'd worked together earlier in *Border Incident*, *Raw Deal*, *Reign of Terror*, *T-Men* and *He Walked by Night*. However, *Devil's Doorway* was apparently their last collaboration.

 

*On Robert Taylor (no relation :)) I think he does a fine job but I don't completely buy him as an Indian. He just seems like Robert Taylor in dark makeup. It's an interesting, turned-on-its-head land war story. I like the way Taylor and Paula Raymond come together for business because they need each other more than their reservations about each can get in the way. Two people determined to get things done their way. The trouble is these situations don't often end well.*

 

I think at first it was hard to buy him as a Native American, but it became easier for me once he stops wearing the Army uniform and wears regular Native American clothes. As for the relationship between him and Paula Reymond's character, I loved the line where he says something like, "100 years from now, we might have had a chance" because that's roughly the time when the movie was released and, yes, even then not all Americans embraced the idea of interracial couples.

 

*I'm sure you've seen it as I seem to remember some comments some months back but I wonder if you might share them again. (And that goes for anyone else who has seen it.)*

 

Well, I agree that Paula does look a lot like Gene Tierney! B-)

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> {quote:title=batman7765 wrote:}{quote}

> i love westerns, but i have to say i just saw appoloosa and it was bad, except for the acting of ed harris and viggo it was a skip it film

 

I'd be curious to know your review in greater detail, too. I was considering going to see it,

though it looks more like it will be a future Netflix rental. I have heard that it was farily

good except for Renee Zelwegger, who I fully expected to be awful in it anyway. She's not

for westerns.

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*i love westerns, but i have to say i just saw appoloosa and it was bad, except for the acting of ed harris and viggo it was a skip it film*

 

I was a little underwhelmed by it, as much as I appreciated the effort that must have gone into making it. It makes me sad, because it makes it less likely that other filmmakers might be able to make westerns of their own.

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well to be honest the movie was just sluggish, and slow paced, and rene zelwegger was really bad, ed harris was good and so was viggo, and there on screen chemistry was really good, i would say rent it, but it was a huge let down, and jeremy irons who is a great actor was miscast in this film as well

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Maybe it's me, but I thoroughly enjoyed Appaloosa. The acting -- except for Zellweger's role -- was terrific, and the cinematography, sets and costumes were superb. This is a story of friendship, and how one friend won't let the other be destroyed by a woman. Simple theme, but wonderfully illustrated and acted in the backdrop of the Old West.

As for Zellweger, she is supposed to be a woman who seduces men, at least that's how she is portrayed in Robert B. Parker's novel. In the movie, you just don't get that. It's a flaw, of course, but I can overlook this.

On the other hand, I can't figure why so many movie-goers have to see crashes, explosions, etc. to be entertained. OK, this wasn't action-adventure, but it was a story well told, and I believe it was more likely to happen in the Old West than some of the things we've seen on the silver screen.

The dialogue also was superb. So, I guess I'm pretty much in the minority on this forum, but I give Appaloosa a huge thumbs up!!

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Giddyup and Batman...welcome to the thread!

 

I give Appaloosa a huge thumbs up!!

 

to be honest the movie was just sluggish, and slow paced

 

I was a little underwhelmed

 

Thanks for the comments folks on this film...I have been curious about this one since I first heard of it...now I am confused and curious...(my normal state most of the time on this site.) :-)

 

I may not get to see this before it is on DVD, but I do hope to catch it sometime just to see if it holds up...and I do like Harris. (I only know of Viggo from his LOTR work...but I enjoyed that very much, so hope he does at least that well in this one.) :-)

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Well, Kathy, if you do get to see it on DVD (should be coming out pretty soon), please make sure to let us know what you think.

 

Hey, guess what? I got a nice little surprise in the mail today -- my *How the West Was Won* poster finally arrived! B-)

 

(This is the poster that you could get free if you bought the DVD).

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my personal favorite western is tombstone, most entertaining as well, it had everything, gun fights, love story, plenty of drunken verbal fights lol! and lots of drama and touching moments, val kilmer god robbed for an oscar nod imo as doc hollyday, i would put unforgiven as my second fav western

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Giddy-Up, your review is pretty much the same as my friend's who saw *Appaloosa* the opening

weekend. I'll probably end up renting it on Netflix.

 

I don't like car crashes-and-explosions action movies, but neither do I like the movies that have

been made in the past several years that seem to drag on interminably.

 

I would say the original 3:10 to Yuma is a good example of a more meditative type of western,

vs. the action-oriented blood-bath, that was the remake.

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*I would say the original 3:10 to Yuma is a good example of a more meditative type of western, vs. the action-oriented blood-bath, that was the remake.*

 

I'd agree with that completely; the sad thing is that it doesn't seem very likely that any kind of Western but and action-oriented blood bath would do well at the box-office in this day and age.

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Michaela:

 

Having seen "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp" I would say that "Tombstone" is the better of the two. "Earp" is a lot longer and deals more with Wyatt's life before and after that period, especially before. Its length is probably the main drawback. There doesn't seem enough to fill it.

 

The unfortunate thing for "Earp" was the timing. They are only a year apart and the main section of each movie covers the same ground. As far as the characterization goes it is probably a matter of preference. Kurt Russell plays his Wyatt much more passianately that Costner. That's not to say Costner isn't good, but it's the more silent determination. Dennis Quaid's "Doc" is as mannered as Kilmer's but differently so.

 

I think if you are familiar with one the might have tendancy to compare how they each handle the same stories. That has its benefits.

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*Having seen "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp" I would say that "Tombstone" is the better of the two. "Earp" is a lot longer and deals more with Wyatt's life before and after that period, especially before. Its length is probably the main drawback. There doesn't seem enough to fill it.*

 

Chris,

Well, I also watched both of them, when they came out, but I haven't seen them since, which makes it I guess about 15 years (!) so my memory may be a bit fuzzy. I don't suppose it would do any harm to take another look. Among the recent Westerns I would like to revisit, *Tombstone* and *Wyatt Earp* are probably right up there with *Silverado*, which I probably haven't watched since college.

 

Did you read my previous post about the *HTWWW* poster from WHV? B-)

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"Silverado" is such a fun movie for a host of reasons. (It is one my daughters favorite movies. She's 18.) I always looked at it like they took all the major western plot lines and strung them into one film. The cast is first rate. My only reservation is Costner is a little too exhuberant. Major kudos to whoever had the idea to cast Linda Hunt. That was brilliant. It's more about her character and the way she fits in the movie.

 

I'll go find your comments on HTWWW. (I enjoy that movie too.)

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