Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Western Movie Rambles


Recommended Posts

I watched "Fort Massacre" this weekend. Unusual story of Cavalry troop having survived one battle trying to make it back to a fort while keeping their subsequent confrontations with the Indians to a minimum. Mostly without any luck.

 

What is surprising is the character played by, of all people, Joel McCrea. He takes command by default. Long time dedicated sergeant whose family died as a result of an Indian incident. Determined to take out as many as they can while in the course of his duty. One of the few times McCrea has played someone you really won't like. Which is why the movie may not play better. Even with all that it is probably only average at best.

 

Some good action scenes. Pretty good support from John Russell. It clocks in at about 80 minutes. I wouldn't run out looking for it but if you stumble on it you might give it a look.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy, Chris!

 

I cannot even imagine Joel in such a part---did he ever play another unsympathetic role?

 

Was this on Encore Westerns by chance?

 

Encore and TCM are both airing Anthony Mann westerns today, almost simultaneously. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

This was a TCM broadcast and it was widescreen.

 

The interesting thing about McCrea in this is he is not a manic racist. He plays it tough as he is the troop leader and his hatred is more subdued but it is the reason for everything he does.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thoroughly enjoyed watching True Grit this evening. I haven't seen a Western since I watched The Oxbow Incident last weekend...I think I was having "withdrawals" :-) But what a great one to get a fix on.

 

I have always enjoyed this movie....I've probably seen it at least half a dozen times. And yet...my husband and I both were surprised because NEITHER of us could ever recall seeing the beginning before (where Mattie's father is killed) I don't know why...but I just can't seem to pull that out of the old memory banks...anyway...beyond that, the other suprise for me was remembering all the great dialogue...quick paced and very well written. In fact...the conversations are so sharp..especially when she is doing her various negotiations...it seemed almost more like something out of "Pride and Prejudice" than a gunfighting western adventure. I doubt anyone but me would think that...but the language and arguments were all so doggone polite and well thought out. Perfectly worded with just the right level of determination, intelligence, and insult. I know this won't make sense when you read it...but it is making some sort of sense as I write it...I am just not explaining it very well.

 

At any rate...this is a fun western to watch because it has some really good characters, plenty of rotten bad guys (though I admit not as rotten as say....Bruce Dern in The Cowboys) and some really great scenery and music as well.

 

And the Duke was born to play Cogburn. I can't imagine anyone else doing that character justice. But having said that...Rooster is a LOT different from many of the other Duke roles. I am thinking specifically of the ones we seem to talk so much about on here...Tom, and Ethan, and even Hondo...darker, quieter...more the type to keep himself to himself. You have to figure them out and try to find what makes them tick. Rooster on the other hand is bigger than life and all his cards are on the table. Even when it comes to painful memories of the past...he opens up to the "Baby Sister" and tells her about his younger days...making no aplologies for the life he led or what some might consider mistakes of youth. Not dark or "shadowy" or the least bit gray (or is it "grey???) ;-)

 

And going back to the dialogue for a moment....I had to crack up because the short person kept coming in and out of the room off and on while this was on as she was getting ready for bed and every so often she'd hear a reference that she recognized from the now infamous Duke soundboard, and she would crack up. At one point she said.."Oh John Wayne...you say that all the time...blah blah blah!" Too funny. I must have a "baby sister" of my own in training or something. :-) She tried to get me to let her watch this one, but it was way too "gritty" for her, and besides that, it was time for bed. Then she did her famous..."Oh please just a few minutes" begging and bargaining routine....and of course you can guess my response:

 

http://www.abcarcade.com/john-wayne-soundboard.html

 

Column #3/Quote #1 Ha!! :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't seen *True Grit* in a long, long while. Glad you had a good time! B-)

 

Isn't that the one Duke won an Oscar for?

 

My next Western's probably going to be *The Comancheros* but I'm also watching a bunch of Bond movies this week, ahead of the release of *Quantum of Solace*.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, this is the film that won John Wayne his only Oscar.

 

He had only been nominated once before in 1949 for another good performance in Sands of Iwo Jima.

 

Ironic that he was nominated for a war film since that same year he performed so well in what many would say his finest performance in a western had occurred in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

 

Personally, IMHO, he should have been nominated several times for an Oscar. Those nominations should have been for:

 

Thomas Dunson in Red River 1948

Capt. Nathan Brittles in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 1949

Sean Thornton in The Quiet Man 1952

Ethan Edwards in The Searchers 1956

John Bernard Books in The Shootist 1976

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kathy:

 

Too bad they couldn't have had a better supporting cast for Wayne. Maybe it's just me but I find Darby awfully annoying and Campbell is no actor. The one scene I do enjoy Darby in is her negotiation with Strother Martin.

 

Good story. After Duke it's a second rate cast.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I love the Duke in all of his Western roles, and he shines best in most of them, I feel his best acting role of all was as Frank W. 'Spig' Wead, in *Wings of Eagles*. For that one he played a real person who was still alive. He had to learn different mannerisms, ways of speech, how to walk with those canes/crutches, and it probably drove him nuts to do half of the movie lying in bed staring at his toe. With all of his Ford productions, he played basically the same man, whether western or military, and you can include *Hondo, Rio Bravo, El Dorado*, and *Chisum*. *. . . Eagles* was a challenge well met by the Duke, and that is the one he should have at least been nominated for, but for all I know, he may have been, I didn't even look to see, now that I think of it.

 

Anne

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris...Darby didn't bother me as much as all that. (Last night Robert Osborn said that Mia Farrow had originally been up for the part, but I just can't picture that.) And I agree...the bit with Martin was one of the best. (I love when he tells her he heard about a girl that fell in a well...and he wondered if it could have been her!!) :-) But I will have to go along w/ you on Campbell. Surely there was someone else they could have put in there...maybe they just wanted to get his song along w/ the deal. (Personally....I coulda lived w/out that song too.) :-) All in all, he didn't do much harm to the story...but he didn't do much to stand out either.

 

However, I liked seeing Dennis Hopper and Rober Duvall in their younger days. (didn't Duvall EVER have hair???) HA! :-) I thought they both did pretty well....except maybe Ned Pepper was a little too nice and not nearly as cutthroat as you would expect him to be....but that was likely due more to the writing than to the acting.

 

I came across a fun True Grit link on youtube. I'ts a bit long but kind of fun to see the lasting effect Hollywood can have when it comes to town. And a lot of the scenery is great (again) but after a while it gets to be a bit much (trees and trees ane more trees etc) so I just fast forwarded it a bit at that point. But toward the end you get to see one of my favorite Duke moments...when he is riding headlong at Pepper and his gang with the reigns in his teeth and both guns a blazin'...Classic!!

 

 

 

FX....I agree. Duke should have won more than one Oscar throughout his career. I will have to take your word on Red River and The Shootist as I haven't seen them (though I have seen the beginning and the end of The Shootist...I just missed the middle) But the others on your list I can say for sure have Duke at the top of his game. I wold likely add a couple more...but maybe am prejudice because he's my favorite...The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and possibly Hondo as well would be good choices for such an honor...but not sure if everyone would agree (especially w/ regard to Hondo) But Oscar or not...he gave some really great performances in many, many films that have stood the test of time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wings of Eagles

 

Hi Anne-I didn't see your post until after I posted mine...thanks for your input on Duke...I have Wings of Eagles on my Wanna See list and hope to catch it sometime. One of these days when I am old(er) and gray(er) I hope to eventually catch up w/ all the folks on here as everyone seems to be way ahead of me when it comes to knowing what's good to watch. I seem to keep finding new titles to add to that list everyday! :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I love the Duke in all of his Western roles, and he shines best in most of them, I feel his best acting role of all was as Frank W. 'Spig' Wead, in Wings of Eagles

 

I still haven't had a chance to watch *Wings of Eagles*, but I do hope to watch it soon... thanks again for the recommendation. B-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw True Grit when it was released, at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. At that time, I was a bigger fan of Glen Campbell than John Wayne, so I was delighted that Campbell sang the title track. I went out and bought the soundtrack album shortly thereafter - the first soundtrack I would ever buy.

 

Darby is annoying, but I think her character is supposed to be. It was the first time I saw her onscreen. The only actors I recognized at the time were John Doucette, Jeff Corey, and Myron Healey (from their appearances on The Adventures of Superman ). Now, after many viewings, I think the cast is quite interesting: Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Jeremy Slate, John Fiedler, Carlos Rivas, Hank Worden, Alfred Ryder, and especially Strother Martin.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At that time, I was a bigger fan of Glen Campbell than John Wayne,

 

If we are talking music....I probably would be too! :-) But then again....has anyone ever heard the Duke sing??? I could be wrong on that. (ha)

 

I can't say Campbell is on my A list of favorite singers, but he has had some good songs over the years. I remember watching the Glen Campbell Show as a kid...I don't recall when it ran. Was that a factor in your being a fan at the time the movie came out? The song he sang for this one just didn't really get my attention that much, (but music is a very subjective sort of thing to be sure) I did like the rest of the music in this picture, though. I have a few film soundtracks that I've collected over the years (mostly John Williams stuff) Music is very "instrumental" in setting the tone for a film. (No pun intended...ok....maybe a little pun)

 

I bet it was great getting to see this film on the big screen....Radio City no less...pretty cool. The scenery is really such a big part of the film and I imagine it was quite impressive in the theater.

 

PS...I agree, I think Darby's character was supposed to be annoying. But it seemed to work for her.

 

Message was edited by: rohanaka

Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched Campbell's show as well - it ran from 1969 to 1972, and was called "Glen Campbell's Goodtime Hour." I always enjoyed his songs, so that was a huge reason I wanted to see the movie. Radio City was a great place to see movies.

 

John Wayne played some character called "Singing Sandy" in his early western career, although his voice may have been dubbed. I remember seeing a clip of it somewhere - probably on a biography on TV. Here is a clip in which the dubbing appears obvious:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtkPYICLEcw

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Singing Sandy

 

Hey I have that film. I got it in a big collection of Duke films at Walmart for five whole dollars. (Mostly to get a copy of Angel and the Badman and McClintock) but there are about 20 some other Lone Star early westerns on there and this is one of them. I have only seen a few of them....pretty much Saturday afternoon serial kinda stuff. But now I will have to get it out so I can see this one just for fun. I think I remember Chris (movieman) telling me about it a while back....and it has to be a "dub" I am sure. (I wonder how he would have sounded singing "I am a lineman for the county?????????" ) Ha.

 

That DVD set also has a really good documentary on John Ford (The American West of John Ford) that I guess has been pretty much forgotten. After I told her about it, Miss Goddess ordered the same set online and we talked it up a bit over in the Filmmaker forum back early this fall. Though the quality is poor on all of the stuff on this set it is well worth the $5 to get the two better known movies and the documentary too. (3 nice little gems among all the early stepping stones)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw True Grit when it was released, at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. At that time, I was a bigger fan of Glen Campbell than John Wayne, so I was delighted that Campbell sang the title track. I went out and bought the soundtrack album shortly thereafter - the first soundtrack I would ever buy.

 

Was it a really big hit at the time?

Link to post
Share on other sites

>Was it a really big hit at the time?

 

No, certainly not like his other hits. I remember hearing it on the radio a few times, and he sung it once on his show. On the other hand, by getting the soundtrack, I was introduced to the music of Elmer Bernstein.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...