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Western Movie Rambles


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Yes, Fred, I like to sing Henry Hathaway's praises when I can. He's never

made a movie I disliked, or was bored by. I especially like his early films,

which can exhibit a kind of lyricism that belies his tough-as-nails reputation.

 

I just hope more will look for *Trail of the Lonesome Pine* since we had

such a nice discussion a few pages back on *The Shepherd of the Hills*.

The two movies are both exceptional.

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Colleen Dewhurst was indeed born in Canada. She apperaed in two John Wayne films. "The Cowboys" in which she played a traveling madam with a wagon full of girls. I'm not sure if she had any scenes with Wayne. I remember Rosco Lee Brown and her discussing the young boys sex education, "The first time should be something special" and she agrees. The one you're referring to is "McQ". She played a drug addict I believe. It was fun watching two old pros working off each other.I was just sorry their scenes didn't last longer. I always though she was one sexy woman. a lot sexier then many Hollywood actresses. I remember feeling very sad the day she died. I think she was only in her early 60's.Married twice to George C. Scott...WOW

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Aug 21, 2010 1:00 PM

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I saw "The Trail of The Lonesome Pine" years ago. It is about the earliest color feature there was. I don't remember much about it but when you talk about it like this I'll make sure I catch it soon.

 

(Several minutes having passed....)

 

I went to Netflix and added it. I noticed at the bottom it said "This film is - Romantic, Emotional." Thanks for confirming.

 

Edited by: movieman1957 on Aug 21, 2010 1:32 PM

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I can't wait to hear what you think of it, Chris!

 

The color is beautiful and the setting almost identical

to The Shepherd of the Hills. There is even a brief

shot during wintertime, with everything covered in (real)

snow. While Sylvia Sidney at first seems unsuited to

playing a hill girl (unlike Betty Field who seemed so at

one with the land and the forest), she gradually brings

emotional depth to the part as the story steps up in

intensity. Hank Fonda is very handsome, as is young

Fred MacMurray, forming the two other corners of the

triangle. Both are a couple of pups! Beulah Bondi and

Samuel Hinds are there, from the later movie. Hinds

plays almost the exact same role.

 

vlcsnap-00121.jpg?t=1282413194

 

vlcsnap-00122.jpg?t=1282413194

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It was Paramounts first Technicolor film and the first 3 strip Technicolor to be shot in the outdoors..

It's two stars would reteam a year later for Fritz Lang's "You Only Live Twice" and no it wasn't an early James Bond film......

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*You Only Live Twice* is a very anguished film noir. I really like it, in fact it's one of my favorite Fonda movies, and one of my favorite Langs. The ending is hard to take.

 

It's a sort of precursor to *Gun Crazy* only much, much better.

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First of all, the film is titled *You Only Live Once* (the other title is a James Bond movie). Secondly, I would not call it a better film than *Gun Crazy*. It's a very different film, notably in the the way that fatalism and choice are established. The relationships of the married couples are also quite different in that *YOLO* is a romanticized view, where *GC* plays with many sexual themes.

 

There are many more contrasts, but Mr. ChiO will probably be here soon and I'll let him preach the evils of *GC* on this beautiful Sunday morning.

 

For what it's worth, when I had to choose between these two films (and Ray's *They Live by Night* (1946)) for my list at SSO, I took *You Only Live Once* for two reasons: It's a heartbreaking, doomed view of the world (which is noir), and the simple logic that Lang's film broke the ground and plowed the field, while Lewis' masterpiece reaped the harvest (twelve years later).

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Hi, Arkadin. Sorry about the wrong title. I forgot and got too lazy to edit my post. I think *You Only Live Once* is a better movie because it got me inside the characters and I felt for them and felt angry at the kind of world that pushed them off the map like it did. *Gun Crazy* didn't move me at all because it seemed that couple wanted to be off the map, and not for good enough reasons. This seemed more about visceral sensation, less about real human issues. Even the titles speak to the intrinsic differences of the films.

 

To each his own.

 

P.S. I posted my thoughts on GC in rohanaka's film noir thread, I told ChiO I liked the film better than I expected to, but saw it more as a cautionary tale against such a lifestyle. I got no response so I guess I am in the minority of one on that opinion. Maybe others find the movie celebrates the couple's daring-dos. That won't wash with me, I'm afraid. I don't like Bonnie-and-Clyde stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Regarding: Henry Hathaway

I just read this and really appreciate it. No, I don't think of Hathaway that much but will study his films more when I see them. Northside 777 is one of my favorite movies and I've recently seen

13 Rue Madeleine and Prince Valiant which I also liked. Thank you.

 

P.S.: Since you mentioned How the West Was Won, who was George Marshall, the third director after John Ford and Hathaway? I can't place his name as a director of anything else. Here's my chance to learn something new today.

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George Marshall started out in the early days of motion pictures. He did some acting and directed his first film in 1916.He directed many comedies in the 1920' and 30's. Among some were Laurel and Hardy in "Pack Up Your Troubles" where he also appeared as the chef.. He directed W.C. Fields in "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man", Bob Hope in "Ghost Breakers", "Fancy Pants" among others. He directed Martin and Lewis in "Scared Stiff" { A remake of his film "Ghost Breakers" } and "My Friend Irma". His most famoue films are "Destry Rides Again" with James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich, Alan Ladd and Veroncia Lake in "The Blue Dahlia". He did many with his friend Glenn Ford such as "The Sheepman" and "Advance to the Rear". He also directed many TV shows like "Here's Lucy" and "Daniel Boone" among many others.

I met George in the early 1970's and became friends with him. I found him to be a great guy who loved making movies and loved to tell stories. Him and I would meet once in a while at the Formosa Cafe right next door to Samuel Goldwyn studios where he had his offices.I remember the last time we had lunch and drinks there he was tickeled that he was going to appear on "Police Woman" with Angie Dickinson. Lass then a month after the show aired he passed away. His name wasn't as well known as Ford or Hawks or Wilder, but he was there at the beginning and directed over 175 feature films, shorts and TV shows......

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fred and movieman: Thank you all for the info. Both Destry films, Texas, and The Blue Dahlia? I really know how to put my foot in it, don't I? Dahlia is on this week-end so I get to see his talent at work. I'm glad he was such a likable fellow.

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George also directed one of the best Will Rogers movies, *Life Begins at Forty*.

And, as has been mentioned, one of my favorite Bob Hope films, The Ghost Breakers.

A real Hollywood classic director who could be depended upon to, if nothing else, let

the stars shine and their personalities come through. Rogers, Stewart, Ladd, Hope...I mean

they did some of their best work under his hand. That's saying a lot.

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I should have looked further down the page. He wrote, produced, did a little acting and apparently wrote a song.

 

The man even did a bunch of "How To Play Golf with Bobby Jones" shorts. That must mean he did whatever they asked of him.

 

I've also seen "Never A Dull Moment," a nice little comedy with Irene Dunne, and "Pot 'O Gold" with Jimmy Stewart and the poor man's "Westward The Women," "The Guns of Ft. Petticoat." The last with Audie Murphy and the wonderful Hope Emerson.

 

A few others are sprinkled throughout the list.

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I recently watched Canyon Passage and I'm struggling to understand what it's all about. The one theme seems to be about people trying to find out where they belong, especially, who they belong with. The violent ending was a head-scratcher.

 

I thought Dana Andrews was terrific. I really liked his character. In fact, I enjoyed the entire cast. Poor Ward Bond. The look of the film is magnificent, as well. But what the heck did I just watch?!

 

canyonpassage2.jpg

 

canyonpassage1.jpg

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I don't disagree, I saw it recently and while I was impressed with the way the film looked parts of it I didn't quite know where it came from. The relationship between Andrews and Donleavy was unusual. Hoagy Carmichael became annoying. However, it was nice to see Andy Devine in a more conventional role.

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I don't disagree, I saw it recently and while I was impressed with the way the film looked parts of it I didn't quite know where it came from.

 

I just didn't get it. I kept waiting and waiting for something meaningful to take shape and it never really does. Then the ending just comes out of left field. I guess you could say the film is about Logan Stuart (Dana Andrews) and how his life comes to effect so many other people's lives. He's committed to business but is a tease on the social side. He's a storm yet he's nothing but pleasant and caring.

 

The relationship between Andrews and Donleavy was unusual.

 

It was. If anything, they are shown to be opposites. Logan is a workaholic while George (Brian Donlevy) is a playaholic. Yet, Logan never looks down at him. He tells him to knock off the gambling, but he doesn't scold him.

 

Hoagy Carmichael became annoying.

 

:D I actually liked Hoagy. He's the minstrel who seems to show up at every turn.

 

However, it was nice to see Andy Devine in a more conventional role.

 

And his sons played his sons.

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Frank, this is a movie I don't see often but remember well because of the ironically tragic wedding scene. Seeing all those settlers working their buns off, then men building the cabin while the women make "home decorations" and the wedding feast for the couple only to see them killed by stupidity always gets to me.

 

I think the idea that the characters are trying to find where they belong is one I never thought of but agree with. There is also the theme of betrayal by Brian Donley's character of his friend and woman, his decision to kill to get what material goods he wants and that effect on everybody else, and that it only takes one nitwit-in this case the below Ward Bond-to totally wreck havoc. This doesn?t fit the familiar Western plotlines in some ways but according to RO was one of that year's biggest hits. I will watch it again the next time I can and see what I come away with. I might not have an answer to your question but thank you for giving me one to chew on.

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I'm going to have to rent *Canyon Passage* again, because I honestly

don't remember much about it except how gorgeous it was.

Probably because like you and Chris, I never followed the plot well.

I don't even remember why you would say "poor Ward Bond"

(though he looks awfully pitiful in that frame of maple leaves).

 

Susan looks so pretty in this. The autumnal colors really suit her.

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CANYON PASSAGE SPOILER

 

Hey there, WouldBeStar -- Frank, this is a movie I don't see often but remember well because of the ironically tragic wedding scene. Seeing all those settlers working their buns off, then men building the cabin while the women make "home decorations" and the wedding feast for the couple only to see them killed by stupidity always gets to me.

 

The wedding goes off without a hitch, although there was a threat. It's later where trouble comes. Forty Guns is a western where the wedding ain't too happy.

 

There is also the theme of betrayal by Brian Donley's character of his friend and woman, his decision to kill to get what material goods he wants and that effect on everybody else,

 

That's a very interesting point. I was very surprised by George's (Brian Donlevy) actions. I guess he felt he was in too deep and he saw an "easy way" out. Still, Logan (Dana Andrews) helps to free him. And, in the end, it really doesn't matter about George. Maybe that's the point. It doesn't matter what someone has done, they are going to meet a fate. Both the good and bad meet a fate.

 

and that it only takes one nitwit-in this case the below Ward Bond-to totally wreck havoc.

 

That's something that did run through my head, so I'm glad you brought it up. One bad apple can spoil the bunch. It's the doings of Honey Bragg (Ward Bond) that leads to mass bloodshed.

 

Howdy, Fordy Guns -- I'm going to have to rent Canyon Passage again, because I honestly

don't remember much about it except how gorgeous it was.

 

Did you fast-forward through this one, too! :P

 

Probably because like you and Chris, I never followed the plot well.

 

It's such a leisurely-paced film about nothing all that significant, then it flips a crazy switch and I'm left wondering why. I guess there are times when we are not only held accountable for our actions, but so our others. In one case, the crime of one is about the one. In another, the crime of one is about all.

 

I don't even remember why you would say "poor Ward Bond" (though he looks awfully pitiful in that frame of maple leaves).

 

He gets stuck playing the evil ox. Poor Ward.

 

canyonpassage5.jpg

 

canyonpassage4.jpg

 

Susan looks so pretty in this. The autumnal colors really suit her.

 

I liked her character. She's really in a spot. She's dying inside.

 

canyonpassage6.jpg

 

canyonpassage8.jpg

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