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Western Movie Rambles


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

> Some people don't like BIG COUNTRY either. I do. I find it very entertaining; the characters well drawn. It's good writing.

 

i think in many ways it was a movie ahead of its time, because it is so anti-violence but at the same time the GP character wont chicken out, he'll just do things quietly so he knows he's not doing it just to impress someone. in many ways, his character in the movie reminds me of president Obama. it migth sound like a wierd comparison at first, but its not if you think about it. ;)

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I don't know that it is so much antiviolence as it is make sure what you are fighting about is worth fighting about. Peck wouldn't fight anyone unless it was on his terms. What people saw as cowardice was a measured response. When he finally fights Heston he does it on his own and away from everyone else. At that point they come to respect each other. It is the same reason he won't ride the horse until he is ready.

 

The whole fight to end the feud at the end is because it has now become a matter of pride. They almost don't remember why they fight but it is important for the two families not to give in.

 

Message was edited by: movieman1957

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I don't know that it is so much antiviolence as it is make sure what you are fighting about is worth fighting about. Peck wouldn't fight anyone unless it was on his terms. What people saw as cowardice was a measured response.

 

Hiya Chris.... you have it EXACTLY right.

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Good point, but wouldn't you say the ending of the movie also inherently rejects the _widespread_ use of violence to settle old scores? (instead of the two old men having a bunch of their men killing each other, they finally agree to going mano a mano in the end).

 

And doesn't Gregory Peck also reject violence in some way when he refuses to kill Burl Ives' son when he duels him?

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I don't know if he rejects it but it is clear that while Connors cheated in the duel Peck was not going to gun down what is now an unarmed man. That is as much his conscience as any rejection of violence. I think if it was a matter of being against the violence of the situation he would have declined the duel.

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But Connors did know that the duel guns were one-shots, and so in theory I assume that Peck would have been totally within his right to fire at him, whether or not Connors had cheated.

 

Perhaps anti-violence would be too broad a term for the philosophy that Peck brings into the West, where every man seemed to be trying to be as macho as they could. Maybe it would be better to refer to his attitude as using the least violence possible, and to try to not make a show of it, when possible. :)

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

> That duel scene is unforgettable. Tense and exciting. The high point of the movie for me. It's a good thing Connors didn't have his rapid fire rifle!

 

It's definitely one of the best and most memorable duels I've ever seen.

 

And yet, amazingly, Wyler almost manages to top it with the final duel between Maj. Terrill and Rufus Hannassey. Not to spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but it just seems the perfect way to end the movie. It speaks volumes about all those feuds in the Old West that seemed to go on for generations. It is eloquent, elegant, and elegiac.

 

One more thing I'll say for this movie - it definitely cries out for a little restoration and a hi-def release at some point in the future. I don't know how many westerns were filmed in Technirama, but this might just be the best one.

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I saw Encore's Westerns showing of "The Halliday Brand." It is a western from 1957 starring Ward Bond, Joseph Cotten and Betsy Blair.

 

Bond plays racist father to Cotten and Blair. Blair's boyfriend is half Indian which causes enough trouble but when he is accidently caught up in a rustling the real trouble begins. Because of what happens Cotten and Bond really get after each other and it causes a split in the family.

 

Mostly a family feud this movie boats some good performances. Mostly by Bond as he is rather mean. Blair does a nice turn especially if you only know her from "Marty."

 

Ok western is worth a look and at 79 minutes it won't take too long.

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Hiya Chris...

 

This is a title I have not heard of before.... (but I am sure that is nothing new..ha) It sounds like a good performance from Bond, though.

 

I imagine he did a good job w/ the "mean" part.. he always seems to be good at playing "mad". I love the way he "yells" his dialogue sometimes... (Was he "shoutin' mad in this one? It seems like w/ his voice.. he must have been born to shout.. ha) In fact.. he almost always seems to play characters that sooner or later will end up angry and yelling about something, but often times in his movies the "angry" is done w/ comedy.

 

However, I could picture him w/out the comedy angle and being quite tyrannical. I imagine he could turn out a really good "mean" guy performance, based on the range I have seen him play in other films. Sounds like in this one, he got to take a walk on the dark side for a change.

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Chris,

I recently started a thread on miscegenation in movies, in the General Discussion section. Just thought I'd mention it, if you want to comment a bit more on that element as it is shown in this movie.

 

Oh, and just thinking about it in the context of Westerns reminded me of the one where Robert Taylor played a Native-American.

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After watching *She Wore a Yellow Ribbon* on TCM this last week, I was wondering if we might ramble a bit about it. I don't want to interrupt any previous conversations, but I am in dire need of some more experienced opinions on this one. There are some things about the movie I just don't understand.

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Go West Young Favell.... ha. You are turning in to quite the little Westerner!! :-)

 

(and PS....I know Lynn revived her SWAYR thread in one of the other forums.... but I have avoided posting on there (or much of anywhere else for that matter) for the last several days... just ... well... just because. I have not been in much of a "rambling mood" lately.

 

But I did read a lot of what folks said in there though and this film seems to have a LOT Of fans. But since you brought it up here too.... I say a little ramble would be ok in my book... (ha....you didn't even know I was WRITING a book.. did you?? Ha. Ok... all you smarties... NO commenting on how sometimes my rambles are AS LONG as books...ha)

 

I LOVED watching She Wore A Yellow Ribbon last week. I had not seen it in a very long time and I enjoyed it very much. (PS... Ms Cutter... nice job again on your fan programmer selection and your chat with our beloved RO)

 

I loved all the performances in this...but I think it is likely not as "in depth" in the characters as I wanted it to be (like maybe Ft Apache or Rio Grande) but still.... a very fine performance by the Duke and the standard crew (Bond, Natwick, MacLaglen..... oh... and wasn't that Ben Johnson just so.... doggone rugged and cute all at the same time.. AGAIN. (everytime I see him lately I think that more and more.)

 

I liked that the Duke played "older' in this one... he carried it off very well. And I loved how he would go to the cemetery for the little chats w/ his wife. And (possible SPOILER) the way he got around his orders at the end... by keeping an eye on the time w/ his trusty new watch) was terrific.

 

Very good film and a nice example of the Ford "Cavalry" Formula coming together to make a really good story w/ strong acting, great music, and terrific scenery. (and PS.... I am still looking forward to that big SW Ford tour family reunion someday my sister) :-)

 

Message was edited by: rohanaka

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Hey! I did a search for SWAYR and couldn't find that thread! Maybe some of my questions would be answered there already.... but meanwhile, I have to get this out of the way:

 

BEN JOHNSON..... sigh. Of all the young men in all the Ford westerns, THIS guy just beats all. I mean if you took Jeffrey Hunter and John Agar and Harry Caray, Jr. and Patrick Wayne and bundled all their talent into one big ball, you still couldn't touch Ben Johnson. What a natural! He was so soft-spoken and southern, and good looking and calm and sweet and smart and modest and competent..... OK, so I liked him a real whole lot. I had noticed him in Wagon Master, and liked him there tremendously. I made a mental note to see if I could find out more about him and watch his movies, but I immediately forgot to do it. He was just as realistic a cowboy as any I have ever seen (not that I would know). I simply fell head over heels for the guy. If I had been Joanna Dru I would have dumped Pennell and Cohill immediately. In fact, I couldn't even imagine how she even saw either of them, when Tyree was there.

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

> Hey! I did a search for SWAYR and couldn't find that thread!

 

Did you look for Lynn's thread in General Discussions? I'm pretty sure she bumped it up right after or right before she presented the movie on TCM

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I simply fell head over heels for the guy. If I had been Joanna Dru I would have dumped Pennell and Cohill immediately. In fact, I couldn't even imagine how she even saw either of them, when Tyree was there.

 

Amen, sister. That was a man. Often, I'll be in another room and some movie

or TV show (like "Gunsmoke") will come on and I'll hear that voice and it's all I

need to come floating back in front of the boob tube. :)

 

He was the real deal, alright. And had such a comforting presence. You felt

like everything was going to be OK when he was around.

 

I even like him in SHANE, he does a lot with a small, but important part.

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Ladies:

 

If you want a whole lot of Johnson then you must look for "Wagon Master." He and Harry Carey, Jr. with a lot of help from Ward Bond carry the movie. It is a small Ford western but it is first rate.

 

I always try to help keep all of you happy.

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

> Ladies:

>

> If you want a whole lot of Johnson then you must look for "Wagon Master." He and Harry Carey, Jr. with a lot of help from Ward Bond carry the movie. It is a small Ford western but it is first rate.

>

> I always try to help keep all of you happy.

 

 

:D I love WAGON MASTER. I much, much prefer Joanne Dru in it to her

work in SWAYR, primarily for how she relates to Ben. Their "romance"

is so oblique and understated you might not think it registers unless you

are tuned into the Fordian spirit, as most of us are. I agree with you, Wendy,

as usual, that Ben was the best of the young cavaliers that trooped through

Pappy's films, and I believe he felt the same.

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

> Ladies:

>

> If you want a whole lot of Johnson then you must look for "Wagon Master." He and Harry Carey, Jr. with a lot of help from Ward Bond carry the movie. It is a small Ford western but it is first rate.

>

> I always try to help keep all of you happy.

 

A gentleman's good intentions are always appreciated, I'm sure. There are a lot of great things to be said about "Wagon Master", even if it is a "small" Ford western, because a "small" Ford is still larger than the biggest of some other directors' efforts.

 

I think it's interesting to see some of the projects with which Ford hoped to keep busy while preparing for "The Quiet Man", which he planned for so many years.

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