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Ben Johnson, Someone to remember


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

> Oh, I didn't realize. It wasn't clear from your post. Don't have the bucks right now, eh?

 

Nah, I promised myself I was going to take a break from ordering books and DVDs a while back. I've got tons of stuff I haven't even opened yet.

 

> That's too bad, I was hoping for something to look at this morning. Perhaps you have a Ben Johnson ramble you'd like to post? Or a movie of his you'd like to talk about?

 

Yes, but I told you already, you're going to have to wait a little.

 

Like Yoda said: "Patience!". ;)

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

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

> > No.

>

> Ben was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers there in 1982. It's in Oklahoma City, in case you're ever interested.

 

Did you find that online?

 

> > What do you like the best about Wagon Master?

>

> Ben Johnson!!!! :x

 

No, silly! I mean what part of the movie is your very favorite? You said that your favorites were Wagon Master, SWAYR and Rio Grande. So I am wondering what caught your eye the most in WM, what part of the movie is your favorite?

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

> Did you find that online?

 

Yes, I have not been to Oklahoma City recently.

 

> No, silly! I mean what part of the movie is your very favorite? You said that your favorites were Wagon Master, SWAYR and Rio Grande. So I am wondering what caught your eye the most in WM, what part of the movie is your favorite?

 

Well I like the final showdown (where they "take care" of the bad guys). But more than a single part, it's the spirit of resilience that you find throughout the movie, because I think that is very real, in that you really needed resilience to make it in the Old West. And also, there's a spirit of camaraderie that feels very real.

 

Not to mention the locations, which are very beautiful.

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

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

> > Did you find that online?

>

> Yes, I have not been to Oklahoma City recently.

 

When were you last in OKC?

 

> Well I like the final showdown (where they "take care" of the bad guys). But more than a single part, it's the spirit of resilience that you find throughout the movie, because I think that is very real, in that you really needed resilience to make it in the Old West. And also, there's a spirit of camaraderie that feels very real.

>

> Not to mention the locations, which are very beautiful.

 

What did you think of Alan Mowbray and Ruth Clifford? I thought that was one of the more interesting parts of the movie.

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

> When were you last in OKC?

 

Probably around the time Ben Johnson was being inducted...

 

> What did you think of Alan Mowbray and Ruth Clifford? I thought that was one of the more interesting parts of the movie.

 

For some reason the medicine show performers didn't make quite as big an impression as some of the rest of the cast.

 

To discuss Wagon Master in general, I'd rather go to the thread dedicated to that movie; let's not steal the spotlight from Ben Johnson. ;)

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Ben and Dobe worked so well together. They have an easy relationship that is charming on screen. Ben brings quiet country strength and Dobe brings a sense of fun and a little more keyed up excitement.

 

One of my favorite scenes in Wagon Master is right after Dobe has been knocked down by Clegg. Ben and Dobe are riding out a little ways away from the wagon train, scouting, and Harry is obviously irritated.

 

Travis: "All right. Get 'er said. Get it off yer chest..."

 

Sandy: "I got nothin' to say."

 

Travis: "We hired out as wagon masters, not gunfighters."

 

Sandy: "I never claimed to be a gunfighter. but I'd have taken my chances if you'd have backed my play."

 

Travis: "Sure, I know you would. But I ain't a riskin' 60 lives on a fool play like that."

 

Sandy: "60?"

 

Travis: "What if we'd got ourselves killed? These folks'd starve to death tryin' to get over these mountains, or die of thirst tryin' to get back to Crystal City. Naw. Without us, they haven't got a chance."

 

Sandy: "Yeah, but what's gonna happen when we reach the San Juan? You think the Cleggs will just tip their hats and ride away?"

 

Travis: "Like the elder says, we'll take care of that when we come to it."

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I always thought it was so interesting the way Ben's character squats on the ground just at that particular moment. I love all the unique body language you find in Ford movies that you just don't see anywhere else.

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JackF, I have yet to see *Wagon Master* - never fear, the dialogue doesn't spoil anything for me.

Hopefully, I will be able to see it before long.

 

While researching Ben, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how many contemporary Western artists painted portraits of him, or did sculptures of Ben astride a horse. He is highly regarded as a cowboy and rodeo champion and all around regular guy.

 

Here is a link to a page which describes a trophy designed to honor him. I haven't found a picture of it yet. Here is the site www.nationalcowboymuseum.org

 

http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/info/awards-hof/Ben-Johnson-Award.aspx

 

Message was edited by: cinemafan because it looks like the link does work!

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I love that picture, he is so clean cut and beautiful in it. A real life white hat.... where's Kathy? :)

 

In many photos, Ben's wedding ring really stands out, as it does in that one. I can't remember another movie star's photos where their wedding ring seemed to be so prominent. It's sweet. In his interviews, he _always_ mentions his wife.

 

Ben and his father were heroes for a lot of the rodeo circuit folks and westerners in general. I noticed the same kind of love and artwork (at least statuary) devoted to Will Rogers, and I think it has to do with small town folks really identifying with them both. There aren't a lot of Okies who get famous, and more than that, very few who embody the fine qualities of hard work and charity that Ben and Will did. Those qualities are highly valued in the west and midwest, so our boys were real life heroes to many who did not have a lot of good in their lives. They became icons for a whole group of people who were never represented before.

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I just took a look at that webpage and that is a great picture!

 

In many photos, Ben's wedding ring really stands out, as it does in that one. I can't remember another movie star's photos where their wedding ring seemed to be so prominent. It's sweet. In his interviews, he always mentions his wife.

 

It surely does glint! That's so great he had a fine, happy marriage. Why am I not surprised? :)

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I always wonder why they didn't have kids. I suspect it might have been a very unhappy thing for them, but who knows, maybe they just wanted to concentrate on each other. He raised millions of dollars for children's charities.

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

> I always wonder why they didn't have kids. I suspect it might have been a very unhappy thing for them, but who knows, maybe they just wanted to concentrate on each other. He raised millions of dollars for children's charities.

 

I know, to think what a WONDERFUL father Ben would have made...and how badly the

world needs more like him!

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