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Ben Johnson, Someone to remember


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

> Thanks for that info. I had no idea. Did you pick something in the scene or did you figure that sense Ben is already in the movie then just use him?

 

Both, I think. Maybe I'm not sure what you are asking? If you are asking what made me look for him in the first place, I knew he was a stunt double in this particular picture, so I started looking for him more closely during the high action sequences. Something about his riding is very distinctive, and the way he rolled over to hide is face made me think it was Ben. It was just a feeling I had until I read that article.

 

If you are asking why Ford used him, after I watched the action sequences, I think Ford used doubles over and over - there's a lot of tough and rugged stunt work even besides the many falls and closeup work in the picture (which are incredible in themselves). The whole sequence where Wayne pulls the wagons up is chock full of hard stunts. I think he used these wranglers and stunt teams over and over again, putting them in different costumes for each sequence. I think he had favorites, just as he had favorite actors. Some have really prominent roles, even though _we_ don't know who they are. And we know that Ben had distinguished himself when the wagon accident occurred. I don't know whether he was hired to double Fonda in the first place, or if he suddenly became Fonda's double for this scene as it came up - because Ford liked him or saw a talent or simply because he was there.... Nobody ever asked anyone these kind of questions, that I know of. No one ever bothered to interview the stunt men a dn wranglers about this stuff and it makes me feel awful, because we could have learned so much of how Pappy filmed his movies, and about these men.

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OOH! Cinemafan! That is a _great_ photo! Where did you get it?

 

Ben looks so relaxed and happy... I wonder if that's HIS ranch in Pawhuska? So many questions....

 

That horse looks pretty contented with Ben standing next to him. I know I would be. :)

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

> This is NOT Henry Fonda

>

> My gosh, my golly, gal... That's flat out amazing!! Good eye, kiddo....

>

> And PS.. I am getting the biggest kick out of the way you've taken to westerns (and beloved Ben) like it was second nature... GO WEST Young Favell!! ha.

 

Ever since I moved to Connecticut, I have longed for the open spaces of my childhood. It's beautiful here, but the landscape is a bit stifling, with tall trees growing up everywhere blotting out the sunshine and lots and lots of houses bumped right up next to one another. Sometimes I just feel so tight and cramped here. I really miss the wide open areas of my childhood, and westerns really appeal to me for the landscape value alone.

 

Then you add John Ford, Ben Johnson, John Wayne, and all the other cowboys into the mix and I really have fallen hard. Must be that little lop of hair and the relaxed way of talking that does it for me. There are so few real men in Connecticut.... only one, really.... :)

 

Photobucket

 

Photobucket

 

Message was edited by: JackFavell

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

> And we know that Ben had distinguished himself when the wagon accident occurred. I don't know whether he was hired to double Fonda in the first place, or if he suddenly became Fonda's double for this scene as it came up - because Ford liked him or saw a talent or simply because he was there.... Nobody ever asked anyone these kind of questions, that I know of.

 

Wendy,

I don't know how accurate this is, but according to this biography of Ben Johnson, he was originally hired to be Henry Fonda's riding double in Fort Apache, and impressed Ford so much, he was subsequently hired for speaking parts in his later movies:

 

http://www.starpulse.com/Actors/Johnson,_Ben/Biography/

 

*A champion rodeo rider in his teens, Johnson headed to Hollywood in 1940 to work as a horse wrangler on Howard Hughes' The Outlaw. He went on to double for Wild Bill Elliot and other western stars, then in 1947 was hired as Henry Fonda's riding double in director John Ford's Fort Apache (1948). Ford sensed star potential in the young, athletic, slow-speaking Johnson, casting him in the speaking role of Trooper Tyree in both She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950).*

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Any time.

 

And love to hear your thoughts about the New England landscape. I never thought about it quite like that when I lived in Connecticut. I did love the spectacular scenery and the change of seasons, especially the colors in the fall. I remember it being very beautiful.

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I was more curious as to what prompted you to look so closely. It's a great piece of work on your part.

 

I had the idea about Ford and Johnson backwards. I thought Ford felt that as long as Johnson was on the picture and knowing he was a first rate cowboy let him double Fonda. Obviously, it was the other way 'round.

 

I always loved that opening spot in "Chisum." Wayne sits under the only tree on the hill during the credits and it is quite a shot for me. It looks impressive and nostalgic at the same time.

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

> I was more curious as to what prompted you to look so closely. It's a great piece of work on your part.

>

> I had the idea about Ford and Johnson backwards. I thought Ford felt that as long as Johnson was on the picture and knowing he was a first rate cowboy let him double Fonda. Obviously, it was the other way 'round.

 

I assumed that too.

 

> I always loved that opening spot in "Chisum." Wayne sits under the only tree on the hill during the credits and it is quite a shot for me. It looks impressive and nostalgic at the same time.

 

I haven't gotten to see the whole thing yet..... but the film is GORGEOUS so far. My daughter was sick home from school yesterday and I was on the run from morning till night. I fell asleep before I could watch the whole thing.

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Sometimes I just feel so tight and cramped here. I really miss the wide open areas of my childhood, and westerns really appeal to me for the landscape value alone.

 

It is nice to have a little space around you.....

 

Ok.... you "Oklahoma Kid"... it's NOT Ben OR Duke.... not even a Fordie.... but here's a little Cagney.... and a song just for you... :-)

 

 

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You are so great, lady....I love my new nickname!

 

That was wonderful ! Don't Fence Me In is a great song. I don't know that I have ever seen that movie, but I just loved the video.... every cowboy trademark is there, fighting, booze, women, men falling over the stair railing....everything! Even though I don't automatically think Cagney -Cowboy, it really works....and that one line - "The strong take away from the weak, and the smart take away from the strong" is great. I am gonna save that link......and try to find The Oklahoma Kid.

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I love my new nickname!

 

Woo hoo... the Oklahoma Kid is O.K.!! ha. (and ps... I have never seen this film either... but it DOES look like a lot of fun... I love how he blows the smoke from his gun barrel after he shoots...ha. James Cagney... who knew??? ha.)

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I still haven't seen *The Oklahoma Kid* all the way through, but Cagney was really good in

the western *Tribute to a Bad Man* made in his later years.

 

I just can't picture BOGIE in a western, lol! He'd be grousing about the heat and the lack

of room service all the time. :D

 

Isn't it AMAZING to think that "Don't Fence Me In" was written by COLE PORTER?

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It is amazing what a few years will do to make a difference in a role. Having seen "The Oklahoma Kid" years ago I just remember the silly hat Cagney wore. He still seemed to much New York and maybe too much gangster. "Tribute To A Bad Man" brings us an older, more mature and hardened by life rancher and Cagney isn't a stretch for a main western character.

 

I was reminded when I watched it recently that some of the story resembles Glenn Ford's "Jubal." Both of Cagney's westerns from the 50's are worth checking.

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

> It is amazing what a few years will do to make a difference in a role. Having seen "The Oklahoma Kid" years ago I just remember the silly hat Cagney wore. He still seemed to much New York and maybe too much gangster. "Tribute To A Bad Man" brings us an older, more mature and hardened by life rancher and Cagney isn't a stretch for a main western character.

 

I kind of felt the same way about both movies, Chris. And this is coming from a pretty big Cagney fan. I think the extra years really lent an air of gravitas to him.

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

> OOH! Cinemafan! That is a _great_ photo! Where did you get it?

>

> Ben looks so relaxed and happy... I wonder if that's HIS ranch in Pawhuska? So many questions....

>

> That horse looks pretty contented with Ben standing next to him. I know I would be. :)

 

I've been doing a bit of research, and I've got a couple of more photos I'm working on putting up. I think that is his ranch.

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

> cinemafan,

> Will you be putting up your photos at the CFU's Ben Johnson page, as well? Just curious... if you aren't going to, you wouldn't mind if somebody else did, right? ;)

 

With respect, I'd prefer that anything I have posted stay here. Thanks for asking.

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

 

> > I see you haven't posted anything here today. What have you got? Did you get that Harry Carey book yet?

 

So did you order it?

 

> It's still early in the day. ;)

 

I can't wait to see what lovely Ben photos you post!

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

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

> > So did you order it?

>

> As I told you last time you asked, I'm going to order it this summer.

 

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

 

> > I can't wait to see what lovely Ben photos you post!

>

> Well, you're just going to have to. :P

 

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?

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