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Stop saturating the weekends with westerns!


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I only have time to watch TMC on weekends. I am often disappointed by the selection of movies. Like others, I do not mind the occasional western, however, I prefer other movies.. any other movie.

While searching the message board, there were only 4 topics relating to westerns, and maybe 25 posts. That is a very slim number compared to all the other topics and genres of classic movies.

I do not know why TCM chooses to air all these westerns, when obviously the majority does not enjoy them. I find myself switching to AMC more than I used to. I used to be able to turn on TCM at anytime and find a great movie. Now I am guaranteed to find a western.

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We need more westerns to be shown....all Saturday would suit me right down to the ground! I believe the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott pictures from the 1950s were made by Warner Brothers, so they should be in TCM's library....those would make an excellent Saturday's viewing! Maybe someone at the network will find the time to air them.

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Most of the Boetticher films were, if I'm not mistaken, produced by Ranown (a company consisting of Randolph Scott and Harry Joe Brown, and were released through Columbia. A local station had a bunch of them in their mostly Columbia-derived movie lineup in the late 60s/early 70s. There were a couple of films for other studios in the Scott-Boetticher mix as well, but the real classics (one of which -- Decision at Sundown -- is based on a novel by a distant cousin of mine) were all Columbias.

 

That being said, TCM has run a couple of them and I would love to see the whole series as a special program feature. Those pix were excellent and also gave Burt Kennedy his big step up in the business. I don't think he's ever written a western quite as good as those of William Bowers, but he's written more good westerns than anybody else, and he scripted most of the Boetticher-Scott films.

 

Hopefully they could be shown in the proper widescreen format. It seems to me Comanche Station was shown in 1.33 when Turner carried it, though it was obviously shot in a different ratio.

 

Oh, and put me down as another vote for at least a few more westerns!

 

The big problem, of course, is that TCM owns, basically, the pre-1950 WB, the pre-1986 MGM, and the RKO libraries (with certain exceptions), and none of those studios was exactly a leader in the making of westerns. MGM and WB hardly ever made them in the 30s and 40s. RKO made mostly B-westerns. TCM gives regular runs to most of their 50s and 60s MGM westerns, though admittedly, cowboy pix were never Leo's strong suit. The pickings would be a lot better if they owned the Paramount, 20th, Columbia, or UA film libraries.

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4 hours ago, Thompson said:

Hello western peoples.  Just sit back and think about it and Warren Oates comes out on top.

I love 50s westerns and watch them often on ME-TV and Warren Oates always pops up.    If I recall correctly the characters he played are always cads (at best), and often just downright mean killers.     Oates is great at these roles and stands out over the other actors that have such parts;   E.g.  if he is one of 3 brothers,  that are part of a criminal gang,  Oates makes his mark with the limited screen time he is given.

 

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Jack Elam, Ben Johnson, Chester, Denver Pyle, Charles McGraw, Anthony Caruso, Edgar Buchanan,  Ken Curtis . . . Needless to say I am a fan of Gunsmoke, until Newly came along, but yeah it has to be black and white, color just ruins westerns.  I remember like yesterday when color TVs came on the market.  No, I said, who would want one of those?  Everybody looks green.

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4 hours ago, Thompson said:

Jack Elam, Ben Johnson, Chester, Denver Pyle, Charles McGraw, Anthony Caruso, Edgar Buchanan,  Ken Curtis . . . Needless to say I am a fan of Gunsmoke, until Newly came along, but yeah it has to be black and white, color just ruins westerns.  I remember like yesterday when color TVs came on the market.  No, I said, who would want one of those?  Everybody looks green.

Well Newly is still with us (actor Buck Taylor,  so he may be featured in a sequel).           I'm a fan of Gunsmoke,  especially the first few seasons where it was 30 minutes,  and in Black and White.    I like some of the color episodes but not as much as I like a B&W western (same goes for crime drama).

But I rank the character of Festus to be one of the most annoying in T.V. history,  right up there with Gomer Pyle.

Now I'm not knocking these actors but just the personas of these characters.      Of course maybe I'm channeling Doc;   Festus annoyed the hell out of him! 

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I agree that the half-hour episodes of Gunsmoke are the best. They don't include filler scenes to extend the running time to an hour. The episodes written by Sam Peckinpah are very good.

One reason I think the show lasted so long is that it responded to changes within the TV landscape. The switch to color, the need for more light-hearted characters like Festus in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, etc. 

I do like seasons 16-19 a lot (1970 to 1974). There are some very gripping two-part episodes that feel more epic in scope, almost like feature length movies...they are grittier than the previous fare. Usually the special two-parters take Matt Dillon away from Dodge to track down a killer so there is more on-location filming and less of it done on the sound stages. By 1970+ Arness had aged and began looking a bit tougher at the end, which I think suited the character better than in the early years when he was still a bit of a glamour boy. 

The final season (1974-75) contains some good writing and guest performances, but without Amanda Blake, it just doesn't quite feel right. Plus they updated the opening credits which didn't seem necessary.

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