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welcome to the 'dud' ranch


wordmaster
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All right, cowboys and girls, so I'm no punster like that other guy whatsisname...

 

And now, submitted for your approval [done, of course, using my best Rod Serling imitation], the following proposition:

 

Actors of many types have found themselves for many reasons in Westerns. Ours is not to reason why, we are just simple moviegoers indulging in our passion for film and, every so often, we see someone in a Western that maybe shouldn't ought to be there...

 

Gather 'round the campfire and tell us about who you saw in a Western, male or female, new movie or old [but I'd rather hear about the old - the new are easier targets...], that seemed a bit out of place...

 

Suggestions that have already been proffered:

 

Bogart and Cagney in "The Oklahoma Kid"

Bogart in "Virginia City" [Leonard Maltin refers to him as a 'slimy Mexican bandido'; whether his Mexican accent is as good as his Irish accent in "Dark Victory" is for another thread/forum, if you please...]

James Stewart as a cowboy [well now, what do I see here but a can of worms...gulp]

 

So, what'll it be - hoedown or showdown? It's all up to you...

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Sometimes these surprising castings work. I mean, when I think of Montgomery Clift, I think "urban". Yet he was great in Red River. And I suppose Oklahoma should have prepared us for Shirley Jones' move to the wilder west in Cheyenne Social Club. But what was Audrey Hepburn doing in The Unforgiven? I haven't seen this 1960 western. Does it work?

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Two Mules for Sister Sara. The first time I saw that movie it was different to see Shirley MacLaine as a nun with Clint Eastwood but as the story went on the chemistry was fantastic and she of course turned out to be this whiskey drinking cigar smoking lady in the end which made me see this was a great part for her .I could invision her with Frank , Dean and the rest of the rat pack doing the same thing. I think she was one of a few that were in the boys club .

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John Wayne's odd knack for putting popstars or athletes in secondary roles. Think Ricky Nelson in "Rio Bravo." Glen Campbell in "True Grit". Fabian in "North To Alsaka" Worst of all Bobby Vinton in "Big Jake."

 

Then there was several of the cast if "The Undefeated" courtesy of the LA Rams.

 

Does Jennifer O'Neill in "Rio Lobo" count?

 

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Bobby Vinton in Big Jake I had for gotten about that one .That was a little strange,but for some reason Fabian In North to Alaska seems to fit better than the rest.Its funny how the all tie in together as you say Chris the pop stars getting secondary roles . Inglis

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I agree that many pop stars appeared in Westerns when they shouldn't have. How about Frankie Avalon in "The Alamo"? Didn't he seem out of place in that one? And I guess the top of my list of out-of-place actors in Westerns would be Vera Ralston in "Jubilee Trail." I love this movie, but didn't anyone notice that the saloon singer had such a thick Czech accent that it was difficult to even understand her? I'm sure her being married to the head of the studio (Republic) had a lot to do with that decision.

 

Terrence.

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I forgot about Avalon in "The Alamo". You're right, he did seem out of place. There wasn't a beach in sight. (A little early fo that.) I remember he was a bit too excited all the time.

 

While I'm picking on John Wayne (I really do like him) what is worse that Jerry Van Dyke in "McLintock"? I don't necessarily mean him as much as that character. Is there really a chance Stephanie Powers would take him over Patrick Wayne? If he was to be a goofball Van Dyke did him right.

 

Vera Ralston was in two John Wayne westerns, "Dakota" and "The Fighting Kentuckian" but you're right we can't hold Duke responsible for those.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a practice that's been going in for decades. The studios want to make a film that will attract the much sought after "younger" audience so regardless of it's type they force a "name" on the producer. How about Pat Boone in "Journey to the Center of The Earth"? While I think he was ok in the part his songs always seemed out of place in the film. It still happens today. In Mel Brooks lastest film version of the "The Producers" Ulma Thurman and Will Ferrell were put in just for that very reason even though the original broadway performers were much better.

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John Wayne's odd knack for putting popstars or athletes in secondary roles. Think Ricky Nelson in "Rio Bravo." Glen Campbell in "True Grit". Fabian in "North To Alsaka" Worst of all Bobby Vinton in "Big Jake."

 

Then there was several of the cast if "The Undefeated" courtesy of the LA Rams. >>

 

It was often seen as a way to attract a younger audience to Wayne and western films.

 

Ricky Nelson got the gig in Rio Bravo because Elvis was unavailable. Elvis really wanted to do the part but I think it was about the time he was drafted.

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  • 1 month later...

I just moseyed on down to the genre forum and came upon this amusing little thread. In answer to one poster's query about whether or not Audrey Hepburn was credible in The Unforgiven. The answer is "not", but heck, it's Audrey and...how can you not like her, even when she plays a stolen Indian child raised as a white kid by Lillian Gis...you probably don't really want to know. It's one of John Huston's mistakes but it has Charles Bickford in it (a plus), and, surprisingly, to me, a rather good performance by Audie Murphy. The cinematography, the odd music, the poor post synchronization of dialogue and everybody behaving like an archetype make it seem as though it's almost a spaghetti western before there were spaghetti westerns. And it's not all bad, just peculiar.

 

Re: misfits in western movies. I'd have to name Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again and Rancho Notorious. The first movie is like a fairy tale & the second like a bad dream after drinking too much tequila. Marlene should've stuck to the high and low life of Europe in her movies. It was alot more credible.

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