Sunday, March 29, 2009
Next time you watch this Randolph Scott-Richard Boone-Lee Van Cleef-Leo Gordon oater look for this.....When Randy shoots Boone (across a table) not only is his gun not cocked and the hammer never moves, but when you hear the sound of gunfire no muzzle flash or gun smoke is seen....when they cut to the next scene then you see the smoke from the gun shot puffin' up in front of ol' Randy. And, earlier on when Randy shoots Lee notice the odd angle of the gun in his hand....from the looks of things, to me, the gun was not pointed at Lee when he fired.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Just finished this enjoyable "bio" from ol' Napoleon Solo hisself. Lottsa interesting anecdotes about different films he appeared in and lottsa stuff on THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. He deals with his early years in Hollywood and his relationship with Natalie Wood. Did Natalie date every male star in Hollywood or does it just seem that way? (Well, if Natalie wouldn't Lana would. OUCH!!) Vaughn spends too much time talking about his participation in the Civil Rights movement, his outrage re: the Vietnam war and his relationship with Robert Kennedy. (He feels Sirhan Sirhan was a "manchurian candidate" in the assassination of RFK and did not act alone and presents interesting info that Aristotle Onassis paid to have RFK killed.) That's his perrogative since it is his book...and I feel, at times, these stories grind the book to a screeching halt, but then I read these books for tales of Hollywood and movie making and not politics. Great stories about his life-long relationships with James Coburn (they met at LA City College) and Steve McQueen (from Mag 7 on) and he mentions a very bad experience involving his use of "pot" while with James Coburn and Ted Markland....a young stand-up comic. Is this our buddy "Reno" from HIGH CHAPARRAL? All in all, well worth reading.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
New bio out on one of my all-time favorite character actors....Warren Oates...by Susan Compo. Warren is probably best known as being one of Sam Peckinpah's regulars. Their last collaberation was 1974's BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. The movie was so dark that both James Coburn and Peter Falk turned down the lead. (Panned in its day "Alfredo Garcia" is now viewed by many as a master piece.) Oates' and Peckinpah's mutual sympathy was often interrupted by outbursts of alcohol-fueled acrimony and bouts of disloyalty....such as when Oates was instrumental in helping Peckinpah get the job of directing THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE, Sam repaid him by giving the lead role to Jason Robards. When Oates died in 1982 of a massive heart attack at the age of 53, such was the rift between him and Peckinpah that Sam was "resoundingly not invited to the service, but nothing could keep him away." A must read for movie fans of all ages but especially fans of both Oates and Peckinpah. Another great one gone way too soon.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Got home yesterday afternoon from a great four day trip to Tombstone, Az....is there another Tombstone? Tom Betts did all the drivin' and I did all the ridin'.....shotgun that is. We met up with "resident" Chris Casey and our buddies from the east raymie (ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE AUTUMN) Isenberg & John Nudge and Franco Cleef flew in from the frozen North....Canada for the uninitiated. Saw where Billy the Kid killed his first man; visited the Rex Allen Museum (Marty Robbins was from the same town....Willcox , Az); had a spaghetti dinner capped by watching the Franco Cleef restored version of THE BIG GUNDOWN and we finished off the weekend by overeating at a bbq with the fixin's prepared by Missus raymie and son Justin and then watching the English language version of YANKEE (courtesy of ol' Mr. Franco Cleef hisself.) Like the fellow once said, "a good time was had by all."
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Anyone have a copy of this 1979 documentary hosted by Glenn Ford which served as a reunion for many of our favorites who played in popular western films and tv series over the years....just to name a few....Lee Van Cleef, Clayton Moore, John Russell, James Drury, Slim Pickens, Jock Mahoney, Neville Brand and Chuck Connors.
Friday, March 6, 2009
JONAH HEX has a new director according to Josh Brolin in today's LA Times. Brolin, who will portray Hex (for a scheduled 2010 release), said Jimmy Hayward is the new director. (Hayward's background has been in animation). John Malkovich will play the villain Turnbull and Megan Fox (THE TRANSFORMERS) will play Leila, the gun weilding beauty and love interest of Hex. Loved, or should I say love the comics. Hope I will do same with the movie.
This obscure 1973 action/drama movie featuring our buddy William Smith and Roger E. Mosley ("TC" on MANGNUM PI) is airing on TCM tonight at 1am (PT.) This movie is not on DVD or video and frankly until I saw it advertised as being on TCM I had never heard of it. MGM actually did the theatrical distribution. Director Henning Schellerup may be best known for being the cinematographer on the Steve Forrest LAST OF THE MOHICANS tv movie in 1977and BLACK SAMPSON in 1974 with, again, William Smith and Rockne Tarkington who had a small role in Sam Elliots's 1995 tv western THE DESPERATE TRAIL. Schellerup at one time appeared to be the in-house director for Sunn Classic Pictures which produced a lot of biblical documentary style movies and several Dan Haggerty projects including GRIZZLY ADAMS.
Normally, because this is another rodeo western ("First Full-Length Western in 3 Dimension! the ads said.) I would have posted this below under the comments section of THE HONKERS....but since this one features Lee Van Cleef it demands its own brand new post. Never have seen this 1953 movie and and looking forward to its airing on TCM next Thursday (3-12) at 145PM (PT). Not on DVD or video!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
This rarely seen 1947 Randolph Scott western with Robert Ryan and Gabby Hayes will be airing on TCM next Thursday (3-12) at 9:15am (PT). Randy stars as Marshal Bat Masterson. I have never seen this movie and am looking forward to seeing him with Robert Ryan. Randy and Gabby actually appeared together in five other oaters....WILD HORSE MESA in 1932; BADMAN'S TERRITORY in 1946; RETURN OF THE BAD MEN (also with Ryan) and ALBEQUERQUE in 1948 and THE CARIBOO TRAIL in 1950. Randy and Ryan had worked together before TRAIL STREET in the WW II action flick BOMBARDIER in 1943.
Maybe it's just my imagination but it seems quite a few of Randy's obscure westerns are finally seeing the light of day. Hmmmm.....I wonder if it has anything to do with all the publicity surrounding the recent release of Randy's Budd Boetticher westerns on dvd?
Monday, March 2, 2009
The great Leonard Cohen will be in Los Angeles for one performance only on April 10. Joni and I were able to get some decent tickets to this concert and we can hardly wait. I've read and heard a lot about this legendary figure, but I've never seen him in person. He has a vast volume of work but is probably best known for the songs (and singing) he contributed to NATURAL BORN KILLERS. Also, he sings two of his songs in the new WATCHMEN movie.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
This rarely seen 1972 rodeo western starring James Coburn and featuring Slim Pickens and Jim Davis will be showing on Encore Westerns this month. First airing will be in the wee morning hours of this Saturday (3-7) from 3:45am to 5:30am. I have never seen this movie and, being a James Coburn fan, am greatly looking forward to viewing it. Also, I have heard very good things about it, especially, Slim Picken's performance. Sadly, the director, the late Steve Ihnat....so good in HOUR OF THE GUN, died shortly after it's release. There were three rodeo westerns released in 1972, and this hurt THE HONKERS as it appears to have been lost in the mix. The other two: J.W. COOP with Cliff Roberson and SamPeck's JUNIOR BONNER with Steve McQueen. THE HONKERS is not on DVD and as far as I know has never been released on video. Heck....I don't ever remember it being shown on tv anywhere! Don't miss it!
One of the best rodeo movies ever made was released twenty years earlier...Robert Mitchum's THE LUSTY MEN....with Susan Hayward, Arthur Kennedy and Arthur Hunnicutt; directed by Nicholas Ray (JOHNNY GUITAR-REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE-THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES and KING OF KINGS with Jeffrey "I was a teen-age Jesus" Hunter.)
This is another in a series of posts about the lesser known heroes of our by-gone years, most of whom you'll say "HUH?" while scratching your head in disbelief that anyone would take the time to blog about someone or some animal you've never heard of and could care less about. Oh, yes, "Boots, the Wonder Dog. "Who in the heck is he?" you say. Not much is known about this canine marvel. I don't even have a picture of him....and who's to say he's not a she? Boots only appeared in two films....both westerns. The 1939 THE ADVENTURES OF THE MASKED PHANTOM (title is a bit misleading since this is the only adventure the Masked Phantom had,so it should have been called THE ADVENTURE OF THE MASKED PHANTOM) with the legendary Monte Rawlins (WHO?), this being Monte's fifth and last film. (He used the nom de plume Dean Spencer twice.) "PHANTOM" was, for whatever reasons, filmed in Florida and was the story of a masked hero fighting a gang of gold-raiders. Did Boots sidekick the Phantom or did he belong to the obligatory kid? Boots last screen appearance was in the 1941 SILVER STALLION with Chief Thundercloud who had a better screen history than either Boots or Monte. Hmmmmm..... "SILVER,".... "MASKED?" Why am I thinking of The Lone Ranger? Don't know what happened to Boots after this as details of his life and career are fairly sketchy.