Friday, June 7, 2013


What a wonderful time I had last night at the S. Pasadena Library....seeing one of the great, and I don't use the word great loosely, all time westerns......SamPeck's RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY with two of the all time western stars Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott, and meeting Mariette Hartley who made her film debut in this classic oater. Was a trip seeing RTHC on the big screen for the first time. Also, in attendance were Wyatt McCrea, Joel's oldest grandson and David Lyons, Producer Robert F. Lyon's son. After the film Mariette reminisced about the making of the film and answered questions from the audience, as did Wyatt and David...but it was Mariette who made the evening special. She really looked great and I could tell she was enjoying the event. During the Q&A I asked her if she was a bit terrified working with R. G. Armstrong, like so many others were, and she said he was intimidating but she liked him even though in the slap scene she remembers he actually hit her. She said she liked working with everyone in the cast....and what a cast it is. No one knows what ever happened to the young male lead Ron Starr who seems to have dropped off the edge of the earth. Someone asked her about her screen test and she said she did scenes with both Ben Cooper and Wayne Rogers who were up for the Ron Star role. She adored both Joel and Randy and felt very lucky to have made her screen debut with two such giants and gentle men. I often say, and I've said it many a time here in my posts that if you don't tear up at the end there is something wrong with you. And as you can see in the picture Mariette was "tearing up" by the end of the movie. She relayed a Randy anecdote that I have never heard or read anywhere....After the last scene with Joel was shot she turned to look at Randy and he had tears streaming down his face. Wow. She said Coop and Gable had died within the last year or so and that and Joel's scene had a profound effect on him. (Later I told her about my "tearin' up" statement and she said, "You are so right." ) Also in attendance were cowboy poet Larry Maurice who warmed up the crowd and famous stuntman and often Steve McQueen's double Loren Janes. What an evening>