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Author Topic: 30 Westerns in Once  (Read 107056 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #75 on: August 16, 2006, 09:48:35 AM »

Now that it's out on DVD (first widescreen release on home video!) I was able to watch Firecreek. Quite an entertaining flick. It's another variation on the High Noon idea, but this time the craven townspeople have a cowardly sherrif (James Stewart), and that makes the formula work better. When a group of desperados come to town (led by Henry Fonda), the sherrif has to find the will to stand up to them, and as he rises to the challenge the townspeople (or at least one of them) lends support. A more satisfying approach, IMHO.

Henry Fonda starts out the film wounded, so he doesn't display Frank-like menace until later. He has an exchange with Inger Stevens (uncharacteristically fiesty) that could be between Jill and Frank:

IS: Why fight against times changing? Why not join in changing them?

HF: Then I'll be like all the rest. Today I'm one of a few. I lead. That's important to me.

As the movie approaches its climax, Fonda and the boys are walking toward their mounts, about to leave town. Stewart, enraged by their crimes, trails them with threats.  Fonda casually turns around and shoots Stewart in the leg, so that he'll have something to think about if he continues to dog them. This in fact is the final straw that sends Stewart looking for a gun to kill them all, and Fonda recognizes he made a mistake in not taking Stewart out permanently. He has this Frank-like utterance: "One thing I've learned: a man worth shooting is a man worth killing."

The final kill-fest is a lot of fun. The wounded Stewart has to take out 4 baddies, one at a time. This includes dispatching Jack Elam with a pitchfork. Now, that's entertainment!

Fans of OUATITW will be further interested in the fact that the name "Sweetwater" is invoked half a dozen times or more. It is the town nearest to Firecreek, and, apparently, a more up-market berg. The place is mentioned so many times, in fact, that we can't help noticing that the names Sweetwater and Firecreek are antithetical.

This film was released in 1967, and since the shooting of OUATITW was begun in April 1968, it was certainly possible SL saw it before beginning production. I wonder if "Sweetwater" really comes from this film, rather than the candidates usually acknowledged.

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Tim
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« Reply #76 on: August 16, 2006, 10:36:05 AM »

  The thing I always remember about that final showdown is the use of the wind blowing through the town.  When Jack Elam stumbles out of the barn/corral with the pitchfork in his gut  Shocked, it feels like that wind could blow the viewer over!  Really enjoy this movie and may have to pick up that two-movie dvd.

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« Reply #77 on: August 16, 2006, 02:37:08 PM »

Firecreek actually came out the same year OUATITW did in Italy. The similarities between the two movies is merely coincidental.

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« Reply #78 on: August 16, 2006, 04:13:02 PM »

thanks I'll have to pick it up. Cool

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« Reply #79 on: August 17, 2006, 07:43:21 AM »

Firecreek actually came out the same year OUATITW did in Italy. The similarities between the two movies is merely coincidental.
So, Leone had to wait to see movies in theaters just like any other slob? He had no industry connections, and couldn't even see a pre-release screening of a film by an actor he wanted to hire? Also, SL went to the U.S. in '67; maybe he saw it then.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2006, 08:41:38 AM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #80 on: August 17, 2006, 10:39:34 AM »

So, Leone had to wait to see movies in theaters just like any other slob? He had no industry connections, and couldn't even see a pre-release screening of a film by an actor he wanted to hire? Also, SL went to the U.S. in '67; maybe he saw it then.

He was working on OUATITW around the time Firecreek came out.

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« Reply #81 on: August 17, 2006, 05:56:54 PM »

When re-watching The Searchers again recently I noticed that there were certain bits of the great score that had a similarity with some of Morricone's score in West.

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« Reply #82 on: August 18, 2006, 05:30:18 PM »

Can you be more specific? Do you remember particular cues or scenes?

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« Reply #83 on: August 18, 2006, 06:54:51 PM »

When re-watching The Searchers again recently I noticed that there were certain bits of the great score that had a similarity with some of Morricone's score in West.

Really?  I just watched in Wednesday and I don't notice any similarities.  I did notice that it was very similar to "Major Dundee" though. . . there was one tune which played on the "Searchers" soundtrack that was sung several times by Richard Harris in "Dundee" and appeared on that film's soundtrack several times, I don't know what it's called (it's not "Dixie" or "Bonnie Blue Flag", just FYI).

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« Reply #84 on: August 19, 2006, 07:22:52 AM »

The main bit I found was when Wayne and Bond are preparing to leave the cabin to go and look for the cattle and Wayne looks over at Martha putting away some sheets and the music, choice of instruments wise, reminds me of the sequences with Jill and Cheyanne in the cabin in OUATITW

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Tim
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« Reply #85 on: August 19, 2006, 11:00:10 AM »

Quote
that was sung several times by Richard Harris in "Dundee" and appeared on that film's soundtrack several times, I don't know what it's called (it's not "Dixie" or "Bonnie Blue Flag", just FYI).

  All I'm coming up with is "Laura Lee" but I can't remember if Tyreen sings/hums it.  Ok, maybe he did.  For sure, I know Brock Peters (Aesop) is singing it as Dundee's troop is getting ready for the Apache ambush.

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« Reply #86 on: August 19, 2006, 03:23:08 PM »

That's not it.  The lyrics aren't really audible (at least to my ears), it's the song he's singing in the jail cell before Dundee punches him out and when playing with the one Rostes boy.  And an instrumental version of it plays on some of the soundtrack pieces.

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« Reply #87 on: August 26, 2006, 07:38:25 AM »

Ok, definitely Night Passage (1957), it has "the Man with The Accordion" Jimmy Stewart,  and the first time you see him he's using it to entertain the track layers at the end of track. And it has shots of track laying & railroad building, though not as well done as in OUTITW.

But it does have some outstanding RR action footage in the Colorado Rockies.

Later he uses a tune and song from his past to influence his brother gone bad. 

Hope some of you got to record this off TCM yesterday.

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« Reply #88 on: August 26, 2006, 07:41:02 AM »


Hope some of you got to record this off TCM yesterday.

I recorded The Far Country and Night Passage. I'm looking forward to watching them tomorrow, I'll be busy today.

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« Reply #89 on: September 10, 2006, 03:58:05 PM »

There was another analogue (note I don't say "reference") between "Zhivago" and OUATITW that I noticed recently.  The scene where Komarovsky finds Lara's mother poisoned and rushes through the house to write a letter and find help, etc., has a tracking shot following his movements through the house, etc., from the outside, even when he isn't visible (through the windows).  I was watching that scene and I thought "now where have I seen this before?" and it finally dawned on me after about a minute that I was thinking of the aftermath of the shootout on Morton's train with Frank walking through the train.  Now it wasn't exactly the same and again I doubt it was a direct reference (I'd bet that's a copied shot from an older film) but again, I found it interesting to see such a similar shot in the two movies.

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