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Author Topic: The Tall T (1957)  (Read 7277 times)
T.H.
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2011, 08:17:07 PM »

Your post confused me as well.

I personally have never seen a P&S copy of a 1:85:1 aspect ratio that wasn't horrible.

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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2011, 05:25:25 AM »

Normally they don't do pan & scan from 1,85 : 1 films, cause it isn't necessary. They mostly were released (in the former 4:3 TV times) open matte, which means the sides are the same, but you see more on top and bottom. That's what was masked in the theatres, and which is now masked again (correctly) for the 16:9 DVDs.

But even if these 1,85:1 are not open matte they usually don't do pan & scan cause there is not so much missing on the sides.

Pan & scan was done for the 4:3 releases of 2,35:1 films.

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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 09:19:03 AM »

Everybody seems to make much of this, but for me this is just two scenes: the one at the way station with the bandits and the last confrontation between Boone and Scott. The problem is one has to cope with some great unverisimilitudes, the first one being the fact that Scott is not disposed of at once, though at least two explanations for this are given, one by Scott (the bandits might have needed him in case something happened to the first "messenger") and another by Boone (He took a sympathy to Scott). But both are flimsy and the fact that the narrative goes on this point twice reveals a bad conscience of the author (I have to read Leonard's story yet). Another, very apparent unverisimilitude for any western fan, is the fact that Scott and the woman are never tied up. When Scott disposes of Billy Jack that unverisimilitude becomes almost unbearable to a watcher.  Another inconsistency is that we are told all the time how ugly the woman is while the bandits and Scott fall for her (in fact she is not ugly at all. Considering how ugly were some women in  many of these '50's western she is a loooker), she being the key to Scott disposing of Billy Jack. So I give it 7\10



I really liked this movie. As for the unverisimilitudes you talk about, here is another: When Chink comes riding back, Brennan  is hiding behind a rock and has a clear shot at him -- he is simply a dead duck. But that would be too easy for a Western shootout, so instead, Brennan waits for him to go into the dugout, then they have this whole shootout with Chink in the dugout and Brennan outside. Another completely ridiculous unversimilitude (great word!). If Boetticher wanted to have a big shootout like that, that's fine, but did he really have to make it that Brennan has a clear shot at him but just allows him to walk into the dugout just so they could have this shootout? Like Rube Goldberg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rubenvent.jpg

Of the 7 Boetticher/Scott Westerns, IMO 4 are good: Seven Men from Now, Ride Lonesome, The Tall T, and Westbound. And 3 are not good -- Decision at Sundown, Comanche Station, and Buchanan Rides Alone.

There is something beautifully simple about these movies, which often are pretty short and sparse, have a simple story with just a few characters in vast landscapes. There is just something about this series that makes me smile whenever I think of 'em   Smiley Frayling says they were a big influence on Leone.... And btw, I recall some piece on the bonus features where someone mentioned that Boetticher told him  that the reason Boetticher was able to get away with all kinds of shit on his movies (I guess there was stuff that wouldn't ordinarily pass Production Code muster) is cuz nobody paid attention to his movies cuz they were as he called them, not B-movies but C-movies!

It's a darn shame what happened to him personally -- I am only vaguely familiar with the story of his life, but I understand that he went to Mexico to make a movie about Carlos Arruza, and that project completely screwed his life. he had problems with studios, was arrested, committed to a nut house, when the project was finally completed the movie flopped, and he barely worked in Hollywood again. A sad story. But he is a great interview, and some of the dvd's have terrific bonus materials, including interviews with Boetticher (who dies in 2001), his wife, Taylor Hackford, Quentin Tarantino, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorcese, and many others.


Boetticher definitely holds a special place in the heart of serious Western fans, and for a (too brief) 5-year period, he made a lasting impression on the genre   Smiley

One of Boetticher's movies that is constantly mentioned in the bonus features is Bullfighter and The Lady, produced by John Wayne,  but unfortunately it is unavailable on dvd in America. (there are some VHS's on Amazon; I would buy that if I could be sure it's not a pan and scan). Hopefully it'll be released on dvd one day.

I don't think I've seen any of Boetticher's movies besides these Randolph Scott Westerns (and Two Mules for Sister Sara, for which he wrote the screenplay).  Are there any other good movies he made that I should put in my queue? Thanks  Afro

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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2012, 09:47:11 AM »

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond.

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« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2013, 10:35:09 AM »

Can't add much to what's already been said by everyone but Titoli. Mainly I'm amused there's a character named Billy Jack.

Quote
Thanks to the approbation of Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino, along with critics like Jim Kitses, Budd Boetticher's Westerns have lately been rescued from B Movie obscurity. Particularly revered is the so-called "Ranown Cycle," Boetticher's six collaborations with Randolph Scott and producer Joe Brown. Their lean narratives, striking direction and simple, crisp storytelling make them marvels of dramatic economy.

The second in the series, after the remarkable Seven Men from Now (1956), is The Tall T (1957). Based on an Elmore Leonard story, it's a straightforward but powerful Western. Boetticher's preoccupations with masculine honor make for interesting viewing.

Pat Brennan (Randolph Scott) hitches a ride on a stagecoach carrying newlyweds Doretta (Maureen O'Sullivan) and Willard Mims (John Hubbard). At the next station they're waylaid by a trio of crooks: reasonable Frank (Richard Boone), crack-brained Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin... er, Skip Homeier) and psychotic Chink (Henry Silva). Willard tells the outlaws Doretta's father is a copper magnate, convincing Frank to ransom hers. Pat and Doretta fall for each other as they think of a way to outsmart their tormentors.

Like all Boetticher's Westerns, The Tall T is a model of efficiency, clocking in at under 80 minutes. Writer Burt Kennedy crafts a small cast and simple, focused story and clipped dialogue. The action plays out against stark backdrops, namely the craggy Alabama Hills, giving the violence a stylish kick. These movies are easy to decode but no one watching will complain: sometimes the simplest stories are the best.

Boetticher's Westerns presage Sergio Leone in their frontier chivalry and ritualized violence. Brennan is a simple, laconic man, not especially heroic but driven by personal honor ("There are some things a man just can't ride around"). Boetticher contrasts this model of masculinity with the weak-willed Willard, who'd gladly sell Doretta out to save himself, and the feral violence of Chink and Billy Jack. Frank seems the protagonist's mirror image, disgusted with his partners and respecting Brennan, until he pulls a rotten trick in the end showdown. Doretta is a peripheral character, pining over her rotten marriage and swooning over the manly Brennan.

Randolph Scott makes an ideal Western hero. Tall and leathery in appearance, tougher than James Stewart, more soft-spoken than John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, he's always convincing. He's well-matched by Richard Boone (Hombre), who marvelously underplays his likeable villain. Henry Silva (The Bravados) and Skip Homeier (The Gunfighter) provide menacing support and Arthur Hunnicut (El Dorado) has a brief appearance. Maureen O'Sullivan is a weak link, less effective than Gail Russell in Seven Men or Karen Steele in Ride Lonesome.

The Tall T is a solid Western. Few directors do a better job with Western archetypes than Boetticher and Kennedy, crafting old-fashioned elements into something special. 8/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-tall-t.html

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« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2013, 11:52:30 AM »

nice review Groggers  Afro

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« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2013, 12:27:11 PM »

nice review Groggers  Afro
agreed

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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2013, 12:30:23 PM »

Thanks Afro

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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2017, 10:43:38 AM »

I can't get into Randolph Scott or his movies. I purchased a boxset featuring this and Ride Lonesome because Scott is suppose to be a good western actor. I didn't even bother to watch the other movies in the set after sitting thru The Tall T and Ride Lonesome.  5 out of 10...

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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2017, 10:56:40 AM »

I can't get into Randolph Scott or his movies. I purchased a boxset featuring this and Ride Lonesome because Scott is suppose to be a good western actor. I didn't even bother to watch the other movies in the set after sitting thru The Tall T and Ride Lonesome.  5 out of 10...

Was it the Boetticher set or something else?

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« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2017, 01:32:44 PM »

Was it the Boetticher set or something else?

I had false impressions of these two movies going in. First, i thought they were in black and white.  Second, i really don't like Scott as a cowboy for some reason. Lastly, I just didn't like these two movies, particularly the tone. Both Richard Boone and Pernell Roberts belong in television, and thats the tone i got from both films...

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« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2017, 02:11:41 PM »

I had false impressions of these two movies going in. First, i thought they were in black and white.  Second, i really don't like Scott as a cowboy for some reason. Lastly, I just didn't like these two movies, particularly the tone. Both Richard Boone and Pernell Roberts belong in television, and thats the tone i got from both films...

Pernell Roberts yea, but Richard Boone was just hitting his stride in 1957, this was the year he began  Have Gun, Will Travel his classy gun for hire character Palladin. Im my opinion he's got three good Westerns after the Tall T under his belt, each is better than the last, A Thunder of Drums (1961), Rio Conchos (1964) and then what is probably his best Western film role in Hombre (1967) which is a bonafide classic.

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« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2017, 03:15:26 PM »

Pernell Roberts yea, but Richard Boone was just hitting his stride in 1957, this was the year he began  Have Gun, Will Travel his classy gun for hire character Palladin. Im my opinion he's got three good Westerns after the Tall T under his belt, each is better than the last, A Thunder of Drums (1961), Rio Conchos (1964) and then what is probably his best Western film role in Hombre (1967) which is a bonafide classic.

Thanx. I will look at those western titles that you just posted.

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« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2017, 04:47:44 PM »

Thanx. I will look at those western titles that you just posted.

Only Rio Conchos and Hombre are available on DVD, Drums was on TCM not too long ago.

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