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Author Topic: Ride Lonesome (1959)  (Read 12056 times)
cigar joe
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« on: January 06, 2007, 11:10:12 AM »

Put this P&S VHS release of Ride Lonesome into the player and finally watched this Bud Boetticher-Randolph Scott Western today, besides Scott as bounty hunter Ben Brigade, cast includes James Best (Billy John), Pernell Roberts (Sam Boone) , James Coburn (Whit), Katherine Steel (Mrs. Lane), and Lee Van Cleef Frank).

Story revolves around Brigade capturing Billy John for the bounty on his head, the twist is concerning Billy John's brother Frank which I won't give away.  Brigade meets up with Sam Boone and Whit at a stageline swing station that belongs to Mr. & Mrs Lane. Mr. Lane is absent, killed by Indians, and the story basically is of Brigade taking Billy John to justice and Mrs Lane to safety, while a war party is after them and Frank & Gang are out to free Billy John.

Its once again a great simple old school Western, this one is not quite as good as "The Tall T". Katherine Steele is just a little too much eye candy she's got a "rack" ( that Boetticher focuses on, lol) that is just a bit out of place for the time period. She's and her costume is a bit too much, too 50's, anachronistic  for the character part she plays, she could have been toned down and still be very attractive (example Diane Cilento in Hombre dressed more the part). Leone is right she slows down the pace of the film.

James Best plays a part he was born for, the young smart-aleck killer, Pernell Roberts has his best performance in any thing I seen him in, (mostly his Bonanza episodes), he was a very good in this, Coburn plays Robert's  thin as a rail sidekick Whit, in probably his first film role. Roberts and Whit play minor outlaws that are caught up in the events.

The main reason I wanted to se this film is for Lee Van Cleef, its obvious that Boetticher didn't see his potential, though with his simple storys and style of direction it wouldn't be (obvious that is).

Lee Van Cleef is not as effective as he could have been, but in this as in other of his pre Leone speaking roles, he comes off as either a hot head or a two bit outlaw.  The reason I think is beacuse his line readings and his body movements are way way too fast, but that's direction, and it seams that that was the way he was typecast for most of the fifties. Leone slowed him way down with closeups on a preched hawklike demeanor, ready to explode into action. Boetticher never did this in these films. Zinnerman saw his look in High Noon kept him silent and menacing.

So Leone kept him silent and deadly, slowed his speach down, gave him short to the point lines when he did speak, and he let his fastness be on the draw. lol.

In this film he does something so despicable that there should have been way way more buildup to the climax, but that is of course looking at the Western with Leone colored glasses. Now this despicable act that you never see device worked in the "Tall T", but here it really doesn't since its thrown out way too far towards the climax.  This is a film that you could rachet way up SW Style.  I'd show the scenario of events leading up to the act in flashbacks or some way or another, giving the audience some shockers. Anybody who has seen this will know what I'm driving at.  It should have been emphasizing Van Cleef as much as Scott, but then it wouldn't be a Boettiche-Scott Western ;-). This is remake potential.

Again this is a great cheapie budget Western, the outdoor locations alone are a major part of the film, the only structures you see are the stage swing station & corrals, and some adandoned ruins, not much money spent on sets, more money spent probably on stock and wranglers. Again we get cowboy lore on the treament of horses, and good Western slang.

There is some imagery and a sequence  that when you see it just screams GBU

I wouln't go out of the way to hunt down this VHS even though its Ful Frame and probably Pan & Scan. Boetticher didn't have those stylistic Leone camera shots so most shots are centered it seems anyway, you don't notice, wait for the widescreen DVD .

« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 06:34:14 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2007, 05:22:34 PM »

Ahem, that's *Karen* Steele. I wouldn't normally nitpick like this, but you're talking about the woman I love.

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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 05:44:29 PM »

Put this P&S VHS release of Ride Lonesome into the player and finally watched this Bud Boetticher-Randolph Scott Its once again a great simple old school Western, this one is not quite as good as "The Tall T".
I agree.I recorded Tall T over the Xmas period and i'm hoping you're right about that one too-but all the Botticher/Randolph Scott i've seen so far are pretty good (i watch them more for LVC/Coburn cameos than Scotts "a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do" type performance though he excels at this  )if a little tame compared to sw's.

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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2007, 08:20:18 PM »

I did enjoy the little sequence at the beginning where Scott is sneaking up on James Best and his horse snorts to tell him Scott's sneaking up on him.

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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 03:19:01 PM »

Boetticher, 'Scope, and the Invention of Leone

The Good . . . .


. . . . the Bad . . . .


. . . . the Horny & the Goofy:




The Questions . . . .


. . . . the Answers . . . .


The Showdown!


The Wasteland . . . .




The Good . . . .


. . . . the Bad . . . .


. . . . the Crane Shot! 

(was Budd a secret Clansman?)

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cigar joe
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2008, 03:47:10 PM »

Looks beautiful that close up shot of Lee Van Cleef on the VHS is almost all in shadow, can't wait to pick this up, thanks dave for the preview  Afro

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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2008, 09:30:29 PM »

Finally got to pop the New Boetticher Box set disc of this in the player tonight.

WOW what a difference from the grainy VHS. This is a burnt amber/raw sienna Western, those are the predominant colors of the palet that Boetticher paints with and what beautiful compositions does he give us of Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills. 

I've even warmed a bit more to Karen Steel's accets looming large in certain scenes. This is the way Westerns should be made with the emphasis on landscape and compostion.

Everyone should pick up this box set.  Afro

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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 02:25:56 PM »

Everyone who's got a pair, that is. Afro

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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 08:57:35 PM »

One more thing to mention the score towards the last half of the film splits into two distinct leitmotifs one for Lee Van Cleefs Gang and one for Randolph Scott's group. The one for Scott's group sounded familiar, and it came to me today its very similar to a part of Dvořák's Symphony No. 9.

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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2008, 09:07:56 PM »

Judging from this opener, the composer riffled something from Wagner too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCAONA-cHmI

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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2008, 04:27:19 AM »

Its funny the way the screen switches from wide to full after the credit sequence on that Youtube reminds me of AMC.

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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2009, 02:09:56 PM »

Martin Scorsese on Ride Lonesome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IApMAukFufg

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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2009, 08:58:16 AM »

To give it more I should watch it again, but it gets 9\10. Strange how all the time I thought more about OUTIW rather than at GBU: Van Cleef's name and the hanging tree with an elaborate way to dispose of the brother. But Leone nitpicked here and there from Boetticher, that is clear. Karen Steele :





...looked better in the '60's:


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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2009, 10:05:59 AM »

Hey guys, they will be passing this movie tomorrow on TCM at 1 PM Pacific Time.

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.jsp?startDate=6/25/2009&timezone=PST&cid=N


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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 01:04:49 PM »

Saw it this week. Great little film, and it did remind me thoughout of Leone. Pernell Roberts was superb, I'd never seen him in anything before. Similarly Karen Steele was new to me. Certainly watchable but at first I was convinced her voice had been dubbed by Janet Leigh (an impression which quickly wore off). Some of Burt Kennedy's best dialogue revolved around her character, with Roberts and Coburn making a great double act.

My main gripe was the music, Heinz Roemheld's score was just dreadful, an ambling, tension free intrusion. That and the badly underwritten character Van Cleef plays. In acting terms I feel he simply blows his first and only close up dialogue scene. He could almost be reading it out loud for the fist time it's so carelessly done, the one or two mannerisms he attempts pure ham. But still, a movie well worth catching.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 04:06:01 PM by Juan Miranda » Logged

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