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: The Westerner (Sam Peckinpah)  ( 2884 )
stanton
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« : November 14, 2011, 02:38:34 AM »

Sam Peckinpah learned his profession by directing some TV stuff in the late 50s and early 60s, before he got the chance for making feature films. His best work in these times was the creating of The Westerner starring Brian Keith, from which a pilot in 1959 and 13 episodes in 1960 were aired. All only with a 25 min runtime.
Peckinpah directed the pilot and 5 of the other episodes, but supervised the whole show, e.g. by checking and rewriting screenplays.

Some of the episodes for The Westerner are excellent. Much better than TV usually was up to the 90s, and even better directed and written than most of the then contemporary films.

Here is the episode Jeff which is probably the best of these, and which already brought Peckinpah in trouble with censorship:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rui1tYOv9SA&list=PLeagipoZmyfkpE1gfeMz_NPOzMMeRYiAu

Watch it soon before it gets deleted again. It contains some great stuff.

« : November 01, 2018, 02:57:22 AM stanton »

mike siegel
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« #1 : November 14, 2011, 11:03:06 AM »

You bet.

My favorite is HAND ON THE GUN. The Westerners trying teach a young turk not to play around with guns. Really a strong statement against gunplay and violence. It shows a lot was Sam was really after. But he made his theatrical showdowns SO GOOD later on, people were too much attracted by it. (Men at least, women look away..). He regretted it, but it made him famous. So he was trapped.



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« #2 : November 14, 2011, 03:35:50 PM »

Yes, Hand on the Gun is incredible too. Equally good. I did not expect some of his TV stuff to be that great.


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« #3 : April 14, 2013, 08:33:05 AM »

Here's another remarkable episode of The Westerner called Line Camp:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wLbZclLL8U

This one was written and directed by Tom Gries, who later used some of its ideas for his feature debut Will Penny.
The photography by Peckinpah's favourite DoP Lucien Ballard is remarkable dark. And again the violence is handled with intelligence and with a certain realism. Directing, editing, photography and atmosphere is again closer to cinema than to TV.


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« #4 : November 01, 2018, 02:54:07 AM »

Meanwhile The Westerner is out on DVD, and it includes the pilot, which was shot over a year before the series got into production. I really love it.

For those who want more Peckinpah than a better world can bear there is more to find on Youtube. All his episodes of The Rifleman can be viewed there. Peckinpah wrote the pilot and the 2nd episode (both directed by Arnold Laven) and directed 4 others. It is a series about the Ben Hur syndrome, about a man who preaches peace but still has to kill a lot of guys in every episode. Quite violent for a 50s show.
Less profiled than The Westerner, but also quite interesting, with intense dialogues, occasional offbeat character developments and, yes again, the will to alter screen violence.

Also The Losers (with Lee Marvin), his re-thinking of The Westerner, is now on the Tube, albeit in bad picture quality.

« : November 27, 2018, 02:25:54 AM stanton »

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« #5 : November 08, 2018, 03:18:39 AM »

I like Blassingame's friendship with his dog Brown in this. I love the poster which shows the closeness of the two. I haven't seen all the episodes yet. I like the comic touches in the ones that I have seen.


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« #6 : November 27, 2018, 02:27:50 AM »

And what do we find in the Rifleman episode The Money Gun? Yes, a duster. If made in the late 60s everybody would have spotted a big SW influence.


uncknown
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« #7 : December 18, 2018, 12:47:14 PM »

You bet.

My favorite is HAND ON THE GUN. The Westerners trying teach a young turk not to play around with guns. Really a strong statement against gunplay and violence. It shows a lot was Sam was really after. But he made his theatrical showdowns SO GOOD later on, people were too much attracted by it. (Men at least, women look away..). He regretted it, but it made him famous. So he was trapped.

Just watched the dvd (RIFLEMAN is also out on dvd, cheapskates)
A show I was eager to finally see and it does not disappoint. For the most part

JEFF is a remarkable episode in any era. For a 1960 show it boggles the mind; LC , also excellent.

Not crazy about the comedy eps with John Dehner (although the woman who played LIBBY is drop=dead sexy!).

BTW the commentary featured 4 Peckinpah experts/fans but NOT our own Mike Siegel! Darn it.
I wonder if Mike would have been guffawing at some of the juvenile humour the way the psychophantic quartet did. :)
bruce Marshall

« : December 18, 2018, 12:49:21 PM uncknown »

"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/2009/01/cinemaretro-13-big-gundown.html
mike siegel
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« #8 : December 18, 2018, 02:00:17 PM »

Just watched the dvd (RIFLEMAN is also out on dvd, cheapskates)
A show I was eager to finally see and it does not disappoint. For the most part

JEFF is a remarkable episode in any era. For a 1960 show it boggles the mind; LC , also excellent.

Not crazy about the comedy eps with John Dehner (although the woman who played LIBBY is drop=dead sexy!).

BTW the commentary featured 4 Peckinpah experts/fans but NOT our own Mike Siegel! Darn it.
I wonder if Mike would have been guffawing at some of the juvenile humour the way the psychophantic quartet did. :)
bruce Marshall

I wonder as well :). I don't even have the DVD-set. I was lucky about 15 years ago getting some
nice copies of the original masters and I watched them them few times before I wrote my book on Sam.
David Weddle's (nice man!) book on Sam is a great biography and Garner Simmons I always liked (he wrote the
first book on Sam, still my favorite), he is in a lot of my films on Sam, the last one being my doc
about JUNIOR BONNER. Regarding commentaries I am terribly picky (and don't mind a bit if some
can't stand my own commentaries - for the same reason) and prefer entertaining well-researched tracks
with a sophisticated sense of humour - or talent, telling more then "this is the scene where Peter
gets into trouble...". I guess my favorite is Soderberg sort of interviewing Mike Nichols
on CATCH 22. Way up there. (Where's my f..... Blu-ray ?? Darn studios these days  :P)



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uncknown
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« #9 : December 18, 2018, 08:09:32 PM »

You didn't mention Nick " No good films after 1979" Redman.
I love the interview SS did with Robert Wise on DTESS commentary track. He keeps badgering Wise , correctly, on why he would cast the lame Hugh Marlowe in a lead role...lol!

« : December 18, 2018, 08:17:21 PM uncknown »

"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/2009/01/cinemaretro-13-big-gundown.html
mike siegel
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Call me Kowalski, like the guy in Vanishing Point


« #10 : December 19, 2018, 01:24:33 AM »

Because in a Sci-Fi film story, effects & design are the stars, not the actors  ;D ;D.
I have Hugh on my wall even framed here  ^-^ (for about the same reason, see above...)
I love Wise, ANDROMEDA STRAIN is among my Top 3 Sci-Fi films. When I co-owned a book shop
in Munich he came over and was happy to talk about it with me (since nobody wanted to talk
about it with him, it was sort of overshadowed by his Oscar movies).

https://picload.org/view/dccdaico/robert_wise5a.jpg.html
https://imgur.com/a/tt21Txm

« : December 20, 2018, 05:48:05 AM mike siegel »


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uncknown
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« #11 : December 19, 2018, 03:41:13 PM »


I love the interview SS did with Robert Wise on DTESS commentary track. He keeps badgering Wise , correctly, on why he would cast the lame Hugh Marlowe in a lead role...lol!

Wise does eventually concede that he made a.mistake;)

« : December 19, 2018, 03:42:56 PM uncknown »

"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/2009/01/cinemaretro-13-big-gundown.html
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