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: Western Books  ( 210429 )
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« #210 : November 01, 2023, 10:51:59 AM »



Western and Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction in America: From High Noon to Midnight -  Cynthia S. Hamilton

The author shows how hard-boiled fiction is more connected to western than classic detective fiction. Unfortunately she does it only on the basis of a deep analysys of 4 authors (Grey, Faust, Hammett and Chandler) to whom she dedicates a chapter each. The first 3 introductory chapters are quite interesting and full of new material, especially the one dealing with the marketing of the popular fiction. Though I can't say that she sticks to the main assumption of her work, she makes interesting observations. 7/10


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« #211 : November 04, 2023, 07:59:36 PM »

Hawks on Hawks -  Joseph McBride



I've read this in the italian translation. It's a long, absorbing interview and the focus is not only on western, of course (Hawks made 5 westerns: 6 if some, as he notes, include Hatari!). But some the obsevations made by HH about his own and other people's westerns are many. I found interesting those on High Noon and 3:10 to Yuma: he didn't think that the lawmen there were credible or at least fit well in the character of a filmic lawman, too easily submissive when confronted with outlaws. He didn't like The Wild Bunch and saw the Eastwood  Leones and some other unspecified ones. 10/10

« : November 04, 2023, 08:02:10 PM titoli »

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« #212 : November 06, 2023, 02:18:41 AM »

(Hawks made 5 westerns: 6 if some, as he notes, include Hatari!).

Hatari? Well ...

But most books count Viva Villa (1934), a film he largely co-directed, as western, and some also Barbary Coast (1936). I don't.

Unlike other films set in the Mexican Revolution Viva Villa does not feel like a western.

« : November 06, 2023, 02:22:12 AM stanton »

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« #213 : November 08, 2023, 06:31:18 AM »

Destry Rides Again - Max Brand



This is a kinda Montecristo revenge plot, which it has little or no relation with the movie. Maybe only the title. It has a good start (the first 20 pages on a total of 246) but it is overlong, melodramatic and there are no elements of originality except the finale, when the avenging hero is defeated by the villain both with  guns and fists. That makes him finally more human, something rarely seen in popular western. Only reason I give it 6/10


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« #214 : November 10, 2023, 02:14:58 AM »

7 Men from now - Burt Kennedy



I remember little of the movie, but anyway this one is very good until the finale which sees the husband going to the appointment with the bandits who engaged him to transport the loot thinking they will allow him to go to the sheriff and denounce them. And the hero who allows the villain to recover the gun and challenge him to a duel. 7-8/10

« : November 15, 2023, 07:47:43 AM titoli »

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« #215 : November 13, 2023, 04:00:52 AM »

Hondo - Louis L'Amour



This will be certainly appreciated by CJ for the amount of desert survival lore it contains. The story is also well constructed, in spite of the role played by mom and boy. I wonder though, how the author ccame up with the name of the Apache chief Vittoro: in italian it would have been Vittorio, in spanish Victorio. 8/10


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« #216 : November 15, 2023, 07:46:29 AM »

The Man from Laramie - T.T. Flynn




It keeps the suspense alive for all of the story, the women do not hinder the pace. 9/10 ^-^


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« #217 : November 23, 2023, 11:32:16 AM »

Man of the West - Will C. Brown



This novel (first published under a different title and awarded some prize) is excellent. I ought to re-watch the movie to understand what doesn't work with the transposition, apart from Cooper's casting. But an element that probably doesn't come to the fore is the unbalanced personality of the character played by Cobb and which does explain some of the plot turns, expecially those involving London. And, CJ, she is not raped in the novel (though rape is named as a custom of these outlaws) and that's because of the role played by Cobb. 9/10


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« #218 : November 24, 2023, 07:46:47 AM »

she is not raped in the novel (though rape is named as a custom of these outlaws)
Always seemed quirky, most likely a nod to the code or morality views when such films/books were made (not just westerns), that criminals/outlaws would capture/kidnap women and the bad guys would try to kiss her instead of raping.  Raping makes much more sense considering the mindset of the criminals.

GBU included rape in the listing of Tuco's crimes, For a Few Dollars More showed it, A Fistful of Dollars implied it offscreen with Marisol...

« : November 24, 2023, 07:48:05 AM Cusser »
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« #219 : November 24, 2023, 10:18:44 AM »

Raping makes much more sense considering the mindset of the criminals.



Sure, but in this novel the protagonist plays on the gang leader's unbalanced personality to prevent other gang members from doing it. In the text it is quite made explicit that the attitude of these outlaws toward the other sex knows no rule. 


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« #220 : November 28, 2023, 01:06:15 PM »

Johnny Guitar - Roy Chanslor




I would have given it a !0/10 if the author had not spent a lot of pages explaining Vienna and Johnny backgrounds. Vienna has got a problem with men, she's a virgin and that's why, apart from being young and beautiful, Joan Crawford (who wrote a kind of preface for the paperback) could never have played the part as it was thought up for the novel. The difficult relationship between Vienna and Johnny is driving most of the action while in the movie this cannot come to the fore because of Crawford Dearest casting, it is rather Crawford vs. McCambridge. I gave 8/10 to the movie. 8-9/10 the novel. 

P.S. I've recently read the usual good book by Alexander Walker, published more than 50 years ago on Hollywood actors :



and a chapter analyzes Crawford career. He also seems unaware of C.'s scarce femininity :-X


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« #221 : November 28, 2023, 01:17:16 PM »

It's funny how the cover of the hb edition (this one is the very copy given by the author to Nicholas Ray):



pictures Vienna as much more mature woman of the one slightly modified for the pb (and which is more in line with the character depicted in the novel). Almost like the publisher of the hb knew Crawford was gonna play it (which is possible), while those at Pocket Books insisted on a more attractive figure.


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« #222 : November 29, 2023, 06:20:29 AM »

Wow - I did see the film "Johnny Guitar" once, didn't like it at all, and found Crawford disgusting....

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« #223 : November 29, 2023, 10:18:49 AM »

Wow - I did see the film "Johnny Guitar" once, didn't like it at all, and found Crawford disgusting....

If I remember well was the same feeling Kirk Douglas said he proved after having XXXXX her. Kudos anyway to him for having managed to get it up at all. It remains a mystery, though, how she could have such a career. And for so long.


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« #224 : November 30, 2023, 09:47:28 AM »

Breakheart Pass - Alistair MacLean




I hadn't realized I had the novel in my library when I watched the movie, I would have read it back to back. Anyway it is a page-turner, can't find anything wrong as it keeps going from one plot turn to the other and it moves faster than the movie. The finale it is more satisfying, no clash Indians vs troops but a series of tricks concocted by the hero. 10/10


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