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Author Topic: Great Day In The Morning (1956)  (Read 4493 times)
cigar joe
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« on: November 30, 2009, 05:16:14 PM »

Caught the Western just a few minutes ago directed by Jacques Tourneur  it stars Virginia Mayo, Robert Stack,    Ruth Roman, Alex Nicol, Raymond Burr, Leo Gordon, Regis Toomey, and Carleton Young.  I was surprised that I'd never heard of this Western before.

It takes place right at the start of the Civil War in Denver Colorado. Robert Stack is being attacked by Indians and is rescued by Virginia Mayo and Alex Nicol who he accompanies into Denver. Denver is run by a very rotund Raymond Burr as Jumbo Means the litteral heavy, lol,  who has The Circus Tent Saloon, which is pretty unique since its theme is Jumbo the Elephant, it has paintings on the walls of elephants even the trophy head of an elephant near the bar, very cool.

Anyway the town is torn into two factions North & South and Stack being a southerner is adopted by that faction while Burr is the head of the Unionists. Leo Gordon is a hot head northerner who is stirring up trouble. The southerners want to escape with their gold for the use by the secessionists. When Fort Sumter surrenders all hell breaks loose and the southerners attempt to escape Denver. There is a pretty good saloon shootout in this, Virginia Mayo (quite the rack and we see her in a bathtub to boot) and Ruth Roman are fighting for the affection of Stack, though there is no hair pulling contest  Cry.  It definitely looks like it was shot in Colorado good but not great, check it out.

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mike siegel
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 03:09:24 AM »

And Sam Peckinpah was Tourneur's assistant:

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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 04:17:37 AM »

that's cool to know thanks Mike  Afro

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 07:38:05 AM »

Watched for the first time last night, going to watch again before reviewing. I think it's great, quality Tourneur eye for detail. 

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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 05:07:00 PM »

I have been trying to track this one down forever, being a Robert Stack fan. Where did you guys watch it? It only seems to be out on VHS.

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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 06:33:52 PM »

 May have been on Turner.

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 05:48:07 AM »

I have been trying to track this one down forever, being a Robert Stack fan. Where did you guys watch it? It only seems to be out on VHS.

Currently just done a run on UK Cable Channel - Talking Pictures - Tis also available to us via iplayer.

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 09:52:27 AM »

Even big men cry sometimes.

Great Day in the Morning is directed by Jacques Tourneur and written by Lesser Samuels. It stars Robert Stack, Virginia Mayo, Raymond Burr, Ruth Roman, Alex Nicol, Leo Gordon and Regis Toomey. Music is by Leith Stevens and cinematography by William E. Snyder.

A Technicolor/Superscope production, story is set in Colorado Territory 1861, a mining town just as The Civil War is to break out. North and South divisions, lustful passions and the hunger for power and gold, all reside here...

This would turn out to be the great Jacques Tourneur's last Western offering, thankfully for his fans it turned out pretty great. This is no all action piece, the action here is mainly focused on the human condition and all the shaky traits that come with such. This town is a powder-keg waiting to ignite, with Stack's (excellent) fence sitter (he's from the South but his affiliations are money based) Owen Pentecost firmly in the middle of things. Moral compasses are set at faulty, whilst loyalties and fancies of the heart bring much conflict of interest.

Tourneur and his charges serve up fine production value, starting with the location filming out of Silverton. The landscape that surrounds the town is gorgeous, itself a beautiful observer of the ugliness (Roman and Mayo's sexiness exempt of course) that unfolds. Ugliness that rears its most potent head via bouts of shocking violence, the majority of which takes one by surprise (one of the film's many strengths). The clever screenplay throws in memorable sequences, such as a heated debate backed by Roman tinkling the piano with tunes befitting the discourse, while odd visuals - like the main saloon being based on a circus tent (its actual name and it ties in with Burr's character) - strike good notes.

With a grumpy Stack on fine form it's dandy to find the support brings weighty worth as well. Roman and Mayo are given good female roles to play (no tokens here thanks), raising the emotional stakes as much as the temperature. To good effect Burr stomps around like a sulky bully, Nicol has a good presence, and then there's Gordon. Gordon makes his mark straight away, first section of pic you know he's the sort who wants a war before the war has started, and he nails it as a gruff hot-headed bastardo - putting one in mind of Robert Shaw later down the line. Touneur's eye for detail is backed by that of Snyder to round it off as a picture well worth tracking down. 7.5/10

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