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Topics - boardwalk_angel

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General Discussion / Unavailable Westerns are available
« on: October 05, 2005, 07:15:20 AM »
I discovered this site not long ago....have yet to order anything..but I'm pretty certain that I will.
"Cinemacom" offers DVD-R of Movies not available on studio made DVDs...including 130 Westerns....among them some pretty hi-falutin, rootin' tootin' absolute gems...I at least wanted to share this w/ my fellow spaghetti-heads.

Sergio Leone News / "The Spaghetti West" on IFC this month
« on: September 10, 2005, 05:55:36 AM »
Beginning Sept. 10.........Independent Film Channel will be showing:

"Spaghetti West" original documentary featuring interviews with Clint Eastwood, Sergio Sollima, Ennio Morricone, and others.

and.........on successive Saturdays:

GBU...........Sept. 10

For a Few Dollars More"......Sept. 17

and what I think is very compelling & most welcome...on Sept. 24...a double feature of:
The Big Gundown......& The Great Silence,5266,CAT0-45-CAT1-6606-SHID-18963-AID-13867-TZ-ET-TB-4-CLR-black-BCLR-000000,00.html

Other Films / Vera Cruz (1954)
« on: August 09, 2005, 09:31:23 AM »
Vera Cruz (1954)               


Directed by Robert Aldrich

Gary Cooper
Burt Lancaster 
Denise Darcel
Cesar Romero
Sara Montiel
George Macready    
Ernest Borgnine
Henry Brandon 
Charles Bronson (as Charles Buchinsky)
Jack Elam

"Money. Is that worth risking your life for?" a Juarista general asks Ben Trane...played by Gary Cooper ...
"Comes closer than anything I know."

Robert Aldrich's second feature film ...Set during the Mexican revolution of 1866, filmed on location ...featuring a number of now familiar faces: Ernest Borgnine ; a young Charles Bronson (who hadn't even changed his name to Bronson yet); Jack Elam.... packed with plot twists, intrigue, double crosses, triple crosses.....backstabbing..shaky & shifting a lot of fun....shot in SuperScope featuring the great Ernest Lazlo's cinematography. In many ways...a transitional film (from a 40's style -->the 50's style)..& a transitional western, one that signals a change from old-style epic Hollywood actually combines the large Hollywood spectacle with the grittier, more cynical Westerns of the 50's & 60s... and anticipates & influences the Spaghetti western ...& the "Mexican Revolution" theme or subplot.

Cooper plays a loner named Benjamin Trane. He rides into Mexico hoping to sign up with either Emperor Maximilian or the revolutionary Juarez--whoever will pay him the most. ...He stumbles across Joe Erin (Lancaster)..their first encounter is a hoot & gets this movie off on a rousing note.. ...& hooks up with a group of mercenaries headed by Erin....  However, their negotiations with Marquis Henri de Labordere (played to the hilt by Cesar Romero) is interrupted by the arrival of the Juaristas. From then on...The story becomes a matter of who's conning who. .... a fortune in gold ...& what seems like EVERYBODY's playing EVERYBODY....& a terrific conclusion.

--"Man's got to have more. Needs something to believe in."
"I've got that too,"
says Trane as he holds up his rifle and gives it a shake.

Cooper & Lancaster are terrific as Ben Trane and Joe Erin...playing with & off each other smoothly & delightfully....the character that Burt Lancaster plays in "Vera Cruz" really paves the way for his portrayal of Dolworth in "The Professionals"..(could be a younger version of the same character, in many ways...although ultimately much darker)...............Neither Aldrich, nor Lancaster, take the easy road w/ Joe Erin's character...& kudos to both of them for it.

A fabulous supporting cast.........some great dialogue......(Joe Erin's "Ace Hanna" story being a particular favorite of mine), ahead of its time as well as a product of it....... major inspiration of the Italian Westerns, which came a decade later...."Vera Cruz" is not only a top notch, crackling good Western.....but an important one......& deserving of " must see" status.

Off-Topic Discussion / El Cow-boy Italiano
« on: May 24, 2005, 08:49:07 AM »

Frank Nero as Django  ::)

Many more cool old posters here...lotta Westerns..some are too blurry..but not all.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ---> ¬  ¬  ¬  ¬  ¬  ¬

Off-Topic Discussion / Best hat in a Western
« on: May 20, 2005, 03:45:53 PM »
Tim McCoy...I luv this guy..I've managed to catch a few of his movies...pretty cheesy B movies mostly....but a lot of fun..he was 1 of those guys that would would flick his gun holding hand up & then down before shooting..know what I mean?.. ::)..anyway..he always wore the greatest..the biggest hats I've ever's 1 of 'em..

The Hat that Won the West...the Hat that drove Old Dixie Down....El Chapeau Grande.......[/i] I love this hat!!

Other Films / Will Penny (1968)
« on: May 04, 2005, 06:45:29 AM »
Will Penny (1968)
  Directed by
Tom Gries

with: Charlton Heston
Joan Hackett
Donald Pleasence
Lee Majors 
Bruce Dern
Ben Johnson
Slim Pickens
Clifton James
Anthony Zerbe

This is a good, good movie..underrated & under appreciated....and somewhat largely unseen.
Never a Heston fan....I was very pleasantly surprised & taken by his "Will"....he gives a fine, understated  performance as the aging loner just looking for his next get through the winter till he can hook up with a cattle drive in the spring. Heston is excellent, free of the melodramatics & overacting  found in some of his other work.
Will is an aging cowboy, a loner, an illiterate, faced with the prospects of a dim future. He is someone who realizes that he can't do anything else but what he has been doing all his life..he punches cattle because it's the only thing he's ever done, and the only thing he knows how to do......even as railroad tracks laid on the prairie indicate that time may be running out for the cowboy way of life.
Nearing fifty, he has never learned to read or write, and existed moving from one job to the next...

 Along the way..there's a chance encounter w/¬† Quint ....the psycho preacher and his degenerate sons, Rafe¬† , Rufus , & Romulus..featuring¬† Donald Pleasance in a maniacal..over the top performance.., & Bruce Dern as one of his loony sons.
These guys could give the Hammond Brothers ("Ride the High Country") a run for their money.

There's also Joan Hackett, in a lovely, subtle, yet solid performance as  Catherine Allen , a woman travelling across country w/ her young son, in search of her husband, who had gone on ahead  ...through whom Will sees a life he never had..& never thought possible.
The film is notable in that it presents not at all a romantic image of the West..Cowpunching not being a glamorous profession....not a lot of 'Yeehas' here...  it's a life of solitude and hard work.. The work is brutal..., hired one day and out of work the next.......
Yes..there is action..fistfights..gunplay & violence...but the first fistfight..shows us the kind of territory we're in...get it on..get it over with..   
Here we see the kind of people who must really have inhabited the West..cowpunchers,.families looking for a better life... (sure, there were bounty hunters, bank robbers, marshalls...shootouts at High Noon..the OK Corral etc.) .....but this is more of a character study of people very much like us. In one of the gunfights...a cowboy sustains a bullet wound in a way  that's atypical of western movies..but probably pretty typical of the real West.
 Another nice touch is the "town"¬† Will, Blue, & Dutchy ride into...many "towns"¬† really did consist of nothing more than a couple of buildings ..a few shacks and a tent.
The direction was superb; Lucien Ballard's cinematography added to the splendor of the story. ..filmed in the glorious Inyo Mountains of California.
  The music in the movie is mostly uninspired , although by no means terrible or distracting..
Some fine, familiar character actors are here.. the can't be anything but great Ben Johnson appears as the top hand at the ranch where Will  takes a job riding line... William Schallert, Clifton James, and Anthony Zerbe all deliver good performances. Lee Majors is passable.

In short.."Will Penny" is a film that deserves to be seen & enjoyed.. & savored.

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