Here’s a frame from Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (1960), a real landmark in French cinema’s New Wave. That’s about the last thing this blog is about, so let’s focus on the marquee, as Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg stroll past a theater running Budd Boetticher’s Westbound (1959) — and go inside to avoid the police.
Archive for the ‘Budd Boetticher’ Category
Russell Johnson, who just everybody in America knows as The Professor from Gilligan’s Island, passed away today at 89.
He’s seen above (center) with Alex Nicol and Ronald Reagan in Law And Order (1953). He appeared in other 50s Westerns such as Rancho Notorious (1952, he runs the chuck-a-luck wheel), Seminole (1953) and Ride Clear Of Diablo (1954).
Posted in 1950, 1957, Audie Murphy, Budd Boetticher, Columbia, Dorothy Malone, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., Forrest Tucker, Gordon Douglas, Post-1959, Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, Skip Homeier on January 12, 2014 | 9 Comments »
The Sony Movie Channel’s Western Round-Up Marathon serves up a weekend full of excellent Westerns featuring folks like Audie Murphy (The Texican, 1966), Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster and James Garner. Of particular interest to fans of 50s Westerns is a Sunday morning devoted to Randolph Scott.
Sunday, January 26
10 AM The Nevadan (1950) Gordon Douglas directs Scott, Dorothy Malone, Forrest Tucker, Frank Faylen and George Macready. The Cinecolor looks OK, but it takes a lot more than an oddball color process to spoil Lone Pine.
11:30 AM The Tall T (1957) The second of the Scott-Boetticher-Kennedy Ranown Cycle (the first was 1956′s Seven Men From Now) is one of the best, maybe the best. Richard Boone is terrific and Skip Homeier gets his face blown off.
1 PM Comanche Station (1960) The last of the Ranowns, with Boetticher and Charles Lawton Jr. shooting Lone Pine in CinemaScope. Claude Akins is the bad guy this time, and Skip Homeier’s back for good measure.
While we’re on the subject of Randolph Scott, Henry Cabot Beck brought a Budd Boetticher interview to my attention. Good stuff.
Posted in 1952, 1954, 1956, Alan Ladd, Budd Boetticher, Dale Robertson, Dorothy Malone, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., George Sherman, Jeff Chandler, John Sturges, Julie Adams, Lee Marvin, Lee Van Cleef, Mara Corday, Raoul Walsh, Richard Widmark, Rory Calhoun, Universal (-International), Ward Bond on September 22, 2013 | 18 Comments »
Universal’s Vault Series is serving up a handful of 50s Westerns, basically taking the TCM Western Horizons set and selling them as single discs (available exclusively from Amazon).
Horizons West (1952) has Budd Boetticher directing Robert Ryan, Julie Adams and Rock Hudson in a Technicolor post-Civil War tale.
Saskatchewan (1954) puts Alan Ladd, Shelley Winters, J. Carrol Naish and Hugh O’Brian in the hands of the great Raoul Walsh.
Dawn At Socorro (1954) was directed by George Sherman, which is enough for me. Factor in Rory Calhoun, Piper Laurie, Mara Corday, Edgar Buchanan, Skip Homeier, James Millican and Lee Van Cleef, and you’ve really got something going.
Pillars Of The Sky (1956) stars Jeff Chandler and Dorothy Malone. Support comes from Ward Bond, Olive Carey (both appeared in The Searchers the same year) and Lee Marvin. George Marshall directed in CinemaScope. I love this film.
Backlash (1956) comes from John Sturges and stars Richard Widmark, Donna Reed and William Campbell. Good stuff.
These will make a welcome addition to anybody’s collection, but what I want to know is: where are A Day Of Fury (1956) and Last Of The Fast Guns (1958)?
October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013
One of the best authors I’ve ever read passed away this morning — Elmore Leonard. He’s known for his crime novels today, but in the early days of his career, he was a prolific Western writer. The Tall T and 3:10 To Yuma (both 1957) were adapted from his work. There are lots more.
And I have a real soft spot for Mr. Majestyk (1974), the ultimate Charles Bronson movie, based on his novel.
Here’s a cool article on Leonard and his writing methods.
The third World 3-D Film Expo kicks off September 6, at the Egyptian Theatre, with a rare 3-D screening of Hondo (1954). Above, that’s John Wayne on the ladder watching as a shot it being set up (that gigantic thing on the lift is the Warner Bros. All Media Camera).
Other 3-D Westerns being shown during the expo: Douglas Sirk’s Taza, Son Of Cochise and Budd Boetticher’s Wings Of The Hawk (both 1953). Julie Adams will be on hand for Wings Of The Hawk.
Who knows how many more 35mm 3-D presentations we can count on?
Turner Classic Movies’ Summer Under The Stars heads West with Randolph Scott. Of the 15 movies scheduled, 12 are Westerns.
The pick of the litter might be Shoot-Out At Medicine Bend (1957), which isn’t the best film on hand, but is very hard to track down these days.
Thanks to Blake Lucas for the tip.
Posted in 1955, 1958, Budd Boetticher, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., Glenn Ford, Joseph H. Lewis, Lippert/Regal, Margia Dean, Marie Windsor, Olive Films, Republic, Scott Brady, William Castle on July 25, 2013 | 15 Comments »
When the Charles Bronson Regalscope Western Showdown At Boot Hill (1958) showed up on Blu-ray, it seemed too good to be true. For decades, it’s been impossible to see these things in their proper black-and-white ‘Scope glory — unless you came across a 16mm print or a bootleg tape made from one. (An adapted ‘Scope print of Escape From Red Rock sits nearby.) Designed to show off their 2.35 format, the Regalscopes are absolutely unwatchable when they’re pan-and-scan.
Now we can thank Olive Films for Clint Eastwood in Ambush At Cimarron Pass (1958), set for a September 24 release. Clint has called it the worst Western ever made, though I certainly wouldn’t go that far. Scott Brady is the star, along with Margia Dean and Eastwood as a young hothead. All the Regalscope pictures are cheap — this one isn’t able to rise above its budget in the way Stagecoach To Fury (1956) and The Quiet Gun (1957) do. Of course, an early Eastwood role will be the appeal for most folks.
Also on the way is The Americano (1955), with Glenn Ford, Frank Lovejoy, Cesar Romero and Ursula Thiess. This troubled production was begun by Budd Boetticher in Brazil and finished some time later by William Castle (seen below with executive producer Sam Wiesenthal and Ursula Thiess).
Also on the way is John Wayne, Marie Windsor and Oliver Hardy in Republic’s The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) and Joseph H. Lewis’ The Big Combo (1955, not a Western, but terrific).
Posted in 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, Budd Boetticher, Columbia, Delmer Daves, DVD reviews, releases, TV, etc., Ernest Borgnine, Fred MacMurray, Gary Cooper, George Montgomery, George Sherman, Glenn Ford, Jay Silverheels, Joseph H. Lewis, Phil Karlson, Post-1959, Pre-1950, Randolph Scott, Sam Katzman, Sidney Salkow, Van Heflin, William Castle, William Witney on June 19, 2013 | 14 Comments »
Sony Movie Channel is focusing on Westerns next month, with a terrific all-day marathon scheduled for Sunday, July 28 that should keep readers of this blog firmly planted on their sofas — or scrambling to make room on their DVRs.
The directors represented here — Boetticher, Sherman, Daves, Karlson, Castle, Witney — make up a virtual Who’s Who of 50s Westerns directors. The times listed are Eastern. Put the coffee on, it’s gonna be a long day!
4:40 AM Face Of A Fugitive (1959, above) One of those really cool, tough Westerns Fred MacMurray made in the late 50s. James Coburn has an early role, and Jerry Goldsmith contributed one of his first scores. It’s not out on DVD in the States, and the Spanish one doesn’t look so hot, so don’t miss it here.
6:05 AM Relentless (1948) George Sherman directs Robert Young, Marguerite Chapman, Willard Parker, Akim Tamiroff, Barton MacLane and Mike Mazurki. Shot around Tucson (and the Corrigan Ranch) in Technicolor. I may be in the minority, but I like Robert Young in Westerns.
7:40 AM A Lawless Street (1955) Joseph H. Lewis knocks another one out of the park, directing Randolph Scott and Angela Lansbury. This film doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
9:05 AM Decision At Sundown (1957) Part of Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott’s Ranown cycle, this one tends to divide fans. I think it’s terrific. It’s certainly more downbeat than the others (Burt Kennedy didn’t write it), with Scott’s character almost deranged vs. the usual obsessed.
10:25 AM The Pathfinder (1952) Sidney Salkow directs George Montgomery in a low-budget adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper, produced by Sam Katzman. Helena Carter and Jay Silverheels round out the cast.
11:45 AM Battle Of Rogue River (1954) William Castle directs George Montgomery (seen above with Martha Hyer) the same year they did Masterson Of Kansas. I’m a real sucker for Castle’s Westerns, so it’s hard to be objective here.
1:05 PM Gunman’s Walk (1958) Phil Karlson’s masterpiece? A great film, with a typically incredible performance from Van Heflin, that really needs to be rediscovered. Not available on DVD in the U.S. Don’t miss it.
2:45 PM They Came To Cordura (1959) Robert Rossen directs a terrific cast — Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Van Heflin, Tab Hunter and Dick York. Set in 1916 Mexico, it has a look somewhat similar to The Wild Bunch (1969). Looks good in CinemaScope.
4:55 PM Jubal (1956, above) Delmer Daves puts Othello on horseback. Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, Valerie French, Charles Bronson, Jack Elam, Felicia Farr, Harry Carey, Jr. and John Dierkes make up the great cast. Charles Lawton, Jr. shot it in Technicolor and CinemaScope.
6:40 PM Arizona Raiders (1965) Wiliam Witney directs Audie Murphy in a picture that plays like a cross between a 50s Western and a spaghetti one. Murphy got better as he went along, and his performance here is quite good.
8:20 PM 40 Guns To Apache Pass (1966) Witney and Murphy again. This time around, Murphy is after a missing shipment of guns.
If all that’s not enough, there’s the Back In The Saddle sweepstakes, a chance to win a three-day dude ranch getaway. Check SonyMovieChannel.com to find out more.
Okay, so it’s a contemporary bullfighting picture. But for fans of 50s Westerns, it couldn’t be more significant. Bullfighter And The Lady (1951) is where director Budd Boetticher really came into his own.
Produced by John Wayne and released by Republic, it was hacked from 124 to 87 minutes — and later restored to Budd’s cut. It’s a terrific film, and its release on DVD and Blu-ray, from Olive Films in July, is a very big deal.
Of course, Wayne and Boetticher’s next picture together was Seven Men From Now (1956).