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Archive for the ‘John Wayne’ Category

Roy Rogers drinks

My wife came across these the other day. Keep a look out for ‘em—the Lasso Lemon Lime is terrific.

Of course, there’s also Duke Bourbon.

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andrew-v-mclaglen2

Andrew Victor McLaglen
(28 July 28, 1920 – 30 August 2014)

Andrew V. McLaglen, the son of actor Victor McLaglen, was a prolific director who got the kind of apprenticeship any filmmaker would envy: after growing up on his dad’s movie sets, he was made assistant director on John Ford’s The Quiet Man (1952). McLaglen worked on a number of films from John Wayne’s Batjac (he co-produced Seven Men From Now) and got his first directing credit for the company’s Gun The Man Down (1956).

The late 50s and early 60s saw lots of TV work—including 116 episodes of Have Gun-Will Travel—with a feature from time to time. It was usually Westerns. McLintock! (1963). The Rare Breed (1966, above, with Maureen O’Hara). The Way West (1967). In the 70s, he was John Wayne’s director of choice.

Mr. McLaglen passed away at 94. He will probably be known for McLintock! and Shenandoah (1965), two films that showed what he was capable of.

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searchers webb ad

This is as close as I could get to tying Jack Webb to a 50s Western—The Searchers (1956) paired with a short Webb appeared in. (Of course, there’s also his ex-wife Julie London in Man Of The West (1958), among others.)

Anyway, over at my other blog, The Hannibal 8, I’m putting together a Jack Webb Blogathon, a celebration of his innovative, influential and just plain cool body of work. If you’re interesting in joining the force, I’d love to have you.

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Hellfire TC

So far, the great cinematographer Jack A. Marta has hardly been mentioned here. I’m ashamed and with today’s Wild Bill Wednesday, I’m taking care of it. So many outstanding movies. What Price Glory (1926). The Night Riders (1939). Dark Command (1940). Flying Tigers (1942). Hellfire (1949). Trigger, Jr. (1950). Spoilers Of The Plains (1951). The Last Command (1955). The Bonnie Parker Story (1958). Cat Ballou (1965). Duel (1971).

On that last one, Steven Spielberg’s breakthrough TV movie Duel, Marta’s experience shooting outdoors in the desert helped get the thing completed on its 10-day schedule.

Steven Spielberg (from the excellent book Steven Spielberg And Duel: The Making Of A Film Career): “Jack was a sweetheart. He was just a kind, gentle soul who you know had never worked that fast in his entire career; none of us had, and yet there was nothing he didn’t do or couldn’t do, and he really enjoyed himself.”

No offense to Mr. Spielberg, but I have a feeling Duel‘s 10-day shoot, though exhausting, was probably nothing new for Marta, who’d done beautiful work on Republic’s tight schedules, in both black and white and Trucolor, and worked on plenty of television shows like Route 66 and Batman.

When Elliott co-produced Hellfire (below) for Republic release, a film he saw as a very special project (and considered his best film), Jack Marta was the director of photography. Was he randomly assigned the job by Republic, or did Elliott request him after working together on The Gallant Legion (1948) and the Trucolor The Last Bandit (1949)? (I’m getting pretty good at finding new ways to sneak Hellfire into this blog.)

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Searchers screenng 1

Short notice, for sure. But certainly worth your while. And I’d be wasting my time to think I needed to tell you how great this film is.

Click on either image for ticket information.

Searchers screenng 2

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clasico01

Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits has a bit more news on the status of John Wayne’s The Alamo (1960):

“… I was up in L.A. checking out Robert Harris’ recent restoration tests of The Alamo with my own two eyes. Despite what MGM has claimed officially, let me assure you, having now seen the tests firsthand – which the studio has apparently not done yet for some strange reason (and how weird is that?) – this film is in serious need of restoration. The good news, however, is that I’ve also seen tests of how good the film could look like if given a restoration. The result would easily be worth theatrical presentation and a solid Blu-ray release. So keep spreading the word and keep the pressure on the studio. Fingers crossed.”

UPDATE: Robert Harris has clarified things with a post at Home Theater Forum:

“Sorry. A bit confusing. Nothing is occurring. Merely shared the tests which we did a month or so ago with a few people. And for the record, the roadshow version of the film is gone, as far as film or theatrical is concerned. Only the general release version has a chance of being decently preserved, but not at full quality. Too late.”

There’s nothing I can type here that will get across how sad and angry this makes me. Thanks to Paula for bringing this to my attention.

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Martha Hyer
(August 10, 1924 – May 31, 2014)

Laura told me last night that Martha Hyer had passed away at 89.

Her list of credits reads like a checklist for my cinematic upbringing: a bunch of 50s Westerns (including a few Tim Holt pictures), an episode of The Lone Ranger, Abbott & Costello Go To Mars (1953), Bikini Beach (1964), even an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. She turned up a lot, which was fine by me. I always liked her.

In 1966, she married producer Hal Wallis, not long after appearing in his The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965), alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin. After his death in 1986, she moved to Santa Fe and lived there till her passing.

Click on the shampoo ad for an obituary. Note that the ad promotes one of her best 50s Westerns, Red Sundown (1956). It’s a favorite of mine — and of many of you out there.

 

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