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Rio Bravo foreign poster sized

Rio Bravo (1959)
Directed by Howard Hawks
Starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond

My favorite Western, Rio Bravo (1959), has been missing from Blu-ray for some time now (I’d heard it had something to do with music or story rights). Was really happy to find out it was being reissued. However, I’d heard the old Blu-ray wasn’t anything to write home about, and there’s no news yet on if this new edition is remastered or not (I’m assuming not). A new 2K transfer was done not long ago, but there’s been no mention of it for the Blu-ray.

Regardless, Rio Bravo is a terrific movie and certainly worth adding to your high-definition shelf. When it arrives June 2, I’d love to toast my copy with a bit of Duke bourbon (haven’t located it in North Carolina yet).

Train Robbers JW AM BJ

The Train Robbers (1973)
Directed by Burt Kennedy
Starring John Wayne, Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor, Ben Johnson

Also coming to Blu-ray are a couple of later Wayne pictures. The Train Robbers (1973) is a lot of fun, Burt Kennedy at the top of his game. Wayne and Ben Johnson are terrific together, of course. As a kid, the train stuck in the sand, on the big Panavision screen, was a striking image that really stuck with me.

John Wayne In Cahill U.S. Marshal

Cahill: U.S. Marshal (1973)

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Starring John Wayne, George Kennedy, Neville Brand, Clay O’Brian, Marie Windsor, Harry Carey Jr., Paul Fix, Hank Worden

In some ways, Cahill: U.S. Marshal (1973) isn’t a very good movie. But as a John Wayne extended-family reunion, it can’t be beat (take a quick look at that cast). Wayne’s interplay with Neville Brand is worth the price of admission, and it’s always good to see Marie Windsor in anything.

These three titles are available separately (highly recommended, at a great price) from Warners, and as part of a John Wayne Westerns Collection set.

Thanks to Dick Vincent for the tip.

monster 2

Directed by Arnold Laven
Starring Tim Holt, Audrey Dalton, Hans Conried, Barbara Darrow, Max Showalter, Harlan Warde, Gordon Jones, Jody McCrea

When does a movie about a giant mullosk menacing the Salton Sea make it to a blog dedicated to Westerns of the 50s? When it stars Tim Holt (that’s him with the fire extinguisher, below).

Kino Lorber will bring The Monster That Challenged The World (1957) to the surface on Blu-ray in August. This is a really terrific little movie — a prime entry in the whole 50s Big Bug sub-genre.

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This news was too good — I couldn’t wait to make this a Tim Holt Tuesday.

Pillars Of The Sky HS sized

New York’s 92nd Street Y is hosting a class on Westerns of the 50s. Hosted by Kurt Brokaw, Associate Teaching Professor at The New School and senior film critic of The Independent magazine, it’s got a really terrific roster of films. The classes are Tuesday nights, beginning April 14, with two films each night.

Man, I wish I could get to this.

Week 1
Broken Lance
(1954) Directed by Edward Dmytryk, starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Katy Jurado
The Badlanders (1956) Directed by Delmer Daves, starring Alan Ladd, Ernest Borgnine, Katy Jurado

Week 2
Saddle The Wind
(1958) Directed by Robert Parrish, starring Robert Taylor, Julie London, John Cassavetes
Dawn At Socorro (1954) Directed by George Sherman, starring Rory Calhoun and Piper Laurie

Week 3
Pillars Of The Sky
(1956) Directed by George Marshall, starring Jeff Chandler, Dorothy Malone, Ward Bond, Lee Marvin
Backlash (1956) Directed by John Sturges, starring Richard Widmark, Donna Reed, William Campbell, John McIntire

Diablo TC

Week 4
Ride Clear Of Diablo
(1954) Directed by Jesse Hibbs, starring Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea, Susan Cabot
The Outriders (1950) Directed by Roy Rowland, starring Joel McCrea, Arlene Dahl, James Whitmore, Barry Sullivan

Week 5
Back To God’s Country
(1953) Directed by Joseph Pevney, starring Rock Hudson, Marcia Henderson, Steve Cochran, Hugh O’Brien
Black Horse Canyon (1954) Directed by Jesse Hibbs, starring Joel McCrea and Mari Blanchard

Week 6
Seven Men From Now
(1956) Directed by Budd Boetticher, starring Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, Lee Marvin, Walter Reed
Gun Fury (1953) Directed by Raoul Walsh, starring Rock Hudson, Donna Reed, Philip Carey, Lee Marvin

1 Liberty Ford

My wife and I watched John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) on our honeymoon. So as our anniversary rolls around, it usually comes to mind. And this seems like a good excuse to highlight yet another Ford masterpiece.

Liberty Valance Wayne hat

Here’s Wayne’s hat from the film. In black and white, it seems so much lighter.

Liberty Valance Marvin vest

Lee Marvin’s vest. After his years doing M Squad on TV, Liberty Valance helped Marvin transition from heavy to leading roles as he returned to features.

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One of Edith Head’s sketches for Vera Miles’ costumes.

LIBERTY CAST tea cropped

John Ford and his terrific cast break for tea. Judging from who’s present and how they’re dressed, they must’ve been shooting the dinner scene where Marvin makes Stewart drop Wayne’s steak — and Strother Martin gets kicked in the face.

Valance BTS punch

Jimmy Stewart punches John Wayne — with Ford and crew very very close.

Liberty Valance Marvin Martin Van Cleef

Jennifer and I often celebrate our anniversary by going out for steaks. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Happy Birthday, Sam Peckinpah.

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Sam Peckinpah
February 21, 1925 – December 28, 1984

Here’s to Sam Peckinpah, one of the Western’s greatest directors on what would’ve been his 90th birthday. His Ride The High Country (1962) and The Wild Bunch (1969) are among the best Westerns ever made. He had a feel for the West that really set him apart.

I’m currently reading Paul Seydor’s The Authentic Death and Contentious Afterlife Of Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid: The Untold Story of Peckinpah’s Last Western Film — and it’s fascinating.

He’s seen above talking with Edmond O’Brien on location for The Wild Bunch.

50s Westerns Weather Report.

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No movie I know of conveys cold as well as Day Of The Outlaw (1959). So it makes sense I’d be thinking about it today, given the weather here in Raleigh — and after our brief discussion of Tina Louise.

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Happy Birthday, Tina Louise.

Tina Day Of Outlaw

Tina Louise
Born February 11, 1934

Missed this one by a day. Here’s wishing a happy birthday to Tina Louise. The world knows her as Ginger on Gilligan’s Island, but she’s excellent in Andre de Toth’s Day Of The Outlaw (1959), a 50s Western that is slowly getting the recognition it should’ve enjoyed 56 years ago. It’s one of the best.

This pin-up type shot is featured in the poster and ads for Day Of The Outlaw.

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