Archive for May, 2011

Raoul Walsh.

Raoul Walsh’s later pictures are often dismissed. But when you turn out both White Heat and Colorado Territory in the same year (1949), you’re entering the 1950s with talent very much intact.

His Fifties Westerns, Lawless Breed (1952) and Gun Fury (1953), pale in comparison with Colorado Territory. They’re a great way to kill 80 minutes, however.

He knew how to make movies — and he’s endlessly quotable. Here are a few things pulled from various sources, along with Lee Marvin talking about him.

Walsh (in 1952): “Most movie scripts today are overwritten. I go through them and cut out the dialogue wherever I can. That may be why my pictures are so popular in foreign countries.”

Lee Marvin (who played Blinky in Gun Fury): “I don’t think he was much interested in dialogue. He was an action director. He loved horses, stagecoaches and explosions. He was an old timer and rolled his own cigarettes. If you had a scene to do with dialogue, he’d say ‘You’re over here, you’re over there, roll it.’ Then he’d look down and roll a cigarette and when all this talking had stopped he’d turn to the script girl and say, ‘Did they get it all.’ She’d say, ‘Yeah,” and he’d say, ‘Print it.’ But for the action stuff he’d get all excited… ‘OK, we’re over here with a 35mm lens. Now the stagecoach comes rolling down the pass and the gunmen gallup out from behind this rock.’ Raoul would come to life!”

Walsh: “A lot of actors didn’t want to work with me because I worked too fast. I believed it was a motion picture, so I moved it.”

Walsh: “I made some hits, I made some near-hits and I made a lot of turkeys. You make a lot of pictures. It’s like raising children. Some go out and make good, and some don’t. And you don’t want to play any favorite. Let it go, you know.”

Sources: various newpapers, The Men Who Made The Movies, Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures Of Hollywood’s Legendary Director.

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Clint Eastwood turns 81 today. Before Rowdy Yates, before the Man With No Name, before Dirty Harry, before the Oscar-winning director and all that, he was Tom in Star In The Dust (1956), a Universal Western starring John Agar. It was a part with no credit, but it had dialogue (more lines than he had in Revenge Of The Creature the year before).

Making these pictures in the last days of the studio system, working with directors like Jack Arnold (and later Don Siegel), helped Eastwood become the film-maker we celebrate today. Star In The Dust is hard to track down, and Eastwood might like it that way, but it’s a cool little film — like most Universal Westerns.

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Memorial Day

Here’s Lloyd Bridges and John Ireland in Little Big Horn (1951).

And here’s remembering all those who’ve given their lives for our country.

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Marion Mitchell Morrison

(May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979)

Seen here in Rio Bravo (1959).

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This just in (courtesy of Henry Cabot Beck). Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s MOD program has announced the latest round of its MGM’s Limited Edition Collection. One of them is Joseph H.Lewis’ The Halliday Brand (1957). This is a picture I haven’t seen in eons. With Lewis and that cast, I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

Other Westerns on the way: Quincannon, Frontier Scout (1956) and Gun Duel In Durango (1957).

Not a Western, but also part of this batch of titles is Budd Boetticher’s The Killer Is Loose (1956). Released the same year as Seven Men From Now, this is not to be missed.

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If you’re out that way — or dedicated/crazy enough to make the drive — be sure to stop by the Harvest Moon Drive-In in Linden, PA for The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966).

The Harvest Moon certainly deserves the support of movie nuts everywhere for bringing classic films back to the drive-in.

Coming this summer is a dusk-to-dawn event featuring Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop (1971).

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Here’s John Payne celebrating his birthday on the set of Tennessee’s Partner (1955).

Left to right: Rhonda Fleming, Allan Dwan, Angie Dickinson, John Alton (kneeling), Ronald Reagan, Payne, Colleen Gray (in bonnet) and Benedict Bogeau.

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