Archive for February, 2013

Here’s The Longboards, a Surf band from Bilbao, Spain, doing a beautiful cover of Peggy Lee and Victor Young’s theme from Johnny Guitar (1954). The Norwegian band The Spotnicks released a great version of this back in 1962.

And since we’re on the subject of Johnny Guitar, here’s an interview with Ernest Borgnine where he brings it up.

Read Full Post »


Heard last night that Dale Robertson has passed away. He had a very likable screen presence and by all accounts was a really nice man.

Despite making some excellent 50s Westerns, such as The Gambler From Natchez (1954) and A Day Of Fury (1956), it was on TV that he really made his mark — as Jim Hardie in Tales Of Wells Fargo. As a kid, he really impressed me in the TV movie Melvin Purvis G-Man (1974) — a role Ben Johnson played in John Milius’ Dillinger the year before.

The photo above is from The Silver Whip (1952). It is a crying shame that A Day Of Fury isn’t on DVD.

Thanks to Stephen Bowie for relaying the news.

Read Full Post »

Rex and Roy

Rex Allen and Roy Rogers, somewhere on the Republic lot.

Mara Corday Raw Edge cropped

Mara Corday studies the Raw Edge (1956) screenplay.

backlash-bts-cropped 2

Donna Reed and Richard Widmark at work on Backlash (1956). That’s John Sturges obscured in the ball cap.

douglas-hawks-big-sky SIZED

Howard Hawks shows Kirk Douglas how to do a fight scene for The Big Sky (1952).


Ronald Reagan and Barbara Stanwyck discuss the arms situation on the set of Cattle Queen Of Montana (1954).

Satchel Paige and Robert Mitchum in The Wonderful Country with Julie London

Satchel Paige and Robert Mitchum shoot the breeze between takes on The Wonderful Country (1959).

Read Full Post »


To mark the anniversary of the siege of the Alamo, The Egyptian is running Budd Boetticher’s The Man From The Alamo (1953), starring Glenn Ford and Julie Adams.

It’s good. It’s in 35mm. And Miss Adams will be in attendance.

Saturday, February 23, 7:30PM
The Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard 
Hollywood, CA 90028



Read Full Post »

russell-demille-tashlin-hope sized

Frank Tashlin
(February 19, 1913 – May 5, 1972)

Today would’ve been writer-director-genius Frank Tashlin’s 100th birthday. Here he is (second from right) on the set of Son Of Paleface (1952) with Jane Russell, Cecil B. DeMille (who has a cameo in this scene) and Bob Hope.

A number of people have written in to say they don’t like comedy Westerns (or is it Western comedies?). But every so often, I have to pay tribute to this film. It’s hysterically funny, Roy Rogers is terrific in it, and Ivan likes it as much as I do. One of my favorites.

Read Full Post »


Lee Marvin
(February 19, 1924 – August 29, 1987)

Finally seeing Budd Boetticher’s Seven Men From Now (1956) set me off down the trail that would lead to this blog and its book-in-progress namesake. It’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, Western or otherwise.

A huge part of the film’s success is our birthday boy, Lee Marvin. With scenes like the one above, there was no way he was going to remain a character actor. And as we all know, and as films like The Professionals (1966) and Point Blank (1967) prove, he wouldn’t stay one for long.

This’d be a good day (especially since it’s raining here in Raleigh) to curl up on the sofa with that new Marvin biography.




Read Full Post »

Searchers book

Here’s a book I’m looking forward to, The Searchers: Making Of An American Legend by Glenn Frankel. It covers the connection between an actual abduction case (Cynthia Ann Parker was taken by the Comanches when she was nine), Alan LeMay’s novel and, of course, what it often held up as the greatest Western ever made, John Ford’s The Searchers (1956).

Glenn Frankel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and his former employer, The Washington Post, likes his book. Their review is here. An earlier piece on The Searchers can be found on his website.

Read Full Post »

hJr3WR0Delmer Daves’ great 3:10 To Yuma (1957) arrives on Blu-ray from Criterion on May 14. A key 50s Western, one of Glenn Ford’s greatest performances (though some don’t like him being a bad guy), yet another masterful turn from Van Heflin, one of the best-looking black and white movies ever (thanks to Charles Lawton Jr.) and just an all-around swell thing.

Ford and Daves had already worked together on Jubal in 1956, which added Technicolor, CinemaScope and Ernest Borgnine to the mix. Criterion’s serving that one up, too.

Thanks to Mr. Richard Vincent for making my day with this news.

Read Full Post »



The word is that hundreds of Criterion titles will be available on Hulu for free over the weekend. There are some very, very great films in that list — from Wages Of Fear (1953) to Kubrick’s The Killing (1956) to Le Cercle Rouge (1970) and beyond.

One I’d particularly recommend is Anthony Mann’s The Furies (1950) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston (in his last role).

Read Full Post »


Forrest Tucker 
(February 12, 1919 – October 25, 1986)

To commemorate his birthday, here’s a still of Forrest Tucker from the Regalscope picture The Quiet Gun (1956). One of the better Regals, and one of Tucker’s better parts of his many 50s Westerns, it’s shame it’s so hard to see. (I have a pan-and-scan copy that I can’t make myself watch.)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »