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Archive for the ‘Cameron Mitchell’ Category

rawhide1

The lineup for the 54th New York Film Festival — which runs from September 30 to Octoebr 16 — includes a terrific Henry Hathaway retrospective that doesn’t skimp on his Westerns.

Rawhide (1951)
Starring Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe, Dean Jagger, Edgar Buchanan, Jack Elam, George Tobias, James Millican

Garden Of Evil (1954)
Starring Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Richard Widmark, Hugh Marlowe, Cameron Mitchell

From Hell To Texas (1958)
Starring Don Murray, Diane Varsi, Chill Wills, R.G. Armstrong, Jay C. Flippen, Harry Carey, Jr.

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North To Alaska (1960)
Starring John Wayne. Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacks, Fabian, Capucine, Joe Sawyer, James H. Griffith

The Shepherd Of The Hills (1941), Kiss Of Death (1947) and Niagara (1953) are among the other Hathaway pictures being shown. Good stuff.

The restored One-Eyed Jacks (1961) is also part of the festival.

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The Shooting
Directed by Monte Hellman
Written by Carole Eastman
Starring Will Hutchins, Millie Perkins, Jack Nicholson, Warren Oates

Ride In The Whirlwind
Directed by Monte Hellman
Written by Jack Nicholson
Starring Cameron Mitchell, Millie Perkins, Jack Nicholson, Katherine Squire, George Mitchell, Rupert Crouse, Harry Dean Stanton

Over the course of six weeks in 1965, Monte Hellman and Jack Nicholson (with some financing from Roger Corman) shot two Westerns back to back. They had no lighting equipment, a tiny crew, less than 10 feet of dolly track and budgets of just $75,000 per picture. When they left Kanab, Utah, they somehow had the makings of a couple of the best Westerns of the 60s.

734_735_BD_box_348x490_originalThe Criterion Collection’s presentation of Hellman’s The Shooting and Ride In The Whirlwind hits the streets today, available on both DVD and Blu-ray. Some see them as part of the Revisionist movement, some as an early example of the “Acid Western.” To me, they feel like the Psychological Western of the late 50s taken a step further. A very large step. But in the end, all those labels don’t mean anything. These are Westerns. They’re different. They’re very, very good. And as I see it, they’re absolutely essential.

Monte Hellman personally supervised the 4K restorations, preserving Gregory Sandor’s original 1.85 photography. The set is packed with commentaries — with Bill Krohn and our very own Blake Lucas riding along with Hellman for both films, interviews and more. You know, the usual exhaustive Criterion treatment. (One of my all-time favorite films, Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop from 1971, is also available from Criterion.)

Of the two Westerns, I prefer The Shooting. A friend and I once had a lot of fun arguing about which is better. His reasoning was that Harry Dean Stanton automatically makes Whirlwind the better film. I played the Warren Oates card.

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