Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Out Law of Jose Wales(1976).

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Sam Bottoms, and Geraldine Keams. The film was adapted by Sonia Chernus and Philip Kaufman from the novel The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales (republished in 1975 under the title Gone to Texas) by Forrest Carter. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Josey Wales is a peaceful farmer and family man, until renegades murdered his family, and destroyed his farm. Fueled by hatred, he becomes an outlaw looking for vengeance on the men who took everything he had.

This is one of those movies, where you will find yourself caught up in the story of a man who goes willingly into, a life of hell.

Fun Facts:

Because of Chief Dan George's age, he would have trouble remembering his lines so during takes, Clint Eastwood would mouth his lines without realizing it and had to be told to stop because it would ruin the take.

Clint Eastwood says Josey as his personal favorite of all the movies he's made.

The first of sixth movies made by real-life couple Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke.

Kyle Eastwood, is an actor and jazz musician. He studied film at the University of Southern California for two years before going onto a music career. After becoming a session player in the early '90s and leading his own quartet, he released his first solo album, From There to Here, in 1998. His most recent album, Metropolitain, was released 2 June 2009 by Rendezvous. Eastwood plays acoustic and electric as well as double bass. He is the son of filmmaker and actor Clint Eastwood.
Click to view Kyle Eastwood Website.

List of films:
Uncredited Kyle Eastwood (in film debut) can be glimpsed very briefly in the opening sequence helping his dad, Josey, work the land by their home.
Bronco Billy (1980) - orphan (uncredited)
Honkytonk Man (1982) - Whit Stovall
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) - James Rivers Band
L'Heure d'été (2007)
Filming locations for The Outlaw Josey Wales:
Glen Canyon, Utah
Kanab Movie Ranch,Utah
Kanab, Utah
Lake Powell, Arizona
Mescal, Arizona
Old Tucson - Tucson, Arizona
Oroville, California
Paria, Utah

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Filming Location: Gallup, New Mexico.

Gallup, New Mexico, was founded in 1881 as a railhead for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The City was named after David Gallup, a paymaster for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. It is the most populous city between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Flagstaff, Arizona.Gallup is sometimes called the "Indian Capital of the World", for its location in the heart of Native American lands, and the presence of Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and other tribes. The historic El Rancho Hotel & Motel has hosted movie stars: John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, Gregory Peck and Burt Lancaster. The rugged terrain surrounding Gallup was popular with Hollywood filmmakers during the 1940s and 1950s for the on-location shooting of Westerns. Actors and film crews would stay at the hotel during filming. Films made in Gallup included Billy the Kid (1930), Pursued (1947), The Sea of Grass (1947), Four Faces West (1948),Rocky Mountain (1950), Only the Valiant (1951), Ace in the Hole (1951), Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), A Distant Trumpet (1964) and The Hallelujah Trail (1965).

Ace in the Hole (1951). Cast: Kirk Douglas as a disgraced reporter, who stops at nothing to try to land a job on a major newspaper.

Rocky Mountain(1950)

Rocky Mountain (1950). Director: William Keighley. cast: Errol Flynn. It takes place during the American Civil War.

A small group of the Confederate cavalry, led by Captain Barstow, crosses the California state line. The soldiers are under orders from General Robert E. Lee to meet with outlaw Cole Smith, in order to convince him and his men to fight on the side of the South. They decide to meet at Rocky Mountain, also known as Ghost Mountain. When Barstow and his men are waiting for them, they see a war party of Indians attack a stagecoach. Barstow's men ride to help and return with the driver, and his passenger, Johanna Carter, who is on the way to join her fiancee, Union soldier Lt. Rickey. During the night, the Indians burn what is left of the stage, and the following morning, a small group of Union soldiers and Shoshone scouts come across the burnt stage. Barstow and his men capture Rickey and his soldiers. Barstow learns that the Union knows is looking for them. Smith leaves to get help. He tells Barstow that the Indians will escape and return with their tribe. That night, while Jimmy is on watch, the Indians make a run for it. The soldiers kill only two of them. That night, Rickey escapes, leaving Johanna behind. The following morning, the men find Smith's horse and realize that he has been killed. Now that the men know no help is coming and they decide to fight the Indians while Johanna and Craigie try and escape.

It has a very good beginning and a exciting and very emotional ending. Errol Flynn is perfect for the role of a man who has seen too much war. In real life, Flynn and several of the co-stars were very good horsemen.

Fun Facts:
Slim Pickens' movie debut.

Errol Flynn's last western.

Filming Location: Gallup, New Mexico.

Patrice Wymore's first film performance was in the 1950 film Tea for Two, starring Doris Day and Gordon MacRae. That same year she performed opposite Errol Flynn in Rocky Mountain, with whom she would become romantically involved. The two married in October 1950. Wymore continued to act, performing in. I'll See You in My Dreams, her second film alongside Doris Day. She also guest stared as herself in the 1951 film Starlift, performing the song "Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away)." In 1953, she performed with Virginia Mayo in, She's Back on Broadway, and that same year she starred opposite Randolph Scott in The Man Behind the Gun. In 1955 she performed with her husband Errol Flynn and Anna Neagle in King's Rhapsody. Following Flynn's death, Wymore returned to acting, mostly in musicals; Carnival!, Guys and Dolls, Irma La Douce, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Ocean's Eleven in 1960. In 1965, she was cast in the soap opera Never Too Young, and in 1966 she performed in the film Chamber of Horrors. Her last performance was on the television series F Troop in 1967.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hopalong Cassidy

Hopalong Cassidy is a cowboy hero, created in 1904 by Clarence E. Mulford who wrote the stories and 28 novels. The character appears as a rude, dangerous and rough-talking "galoot". Beginning in 1935, the character, played by William Boyd, was transformed into the clean-cut hero in 66 films, only a few of which were based on Mulford's works. Mulford actually rewrote his earlier stories to fit the movie and these led in turn to a comic book series modeled after the films.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon(1949)

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon(1949). Director: John Ford. Cast: John Wayne. The film was the second of Ford's trilogy of films focusing on the US Cavalry (and the only one in color), the other two films being Fort Apache (1948) and Rio Grande (1950).

Known for its breathtaking views of Monument Valley. Cinematographer, Winton Hoch, won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography. Ford and Hoch based much of the film's imagery on the paintings and sculptures of Frederic Remington.

Ford demonstrated a number of standard Cavalry procedures in horse management in this and other movies. Strict rotation between walk, trot, and leading the horses made them last as long as possible. They were still no match for the lightly burdened Indian horses for endurance, but US Cavalry horses were fed grain (when available), and this helped even the odds a bit.

The film is named after a song common in the U.S. military, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon".

After the death of General Custer at Little Big Horn, a government stagecoach crossing the southwest desert is attacked and robbed. Capt. Nathan Brittles, who in charge the Seventh Cavalry at Fort Stark, is concerned that the attackers were Cheyenne Indians, because the Cheyenne rarely travel so far south.

Later, while thinking aloud by his wife Mary's grave, Nathan, who is retiring from the Army in six days, knows that his last mission will be to drive the Cheyenne back north.

The next day, Nathan's commander, Major Allshard, orders him to escort his wife Abby and niece, Olivia Dandridge, to Sudros Wells, where they are to catch a stagecoach to take them back East.

After registering a formal complaint with Allshard, Nathan leads the large patrol from the fort. When rival suitors Lt. Clint Cohill and Lt. Ross Pennell, see Olivia with a yellow ribbon in her hair each wonder if she is wearing the ribbon in their honor. Will Nathan complete his mission and safely deliver the two women?

In my opinion the film SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON is the kind of film you can watch again and again, and still find it interesting. If you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat!

Fun Facts:
When Sgt. Quincannon (Victor McLaglen) is addressing the troops and warning them to "watch them words," he asks who owns a dog, without receiving an answer. He concludes, "Nice dog! Irish setter!" The scene was improvised on the spot by director John Ford. The dog was an unnamed Navajo pet that had fallen asleep during the setup. Multiple takes were required because McLaglen kept blowing the line, calling the dog a "cocker spaniel."

Based on the paintings and illustrations of Frederic Remington, the artist renowned for his nostalgic packaging of the bygone "real" West.

Sergeant Tyree's horse is named "Laddie".

The exterior shots of Capt. Brittle quarters and the building where Major Mac Allshard, Commanding Officer Fort Starke has his HQ are still standing and in Monument Valley itself near to the town of Kanab. The HQ building is now a museum and both are open to the public.

As the regiment's blacksmith, named "Wagner", is seen at work, we can hear the orchestra playing the "Nibelung"-motif from Richard Wagner's famous opera, "Siegfried". In the opera the motif is connected with the forging of Siegfried's sword.

John Ford decided to cast John Wayne as Captain Nathan Brittles after seeing his performance as Thomas Dunson in Red River (1948).

According to Patrick Wayne, this was his father's favorite of the movies he starred in.

John Wayne, who was 41 when the film was made, won great acclaim for his convincing portrayal of the 60-year-old Captain Brittles.

In the graveyard, one of the crosses carries the name "DeVoto", this is likely an homage to Bernard DeVoto, a historian of the American West.

The horse that Ben Johnson rode in this film was a famous movie horse used by many stars in many 40s and 50s movies. It was a big sorrel stallion called "Steel" and was owned by Ben Johnston's father in law "Fat Jones" who ran one of the most successful horse renting stables in Hollywood. The horse, which was known for being very quiet but flashy, was ridden by John Wayne in "Tall in the Saddle" and "The Conqueror", Gregory Peck in "Yellow Skies" and Clark Gable in "The Tall T". The horse made stars look like good riders and Fat Jones always insisted if "Steel" was used in movies, the company hired every other horse used in the movie from his stable, so "Steel" was worth a fortune to him. "Steel" had his own double and the horse that Ben Johnston rides in the galloping scenes was not "Steel" but a spectacular galloper called "Bingo". "Steel" was no movie prima donna however. Ben Johnston also rode him when he won his world champion calf roping title. Ben Johnston also rode both "Steel" and "Bingo" in "Wagonmaster".

Joanne Dru, is best known for her performances in western films such as Howard Hawks's Red River (1948), and John Ford's She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Wagon Master (1950). Joanne Dru, was the older sister of entertainer Peter Marshall.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Audie Leon Murphy

Audie Leon Murphy, was the most decorated United States soldier of World War II during his twenty-seven months in action. He received the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military highest award for valor, along with 32 additional U.S. and foreign medals and citations, including five from France and one from Belgium.

When Audie Murphy came back from fighting in the War, Variety Clubs was financing a film to be called Bad Boy to help promote the organization's work with troubled children, but the president of Allied Artists did not want to cast someone with not much acting experience in a major role.

By this time, Texas theater owners had decided that Audie Murphy was going to play the lead or they weren't financing the film. Their money talked and he was cast, turning in such a fine performance that the Hollywood recognized his talent. Soon, Universal Studios signed Murphy to his first seven-year contract. After a few box-office hits, the studio allowed Audie to choose his roles, as long as plenty of action was included in the films.

In the 25 years he spent in Hollywood, Audie Murphy made 44 feature films, 33 of them Westerns. He is best known for the book and then film, To Hell and Back. He also appeared in several television shows, including the lead in the short-lived 1961western detective series Whispering Smith, set in Denver, Colorado. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Audie Murphy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1601 Vine Street.

In addition to acting, Murphy also became successful as a country music songwriter. teaming up with such talented musicians and composers as Guy Mitchell, Jimmy Bryant, Scott Turner, Coy Ziegler, and Terri Eddleman. Murphy's songs were recorded and released by such performers as Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Charley Pride, Jimmy Bryant, Porter Waggoner, Jerry Wallace, Roy Clark, and Harry Nilsson. His two biggest hits were "Shutters and Boards" and "When the Wind Blows in Chicago".

Audie Murphy Fun Fact: He owned ranches in Texas, Tucson, Arizona and Menifee, California.

Gunsmoke, is a Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West.

To be continued..

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Alan Ladd

Alan Ladd and Robert Preston performed in the western film, Whispering Smith(1948). Alan Ladd plays a railroad detective who is hired to stop a gang of train robbers. It is based on a novel by Frank H. Spearman and a previous 1926 film starring H.B. Warner in the title role with Lillian Rich, Lilyan Tashman, John Bowers, and Eugene Pallette as supporting cast.

In 1961, Whispering Smith became a 20-episode NBC series of the same name, with Audie Murphy, a film star and World War II hero, in the title role.

In (1953)Ladd played the title role in the 1953 western Shane. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It was listed at No. 45 on the American Film Institute's 2007 ranking of "100 Years ... 100 Movies."

Alan Ladd has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1601 Vine Street. His handprint appears in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater, in Hollywood.

Shane (1953)

Shane(1953). Produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A.B. Guthrie Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer. Cast: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur and Van Heflin and features Brandon De Wilde, Elisha Cook Jr., Jack Palance and Ben Johnson. The cinematography was by Loyal Griggs, with a music score by Victor Young.

A young Joey Starrett watches while a man on a horse approaches the house, then listens as Shane, talks to his father Joe that he is heading north, toward home.
When Joey cocks his rifle, Shane, startled by the noise, draws his gun with the speed of a gunslinger. Joe not liking what he saw, sends Shane on his way, as a group of men ride up. The men's leader, cattle baron Rufe Ryker, accuses Joe of squatting on his land and demands that he leave, giving up his homestead. Joe refuses, Ryker's men start trouble until Shane suddenly is standing at Joe's side.
The men leave and Joe's wife Marian, who saw everything, urges Joe to invite Shane to dinner. Joey is happy to have Shane spend the evening with them, Shane, really does not want talk about his past, goes outside to chop wood.

Joe joins him and the next day, the two men team up to pull a tree stump out of the ground. Later, Joey tells Shane that his parents want him to stay and shares with him that his father is worried about Ryker's threats. Shane, who has put away his gun, agrees to remain and help the family save their homestead.

Loved how they used the Grand Teton Mountains as a scenic backdrop in the movie Shane, one of my favorite western films. I thought the film was very realistic looking. For instance the scene in Grafton's saloon is dark and moody, far different from the colorful dance halls in other Westerns.

Fun Facts:
At the time of filming, Jack Palance was not comfortable with horses. The one good mount he achieved during the numerous takes was used in the film.

The last film of Jean Arthur.

Jean Arthur was over 50 years old when she played Marian Starrett - she was, in fact, ten years older than Emile Meyer, who plays grizzled old cattle baron Rufus Ryker.

Shane's fancy gun twirling in the climactic showdown was actually performed by Rodd Redwing. Earlier, when Shane demonstrates his prowess for Joey, and it is clearly Alan Ladd himself on camera, the actor had been given a different, easier-to-use revolver for the scene.