Monday, July 30, 2012

Snowfire (1958).

Snowfire (1958). Directed by Dorrell McGowan, Stuart E. McGowan. Cast: Don Megowan, Molly McGowan, Claire Kelly, John L. Cason.

Rancher, widower Mike McGowan, is hot on the heels of a beautiful white, wild horse named "Snowfire". The horse is chased to the edge of a cliff and he jumps into a creek below and swims away. Mike, is waiting for Snowfire and lassoes the horse when it emerges from the creek. It takes some doing but, Mike manages to tie Snowfire to a tree after been dragged behind him for a short distance.

Neighboring rancher Carol Hampton, rides up with three of her ranchhands and claims that the horse belongs to her. When the three men, challenge Mike in a fight, she calls off her men, but refuses to shake Mike's hand and hits him instead. After Carol leaves, the men attack Mike, but are scared off when Mike's ranchhand, Poco, rides up and shoots at them.

Later.. at the ranch, while trying to brand Snowfire, Molly, the younger of Mike's two daughters, becomes very upset and tries to burn herself with a branding iron. Mike, decides to brand the horse later, while she is not there.

On the morning when Mike decides to brand Snowfire, he discovers him missing from the corral. Mike rides to Carol's ranch and accuses her of taking the horse.  Just as Carol orders Mike to leave her ranch, Molly rides up and confesses to her father that she turned Snowfire loose. Molly, then tells her father that Snowfire, is her friend and that he talks to her, which Mike does not believe.

Carol and her men go looking for Snowfire with Molly, following close behind them. Mike and Poco are also  looking for Snowfire, but find only Molly, who tells them that Snowfire told her that he wanted to go back to his family. Concerned about Molly, Mike arranges for her to be examined by Dr. Stewart, a psychiatrist. Stewart, is convinced that Molly can be brought back to reality in two minutes.  Molly bets Stewart, his car that she can prove that she can talk to Snowfire. The doctor worried about losing his fancy car gives up and heads back to the city.

Later, while Molly is visiting Snowfire, his mare and foal, Snowfire suddenly becomes restless when Carol and her men are nearby. Molly warns Snowfire, then falls from a rock and is knocked unconscious. Snowfire, whinnies to attract Carol and her men and runs off. Carol takes Molly back to Mike's ranch, where a doctor tells him that Molly has suffered a severe concussion and cannot be moved. Mike now believes that Snowfire is to blame.

When Molly wakes up she tells her father that she can hear Snowfire galloping toward the ranch and they hear Snowfire, whinny. Mike then tells Poco, to go and shoot the horse. Molly then tells her father that she saw her mother in heaven and the truth how she fell off the rock. Now knowing that Snowfire is not to blame, Mike rushes to stop Paco, but a shot rings out.  Paco, misses and Snowfire has returned to the wild.

Later, Carol's men locate Snowfire in a canyon and plan to set a fire to smoke him out. Carol, now friends with the McGowan family, drives to Mike's ranch to warn Molly and Melodie. While Melodie goes to look for their father, Molly rides to the canyon and warns Snowfire. Mike rides up and smothers the fire set by Carol's men, who knock Mike unconscious..

As they reignite the fuse, Snowfire rushes past them and they chase after him. Molly finds her father and tells him that Snowfire had decided to lead the men away from his family. At the ranch, Carol tends to Mike's wounds and they kiss. Molly tells Mike that Snowfire has agreed to be their horse as long as he is not branded and can leave at night to see his family.

If you have always had a love for Horses, this movie is for you. Great actors awesome scenery and a beautiful horse!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ian's Top Ten Westerns.

Marjorie Beebe and  Andy Clyde.

Ian, a fan of Joel McCrea and Western Movies: "Before I do my own Top Ten for you (can’t resist those lists) I’m attaching my contribution to a chick flick Western. She’s having a high old time teasing her old buzzard of a father, a staple in Westerns for years to come- think of glorious old Edgar Buchanan who lighted up every scene he was in with his slightly malign chicanery. She’s actually PreCode, before puritanical old Will Hays got stuck into scripts with his blue pencil and his notions of what was seemly, and how young women should disport themselves". Ian's Top Ten Favorites:

1 South of St Louis. Obscure oater from 1949 no-one else would ever choose. It’s star is McCrea and it’s about friendship unravelling in adversity. It’s set in the Civil War of which McCrea wants no part. His conduct is almost entirely pragmatic, and his moral choices often highly questionable. Yet we understand this man and McCrea digs deep to show us his motivation and his humanity. A far cry from the antics of Wayne or Eastwood, and as I grow older all the better for it.

2 The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Maybe cheating since it’s set in the modern day but in all other respects it’s a Western. It’s directed by and stars the one man IMO still capable of making a great traditional Western. Tommy Lee Jones, like McCrea with whom he has much in common, can convincingly play the Everyman with hard moral choices to make.

3 Ride with the Devil. The often told tale of Quantrill’s guerrillas and to me the best yet. It shows them as they were, not middle-aged gunmen, but wild kids like the hoodies of the modern era. Tobey Maguire, on screen throughout, is absolutely superb.

4 The Wild Bunch. Have a feeling I might say Peckinpah is the best director of a Western- Ford’s manifest destiny doesn’t greatly sing to me. His masterpiece.

5 Seven Men From Now. Budd Boetticher might rival him. His films with Randolph Scott were exquisite and this is maybe the best. It’s given added punch by the great Lee Marvin.

6 Once Upon A Time in the West. The setting, the music, the grandeur and Jason Robards all set this apart from Leone’s earlier Westerns.

7 Track of the Cat Strange. snow-bound Western starring one of the greatest of them all, Robert Mitchum.

8 Man of the West. Late Gary Cooper, and very strong stuff. Quite an eye-opener.

9 The Outlaw Josey Wales. Not a great Eastwood fan (oh heresy) but this is his best.

10 Rio Bravo. Not a great Wayne fan either (oh heresy squared) but this is a charmer of a movie. How could it not be with Dean Martin co-starring?

Very best. Ian