The LEGENDS OF WESTERN CINEMA WEEK is an online celebration running from July 21 - 27. It is hosted by Heidi of Along the Brandywine, Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell and Hamlette's Soliloquy.
1. Do you tolerate, like or love westerns?
That would be love. Part of it is the nostalgia of all the western television shows and movies I watched growing up. Part of it is my interest in history and historical fiction. Part of it is my admiration for the creativity in the movie-making.
2. What do you enjoy about them and, more broadly the west itself (e.g., the history, accompanying paraphernalia, etc.)?
One thing that draws me to the western is how malleable the genre is in that different filmmakers in different eras have used the history through which to see their own times. The 1950s had movies such as Silver Lode that took on McCarthyism. The jaded 1960s had the revisionist take on the venerable western. I find the perspectives fascinating.
3. What's the first western you remember watching?
I was crazy about The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin on television. It wasn't during the series initial run (1954-1959), but during the 1960s when it ran in syndication on local television. I imagine one of my first western movies would have been one of the Audie Murphy flicks which ran at the local theatre.
4. Who are your favorite western stars, the ones whose presence in a western will make you pick it up off the shelf?
Randolph Scott and George O'Brien will have my attention every time. Also, Henry Fonda who gave so many varied and wonderful performances in westerns throughout the decades of his career.
5. What's your favorite performance by an actress in a western?
The first performance that leaped to mind was Hope Emerson as Patience Hawley in Westward the Women. The more I thought of it, the more right it felt. Looking over the field of leading ladies, two disparate performances come to mind; Barbara Stanwyck as Vance Jeffords in The Furies and Kim Darby as Mattie Ross in True Grit.
6. What is your go-to western, the one you'll typically reach for?
Bend of the River is my comfort movie. When the sniffles are coming on, I like nothing better than to curl up on the couch with a hot beverage, a warm quilt and ponder the difference between apples and men. Or, as my daughter puts it, "How many bad guys have to bite the dust before you are comforted?"
7. Do your family/friends share your interest in westerns, or are you a lone ranger (pun completely intended)?
My interest is shared, although not to what they sometimes deem my fanatical devotion. The hubby is not so much a fan, but he is learning. Before he met me he had never even seen Shane!
8. Pick one western to live inside for a week, and explain why you chose it.
Rio Grande for its rough and ready humor, deeply romantic heart, and so Ken Curtis and The Sons of the Pioneers can serenade me.
9. What are some of your favorite lines from western movies? Are there any you quote regularly?
"Well, maybe you shouldn't drink, then you'd have six bits when you need it."
- Brandon De Wilde to James Stewart in Night Passage, 1957
"Mac, you ever been in love?"
"No. I've been a bartender all me life."
- Henry Fonda and J. Farrell MacDonald in My Darling Clementine, 1946
"I saw you hit that poor man!"
"Yes, ma'am, just as hard as I could."
- Elisabeth Risdon and John Wayne in Tall in the Saddle, 1944
Regularly quoted just because it tickles the Irish in us is this Harry Carey Jr. line from Rio Grande: "Yeah, he called him the teacher's pet of a chuckle-headed Mick Sergeant. What's that mean, doc?"
I don’t know why THE FURIES doesn’t get more recognition as one of Stany’s best. It’s got everything you could want in a movie, not just a western.ReplyDelete
I grew up with my father watching BONANZA in syndication, so that was likely my earliest exposure to the genre. (Does LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE count as a western?) Actually both my parents were and are big fans. You got me hooked on LONGMIRE, but despite its neo-western trappings, I think of it more as a crime show.
Speaking as an American, it’s obviously a huge part of our mythology—heavily idealized, sure, but it says a lot about who we are and who we think we are, both good and bad.
I agree. What with The Furies being directed by Anthony Mann, you would think the crowd would be all over it.Delete
I think most of my early life lessons came from Bonanza. From being a strong, upright person (or trying to be) to the names of classic era actors (tonight's guest star). I suppose the Ingalls didn't travel west enough but I would definitely fit the show in that category.
How western stories have been treated and presented through the years say much about the national psyche. Canada basically sent bureaucrats west ahead of settlers. Our history is the history of retail!
Here's a Heritage Minute you might get a kick out of (or not):
Westward the Women is at the top of my Western to-watch list. I've heard you and Laura (of Miscellaneous Musings fame) singing its praises for so long, I figure it's about time! Plus Wellman has become one of my favorite directors.ReplyDelete
You remind me of another quote I should have included in my post: my family does the "You did, did you?"/"Yes-I-did" routine from Rio Grande quite often.
I imagine we can expect your report on Westward the Women before years' end.Delete
Sgt. Quincannon is a never-ending source of joy.
Heres a quote from JOHN WAYNE in THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER-the youngest brother, played by MICHAEL ANDERSON, JR., says Well be famous like the Youngers and Daltons(I think that's who he said) and DUKE says theyre famous all right but theyre also a little bit dead! P.S. Do you remember DENVER PYLE from some of his GUNSMOKE appearances? He played the judge in BAKERS DOZEN about Doc trying to find a home for triplets. He was also a frequent guest-star on BONANZA.ReplyDelete
Denver Pyle was considered for the role of Matt Dillon. Director Andrew McLaglen said that Denver could play everything, and was always under consideration when casting decisions for Gunsmoke were being made.Delete
I always want to like The Sons of Katie Elder more than I do, but that is indeed an amusing quote.
Lovely answers! I really need to watch Tall in the Saddle again -- it's been probably five or six years. But such a good one!ReplyDelete
Those questions provided a lot of fun.Delete
I've never been able to figure out why Frank Puglia as Talo in Tall in the Saddle was uncredited. It's a fairly prominent role and Puglia a fairly recognizable character actor. Well, as long they didn't forget to sign his cheque.
DAVID HEDISON died last week(July 18, 2019) at the age of 92. He was one of the stars of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA(a TV series). He guest starred on THE LOVE BOAT, HOTEL, and THE BOB NEWHART SHOW. He guest starred on MURDER, SHE WROTE twice including the two-part one with JEAN SIMMONS where he was paired up with SHELLEY FABARES. According to imdb he and Shelley did a LOVE BOAT ep earlier where they were in the same story. David also did 6 eps of THE COLBYS. PEYTON PLACE alert-He was in the TV-Movie MURDER IN PEYTON PLACE which aired in 1977. He played STEVEN CORD. DOROTHY MALONE, ED NELSON and TIM OCONNOR returned for this movie. Also he did an ep of ELLERY QUEEN that also had DOROTHY MALONE.ReplyDelete
P.S. This is keeping with the theme of westerns. DAVID HEDISON became the father-in-law of JODIE FOSTER when his daughter ALEXANDRA HEDISON married Jodie in 2014. Jodie Foster co-starred in the movie MAVERICK with MEL GIBSON. I just remembered Jodie did an ep of BONANZA with SUZANNE PLESHETTE as her mother. Earlier David played an old flame of EMILYS on THE BOB NEWHART SHOW. Emily, of course, was played, by SUZANNE PLESHETTE. David was an attractive and elegant actor.ReplyDelete
1. David Hedison's passing is sad news. I have many fond memories of enjoying his work. Not noted by many was his time on daytime in Another World. I can hear his voice inside my head just by reading his name.Delete
Jodie Foster was in 3 episodes of Gunsmoke as a young actress. It seems to me that Gunsmoke recognized a lot of talent early and gave it a chance to develop.
Enjoyed your answers! I need to find some Randolph Scott films -- I've been curious ever since first hearing him referenced in Mel Gibson's Blazing Saddles.ReplyDelete
You will have two things to be thankful to Blazing Saddles for, laughs and Randolph Scott.
Mel BROOKS! (Sorry it must've been terribly late or something when I left that comment. :p) Completely different from each other but I tend to trip those two up.Delete
Haha, yes!! ;D
I hate it when my fingers don't automatically type what is in my head. We understand each other.Delete
When I was a secretary, I would tell my boss that I don't make mistakes, I make amendments.
What is kind of funny is I had just mentioned MEL GIBSON in my post. I stated that JODIE FOSTER had co-starred in MAVERICK with MEL GIBSON.ReplyDelete
It's funny, but I've never run into very many Mel's in real life.Delete
Somehow I've never gotten around to "Westward the Women". But its at the top of my "To Watch List". As for Rio Grande, its one of my favorites, although it was just a throw-away western done so Republic Studios would finance the "Quiet Man". But isn't that the way things are? I think half of the great Hollywood films became great by accident.ReplyDelete
And I don't think Ben Johnson was ever more charming or Victor McLaglen more funny. The "Son of a mick chowder head" is funny, but I also like Cary's line: "I'm startin' to wonder whose side that kid's on - theirs or ours."
"Uncle Timmy!" That whole scene with Jeff with the kids in the church. He's still a kid to his folks, but not for much longer.Delete
I'm glad Yates hedged his bets on agreeing to the dream project.
I really enjoyed this discussion and your thoughtful responses. Bringing up Gunsmoke, I liked very much, and also Cheyenne and The Rifleman. There was a romance and a loneliness to the heroes, but the wall between them and the world was their integrity.ReplyDelete
Very insightful regarding those characters. That loneliness is something we all feel and can relate to in the programs.Delete
BUCK TAYLOR was a good addition to GUNSMOKE. He was on it the last 8 years. Do you know his work very well besides GUNSMOKE? His dad was character actor DUB TAYLOR that I know from a lot of things. Dub was in YOU CANT TAKE IT WITH YOU. Did you see ANDY GRIFFITH in NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS? Dub was also in that PLUS he later worked with ANDY again on two eps of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW (as a different character each time).ReplyDelete
Dub and Buck are old favourites around here. Buck and two of his sons play bad guys in the opening of Cowboys and Aliens.Delete
Check out bucktaylor.com to see some of his incredible work. There is a lovely portrait of he and his dad. Dub certainly had quite the variety in his career.
Did you see Dub on some eps of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE? What about NO TIME FOR SARGEANTS?ReplyDelete
I enjoyed No Time for Sergeants a few years ago. I didn't continue watching Little House on the Prairie after the first couple of seasons. I think it had more to do with being busy than not enjoying the program. I know Dub mostly from the movies.Delete