Mysteries and Memories …

9 Nov

Roy Orbison / In Dreams

Sometimes an old photo can raise as many mysteries … as memories.

One day my partner Rose, handed a old photo she had found in one of my books.

Here it is:

hockey brothers

Brother Bruce, mystery kid, Tom Wright , and Brother Doug.

There are several mysteries surrounding this photo.

Mystery 1: Who took the picture? I guess it had to be Dad? I don’t think any of us kids had a camera?

Mystery 2: Who is the second guy from the left? I see Brother’s Bruce and Brother Doug, and our pal Tom Wright. But who is this other guy? ?? Maybe Bruce and Doug will know. I’ll ask.

Mystery 3: Where’s Brother Richard – and myself? We were as fanatical about hockey as Doug and Bruce.

Facts of interest:

  • The year is about 1963. The town is Drumheller, Alberta – in the “Dinosaur Valley”.
  • That’s our house behind Bruce (left). We lived in the new Drumheller “sub division” and were considered to be rich by most kids. The house was fairly modest though. Just new.
  • The rink they’re standing on is in the yard of the Catholic School which was obviously across the street from us. We didn’t go to the Catholic School. We weren’t Catholic.
  • This rink had no boards. Most any hockey in small town Canada was played outdoors –  though many towns did have some kind of covered rink. I don’t remember who periodically watered the ice. But I know who cleaned it most of the time. Us. It’s funny how many other kids would magically appear … after the rink was cleaned. Tots and figure skaters skated at their own risk though – there was a hockey game going on – for certain.
  • Cold? I remember playing hockey when it was 30 below zero. Our feet and fingers would freeze and he’d go back inside – till everything thawed out. Then go back out again. We used gum boots for goal posts. Pucks were occasionally lost in the snow piles off-rink – and recovered in the Spring. We played all day – as possible – and played until it was too dark to see the puck. Lighted outdoor rinks were a luxury.
  • The goal they’re standing in front of was made by Brother Richard from 2×4’s and chicken wire. It was a luxury too. And it lasted about one season.
  • The equipment they’re wearing is really about all we had. Doug (right) is the only person wearing shin pads. (In ‘shinny hockey’ though you’re not supposed to raise the puck. BUT accidents do happen.) Hockey equipment cost money – and we didn’t have any. We could barely afford hockey sticks. The tape on the sticks was not for glamour – it was often the only thing holding the blade together. Skates were the main expense. In the pic, Bruce is the only guy with hockey gloves – which everybody would clearly (and dearly) have worn if they’d had any. Getting slashed on the hands and fingers was common – and painful. NOBODY wore helmets in those days. We got bumped, bruised, cut, and injured … sometimes broken. But we played on. It was our passion.

Hockey in our house was war. Bruce and Doug were fans of the hated Toronto MapleLeafs. Richard and I were Montreal Canadien fans. You can only imagine.

I think you might now have some understanding of how upset I get when I see how Hockey is being butchered these days – for money. No one cares about it’s History – it’s Heritage – it’s Traditions.

But I do.

It’s more than just an idle pastime for people of my generation. It was our life – our lifeblood. And it’s gone.


Update: Jane Got a Gun … sorta

4 Nov

Remember when making a Western used to be a simple thing?
Just ask Buck Jones.

Then there’s this.

jane got a gun poster

The story surrounding the production of this Jane Got a Gun is one of those Hollywood horror stories.


  • The film was shot in early 2013, but will finally be released in February 2016, nearly 3 years after filming took place.
  • Was seeking a release date after the film was dropped by Relativity Media – but they dropped it …
  • Michael Fassbender was originally cast as Dan Frost but he left the project after clashing with director Lynne Ramsay. After Fassbender departed the project, filming was set to begin the next week but Ramsay dropped the project and didn’t arrive on the first day on set. Less than 25 hours later, Gavin O’Connor was hired to replace Ramsay and production was back on track.
  • Famed cinematographer Darius Khondji left the film in solidarity with Lynne Ramsay.
  • After Lynne Ramsay departed the project, Jude Law also left the project a day before shooting was scheduled to begin citing that ‘he signed on to work with Ramsay’.
  • Bradley Cooper was eventually tapped to replace Law. Then Cooper left due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Joel Edgerton took over the role vacated by Fassbender.
  • Ewan McGregor took on the villain character Jude Law and Cooper were hired to play.
  • Lynne Ramsay filed a lawsuit … has recently been settled …


The film is considered to be a loose remake of Hannie Caulder (1971).
(You can’t make this stuff up).

No one is talking.

Here’s the latest … a Trailer !!!! Finally.

But with French subtitles … ???
What the hell is going on with these guys ???

jane got a gun 1

jane got a gun 2

jane got a gun 3

jane got a gun

Crazy thing is …
this might turn out to be a OK Western.


Buck Jones Filmography / Posters 1936

3 Nov

1936 – Buck makes 8 movies …

Buck Jones

Sunset of Power 1936

Sunset of Power 1936

Sunset of Power 1936

Silver Spurs 1936

For the Service 1936

For the Service 1936

The Cowboy and the Kid 1936

The Cowboy and the Kid 1936

The Phantom Rider 1936

The Phantom Rider 1936

Ride 'Em Cowboy  1936

Ride ‘Em Cowboy 1936

The Boss Rider of Gun Creek  1936

The Boss Rider of Gun Creek 1936

Empty Saddles 1936

Empty Saddles 1936


Buck Jones Filmography / Posters 1937

Buck Jones Filmography / Posters 1935

1 Nov

1935 – Buck makes 7 movies …

The Crimson Trail 1935

The Crimson Trail 1935

Stone of Silver Creek 1935

Stone of Silver Creek 1935 

Border Brigands 1935

Border Brigands 1935

The Roaring West 1935

The Roaring West 1935

Outlawed Guns 1935

Outlawed Guns 1935

The Throwback 1935

The Throwback 1935

The Ivory Handled Gun 1935

The Ivory Handled Gun 1935


Buck Jones Filmography / Posters 1936

Forsaken (2015) …

30 Oct

More than a couple of people have been asking me when this movie was going to come out. Well … here it is. Should be available shortly.

Release Date: 19 February 2016 (USA)

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Forsaken sutherlands

Forsaken 2015

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Forsaken cast

Forsaken poster

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Forsaken poster 3

Forsaken 2015 IMDB review

Toronto Film Review: ‘Forsaken’

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015 | 09:04PM PT

Kiefer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland are cast as prodigal son and disapproving dad in Jon Cassar’s enjoyably old-fashioned Western.

Joe Leydon@joeleydon

If “Forsaken” were any more old-fashioned, lenser Rene Ohashi might have filmed it in black-and-white, scripter Brad Mirman definitely would have trimmed the F-bombs from his dialogue, and the entire enterprise probably would bear the brand of RKO or Republic Pictures. Refreshingly and unabashedly sincere in its embrace of Western conventions and archetypes, this pleasingly retrograde sagebrush saga should play exceptionally well with currently under-served genre fans — except, perhaps, for those with low tolerance for salty language – and likely will enjoy a long shelf life as home-screen product after potentially profitable exposure in theatrical corrals.

TIFF 2015: Forsaken Review

Gala Presentations 

When family members appear on screen portraying characters who share their real life relationships, something special often happens. We’ve seen it with Ryan and Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon, Henry and Jane Fonda in On Golden Pond, and now you can see it with Donald and Kiefer Sutherland in Forsaken. With over 30 overlapping years in the business, you would think this would have happened already, and while they have appeared in the same movie before, this is the first time the Sutherlands have played father and son. It was worth the wait.

Forsaken is an extremely archetypal western. Kiefer plays a civil war veteran who, instead of returning home after the war, made a name for himself as a gunslinger. When we meet him, this not-so-young gun is attempting to give up his old ways and reconnect with his estranged father who he soon learns is being harassed by a local gang hired to muscle farmers off their land.  You can guess where it goes from there.

The film flirts with cliche at times, while firmly kissing it on the lips at others. Much of it is predictable, but the biggest surprise is how good it really is, particularly if you’re a fan of the genre. Like the underrated Open Range, Forsakenisn’t trying to reinvent the Western, it’s just proving why the genre has connected with audiences since the beginning of cinema.

Donald and Kiefer bring the hard emotions when they’re required to, but the film is elevated by an excellent supporting cast that includes Brian Cox, Demi Moore, and Michael Wincott (who deserves more roles like this). Despite the film expounding the virtues of pacifism, there are very few indicators that this is a Canadian production, which is an unfortunate yet valid compliment.


Trivia (IMDB)

The movie was shot at the CL Ranch of Calgary, Alberta right after Discovery Channel’s Klondike (2014) had wrapped, meaning the town had to be quickly transformed from a booming city circa 1890 to a not-so-booming town in the wild west circa 1870.

Forsaken 2015 town

Forsaken 2015 town 2

Reunites co-stars Kiefer Sutherland and Demi Moore who previously appeared together in A Few Good Men (1992).

Reunites Demi Moore and Donald Sutherland after their appearance in Disclosure (1994).

Forsaken 2015 saloon scene

Forsaken sutherlands 2

Kurt rides again …

26 Oct

MFW: some bill this movie as Horror … not Western.
Likely why it’s being released at Halloween.



IMDB ratingRT rating






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bone tomahawk liner

Back shortly … gone stunting …

21 Oct

Apologizing for my lack of posting recently. I’ve been working most days and just didn’t have the time to do anything. Now I’m going away for 4 days.

But hang in there … I’m working on a ton of stuff and I’ll be back to normal shortly.

In the meantime I found this amazing documentary on Stunts in early films. It’s a bit long, but I think you’ll enjoy it. Have a look.


See y’all soon …


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