Tag Archives: Burt Lancaster

The Wild Bunch cont. ……………… Casting Call Part 1

6 Jan

The Wild Bunch - The Walk reversed

A Wilder Bunch??

Casting Call Part 1 / Pike Bishop
The Wild Bunch 1973

The Wild Bunch - Holden

The Wild Bunch / Pike Bishop / William Holden

I always like to check who got a particular role/part/casting – and how – why? Who refused it – missed out? The casting story for The Wild Bunch reveals some very interesting candidates.

Who would you have picked? Why? A very tough decision.

Wikipedia says: “Director Sam Peckinpah considered many actors for the Pike Bishop role, before casting William Holden: Richard Boone, Sterling Hayden, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, and James Stewart. Marvin actually accepted the role but pulled out after he was offered a larger pay deal to star in Paint Your Wagon (1969).”

Pretty well a Who’s Who of Western film Icons.

Who would you have Cast?:

Richard Boone

Richard Boone Western Filmography
Way of a Gaucho
– (1952) / Pony Soldier (uncredited) (1952)
City of Bad Men – (1953) / The Siege at Red River – (1954)
The Raid – (1954) / Ten Wanted Men – (1955)
Man Without a Star – (1955) / Robbers’ Roost – (1955)
Star in the Dust – (1956) / The Tall T – (1957)
The Alamo – (1960) / A Thunder of Drums – (1961)
Rio Conchos – (1964) / Hombre – (1967)
Big Jake  (1971) / Against a Crooked Sky – (1975)
Diamante Lobo – (1976) / The Shootist – (1976)

Richard Boone TV Westerns
Frontier – episode – The Salt War -1956)
Studio One in Hollywood – episode – Dead of Noon – (1957)
Have Gun – Will Travel – 225 episodes – (1957–1963)
Cimarron Strip – episode – The Roarer – (1967)
Hec Ramsey – 10 episodes – (1972-1974)

Sterling Hayden

Sterling Hayden Western Filmography
1949 El Paso / 1952 Flaming Feather
1952 Denver and Rio Grande / 1952 Hellgate
1953 Kansas Pacific / 1954 Arrow In the Dust
1954 Johnny Guitar / 1955 Timberjack
1955 Shotgun / 1955 Top Gun
1955 The Last Command / 1957 Gun Battle at Monterey
1957 The Iron Sheriff / 1958 Terror in a Texas Town
1975 Cipolla Colt

Sterling Hayden TV Westerns
1957 Zane Grey Theater / 1957 Wagon Train
1982 The Blue and the Gray

Charleton Heston

Charleton Heston Western Filmography
1952 The Savage / 1952 The President’s Lady
1953 Pony Express / 1953 Arrowhead
1955 The Far Horizons / 1957 Three Violent People
1958 The Big Country /  1965 Major Dundee
1968 Will Penny1972 The Call of the Wild
1980 The Mountain Men / 1993 Tombstone

Burt Lancaster 2

Burt Lancaster Western Filmography
1951 Vengeance Valley / 1951 Ten Tall Men
1954 Apache1954 Vera Cruz
The Kentuckian / 1956 The Rainmaker
1957 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral / 1960 The Unforgiven
1965 The Hallelujah Trail / 1966 The Professionals
1968 The Scalphunters / 1971 Lawman
1971 Valdez Is Coming1972 Ulzana’s Raid
1976 Buffalo Bill and the Indians 1981 Cattle Annie and Little Britches

Lee Marvin

Lee Marvin Western Filmography
Gun Fury (1953) / The Raid (1954)
The Comancheros (1961) / The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Cat Ballou (1965) / The Professionals (1966)
Paint Your Wagon (1969) / Monte Walsh (1970)
The Spikes Gang (1974)

TV Westerns:
Wagon Train
Bonanza, and The Virginian … 

Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum Western Filmography
1943 Hoppy Serves a Writ / 1943 Border Patrol
1943 Leather Burners / 1943 Colt Comrades
1943 The Lone Star Trail / 1943 Beyond the Last Frontier
1943 Bar 20 / 1943 False Colors
1943 Riders of the Deadline / 1944 Nevada
1945 West of the Pecos / 1947 Pursued
1948 Blood on the Moon / 1949 The Red Pony
1952 The Lusty Men / 1954 River of No Return
1955 Man with the Gun / 1956 Bandido
1959 The Wonderful Country / 1967 El Dorado
1967 The Way West / 1968 Villa Rides
1968 5 Card Stud / 1969 Young Billy Young
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
1993 Tombstone Narrator / 1995 Dead Man

Robert Mitchum TV Work
1985 North and South

Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck Western Filmography
1946 Duel in the Sun / 1946 Yellow Sky
1950 The Gunfighter / 1950 Only the Valiant
1958 The Bravados / 1958 The Big Country
1962 How the West Was Won / 1967 The Stalking Moon
1967 Mackenna’s Gold / 1982 The Blue and the Gray
1989 Old Gringo

James Stewart 2

James Stewart Western Filmography
1939 Destry Rides Again / 1950 Winchester ’73
1950 Broken Arrow / 1952 Bend of the River
1953 The Naked Spur / 1954 The Far Country
1955 The Man from Laramie / 1961 Two Rode Together
1962 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
1962 How the West Was Won / 1964 Cheyenne Autumn
1965 Shenandoah / 1966 The Rare Breed
1968 Firecreek / 1968 Bandolero!
1970 The Cheyenne Social Club
1976 The Shootist

Amazing … stunning. You can’t lose. Put all the names in a hat and pull one out … any one of them would have done a great job.

Next let’s have a look at Ernest Borgnine’s role of Dutch Engstrom …

Ernest Borgnine

Dennis Hopper Western Filmography …

15 Feb

Dennis Hopper Western Filmography

I count Dennis Hopper’s appearances in at least two Western Classics: Gunfight at OK Corral with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas (1957); and True Grit (1969) with John Wayne. Even if Western movie fans didn’t count these movies as Classic, it would be recognized that Hopper had appeared with three of the Greatest Western Movie Stars of all time: Wayne, Lancaster and Douglas.

Some Western fans may also include Hang ’em High (1968) with another of the Greatest Western Actors of all time: Clint Eastwood; and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) with John Wayne (again), Dean Martin and Earl Holliman.

Among Western TV Shows. Gunsmoke and Bonanza would well be considered Classics. Cheyenne ? (Note: Hoppers roles in the TV Westerns were as a Guest Star – not a regular.)

Even so, not a bad legacy for one the legendary bad boys of the Entertainment industry.

hopper cheyenne

hopper sugarfoot

gunfight at ok corral dennis hopper

hopper from hell to texas

hopper zane grey

hopper rifleman

hopper the young land

hopper wagon train

hopper the dakotas

hopper bonanza

hopper gunsmoke

hopper sons of katie elder

hopper jesse james

hopper will sonnett

hopper the big valley

hopper hang em high

hopper true grit

hopper kid blue

hopper mad dog morgan


APACHE !!! The movie …

24 Nov

 “You call that life? If an Apache cannot live in his home mountains like his fathers before him, he is already dead!”
Massai: (Lancaster)




When Rose and I got back from Arizona and the Apache Trail … I sat down in my living room and turned on the TV. Guess what’s playing? ??? Apache … of course – on Turner Classic Movies.


Interesting that foreign posters are often better than domestic.

But all they would have had to do was stick a pic of Jean Peters on the
poster and the theatres would have been full.

Jean … with a bullet

Well, I’ve known about this movie for some some, but never gotten around to seeing it. But since this was such a coincidence (I don’t believe in coincidences), I figured I better watch it. I’ve also known for a long time that my attraction to Sedona and Arizona country was due to past lives that I had spent here as a native in times that pre-dated the coming of the Whiteman. Much of Apache is filmed around Sedona and though I have no clear recollection of being Apache in particular, Apache is a very large and board label that covers many tribes in the American Southwest.



Apache is not high on the list of most Western Movie fans, and I don’t consider it to be a major Western classic myself. But it still has some interesting and noteworthy features. For starters, it stars Burt Lancaster – one of the greatest Western Film actors of all time.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_(film)) says:

“The film was the first in a series of movies Lancaster made for United Artists (under the Hecht-Lancaster studio)
It was originally budgeted at $742,000.
The film was a big hit, earning over $3 million in its first year of release and $6 million overall.”

A study of the film industry gives is a study of inflation: The recent The Lone Ranger (starring Johnny Depp) cost approximately $250 million to make.


Besides Lancaster as Massail, it also has other notable casting: Jean Peters as Nalinlel; John McIntire as Al Sieber; Charles Bronson (as Charles Buchinsky) as HondoJohn Dehner as Weddle; Paul Guilfoyle as Santos; Ian MacDonald as Clagg; Walter Sande as Lt. Col. Beck; Morris Ankrum as Dawson; Monte Blue as Geronimo.

APACHE - Charles Bronson billed as Charles Bruchinsky

Charles Bronson billed as Charles Bruchinsky

Jean Peters, John McIntire, Charles Bronson, John Dehner, Ian MacDonald would all be well recognized actors even today.




From AllMoviehttp://www.allmovie.com/movie/apache-v2657/review

Another 1950s pro-Indian Western featuring Caucasian actors in brown body paint speaking pidgin “Native,” Apache nevertheless manages to dispense more than the standard revisionist bromides. Showcasing his energetic style, director Robert Aldrich doesn’t stint on the violence perpetrated by either the whites or by star Burt Lancaster‘s athletic blue-eyed brave Massai, while Massai’s rough handling of Jean Peters‘ Nalinle makes him tough to admire. Nevertheless, Massai’s trip from Florida to his ancestral lands early in the film concisely and potently sums up the ruinous spread of white “civilization” across indigenous tribal territory, turning him into a Machiavellian hero saved by the agrarian ideal and Nalinle’s familiar instincts. As Aldrich figured, that salvation rings jarringly false, but the powers that be overruled the relatively inexperienced movie director’s artistically sound yet commercially difficult instincts. Aldrich’s first collaboration with producer/star LancasterApache was also the director’s first hit and the beginning of Lancaster’s fruitful run as a Western action hero. According to historical accounts, the actual Massai’s eyes really were a Lancasterian azure.

Director Robert Aldrich

The film is directed my none other than Robert Aldrich – who also directed The Big Knife (1955), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?  (1962), Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and The Longest Yard (1974).

Aldrich further directed the Western Classic Vera Cruz (1954) that featured Lancaster, Gary Cooper, Cesar Romero, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine … among others.


Other Westerns directed by Robert Aldrich:

– 4 for Texas (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Anita Ekberg, Ursula Andress, Charles Bronson, Richard Jaeckel, Jack Elam, and The Three Stooges. (Yep, you’re reading correctly – obviously a comedy.)

4 FOR TEXAS (1972)

– Ulzana’s Raid (1972) starring Burt LancasterRichard JaeckelBruce Davison and Joaquin Martinez. The film, which was filmed on location in Arizona – portrays a brutal raid by Chiricahua Apaches against European settlers.


The Frisco Kid (1979) – another Western comedy with Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford

The Frisco Kid


Apache – Cathedral Rock in background, Sedona Arizona


the professionals … the cast … 1

23 Jun

lancaster and marvin … 

The Professionals lancaster 3

The Professionals lancaster

… men with swagger

The Professionals marvin 2 

The Professionals marvin

The Professionals ? … Marketing Anomalies …

21 Jun

The Professionals didn’t seem to indulge in a lot of marketing promotion. Possibly (credibly) relying on it’s AllStar cast to carry it.
But some of marketing images are still a bit of a head scratcher.
Like this:

The Professionals Marketing

The Professionals DVD Cover / Poster

This DVD cover/poster headlines “Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance and Ralph Bellamy“. But … ? the image shows Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Marvin, Ryan and Woody Strode.
Palance and Bellamy are Billed, but not pictured. Cardinale and Strode are pictured, but not Billed.

This can only be attributed to contractual agreements regarding who would get Billed ahead of who … whom? I guess.

Even stranger: As shown below, Cardinale did not even appear in the original photo, but she was cleverly inserted later – between Lancaster and Marvin.
YET … she is not even identified on the Bill !! ??

Why bother?

The Professionals Black and White

The Professionals – The original image

Here’s another:

The Professionals Marketing 2

The Professionals

Again, we have actors Billed (Lancaster, Palance, Bellamy) – but not pictured.
And actors pictured (Cardinale, Strode), but not Billed.

I know it’s hot out there in the desert, but …

How hot is it? Check this:

The Professionals Marketing Claudia

The Professionals

Whew … it’s sweaty out here in the desert.
Who are those slobs in the background?
(Foreign marketers had no problem showing where their interest lies.)

The Professionals / 1966 cont’d …

18 Jun

The Professionals …

The Professionals / Laurel Award

The Professionals / Laurel Award

The Professionals Banner

Three 1966 Academy Award Nominations:

Best Director: Richard Brooks

Best Adapted Screenplay: Richard Brooks

Best Cinematography: Conrad Hall

The film won two Motion Picture Magazine Laurel Awards in 1967, for Best Action Drama and Best Action Performance for Lee Marvin.
In Germany, it was one of only four movies to receive a Golden Screen award (the others were Doctor ZhivagoMerveilleuse Angélique and You Only Live Twice) in 1967.

The Professionals Banner

The Professionals Lee Marvin

The Professionals / Lee Marvin

The Professionals … 1966

18 Jun

“Maybe there’s only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?”
– Burt Lancaster / The Professionals 

The Professionals … 


Lee Marvin moves into full blown stardom – becoming a legitimate box office titan – in one of the greatest Westerns ever made (My Favorite) starring along side Western Film Greats Burt Lancaster, Jack Palance, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Claudia Cardinale, Ralph Belamy … What a cast!

Following Cat Ballou (Oscar) this is one of 4 Westerns remaining in Marvin’s Western filmography: Monte Walsh / 1970 (with Jack Palance); Paint Your Wagon / 1969 (with Clint Eastwood); Emperor of the North / 1973 (with Charles Bronson).

A true Western Star.

The Professionals posters

The Professionals posters


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