Tag Archives: Western Movie Directors

3:10 to Yuma … Master at work …

23 Aug

“What are you squeezin’ that watch for?
Squeezin’ that watch ain’t gonna stop time.”

Glenn Ford as Ben Wade / 3:10 to Yuma

DELMER DAVES

Quiet on the set! Master at Work …

One critic has noted the likely influences of German Expressionist film makers in 3:10 to Yuma. Such insight is beyond my ken – so it’s much appreciated. Other, closer to home influences, are more obvious, as from Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon and John Ford’s Classics  Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine … others.

No color? No Computer Generated Effects?

No problem.

All the unique virtues of Black and Film making are in evidence. Plus more:

high angle … low angle … wide angle … echo shots … close ups … lighting … shot framing … scene composition … dramatic use of Light/Dark/Shadow … Direction …

Nearly every shot in 310 to Yuma is crafted … seamlessly and unpretentiously integrated.

Daves knew it all – used it all …

3:10 to Yuma: Western Classic.

That’s a wrap.

MFW 310 TO YUMA train__________________________________________________________________

310 to Yuma Direction310 to Yuma Direction 2310 to Yuma Direction 3__________________________________________________________________

310 to Yuma - Ford

“How duz a guy get a drink around here?

Open Range … the Firearms – Part 3

18 Feb

Open Range … the Firearms – Part 3.

 

Part 3 of Guns and the 20 minute climactic Open Range gunfight.

Very well done.

The Appaloosa … American Spaghetti …

1 Feb

Close Up and Personal 

Director Sergio Leone didn’t invent Close-Up shots, but he certainly was influential in their use. This is partly why The Appaloosa is often referred to as the “American Spaghetti Western” – as Director Sidney J. Furie uses close-ups extensively. The movie was also made during the height of Spaghetti Western popularity (1966) and has more than it’s share of Mexican banditos.

Leone’s Eyes … guess who ?

Leone's Eyes ...

Leone’s Eyes …

Eastwood, Van Cleef, Wallach, Bronson

Furie’s Eyes … In your face Amigo 

The Appaloosa - Close Ups

The Appaloosa – Screen shots – uncropped 

“The truth is, whether your film is about the great mythological character you have to do right, or it’s a little movie that nobody ever heard of, you still approach it like it’s the most important thing in the world. But failing goes with the territory. Filmmakers are like gunslingers, and you don’t win every duel.”

- Sydney J. Furie

Sydney J. Furie - Director

Sydney J. Furie – Director

Robert Duvall …

1 Feb

“When I knew nothing, I thought I could do anything.”
- Robert Duvall

Robert Duvall - Open Range

Robert Duvall – Open Range

Lonesome Dove / Open Range / Broken Trail / True Grit / Joe Kidd / Lawman /
The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid

Kevin Costner – Producer / Director / Actor …

31 Jan

Kevin Costner and Modern West – “Intense”

Open Range - Kevin Costner

Open Range – Kevin Costner

“I haven’t lived a perfect life. I have regrets. But that’s from a lifetime of taking chances, making decisions, and trying not to be frozen. The only thing that I can do with my regrets is understand them.” 
- Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner Western Filmography

Silverado (1985) / Dances With Wolves (1990) / Wyatt Earp (1994) /
Open Range (2003)

… in the West

24 Jan

Once Upon a Time in the West ... Charles Bronson

“I guess I look like a rock quarry that someone has dynamited”.

- Charles Bronson 

Once Upon a Time in the West ... Charles Bronson 6

Draw Pardner … John Ford’s canvas …

12 Oct

When you attend Art College, the first thing they do is take your colors away and lock ‘em up. Then they hand you a black crayon and a piece of white paper and say: “Shut up and Draw, pardner.”

And draw you do.

In 1917 John Ford was handed a black crayon and a camera – and between 1917 and 1927 he drew 62 black and white ‘moving pictures’.  ‘Silent films’ they called ‘em.

Some 40 of these ‘pictures’ were lost – basically thrown away. But in the process Ford learned the Mastery of composition, framing and direction.

Then, about 1928, somebody said: “Hey … maybe this guy can help us figure out how to use this thing called ‘Sound’.”

Wikipedia: “Stagecoach (1939) was Ford’s first western since 3 Bad Men in 1926, and it was his first with sound. Reputedly Orson Welles watched Stagecoach forty times in preparation for making Citizen Kane. It remains one of the most admired and imitated of all Hollywood movies, not least for its climactic stagecoach chase and the hair-raising horse-jumping scene, performed by the stuntman Yakima Canutt.”

Ultimately, in 1939, Ford finally got his colors:

Wikipedia: “Drums along the Mohawk (1939) was a lavish frontier drama co-starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert it was also Ford’s first movie in color and included uncredited script contributions by William Faulkner. It was a big box-office success, grossing $1.25 million in its first year in the US and earning Edna May Oliver a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.”

But Ford had learned something about Black and White – it could say things in dramatic ways that color often distracted from. So on occasion he went back to his black crayon and white slate, as in “The Man who shot Liberty Valence”.

So … pardon my colors.

Henry Fonda

John Ford Point … Monument Valley

4 Oct
Eagle Dance Song – Ronald Roybal – Native American Flute Music

John Ford Point … Monument Valley

“Director John Ford’s 1939 film Stagecoach, starring John Wayne, has had an enduring influence in making Monument Valley famous. After that first experience, Ford returned nine times to shoot Westerns — even when the films were not set in Arizona or Utah. A popular lookout point is named in his honor as “John Ford Point.””
- Travels with Grama http://www.travelswithgrama.com/travels/monvalley.htm

Below: John Ford’s Point: Shot from the new movie: The Lone Ranger - starring Johnny Depp and Arnie Hammer.

John Ford’s Point – Monument Valley – The Lone Ranger 2013

Director John Ford at John Ford Point – Monument Valley

John Ford / Great Western Directors

John Ford and John Wayne at Monument Valley

Stagecoach Poster

Update: Sam Pekinpah Bio …

24 Sep

To be included in My Favorite Westerns: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid; The Wild Bunch; and MFW Great Western Directors

    “I loved Westerns as a kid,
and I wanted to see if they held up”.

- Sam Pekinpah

They’re holding up pretty good Sam.

The Great Western Directors …

11 Jun
Sergio-Leone

Sergio Leone

It takes great Directors to make great Westerns.

I’ve decided I need to  create another section called The Great Western Directors.

I hadn’t intended this, but it’s become unavoidable. The reason being that in working on my celebration of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, I’ve discovered so much material and information on Sam Pekinpah that it could almost take up half the blog spot by itself.

Pekinpah was a very interesting man – and a great Director. He made about 5 Westerns – most notably The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid – and his impact on filmdom itself has been so powerful (not just Westerns) that he cannot be ignored. Quite a few other people feel the same: there is so many documentarys, songs, numerous articles, and interesting commentary from people that worked with him, for him and against him that I think it will prove interesting to many Western fans – and add to their appreciation of his work.

Other Directors of note (off the top of my head) include: John Ford, Howard Hawkes, Sergio Leone, John Sturges, Anthony Mann,  … and there will easily be another three or four that I wish to honour.

Typically, the more I work on this blog the bigger the project becomes. I do wonder if I shouldn’t be more restrained in what I am putting out because I’m not sure how willing people will be to look through such a lot of material. Yet, as I said, some of it is so interesting that I feel folks will find it of interest also … ??

If not … we can always shoot it out.

Westward HO !!

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