Beau Jest

23 Mar

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) / Tyrone Power / Part 2

21 Mar

From The Eddie Duchin Story 1956

Tyrone Power

Tyrone Power USMC

Power was an excellent pilot and as a
US Marine Corps pilot in World War II,
he flew supplies into wounded troops out of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
and the World War II Victory Medal.

1939 / Stardust / Eddie Duchin and his Orchestra

Up Next:
Tyrone Power Western Posters 

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) / Tyrone Power / Part 1 Updated

20 Mar


Tyrone Power

Roots that Run Deep

Tyrone Power I

Tyrone was the third Tyrone Power in the Acting profession.
– going all the way back to William Grattan Tyrone Power:
Irish stage Actor, Comedian, Author and theatrical manager.
Sometimes called Tyrone Power I.

Through his paternal great-grandmother, Anne Gilbert, Power was related to the actor Laurence Olivier; through his paternal grandmother, stage actress Ethel Lavenu, he was related by marriage to author Evelyn Waugh; and through his father’s first cousin, Norah Emily Gorman Power, he was related to the theatrical director Sir (William) Tyrone Guthrie, founder of the Stratford Festival (now the Stratford Shakespeare Festival) in Canada and the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We’re talking about an amazing heritage, linage and kinship in the Entertainment and and Acting fraternity/profession.

That’s a hell of a legacy.

Tyrone Power I was lost at sea in March 1841,
when the SS President disappeared without trace in the North Atlantic.
He was 46.

Tyrone Power II

Between 1886 and 1931 appeared worked in 47 Stage productions
– several Shakespearean.

Between 1914 to 1931 me appeared in 40 silent films
and one “Talkie“.
But that Talkie was interesting and notable. It was one of John Wayne’s
first Westerns, The Big Trail.

 Tyrone Sr. seemed to play a lot of badguys.

About as bad as you can get.

At home one night after shooting on the film ‘The Miracle Man‘ in 1931, he suffered a massive heart attack and died literally in the arms of his
17-year-old son, Tyrone Power.
He was 64 years old.

The Death of Tyrone Power

Madrid, Spain / November 1958. While filming the climactic swordfight scene with George Sanders for Solomon and Sheba, Power is suddenly stricken by a heart attack. He dies within an hour. 
Tyrone Power was 45 years old.

The son he had always wanted, Tyrone Power IV, was born 2 months after his death.
Young Tyrone active Actor with 21 acting credits.

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) /
Tyrone Power / Part 2
and possibly a bit of Swashbuckling!

Mighty Niagara / photo essay 4 / Getting Wet

8 Mar

susan hayward

Niagara’s Fury / Journey Behind the Falls

Apart from going over in a barrel, there are several other ways to experience the Niagara Falls.
Rose was determined to do most of them. We passed on the Zipline.

Niagara’s Fury

Niagara’s Fury is sort of a interactive CineMax where you enter a theatre to be surrounded by the simulated sound, spray, rain, snow, thunder, lightning and other effects including motion while being told how Niagara evolved geologically. (Warning: Although I believe they have toned things down a bit in recent years, some of this show can be pretty scary to small children)
You’re going to get wet in there so they provide you with some protective rainwear. You are told not to take photos, but I think there’s another motive behind that rule because unless your camera is waterproof it’s definitely going to risk being damaged. It’s not too long a show, but it’s a bit of fun.

Journey Behind the Falls

Get ready to get wet.

Fun at the Portals.

I really do need to learn how to work this camera.
Anyway you can see that it’s a blast.

The Observation Platform

 Ah !!! What a day !!

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) / Susan Hayward 2

28 Feb

you’ll never walk alone / doris day

Rawhide / 1951

Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward / Rawhide 1951

“You aim at all the things you have been told that stardom means — the rich life, the applause, the parties cluttered with celebrities. Then you find that you have it all. And it is nothing, really nothing. It is like a drug that lasts just a few hours, a sleeping pill. When it wears off, you have to live without its help.”
– Susan Hayward

Susan with Gary Cooper

Susan Haywood

The Child

The Starlet

The Star

Oscar Winner (1958) for ‘I Want to Live!‘ Susan was nominated 4 times.

1953 with John Wayne received the Henrietta World Film Favorite Actor and Actress Awards at the Golden Globes.

The Mother

Susan with her twin sons Gregory and Timothy

“When you’re dead, you’re dead. No one is going to remember me when I’m dead. Oh, maybe a few friends will remember me affectionately. Being remembered isn’t the most important thing, anyhow. It’s what you do when you are here that’s important.”

I remember you Susan.

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) / Susan Hayward Westerns

27 Feb

me & my uncle / katy moffatt

Rawhide / 1951

The Westerns of Susan Hayward

Susan Hayward appeared in about 6 Westerns. She was Star – and a beauty.
They weren’t all Classics, but she shared the stage with Top Actors of the day.
Let’s have a look.

With Cooper and Widmark!
Two of the greatest Western Stars. 

Coming: Susan Hayward / Rawhide continued …

The Appaloosa (1966) revisited …

26 Feb

the ecstasy of gold / ennio morricone

Very (un)occasionally I look over My Favorite Pages (above). I don’t do this often because some of them were created years ago now – and they’re awful. Then I’m forced to fix ’em up. Back then I didn’t know how to operate WordPress very well – or edit images – and a few dozen other things. I’m no genius now, but I’ve gotten better. Such is the case of The Appoloosa (1966) starring Marlon Brando. My Page was awful. I consider this a great Western so it deserves much better treatment. Therefore, I’ve now beefed the Page up – included a bunch of stuff from my other posts and so on. Some images should still be re-worked, but t’s almost worth a look now.

The Appoloosa really is a great Western with several excellent scenes – some Classic.

Check out these two scenes: including the famous Scorpion Arm Wrestling scene:

This scene has a couple of stunning qualities. The first quality is that it has NO music. Did you notice that? It’s very rare for any film maker to exclude music from any scene of impact. But it works well here.

The other thing is Director Sydney Furie’s superb use of close up shots – something he employed to great effect throughout the film.

Furie lets the setting, the lighting, the composition, the dialogue, the Actors, and the close-ups deliver the impact. The effect is one of the greatest scenes in Western Movie history.

Emilio Fernandez

Marlon Brando

John Saxon

Likewise for this bit of film magic …

That’s how I always light my cigaros too.

Audios Amigos

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) Part 2

20 Feb

me & my uncle / michael j. thoma

Rawhide / 1951

International Posters are often interesting
… and amusing.

Spanish Poster:

Spanish interpretation: The Mail of Hell

Croatian (?) poster: 

Croatian interpretation: Postal Station/Post Office

French posters:

French translation: The Attack of the Mail-Coach

I had to laugh at this poster below – it’s hilarious!

Look what they did to poor Tyrone Power!
A peeping Tyrone!

German poster: 

German translation: Two in the Trap

Evidently the word Rawhide doesn’t translate well to other languages.

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / RAWHIDE (1951) Part 1

19 Feb

they call the wind maria / harve presnell

Henry Hathaway Directed about 27 Westerns. Four during the 50’s.
In 1951, Hathaway entered the Golden Age of Westerns riding high,
Directing top projects Starring the top players of the day.
Such was Rawhide, Starring Susan Hayward and Tyrone Power.

Rawhide / 1951

A story told with a blazing .44 !

Power and Hayward, share Top Bill.

Famous Lone Pine (location) never looked so good.

Whew !… it’s steamy out here in the desert.

These steamy posters (and some Preview Trailers) were typical of a lot of Movie advertising in the 40’s and 50’s which often advertised Movies in completely misleading, sensationalized, exaggerated – or even non-existent – ways. It seemed that the Marketing people had free reign to sell the product any way they wanted or could. Inferred sexual shenanigans was a popular ploy. In other words, your likelihood of actually seeing Tyrone Power groping Susan Hayward was highly unlikely (if that’s what you were going to the movie for?) And didn’t happen.

The only real groper in the Movie is the backshooting, kid shooting, lecherous, leering JACK ELAM! (Did I mention that he plays a badguy?)
Although Jack had appeared in 13 previous movies, he says Rawhide was his breakthrough role – and he has a sizable part with plenty of dialogue.He had made his mark and in Rawhide, he really chews the scenery and steals almost every scene he’s in.

It’s interesting that some Support/Character Actors appeared
in more Classic Movies that Top Billed Stars.

Jack would be one of those.

Part 2 coming … 

the ladder …

8 Feb

The Ballad of Lefty Brown / A Review …

4 Feb

For Cindy over at Cindy Bruchman Blog

Don McLean’s Masterpiece Vincent sung by Lianne La Havas

The Ballad of Lefty Brown is good Western. Not a Classic. But very good. If you like Westerns, it’s worth your time. And I’ll re-watch it again some day. This is not a B Western.

The whole movie hangs on Bill Pullman as Lefty – and Pullman is superb. I think he should have been nominated for his. I really had to do a double check to see if Lefty  really was Pullman – his character is such a departure – and appearance – from Pullman’s previous work. Check the poster – would you recognize that image of Lefty as Bill Pullman? I didn’t.

I kinda had the same feeling I had when I watched Billy Bob Thornton in Slingblade (1996) Is that really him? 

I can’t really say, but I’d guess Pullman’s most recognizable film role was as President Whitmore in Independence Day (1996).

But Bill’s been doing some good stuff since 1986. Including a couple of Westerns:

The Virginian (2000) Director / Actor (TV Production) well received.

In Wyatt Earp, Pullman played Ed Masterson who was Marshall of Dodge City and the oldest brother of the American West gunfighters Bat Masterson and James Masterson.
Masterson as shot and killed in downtown Dodge City by a drunk while attempting to enforce the gun laws.

Westerns unfortunately, are a genre that usually gets very little respect or attention among those that hand out the brass … the gold … or the Oscars.

The Cast

Peter Fonda as Edward Johnson: Peter Fonda has been known to loan (sell?) his name to small Western Film projects – often B Westerns – to bump up their publicity/profile – while only making slight or mere Cameo appearances in the movie. This is another of those. His screen time is not substantial. This gives the Lefty some promotional punch for sure – though it stands fine by itself. The Fonda name has rightful power in the Western film. Peter’s dad, Henry Fonda was in possibly in more Western Classics than any Actor in film history. Too many to list here. Jane chipped in with Cat Ballou, Electric Horseman, Comes a Horseman … While Peter had REAL roles in 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and The Hired Hand (1971) (a Favorite of mine). Curiously enough, you won’t likely recognize Peter in Lefty Brown either – and will have to do a double check to see which part he was playing. But I guess we’re all getting a bit older …

For his screen time he does and excellent and important job.

The rest of the Cast is also outstanding.

Jim Caviezel: Back in 2002, Jim starred as the Count in one of my Favorite Non-Western movies: The Count of Monte Cristo. He’s excellent here too.

He also played Warren Earp in Wyatt Earp (1996)

Wikipedia: Warren Earp was the youngest brother of Wyatt, Morgan, Virgil, James, and Newton Earp. Although he was not present during the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, after Virgil was maimed in an ambush, Warren joined Wyatt and was in town when Morgan was assassinated. He also helped Wyatt in the hunt for the outlaws they believed responsible. Later in life, Warren developed a reputation as a bully and was killed in an argument in 1900.

Kathy Baker is  Billed second. She has a looong list of Awards in Stage, Film and TV. Does her usual excellent work here.

Tom Flanagan – As far as I can tell, this is Tom’s first Western? Fits him like a glove. You’ll recognize him – he’s been around. And he’s good. Those scars on his face are from a real knife fight.

Diego Josef plays the mysterious Kid. He’s got 2 Colts and some Acting chops. Real good.

All in all – a pretty good Western. 

That Rifle:

In my previous post I guessed that this rifle 

might be this one:

I have now found a better image of it (below):

And I now think it is:

Made popular by the movie (a Favorite) Quigley Down Under:

Quigley (Tom Selleck) on his Sharps Rifle: “It’s a lever-action breach-loader. Usual barrel length’s thirty inches. This one has an extra four. It’s converted to use a special forty-five caliber, hundred-and-ten-grain metal cartridge, with a five-hundred-forty-grain paper patch bullet. It’s fitted with double-set triggers, and a Vernier sight, marked up to twelve-hundred yards.
This one shoots a mite further.”

OK … not quite.

Ground Hog Day 2018 …

3 Feb

We waited breathlessly for the Hogs to wake up
and for the predictions to roll in …

It’s been a bitter Winter.
I was shoveling 8 inches of snow just this morning.

Balzac Billy

When Billy stepped out it was bleakish -20 C (-4 F) and snowing.
Our hopes weren’t high.

Then … !

Early Spring !!!

(I’m still on the fence)
but here’s hoping!


Mighty Niagara / photo essay 3 / Up the Tower

30 Jan


Cloudy and rainy when we landed
in Hamilton (Ontario).
Ontario had been having a bad Spring.

We headed for the Car Rental place.
A Kia Forte.

Off we go … 

Up the Tower

The name Niagara that was assigned to the area comes from the First Nations word “Onghiara” or “Oniawgarah”
which means “thundering waters.”

 In the late 1850’s Jean-Francois Gravelet of France (aka The Great Blondin) walked a tightrope across the gorge.  He expanded his act to include somersaults, walking blindfolded, and riding a bicycle. He also walked the tightrope with his hands and feet manacled, cooked an omelette, and once even lowered a rope to the Maid of the Mist, pulled up a bottle of Champagne, and drank it.

 In 1848, Niagara Falls actually stopped flowing for 30 hours when ice fields from Lake Erie jammed at the source of the river.

Niagara Falls is the collective name for three water Falls that overlap the international borders of Canada and New York.

The first person to attempt to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel was a 63-year-old woman. Seeking fame and fortune, schoolteacher Annie Taylor loaded herself – and her cat – up in a barrel and descended over the falls in 1901. She survived. 

As a boy, Nikola Tesla saw a picture of Niagara Falls and told his uncle in Lika, Croatia, that he wanted to put a wheel under the falls to harness the power of the moving water. In 1895, Nikola Tesla designed the first hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls, New York which started producing electrical power.
This was the beginning of the electrification of the United States and the rest of the world.

The 3 waterfalls combine to produce the highest flow rate of any waterfall on earth.

It is illegal to go over the Niagara Falls.

On July 9, seven year old Roger Woodward went over the Horseshoe Falls wearing only a life jacket and a frown. He survived. He was picked up by the “Maid of the Mist II” tourist ship.
No word whether he was spanked.

The same thing happened to me, but nobody picked me up. I floated all the way down to Kingston.

In 2012 Nik Wallenda became the first person to cross the Niagara Falls by tightrope in 116 years. He did so after receiving permission from both the Canadian and United States governments, although he was required to carry his passport and present it on entry to the Canadian side of the falls.

We’re dining in this great restaurant at one of the most exotic locations on the planet … so what do I have? A hamburger deluxe!!, of course (With brocoli?). Nearby tables were hissing and throwing caviar at me. Then some fool tossed a Limited Edition ‘Stompin’ Tom Connors’ Bobblehead !!! – Order of Canada Edition. Yeah Baby!!

Onward … 

The Ballad of Lefty Brown / 2017

25 Jan

Based upon scant evidence, I’m going to boldly identify the rifle as

But I’m likely … wrong.

I have to tell you. I have not seen The Ballad of Lefty Brown or the previous movie that I Previewed: Sweet Country.
Why? Because these movies are poorly advertised and have limited distribution.
I never heard about them until they had come and gone. This is frustrating.
Now I have to find them – somehow.
Because they both look like good Westerns.
These are not B Movies. They are smaller – but quality productions with excellent Actors/Castgood Direction and superb cinematography.
I wanna see ’em.
And I will … somehow.


Sweet Country / 2017

24 Jan

Justice seen to be done …. just isn’t enough

The film is based on a real life true crime murder case where an Aboriginal man was arrested and put on trial for murdering a white man in central Australia during the 1920s.

Though the film is described as a “western”, the era of “The West” officially ends by the early 1900s or by circa 1912, and this film is set during the 1920s in 1929. As such, the film, arguably, cannot technically be classified as a “western” within the traditional historical time-frame of the era of the American West. Some historians state that this period of the American West ran for only three decades or thirty years, i.e. from 1865 to 1895, which is a period which has an even earlier end date. The ‘American Historama’ website states: “The period of the Wild West was from 1865-1895, a period of thirty years.” The Wikipedia website define the era of the “American Frontier” in two classes: Territorial Expansion (1607-1912) and Myth of the Old West (1783-1920). During the 1970s, Hollywood made a western-style western picture which was set in the middle of the 20th century, in 1945 [See: Comes a Horseman (1978)]. Most Western movies are set during the second half of the 19th century (1850-1899) with some being set in the first half of the 1800s (1800-1850).

The official Director’s Statement about the film by its director Warwick Thornton reads: “‘Sweet Country’ is a western. A period western set in Central Australia. It has all the elements of the genre – the frontier, confiscation of land, subordination and conquest of a people and epic sweeping landscapes.

MFW: Westerns do not have to be constrained to culture, time period, or country. If it feels like a Western … It’s a Western.

The Bloated Magpie …

22 Jan

I’ve recently discovered a new Species of MagpieThe Bloated Magpie (illum turgentis sanie picave).
I am filing my discovery with the appropriate authorities.

The Bloated Magpie seems to be found in only one location: our back step – by the catfood dish. They are readily recognized by their robust and rotund size (Fat) – and the smell of catfood on their breathe!

Bloated Magpies have evolved. Though ‘Bloats’ (as I call them) sometimes utter a burping sound, they are unusually quiet. Instead of the usual noxious cackling associated with the Common Magpie, they have learned the art of stealth! They are able to consume a whole dish of catfood without making a sound! The only evidence of their presence is telltale Magpie footprints around the dish. Astonishing!

Bloats also seem able to consume 3 times their normal body weight in catfood (their only known food source) which, however, renders them unable to fly. One day, as I approached the step, I witnessed a Bloat roll off the step and attempt to hide in a snowbank.

Above: Shameless Bloat attempting to hide in a snowbank!

I expect National Geographic to contact me shortly.


Nuthin’ to it!

Holy Mackinaw! SLAPSHOT!

21 Jan

I was just watching clips from one of my ‘Guilty Pleasure’ movies – for the hundredth time (this may not be an exaggeration):

SLAPSHOT !!! (1977)

Slapstick Hockey?
among other things. 

“Certain language may be too strong for children”

There’s a ton of stuff in this movie that is probably
too strong for most anybody. 

People probably think this movie exaggerates things.
Not much.
In the Minors, Hockey can be many things.
And ‘gentile’ is not one of them. 

“Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?”

Initial TV showings of Slapshot were massively censored. In it’s uncensored state Slapshot is vulgar, obscene, profane, ribald, irreverent, and R Rated. It spans the gauntlet from Porn to Slapstick. I’ve walked out the theaters – or changed channels – for far less. It’s pretty well everything I normally hate in movies – and avoid.
Yet, in spite of all this (LoL) this darn thing is hilarious.

Paul Newman himself stated on many occasions
that of all the films he’d been in,
Slap Shot was by far the most fun and his personal favorite.
“I’m not usually happy with my work,” he once said, “but I loved that movie. It rates very high as something in which
I took great personal satisfaction.”
But there was one annoying side effect:
“Ever since Slap Shot, I’ve been swearing more. You get a hangover from a character like [Reggie Dunlop], and you simply don’t get rid of it. I knew I had a problem when I turned to my daughter one day and said, ‘Please pass the f*ckng salt.’”

Maybe you to have to love Hockey and have been brought up in Hockey culture to enjoy this … ???
I think that helps … but I don’t know?

The Hansons

These guys make the movie. 
The amazing so-called Hanson Brothers:

Via Slapshot they became celebrities and for years were in demand to appear at Hockey games and reprise their comic goonery.
I hope they made a few bucks out of it. I do know they raised some money for Charities.
Who knew?

And before you accuse us Canadians of anything, I gotta tell ya that most everybody in this movie is an American.


In general, the initial Reviews of Slapshot (1977) were not favorable.
Yet as years have gone by, this has changed. For example:
Wikipedia: “Film critic Gene Siskel noted that his greatest regret as a critic was giving a mediocre review to this movie when it was first released.
After viewing it several more times, he grew to like it more and later listed it as one of the greatest American comedy movies of all time.” 

Some interesting Slapshot Trivia: 

The Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts is playing in the opening of the hotel scene.
(You can’t make this stuff up.)

Screenwriter Nancy Dowd originally intended the film to be a documentary, but Director George Roy Hill convinced her that it would be better served as a feature-length comedy.
Uh … WOW.

Al Pacino was wanted Newman’s role and was interviewed for it. However Director George Roy Hill
refused him because he figured Pacino couldn’t skate.

Actor Peter Strauss also auditioned, but broke his leg whilst skating in the audition. 
Yeah, skating is sort of important in a Hockey movie.

John Wayne in Idol of the Crowds (1937)

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / The Shepard of the Hills / 1941

13 Jan

wayfaring stranger

The Shepard of the Hills / 1941


John Wayne was 34 in 1941.
Iconic. This is a pretty famous image of John. 
Wayne was about as photogenic as you get. 

I’m going to say that’s the same kind of rifle John
used in Stagecoach in 1948.
The lever loop is larger … but it’s the same kind of rifle.

Trivia (IMDB)

Shepherd of the Hills was the first film in which John Wayne worked with director Henry Hathaway. They didn’t work together again for another 19 years and then in the Sixties did four films culminating with Wayne’s Oscar winning performance in True Grit.

The Shepherd of the Hills is is the first John Wayne film in Technicolor. A high budget film, a rarity in the Depression-era.

Henry Hathaway directs this first talkie remake of two prior films versions of The Shepherd of the Hills filmed in 1919 and 1928.

The Hayes Office were shocked and appalled by the scene in which Sammy (Betty Field) removes her shirt and displays her bare back to the camera. Director Henry Hathaway assured the Office that it was actually a man doubling for Betty Field during that particular moment. Field, as well as John Wayne, corroborated this. Years later, Field revealed that it was indeed her own bare back that was shown.

Churchill / Man of Destiny

11 Jan

Rule Britannia

“Britons never, never, never will be slaves.”

God and my right (the motto of the British monarch)

No Sir. But YOU sure the hell did. 

Churchill / Warrior

Winston Churchill fought in the Mahdist War (Anglo–Sudan War), the Second Boer War, World War 1 and World War 2.

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently
overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
(30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965)

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say,
‘This was their finest hour.”

“We shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it has been said, it is the quality
which guarantees all others.”

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender.”
“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory,
there is no survival.”

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming
might of the enemy.”

“There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what
you believe to be right.”

Darkest Hour / A Triumph

9 Jan

A great movie – and an important one in our time
when the question of Leadership is large on the table. 

Canadian Juniors Prevail …

6 Jan

I didn’t even know the game was on. I thought it was tomorrow! 
 I flipped on the TV and there was 5 minutes left – game tied 1 to 1. 

Here’s what happened:

After losing 2 years in a row by the most contrived non-sport solution
to any sporting event (or tournament no less) – a shootout –

Canada wins in regulation time over Sweden 3 to 1.
(I guess these guys have never heard of Sudden Death Overtime?
It’s only been around a hundred years.) 

The tournament was in Buffalo.
And though this is some of the greatest hockey you

will ever see, not once was the rink full.
Most games less than half full.

You know … I can laugh …
or I can cry …
But I just kinda shake my head. 

Mighty Niagara / photo essay 2

6 Jan

i can see clearly now / johnny nash

Niagara by Day

      Our nights shots were essentially a failure. We didn’t know how to operate our cameras. So next day we head back …

Not award winning shots,
but it’s still hard to take a lousy picture at Niagara. 

That’s not rain. The spray from the Falls can soak you. 
And your camera.

Found a vantage point. 

American Falls and bridge in the distance.

Had another nice day. 


If if wasn’t for the water we’d be able to see the Falls.


Mighty Niagara / photo essay 1

30 Dec

Beethoven “Moonlight” Sonata op 27 # 2 Mov 1,2 Valentina Lisitsa

OK .. I know this is not Seasonal, but my buddy Quinn has been urging (I refrain from saying ‘nagging’) me for quite a while to post pics from Rose’s and my trip to Southern Ontario last Spring. I’ve been hesitant to do so for 2 reasons: it’s not Western. And we too about 2000 pictures. If I posted everything that’s worthy we’d be looking at Ontario for quite a long time. Yeah.

Alright. First night we got in we raced down to catch the Niagara ‘Light Show’ – they light up the Falls with coloured lights. We took a lot of pics, but our poor photography skills … we had to chuck a lot.

Night Falls

Here I reveal one of my uncanny photography techniques.

These are the cameras Rose and I use:

This puppy fits in the palm of my hand. Also takes great videos.
Cost me 100 bucks. It’s a simple camera, but I still don’t know
how to use it well. The wrist strap has saved me from
dropping it a few dozen times. 

Rose’s camera. We need a zoom lens,
but it’s pretty good. Just gotta figure out how to use it.

Christmas 2017 …

23 Dec

I heard the Bells on Christmas Day / Casting Crowns

Good Tidings to All!



Scrooge … 1951 Masterpiece

21 Dec

“A Loving heart is the truest wisdom.”
– Charles DickensAlastair George Bell Sim, CBE
1900 –1976

Some people are born for a role. Alistair Sim IS Scrooge.

Call it ‘Inspired Casting” or whatever you like,  but not only is this the finest vision and version of Charles Dicken’s Spiritually inspired story,
but Scrooge is among the Finest Films of all time.
Most other film interpretations are pale as
Morley’s ghost when measured against this Classic.

Colorized ?? Bah?…. Not bad at all.

Scrooge, movie and book (A Christmas Carol)
contains literally (if you’ll excuse the expression)
dozens of quotable passages – a sure sign of Inspired writing.

A Christmas Carol (1843)

And a sure sign that Charles Dickens himself was in a Class of his own.

Special Effects before their time that still hold up today.

Look for a young Patrick McNee (Avengers)

Truly an heartwarming and uplifting movie.
I watch it every year (and cry my eyes out).
And will again.

“Bob’s yer Uncle!”

and God Bless us – Everyone!

The Return of Billy the Kid … Photo 3

15 Dec

– windstruck

So here is the last of the 3 recently tintype images if Billy the Kid:
the Justin Shaw tintype.
Which in several ways is remarkable. 

Firstly let me say that it’s absolutely incredible
that even ONE photo image of Billy the Kid would be discovered!
But 3!!! – within a few years of each other!
Rather incredible.

Secondly – in each instance, the finder DID NOT initially
KNOW what he had acquired!
– often for a considerable amount of time. 

In other words, these images may never have come to light.
One has to wonder what else may be out there??

Purchased on EBAY!!??? Really!!!???
This thing just gets more incredible as you go along. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Shaw’s image
is that although 
he cannot establish provinence/authenticity,
his image is the best quality of 
all existing images of The Kid.
I’ve gotta figure that somebody will still offer him pretty
big nickel for it. 

The image raises lots of questions:
When? Why? was it taken?
Was the Kid applying for a job at Pinkerton’s? (joke).
Making application for a pardon? (possible).
and who is that other guy? I’m sure he’s not
just a bystander who jumped into the pic. 

Mystery’s that may never be answered.
– about probably 
the most enigmatic character in Western History:

May he never rest in peace.  

The Return of Billy the Kid … Part 2

13 Dec

– knopfler

Here’s the second amazing photo of Billy the Kid – with Pat Garrett no less – that was recently discovered.
Most experts believe it to be authentic.

These are truly amazing discoveries beyond the wildest dreams of Western fans and aficionados.

Front row Left to Right: Pat Garret, Barney Mason, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh
Back Row Left to Right: Unknown man, Billy the Kid

The rosy cheeks was a common affection made to tintype photos.

Above: my attempt to clean up the image: 

Above: converted to grey scale.

Next: A 3rd recent photo. 

The Return of Billy the Kid …

11 Dec

You just can’t keep a good Badguy down.

I decided to try and clean up this controversial photo of Billy the Kid
that surfaced a few years ago. 

I love this photo. It so so bizarre – it’s just blows me away. 

Billy the Kid (4th from the left) playing croquette?
Boggles the mind!

Yeah, I thot it looked like the Kid too.
But I had to have my doubts.

But this documentary detailing the finding
and subsequent investigation seems to authenticate it.

Amazing stuff. 

 2 other photos of Billy that have also surfaced recently. 
I’ll post those shortly. 



Hostiles …

1 Dec

Image result for hostiles 2017 poster

Image result for hostiles posters

Image result for hostiles christian bale

Nobody smiling much in this one … 


Esther Ralston Part 3

27 Nov


“I have had a very long and brilliant life, and I am very very grateful.”
– Esther Ralston

Esther Ralston was a good friend Randolph Scott who persuaded Paramount to hire her as his co-star in a To the Last Man. I think this was an act of kindness on Scott’s part to help Esther whose career was now in decline. But I don’t believe Esther was a weak person in any way. She definitely had a spiritual side that gave her strength – and her ‘out of a suitcase’ Vaudeville upbringing also taught her how to survive. She also looks to have been a bit of a Tom Boy? – her toughness shows through in her character in To the Last Man. (But maybe people from that era were just tough?) She went through the ‘Movies Mills’ and 3 marriages (three children) before ultimately losing her money in the stock market crash and ending up in a trailer park.

But I doubt that she complained much at all.

Wow … !! 
That wasn’t easy. 
Thanks Esther.


Esther Ralston Part 2 / Dear Esther …

16 Nov

joe cocker

shhhhhh ….

Dear  Esther … 

I couldn’t help but notice some startling parallels between certain negative experiences you had and current events of today/2017. I point to your troubles with gay Director Dorothy Arzner and movie mogul Louis B. Mayer (Metro/Goldwyn/Mayer/MGM) which directly mirror current controversy’s.

From Why Do All My Husbands Want to Kill Me? Part II Copyright Robert J. Avrech
“Open about her homosexuality, director Dorothy Arzner, during production of Fashions for Women and Ten Modern Commandments, 1927, is in the habit of dragging Esther into her lap and groping her breasts. Esther rejects Arzner’s crude advances and Arzner takes revenge by browbeating Esther, making her perform take after take of a single scene. Ironic, because Esther was known as One-Take Ralston.”
This amounts to sexual assault in my book, yet it appears Arzner was neither charged – nor fired. No wonder people get away with it – for years.

From: “My Love of Hollywood
“Esther Ralston Facts:
She (Ralston) worked in England during 1932 and upon returning to Hollywood she was loaned out by Louis B. Mayor after denying his sexual advances. (She had worked at Paramount prior to this) This does answer the question as to why a previously successful actress would be cast in B rated movies that led to her early retirement.”
It’s astounding that someone would destroy someone’s career, because they rebuffed. Yet it’s a certainty that this kind of thing goes on all the time.
It would nice to think that will live in an enlightened age where such behavior and abuses will stop. But they won’t.

My own brief experience in the Film Industry saw this kind of kind of thing first hand. The power and money floating around in Big Time entertainment assures there are a plenty of people who care ONLY about 3 things: Money, Power, and Sex – not necessarily in that order. ART is not on the list.

And any Movie Set, I’d guess there a mere handful of folks who are care about the creative/Art aspect – the Director and the Actors mainly. A lot of other people (most?) are just there for the money – or whatever else they can get. It was not an uplifting experience.

Ralston with Clara Bow

Next: Esther Ralston Part 3 … 




Unknown …

11 Nov

Unknown … 

… but not forgotten. 

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / To the Last Man / Esther Ralston Part 1

6 Nov

A Kiss to Build a Dream On / Jill Barber

To the Last Man / 1933