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

13 Jan


wayfaring stranger

The Shepard of the Hills / 1941

BEAUTIFUL AS OUR WOODS AND ROLLING HILLS.
STRONG AS THE RUGGED HEARTS THAT LIVE AMONG THEM

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
KG OM CH TD PCc DL FRS RA
(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. 

WOW!

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:
BILLY the KID. 

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


elvis


“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 Hollywoodhttp://myloveofoldhollywood.blogspot.ca/2010/10/esther-ralston-1902-1994.html=
“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

I’ve been stuck for over a month. This time on Esther Ralston. My problem is the incredible number of awesome images of her. Many of which needed some editing. Finally I’ve got something to put up. 

Esther has over 40 years of portrait pics (taken by anonymous Artists) – hundreds. If you ever wondered that Portrait Photography was a worthy Artform – here is the proof. I’m sure there’s some good Portrait Photographers around these days, but they’d be hard put to equal many of these photos. Like I said, it almost seems a lost Artform.
I have so many that I’m posting these pics 3 installments. 

Esther Ralston
17 September 1902 – 14 January 1994

Esther Ralston

Herself, almost unknown these days, Esther Ralston was a major Movie Star from 1915 to 1940 – appearing in 44 movies. She Starred and co-starred with the likes of
Randolph Scott, Charlie Chaplin, Hoot Gibson, Lon Chaney, Jackie Coogan, William Desmond, Tom Mix, Wallace Beery, Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, Richard Dix, Basil Rathbone, Paul Lukas, Joan Crawford, Betty Grable … and others. Quite a career. 
Her last leading role was in To the Last Man / 1933 with Randolph Scott. 

Embed from Getty Images

Meet the Ralstons

Esther began her career as a child actress in a family vaudeville act which was billed as “The Ralston Family – with Baby Esther, America’s Youngest Juliet“. From this, Esther appeared in a few small silent films including a role alongside her brother in the 1920 film adaptation of Huckleberry Finn … 

Esther in the middle

In the late 1920’s Esther appeared in many films for Paramount, at one point earning as much as $8000 a week (!!!), and garnering much popularity, especially in Britain. She appeared mainly in comedies, often portraying spirited society girls, but received good reviews for her forays into dramatic roles. Several of Ralston’s films from the 1920’s are ‘lost’.

Esther with Gary Cooper / 1928

Young Esther

Next: Esther Ralston Part 2 … 

I put a spell on you …

29 Oct


I put a Spell on You / Bonny Tyler


It was short …. 

… but it was a helluva ride.

Happy Halloween everyone !

Owooooooooooo !!!

27 Oct


Werewolves of London / Warren Zevon


BOOOOOO !!!

27 Oct


The Monster Mash / Bobby Pickett

It was a graveyard smash !

A Gallery of Ghouls 

Boo!

Image result for frankensteinIt’s alive !!!

Hello Friends …

18 Oct

I’m heading out for 4 days. I haven’t been posting much lately, but I can assure that I am working on projects all the time. Typically I’m working on 3 posts at once.

These days it takes me longer to put a post together. I’m more particular than I used to be. I’m trying to include more content – do more research – and I rework pretty well every image I post. This takes a long time, but I want to do good stuff.

There are a number of projects of that I haven’t finished – including John Wayne’s Filmography. I will get back to those.

Ongoing:

  • Between 1929 and 1971 Henry Hathaway Directed about 25 Westerns. I’m working through them one by one. It’s an interesting project for me. I hope it’s interesting to you too.  Hathaway’s Westerns include several films by 2 to of the Greatest Western Stars of all time: John Wayne and Randolph Scott.

  • I’m still working on a photo essay and Bio of Esther Ralston – who co-Starred with Randolph Scott in To the Last Man (1933). She had an amazing film career spanning 1915 to 1940 – appearing in about 45 films. She was a top Star in her day and was also ‘drop dead’ gorgeous – as you can see. There are a ton of superb images of her, but most require some re-working. Incredibly, she is almost unknown today. I figure she deserves more than a passing nod.

  • Mighty Niagara – a photo essay of our adventures in Ontario this summer.

Onward …

Back soon. 

 

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / The Last Round-Up / 1934

16 Oct


The Last Round-Up / Vivian Blaine / Songwriter Billy Hill / 1933

Songwriter Billy Hill (1899 – 1940) wrote several Western Classic’s including  “Old Pine Tree“,”Wagon Wheels“, and “Empty Saddles“.

The Last Round-Up / 1934

Zane Grey’s “The Border Legion” must be a helluva story because it was adapted to film 5 times – in 1918, 1924, 1930, and in 1940. The The Last Round-Up (1934) was also based on the novel.

IMDB says: “One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. However, because of legal complications, this particular title was not included in the original television package and may not have ever been televised.

“A nitrate print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives, and is not listed for preservation.”

MFW: They might want to rethink that. We all know that some old movies have been ‘Lost’, but to deliberately decide not to preserve/save these old movies is unacceptable. Once they gone, they are gone for good. Some come to be valued much more as time goes by.

Only one Poster.
No Trailers – No clips.
Very few images of any kind.
But plenty of Lobby Cards.

Reviews

“6.5” out of 10 from IMBD? … not bad.

AllMovie is not so generous … “1.5” out of 5

Co-Star Barbara Fritchie was Billed as Barbara Adams. She made 6 movies between 1934 and 1935. The Last Round-Up was her first. There is very little other Bio information.

So long Tom …

15 Oct

The Traveling Wilburys 

George Harrison – lead vocals (1st, 4th, and 7th choruses), slide guitar, backing vocals
Tom Petty – lead vocals (verses), bass guitar
Jeff Lynne – lead vocals (2nd, 5th, and 6th choruses), electric rhythm guitar
Roy Orbison – lead vocals (3rd chorus), electric rhythm guitar
Bob Dylan – acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Jim Keltner – drums, backing vocals (in video)

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand
You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (end of the line)
Waiting for someone to tell you everything (end of the line)
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (end of the line)
Maybe a diamond ring
Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, everyday is judgment day
Maybe somewhere down the road aways (end of the line)
You’ll think of me, wonder where I am these days (end of the line)
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays (end of the line)
Purple haze
Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line
Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive (end of the line)
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive (end of the line)
It don’t matter if you’re by my side (end of the line)
I’m satisfied
Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

Songwriters: Bob Dylan / George Harrison / Jeff Lynne /
Roy K Orbison / Tom Petty

 

Winter’s Warning …

2 Oct

They said it was going to snow. This didn’t surprise us – or scare us – much. It’s common to have at least one snow in October. Winter’s Warning I call it. Then things go back to Fall – and often stay that way up until the end of November – or even later.

But … in keeping with modern weather trends … we didn’t just get snow. We got a blizzard. On the worst possible day – a Monday work day. There’s going to be a ton of accidents and misery. Because no matter how regular such an event might be here, people just never seem to be ready for it.

Have a look:

Better get out my snow shovel …

But along side all the other horrific events in this world lately,
I won’t trade you.

Bluenose … a photo essay … Part 6

2 Oct


the dophins / it’s a beautiful day

Going Home

Time to drop sail

Nine hours on the Bluenose It was perfect Captain. Thanks.

Moving on to new adventures

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / To the Last Man / Part 4

27 Sep


Oh! Susanna/ Burl Ives

To the Last Man / 1933

Randolph and Shirley … continued

Ya, I know that Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm isn’t a Western.
And NO, I’m not starting a new blog called My Favorite Farmers.
Nothing against farmers, but I just found this connection between Shirley and Randolph to be interesting.
Still do.
They made one more movie together in 1939.
It was a Western.

Susannah of the Mounties 

A Shirley Temple movie all the way.
Randolph is not even 
on the banner.

Flaming Arrows! Cracking Rifles!

But peace can come at at price 

 Wikipedia says:
“As an act of good will, Temple swore in all members of the Blackfoot tribe as members of the Shirley Temple Police Force while Temple was made an honorary member of the Blackfoot tribe and given the name Bright Shining Star.”

(Guess I got that one right)

Shirley was now 11-years-old.
Still a cute kid, but …

Oh Susannah …
Don’t you cry for me … 

Becoming a young lady … 

… a confident young lady.

Next … To the Last Man
Part 5 Esther Ralston

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / To the Last Man / Part 3

20 Sep


It’s a Beautiful Day

To the Last Man / 1933

Randolph and Shirley 

“Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
How could he see where to go,
If you did not twinkle so?”

Not cute at all. *cough*

When I was a kid I hated Shirley Temple. On Saturday mornings I had to share TV time with my little sister – who always seemed to be watching a Shirley Temple movie. I just knew that Roy, RandolphRory, Cisco, and Hopalong (or some other Western Star) was on the other channel. It was infuriating watching that little cherub dancing around when decent cowboys were galloping into the sunset! Many years later I came to appreciate Shirley as the very special person and talent that she was. Today when I look back on it all, I really have to marvel that she was the Top Box Office Star for four consecutive years: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938! Partly because I figured only women and girls were watching her movies!? It sure wasn’t me – or any guy that I knew. Could women and girls really have comprised that huge an audience?? Especially during the Great Depression? I still haven’t figured it out. It’s safe to say however, that Shirley – her incredible personality and talent – was a very important person during those very difficult and troubled days. She seemed a person born for the moment.

So … 5-year-old Shirley had an uncredited bit role in To the Last Man which Starred Randolph Scott. You can see on the poster below that she got no Billing in the movie.That would soon change. More than just a dimple and some curls.

I think Randy and Shirley got along just fine. 

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm 

Flash ahead 5 years … to 1938. To Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Shirley is 10-years-old. Her Star has started to fade, but she still commands the Bill – as the Banner and Poster show. Randolph is second on the Bill now. Quite a turn around.

No CGI necessary 
But they still got along just fine

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

BY JANE TAYLOR
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
How could he see where to go,
If you did not twinkle so?

In the dark blue sky you keep,
Often through my curtains peep
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Next … To the Last Man
Part 4

Invasion of the Yellow Jacket Wasps …

18 Sep

See this guy? Some of you will know him well. He’s called a Yellow Jacket Wasp. And sadly, he has been a problem these last 2 years around here. Seems like anytime you have a hot dry Summer you get a lot of these guys. ?? Last year they built a nest under our back step. I tried to co-exist with them, but after a while it just didn’t work. They were getting into the house. We couldn’t barbecue or sit out back either – they would land on our food – or us. Their sting is pretty bad. I once got stung by one and I could still feel it 2 years later.

Finally, I decided I had to do something about them. I tried to block the hole to their nest – hoping they would re-locate. Didn’t work. Then I sprayed Wasp Killer into the hole when they were asleep. That didn’t work either.

Finally, a friend told me about this stuff.

Rescue Yellow Jacket Killer

It’s made by an outfit named Rescue and called Yellow Jacket Killer. I didn’t really want to kill them – or anything … but …

Fill the bag half way with water and hang it up, he said. “There’s something in there that attracts them.” DON’T hang it near your door, barbecue or picnic table though, he advised.

I was skeptical …

But then … I was amazed. They were swarming around it instantly. It started killing them … and killing them. They couldn’t wait go in there and die. I felt like Mickey with the magic broom sticks … like it was out of control … it was Yellow Jacket BootHill … in my backyard. The guys under the steps disappeared pretty quickly. But others kept coming. The neighbor accused me of Yellow Jacket genocide …

It’s slowed down a bit now, but hasn’t stopped. You see that black mass in the bag? That’s dead Yellow Jackets. Hundreds of them.

I pray that Yellow Jackets don’t hold some essential place in the balance of nature? But why else would they exist?

If they’d just built there nest some place else …

I’m open to any solutions that might get rid of them without killing any. ??

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / To the Last Man / Part 2

16 Sep


the circle / byrds 

To the Last Man / 1933

Now … where was I? Oh yeah, To the Last Man Casting. I’ll get back to Shirley in a minute because she’s worthy of a lot more space.

Meanwhile:

Our Hero, 35 year-old Randolph was a pretty terrible Actor in 1933 – very wooden. But became very good later on and is indisputably one of the greatest Western Movie Actors of all time –  Starring in over 50 Westerns.

Esther Ralston plays a pretty hard bitten gal in the movie (guess that’s how Grey wrote it). But she’s not short on looks.

Noah Beery is a back shooting badguy – again – with his hillbilly partner John Carradine.

Colorized Lobby Cards.

Some bad karma chases our hero all the way back to his youth.

Jack LaRue plays a lecherous thug.

Fuzzy Knight supplies some comic relief.

A Review or Two

Original book cover

Illustrations by Frank Spradling

Next … Part 4
To the Last Man

So long Facebook …

15 Sep

I’ve had my issues with Facebook over the years. Frankly, my main issue is that I’ve never felt safe on there. Now I recently learned that your Facebook account can be cloned. People can create another site that appears to be yours – without your knowledge or permission – and use it for whatever purposes they wish – and people will think it is you.

Since Facebook apparently can’t stop this, I’m getting out. I suppose it’s not Facebook’s fault – the Net is rife with crooks – and perhaps the chances of such a thing occurring are slim – but, for me, this is unacceptable.

Too bad.

 

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

11 Sep


only time

To the Last Man / 1933

“The Law of Vengeance is the Law of the Land!”

“A Lawless Breed in a Lawless Land!”

“A Fight to the Finish … which could only lead to … Death!”

You might think that these old Westerns are pretty formula – same Director, same Cast, etc. But when you dig a bit deeper you’ll find something special about each one. And To the Last Man has a couple of surprises. 

To the Last Man / 1933

It’s 1933 – the Great Depression – the Dirty Thirties – and Henry Hathaway has just completed To the Last Man – the last of 5 Westerns that he Directed in 1933 – 4 of which Starred young Randolph Scott.

One special feature of all of these movies was that they were created from books written by legendary Western writer, Zane Grey. This assured us a good yarn, with strong characters and dialogue – unlike many of the pulp Westerns of the era.

This sometimes made for some unusual story telling. For instance, Scott (the Star of To the Last Man) doesn’t make his appearance in the movie until about the 23:00 minute mark! – and the movie is only 1:08 minutes long. Very few films would hold back the appearance of it’s Star for that long!

The Cast

Yes these movies often used a cast of Stock players (Scott, Noah Beery, Buster Crabbe, Harry Carey, Raymond Hatton, Fuzzy Knight …)
BUT … let’s look at bit closer at the Casting list for To the Last Man

Notice anything special? Any names that jump out at you?
If you say John Carradine I’ll definitely give you point.
BUT that’s not the name I’m talking about.
Waaaaay down on the list among  the Uncredited Cast names …

See her?

Holy Doodle!
It’s Shirley Temple!

Yes, this was one of Shirley’s very first movies!
5-year-old Shirley is not a Star yet (obviously) and despite a line or two of dialogue
she gets no Credit.

I’m pretty sure that nobody at that time had any clue that in about 2 years Shirley would become one for the Biggest Movie Stars in Hollywood History
and the Movie Box-Office Champion for the consecutive years 1935-36-37-38.

Twinkle Twinkle … 

Next … Part 2
To the Last Man

Bluenose … a photo essay … Part 5

1 Sep


The Old Captain / Brillig

From bow to stern …
Yesteryear

One more turn at the wheel.

Frank McCarthy / Western Artist Part 2

29 Aug


Long Hard Ride / Marshall Tucker Band / 1976

After a while Frank was encouraged to go purely to Western Fine Art Painting. He did – and turned out a huge amount of quality work. I’m posting just a few of his images here.

Frank McCarthy

Western Paintings

Amazing! You can see the brilliance of his work. 

A great Western Artist.  

 

Frank McCarthy / Western Artist Part 1

29 Aug


Heard it in a Love Song / Marshall Tucker Band

Just to get something up on my board I thought I’d post some images of Western Art. Of course, it turned into a mammoth project. But a good one.

There is a lot of great Western Artwork around – and many excellent Western Artists. In fact, if I was to dedicate this blog to Western Art alone, I would have enough material to exhibit on a daily basis for a very looong time.

Among the many exceptional Western Artists was a guy named Frank McCarthy.

Frank McCarthy

Biography

Born in New York City, he studied under George Bridgman and Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League of New York then attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Types of works

McCarthy began his art career as a commercial illustrator, opening his own studio in 1948. He did illustrations for most of the paperback book publishers, magazines, including ColliersArgosy, and True, movie companies, and advertisements.

Among McCarthy’s film poster work were The Ten CommandmentsThe Great EscapeThe TrainThe Glory GuysThe Dirty DozenDark of the SunDay of AngerOnce Upon a Time in the West, and in conjunction with Robert McGinnis ThunderballYou Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

McCarthy left the commercial art world in 1968 in order to concentrate on Western paintings. In 1975 he was invited to join the Cowboy Artists of America. His 1972 painting “The Last Crossing” was used by The Marshall Tucker Band in 1976 for the cover of their fifth studio album, Long Hard Ride. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997.

Death

McCarthy died of lung cancer in 2002 at his home of 30 years in Sedona, Arizona.

Frank McCarthy Western Movie Posters



“All glory is fleeting.”

 What could be more Western that Cowboys fighting dinosaurs?

musical interlude …

28 Aug

…. while i work on a couple of things.

Bluenose … a photo essay … Part 4

21 Aug


fishermans blues / the waterboys

Bluenose / Part 4

Legendary Bluenose Skipper: Captain Angus Walters
with the Fisherman’s Cup

After lunch … 

Weigh anchor! 

Heading for open water … 

A fair wind rising!

Make sail!

Haul away boys!

Way hay and up she rises!

Mainsail.

Under way!Before the wind … 


Jerry Lewis … Cowpoke

21 Aug

“I am probably the most selfish man you will ever meet in your life. No one gets the satisfaction or the joy that I get out of seeing kids realize there is hope.”

Jerry Lewis made one Western.
It was called Pardners – with his Soul brother, Dean Martin. 

Somewhere they’re having a good chuckle right now.
Jerry Lewis 
1926 – 2017
Laaaaaaaaaadyyyyyyyy !!!!

It’s been a hell of a slice Jerry. 

Thanks.

Bluenose … Part 3

11 Aug


Bluenose / The Original Houghton Weavers

Bluenose / Part 3

Time to swab the decks.

A mop in both hands!