Tomorrow we head for Nova Scotia for a week … and (God Willing) a trip aboard the famous Canadian icon – the Schooner Bluenose – the only item on my bucket list.
Crossing our fingers for fair weather.
Sea ye in a week !
even cowgirls get the blues / Emmylou harris
In a world full of recent horror and heartache, it really is a joy to report some GOOD News. (There really is much more Good News than Bad News in this world – but you’d never know it by watching our Mass Media).
I always post a small blurb on our local Calgary Stampede, but I’m gonna tell ya, this year it was Truly Amazing – Spectacular – full of stories that could easily be made into Movies – they are so worthy. But could just as easily have been a disaster because our Economy is not good here right now – and it rained every day. Every Day! YET … in the midst of all this downturn and downpour the Performers and Organizers rose to magnificent heights to truly make this the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”.
BRAVO to all !!
Things started out on a sweet note with Canadian music Stars Paul Brandt and Jan Arden as 2016 Calgary Stampede Marshalls.
It didn’t rain ALL the time …
… but when it did … it could be dismal.
But ‘Cowboy (and Cowgirl) Tough’ isn’t just an expression –
it’s a fact – and a Way of Life.
Steven Peebles (Redmond Oregon) has broken his back – twice – among other injuries,
but wins the Bareback Bronc Riding Championship !
67-year-old Mary Burger (Oklahoma) wins the Barrel Racing Championship !
After competing in the Calgary Stampede Chuck Wagon Races for 25 years !!
Kirk Sutherland (Alberta) wins the 2016 Chuck Wagon Championship !
I’m sure there were plenty of other amazing stories
– but those are ones that caught my attention.
Shane Hanchey (Louisiana) lassoes the 2016 Calf Roping Championship
Zeke Thurston (Alberta) wins the 2016 Saddle Bronc Championship
19-year-old Cody Teel (Texas) wins the 2016 Bull Riding Championship !
Seth Brockman (Wyoming) takes the 2016 Bull Dogging Championship !
A great Stampede ! Congratulations to the Organizers and Contestants.
dust in the wind / Melanie
Stagecoach Run is Winds of the Wasteland – the same movie restored and colorized by Legend Films. I couldn’t find any new posters or advertising media for it though. Just a few clips.
Yakima Canutt does plenty of stunt work in this movie – plus some acting (as a badguy) – but receives no Credit on the Bill !! Those stunt guys don’t get no respect !
Lew Kelly provides a little Comedy relief inside the coach.
Not sure how many stagecoach stunts Yakima Canutt performed in his career,
but there was plenty. This one is pretty tame by his standards.
Then Yak jumps into the driver’s seat and magically transforms to John Wayne.
Most of Yak’s and John’s stunts were seamlessly done – you honestly
believed it was John performing the action.
But Yak’s not finished yet – he jumps onto the horses !
Below: Not sure how this was done, but it appears
John is doing a bit of stunting himself?
There’s a bit of a wardrobe screw-up here though as John and Yak
appear to have different colored vests on. ??
Those Actors – always wanting to do their own stunts.
dust in the wind / kansas
John keeps making ’em – I keep posting ’em. John is 29-years-old now and Winds of the Wasteland being his 5th of 7 Westerns he made in 1936. Though interesting, the movies are not that great. But as long as the images and Posters are good, (and they are) I’ll keep putting them up …
We were in Punta Cana for only one week. One week. But we took over a thousand pics (I’m sure you noticed LOL!)
Everything was interesting and magical. If you want spice up your life and appreciate this world, travel is the way to go. To me, these pictures are priceless. Many remind me of things I might otherwise have forgotten – and the feelings come flooding back.
It seems far away now. It WAS special.
One last visit to the ocean …
Reality Check …
Farewell Punta Cana …
I’d known about this movie for a while, but hadn’t posted anything on it because I wondered if it qualified as a Western. ??
It’s got horses and cowboy hats … but it also has trucks and such. Modern vehicles is pretty well where I draw my line.
You be the judge.
Kris’s part is not large and he’s not billed high. But the size of his pic on the poster says he is the draw.
Beau Bridges. Glad to see he’s still around.
The Tracker was also released as Dead or Alive …
Kris made a few TV Westerns during this period. TV Westerns are often sneered at as being low budget fare. But budget is really only one factor of several that make up a Movie/Western production. Script/Writing, Direction, Casting, Star Power, Acting, and several other factors all combine for the quality of a film.
What I’m saying that most of Kris’s Westerns in this period were really pretty good. Not Classics, but worth a watch.
The Highwaymen / Live Forever
Kris’s Kristofferson’s Western film career started off with a definite Bang!! TWO HUGE BANGS to be exact. He first Starred in Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973). Peckinpah was already a controversial figure – and the story surrounding the making and dismemberment of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is legendary stuff – Sam eventually walking away from the project – the movie undergoing several edits – resulting in 3 different versions.
Kris’s second Western – Heaven’s Gate (1980) may be the most controversial movie project in Film History – bankrupting United Artist Film Studio – due to the outrageous behavior of Director Michael Cimino – equally as controversial as Peckinpah.
The parallel between Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and Heaven’s Gate is amazing: Two controversial renegade Director’s – possible both genius’s – who made two controversial Western movies – which were both dismembered by their respective Studios – ending up in multiple versions of each – but which were ultimately manifested into what many people consider as Westerns Classics. The verdict is still out on Heaven’s Gate – but Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is in solid. And Kris was in both of them. Amazing stuff.
In 1986 Kris made two Westerns: A remake of Stagecoach and The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James. Stagecoach Starred Kris, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings. The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James Starred Kris and Johnny Cash. Willie had a bit part in that one too.
Yep … these guys eventually formed the Country Music Supergroup The Highwaymen.
Kris has appeared in 16 Westerns so far …
Heaven’s Gate Soundtrack / Slow Water
“If you don’t get it right, what’s the point?”
Just about everything that surrounded Michael Cimino was either amazing, bizarre, or crazy. So much so that if the recorded events hadn’t actually happened, nobody would believe it. And we still might not.
On the basis of his track record, Cimino was given free rein by United Artists for his next film, Heaven’s Gate (1980). The film came in several times over budget. After its release, it proved to be a financial disaster that nearly bankrupted the studio. Heaven’s Gate became the lightning rod for the industry perception of the loosely controlled situation in Hollywood at that time. The film’s failure marked the end of the New Hollywood era. Transamerica Corporation sold United Artists, having lost confidence in the company and its management.
Heaven’s Gate was such a devastating critical and commercial bomb that public perception of Cimino’s work was tainted in its wake; the majority of his subsequent films achieved neither popular nor critical success. Many critics who had originally praised The Deer Hunter became far more reserved about the picture and about Cimino after Heaven’s Gate. The story of the making of the movie, and UA’s subsequent downfall, was documented in Steven Bach’s book Final Cut. Cimino’s film was somewhat rehabilitated by an unlikely source: the Z Channel, a cable pay TVchannel that at its peak in the mid-1980s served 100,000 of Los Angeles’s most influential film professionals. After the unsuccessful release of the re-edited and shortened Heaven’s Gate, Jerry Harvey, the channel’s programmer, decided to play Cimino’s original 219 minute cut on Christmas Eve 1982. The re-assembled movie received admiring reviews. The full length, director approved version, was reissued on CD by the prestigious Criterion Collection.
“Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven’s Gate”. (available on YouTube in 8 parts).
Heaven’s Gate cost $44 million
Box office $3,484,331
Due to constant revisions/edits there were/are? now at least 5 versions of Heaven’s Gate:
Unrealized Cimino projects
Crime and Punishment
Untitled Porgy & Bess Project
The Life and Dreams of Frank Costello
The Pope of Greenwich Village
Legs Diamond Biopic
Born on the Fourth of July
The Yellow Jersey
Collaborations with Raymond Carver
Santa Ana Wind
The Dreaming Place
Ben Hur Theme / Miklos Rosza
There’s only one good thing about Falling off a horse. It’s damn easy.
(Especially galloping full speed, handling a weapon, or without a saddle)
Making it look good however – and landing safely – is another matter.
So Saddle up … or not … we’re goin’ Stunting!
Yakima Canutt. was a Rodeo Champion, before and during his career as a Western Film Stunt Artist. He knew what Falling was all about – and it’s obvious side effects – injury and death – though he obviously Fell a lot less than most cowboys. But his experience in Rodeo is definitely what led to his place as a Western Film Stunt Master.
But getting bucked off in a Rodeo, and Falling in a Western movie, are not quite the same thing. In Rodeo you don’t want to Fall. And if you do, you aren’t very concerned about how it looks. In Stunt Falling you’re trying to Fall – and make it look good – the more sensational, the better – higher, farther, faster …. always pushing the envelope. And in Rodeo, and especially Stunting, Yak pushed the envelope big time. He pretty well invented the Stunt industry. In either case however, you still need to land safely. Not an easy thing to do.
But before we ride any further, there’s one thing that needs to be mentioned … the Horses.
Early Western Horse Stunts seemed to demonstrate a tremendous disregard for the safety of the horses.
One example: Stunt Falls from horses sometimes employed trip lines that tripped/yanked the horses down – while galloping at full speed. The Stuntman, of course, knew a Fall was coming – the horse did not. I haven’t seen any statistics, but I can surmise there was a considerable toll on the horses. This was rightfully criticized and eventually stopped. Nowadays Stunt horses are extensively trained in Falls and any other Stunts involving horses. To Yak’s credit he later took great care and pride in inventing techniques which greatly limited injury to both man and beast – culminating in his masterpiece – one of the greatest Stunt events in film history – the spectacular (and dangerous) – Chariot Race in Ben Hur (1959) – a monumental stunting achievement that took Yak two years of planning and preparation. And despite urban legends to the contrary, there is no evidence that any horses (or actors) were killed.
There’s-a-long-long-trail / robert-mandell-with-the-romantic-strings-voices
I’m guessing you noticed that those rascals used a couple of the same posters from King of the Pecos – an annoying, but not uncommon practice in those days. Not bad posters though.
This movie is hard to come by – I could find no clips, previews – hardly anything – just a few pics – though it appears to be shown on TCM occasionally.
One average Review, one friendly Review, and one trashing Review …
The Lonely Trail /April 30, 2013 /
Review by Stuart Galbraith IV | posted May 26, 2013
“A Reconstruction-era Western with John Wayne battling a scurrilous carpetbagger, the meaninglessly titled The Lonely Trail (1936), is fairly good, early Republic production. Though cheap ($20,000, of which Wayne received $1,750), it lacks the sausage factory mechanicalness of many of that studio’s later Westerns. The company style hadn’t quite set yet, and the picture is fresher and a bit more adult, if creaky and less fine-tuned.
Yakima Canutt, the great actor-stuntman-second unit director who helped shape Wayne’s screen persona, plays Holden’s main henchman. In an early scene, Canutt gets to demonstrate his dexterity with a pair of six-shooters that still impresses today. And it might very well have been him doubling for Wayne in a terrific stunt where Wayne’s character leaps from a galloping horse onto a runaway buckboard.
Parting Thoughts: It looks great and, for fans of B-Western, loads of fun, The Lonely Trail is heartily Recommended.”
“Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
LONELY TRAIL, THE (director: Joseph Kane)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 10/4/2005 GRADE: C
Standard Western directed by Joseph Kane from a story by Bernard McConville, who also handles the screenplay with Jack Natteford. Republic boss Herbert Yates was a NYC stockbroker who went to Hollywood and began Monogram Studios. His cinema philosophy was all about the money–not giving two cents about a film’s artistic worth. Yate’s philosophy was that a film should make back at least three times of what it costs to make. In John Wayne, Yates found a dependable and bankable star. For Wayne, these cheapie films became his school where he learned how to act. This is one of those middling film where if Wayne wasn’t in it, it would be of little interest.
I really had to wonder if my difficulty in finding this movie had something to do with it’s depiction of Black Americans in that era. It is clearly an outdated Social/Political depiction – even though it may be of some historical accuracy. I also wonder then, if future social climates will permit this film to return to our Libraries and Archives ?? I have to wonder.
From Rotten Tomatoes:
Actress Etta McDaniel made her stage debut along with her seven siblings as a member of H. M. Johnson’s Mighty Modern Minstrels, a Denver-based musical troupe. In the late 1920s, McDaniel and her older brother Sam headed to Hollywood, where both found steady work in bit parts. In keeping with Hollywood’s racial attitudes of the 1930s and 1940s, she was confined to the stereotypical roles usually assigned black actresses of the era: housekeepers, maids, mammies and African natives. Unlike her younger sister Hattie McDaniel, who eventually attained co-star billing and an Academy Award (for Gone with the Wind), Etta McDaniel spent her entire Hollywood career in minor roles.
“In the Great Plains during 1880s, Texas Ranger David Kingston (Liam Hemsworth) is sent to an Old West frontier town Helena to investigate a series of murders and disappearances of local people. In the town, preacher Abraham Brant (Woody Harrelson) is keeping all the townsfolk in some kind of fearful grip.”
Well, I just watched the movie and it was pretty good. Interesting story – some good work by Harrelson and Hemsworth. Kept my interest throughout – and you really didn’t know what was going to happen. I’d give it a 65% or 70%. Not a Classic – but damn few movies are.
There ya go …
Dear Readers …
I’m on a 4 day stint back at work – but working on a few things for My Favorite Westerns.
Yakima Canutt / Western Stunting 101
– about 2 most posts on Yak – a very special man in Western Film History.
John Wayne – Iconic Images
…. and much more – lots of ideas – and other projects I need to finish.
Thanks for hanging around.
Dear Readers …
I just noticed that some Comments made on my Pages (up top) do not go into my Email Inbox. !!????
Therefore, I had not Replied to several Comments – some are 2 years old !!
I simply don’t look at my Pages that often.
I DO respond to all Comments. So if I missed something you said, I simply didn’t see it. Sorry.
I am not very Tech savvy, but I’ll try to figure out what is going on with that. ???
Not very well recorded, but this Korean gal gets it – that this is a lament.
What do you do after a long hot Day Trip to Santo Domingo?
Next day … another Day Trip.
Called Country Safari.
Yep … he’s trying to sell us something.
Rose tests a hat.
The idea behind this was to see some REAL Dominican Republic. We knew that wasn’t going to happen. But it was still some fun.
Don’t wake me up.
The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976) was a sequel to A Man Called Horse (1970) and was Richard Harris‘ fifth Western (of 8).
Same Writer: Jack DeWitt – Different Director: Irvin Kershner
IMDB Trivia: On account of this film, which George Lucas found to be better than its predecessor, he hired Irvin Kershner to direct Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
For myself, I found the the film is a joy to watch simply because the cinematography and Direction (Irvin Kershner) are brilliant.
The Sundance is reprised …
Not much is left to the imagination.
Sort of a Sundance Flash Mob.
Director Irvin Kershner has said that of all his films, this one has the best score (by Laurence Rosenthal).
Mexican filming locations were used because the Mexican terrain resembles that of South Dakota but has a milder climate.
Mexican actors were used in the Sioux and Rickaree Native roles because they give more emotion on the screen than American Indians do, according to producer Sandy Howard. Naturally the film was then criticized it for its scarcity of Native Americanactors in the cast, and for portraying a Sioux tribe requiring a white man’s aid to defend itself.
A pretty good Western.
Worth one watch at least.
Our trip to Punta Cana seems like a dream now – and far away. It was indeed the experience of a lifetime and I wonder if I made the most of the opportunity – as I will not likely get back that way again. I have to thank my wonderful companion Rose without whom I would never have had this experience
I was unable to find much information on Diego Columbus. I was curious to see if he had carried on with the tyrannical behavior of his father.
Diego Columbus was the eldest son of Christopher Columbus. He was a Portuguese navigator and explorer under the Kings of Castile and Aragón. He served as the 2nd Admiral of the Indies, 2nd Viceroy of the Indies and 3rd Governor of the Indies as a vassal to the Kings of Castile and Aragón.
Awesome anecdotes from the Theatre …
KING RICHARD II
Richard Harris lost his Irish temper and came very close to seeing me lose my French/German temper.
Richard Burton had extended his tour of CAMELOT when his health broke down. Rather than cancelling, the promoter sent Burton a get-well card and replaced him. Burton had made the Broadway role of King Arthur his; but Richard Harris starred in the movie, probably because Burton’s drinking was getting out of hand. Harris was the logical choice to succeed Burton on the Camelot tour, especially since Harris was winning the fight to control his drinking problem and taming down his wild life.
This hiring became Harris’s security blanket. He took the show on tour many times. He even bought the touring set and costumes, works of beauty by the great designer, Desmond Healy. If things slowed down for Harris, there was always CAMELOT. Yul Brynner had been doing this for…
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Information from Wikipedia: “The American West is an upcoming limited-event American television docu-series detailing the period 1865 to 1890 in the United States. The series is executive-produced by Robert Redford, Stephen David and Laura Michalchyshyn with Sundance Productions and is slated to begin airing eight episodes on AMC on June 11, 2016.
“Following the American Civil War, the United States begins developing into the “land of opportunity,” despite the danger from cowboys, Native Americans, outlaws and lawmen. The series will chronicle the stories of Western legends, such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.”
Produced and distributed by Sundance Productions, the series will feature exclusive interviews with notable names from classic Western films, including Robert Redford,James Caan, Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Harmon, Ed Harris and others.
Filming for the series was predominantly done in West Virginia’s Berkeley and Jefferson counties, as well as Prickett’s Fort State Park in Marion County.”
ROBERT REDFORD has played many Westerners on the big screen: a romantic outlaw in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) with Paul Newman, a sheriff in Tell Them Willie Boy is Here (1968), a mountain man in Jeremiah Johnson (1972), a rodeo cowboy in The Electric Horseman (1979) with Jane Fonda, a Montana rancher in The Horse Whisperer (1998), which he also directed. He is the founder of Sundance, an admirer of Native American art and culture and a committed environmentalist. He embodies the best values of the American West.
Found on thoughtsallsorts blog.
I hate it when a decent looking Western gets by me … like this.
Releases on: 13 February 2014
May be hard to get hold of now … and require Subtitles.
“Deadwood still hurts. The fact that we didn’t get to wrap up that story, and really not a day goes by that, or at this point, a couple of days goes by that someone doesn’t ask about it. If we are going to finish it or not.” – Kim Dickens
… but no good Western should be left unfinished …
Alright … your next Stunt is another location shot. It’s pretty simple – no riding or shooting involved.
I just need you to climb out of the speeding stagecoach and get on it’s roof … nothin’ to it.
What? You want a safety harness!!??? Wellll … we don’t have any of those … how about an extra five bucks?
Good … here we go …
Action !! … Open the door … out you go !
Hold ‘er steady boys !!!
Just climb up there … !!
Hey! Not bad! – Didn’t fall or anything.
We might make a Stuntman outta you yet.
Here’s your 15 bucks.
Western Stunt Gun Handling
Stunt 3 is mostly a series of ‘close up’ shots – so to speak – done in the studio.
You’re playing Andy Devine‘s role – stagecoach driver. You’ll only have to pretend to handle the reins – but there’s no horses on the set. Just try to look like you know what you’re doing; Handling a real team of horses would be Advanced Western Stunt Horsemanship ...
Here’s an interesting anecdote from Stagecoach (IMDB): “(Director) John Ford liked to bully actors on the set, and this was no exception. At one point he said to Andy Devine, “You big tub of lard. I don’t know why the hell I’m using you in this picture.” Undaunted, Devine replied, “Because Ward Bond can’t drive six horses.” Point taken.
Because Andy Devine usually played a ‘comic relief” role in Westerns, his skills as a Western Actor are massively under-appreciated. He was a really a very accomplished gun handler and rider. And obviously could do other things – like drive a rig.
Now for Stunt 3 … this scene will clearly demonstrate some of the dangers of Western Gun Handling / Firearms.
After you (Yakima Canutt) climb up on the roof of the stagecoach the shooting starts in earnest …
But he keeps on shootin’…
Marshal Curley Wilcox (George Bancroft) is ‘riding shotgun’ … and let’s fly …
John gets smoked again …
Note the huge muzzle flash from the shotgun … about 3 feet long!
Imagine standing in front of that?!
Doc (Thomas Mitchell) starts shootin’ too …
Did you notice Actress Louise Platt covering her ears?
She’s not Acting …
That idiot is shooting his pistol about a foot from her face !!!.
The boys keep blasting away …
OK … time to get you into some action !!
Hold still … while we blast a shotgun off beside your head …
Here comes Johnny !
Ooops, missed …
Did I detect a Wilhelm?
Advanced Canutt Stunting …
Stunting is dangerous.
Injuries sustained by Yakima Canutt during his career:
Wikipedia: “In the five years between 1925 and 1930, fifty-five people were killed making movies, and more than ten thousand injured. By the late 1930’s, the maverick stuntman willing to do anything for a buck was disappearing. Now under scrutiny, experienced stunt men began to separate themselves from amateurs by building special equipment, rehearsing stunts, and developing new techniques.” – from Falling – (How Our Greatest Fear Became Our Greatest Thrill by Garrett Soden)
In early Stunting there were no rules, no guidelines, no techniques, no unions … nothing. Stuntman and horses were cannon fodder. Somebody would walk up to the Stunt guys and say: “I’ll pay 10 dollars for someone to fall off a 30 foot cliff.” Fall – not jump – not mentioning the rocks. Some stunt guy would jump up and say” I’ll do it.” Hey, it was the 20’s and 30’s – 10 bucks was a lot of money. Off he’d go. And possibly return. But maybe not.
But I figure Stunting accidents and injuries are greater than reported. The Stuntmen didn’t want anyone to know they got hurt – nor did the Filmmakers. Especially animals.
Because of all this Yakima Canutt rose to forefront of modern Stunt innovators – creating techniques and devices that enhanced Stunting while saving life and limb.
So … let’s practice some Elementary Western Stunt Horsemanship and Weapon Handling.
We’ll use the famous chase scene from Stagecoach (1939) (Directed by John Ford and Starring John Wayne) as an exercise backdrop:
OK … here we go:
Western Horsemanship: Though many people wouldn’t consider riding a horse much of Stunt, over the years a great many Stunt injuries occured from riding and horse Stunting – probably more than any other Western Stunt. Good Horsemanship in Westerns is therefore, a requirement. But in Western Stunting EXCELLENT Horsemanship is a necessity.
Weapon Handling in Westerns: Guns can kill you – and are meant to do so. Over the years there have been accidental deaths and many injuries caused by firearms in Westerns and Action movies. Even prop guns employed in Film Making and using blank cartridges are dangerous. And as I said before, there’s likely been a lot more incidents than have been reported.
Gun Handling in Westerns opens a particularly rather large can of worms. Why? Because the Stars of the Westerns are required to handle guns (Hand Guns and Rifles …) and perform some Stunting/shooting. And Stars, in a lot of instances, are most likely not experts in Weapon Handling – NOR Stuntmen. Therefore …
Training is required – by experts. If you have no training or expertise in Weapon Handling you are a danger to yourself and and a risk to your co-workers. Movies, these days, employ Licensed Weapon Specialists to ensure the safety of the actors and crew production insurance premium as well. None of this existed in Yak’s day.
There are at least 2 ways in which Western prop firearms they can injure you:
Blank cartridges. There was notion conveyed in early Westerns was that blanks couldn’t hurt you – blank cartridges essentially being bullets with the lead projectile removed. As already noted people have been seriously injured – and killed – by guns firing blank cartridges. The initial concussion/blast – muzzle flash discharge from the barrel of the gun is deadly. I’d say it’s generally unwise to stand less that 8 feet away ?? Let’s make that 10 if possible. And often it’s not.
“Firing Blank Guns are REAL guns that have been modified to use blank ammunition. These firearms are to be considered extremely dangerous and should never be handled by anyone other than a legitimate firearms expert” – The Entertainment Weapons Specialists: http://propguys.com/gundanger/
Listen carefully: The second way in which guns can harm you is NOISE!!: BOOOM!! BWAM!! POW!!! Guns are very loud and can be damaging to your eardrums. Use earplugs when necessary/able.
OK. For your first Stunt we’ll start you off easy:
While galloping at full speed …
I want you to reload your rifle – then fire it.
This will require that you ride using no hands –
Yeah … again it would be useful if you had some experience in riding and handling firearms …
and sorry … you’re required to use blanks for this. We need to see some flash and smoke.
I’d prefer duds – safer for you – the horse – and everybody else. But …
OK … now go ahead, try it …
Got it loaded yet ??? … Good …
Now …. try leveling the rifle and shooting at something. Anything.
Uh huh …
Now … do it again.
(I won’t wait)
Here’s your ten bucks.
There you go – Lesson 1: Elementary Western Stunt riding and Weapon Handling.
Advanced Western Horse Stunting and Weapon Handling
and Stunt 2:
Not a Favorite – or a Classic – but a Western with great cast.
I never thought I’d be discussing a western that starred Raquel Welch, however what really caught my attention was that Hannie Caulder (1971) was the feminist strain that at least is there in the first half of the film. As I’ve said before there are very few Westerns that place women at the centre of the film, positioned on the sidelines as either prostitutes, school teachers or dancers. Hannie (Welch) does not fall into any of these categories, her power comes from the same place as male in the Wild West finds it, his gun.
We first meet our heroine after she is brutally raped and left for dead by the Clemens brothers, played by three actors Ernest Borgnine, Strother Martinand Jack Elam who have grown into the roles of on-screen villain over the past decade or more. These roles take that image to a…
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Shawshank Redemption OST – The Marriage of Figaro Duettino – Sull ‘Aria
“Get busy living … or get busy dying.”
– Andy / The Shawshank Redemption
“Bad luck, I guess. It floats around. It’s got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that’s all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has.”
“Everyone in here is innocent, you know that?”
“We forget that there are places in the world that
aren’t made out of stone …
… that there’s something inside that
they can’t get to and they can’t touch …
… that’s yours.”
“All I want is to be back where things make sense.
Where I won’t have to be afraid all the time.”
“You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific?
They say it has no memory.”
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
“That’s where Andy crossed … crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side … headed for the Pacific.”
“You remember the name of the town, don’t you?”
“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged.”
“Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away…
… the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice … ”
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
This morning the honey bee returned to our garden.
I had not seen them for two years.
And I feared I may never see them again.
But there they were. Flitting from poppy to poppy.
Our garden … complete again.
Yakima Canutt / Stunt Master
I found a couple of clips that show some of Yakima Canutt’s early Western Stunt work. I hope you enjoy them. The first one shows Yak‘s stunts with a particularly dangerous horse that had already killed a man. His method of working with the horse might seem brutal by today’s standards, but was likely typical of his time.
The second is a mini documentary showing some early Stunts by Canutt – and then right up to his Stunt Directing on Ben Hur. Canutt says that his Stunt planning and Direction on the famous chariot race in Ben Hut took 2 years.
lovin her was easier / tompall glaser
Yakima Canutt Actor / Stuntman
In the 20’s or 30’s real Cowboys were often recruited to Star in Westerns – like Tim McCoy, Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard, Wild Bill Elliott .etc.
And who could be a realer Cowboy than Yakima Canutt?
So in 1919, established Western Star and former rodeo contestant Tom Mix, invited Yak to be in 2 of his movies. Later Yak got his first stunt work in a serial called Lightning Bryce; Starring Jack Hoxie.
Yak eventually worked with John Wayne 30 times and was also a stunt double for (among others) Roy Rogers, Gene Autry …
Acting, however, was not really a high factor in many early Westerns – they weren’t even ‘Talkies’, which helped a helluva lot to excuse less than sterling performances. Sometime later however, the great Western Director John Ford was given to say: “It is easier to get an actor to be a cowboy than to get a cowboy to be an actor.” (Do I detect a tinge of bitterness in there?) Thus the movement to recruit Cowboys as actors (with some noted exceptions like Slim Pickens and Ben Johnson) started to come to an end.
Let’s put it this way: Yak, was not a natural actor. He was pretty wooden with not much range of emotion – and absent a bit on that mysterious stuff called charisma. He was not destined to be a big Western Star. He still did damn well though – worked in over 300 movies: Acting, Stunting and Directing.
Yak was eventually awarded the Golden Boot Award in 1984 – which recognized the achievements of Cowboy film heroes and heroines, as well as writers, directors, stunt people and character actors who had significant involvement in the film and TV Westerns.
Yakima’s film credits are massive – over 300 movies as either Actor, Stuntman and action Director.
Too much to list here … so this is an impressive abbreviated list:
Lucy / The Hollies
In 1936, John Wayne appeared in 7 more B Westerns – 5 for Republic and 2 for Universal. The Oregon Trail was the first – also Starring Yakima Canutt.
Shot on location in Lone Pine, California, this film is ‘Lost’ – completely missing. Oddly, 40 stills were found in 2013. That is all that remains. Thus no Reviews.
And the existing poster are not all that great. ??
Seems to have been a lot of hand to hand fighting in this movie. In most of these early Westerns such fights mainly consisted of sloppy wrestling matches. Yakima Canutt is credited with eventually improving the fight choreography and fake punches that were thrown – thus improving the action and the safety of the stunts.
There is no bronc that can’t be rode ….
and there is no cowboy that can’t be throwed
– Cowboy Proverb
Back a ways, Don (https://donostertag.wordpress.com/) (has a hell of a blog) asked about me to do a bit on Yakima Canutt. No problem with that. Yak was one of the greatest Rodeo contestants, Stunt Artists and Stunt Innovators who ever lived – and deserves a large nod. He is profiled on many Western Blogs or Western Websites and I could easily have just re-posted one of his Bios from any of them. Don’t want to do that. So I’ve been feverishly working on coming up with my own compliment to him. Let’s get started
Yakima Canutt was an American Champion Rodeo competitor, Actor, Stuntman and film action Director.
Yakima Canutt Actor / Stuntman
The Wayward Wind / The Browns / 1960
John Wayne’s 8th and last Western of 1935 – B Movies all – and I get the impression this is was not one of the better ones. AllMovies reviews it as 1.5 out of 5. Ouch! Nor does it have any bounty of posters as some of John’s other movies of the era. But we are definitely starting to see the famous John Wayne persona evolving – the confidence, the swagger, his manner of talking. If you make 50 of these things you better learn something …
sloop john b / The Beach Boys
Out of Cathedral – to the streets.
Heading off plaza …
“Homage of the First Council of America the Adelantado Don Bartholomew founder on the east bank of the Ozama River from the town of Santo Domingo Colon on 5 August 1498 before being transferred to this part by the governor of the island of Hispaniola Fray Nicolas Ovando in 1502 “.
These guys really celebrated themselves.
So did we.
Next time … more downtown Santo Domingo
I couldn’t say which decade was the greatest era for Western Poster art. There was great posters all the way from the late 20’s to the late 50’s. Spectacular work – fit to be be framed. Then, as the popularity Westerns seemed to decline in the late 50’s, Poster Art in general seemed to decline also ? with most poster images moving to photos instead.
One thing is for sure, John was riding high.
Cochise was born in the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona in 1805. Cochise’s father and grandfather had been chiefs of the Central Chiricahua. Cochise married, Dos-teh-seh, the daughter of Mangas Coloradas. They had two sons, Taza and Natchez.
Cochise became an important Apache warrior and took part in a battle with the Mexicans in May 1832 on Gila River. In 1847 Cochise was involved in raids in Sonora and by the 1850s he had emerged as one of the main leaders of the Apache tribe. On the death of Narbona he became war leader of the Chiricahuas. In September 1858, Cochise joined Mangas Coloradas, his father-in-law, in an attack on Fronteras Presido.
On 27th January, 1861, Apaches stole cattle and kidnapped a boy from a Sonoita Valley ranch. Second Lieutenant George Bascom was sent out with 54 soldiers to recover the boy. Cochise met Bascom and told him that he would try to recover the boy. Bascom rejected the offer and instead tried to take Cochise hostage. When he tried to flee he was shot at by the soldiers. The wounded Cochise now gave orders for the execution of four white men being held in captivity. In retaliation six Apaches were hanged. Open warfare now broke out and during the next 60 days 150 white people were killed and five stage stations destroyed.
Cochise and Mangas Coloradas killed five people during an attack on a stage at Stein’s Peak, New Mexico. In July, 1861 a war party murdered six white people travelling on a stage-coach at Cooke’s Canyon. The following year Cochise ambushed soldiers as they travelled through the Apache Pass. The Apaches also attacked stage coaches and in 1869 killed a Texas cowboy and stole 250 cattle. Cochise and his men were pursued but after a fight near Fort Bowie the soldiers were forced to retreat.
In 1872 General Oliver Howard had a meeting with Cochise in the Dragoon Mountains and eventually it was agreed that a reservation would be established for the Chiricahuas in Arizona.
Cochise died of cancer on 8th June, 1874. He was replaced as leader of the Chiricahuas by his son, Taza.
MFW: Though it is stated from several sources that there is no known photographs of Cochise, the above image (a drawing?) is presented in several locations as being Cochise. ???
However, I cannot verify it’s authenticity.