“Inside of all the makeup and the character and makeup, it’s you, and I think that’s what the audience is really interested in… you, how you’re going to cope with the situation, the obstacles, the troubles that the writer put in front of you.”
– Gregory Peck
Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary, AB T2G, Canada
10 thoughts on “Gregory Peck Westerns Filmography: Part 2”
One more piece of name dropping if you’ll permit. This stuff pops up out of my rotting brain at various intervals. Robert Forster who had one of his first big theatrical film roles in “The Stalking Moon” was doing a play in Mineola, Long Island when “Moon” came out. The play was “Mrs. Dally Has A Lover” with the legendary Arlene Francis in the lead. Francis was “too busy” to chat with local media but young Mr. Forster was most obliging. He spoke about how kind and generous Gregory Peck was to him in shooting “The Stalking Moon “. I think you Mavens know Forster has carved out a nice career. Who knows what I’ll remember next?? My Meds??
Yes he has. Thank you. (Though I confess. for a moment I thought you meant Steve Forrest).
Peck made a good cowboy!! In a 60’s sit down at my Alma Mater (then Hofstra COLLEGE), he talked at length and ease about his westerns. His favorite was “The Gunfighter”. He turned down “High Noon” because it was offered right after he did the Jimmy Ringo character. That’s how Gary Cooper got Will Kane and an Oscar. Peck laughed about “Duel In The Sun” which is forever remembered as “Lust In The Dust”. He got a big kick out of “Yellow Sky” because of co-stars Richard Widmark and John “Lawman” Russell and their off screen antics. He told me westerns gave him a chance to relax and get away from his statesman, holier than thou image. Peck admitted he was bothered by “old time” film industry people who thought of him as a humorless Broadway refugee. He enjoyed making “The Big Country” because of his “Pilgrim” role, working with “Willie Wyler” and a great cast. Peck also had a producer credit with “The Big Country”. He chuckled at Charlton “Chuck” Heston’s initial attitude about 4th billing until he quietly told Heston that working with Wyler would lead to bigger things. Bigger things as in “Ben Hur” the following year. Peck just smiled when I asked if he had put in a word for Heston to get the “Ben Hur” job. Peck was disappointed with “MacKenna’s Gold” because it was a confusing disaster with an all star cast and budget cuts that led to lots of cheap process shots. He was also disappointed because “MacKenna” was directed by J. Lee Thompson who’d done the hugely successful “The Guns of Navarone” with Peck. I think Peck aged nicely in his westerns. “Old Gringo” is a nice example of Peck in his senior years. And, Peck showed a nice sense of humor when reminded about his non-western alter ego, Atticus Finch. “Atticus”, he smiled, “would’ve made a good Cowboy lawyer”.
What a lovely memory! I still remember seeing a man in a pub in Mildenhall village who was the “spitting image” of Mr Peck. I’ve often heard that description for people’s doppleganger’s and upon closer inspection, they are not a spitting image at all. This chap however (he was English) really was. My little group of friends got quite excited until we found out that he was not, after all, the talented Gregory Peck. I still think that apart from his ‘Atticus’ in Mockingbird, was his best performance or at least the one that got him the most notice. But my dad, who still believes firmly that The Big Country is the the best western ever, and I still love Peck’s westerns. I loved him in The Stalking Moon; the last western I ever watched him in. I hope that you have written down these wonder reminiscences for posterity, Garry; I really do! 😀
My Goodness … have you written your memoirs yet ??! You make my pale meanderings worthy. And I love to hear one those ‘turned down the role’ storys too.
It all happens ‘behind the scenes’, doesn’t it!? Us folks out here munching the popcorn have some great enjoyment to be sure, but the REAL story is often far more interesting.
Thanks again for these great insights and anecdotes.
I’ll be danged ! I missed “Old Gringo” (1989) with Peck, Jane Fonda, and Jimmy Smits. I better get that in there .. thanks for the ‘heads up’.
Reblogged this on SERENDIPITY and commented:
Great gallery of poster from some really find old westerns.
thank you kindly .. appreciated .. as we love these fine movies.
I absolutely love your gallery!