I love Westerns.
... and the intent of MyFavoriteWesterns.com is to celebrate Western Movies/Film - old and new.
This site will eventually show my top 30 favorite Westerns - or more. I will have original graphic work with regular updates.
All this - and more ...
Yee Haw ... !!
- jcablerta / Moderator / Administrator
Well … it’s 3:10 … and I’m in Yuma. And it’s dang hot here. My Canadian skin ain’t used to this heat.
I’m also tantalizingly close to Tombstone and Deadwood … but I won’t be able to get there on this trip. Next time.
My real purpose for being here is to take advantage of the cheap dental services across the border – in Mexico. Where’s Doc Holliday when you need him?
Only here for 4 days … then I’m off to Sedona for 3 days. Never as much as I like, but better than nothin’.
The original (above) and the latest (below)
The original 3:10 to Yuma (1957) with Glenn Ford and Van Heflinwas a Western Classic. Ford and Heflin both made several excellent Westerns.
The Russel Crowe and Christian Bales (2007) version of 3:10 to Yumais pretty good too.
But only the original (at this moment) will make make it to MyFavorites list.
“At least 76 feature films, many TV productions and dozens of commercials have been shot either in full or in part in the Greater Sedona area. For three decades, Westernswere the most popular movies in America. From shoot’em-ups to romance, dramas, and the singing cowboy films, they attracted audiences around the world.
The Movie Room in the Sedona Heritage Museum is dedicated to the many hundreds of actors and crew members who have come to Sedona to make their way amidst the scenic grandeur that makes this such a valued destination.
Moviemaking in Sedona began in 1923, with Zane Grey‘s Call of the Canyon. In 1945, John Waynecame to town for his first stint as producer on Angel and the Badmancostarring the beautiful Gail Russell. For this film, Wayne had a western town set built in what is now the Sedona West residential subdivision. Streets there are named after movies made here, like Johnny Guitar, Pony Soldier, and Gun Fury. Stars who worked here include Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Sterling Hayden, Joan Crawford, Glenn Ford, Robert Young, Tyrone Power, Rock Hudson, Elvis Presley, Sam Elliott, Robert Deniroand Johnny Depp.”
Yee Haw !!! I’m off to Sedona for a few days – with stops in Minneapolis and Yuma along the way.
This will be my 3rd trip to Sedona. I went in the 70’s – the 80’s and now in 2012.
I know it’s changed a lot since I was last there. It has resorts, Hotels, Spas, Golf Courses …. etc. that weren’t there before.
I hope to take a dip in Oak Creek (pictured above) like I did so long ago. Weather and water permitting.
I intend to maintain My Favorite Westernsblog while I’m out there. I’m presently working these projects: Stagecoach, MyDarling Clementineand a John WayneBio. I like to make at least a couple of postings every week.
When you attend Art College, the first thing they do is take your colors away and lock ’em up. Then they hand you a black crayon and a piece of white paper and say: “Shut up and Draw, pardner.”
And draw you do.
In 1917 John Ford was handed a black crayon and a camera – and between 1917 and 1927 he drew 62 black and white ‘moving pictures’. ‘Silent films’ they called ’em.
Some 40 of these ‘pictures’ were lost – basically thrown away. But in the process Ford learned the Mastery of composition, framing and direction.
Then, about 1928, somebody said: “Hey … maybe this guy can help us figure out how to use this thing called ‘Sound’.”
Wikipedia: “Stagecoach (1939) was Ford’s first western since 3 Bad Men in 1926, and it was his first with sound. Reputedly Orson Welles watched Stagecoachforty times in preparation for making Citizen Kane. It remains one of the most admired and imitated of all Hollywood movies, not least for its climactic stagecoach chase and the hair-raising horse-jumping scene, performed by the stuntman Yakima Canutt.”
Ultimately, in 1939, Ford finally got his colors:
Wikipedia: “Drums along the Mohawk (1939) was a lavish frontier drama co-starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert it was also Ford’s first movie in colorand included uncredited script contributions by William Faulkner. It was a big box-office success, grossing $1.25 million in its first year in the US and earning Edna May Oliver a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.”
But Ford had learned something about Black and White – it could say things in dramatic ways that color often distracted from. So on occasion he went back to his black crayon and white slate, as in“The Man who shot Liberty Valence”.
“Rider of the Law” – 1919, black and white silent movie – Told of the adventures of the Texas Rangers.
“3 Bad Men” – 1926, Ford’s last silent western. Filmed in the Mojave Desert and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“Stagecoach“ – 1939, Ford’s first western with sound. Starring the unknown John Wayne, along with Claire Trevor, this movie is still the most admired and the most imitated of all the Hollywood movies.
“MoDrums Along the hawk“ – 1939, Ford’s first Technicolor movie. It co-starred Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.
“My Darling Clementine“ – 1946, romanticized version of the legend of Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Film’s starred Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp, Victor Mature as Doc Holliday, and Linda Darnell.
“Fort Apache” – 1948, The first of Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy”. John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and also Shirley Temple in one of her last movie appearances. It was one of the first movies to present a sympathetic and authentic view of Native Americans.
“She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” – 1949, second of the “Cavalry Trilogy”. In Technicolor.
“Rio Grande“ – 1950, Third part of the “Cavalry Trilogy” starred John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and screen debut of Wayne’s son Patrick Wayne.
“The Searchers“ – 1956, The only western Ford made in the 1950’s besides “Rio Grande”, this movie was named “the greatest western of all time” by the American Film Institute in 2008. Featured the rising star Natalie Wood as well as Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, and others.
“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” – 1962, said to be Ford’s last great movie. It starred John Wayne, Vera Miles, James Stewart, Edmund O’Brien, Andy Devine, Lee Marvin, Denver Pyle, and John Carradine.
“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”/ Navajo Proverb
In scouting between the lines of the trailer for the new The Lone Rangermovie (starring Johnny Depp as Tonto), we glean that Depp’s portrayal of Tonto appears to be – in part – that of a Native Shaman. (Tread softly Johnny. Critics – and many natives – await in ambush.)
The image below is stated as that which Depp bases his portrayal of Tonto upon:
In the best interests of tabloid journalism … questions – like smoke signals – do arise. And where there’s smoke ….
Yet Depp’s answers give us hope:
“One of the more curious aspects of the Tonto make-up is the series of black lines that run down his face. According to Depp, those lines are meant to symbolize the character’s emotional life. “There’s this very wise quarter, a very tortured and hurt section, an angry and rageful section, and a very understanding and unique side. I saw these parts, almost like dissecting a brain, these slivers of the individual,” Depp explained. “That makeup inspired me.”
The revitalized Tonto has been met with more than its fair share of criticism, much like Jack Sparrow was in the very beginning. No part of the character’s new look has been mocked as much as the crow that sits on top of his head, another inspiration from the Sattler painting. “It just so happened Sattler had painted a bird flying directly behind the warrior’s head. It looked to me like it was sitting on top,” Depp said. “I thought: Tonto’s got a bird on his head. It’s his spirit guide in a way. It’s dead to others, but it’s not dead to him. It’s very much alive.”
Eagle Dance Song – Ronald Roybal – Native American Flute Music
John Ford Point … Monument Valley
“Director John Ford’s 1939 film Stagecoach, starring John Wayne, has had an enduring influence in making Monument Valley famous. After that first experience, Ford returned nine times to shoot Westerns — even when the films were not set in Arizona or Utah. A popular lookout point is named in his honor as “John Ford Point.””
– Travels with Grama http://www.travelswithgrama.com/travels/monvalley.htm
Below: John Ford’s Point: Shot from the new movie: The Lone Ranger– starring Johnny Depp and Arnie Hammer.
The Lone Ranger Theme Music / William Tell Overture
Normally I’m pretty excited when I hear there’s a new Western being made …
But when I heard that the movie was a remake of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp playing Tonto … I had my reservations (if you’ll excuse the expression).
But then I heard that the project had been axed … due to a lack of wampum (if you’ll excuse the expressions).
But then I herd it wuz back on again – them having raised the loot and lowered the costs.
Anyway … the project is now in the can and below is the recent info.
My fears that the movie might insult the legacy, legend and traditional of original Lone Ranger and Tonto are still not thwarted, but we still don’t have enough info to know whether this project will fly or not.
– Van Cleef had almost given up on his acting career in the mid-’60s and turned to painting when he was cast by Sergio Leone in For a Few Dollars More(1965). It made him a superstar in Europe and restarted his career in the US, making him again a recognizable and bankable name.
– Lee had one green eye and one blue eye. This was corrected in the movies with colored contact lenses.
– He was involved in a car accident in 1959 in which he lost his left kneecap. Doctors told him he would never be able to ride a horse again because of the injury. Within six months he was back in the saddle. But the injury plagued him for the rest of his life.
– Other actors who turned the role down were Henry Silva, Rory Calhoun, Tony Russel, Steve Reeves, Ty Hardin, James Coburn and Richard Harrison.
Soundtrack For a Few Dollars More / Ennio Morricone
For a few pesos more …
From Wikipedia – The Online Encyclopedia
– 1965 – Clint Eastwood received $50,000 for returning in the sequel For a Few Dollars More, while Lee Van Cleef received $17,000.
– Charles Bronson was again approached for a starring role, but he passed it up, citing that the sequel’s script was like the first film. Lee Van Cleef then accepted the role.
– As all of the film’s footage was shot silent, Eastwood and Van Cleef returned to Italy where they dubbed over their dialogue and the sound effects were added.
One of my favorite things is to investigate who turned down – or lost out – on certain movie roles.
For instance. Gary Cooper turned down The Big Trail, Stagecoach, and Red River. John Wayne took all three. Cooper carried on very nicely, but Wayne went on to become the Number One Star in Movies and possibly the greatest Western Star of all time.
“112,000 dollars” in 1964 for Clint – for 11 weeks work. And a Mercedes. Not bad at all actually – and he wasn’t even a star … yet. Though by todays Movie Star standards that might sound a bit weak. But as they say in Hollywood: “The only bad actor is an unemployed actor.”
Of course ‘nobody’ (if you’ll excuse the expression) had no idea of the success these movies would be – the start of the whole Spaghetti Western phenomenon. And very obviously – by the number of actors that turned these movies down – plenty of people didn’t think much of the opportunity.
But if Bronson hadn’t been so picky, Lee Van Cleef might very well have just faded away into the Western sunset.
Bronson and Henry Fonda later appeared in Leone’s Western Classic: Once Upon a Time in the West / 1968. This also included Woody Strode, Jack Elam, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale. This Western is cited by many as their Favorite of time.
Just about anything and everything about Billy the Kid seems to be bizarre, surrounded by questions, lost in lies, or mired in myth.
Then there’s this:
Left-handed or right-handed?
It is very common – and confusing – to find the famous photo of Billy the Kid reversed – with the rifle on the left side – or the right. Which has caused many people to believe the ‘The Kid’ was left-handed.
But the confusion is justified:
“It was widely assumed throughout much of the 20th century that Billy the Kid was left-handed. This perception was encouraged by the above mentioned photograph of McCarty (Billy the Kid’s real name is not William H. Bonney) , in which he appears to be wearing a gun belt with a holster on his left side, but further examination revealed that as all Winchester Model 1873 rifles were made with the loading gate on the right side of the receiver, the “left-handed” photograph is in fact a mirror image. Indeed, the notion of a left-handed Billy became so entrenched that, in 1958, a film biography of “the Kid” (starring Paul Newman) was titled The Left Handed Gun.
In 1954, western historians James D. Horan and Paul Sann announced the disclosure that McCarty (The Kid) was “right-handed and carried his pistol on his right hip”. More recently, in response to a story from The Guardian that used an uncorrected McCarty ferrotype, Clyde Jeavons, a former curator of the National Film and Television Archive, cited their work and added:
You can see by the waistcoat buttons and the belt buckle. This is a common error which has continued to reinforce the myth that Billy the Kid was left-handed. He was not. He was right-handed and carried his gun on his right hip. This particular reproduction error has occurred so often in books and other publications over the years that it has led to the myth that Billy the Kid was left-handed, for which there is no evidence. On the contrary, the evidence (from viewing his photo correctly) is that he was right-handed: he wears his pistol on his right hip with the butt pointing backwards in a conventional right-handed draw position.
A second look at the ferrotype confirms what Jeavons wrote. The prong on the belt buckle points the wrong way, and the buttons on the Kid’s vest are on the left side, the side reserved for ladies’ blouses. The convention for men’s wear is that buttons go down the right side.
Wallis wrote in 2007 that McCarty was ambidextrous. This observation seems to be supported by contemporaneous newspaper accounts reporting that Billy the Kid could shoot handguns “with his left hand as accurately as he does with his right” and that “his aim with a revolver in each hand, shooting simultaneously, is unerring.”
Thus – typically for ‘the Kid’ – both photos are legitimate.
The amount of strange myths, legends and disinformation surrounding Billy the Kid would fill several books. And 23 movies.