Palm Springs Diary … Part 2: Hogs Last Breath and Marilyn

Palm Springs Holiday Part 2: Hogs Last Breath and Marilyn 

Never thot I’d ever go to Palm Springs.  Wasn’t really on my list – bucket or otherwise. So when Rose said she wanted to go there I confess that didn’t know a thing about it – or the area – except that it was hot there – and they played lots of Golf- considered a Golf Mecca by many.

I don’t play golf (unless I visit my brother Bruce on Vancouver Island) so that wasn’t on my agenda.

So I  figured I better look into what there was to do in Palm Springs

So I spotted 2 things that that looked interesting and like a bit of fun: The first was The Hogs Breath Inn – owned by Clint Eastwood, and which was actually very close to where we were staying in La Quinta.

Images of the Hogs Breath Inn below that I fished off the Net:

The Hogs Breath Inn 2

The Hogs Breath Inn 4

The Hogs Breath Inn 3

The Hogs Breath Inn 5

Looks pretty good eh?!

I figured this might be a good place to get some Western style vittles – maybe a nice steak – and a beer …

The second thing I wanted to see was the famous giant statue of Marilyn Monroe in downtown Palm Springs.

Marilyn Monroe statue
Forever Marilyn is a giant statue of Marilyn Monroe designed by Seward Johnson 

I had a hankering to nibble on Marilyn’s ankle … or at least give it a hug …

BUT the fates had a different idea …

“I tried being reasonable, I didn’t like it.”
 – Clint Eastwood

The Hogs Last Breath

ALAS  !! neither of these 2 mini-dreams would come true …

BECAUSE … (unbelievably/inexplicably) the Hogs Breath Inn closed  TWO DAYS before I got here !! 2 days !!! Can you believe that ?? True! Crazy!

Here’s what we found when we went over there:

The Hogs Breath Inn

Sign says:
“We’re Riding Off
Into The Sunset
Easter Sunday was our last day of
business at Hog’s Breath Inn La Quinta.
We want to thank our valued guests for
an incredible 10 years.
While the sun may be setting on Hog’s
Breath Inn La Quinta, … yadda yadda yadda
Visit Hog’s Breath Carmel”

The Hogs Breath Inn poster


The HogsBreath paycheques

Why did it close?
Nobody seems to know ??? – haven’t been able to find out as of yet.

The Hogs Breath Inn ... Closed

(Maybe they knew I wuz cumin’ and they wuz jest plain skeered?)

The Hogs Breath Inn closed 2

hogs breath beer

No Hog’s Breath for me …

Meanwhile … 

Marilyn Cuts Out 

BUT this wasn’t the ONLY disappointment … cuz a couple of days later, when we went down to see the giant Marilyn Monroe statue …



Hauled off to New Jersey they say … for an Art Show … Geeeez …

Nothing is forever

Yet I heard that the the statue is so popular that Palm Springs is trying to buy it from the artist.

Good idea.

Sorry I missed it …






Dennis Hopper Western Filmography …

Dennis Hopper Western Filmography

I count Dennis Hopper’s appearances in at least two Western Classics: Gunfight at OK Corral with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas (1957); and True Grit (1969) with John Wayne. Even if Western movie fans didn’t count these movies as Classic, it would be recognized that Hopper had appeared with three of the Greatest Western Movie Stars of all time: Wayne, Lancaster and Douglas.

Some Western fans may also include Hang ’em High (1968) with another of the Greatest Western Actors of all time: Clint Eastwood; and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) with John Wayne (again), Dean Martin and Earl Holliman.

Among Western TV Shows. Gunsmoke and Bonanza would well be considered Classics. Cheyenne ? (Note: Hoppers roles in the TV Westerns were as a Guest Star – not a regular.)

Even so, not a bad legacy for one the legendary bad boys of the Entertainment industry.

hopper cheyenne

hopper sugarfoot

gunfight at ok corral dennis hopper

hopper from hell to texas

hopper zane grey

hopper rifleman

hopper the young land

hopper wagon train

hopper the dakotas

hopper bonanza

hopper gunsmoke

hopper sons of katie elder

hopper jesse james

hopper will sonnett

hopper the big valley

hopper hang em high

hopper true grit

hopper kid blue

hopper mad dog morgan


Lee Van Cleef – Cowboy Hall of Fame

Trivia: Internet Movie Database IMDB

– 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.

Lee had a smile …

Ride on Lee.

For a Few Dollars More … or less …

Soundtrack A fistful of Dollars / Ennio Morricone

A Fistful of Pesos ?? …

From Wikipedia – The Online Encyclopedia:

– 1964 – Clint Eastwood signed a contract for A Fistful of Dollars for $15,000 US ( $112,403 in 2012 dollars) in wages for eleven weeks work, with a bonus of a Mercedes automobile upon completion.

Sergio Leone intended Henry Fonda to play the “Man with No Name“. However, the production company could not afford to engage a major Hollywood star.

Next, Leone offered Charles Bronson the part. He too, declined the role, arguing that the script was bad.

Both Fonda and Bronson would later star in Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).

– 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.