Kirk Douglas … Westerns Filmography
via Kirk Douglas … Westerns Filmography.
A Celebration of Western Movies… Pardner!
Kirk Douglas … Westerns Filmography
via Kirk Douglas … Westerns Filmography.
“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
Gregory Peck Western Filmography: Duel in the Sun.
Directed by King Vidor, produced and written by David O. Selznick
Peck’s first Western and one of Peck’s first movies – and a controversial one. It received the nickname “Lust in the Dust” and even by today’s standards we see how this steamy Western must have challenged the morals of the day (1946). Several scenes had to be cut as they could not pass the censorship boards. (One wonders what the uncut version would have been like … whew !!) Yet, still Nominated Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jennifer Jones) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Lillian Gish).
Wikipedia: “Selznick had high hopes that Duel in the Sun would surpass his success with Gone with the Wind. The film received poor reviews, however, and was highly controversial due to its sexual content and to Selznick’s real-life relationship with Jones, which broke up both of their marriages. Despite the bad press, it was a box-office success for Selznick, although not a second Gone with the Wind. It earned $11,300,000 in rentals in North America during its initial release and much more overseas and in the 1954 re-release.”
Because of the film’s huge production costs (rumored to be over $6,000,000), its $2,000,000 advertising campaign (unheard of at the time) and Selznick’s costly distribution tactics, the film apparently only broke even.
Charlton Heston Bio – Western Hall of Fame.
Charlton Heston – Inducted My Favorite Westerns Western Hall of Fame
BIG … and a Western Classic with Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Burl Ives, Carroll Baker, Jean Simmons, Chuck Conners …
“This is the west, Jim, a man is still expected to defend himself. If he allows people to think he won’t, he’s in trouble. Bad trouble.”
Below; The classic fight scene from The Big Country
or ‘How to pull your britches on, Western style’.
Not many folks can deliver a volley of insults like Heston:
“All I can say, McKay, is you take a helluva long time to say good-bye.”
Over the years we’ve had a few excellent Western Mini Series … Lonesome Dove and Deadwood come to mind immediately.
Currently we have two very good Western Mini Series: Copper and Hell On Wheels. The production qualities are excellent in both series so if you haven’t picked up on them yet, I invite to have a look.
Below are a couple of images and Trailers. The Hell on Wheels trailer is brilliant.
The Good: a 3 day spiritual seminar in Minneapolis.
The Bad: 11 hours in a dentist’s chair in Algodones, Mexico.
The Agony: 3 days in beautiful Sedona, Arizona … but I can’t eat anything.
(Pictured: Fat old Western fan: This is my Charlton Heston stance … notice how I don’t really look much like Charlton Heston … or even Tom Mix.)
It’s true … you “can’t go home again”.
Much has changed since I last visited Sedona back in the 70’s and early 80’s.
Sedona has changed … a lot … but so have I. I’m no longer the youthful hippie who scrambled elegantly over the Red Rock and swam in Oak Creek as the sublime Arizona sun set.
Yet I knew this would be so: This is a different moment. But it’s just as good as any previous moment … and only a fool misses the value of the day by dwelling on the past. It is what it is … and I count my blessings.
So despite my dental denials I squeezed as much love and joy out of my precious time here as I could.
Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers – Tumbling Tumbleweed
“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, Westerns were 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 Wayne came to town for his first stint as producer on Angel and the Badman costarring 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 Deniro and 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 Westerns blog while I’m out there. I’m presently working these projects: Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine and a John Wayne Bio. I like to make at least a couple of postings every week.
So … Happy Trails folks …
Billy the Kid by Woody Guthrie
The Kid …
Soundtrack: The Hired Hand by Bruce Langhorne
Jeremiah Johnson and Billy the Kid: Stranger than Fiction?
I doubt many care – or even that it’s all that important – but Robert Redford doesn’t look much like the real Jeremiah Johnson.
However … in most Westerns, it don’t really seem to matter whether the actor looks like the actual person – or not. There’s plenty of examples: Kris Kristofferson as Billy the Kid in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Kristofferson was too good looking for ‘the Kid’ – and was also in his 30’s. While the ‘Kid’ was … well … an ugly cuss (if I can tell by the famous photo) and was about 20 years old … almost ‘a kid’. But, James Coburn didn’t look a whole lot like Pat Garrett … I better stop here. Great movie though.
So if likeness’ is a casting necessity … ?
Hell, maybe it’s just too darn hard to find anybody that ugly who can act.
A young Henry Silva actually looks a lot like ‘the Kid”.
In most other movie biographies though, likeness is important. For instance, If you’re playing Winston Churchill … Redford wouldn’t get the job … and also (hopefully) the chance to murder an English accent.
And I do admit that Redford’s ‘matinée idol’ looks did initially grate on me a bit when I first watched Jeremiah Johnson. I figured they should have cast somebody a bit more (or a lot more?) rugged looking than Redford. Someone like Tom Selleck maybe, or Lee Marvin. Bronson? (Trivia says that this movie was initially to star Clint Eastwood as Johnson – and be directed by Sam Peckinpah … WOW! … that would have been a different movie … punk) We didn’t get lucky.
Director Sydney Pollock, however, had a very simple philosophy about making a movie: Employ Stars. Star Power guarantees success. And Pollock surely knew Redford’s Star Power – Directing him in seven movies.
And all in all … Redford did a great job: one of My Favorite Westerns.
The other beef I had with the movie was that the actual (supposed) true story about Jeremiah Johnson seemed more interesting than the movie version.
I suspect, however, that some of these ‘facts’ about Johnson pushed a few credibility buttons … and was hardly the stuff of ‘Heros’. “Liver Eating Johnson”?! Some believe Johnson actually did this. It’s said that the Crow believed that unless a body was intact that the spirit could not pass over. So Johnson removed the liver and … yet it’s also said that Johnson confessed once that this story was a story he propagated (to scare or anger the Crow?) But if you were a cannibal, would you admit it?
Possible. Probable? Believable?
I figure some of these ‘details’ were kept out of the movie because not only do they seem implausible, but they made the character – our Hero – a lot less of a Goodguy.
Then there’s the story that Johnson killed over 300 Crow braves. 300?!! That’s a hell of a lot of empty Teepees. Let’s see … if the Crow sent only one brave at a time (as the movie suggests)… and Johnson killed one brave a month … it would take 25 years to kill 300 Crow. That’s almost as hard to swallow as liver. 30 would be impressive enough … and believable. But 300 … ??? You have to question it.
But who’s counting?
Johnson? The Crow? (I might believe their count). But Johnson’s …
Yet … maybe it’s true.
Billy the Kid’s myth labours under similar suspicious history. Some claim ‘The Kid” really only killed about 4 people … though folklore and myth claim about 20 … or more.
So … the truth is … we really don’t know the truth.
Yet again … sometimes the truth IS indeed ‘stranger than fiction’.
Samuel Pack “Sam” Elliott (born August 9, 1944) is an American actor. His rangy physique, thick horseshoe moustache, deep, resonant voice, and Western drawl lend to frequent casting as cowboys and ranchers.
… One of his first film roles was as ‘Card Player #2’ in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
… In 1979, he played the oldest brother in the made-for-TV miniseries The Sacketts, also starring Tom Selleck, Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Glenn Ford, Ruth Roman, Mercedes McCambridge, Jack Elam, and Gilbert Roland, among others.
… including Buffalo Girls (1995) in which he played Wild Bill Hickok. In 1998, Elliot was named the Grand Marshal of the Calgary Stampede parade and rode in the procession before 300,000 spectators. He has also starred in Road House (1989) with Patrick Swayze and played Virgil Earp in Tombstone (1993), which starred Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.
Sam Elliott Website: A Tribute to Sam Elliott: http://www.automatedculture.com/sam_elliott/
“I`ve spent my entire career on horseback or on a motorcycle.”
In researching Westerns … I’m finding I have some ‘dues’ to pay. I’ve discovered my education in Western movies is sadly lacking and there are a ton of Westerns out there that I have never seen that I need to ‘catch up on’ – even at this late date.
In doing so I’ve also found that I sometimes have to subject myself to a few Westerns that are less than excellent. Like tonight, when I decided to watch The Shadow Riders with Tom Selleck. Tom Selleck is a favorite actor of mine and, in fact, is in one of My Favorite Westerns: Quigley Down Under. But The Shadow Riders is (sadly) not of the same calibre. It’s a TV Movie – a B Movie. Not that all TV Movies or B Movies are poor – some are pretty good and a lot of fun to watch – they just aren’t normally ‘top of the line’ in production qualities.
The Shadow Riders actually has some pretty fine talent in – besides Selleck: Sam Eliott, Ben Johnson; Catherine Ross … plus a sampling of trusty support actors. But it’s not a good movie.
Selleck and Elliot appeared together several times in Westerns:
With regard to Ben Johnson: a fine Western actor who has appeared in MANY Westerns – and is also in another of my My Favorite Westerns: The Wild Bunch. He’s one of the four (anti) heroes who march to the final showdown – along with William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, and Warren Oates.
Ben Johnson definitely has a place in the MFW Cowboy Hall of Fame …
Ride on Ben …