Robert Ryan … Cowboy Noir

     Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan
Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan was already a grizzled veteran of the screen when I was a kid – and I missed most of his earlier work of the 40’s and 50’s. And to me he always seemed to be one of those actors that somehow were never young – even in his early movies – with a presence, stature and persona that moved past his years and youth.

Rugged and somewhat gruff in his portrayals – even his smile was often more like a sardonic smirk – he often played the heavy – a villain. Yet he surely played strong and well along side the likes of:

Gary Cooper (North West Mounted Police / 1940
Rock Hudson (Horizons West / 1952
James Stewart and Janet Leigh (The Naked Spur / 1953
Clark Gable and Jane Russell (The Tall Men / 1955
Burl Ives and Tina Louise (Day of the Outlaw /1959
John Dehner and Torin Thatcher (The Canadians / 1961,
Lancaster, Marvin, Palance
StrodeBellamy and Cardinale (The Professionals / 1966
James Garner and Jason Robards (Hour of the Gun / 1967
Robert Shaw (Custer of the West /1968
Arthur Kennedy (
A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die / 1968
William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson … (The Wild Bunch / 1969
Burt Lancaster, Lee J. Cobb (Lawman / 1971 …
and more …

A heck of an actor. And these are just his Westerns !

But what Westerns they were ! At least 3 easily rising  into the heights of Western Classics: The Wild Bunch, The Professionals, Naked Spur, Hour of the Gun … plus others of worthy note.

A true Western Star.

Robert Ryan
Robert Ryan
the professionals ryan
Robert Ryan / The Wild Bunch
Robert Ryan / The Professionals
Robert Ryan / The Professionals
Ryan 'slappin leather' in The Hour of the Gun
Ryan slappin’ leather in The Hour of the Gun
Robert Ryan / The Wild Bunch
Ryan (Center Back) with mostly unidentified cast cohorts of The Wild Bunch 
– except Strother Martin (Back left)
Ryan - The Naked
Ryan – The Naked Gun

Ride on Robert …

The Professionals cast … Woody Strode Westerns Poster Filmography

Celebrating Woody Strode Westerns

Woody Strode Posters
Woody Strode Posters

A Western Film career spanning 35 years.

Woody Strode 2 …

The Professionals strode 4

Above: Image from Once Upon a Time in the West

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Above: Image from The Professionals

 “If you’re a nice guy, you can walk into a room anywhere in the world.”
– Woody Strode

The Professionals strode 6

The Professionals … Woody Strode

The Professionals strode 1

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The Professionals strode 2

Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode
(July 25, 1914 – December 31, 1994)
was a decathlete and football star who went on to become a pioneering African American film actor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for
Best Supporting Actor for his role in Spartacus in 1960.
He served in the US Army during World War II.
(Wikipedia)

Woody Strode Westerns

Sergeant Rutledge (1960) / Two Rode Together (1961) / The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) / The Professionals (1966) / Shalako (1968) / Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) / Boot Hill (1969) / Chuck Moll (1970) / The Deserter (1971) / The Revengers (1972) / Keoma (Django Rides Again) and (The Violent Breed) (1976) / Lust in the Dust (1985) / Posse (1993) /
The Quick and the Dead (1995)

Klondike mini-series update: “Real-life flood drama hits Alberta-shot TV and film productions”

Hell on wheels – TV Series

Klondike – Mini-Series

Interstellar – Hollywood sci-fi film – directed by Christopher Nolan and star Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey

Heartland – TV Series

” … Oakes’ Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures is also producer of the Discovery Channel’s miniseries Klondike with Richard Madden, Abbie Cornish and Sam Shepard. The period drama, which was shot at the CL Ranch near Springbank, (Alberta), had finished filming but flooding has prevented crews from properly wrapping up the site … ” Real-life flood drama hits Alberta-shot TV and film productions Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Real+life+flood+drama+hits+Alberta+shot+film+productions/8572464/story.html#ixzz2XcMj6vjs

Making sure everyone gets their due 2 … Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard

Actor, Director, Playwrite, Author, Pulitzer Prize Winner …
Soon appearing in Discovery Channel’s miniseries KLONDIKE

banditas sam shepard 2

“I don’t have a computer. I don’t have an Internet. I don’t
have the 
e-mail. I don’t have any of that shit.” – Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard Websitehttp://www.sam-shepard.com/index.html

MFW: You’ve got a hell of a lot of something Sam.

Wikipedia:

Sam Shepard (born Samuel Shepard Rogers IV; November 5, 1943) is an American playwright, actor, and television and film director. He is the author of several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs, and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983). Shepard received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009.

Awards:

Won Obie Award for Best Distinguished Play(s): 1966 Chicago, Icarus’s Mother, Red Cross; 1967 La Turista; 1968 Forensic and the Navigator, Melodrama Play; 1973 The Tooth of Crime
1975 Won Obie Award for Best Playwriting: Action
1977 Won Obie Award for Best New American Play: Curse of the Starving Class
1979 Won Obie Award for Best Playwriting: Buried Child
1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Buried Child
1980 Won Obie Award for Sustained Achievement
1984 Won Obie Award for Best New American Play: Fool for Love
1984 Won Obie Award for Best Direction: Fool for Love
1984 Nominated Academy Award for Best Supporting ActorThe Right Stuff
1985 Nominated BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay: Paris, Texas
1986 Won Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play: A Lie of the Mind
1986 Won New York Drama Critics’ Circle for Best Play: A Lie of the Mind
1986 Won Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play: A Lie of the Mind
1992 Won American Academy of Arts and Letters – Gold Medal for Drama
1994 Inducted American Theatre Hall of Fame
1996 NominatedTony Award for Best Play: Buried Child
1997 Nominated Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best TV Supporting Actor: Hallmark Hall of Fame: “Lily Dale”
1999 Nominated Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Dash and Lilly
1999 Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film: Dash and Lilly
2000 Nominated Tony Award for Best PlayTrue West
2001 Nominated Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Acting EnsembleBlack Hawk Down
2008 Nominated SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor – TV Movie or Miniseries: Ruffian

Born Samuel Shepard Rogers IV in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, he worked on a ranch as a teenager. His father, Samuel Shepard Rogers, Jr., was a teacher and farmer who served in the United States Army Air Forces as a bomber pilot during World War II; Shepard has characterized him as “a drinking man, a dedicated alcoholic”. His mother, Jane Elaine (née Schook), was a teacher and a native of Chicago, Illinois. Shepard was forced to support his mother and brother when his father’s farm lapsed into insolvency. After graduating from Duarte High School in 1961, he briefly studied agriculture at Mt. San Antonio College, where he became enamored with the oeuvre of Samuel Beckett, jazz, and abstract expressionism. Shepard soon dropped out to join a touring repertory group, the Bishop’s Company.

After securing a position as a busboy at The Village Gate … after winning six Obie Awards between 1966-1968, Shepard emerged as a viable screenwriter … drummed sporadically from 1967 through 1971 with psychedelic folk band The Holy Modal Rounders … (1968).

Shepard’s early science fiction play The Unseen Hand (1969) would influence Richard O’Brien’s stage musical The Rocky Horror ShowCowboy Mouth—a collaboration with then-mistress Patti Smith—was staged for one night at The American Place Theater in April 1971, providing early exposure for the future punk rock singer; seeking to distance himself from Smith and his substance abuse, Shepard relocated with his wife and son to London in the early 1970s. Returning to America in 1975, he moved to the 20-acre Flying Y Ranch in Mill Valley, California and served for a semester as Regents’ Professor of Drama at the University of California, Davis.

Shepard accompanied Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue of 1975 as the ostensible screenwriter of the surrealist Renaldo and Clara (1978) … His diary of the tour (Rolling Thunder Logbook) was published by Penguin Books in 1978. A decade later, Dylan and Shepard co-wrote the 11-minute “Brownsville Girl“, included on Dylan’s Knocked Out Loaded (1986) album and later compilations.

In 1975, he was named playwright-in-residence at the Magic Theatre, where many of his notable works (including his Family Trilogy: Buried Child [1978], Curse of the Starving Class [1978], and True West [1980]) received their premier productions. Some critics expand this grouping to a quintet which includes Fool for Love (1983) and A Lie of the Mind (1985).

Shepard began his acting career in earnest when he was cast as the handsome land baron in Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), opposite Richard Gere and Brooke Adams. This led to other important films and roles, most notably his portrayal of Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff(1983), earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. By 1986, one of his playsFool for Love, was being made into a film directed by Robert Altman; his play A Lie of the Mind was Off-Broadway with an all-star cast including Harvey Keitel and Geraldine Page; he was living with Jessica Lange; and he was working steadily as a film actor—all of which put him on the cover of Newsweek magazine.

Throughout the years, Shepard has done a considerable amount of teaching on writing plays and other aspects of theatre. His classes and seminars have occurred at various theatre workshops, festivals, and universities.

Shepard was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1986. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1986.

In 2000, Shepard decided to repay a debt of gratitude to the Magic Theatre by staging his play The Late Henry Moss as a benefit in San Francisco. The cast included Nick NolteSean PennWoody Harrelson, and Cheech Marin. The limited, three-month run was sold out.

In 2001, Shepard had a notable role of General William F. Garrison in the box office hit and cult classic movie Black Hawk Down. Although he was cast in a supporting role, it reinvigorated interest in Shepard among the public and critics alike.

He performed Spalding Gray‘s final monologue Life Interrupted for its audio release through Macmillan Audio in 2006.

In 2007, Shepard contributed banjo to Patti Smith’s cover of Nirvana’s song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on her album Twelve.

Although many artists have had an influence on Shepard’s work, one of the most significant has been actor-director Joseph Chaikin, a veteran of the Living Theatre and founder of a group called the Open Theatre. The two have often worked together on various projects, and Shepard acknowledges that Chaikin has been a valuable mentor.

publication of the collection Day out of Days: Stories. The book includes “short stories, poems and narrative sketches … that developed from dozens of leather-bound notebooks [Shepard] has carried with him over the years.”

Shepard starred in the 2011 Western film Blackthorn.

Western Films:

1995 / Streets of Laredo
1999 / Purgatory
2000 / All the Pretty Horses
2005 / Bandidas
2007 / The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2011 / Blackthorn
2013
/ Klondike – miniseries in post production

Making sure everyone gets their due … Bandidas

Stars of Bandidas: 

banditas salma hayek

 Salma Hayek

Wikipedia:

Salma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1966)[1] is a Mexican American film actress, director and producer. She began her career in Mexico starring in the telenovela Teresa and went on to star in the film El Callejón de los Milagros (Miracle Alley) for which she was nominated for an Ariel Award. In 1991 Hayek moved to Hollywood and came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as Desperado (1995), Dogma (1999), and Wild Wild West (1999).

Her breakthrough role was in the 2002 film Frida as Frida Kahlo which she received an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress. The movie received widespread attention and was a critical and commercial success. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special in 2004 for The Maldonado Miracle and received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2007 after guest-starring in the ABC television series Ugly Betty.
Hayek’s recent films include Grown Ups (2010) acting alongside Adam Sandler, and Puss in Boots (2011), which also features former collaborator Antonio Banderas, wherein she is the voice of the character ‘Kitty Softpaws’.

banditas penelope cruz

Penélope Cruz

Wikipedia:

Penélope Cruz Sánchez: born April 28, 1974) is a Spanish actress. Signed by an agent at age 15, she made her acting debut at 16 on television and her feature film debut the following year inJamón, jamón (1992), to critical acclaim. Her subsequent roles in the 1990s and 2000s included Open Your Eyes (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1999), The Girl of Your Dreams (2000) and Woman on Top (2000). Cruz achieved recognition for her lead roles in the 2001 films Vanilla Sky and Blow.

She has since built a successful career, appearing in films from a range of genres, including the comedy Waking Up in Reno (2002), the thriller Gothika (2003), the Christmas movie Noel (2004), and the action adventure Sahara (2005). She has received critical acclaim for her roles in Volver (2006) and Nine (2009) receiving Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for each. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She was the first Spanish actress in history to receive an Academy Award and the first Spanish actress to receive a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Cruz has modeled for companies such as Mango, Ralph Lauren and L’Oréal. Penélope and her younger sister Mónica Cruz have designed items for Mango. She has donated both her time and money to charities. Cruz has volunteered inUganda and India, where she spent one week working for Mother Teresa; she donated her salary from The Hi-Lo Country to help fund the late nun’s mission. A wax sculpture of Cruz will be placed in a premier spot in the Grevin Wax Museum in Paris.

Les Petroleuses … Bandidas …

Rick, if you thot Les Petroleuses / 1971 was “interesting”, then you might wanna look at this …

Bandidas / 2006

It’s almost a copy the Les Petroleuses, but replaces Bardot and Cardinale
with Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz.

______________________________________________

When in doubt … make lottsa posters.

banditas posters

Not sure about the plot (if there is one),
but the posters look … interesting.

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Sam Shepard

My … what a big gun you have …

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Casting Claudia .. part 2 ..

Claudia at the Top

These aren’t the only posters that were made for
Once Upon a Time in the West.
This batch seems to promote Claudia … and as you see she gets
Top Bill on most of them.

The Professionals claudia 3

_______________________________

That other Western Claudia did? (Rick was asking)

Les Petroleuses / 1971

Starring Brigitte Bardot and Claudia Cardinale 

Wikipedia says: “Pétroleuses were, according to popular rumours at the time, female supporters of the Paris Commune, accused of burning down much of Paris during the last days of the Commune in May 1871. During May, when Paris was being recaptured by loyalist Versaillais troops, rumours circulated that lower-class women were committing arson against private property and public buildings, using bottles full of petroleum or paraffin (similar to modern-day Molotov cocktails) which they threw into cellar windows, in a deliberate act of spite against the government. Many Parisian buildings, including the Hôtel de Ville and the Tuileries Palace, were burned down during the last days of the Commune, prompting government forces to blame the mythical pétroleuses.”

Yeah … well … this doesn’t appear to be a French historical docu-drama.

The Professionals claudia 6

The Professionals claudia Les PetroleusesRenamed Frenchie King (for North American markets?)
IMDB viewers give it a “5 out of 10” !!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067637/
Michael J. Pollard … ?
OK.

Yee Haw !!!

The Professionals / Claudia …

The Professionals claudia 2

Claudia Cardinale Westerns

Claudia Cardinale only made about 3 Westerns – which is rather startling since she is an Italian actress and was a major Star in Europe during the height of Spaghetti Westerns.

However, when she did her aim was extremely good – starring in 2 of the greatest Westerns ever made: The Professionals and Sergio Leone‘s Once Upon a Time in the West – which many rank as the Top Western of all time.
Not bad at all.

The Professionals claudia 5

 

Hell On Wheels Shuts Down Production Due To Calgary Floods

Hell On Wheels Shuts Down Production Due To Calgary Floods

http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Hell-Wheels-Shuts-Down-Production-Due-Calgary-Floods-56981.html

“Like plenty of other small screen programs, AMC’s Hell on Wheels has opted to shoot in Canada. The Calgary-based program is set to return to the schedule for an action-packed Season 3 premiere on August 3. However, recent and major floods on set may make it harder for the show to finish shooting Season 3 for a while. The show was busy filming last week when floods overtook the set, causing production to shut down. … “

Hell On Wheels Shuts Down Production Due To Calgary Floods image

WhoSay - Photo from  Anson Mount

WhoSay - Photo from  Anson Mount

The Professionals / Jack Palance

” … Without love, without a cause, we are… *nothing*!
We stay because we believe. We leave because we are disillusioned.
We come back because we are lost. We die because we are committed …”

– Jack Palance as Jesus Raza

The Professionals Palance

Jack Palance Westerns 

Shane 1953 / Arrowhead 1953 / The Lonely Man 1957 / The Professionals 1966 / The Mercenary 1968 / The Desperados 1969/ Companeros 1970 / Monte Walsh 1970 / The McMasters 1970 / Sting of the West 1972 / Chato’s Land 1972 / It Can Be Done Amigo 1972 / The Godchild 1974 / God’s Gun 1976 / The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang 1979 / Welcome to Blood City 1984 / Young Guns 1988 / City Slickers 1991 / City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold 1994 / Buffalo Girls 1995 / Monte Walsh 2003

 

The Professionals ? … Marketing Anomalies …

The Professionals didn’t seem to indulge in a lot of marketing promotion. Possibly (credibly) relying on it’s AllStar cast to carry it.
But some of marketing images are still a bit of a head scratcher.
Like this:

The Professionals Marketing
The Professionals DVD Cover / Poster

This DVD cover/poster headlines “Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance and Ralph Bellamy“. But … ? the image shows Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Marvin, Ryan and Woody Strode.
Palance and Bellamy are Billed, but not pictured. Cardinale and Strode are pictured, but not Billed.
???

This can only be attributed to contractual agreements regarding who would get Billed ahead of who … whom? I guess.

Even stranger: As shown below, Cardinale did not even appear in the original photo, but she was cleverly inserted later – between Lancaster and Marvin.
YET … she is not even identified on the Bill !! ??

Why bother?

The Professionals Black and White
The Professionals – The original image

Here’s another:

The Professionals Marketing 2
The Professionals

Again, we have actors Billed (Lancaster, Palance, Bellamy) – but not pictured.
And actors pictured (Cardinale, Strode), but not Billed.

I know it’s hot out there in the desert, but …

How hot is it? Check this:

The Professionals Marketing Claudia
The Professionals

Whew … it’s sweaty out here in the desert.
Who are those slobs in the background?
(Foreign marketers had no problem showing where their interest lies.)

The Professionals / 1966 cont’d …

The Professionals …

The Professionals / Laurel Award
The Professionals / Laurel Award

The Professionals Banner

Three 1966 Academy Award Nominations:

Best Director: Richard Brooks

Best Adapted Screenplay: Richard Brooks

Best Cinematography: Conrad Hall

The film won two Motion Picture Magazine Laurel Awards in 1967, for Best Action Drama and Best Action Performance for Lee Marvin.
In Germany, it was one of only four movies to receive a Golden Screen award (the others were Doctor ZhivagoMerveilleuse Angélique and You Only Live Twice) in 1967.

The Professionals Banner

The Professionals Lee Marvin
The Professionals / Lee Marvin

The Professionals … 1966

“Maybe there’s only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?”
– Burt Lancaster / The Professionals 

The Professionals … 

Truly.

Lee Marvin moves into full blown stardom – becoming a legitimate box office titan – in one of the greatest Westerns ever made (My Favorite) starring along side Western Film Greats Burt Lancaster, Jack Palance, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Claudia Cardinale, Ralph Belamy … What a cast!

Following Cat Ballou (Oscar) this is one of 4 Westerns remaining in Marvin’s Western filmography: Monte Walsh / 1970 (with Jack Palance); Paint Your Wagon / 1969 (with Clint Eastwood); Emperor of the North / 1973 (with Charles Bronson).

A true Western Star.

The Professionals posters
The Professionals posters