Tag Archives: Ben Johnson

THE WILD BUNCH REMAKE

27 Jan


La Golondrina / Soundtrack The Wild Bunch / Jerry Fielding

“Hmmmm …”

The big talk in Western Film these days is the News about the ‘Remake of The Wild Bunch’.
(I’m a bit slow on the draw so I just herd about this recently)

It’s a shocker to be sure.
Here’s one Newsbit:

‘The Wild Bunch’ Remake Hoping to Recruit Michael Fassbender, Jamie Foxx, Peter Dinklage for Director Mel Gibson

https://www.slashfilm.com/wild-bunch-remake-cast/#disqus_thread

wild bunch remake cast

Proving that there are indeed second, third, and even forth acts in Hollywood, Mel Gibson is being given the keys to a major motion picture yet again. The controversial actor and filmmaker is set to helm a remake of The Wild Bunch, and some heavy-hitting talent is already lining-up to work with him. Michael FassbenderJamie Foxx, and Peter Dinklage are all in talks to join the Wild Bunch remake cast, indicating that Warner Bros. wants to put together an impressive cast for this contemporary remake of the violent Sam Peckinpah Western.

Mel Gibson can often be an excellent actor and a strong filmmaker. But he’s also a highly controversial figure known for misogynist, racist remarks and actions that many feel should disqualify him from being attached to major projects. Gibson was a bit of a pariah for a short period of time, but it’s clear that time has ended. Warner Bros. has booked him to direct their Wild Bunch remake, which features a script by Gibson and Bryan Bagby.

And now, Deadline says Michael Fassbender, Jamie Foxx, and Peter Dinklage are all in talks to join the cast of the film. Nothing is officially in place yet, but word has it the movie will begin production this fall. This Wild Bunch is a contemporary remake of Sam Peckinpah’s classic 1969 Western, which was set in 1913. Here’s the original synopsis:

In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by his gang, which includes Dutch Engstrom and brothers Lyle and Tector Gorch, Bishop discovers the heist is a setup orchestrated in part by his old partner, Deke Thornton. As the remaining gang takes refuge in Mexican territory, Thornton trails them, resulting in fierce gunfights with plenty of casualties.

Hollywood has been hoping to mount a Wild Bunch remake for a few years now. Tony Scott was originally set to helm a version, but his 2012 suicide ended up putting the project on hold. Since then, a remake with Will Smith possibly set to produce and star popped up, along with one directed by Hands of Stone filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz. Neither incarnation came to pass.

While Gibson, a filmmaker who doesn’t shy away from movie violence, seems like a good fit to remake this violent Western, I can’t help but feel this is a film we really don’t need, no matter who ends up being cast in the project.

Mel sure knows how to kick up some dust. I can’t see this project as a mere Western yarn – and it’s pretty obvious by the casting that this is not going to be a carbon copy of the original. The inclusion of Dinklage and Fox certainly tells us it’s to be pretty different right away – and Gibson has said it will be a different angle from a Social/Political viewpoint. There’s plenty of scepticism, of course, and it does seem like a daunting task. We’ll just have to wait and see. 

All the Major players in the original production have passed.
Including Sam himself.

April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981

January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012

July 5, 1928 – April 3, 1982

June 13, 1918 – April 8, 1996

November 11, 1909 – July 11, 1973

Meet the New ‘Bunch’

This whole thing is riding on Mel. 
Here’s hoping.

The Wild Bunch Casting Call Part 4: Ben Johnson

18 Feb

My Heroes have always been Cowboys .. Nelson

Ben Johnson The Wild Bunch

Ben Johnson seemed to live a charmed life. Western Movie Stardom seemed to fall right into his saddlebags. It helped, of course, that he happened to be a top notch Cowboy – and it’s certain he would have been happy (and successful) to remain such.

And if you’re going to be a Western Movie Star you might as well at the top too: with the Greatest Western Star of all: John Wayne and Great Western Director John Ford. In gambling – and Westerns – this is called the jackpot.

And in this long career Johnson just kept rolling into the sunset.

So much so, that it may well be noted that Ben Johnson probably appeared in more Classic Westerns that any other Western Actor (except Wayne?) in Western Film history. See for yourself.

So in The Wild Bunch it’s a bit of a surprise to see him 4th on the Bill  – behind William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, and Warrren Oates ??

Yet in Hollywood Star Power is the Law – and the others guys were ruled faster in charisma and money draw – despite Ben being the only real cowboy of the Bunch. The only card he couldn’t pull.

But I’m sure he didn’t complain.

Ben Johnson Filmography

Ben Johnson Filmography 2

Ben Johnson Filmography 3

Ben Johnson Filmography 4

Ben Johnson Filmography 5

Note: These aren’t all the movies that Johnson appeared in … just what I could round up. It’s said that he appeared in 15 John Wayne Westerns alone.

The Cast Ben Johnson

Go ahead Ben, smile. (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon / 1949)

A Small Fraternity … Part 2 Ben Johnson

6 Oct

Roy Rogers & Sons Of The Pioneers – Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Stunts to Stars /  A Small Fraternity: 

Ben Johnson

Wikipedia: “Ben “Son” Johnson, Jr. (June 13, 1918 – April 8, 1996) was an American stuntman, world champion rodeo cowboy and actor. The son of a rancher, Johnson arrived in Hollywood to deliver a consignment of horses for a film. He did stunt double work for several years before breaking into acting through the good offices of John Ford. Tall and laconic, Johnson brought further authenticity to many roles in Westerns with his extraordinary horsemanship. An elegiac portrayal of a former cowboy theatre owner in the 50’s coming of age drama, The Last Picture Show, won Johnson the 1971 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He operated a horse breeding farm throughout his career. Although he said he had succeeded by sticking to what he knew, shrewd real estate investments made Johnson worth an estimated 100 million dollars by his latter years.

Johnson was born in Foraker, Oklahoma, on the Osage Indian Reservation, of Irish and Cherokee ancestry, the son of Ollie Susan (née Workmon) and Ben Johnson, Sr. His father was a rancher and rodeo champion in Osage County. Throughout his life Johnson was drawn to the rodeos and horse breeding of his early years. In 1953 he took a break from well paid film work to compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, becoming Team Roping World Champion although he only broke even financially that year. Johnson was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1973.

Johnson’s 1941 marriage to Carol Elaine Jones lasted until her death on March 27, 1994, they had no children. Jones was the daughter of noted Hollywood horse wrangler Clarence “Fat” Jones.

“I grew up on a ranch and I know livestock, so I like working in Westerns. All my life I’ve been afraid of failure. To avoid it, I’ve stuck with doing things I know how to do, and it’s made me a good living.”

You done good Ben.

Ben Johnson 1

Ben Johnson 2

Ben Johnson 3

Young Ben

Ben Johnson 4

Later

Ben Johnson 5

… gentleman Ben

Ben Johnson 6

A drink with Brando / “One Eyed Jacks” 1961

Ben Johnson 7

“One Eyed Jacks” 1961

Ben Johnson 9

Ben Johnson 10

“The Sacketts” Tom Selleck, Ben Johnson, Glenn Ford. 1979

Ben Johnson 16

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“The Wild Bunch” 1969 / Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine

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“The Wild Bunch” Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson 14

Not photogenic at all …

Ben Johnson 15

15 movies with ‘The Duke’ including “The Train Robbers” 1973

Ben Johnson 17

Ben Johnson / Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1973

Ben Johnson 18

Tom Selleck Westerns: The Sacketts

25 Feb

The Sacketts tagline

The Sacketts opening banner

The made-for-television western The Sacketts combines the plotlines from two seperate Louis L’Amour novels, The Daybreakers and The Sacketts. In this film, the three Tennessee-raised Sackett brothers migrate to the West following the conclusion of the Civil War. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Movie Guide.

The Sacketts poster

The Sacketts dvd cover

Made ten years before Lonesome Dove, The Sacketts (1979) may well have been the first great Western Mini Series – and in looking at the cast, it’s easy to understand why some Western fans may hold it with similar esteem, with Western Greats like Glenn Ford, Sam ElliottTom SelleckSlim Pickens, Jack Elam, Ben  Johnson, L.Q. Jones, and some notable support players including John Vernon, Gilbert Roland, Buck Taylor  and on. Pretty impressive. So although The Sacketts does show itself to be a little shy in production values compared to modern fair, it still shines with notable Star Power.

The Sacketts IMDB review

The Sacketts Rotten Tomatoes reviewRatings were favourable … as they should be.

toothpick 2

The Cast

The Sacketts - Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Jeff Osterhage

Sam Elliott

sam elliott the sacketts 3

Tom Selleck

tom selleck the sacketts

 Jeff Osterhage

The Sacketts - Jeff Osterhage 2

 Glenn Ford

The Sacketts glenn ford 2

Ben Johnson

The Sacketts ben johnson

Jack Elam

The Sacketts jack elam 2

Slim Pickens

The Sacketts slim pickens 2

John Vernon

The Sacketts john vernon

cowboy

THE SACKETTS ... doing 'the walk'

Sacketts … doing ‘the walk’

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