I’ve decided I need to create another section called The Great Western Directors.
I hadn’t intended this, but it’s become unavoidable. The reason being that in working on my celebration of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, I’ve discovered so much material and information on Sam Pekinpah that it could almost take up half the blog spot by itself.
Pekinpah was a very interesting man – and a great Director. He made about 5 Westerns – most notably The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid – and his impact on filmdom itself has been so powerful (not just Westerns) that he cannot be ignored. Quite a few other people feel the same: there is so many documentarys, songs, numerous articles, and interesting commentary from people that worked with him, for him and against him that I think it will prove interesting to many Western fans – and add to their appreciation of his work.
Other Directors of note (off the top of my head) include: John Ford, Howard Hawkes, Sergio Leone, John Sturges, Anthony Mann, … and there will easily be another three or four that I wish to honour.
Typically, the more I work on this blog the bigger the project becomes. I do wonder if I shouldn’t be more restrained in what I am putting out because I’m not sure how willing people will be to look through such a lot of material. Yet, as I said, some of it is so interesting that I feel folks will find it of interest also … ??
Hollywood rumour mills are churning out a story that Tom Cruise is spearheading a remake of the Magnificent Seven. It seems to be in “concept” stage only at present.
In an age where we have a dearth of Western films, any such rumour is greeted with enthusiasm.
The immediate question arises: WHO ? will be the Seven ??
Casting will spell the success – or failure – of the whole project – and presents a very daunting task: how can you match or equal the almost unparalelled cast of the original movie ? that starred Yul Brunner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Eli Wallach, Horst Buchholz …
Nearly every actor in the Seven was – or became – a bonafide movie Star in their own right.
Who would you cast as the Seven? Consider that Cruise likely will hold one role – possibly that which was played by Brunner (wonder if he’ll shave his head?)
It’s going to be interesting to see what they come up with.
Slowly putting in my content for Pekinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. I have a ton, but have still been slowed down by this persistent flu – which I’ve had for 2 weeks now. It’s a killer.
The story behind the making of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid in very interesting. Pekinpah’s ongoing fight with studio over content and costs. Reminds me of John Huston’s battle with the studio during his making of Unforgiven (starring Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn). Both of these films still turned out to be Classics despite all the infighting and interference. To production people, movies are about money – that’s all. But to Pekinpah and Huston movies are about Art. Can you imagine somebody telling these guys how to make a movie? Incredible.
Making a movie is a tough task – involves hundreds of people. When you think of all the things that go wrong, it’s a wonder that anything gets turned out at all.
I was laid low by a nasty flu for over a week. I’m not over it yet, but I think I’ll feel well enough to do some work here.
Mainly, I’ve continued research on Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. It’s worth noting that Pekinpah’s version of ‘the kid’ saga does pretty well follow the actual historical chain of events. So those who often criticize many western movies for historical inaccuracy should take note. There are some liberties taken, such as Kristopherson’s age (32) compared to ‘the kid (20).
I’ve included a link to the Wiki which details the events. But with or without any such inaccuracies this would have been a fine piece of Western film making.
Continuing to add pages to Gunfight at the OK Corral profile …
Thing is … I keep finding new stuff … and changing things. So I’m editing and adding new material as a go along.
Combined with my inexperience at Blogging, it’s taking quite a bit of work and I’m only able to add 2 or 3 sections a day.
BUT … it’s a labour of love … and I’m enjoying it. And I never want to get into a space where I’m just throwing things on there just to get it done.
So … I should have Gunfight at the OK Corral pretty well finished in about 3 days … I’m guessing.
Then it’s on to the next movie which I think will be Pekinpah’s ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’.
In any case these profiles are never finished. I rarely ever look at them when I don’t see something that needs fixing – or improving. Not to mention the fact that I keep finding new material. So if you check back here you will continually find that these profiles are changing, expanding and growing.
“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by.” – John Wayne
I’ve started to place the first of My Favorite Westerns:’ Gunfight at OK Corral’ made in 1957 and starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday. It will take me a few days to complete this page and I will be adding things consistently.
Gunfight at the OK Corral is not my number one Favorite Western. I don’t have a number one Favorite – I have about 20 favorites that I lump all together – in one vacuous mass of Western Joy.
I love ’em all.
I toss in a few personal insights along with factual information and trivia on the separate pages. Hopefully this will spur interest and enjoyment for readers. But it will be enough if I am just able to re-kindle your enjoyment and appreciation of these wonderful movies.