Western : What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

Greetings Cowboys, Cowgirls and Cowpunchers

Thank you to Gordon for manfully trying to hold the fort for me while I was off line due to an extended period of illness. All good now so I'm back to hopefully oversee plenty of Western movie posts.

Format is simple, the thread is designed for fans of Westerns and the off-shoots of such (Easterns/Northerns/Civil War et al) to post reviews, comments, questions, and just general fawning of a genre of film making we love.

Your posts will be read and respected here. Yee-Haw!








The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

The Shadow Riders (1982)

The Shadow Riders (1982)


The Traven Brothers.

The Shadow Riders is directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and adapted to screenplay by Jim Byrnes from the novel written by Louis L'Amour. It stars Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Katharine Ross, Dominique Dunne, Ben Johnson and Geoffrey Lewis. Music is by Jerrold Immel and cinematography by Jack Whitman.

A CBS TV production, The Shadow Riders has Selleck (Mac Traven) and Elliott (Dal Traven) as brothers, who even though they fought on different sides in the Civil War, there fondness for each other still exists. With the war now officially ended, the brothers meet up and head for the family home, here they find their parents telling of how their sisters and Dal's girlfriend Kate (Ross) have been abducted by Renegade Rebels. The men promptly set off in search of their loved ones... It's all very much standard stuff, both in plot telling and production values. Exuding very much a family feel, it's a disappointingly bloodless and sexless picture, with some cliché'd dialogue, poor musical accompaniments to certain scenes (tonally way off) and filler sequences thrown in for good measure. That said, it's very much a harmless piece, with the two male leads good company to share some time with, while Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. offer up a welcoming presence. Location scenery is also well photographed, keeping things airy, and ultimately it's a decent enough time waster for Western fans not expecting an under seen gem. 6/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Shadow Riders (1982)

Welcome back, my friend.

I rate The Shadow Riders slightly higher, mostly due to the cast - Sam Elliot, Katharine Ross, Ben Johnson, a cameo from Jane Greer, and a pretty good turn by good old Gene Evans as the villain. The writing is weak, and Andy McLaglen adds nothing to the production, but he's a serviceable hack. As you say, harmless, and a fairly pleasant distraction.

It suffers by comparison with the very fine 1979 mini-series The Sacketts, with a similar cast and similar L'Amour provenance. I would think most board regulars have seen this one, which features much better writing and a stronger supporting cast, including Glenn Ford.

Re: The Shadow Riders (1982)

Thank You, nice to see you still here.

I haven't seen The Sacketts , which is why I didn't mention it in my review for TSR, which I think is meant to be a sequel of sorts?

The cast definitely keep TSR watchable.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Shadow Riders (1982)


I haven't seen The Sacketts , which is why I didn't mention it in my review for TSR, which I think is meant to be a sequel of sorts?


The way I remember the story is that the cast had such a great time working on The Sacketts that they talked Louis L'Amour into writing The Shadow Riders; it's a spiritual sequel, but the story and characters are not connected in any tangible way.

The Sacketts is much better then TSR; I haven't seen it recently enough to post a review, but it is worth your time. Capsule review: despite some slow moments and the need for a little more action, the cast, story, and Western atmosphere make The Sacketts one of the better made-for-TV Westerns. The splendid cast of Western stalwarts includes Glenn Ford, L.Q. Jones, Jack Elam, Slim Pickens, Buck Taylor, Pat Buttram, and James Gammon.

Re: The Shadow Riders (1982)

Thanks for that j, and I'll definitely add it to my "to see list".



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Shadow Riders (1982)

Am always up for a Selleck duster! Tick has been sent.

True Grit [1969]

Welcome back Spike!
And thanks Gordon for your work keeping this board going!

As for the Duke's oscar winner, it was a 3rd viewing and more enjoyable each time. Still prefer the Coen's remake though. 7/10


"He was a poet, a scholar and a mighty warrior."

Re: True Grit [1969]

Thanks Cobber

Ultimately Wayne's movie is all about The Duke's image, thus making it something of a beautiful picture. I do wish I could erase Glen Cambell out of it though!

I also prefer The Coen's version, magnificent film making.



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: True Grit [1969]

Aussie

I like both versions and think it is hard to go wrong with either one. All the best for the new year my good fellow.

"Howdy. You an American?"


Vera Cruz
is a 1954 Western - a Southwestern Western, to be specific - with a powerful cast, a sure-handed director, an unusually dark tone, and enough he-man action to satisfy even the most hardcore fans of the genre. The veteran's veteran, Gary Cooper, plays a good and capable man fallen on hard times, and he forms a tenuous partnership with the dynamic Burt Lancaster, who is, shall we say, less good, but no less capable. They are hired to escort a French Countess to Vera Cruz, and thereby hangs the tale. The Countess (played by the stunning French import Denise Darcel) may be hiding something valuable in her coach, and pretty much everybody wants their share. Or, maybe, their share, plus somebody else's share.

The supporting cast includes Lancaster's gang of cutthroats and ne'er do wells, led by Charles Buchinsky (later known as Charles Bronson), Jack Elam, and Ernest Borgnine, plus a sophisticated turn by Cesar Romero as the Marquis de Something or Other. The multitude of plot twists and double-crosses are courtesy of scenarist Borden Chase (Red River, Winchester '73) and screen writers James Webb (The Big Country) and Roland Kibbee (The Crimson Pirate.) Bringing all the elements together with two-fisted competence is director Robert Aldrich, whose testosterone-laced storytelling carves out an interesting niche for the film. Vera Cruz is unusually dark for a 1954 Western, and Aldrich is able to balance the heroic Cooper and the anti-hero Lancaster with great precision and mounting interest. The cynical characters and dark tone of this film are generally credited as an influence on the 60s films of Sergio Leone & Sam Peckinpah.

The story is mildly convoluted, and there are a few awkward plot points, but, seriously, this is a Western with Cooper, Lancaster, Bronson, Elam, and Ernest Borgnine. Need I say more? The production is good, the action is solid, and the macho attitude is so thick you could cut it with a Bowie knife. Plus, you get to see the original Joker (Romero) and the lovely Miss Darcel (remember her from Westward the Women?) who eventually gave up acting to become an ecdysiast. I'm going to go 7.5/10 for Vera Cruz; it's not only satisfying as a Western, it is interesting as a spiritual antecedent to many of the classic 60s Westerns.

Re: "Howdy. You an American?"

I try to take this one in every 5-6 years and it never fails to entertain.

Vera Cruz and The Marquis de Something or Other



Super review, great to see Aldrich get some quality publicity (I'm a confessed Aldrich fanboy). I would hazard a guess that Darcel's beauty distracted you from her iffy performance


I suppose when one deals with men of action, one just expect action.

"As the American Civil War ended, another war was just beginning. The Mexican people were struggling to rid themselves of their foreign Emperor--Maximilian. Into this fight rode a handful of Americans--ex soldiers, adventurers, criminals--all bent on gain. They drifted South in small groups-- AND SOME CAME ALONE"

Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster head the cast as two polar opposite American adventurers who get involved with Maximilian's royal house and Juarez's revolutionaries in 1860s Mexico. Cooper plays Benjamin Trane, basically a good man, tho one tainted by much cynicism, and Lancaster plays Joe Erin, gunman and an untrustworthy crook. Vera Cruz was the first release in SuperScope (beautifully shot by Ernest Laszlo on location in Mexico) and with director Robert Aldrich at the helm, the film brilliantly captures the violence and danger that was brought about during Mexico's revolutionary period. Adapted by Roland Kibbee and James R. Webb from a Borden Chase story, Vera Cruz very much feels like (is) a precursor to Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns of the 60s.

With its blend of comedy and outright action, the film is essentially a buddy buddy Western with a cynical amoral kicker. It's a blend that may not be to everyone's tastes, but with Lancaster (grinning for all he is worth) and Cooper (laconic supreme) in the leads the film rises above its oddity status. The professionalism on show, both from the obvious big stature of its stars and Aldrich's astute choreography of the action sequences, ensures this is a polished piece. There's much machismo of course, one only has to see that Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Elam are in the support gallery of thugs to know this fact, but it should be noted that the picture is interested in showing a fair reflection of the Mexican conflict. The Mexican government of the time were outraged at the film, but on reflection now it's evident the film doesn't take sides. That to my mind has to be applauded.

Some problems exist, notably some of the dialogue is a touch too corn based now. While as the main female character, Denise Darcel is out of her depth. One could think that she is maybe swamped by all the testosterone around her, but when you notice that Sara Montiel is coping fine in a secondary role, it shows Darcel to be limited. Vera Cruz held its own on release, neither busting the box office nor sinking without a trace. It would take over ten years before the true value of the film would start to be noticed. With that, it now shows to be very influential within the genre. Explosive, important and darn good fun, that's a mixture you just can't ignore. 8/10


J

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

Thanks for the kind words, Spike, but your presence is what was needed here.

Western Tv: TRACKDOWN "The Brothers" 1957 R.Culp, S. McQueen

CONTAINS SPOILERS

TRACKDOWN "The Brothers" 1957

This is the sixth episode of the 1957 to 1959 western series, TRACKDOWN. Robert Culp stars a Texas Ranger who wanders the State putting the grab on the wanted. The series ran for a total of 70 episodes.

Culp is bedding down for the night when he is held up and relieved of his gun, badge, papers and horse. He then gets a gun barrel across the back of the head and put to sleep.

The next day, he carries his saddle the 10 miles to the next town. He stashes his saddle and bedroll at the local stable. He finds his horse tied up inside and asks the stable owner, Richard Devon about it. Devon says the horse was there when he arrived in the morning.

Culp as it so happens was on his way to this very town to pick up a prisoner. Culp pays the Sheriff, Ian MacDonald a call. MacDonald tells Culp he does not believe his story of being robbed. A Texas Ranger with all the proper papers has already showed and taken the prisoner. The Sheriff strongly suggests Culp leave town.

Culp of is not about to do this. He has a look in the saloon and sees his man, Steve McQueen. It turns out though that the wanted man is really McQueen's twin brother. A girl, Rebecca Welles, is now introduced to the tale in order let the viewer in on the gag.

There is of course one good brother, and one bad brother. The good one had relieved Culp of his papers etc in order to get his brother out of jail. He does not believe that the brother is a killer. Needless to say the nasty sibling is exactly that. After a bit of confusion, Culp, with the help of the stable owner, has a showdown with the proper brother. He is forced to deposit some lead in his carcass when he fails to come along quietly.

There are a couple of minor bumps in the story, but the quick pace covers these up nicely. Veteran television man, Don McDougall sits in the director's chair.

Veteran writer, D.D. Beauchamp could turn out stuff like this in his sleep. Beauchamp is best known for the story or screenplays for the big screen dusters, RAILS INTO LARAMIE, GUNSMOKE, RIDE CLEAR OF DIABLO, THE MAN FROM THE ALAMO and LAW AND ORDER.

The episode itself is quite sharp looking, with another big screen vet, Guy Roe handling the cinematography. Roe is well known to film noir fans for his work on, RAILROADED, WHISPERING CITY, TRAPPED, ARMORED CAR ROBBERY and THE SOUND OF FURY.

Steve McQueen would do another guest spot on the series as bounty hunter, Josh Randall. This episode would be spun off as the pilot for the popular western series, WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, which ran for 94 episodes between 1958 and 1961. It was interesting to see Richard Devon in a non-villain role for a change.

Re: Western Tv: TRACKDOWN "The Brothers" 1957 R.Culp, S. McQueen

Trackdown (1957) - The Brothers (1958)

IMDb has it listed as Episode 31, Gord? A well rated show for sure, and Culp and McQueen indeed!



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Western Tv: "The Man who believed in Law" 1959 C. McGraw

CONTAINS SPOILERS

Hotel de Paree: "The Man who believed in Law" 1959

Hotel de Paree was a western series that ran between 1959 and 1960. The series ran for 32 episodes and starred, Earl Holliman, Jeannette Nolan, Judi Meredith and Strother Martin. Headliner Holliman plays a gunslinger named "Sundance", who is just out of prison and wants to turn over a new leaf. He ends up in Georgetown, Colorado, where he buys into a small hotel ran by Nolan and Meredith. Though he wants to avoid gun play, it has a way of creeping up on the man.

In this episode, the 9th of the series, a hard as nails Charles McGraw hits town to become the new Sheriff. The town council had heard that the man had cleaned up several other troubled towns. First day in and he has killed two men, one over an 11 dollar hotel bill, and another for being drunk.

McGraw now spends the next few days putting up plenty of "No guns allowed in town" signs all over the place. It seems like a great idea, till McGraw shoots and kills the shotgun guard on the just arrived stagecoach. "The man had his guns on." Says McGraw.

The town's people start to wonder if McGraw is a bit too harsh in his application of the law. A traveller in town, Hank Patterson, tells "Sundance" (Earl Holliman) about how McGraw had killed various men in his home town. He tells Holliman that the longer McGraw is here, the more death there will be.

The town council decides to terminate McGraw's contract. Problem here is that McGraw has no intention of quitting, till he "thinks" the job is done. This forces ex-gunman Holliman to slip on his iron for a more forceful talk with McGraw.

The two men line up on the street. McGraw tells Holliman to drop the gun-belt. Holliman shakes his head in the negative. McGraw tells Holliman that he will count to three and then draw. He makes it to the count of two, then a shot rings out. McGraw drops to the dirt with a large hole in his back. The widow of one of the men McGraw killed has exacted some payback.

This is a damn fine bit of television with excellent work from the cast and crew. McGraw really shines as the unsmiling Lawman with his own code.

The crew is top notch with actress turned producer and director, Ida Lupino at the controls. The woman is talented. The story is by big screen man, Francis M. Cockrell. His film work includes, THE RAID, DARK WATERS and INFERNO. The director of photography was the one time Oscar nominated, Frank V. Phillips. The series score was penned by 17 time Oscar nominated and 4 time winner, Dimitri Tiomkin.

Look close and you will see long time western fixture, Bob Steele in a small bit.

Re: Western Tv: "The Man who believed in Law" 1959 C. McGraw

Hotel de Paree (1959) - The Man Who Believed in Law (1959)

Nothing has changed, Gord still surprising us with his back catalog of recorded goodies!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Western Tv: "No Compromise" 1953 S. McNally

CONTAINS SPOILERS


SCHLITZ PLAYHOUSE "No Compromise" 1953

One of the more popular anthology series of early television, was, SCHLITZ PLAYHOUSE. The long running, 1951 to 1959 series pumped out over 360 episodes. Every week there was a new story starring many of the biggest stars of Hollywood. One week would be a comedy, and the next week could be a war, drama, crime or western themed episode. This particular episode is the 15th of the 3rd season. The episode is a western set in the 1880's.

This one has a Texas Ranger, Stephen McNally, in Alabama looking for a man wanted for shooting another Texas Ranger. The man, Robert Strauss, happens to be a childhood friend of Ranger, McNally. McNally has info that Strauss is about to rob a local train of a payroll.

Ranger McNally boards the train and gets the drop on Strauss before he and a partner can pull the job. He captures Strauss, and kills the partner in an exchange of lead. McNally collects a painful wound in the leg during the battle. McNally and his cuffed prisoner are soon on their way to Texas. McNally wires ahead that he has the man.

At every stop through Alabama, relatives of Strauss try to spring the man from McNally's custody. These range from a county judge to various assorted gun bearing cousins. McNally manages to keep the bunch away by planting a revolver firmly against Strauss's head. It anybody tries anything, McNally will pull the trigger. The journey to Texas takes several days and Strauss comes close several times to getting away on his own.

The journey ends with McNally delivering his prisoner to Austin Texas. A trial, followed by a long spell in a State Prison would appear to be in Strauss's immediate future.

This is an excellent little episode with decent talent in front and behind the camera. The director is Arnold Laven. Writer, producer and director, Laven produced series like, THE RIFLEMAN and THE BIG VALLEY. As a director he helmed, WITHOUT WARNING, VICE SQUAD, DOWN THREE DARK STREETS and THE RACK.

The story and screenplay are by Les Savage. His film work includes, THE HILLS OF UTAH, RETURN TO WARBOW and BLACK HORSE CANYON.

The look of the episode is top notch with 7 time Oscar nominated cinematographer, Russell Harlan at the controls. His films include, A WALK IN THE SUN, GUN CRAZY, RED RIVER, GUILTY BYSTANDER, THE THING, BIG SKY, THE LAST HUNT, RUN SILENT RUN DEEP, RRIO BRAVO, OPERATION PETTICOAT, THE GREAT RACE and TOBRUK.

Re: Western Tv: "No Compromise" 1953 S. McNally

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (1951) - No Compromise (1953)

A goodie, Harlan always a bonus.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Western Tv: JOHNNY RINGO "Mrs. Ringo" 1960 Pretty Mona Freeman

JOHNNY RINGO "Mrs. Ringo" 1960

JOHNNY RINGO was a western series that ran for 38 episodes during 1959-60. The series starred Don Durant as the title character with Karen Sharpe, Mark Goddard and Terence De Marney as series regulars. The series follows Durant, (Ringo) a former gunfighter who decides to go straight. He becomes the Sheriff in the small town of Velardi in the Arizona Territory. The series was one of several (Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Shotgun Slade etc) with a "gimmick gun". Durant carries a special LeMat revolver equipped with a shotgun barrel under the six gun barrel.

This episode is the 19th episode of the series.

This one starts with Sheriff Durant out of town for the afternoon taking a drunken rancher back home. The stage arrives in town and unloads a pretty looking woman, Mona Freeman. Miss Freeman calls on the Sheriff's office and asks for Durant. Deputy Mark Goddard asks if there is anything he can help with.

Goddard is floored when Freeman replies that she is here to take up with her "husband", Johnny Ringo (Durant). Goddard shows Freeman to the hotel and the woman moves right in to Durant's rooms. A couple of hours later Durant shows at the office. It is now the turn of Durant to get floored by the info he is hitched. Durant says it must be a gag of some sort. Karen Sharpe, who is stepping out with Durant does not take it as a gag.

Durant quickly beats the boots over to the hotel to get to the bottom of the deal. It turns out that Durant does indeed know Miss Freeman. Freeman was a dance hall girl back in Dodge City some years before. Freeman produces a marriage certificate and says the two are hitched. Durant has Goddard send off a telegram to Dodge City to prove that the marriage never happened.

Now another fly in the ointment appears. Gunman, Grant Richards shows up looking for Freeman. Richards has just finished a 7 year prison bit for a 20,000 dollar bank robbery. It also turns out that Richards and Freeman have been man and wife for years, even before Richards went to jail.

Richards is not in the least pleased with the news that Freeman had divorced him and hooked up with Durant. It also seems that the 20 large from the robbery was never recovered by the bank. It is now resting in a money belt Richards is wearing.

Needless to say, the whole thing is a ploy by Miss Freeman to have Richards killed by Sheriff Durant. Then she can lift the cash from Richards. Durant of course outdraws Richards and fatally wounds the man. Richards now figures out that Freeman has played him, and shoots the woman dead before he expires himself.

A much better episode than it might sound like. A couple of herrings of the red variety move the story along nicely. The look of the episode is quite sharp with veteran big screen cinematographer, Carl Guthrie in the director of photography chair. Guthrie was a film noir specialist with CRY WOLF, FLAXY MARTIN, BACKFIRE, CAGED, THIS SIDE OF THE LAW, UNDERCOVER GIRL, STORM WARNING, HELL BOUND and the superb, HIGHWAY 301 to his credit.

Re: Western Tv: JOHNNY RINGO "Mrs. Ringo" 1960 Pretty Mona Freeman

Johnny Ringo (1959) - Mrs. Ringo (1960)

One season job!

Gord

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Non aspettare Django, spara (1967)

Don't Wait Django... Shoot!

Non aspettare Django, spara (1967)


Low, Low budgeted Django clone fails to ignite.

Django (Ivan Rassimov) returns to the family home to find his father has been robbed and murdered by bandits. Ignoring the advice and pleas of his sister Mary (played by Rassimov's real life sister Rada), Django sets off to town for revenge. But this is merely the beginning of things...

There's enough enjoyment here for the very hardcore Spaghetti Western fan, but expectations levels really should be set at low. There's plenty of the standard Spag shootings, stand-offs and posturings, moody atmosphere and the music is pretty ace (Felice Di Stefano), but the structure of the pic is off.

Directed by Edoardo Mulargia and written by Vincenzo Musolino, the creators take a gamble by having the revenge aspect played out very early in the piece, the plot then thrusts a multitude of characters involved - in one way or another - in the search for the missing money taken when Django's pa was killed. The whole piece feels like a string of sequences stacked up against each other without a flowing sense of rhyme or reason. It doesn't help that this incarnation of Django is bland and it is in fact his side-kick Barrica (played by Ignazio Spalla) that engages more on the fun and entertainment front. The low budget shows on occasions (watch out for that deja vu feeling), whilst logic jumps and daftness are never far away.

Needlessly complex in telling and structure, pic is marginally saved by the action and some colourful characters, but really it is for those die-hard Spag fans only. 5/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Non aspettare Django, spara (1967)

Thanks for the warning , pal. Tick has been launched your way.

Red River

A Western fan's essential

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

One that every western fan needs to see is this one.

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

So far, I've watched The Gunfighter, The Big Country, Hombre, Ride the High Country, and probably others I don't recall at the moment. I watch the Starz Western Channel a lot, so they tend to blend together. I'll try to keep better track of them for this thread.


"We all have it comin', Kid." Unforgiven (1992)

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

4 of my all time favourites there!!!
Great viewing.


"He was a poet, a scholar and a mighty warrior."

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition





"We all have it comin', Kid." Unforgiven (1992)

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

Nice to have you on board Jos

I trust you very much enjoyed those four superb Oaters?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

Hi, Spike. Yeah, I did. Hombre is one of my Top 50 movies, and The Big Country I've watched off and on since I was a kid growing up. The Gunfighter I discovered only a couple of years ago, and that was a rewatch. I hadn't ever seen Ride the High Country in its entirety and, as a big Peckinpah fan, it was fun to watch his second effort as a film director.


"We all have it comin', Kid." Unforgiven (1992)

Western Tv : "The Marple Brothers 1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS


TRACKDOWN "The Marple Brothers 1957

This is the first episode of the 1957 to 1959 western series, TRACKDOWN. Robert Culp stars as a Texas Ranger who wanders the State putting the grab on various wanted types. The series ran for a total of 70 episodes.

Texas Ranger Robert Culp is on the trail of four wanted brothers, the Marples. Culp and another Ranger had caught up with them a while back and wounded one of the foursome. Culp's fellow Ranger though had been fatally wounded.

Culp has now tracked the Marple brothers to the small town of Stockton. The men have holed up in the town church. They have has hostages, the local Sunday school group. They want a doctor pronto like or bodies of the Sunday school bunch will start to pile up. They have already killed one man to make their point.

Ranger Culp now arrives on the scene and takes charge. He has the local Sheriff, Roy Engel, keep an eye on the local men to make sure they do not do something stupid. Culp heads to the church to see about the women and kids being held inside.

A deal is reached with the villains to get the wounded brother to the town doctor. James Griffith, the eldest brother, tells Culp everyone will be okay if the townsfolk play ball. They just want their brother patched up and a head start on a getaway.

Needless to say, several of the local men decide to make a stab at a rescue. The fat is soon in the fire and bullets are flying every which way with a few finding live targets. After the smoke clears, three of the outlaw brothers are toes up, ready for Boot Hill and the other in cuffs.

This is a pretty nifty episode for a series starter. The cast is all top flight and includes, besides, Griffith and Engel, James Best, Jan Merlin, Gail Kobe and Tom Pittman.

Behind the camera, we have a pair of b film and television veterans, director, Thomas Carr and cinematographer, Guy Roe. Fans of film noir will know Roe from the excellent b-noir, TRAPPED, RAILROADED, THE SOUND OF FURY, IN THIS CORNER and ARMORED CAR ROBBERY.

Re: Western Tv : "The Marple Brothers 1957

Trackdown (1957) - The Marple Brothers (1957)

Nice one Gord

Been a while since I heard or saw the saying "toes up", wonderful!!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Fort Utah (1967)

Fort Utah (1967)


Utah Saints.

Fort Utah is directed by Lesley Selander and written by Steve Fisher and Andrew Craddock. It stars John Ireland, Virginia Mayo, Robert Strauss, Scott Brady, John Russell, Richard Arlen and James Craig. Music is by Jimmie Haskell and cinematography is by Lothrop Worth.

Drifter Tom Horn (Ireland) teams up with Indian Agent Ben Stokes (Strauss) to help a pioneer wagon train against army deserters and Indian renegades.

Filmed in Technicolor/Techniscope out at Vasquez Rocks and Santa Clarita in California, Fort Utah, in spite of being shot in 1966, feels like a 1950s Oater. Of course the big giveaway is that the headliners in the cast are more long in the tooth than back in the day. Yet collectively they have produced a a very decent Oater with old fashioned value.

There's plenty going on in the plotting. The Indians have had enough of the reservation living arrangements so a renegade band have fled, leaving Ben Stokes the not unenviable task of trying to locate and placate. There's a gang of army deserters - The Marrauders - led by nefarious Dajin (Brady) out for what they can get their hands on, illegally of course. Right in the middle of hostile territory is a wagon train of pioneers who unbeknown to themselves are going to need help to survive, enter Tom Horn and the Fort Utah of the title.

Pic never wants for action, Horn gets into a fight pretty much every ten minutes, be it fisticuffs or shoot-outs, there's barely pause for him to take breath, well except for when he's getting smitten with Linda Lee (Mayo a gorgeous mature at 46) that is. She's travelling with the wagon train and has a secret as well as a major cleavage that gets an airing during a ferocious Indian attack on the wagon train. Whilst unsurprisingly she's getting unwanted attention by a scallywag pioneer fellow...

Some of the stunt doubles are very poor, which sort of sits with Haskell's cheesy musical score, and the big finale features a WTF moment to close down the encounter. But with some very nice photography for the night time scenes, and the superb backdrop of Vasquez Rocks pleasing the eyes, one can't grumble about not having it all. It's not a classic of course, and it has some formulaic baggage to carry around, but for old fashioned Oater lovers this has much to recommend. 6.5/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Denver and Rio Grande (1952)

Denver and Rio Grande (1952)


Train Tribulations.

Denver and Rio Grande is directed by Byron Haskin and written by Frank Gruber. It stars Edmond O'Brien, Sterling Hayden, Dean Jagger, Kasey Rogers, Lyle Bettger and J. Carol Naish. Music is by Paul Sawtell and Technicolor cinematography by Ray Rennahan.

Two railroad companies battle for the right of way through Royal Gorge - with murderous results...

In truth it's without doubt that the scenery on offer here, and if you happen to have any kink for olde steam trains, are what puts this in the above average department. Plot is based around real instances during the advancements of the Denver and Rio Grande railway. It plays out for entertainment purposes as baddies against goodies and as a notable observation of what some will do to get their way. There's strands involving wrongful accusations, simmering passions and a whole host of train sequences snaking through gorgeous locations. There's even some amazing train carnage, which is thrilling and more potent as it's not model work on show. Cast are fine and turning in perfs that we accept as viable for our enjoyment - with a pat on the back for Zasu Pitts and Paul Fix who are playing out a cute and funny mature courtship in the making - and all other tech contributions are safe and appealing enough.

Opening with a voice over narration set to scenes of the then modern D&RG railway, before whisking us back to its formative years, this is a nice nostalgia piece that overcomes its plotting failings courtesy of big heart and ocular delights. 7/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Denver and Rio Grande (1952)

This on I actually did see a few years back. Decent film imo. Tick on the way.

Re: Fort Utah (1967)

I am so far behind on my 60's westerns, that your work in the area is always a hoot to take in. New one for me here. Tick has been dispatched.

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

Just finished watching The Unforgiven with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn. Wow. What a powerful exploration of racism, hatred, and family. Pretty good movie although, for me, it jumped the shark about the time the Kiowa war party decided to break out the sacred flutes. No offense to anyone who loves it, but this western is crying for a remake.


"We all have it comin', Kid." Unforgiven (1992)

The Unforgiven

I was only talking about this one last week with a guy on CFB. John Huston disliked the movie, was never happy with it. I like it well enough, it does beg your patience for the first third but once the Injuns turn up it kicks up a few gears. Always loved Hepburn in this, to see her go earthy with no glam and glitter was most pleasing.



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Unforgiven

Neat cast, but an awkward story. I gather Huston never got to make the points he wanted about race relations, and the narrative is kind of odd. Novelist Alan Le May also wrote The Searchers, which I caught most of last Saturday.

Still, Lancaster, Bickford, Audie Murphy, John Saxon, the creepy Joe Wiseman, screen legend Lillian Gish, the affable, square-headed Doug McClure, and the offbeat casting of Miss Hepburn make it a worthwhile watch.

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

Been many moons since I last saw UNFORGIVEN. The last time was on an old vhs tape in the late 80's. Time to hunt it up for a re-watch.

Western Tv: "The Assassins" 1960 Akim Tamiroff

CONTAINS SPOILERS

JOHNNY RINGO "The Assassins" 1960

JOHNNY RINGO was a western series that ran for 38 episodes during 1959-60. The series starred Don Durant as the title character with Karen Sharpe, Mark Goddard and Terence De Marney as series regulars. The series follows Durant, (Ringo) a former gunfighter who decides to go straight. He becomes the Sheriff in the small town of Velardi in the Arizona Territory. The series was one of several (Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Shotgun Slade etc) with a "gimmick gun". Durant carries a special LeMat revolver equipped with a shotgun barrel under the six gun barrel.

This episode is the 20th episode of the series.

This one starts with the stage from out of town dropping off a dapper looking Akim Tamiroff. Tamiroff steps right into the middle of a dispute between the town bully, Ed Nelson, and local, Dennis McMullen. The two men are both after the same girl, dancer, Connie Hines. Hines wants McMullen and Nelson is not amused. Nelson is handy with a gun and calls McMullen out.

Tamiroff steps between the two and stops Nelson from killing McMullen. Nelson gives Tamiroff a solid punch to the noggin, knocking him to the ground. Now Sheriff Durant arrives on the scene. Nelson may be handy with his shooting iron, but he is no match for Durant. Nelson fades away.

Tamiroff it appears is a Russian on the run from his country's Secret Police. Said Tsar's Secret Police are now in town looking to finish off the enemy of the State, Tamiroff. Tamiroff had been involved in the death of a Policeman back in Russia. It had been an accident, but the Tsar's boys had no sense of ha, ha.

Tamiroff, tired of running just wants to end it all. He is suffering from a heart condition and does not have long to live anyway. He picks a fight in the bar the next day with thug Nelson. Nelson is happy to "help" out and plugs the old guy. This forces Sheriff Durant to step up and drill a few extra holes in Nelson.

Not really much of an episode, with a plot one has seen before on various TV productions. Tamiroff though does his best with the limited lines he has.

Re: Western Tv: "The Assassins" 1960 Akim Tamiroff

Johnny Ringo (1959) - The Assassins (1960)

A near damp squib mate.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

After watching the NFL Playoffs, I stayed up to watch The Hired Hand (1971), starring Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, and Verna Bloom. Not your ordinary Western, but an artistic, moody exploration of drifting, friendship, marital fidelity, and evil. Way ahead of its time and beautifully done.


"We all have it comin', Kid." Unforgiven (1992)

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

I kinda liked The Hired Hand, too. Warren Oates was a terrific performer.

Another artsy, moody, ahead-of-its-time Western is the 1966 oddball, The Shooting, with Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson, and Millie Perkins. It's frankly a little too odd for me to try and write a review, but I'd be curious to know any reactions. It's unusual, but ... well, it is unusual.

Re: What Westerns Have You Seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Edition

Glad to hear someone else liked The Hired Hand.

I've watched nearly all of The Shooting a couple of times. My reaction could best be described as "nonplussed," but I've read that if you don't watch carefully from the very beginning, you'll never understand it. I really need to give it another chance with a complete viewing.


"We all have it comin', Kid." Unforgiven (1992)

The Shooting

Still got to get to that one, I own it in a JN box set. Also Ride in the Whirlwind (1966), which I have watched and reviewed. Very tidy Both films were shot back to back.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Shooting


Both films were shot back to back.


And both were reportedly very popular in France. Monte Hellman became sort of an Arthouse Darling for a spell. I came to him through the moody, enigmatic Two Lane Blacktop, not a Western but another fine Warren Oates flick.

The Hired Hand

I watched it last year for the first time. It's one of those that I feels needs a second viewing before I can write a proper review. I bought it for my own library, found it very elegiac.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Western Tv: JOHNNY RINGO "The Reno Brothers" 1960

CONTAINS SPOILERS

JOHNNY RINGO "The Reno Brothers" 1960

JOHNNY RINGO was a western series that ran for 38 episodes during 1959-60. The series starred Don Durant as the title character with Karen Sharpe, Mark Goddard and Terence De Marney as series regulars. The series follows Durant, (Ringo) a former gunfighter who decides to go straight. He becomes the Sheriff in the small town of Velardi in the Arizona Territory. The series was one of several (Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Shotgun Slade etc) with a "gimmick gun". Durant carries a special LeMat revolver equipped with a shotgun barrel under the six gun barrel.

This episode is the 21st episode of the series.

This one has a pair of brothers looking for the men responsible for the death of their older brothers. They track down three of the men and collar them for the law. They then discover that the last man they want is hiding in the town of Velardi.

The two brothers, Ben Cooper and James Beck hit town and start to ask around about the man they want. This fellow, Jacques Aubuchon, has been in town for a while. He hires a pair of gun hands, Robert Hoy and Emile Avery to help him get rid of the two brothers.

The villains ambush the local stage outside of town and kill the driver. They then leave evidence that the brothers had done the deed. The brothers are soon gobbled up by Sheriff Durant and tossed in jail. They explain why they are in town and that they have been set up.

The matter is soon settled after a blazing gun battle, where the bad types end up either dead, or in the jailhouse. The Territory Government then offers the two brothers jobs as Marshals.

Not exactly the best episode, but it is always a pleasure to see stuntman turned actor Bobby Hoy in anything. The man was on screen from 1950 till 2007. His films roles include bits in SPARTACUS, THE MAN FROM THE ALAMO, AWAY ALL BOATS, OPERATION PETTICOAT, NEVADA SMITH, THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES and THE ENFORCER.
Top