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Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 10/5 & 10/6

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Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 10/5 & 10/6

Postby moira finnie » September 16th, 2013, 3:43 pm

The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to announce the visit of guest author Martha Crawford Cantarini to discuss her wonderful book, Fall Girl: My Life as a Western Stunt Double (McFarland 2010) with us on Sat., Oct 5th & Sun. Oct. 6th. The memoir was written by the veteran horse trainer and stunt rider with co-author Chrystopher J. Spicer and was described by several reviewers as:

"Moving...this book has much to offer fans of the Golden Age...valuable...soulful magic...I'm thankful for this book in which she and her co-writer tell her story so beautifully" --Classic Images

"Fascinating...captivating...not to be missed" -Western Clippings

"I knew when I was asked to do The Big Country that I needed a good stunt double. Well, I got her. I got the best...Martha Crawford." --Jean Simmons, Academy Award-nominated actress.


Martha (whose screen name here on the SSO is rerun), has been honored with a Golden Boot Award for her contributions behind the scenes in Hollywood Westerns and has been inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall of Fame. Yet that is only part of this remarkable woman’s story.

Image
This film veteran quite literally grew up in Hollywood, riding horses with Spencer Tracy's children, rubbing elbows with Hollywood stars, and learning about what was real and what was tinsel in the movie capital. In her own words, Martha describes herself as having been born "in San Antonio, Texas, moved to Santa Monica, California at the age of 7 and raised by a professional polo playing father. A flop of a screen test at 20th Century Fox resulted in an offer for my first stunt doubling job! [Be sure you ask her who got that coveted contract at the studio!]. That was what I wanted to do all along! Soon I was selected to do the riding for most all of the glamorous stars...I wrote Fall Girl for the horse lovers who know that the horses are their real teachers and indeed the unsung heroes of Western films."

Her name may not be familiar, but--if you were impressed with Anne Baxter's tussling in Yellow Sky (1948) or Eleanor Parker's Wagnerian ride in Interrupted Melody, or Carroll Baker and Jean Simmons' horsemanship in The Big Country (1958), you know this skilled lady's work.

In her book, we learn of the hard work, fun, and sparks that sometimes flew while doing her job, which included working on films with legendary directors such as Michael Curtiz, William Wellman, William Wyler, Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher, Otto Preminger and more. Not only has Martha formed friendships with everyone from Spencer Tracy to Jean Simmons to Clark Gable to Eleanor Parker, her story also includes an account of a very busy, very grounded private life and her tenderness toward the creatures who have shared her life on and off screen. The respect and love she felt for the famous and not-so-famous people and horses she knew leaps off the pages of her book. Now is our chance to read her observations of a life of dedication and skill as our guest enters the main spotlight for this first weekend in October. Won't you join us for the ride?

Below are a list of links with further information about Martha Crawford Cantarini's life and career:

Fall Girl: My Life as a Western Stunt Double [Sources for this book]

SecondRunning.com [Martha's web site]

Martha Crawford IMDb Page

Interview with Stunt Double Martha Crawford Cantarini by John Greco @Twenty Four Frames Blog

All Star Equine - Show Biz Horses [Martha and her Horses]

My Friend Flicka - The Stunts

Martha Crawford Cantarini Playlist on Youtube

Polo, Anyone? @Movie Morlocks [An account of polo in Hollywood]
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » September 16th, 2013, 8:23 pm

Thanks for arranging for Martha Crawford Cantarini as our next Guest Author, Moira! What fun this will be!
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby moira finnie » September 17th, 2013, 3:16 pm

Thanks, Christy. I think you will particularly enjoy this guest too. Here's a brief video compilation of images from Martha's life, memoir and career highlights to enjoy:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7URHCDGHqww[/youtube]
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby MissGoddess » September 17th, 2013, 3:33 pm

Bravissimo! I really look forward to this!

I wrote Fall Girl for the horse lovers who know that the horses are their real teachers and indeed the unsung heroes of Western films.


That's enough to cinch it ( :wink: )...I'm definitely seeking out the book. I've not lived anywhere near where I can ride horses in so many years, I probably have forgotten how. So I like to "armchair ride" via books and movies. :)
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » September 17th, 2013, 6:24 pm

Me, too, April. The last time I was on the topside of a horse was in 1984 it was Duchess, the great-great granddaughter of Cutter Bill, one of the most famous horses in Texas history. She was the gentlest, sweetest horse I ever rode. Beautiful palomino, much like Buttermilk, Dale Evans' famous mount featured in the Roy Rogers' show.

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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby MissGoddess » September 18th, 2013, 8:56 am

sue-sue, you don't get a chance to ride where you are in Texas?

there is something so special about Palominos, or horses with blonde manes...

Image

God willing, I may take a vacation in the Spring (my first in over five years) and I'm hoping to include a little horse-back time into it somehow! :D
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby mongoII » September 20th, 2013, 11:51 am

WOW! What beautiful horses, April.
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby moira finnie » September 20th, 2013, 1:40 pm

In addition to those beautiful horses provided by Miss G., it turns out that Martha has written vivid descriptions of her own observations of the equestrian world away from Hollywood. Enjoy!:
http://www.equisearch.com/writers/martha-cantarini-0/
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » September 21st, 2013, 12:45 pm

Yes, Miss G., I have opportunities all around me, but because of back/shoulder injuries, I rarely venture. But it is a very exciting experience, especially if you have a gentle animal who is attuned to the rider. (Posting rodeo photos a little later....)
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » September 21st, 2013, 1:03 pm

Two happy-go-lucky horses in Dripping Springs, August 17, 2013....Image
Blanco County Rodeo in Johnson City, August 16 (We went on a Friday night!)
Image
A good Calf Scramble is always a hoot!
Image
Legendary African-American cowboy rodeo clown Leon Coffee was there...
Image
Read more about Leon Coffee here and watch a video of him in action:http://www.khou.com/entertainment/rodeo-houston/Rodeo-clown--196637291.html

My favorite goodie is the roasted corn on the cob, ELOTE! ( I use a little salt, butter, and chili powder! Yum-my!)

As I was reviewing some of Moira's links, I saw this lovely photo of Martha Crawford Cantarini with Debbie Reynolds when Martha was presented with her Golden Boot Award in 2005, and as I looked more closely, I think I recognized Ann Rutherford in the background and she was wearing the most gorgeous squash blossom necklace. Isn't that Ann Rutherford? Anyone?
Image

By the way, this is a sweet little video of Martha Crawford Cantarini , whose link Moira previously posted, and shows us some of Cantarini's stunts and her acceptance speech at the Golden Boot Awards: http://www.dilbeckproductions.com/marthacc.html

And I was totally amazed at this photo I found on Martha Crawford Cantarini's website:
Image
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 9/28 & 9/29

Postby rerun » September 24th, 2013, 6:02 pm

Sue Sue Applegate wrote:Two happy-go-lucky horses in Dripping Springs, August 17, 2013....Image
Blanco County Rodeo in Johnson City, August 16 (We went on a Friday night!)
Image
A good Calf Scramble is always a hoot!
Image
Legendary African-American cowboy rodeo clown Leon Coffee was there...
Image
Read more about Leon Coffee here and watch a video of him in action:http://www.khou.com/entertainment/rodeo-houston/Rodeo-clown--196637291.html

My favorite goodie is the roasted corn on the cob, ELOTE! ( I use a little salt, butter, and chili powder! Yum-my!)

As I was reviewing some of Moira's links, I saw this lovely photo of Martha Crawford Cantarini with Debbie Reynolds when Martha was presented with her Golden Boot Award in 2005, and as I looked more closely, I think I recognized Ann Rutherford in the background and she was wearing the most gorgeous squash blossom necklace. Isn't that Ann Rutherford? Anyone?
Image

By the way, this is a sweet little video of Martha Crawford Cantarini , whose link Moira previously posted, and shows us some of Cantarini's stunts and her acceptance speech at the Golden Boot Awards: http://www.dilbeckproductions.com/marthacc.html

And I was totally amazed at this photo I found on Martha Crawford Cantarini's website:
Image


Yes Sue Sue - that was Ann in the background.
Avatar: John Cantarini (Martha's husband) on future world record holder Crazy Kid. He won six in a row
on him.

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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 10/5 & 10/6

Postby moira finnie » September 27th, 2013, 3:46 pm

Please Note:

Due to a death in the family, Martha Crawford Cantarini's visit will be postponed one week and will now occur on Sat., Oct 5th & Sun. Oct. 6th. We apologize to all those who were looking forward to this weekend's planned event, but this gives us more time to become acquainted with the many sources on Martha's adventurous life. We send her and her family our condolences and look forward to our next encounter with her.
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Re: Martha Crawford Cantarini, Our Guest Author on 10/5 & 10/6

Postby moira finnie » October 4th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Martha has just confirmed that she will be our guest tomorrow Oct. 5 & and Sunday, Oct. 6th. Get your questions ready for a canter round the cinematic corral, doggies.
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