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Posted: May 3rd, 2008, 9:56 am
I don't see too many westerns so could be wrong about this. I have seen some over the years. But I've never seen a cowboy herding cattle. Seems to me they spend all their time in saloons, drinking and playing cards. And, of course there's always a lot of shooting. But not many cows.
Posted: May 3rd, 2008, 2:03 pm
I'm like you Mel, I haven't seen too many but I seem to remember in Red River they were moving cattle. It is a long time since I saw it but I do love that Western. There's something about the combination of Montgomery Clift and John Wayne that makes for compulsive viewing.
Posted: May 4th, 2008, 8:00 am
The opening scenes of MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946 d-John Ford) is also a cattle drive. THE COWBOYS (1972 John Wayne & kids vs. cattle) has some 'real' cattle drive scenes.
"Real cattle drive" - uh, I think anytime we see cattle on the screen, there is REAL cattle driving involved. Their union seems to be dead-set on aggravating humans, by the way, even if the human IS sitting in a high-chair with his name stenciled across the back. While I've only worked with dairy cows en masse, I have TRIED showing them the script - I've printed in very large fonts, even, and in Spanish, French, German, Italian AND English - and yet those cows still pretend they don't understand my instructions. I've used semaphores, shouting loudly and even cussed at 'em. They still blink at me like I'm not even there.
And I AM there. Honest!
Of course, wifey-poo does the same thing to me sometimes. Hmmm... or am I a butterfly's dream?!!
Posted: May 5th, 2008, 8:37 am
You'll find that in fact many westerns show cattle being herded or driven and like Ollie pointed out, it was hard work regardless of whether it was for filming purposes only, or if in fact a genuine cattle drive was being shot.
Besides those mentioned, there is a huge cattle drive central to the story in Raoul Walsh's THE TALL MEN.
I might add, the best westerns spend as much time out of doors, and take advantage of the scope of the landscape, of which the nomadic life of herding cattle was just one aspect.
Posted: May 5th, 2008, 5:56 pm
If I may, I would like to add Cowboy to the list. It starred Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon. The whole plot revolves around tenderfoot Lemmon joining a cattle drive because he always wanted to be a cowboy. Glenn Ford shows him it isn't as glamourous a life as he imagined.
Posted: May 6th, 2008, 10:13 am
Mel, Mel, Mel, Mel:
The Cheyenne Social Club started with a branding scene, if I'm not confusing it with another movie, The Rare Breed, is driving cattle from the place they were sold to the guys ranch, Red River was a cattle drive from start to finish, I believe, the story behind Cowboy has already been described. The Sons of Katie Elder drove cattle to get enough money to send little brother to school back east so he wouldn't grow up like the other three.
Cattle drives have been a major part of most Westerns since the movies inception. If you have missed seeing them, you need to google cattle drives or something I guess and get a list.
Posted: May 6th, 2008, 10:39 am
A good one to see (and probably by DVD only) is "Conagher" with Sam Elliott. (Even my wife likes it and she only likes a few westerns.)
He's a wrangler and cowboy. A lot of talk about the code of a cowboy and about giving the boss an honest day's work.
It's primarily a love story (with real life wife Katherine Ross) with a good bit of a feud between ranchers and those that work for them.
It was a made for TV film but I think it is easy to find.
Posted: May 6th, 2008, 11:47 am
I stand corrected, My excuse? I see very few westerns. Not my genre. Even as a kid , I didn't care much for cowboys. I did see some with Buck Jones and Jack Hoxie ( the neighborhood theaters showed westerns every saturday early.) Musicals were always 'my thing' even the static early ones. I know I'm odd but I always preferred chorines to cattle. Or anything else. Thanks to all of you .... mel
Posted: May 6th, 2008, 11:58 am
sorry to lower the tone, but i hope in a humourous way. in all the westerns involving cattle drives i've seen i've never seen a cowboy disappear to relieve himself. the one film that does mention that is the British war film Ice Cold In Alex where Harry Andrews talks of soldiers in the dessert going of by themselves, carrying a shovel.
i hope i didn't lower the tone to much
Posted: May 6th, 2008, 12:30 pm
Anyway, I still prefer chorines to shovels. Yeah, I'm trying to be funny. My wife says. 'you don't have to try'. .... mel
Posted: November 27th, 2008, 11:22 am
I thought (with a bow to April & Kathy) that we might continue this as a catchall to general westerns discussions. Maybe for the kind of things that didn't need a whole thread. Quite frankly it has been very popular at TCM.
I caught "Monte Wash" with Lee Marvin from 1970. My most pleasant surprise was Jack Palance. It was a nice role well against type for him and he did a fine job. Marvin was good as well. His part got better as the film went along and seemed to become more nostalgic as the movie progressed. A good effort all around.
A couple of short comings were it seemed episodic at times. People come and go at seemingly odd moments. Time passes based on whether Walsh has his mustache or not. A nice John Barry score that doesn't really do much until the last half hour. A weird turn on the opening song which is performed by Cass Elliott. Pretty forgettable. The bronco scene seems a bit much but is well done. Who knew a horse could tear up that much lumber.
I confess I have seen the Selleck version of this several times before this version. Selleck gives more of a sense of nostalgia and life passing him than Marvin but that is just a matter of approach. I would have enjoyed knowing more of Walsh's past and why he loves his job. You sense it is more than the only thing he can do but it never really goes there.
A fine film. I was happy to add another western to my list.
Posted: November 27th, 2008, 2:47 pm
Howdy, Chris! I think this is a good idea for SSO, I'm glad you've re-started it.
I wanted to ask if the female character (played by Jeanne Moreau in the original, Isabella Rossellini in the remake) has a larger role in Selleck's
version? Because I thought the scenes between Marvin and Jeanne should have been a little more critical to the story than they were.
Posted: November 27th, 2008, 9:29 pm
Rossellini does have a larger role and I think it helps bring out more of Walsh's character. They showed a deeper relationship which I think made the her death in the latter version more profound. In fact I thought the Selleck version made a more concerted effort to show that Walsh felt the times had passed for his way of life.
One thing I did notice was the Shorty's rifle had the cloth rifle butt cover in both versions which made it a pretty interesting point of detail.
Posted: November 28th, 2008, 9:32 am
Thank you, Chris. Now I really look forward to seeing the remake. I'm also curious to see what, if any, sparks are between Selleck and Isabella. I didn't feel much chemistry between Lee and Jeanne.
I never noticed the fancy rifle butt in the original! Shows you once again how details like that fly over my head.
Posted: December 8th, 2008, 9:41 am
I saw a good one on the Western Channel yesterday afternoon, Noose for a Gunman (1960).
This is a low-budget programmer with some very good performances, and a bit more psychological depth than most. It's a variation of the High Noon plot, where a gunman (Jim Davis) has come to a town where he's been banned for bad behavior, to warn that a former evil colleague (Ted deCorsia) is on his way into town with a gang to rob the bank. Davis and the past-his-prime, battle-weary marshall must muster forces to repel the attack (most of the able-bodied men of the town are out on round-up). Barton MacLane and Harry Carey, Jr. co-star.
Only the Davis name in the credits made me stick around, and I did enjoy this one a lot more than I thought I would. The acting is strong, and I love, love, love Jim Davis, one of the Hollywood Western's unsung treasures. Davis had a lot of Westerns to his credit, most forgettable save for his presence. In this one, he got a chance to show more of what he could do. Tall, rugged, good-looking without being movie star handsome, laconic in style with that laid-back, dry speaking voice. A very attractive and authoritative performer, when given the right material. In Noose for a Gunman he is allowed to be an anti-hero, and he does it very credibly. Sort of a less neurotic Royal Dano. Most would remember him primarily as Jock Ewing on Dallas, but he did so much more, and is always worth watching.