Broken Arrow
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3 items from 2010

Not Available on DVD: Drum Beat

16 June 2010 6:00 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

In Charles Bronson news, two of his westerns, Once Upon A Time In The West and The Magnificent Seven, made this weeks list of Top Ten Westerns here at Wamg, but there’s an outstanding western that Bronson costarred in very early in his career worthy of discussion that most readers are probably unfamiliar with. Drum Beat from 1953 starred Alan Ladd and was based on a true story about a violent Indian uprising in the 187os. It’s an impressive and exciting outdoor adventure but Hollywood studios were churning out hundreds of westerns in the early 50’s so it’s not too surprising that Drum Beat, though so superior to many, hasn’t received its due. The most notable thing about Drum Beat is that it provided Charles Bronson with his real break-through role as an actor. Bronson’s scene-stealing performance as an Indian chief received a lot of attention »

- Tom Stockman

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Western Wednesdays (Thursday Edition): ‘Hombre’

29 April 2010 7:00 AM, PDT | The Flickcast | See recent The Flickcast news »

One of my biggest misconceptions going into this feature was that Westerns never tackled the topic of racism. (You may call me a brainwashed and judgmental liberal if you like. I don’t mind.)  I lumped them all in with The Searchers – which, incidentally, wasn’t as racist as I remembered but isn’t exactly condemning its characters’ biases either.

But a lot of Westerns tackle it.  They just tend to examine it through the dewy and sad eyes of the white man such as Jimmy Stewart’s Broken Arrow.    Hombre ups the ante by showing discrimination through the painfully blue eyes of Paul Newman.   How can anyone look down on those pool colored irises? You’d have to be really evil.  And boy, are the white people of Hombre evil.

Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, Hombre introduces us to John Russell (Newman), a white man who was »

- Elisabeth Rappe

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Western Wednesdays: ‘Broken Arrow’

31 March 2010 2:30 PM, PDT | The Flickcast | See recent The Flickcast news »

Before there was Avatar, before there was even Dances With Wolves, there was Broken Arrow.

I wasn’t expecting much out of this film. I picked it solely because it had Jimmy Stewart, and he’s been missing from this feature for too long. I knew from the description that it was about the wars with the Apache, who have always been the genre’s favorite villainous redskins. Again, I wasn’t expecting much.

If there was one thing that was pounded into my head in college, it was that no movie ever portrayed Native Americans fairly. They were all John Wayne propaganda pieces that justified our rape and pillage of the land over and over again. It was one of those little facts that justified my disdain for Western movies for years.

But it turns out my American history classes weren’t entirely right, at least in the case of one film. »

- Elisabeth Rappe

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