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For example, this month my viewing included the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers art deco dance fantasy Top Hat (1935), two Howard Hawks' films -- the comedic Bringing Up Baby (1938) with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, and the Bogart/Bacall vehicle The Big Sleep (1946).
Last night I re-viewed Jean-Pierre Melville's best caper film, Le Cercle Rouge (1970) starring French superstar Alain Delon, the French comedic veteran, Bourvil, and Italian actor Gian Maria Volonté (whom viewers may know best as the character El Indio from Sergio Leone's For A Few Dollars More.) Earlier in the week I had the chance to re-view the masterful Robert De Niro/Ed Norton/Marlon Brando collaboration in Frank Oz's The Score (2001).
I like comedy and my viewing this month included various episodes from the second season of Monty Python's Flying Circus -- a recent acquisition. This collection is remastered and has a large set of episodes never seen in America. Perhaps I am in the mood for English comedy, as I also viewed David Lean's comedic dilemma masterpiece Hobson's Choice (1954), and the Peter O'Toole comeback comedy My Favorite Year (1982) recently. We also enjoyed the Billy Crystal film, Forget Paris (1995) with Debra Winger and the NBA all-star team of 1996.
Westerns are a big favorite, and early this month I again watched Kevin Costner's much underrated western drama Open Range (2003) staring the great Robert Duvall. I appreciate more in this film after each viewing.
Around the holiday my son and I shared an art house favorite. Together, we sat mesmerized by Jim Jarmusch's experiential film, The Limits of Control (2009).
Tonight during a visit to my neighbors, I look forward to seeing for the first time Denzel Washington's most recent outing as the out of control pilot in the Robert Zemeckis film, Flight (2012).
I can't help but wonder what the NSA will make of my entertainment choices? Hopefully, when it comes to round up time, I'll be left alone as some kind of harmless mental misfit.
Drum Beat (1954)
Drums along the Modoc?
Poor Alan Ladd. Sent by President Grant to make peace with the Modoc people along Oregon's Emigrant Trail, he must have boarded the wrong train in St. Louis, and ended up in Arizona's red rock country.
The script makes clever use of a jumble of historical facts, yet confusion reigns. Chief Schonchin led the Modocs and signed the treaty of 1864, not Kintpuash (the Charles Bronson character named "Captain Jack" in the film). Kintpauash did lead a band of Modocs to Lost River, because the resources on the reservation could not supply enough food for the Klamath and Modoc tribes both who were assigned there.
Before the Modocs "went on the war path", they asked the California government and the Federal government to intercede. Both refused to act, leaving the Modocs with the no-win choice of movement towards confrontation or starvation.
If you like westerns, as I do, you can find better selections. This film is highly melodramatic, historically inaccurate, and set in the wrong location.
For fellow Alan Ladd fans, allow me to suggest the excellent story based on theme of the reluctant hero, Shane.