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Zellner Brothers on Deconstructing the Genre and Creating a Mythic, Humorous Western with ‘Damsel’

The stunning vistas aren’t the only signifiers of the western genre in Damsel, yet we quickly grasp that David and Nathan Zellner have crafted revisionist take on the genre, lovingly poking fun at its foundation while slyly pulling the rug under the audience in humorous, forward-thinking, and genre-redefining fashion.

Following Samuel (Robert Pattinson) as he goes on a rescue mission to save his true love Penelope (Mia Wasikowska), we won’t spoil anything beyond that, but rest assured, it’s a humorous, inventive western that could only come from the brothers who last gave us Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter.

Following the Sundance premiere, I spoke with them about balancing the perfect tone, the formation of Pattinson and Wasikowska’s characters, playing with tropes and archetypes of the genre, capturing a vibrant, mystical landscape, themes of feminism and cultural reappropriation, and more.

Was Damsel at all a response to Kumiko?
See full article at The Film Stage »

Night Passage — Die Uhr ist abgelaufen

It’s the great Anthony Mann-James Stewart western that Mann didn’t direct: Stewart goes it alone, over-filling a good western idea with ‘cute’ scenes and conservative messages Mann had no use for. But it’s an exciting picture, and one of co-star Audie Murphy’s best — and it’s the first feature in the splendid oversized format known as Technirama.

Night Passage

Blu-ray

Explosive Media (De)

1957 / color / 2:35 widescreen / 90 min. / available at Amazon.de / Die Uhr ist abgelaufen /Street Date August 10, 2017 / Eur 17,99

Starring: James Stewart, Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea, Dianne Foster, Elaine Stewart, Brandon De Wilde, Jay C. Flippen, Herbert Anderson, Robert J. Wilke, Hugh Beaumont, Jack Elam, Olive Carey, Ellen Corby, Chuck Roberson.

Cinematography: William Daniels

Film Editor: Sherman Todd

Original Music: Dimitri Tiomkin

Written by Borden Chase

Produced by Aaron Rosenberg

Directed by James Neilson

Universal-International didn’t spare the production values for their big-screen western Night Passage.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Review: "The Law And Jake Wade" (1958) Starring Robert Taylor And Richard Widmark. Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
By John M. Whalen

In MGM’s 1958 Western “The Law and Jake Wade,” Robert Taylor rides down from the Sierra Nevada mountains early one morning into a small town and busts his old partner-in-crime, Clint Hollister (Richard Widmark), out of the hoosegow. Hollister is a nasty guy. Not satisfied with escaping a hanging, to Jake’s dismay, he clubs the sheriff and shoots a couple of people out in the street while he and Jake make their getaway. Jake has to take his rifle away from him to keep from killing more people.

Back up in the mountains Clint wants to ride on with Jake but Jake says no. He busted Clint out of jail because he figured he owed him for doing the same thing for him once. Now they’re even. Clint doesn’t agree. There’s that matter of the $20,000 they stole on their last job together.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Gun Fury 3-D

Rock Hudson and Donna Reed star in a kidnapping-vengeance-pursuit western filmed in large part in gorgeous Sedona, Arizona, in 3-D and (originally) Technicolor. It’s another 3-D treasure from the 1950s boom years. The trailer is in 3-D too.

Gun Fury 3-D

3-D Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1953 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 82 min. / Street Date September 19, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Rock Hudson, Donna Reed, Phil Carey, Roberta Haynes, Leo Gordon, Lee Marvin, Neville Brand.

Cinematography: Lester WhiteMusical Director (Stock Music): Mischa Bakaleinikoff

Written by Irving Wallace, Roy Huggins

Produced by Lewis Rachmil

Directed by Raoul Walsh

I have a new theory for why the 1950s 3-D craze only lasted about 2.5 years: they couldn’t find any more one-eyed directors to make them.

Gun Fury arrived at the end of 1953, in the thick of what would be called the ‘fad’ of 3-D. Columbia Pictures jumped into ‘depth pictures’ as if it were a gimmick,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Law and Jake Wade

Many of MGM’s productions were scraping bottom in 1958, yet the studio found one more acceptable western vehicle for their last big star still on contract. Only-slightly corrupt marshal Robert Taylor edges toward a showdown with the thoroughly corrupt Richard Widmark in an economy item given impressive locations and the sound direction of John Sturges.

The Law and Jake Wade

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1958 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 86 min. / Street Date September 12, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens, Robert Middleton, Henry Silva, DeForest Kelley, Henry Silva, Burt Douglas, Eddie Firestone.

Cinematography: Robert Surtees

Film Editor: Ferris Webster

Written by William Bowers from a novel by Marvin H. Albert

Produced by William B. Hawks

Directed by John Sturges

As the 1950s wore down, MGM was finding it more difficult to properly use its last remaining big-ticket stars on the steady payroll, Cyd Charisse and Robert Taylor. Cyd
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Shalako

It’s 007 in the saddle! Sean Connery didn’t become a career cowboy but his one stint as a Louis L’Amour hero is a diverting change of pace. And we couldn’t resist the pairing of two of moviedom’s most attractive actors — Connery and Brigitte Bardot.

Shalako

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1968 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 113 min. / Street Date July 11, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Peter van Eyck, Honor Blackman, Woody Strode, Eric Sykes, Alexander Knox, Valerie French, Julián Mateos, Don ‘Red’ Barry.

Cinematography: Ted Moore

Film Editor: Bill Blunden

Original Music: Robert Farnon

Written by J.J. Griffith, Hal Hopper, Scot Finch, Clarke Reynolds from the novel by Louis L’Amour

Produced by Euan Lloyd

Directed by Edward Dmytryk

It’s true, after five consecutive James Bond movies, we weren’t exactly ready to see Sean Connery as an American cowboy hero.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Cannes Film Review: ‘Becoming Cary Grant’

Cannes Film Review: ‘Becoming Cary Grant’
Becoming Cary Grant” is a catchy title for an inside Hollywood documentary. It suggests that the person who ultimately evolved into Cary Grant — he was born in 1904 and started off as Archie Leach, a dirt-poor kid from Bristol in the south of England — really did need to become him, for the same reason that anyone else would: namely, that Cary Grant wasn’t quite of this earth. David Thomson, the venerable film critic who speaks throughout the movie as an authority on Grant, suggests that the actor was neither British nor American, but a one-of-a-kind hybrid. Even his accent, so utterly distinctive, was unplaceable. On the surface, it had the clipped cadences of British cultivated elegance, but the music it carried had a harder America edge. The movie quotes Grant as saying, “Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” That tells you what a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Summer To The Rescue, Sort Of: 13 May-august Movies I Want To See

Summer is upon us. That is, summer as defined by movie studios which, in the 40 years since Star Wars was released, on May 25, 1977, have valiantly tried to stretch the boundaries of summer, content-wise, from the traditional June-July-August definition to include the other nine months of the year as well. (Mission pretty much accomplished, gentlemen. Thank you for your efforts.) As far as the actual summer movie season, it’s now more or less accepted that everything starts on the first weekend of May, and so it most certainly is this year. In case you hadn’t heard, a modest little picture called Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuts this weekend at an art house near you, and everyone you know, including you, have probably already bought advance tickets to see it. Me, I’m less similarly inclined. Despite my raised expectations from reviews and audience reports, I found the
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Rounders

The laid-back, plot challenged non-violent western gets a boost in this folksy comedy about two aging cowboys with less sense than the horses they tame. Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda star together for the first time, leaving behind their older images… they’re too tender-hearted for their own good. If the sex comedy wasn’t quite so dated, Burt Kennedy’s picture might be a classic.

The Rounders

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1965 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 84 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda, Sue Ane Langdon, Hope Holiday, Chill Wills, Edgar Buchanan, Kathleen Freeman, Joan Freeman, Denver Pyle, Barton MacLane, Doodles Weaver, Peter Fonda, Peter Ford, Bill Hart, Warren Oates, Chuck Roberson.

Cinematography: Paul Vogel

Film Editor: John McSweeney

Original Music: Jeff Alexander

From the Novel by Max Evans

Produced by Richard E. Lyons

Written and Directed by Burt Kennedy

Producer Richard E. Lyons is
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Ride the High Country

Before he became the flag bearer for cinema violence, Sam Peckinpah made his reputation with this unique western, a marvelous rumination on ethics, morality and personal responsibility. MGM all but threw it away in the summer of 1962 but it immediately became a critical favorite.

Ride the High Country

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1962 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 92 min. / Street Date April 4, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Edgar Buchanan, R.G. Armstrong, Jenie Jackson, James Drury, L.Q. Jones, John Anderson, John Davis Chandler, Warren Oates.

Cinematography Lucien Ballard

Art Direction Leroy Coleman, George W. Davis

Film Editor Frank Santillo

Original Music George Bassman

Written by N.B. Stone Jr.

Produced by Richard E. Lyons

Directed by Sam Peckinpah

MGM’s western Ride the High Country put Sam Peckinpah on the map with critics and the foreign cinema literati — although it didn’t do big box office when new,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Wagon Tracks

Wagon Tracks

Blu-ray

Olive Films

1919 / B&W / 1:33 Silent Ap / 64 min. / Street Date January 24, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring William S. Hart, Jane Novak, Robert McKim, Lloyd Bacon, Leo Pierson, Bert Sprotte, Charles Arling.

Cinematography: Joseph H. August

Art direction: Thomas A. Brierley

Titles: Irvin J. Martin

Written by: C. Gardner Sullivan

Produced by: William S. Hart, Thomas H. Ince

Directed by: Lambert Hillyer

Last year we were gifted with an excellent Blu-ray of a silent John Ford western, 3 Bad Men, which turned out to be a satisfying sentimental action tale. This month we get a much older silent western that’s almost as interesting. Its star is William S. Hart, the silent icon most of know through a still of a man in a ten-gallon hat brandishing two pistols in a barroom. Hart frequently played gunslingers, but not always. Olive’s presentation of Wagon Tracks sees him
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Veteran’s Day Tribute: The Ten Best Navy Movies

Veteran’s Day is November 11. While we all try to escape from the most exasperating Presidential Campaign in our history let me pay tribute to the Men and Women who have served in the military to insure we keep our electoral process and our freedoms.

Having served in the Navy four years (there he goes again!) I have a keen interest in any movie about the military, especially the sea service. I did serve during peace time so had no experience with combat but still spent most of my tour of duty at sea on an aircraft carrier, the USS Amerca CV66. Among other jobs I ran the ship’s television station for almost two years. Movies have always been important to me and so providing a few hours of entertainment every day when we were at sea was just about the best job I could have had.

The author
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Western Union

Wow! Fritz Lang's second western is a marvel -- a combo of matinee innocence and that old Germanic edict that character equals fate. It has a master's sense of color and design. Robert Young is an odd fit but Randolph Scott is nothing less than terrific. You'd think Lang was born on the Pecos. Western Union Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1941 / Color /1:37 flat Academy / 95 min. / Street Date November 8, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Randolph Scott, Robert Young, Virginia Gilmore, Dean Jagger, John Carradine, Chill Wills, Slim Summerville, Barton MacLane, Victor Kilian, George Chandler, Chief John Big Tree, Iron Eyes Cody, Jay Silverheels. Cinematography Edward Cronjager, Allen M. Davey Original Music David Buttolph Written by Robert Carson from the novel by Zane Grey Produced by Harry Joe Brown (associate) Directed by Fritz Lang

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Darryl Zanuck of 20th Fox treated most writers well, was good for John Ford
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Canadian Pacific

Randolph Scott fights to let the railroad go through in this old-fashioned rip-snorting action adventure movie, the kind where shooting bad guys means never having to say you're sorry. Jane Wyatt gets top billing but the big burner on this prairie is newcomer Nancy Olson, who puts more sex appeal into her homegrown heroine than all of her later roles combined. Canadian Pacific Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1949 / Color /1:37 flat Academy / 95 min. / Street Date August 9, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Randolph Scott, Jane Wyatt, J. Carrol Nash, Victor Jory, Nancy Olson, Robert Barrat, Walter Sande, Don Haggerty, Grandon Rhodes, John Hamilton, George Chandler, Holmes Herbert, Norman Jewison, Chief Yowlachie. Cinematography Fred Jackman, Jr., Film Editor Philip Martin Art Direction Ernst Fegeé Original Music Dimitri Tiomkin Written by Jack DeWitt, Kenneth Gamet story by Jack DeWitt Produced by Nat Holt Directed by Edwin L. Marin Reviewed by Glenn Erickson All Randolph Scott movies aren't created equal,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Comanche Station (Einer Gibt Nicht Auf)

Randolph Scott's final 'Ranown' western is a minimalist masterpiece, an unusually gentle story about a great westerner on a forlorn romantic quest. It's also a showcase for the underrated Nancy Gates and Claude Akins, and a pleasure to watch in wide, wide CinemaScope. Comanche Station All-region Blu-ray Explosive Media / Alive 1960 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 74 min. / Street Date July 22, 2016 / Einer Gibt Nicht Auf / available at Amazon.de/ EUR14,99 Starring Randolph Scott, Nancy Gates, Claude Atkins, Skip Homeier, Richard Rust. Cinematography Charles Lawton Jr. Film Editor Edwin H. Bryant Music supervisor Mischa Balaleinikoff Written by Burt Kennedy Produced and Directed by Budd Boetticher

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

One must be careful when ordering Blu-ray discs of Hollywood films from overseas. Foreign distributors license American movies that the studios won't release here, but sometimes they don't have access to good video masters. In a few cases the films being offered are simply being pirated.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Top Ten Funny Ladies of the Movies

The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Gun the Man Down

This almost completely forgotten '50s western couldn't compete with the big productions, but it has a good cast -- James Arness, Robert J. Wilke, Emile Meyer, Harry Carey Jr. Plus early work by writer Burt Kennedy, and the debuts of actress Angie Dickinson and director Andrew V. McLaglen. Gun the Man Down Blu-ray Olive Films 1956 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 76 min. / Street Date July 19, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98 Starring James Arness, Angie Dickinson, Emile Meyer, Robert J. Wilke, Harry Carey Jr., Don Megowan, Michael Emmet, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez. Cinematography William H. Clothier Film Editor A. Edward Sutherland Original Music Henry Vars Written by Burt Kennedy, Sam Freedle Produced by Robert E. Morrison Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When the 1950s rolled in John Wayne stopped being merely an actor and graduated to institution status, starting his own production company, Batjac, and promoting his own group of talent.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Mindy Newell: Tiptoeing Through Geek Culture

Last of the Mohicans, by James Feinmore Cooper, is a great American classic. My parents had a Book-of-the-Month copy in their bookcase with illustrations by Newell Wyeth, Andrew’s father, and I first read it at about age 8. Today (Sunday), I watched the 1992 Last of the Mohicans, the one starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeline Stowe, and Wes Studi. Great, great movie, also a favorite of my buddy and fellow columnist Johnny O’s; in fact, it was John and Kim who turned me on to this particular cinema adaption, oh, those so many years ago at their home in Norfolk, Connecticut. I was familiar with the 1936 version, which starred Randolph Scott, Bruce Cabot, and Binnie Barnes, which was pretty good, but director Michael Mann’s adaptation is a gothic work of art, boasting beautiful cinematography and a romantic and haunting soundtrack.

I’ve also been blissfully gorging on Season 2 of Outlander,
See full article at Comicmix »

Review: "Comanche Station" (1960) Starring Randolph Scott; Explosive Media DVD Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Doug Oswald

Randolph Scott plays a bounty hunter returning a former Indian captive in “Comanche Station,” a 1960 Columbia release directed by Bud Boetticher and written by western regular Burt Kennedy.

Jefferson Cody (Scott) trades rifles and other items with a group of Comanche Indians in exchange for a captive settler, Nancy Lowe (Nancy Gates). Her husband has offered a large reward for her return. After the exchange they’re met by outlaw Ben Lane (Claude Akins) and his sidekicks Frank (Skip Homeier) and Dobie (Richard Rust) who help Cody during an Indian attack at Comanche Station. Lane and Cody are old enemies and he and his men have been searching for Nancy. Lane wants a piece of the $5,000 reward in return for helping protect Nancy on the journey to her husband. Cody reluctantly agrees and forms an uneasy alliance due to the Indian threat.

Cody befriends Dobie, who wants
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Bad Boy

This proto- juvenile delinquent epic launched celebrated WW2 warrior Audie Murphy on the road to Hollywood fame, fortune and more troubled times. Audie commits every crime short of shooting dogs and nuns, but those wacky liberal social workers still give him the benefit of the doubt. Director Kurt Neumann back our hero with expert acting support from Lloyd Nolan, Jane Wyatt and James GleasonBad Boy DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1949 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 86 min. / Street Date January 5, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Audie Murphy, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Wyatt, James Gleason, Stanley Clements, Martha Vickers, Rhys Williams, Selena Royle, Jimmy Lydon, Dickie Moore, Tommy Cook, William F. Leicester, Stephen Chase, Walter Sande, Ray Teal, Charles Trowbridge. Cinematography Karl Struss Art Direction Theobold Holsopple Production Design Gordon Wiles Film Editor William Austin Original Music Paul Sawtell Written by Robert Hardy Andrews, Karl Kamb, Paul Short Produced by Paul Short
See full article at Trailers from Hell »
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