Friday, March 12, 2010
IS FX OPTIMISM 'JUSTIFIED'?
UPDATED 3/17 -- SEVERAL NEW WEEKEND EVENTS -- CHECK BELOW
WE'LL FIND OUT TUESDAY 3/16 AT 10 P.M. JUSTIFIED is a modern-day western spun from the Elmore Leonard story Fire In The Hole. Timothy Olyphant, who spent three years in DEADWOOD as Sheriff Seth Bullock, plays U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, a polite but deadly Kentucky gentleman. If you'd like to see the trailer, click here. Executive Producer Graham Yost has at least ten shows in the can so far, and an interesting collection of behind-the-scenes talent. Tony Goldwyn has directed one episode, and Elmore Leonard has produced one.
TRUE GRIT ROLLS CAMERAS IN TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO
The Coen brothers may have missed out an their own Oscar for their SERIOUS MAN script, but their Rooster Cogburn, Jeff Bridges, goes to the set with a Best Actor Oscar under his arm for CRAZY HEART. Barry Pepper will play Ned Pepper, the role originally assayed by Robert Duvall. Pepper his a long string of notable credits, but I'll always remember him as the sniper in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998). Paul Rae will portray Emmett Quincy, and Ed Corbin will play 'Bear Grit'. Cinematographer Roger Deakins, whose eight Oscar noms include THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES (2007) and the Coen's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007) will be behind the camera. The score will be composed by Carter Burwell, who did similar chores so memorably for THE ALAMO (2004) and this year's WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.
COWBOYS AND ALIENS GETS START DATE, RELEASE DATE
Robert Downey Jr. is out to do another SHERLOCK HOLMES, Daniel 'Bond' Craig is in his place, and with lovely HOUSE star Olivia Wilde in, the Jon Favreau-helmed Scf-Fi western should be before the Universal cameras this July. Favreau, who directed IRON MAN and ELF, won't say yet whether he'll be shooting in 3D. Asked by MTV why she signed on, Olivia Wilde replied, "It's really interesting people who just want to make a great story... Western enthusiasts will be happy. Sci-fi enthusiasts will be happy. Jon Favreau likes to describe it as a mash-up... It's going to have awesome effects, but Jon Favreau and everyone else are concentrating on making a great story and I'm absolutely humbled and excited to be a part of it." The announced release date is July 29, 2011, and be warned, that's also the announced release date for THE SMURFS MOVIE. Decisions, decisions...
ONE MORE WALK-DOWN FOR VIRGIL COLE
Mystery readers around the globe were saddened to learn of the death of prolific author Robert B. Parker, at his home in Cambridge, on January 18th, from a heart attack. Much was said at the time of his very popular three mystery series, SPENSER FOR HIRE, JESSE STONE, and SUNNY RANDALL, but there was little or no mention of his VIRGIL COLE western series, which included GUNMAN'S RHAPSODY and APPALOOSA, the latter leading to the excellent movie of the same title. With the death of his creator, does this mean Virgil Cole is at the end of his tether? Not quite, according to publishers G.P. Putnam's Sons. In May 2010, they will be bringing out the last novel of the series, BLUE-EYED DEVIL, and will simultaneously issue the current hard-cover release, BRIMSTONE, in paperback. I just read APPALOOSA, and I don't ever recall a movie that followed a book more closely -- the dialogue is intact virtually word-for-word. When the film opened, director-star Ed Harris was already talking about a sequel. I've been trying to find out if New Line Cinema has one in the works, but I haven't got a direct answer back. If you have any doubts as to whether a sequel is desirable, click here to see the trailer for APPALOOSA (2008).
WESTERN COMPOSER NATHAN SCOTT DIES
Nathan Scott, a composer, orchestrator and conductor with a staggering 950 professional credits, died at his home in Sherman Oaks, at the age of 94. Born in Salinas, he graduated from UC Berkeley with a music degree in 1939. He worked on radio as the west-coast music director of the NBC BLUE NETWORK until he entered the Army, where he worked on such Armed Forces Radio Service shows as COMMAND PERFORMANCE. In 1946 he went to work at Republic Pictures, and if you've seen the films of MONTE HALE, GENE AUTRY, WILD BILL ELLIOT and ROY ROGERS of that period, you've almost certainly heard Scott's scores. He also composed the music for John Wayne's WAKE OF THE RED WITCH (1948) MONTANA BELLE (1952), where Jane Russell portrayed Belle Starr, and many others. Moving to television, he also composed for episodes of LARAMIE, THE VIRGINIAN, HAVE GUN-WILL TRAVEL, RAWHIDE and GUNSMOKE.
WEEKEND EVENTS - AROUND TOWN - AROUND THE COUNTRY
ERNEST BORGNINE IN PERSON!
On Saturday, March 20th, at 2:00 p.m., The North Hollywood Library, at 5211 Tujunga Ave., at the corner of Magnolia, will host a free screening of MARTY, the movie that earned Borgnine his Oscar -- and he will be present following the screening! (818) 766-7185.
AT THE AUTRY
On Saturday, March 20th at 1 p.m., The Southwest Musueum presents a lecture, The View FRom the Braun:Archeoastronomy, describing how the first Americans used the sky as part of their worldview. The cave-paintings look fascinating. Admission is free to members, $10 to non-members, and NOTE: THIS IS AT THE SOUTHWEST MUSEUM, NOT THE AUTRY MUSEUM IN GRIFFITH PARK. For details, click here.
At the museum in Griffith Park, in addition to the above, and regular weekend family events like gold-panning, there will be a Santa Fe craft show at the gift shop on Saturday at 11:00 a.m., and on Sunday at Noon, the 3rd Sunday Jam with the Western Music Association. Also, in the Wells Fargo Theatre, a play, TALES OF AN URBAN INDIAN, will be performed Thursday, Friday 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.,and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. For more information, including tickets for the play, click here.
LOS ENCINOS STATE HISTORIC PARK
Sunday 3/20 Living History. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. you can step back in time! The living history program features a working blacksmith shop, 19th Century children's games, traditional music, tours of the historic structures, and strolling folks in period costume -- great fun for kids and adults, and you can feed the ducks! They do this program on the third Sunday of every month. Los Encinos is located at 16756 Moorpark St., Encino, CA 91436-1068. (818)784-4849. For more information, click here.
THE ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES - NEW YORK CITY
1927, 105 minutes, 16mm, b&w, silent. With Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavendar, Jim Farley, and Joseph Keaton.
One of Keaton's best silent features, setting comedy against a true Civil War story of a stolen train and Union spies.
-Saturday and Sunday, March 20 & 21 at 5:30.
Anthology Film Archives | 32 Second Avenue | New York | NY | 10003
LANDMARK THEATRES FEATURES 'A TOWN CALLED PANIC' IN 3 STATES
A TOWN CALLED PANIC. Okay, it's not a traditional western. In fact, it's animation, very limited stop-motion animation, but it does feature a cowboy, an Indian, and a horse, it's a Belgian and French co-production, and except for some cursing in the subtitles, it's supposed to be great for kids! It's playing at the LAGOON CINEMA in Minneapolis, the TIVOLI THEATRE in St. Louis, and the MIDTOWN ART CINEMA in Atlanta. If you want to know more, click here .
PAPERBACK COLLECTOR SHOW AND SALE - MISSION HILLS, CA
Sunday, March 21 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
This is an annual event that I NEVER miss. Dozens of paperback dealers and collectors from around the country converge, bringing pulps and paperbacks exclusively. There is more horror and sci-fi than anything else, but there are a lot of westerns -- I've picked up tons of Luke Short, and seen plenty of Max Brand, Zane Grey, Louis Lamour and the rest. The pristine stuff can be pricey, but you can find lots of great deals if you're not so picky about condition -- I rarely pay more than $2 for anything, and purists sneer at my 'reader copies,' but after all, I'm getting them to read, not to seal them in a vault. They also have forty writers and other guests there to sign books, and THEY DON'T CHARGE for autographs! They're mostly sci-fi and horror people, among them Ray Bradbury, William F. Nolan and Edd "Cookie" Byrnes, who starred in a number of spaghetti westerns. For a complete list of signers and time slots, click here. It's at the Guest House Inn, 10621 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills, CA 91345, and admission is $5. And tell them Henry's Western Round-up sent you.
NEED YOUR BLACK & WHITE TV FIX?
Check out your cable system for WHT, which stands for World Harvest Television. It's a religious network that runs a lot of good western programming. Your times may vary, depending on where you live, but weekdays in Los Angeles they run THE LONE RANGER at 1:30 p.m., and two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.. On Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. it's THE RIFLEMAN again, followed at 2:30 by BAT MASTERSON. And unlike many stations in the re-run business, they run the shows in the original airing order. There's an afternoon movie on weekdays at noon, often a western, and they show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.
WESTERN MOVIES ON TV
Note:AMC=American Movie Classics, EXT= Showtime Extreme, FMC=Fox Movie Channel, TCM=Turner Classic Movies. All times given are Pacific Standard Time.
BEST DARN THING ON TV ALL WEEK!!!
TCM THURSDAY - O.K. CORRAL-A-THON!
FOUR MOVIES IN A ROW dealing with the Earps, Doc Holliday and the Clantons!
5:00 p.m. - MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946) - The John Ford version, with Henry Fonda, Victor Mature and Walter Brennan.
7:00 p.m. - GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957) - The John Sturges version, with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.
9:15 p.m. - HOUR OF THE GUN (1967) - The NEXT John Sturges version, with James Garner, Jason Robards Jr., and Robert Ryan.
11:00 p.m. - MASTERSON OF KANSAS (1954) - The William 'TINGLER' Castle version, with George Montgomery, Nancy Gates and James Griffith.
SECOND BEST DARN THING ON TV ALL WEEK:
TCM SUNDAY - TWO AKIRA KURASAWA WESTERNS BACK TO BACK!
5:00 P.M. - THE OUTRAGE (1964) - RASHOMAN with Mexican bandits, stars Paul Newman, Claire Bloom and Edward G. Robinson, directed by Martin Ritt, screenplay adaptation by Michael Kanin.
7:00 p.m. - THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) - 7 SAMAURI in Mexico, directed by John Sturges, screenplay adaptation by William Roberts, and starring the seven: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz and, in the role he was born (in Brooklyn) to play, Eli Wallach as Calvera!
FOX FLAMING STAR (1960) An early film from the soon-to-be-great Don Siegal, working from Nunnally Johnson's script of a Clair Huffaker novel. Elvis Presley, playing a role planned for Marlon Brando, is the half-breed son of white John McIntire and Kiowa Dolores Del Rio, forced to take sides in a local war between white and Indian. Surprisingly good, you realize how good an actor Elvis could have been if Col. Parker hadn't steered him into mostly inane crap. With Steve Forrest and Barbara Eden.
FOX 7:00 a.m. THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) A delight! Rouben Mamoulian directs John Taintor Foote's adaptation of the Johnston McCulley story. Ty Power, Basil Rathbone, Linda Darnell et al have great fun, and the audience has even more.
EXT 6:30 a.m. SHADOWHEART (2009) A bounty hunter is out revenge in 1865 New Mexico. Directed by Dean Alioto from his and Peter Vanderwall's script. Starring Justin Ament, Angus Macfayden, Daniel Baldwin, William Sadler, and two great pros, Rance Howard and Charles Napier.
EXT. 4:35 p.m. SHADOWHEART See above.
FOX 3:00 a.m. SHERIFF OF FRACTURED JAW (1959) Comedy western, D:Raoul Walsh, W:Howard Dimsdale, starring Jayne Mansfield, Kenneth More, Henry Hull, Bruce Cabot.
EXT 3:05 a.m. SHADOWHEART (2009) A bounty hunter is out revenge in 1865 New Mexico. Directed by Dean Alioto from his and Peter Vanderwall's script. Starring Justin Ament, Angus Macfayden, Daniel Baldwin, William Sadler, and two great pros, Rance Howard and Charles Napier.
TCM 3:15 a.m. THE TENDERFOOT (1932) An innocent cowboy decides to back a Broadway play. Directed by Ray Enright, from a story by Richard Carle and Broadway comedy master George S. Kaufman, adapted by Earl Baldwin, Arthur Caesar and silent comic-turned comedy writer/director Monty Banks. It stars Joe E. Brown and Ginger Rogers.
FOX 5:00 a.m. O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE (1952) A collection of five O. Henry short stories directed by five directors: Henry Hathaway, Henry King, Henry Koster, Jean Negulesco, and doing the western segment, The Ransom of Red Chief, Howard Hawks. Writing this one segement, uncredited, were Ben Hecht, Nunnally Johnson and Charles Lederer! Starring Fed Allen and Oscar Levant as the kidnappers, and Rin Tin Tin star Lee Aaker as the 'victim', narrated by John Steinbeck!
EXT 9:00 a.m. THE CLAIM (2000) Michael Winterbottom directs from Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay, based on Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, moved to the American west. Stars Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Nastassja Kinsky, Sarah Polley and Milla Jovovich.
EXT 12:35 p.m. GANG OF ROSES(2003) Female rappers Lil' Kim, Macy Gray, Monica Calhoun, LisaRaye play gunslingers in a search for revenge and gold, not necessarily in that order. The locations and production are good, and there's a curious enjoyment to seeing James Coburn's introduction from MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, and Eli Wallach's near hanging from THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY ripped off by women. But the plotting is often moronic, and an awful lot of it is needlessly vulgar -- a woman on the gallows loudly discussing her vagina with the man who's about to throw the switch is a bit much, even by DEADWOOD standards. Written and directed by Jean-Claude LaMarre.
EXT 4:25 p.m. THE CLAIM (2000) Michael Winterbottom directs from Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay, based on Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, moved to the American west. Stars Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Nastassja Kinsky, Sarah Polley and Milla Jovovich.
EXT 10:00 P.M. GANG OF ROSES(2003) Female rappers Lil' Kim, Macy Gray, Monica Calhoun, LisaRaye play gunslingers in a search for revenge and gold, not necessarily in that order. The locations and production are good, and there's a curious enjoyment to seeing James Coburn's introduction from MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, and Eli Wallach's near hanging from THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY ripped off by women. But the plotting is often moronic, and an awful lot of it is needlessly vulgar -- a woman on the gallows loudly discussing her vagina with the man who's about to throw the switch is a bit much, even by DEADWOOD standards. Written and directed by Jean-Claude LaMarre.
FOX 5:00 a.m. NORTH TO ALASKA (1960) A comic western featuring the romatic triangle of gold-mining partners John Wayne, Stewart Granger and lovely Capucine, with Ernie Kovacs and Fabian. Directed by Henry Hathaway, written by half of the WGA -- screenplay by John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin and Claude Binyon, from a play by Lazlo Fodor, and an idea by John Kafka, with uncredited work by Ben Hecht and Wendell Mayes.
FOX 9:00 a.m. BANDOLERO! (1968)Great fun with Stewart and Martin as feuding brother outlaws. Featuring Raquel Welch, Harry Carey Jr., Jock Mahoney, Don 'Red' Barry, Roy Barcroft, D:Andrew McLaglen, W:James Lee Barrett (If you want to see an incredible list on stuntmen, check out the listing on IMDB)
FOX 11 a.m. BROKEN ARROW (1950) James Stewart is an ex-soldier, and Jeff Chandler is Apache Chief Cochise, trying together for peace. D:Delmer Daves, W:Albert Maltz(another writer's name may be one the credits -- Maltz was blacklisted and had someone 'front' for him).
TCM 12:30 a.m. DODGE CITY (1939) Errol Flynn decides to clean up the town! Delightful, exuberant fun, written by Robert Buckner and directed by the terriffic Michael Curtiz. It features all of the Warner Brothers stallwarts: Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan, Bruce Cabot, Frank McHugh, Alan Hale, Victory Jory and Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams. (SPOILER ALERT) 8 year old Bobs Watson, the kid who gets dragged to death, told me they tricked the school-teacher off of the set of the picture, so Bobs could do the dragging stunt himself!
EXT 4:45 a.m. THE CLAIM (2000) Michael Winterbottom directs from Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay, based on Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, moved to the American west. Stars Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Nastassja Kinsky, Sarah Polley and Milla Jovovich.
TCM 2:45 p.m. BIG HAND FOR THE LITTLE LADY (1966) Joanne Woodward has to step into a high-stakes poker game when her husband is too ill to continue. With Henry Fonda and Jason Robards Jr. Directed by Fielder Cook, written by Sidney Carroll, originally as an episode of the tv series PLAYHOUSE 90. If you'd like to see that version, click here.
AMC 6:00 a.m. BLAZING SADDLES (1974)Mel Brooks directed and co-wrote, with Norman Steinberg, this delightfully broad western comedy about a town getting it's first black sheriff, Cleavon Little, helped only by Gene Wilder as the Waco Kid. With Slim Pickens and Madeline Kahn, and featuring a rousing theme sung by Frankie Laine.
TCM 9:00 a.m. THE OUTLAW (1943) Jack Beutel plays the title character, Billy the Kid, but Jane Russell is the titular head of the cast, which also features Thomas Mitchell and Walter Huston as Pat Garrett and Doc Holliday, respectively. Howard Hawks started directing it, but quit, and Howard Hughes took over, with a script by Jules Furthman. Not brilliant, but worth seeing, especially screen-filling Jane Russell in her first starring role.
EXT 2:35 p.m. SHADOWHEART (2009) A bounty hunter is out revenge in 1865 New Mexico. Directed by Dean Alioto from his and Peter Vanderwall's script. Starring Justin Ament, Angus Macfayden, Daniel Baldwin, William Sadler, and two great pros, Rance Howard and Charles Napier.
TCM 3:00 a.m. GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST (1938) Theatre impressario David Belasco's play about a frontierwoman sheltering an outlaw becomes a vehicle for the voices of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. With Buddy Ebsen. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard, script by Isabel Dawn.
AMC 3:00 a.m. BLAZING SADDLES (1974)Mel Brooks directed and co-wrote, with Norman Steinberg, this delightfully broad western comedy about a town getting it's first black sheriff, Cleavon Little, helped only by Gene Wilder as the Waco Kid. With Slim Pickens and Madeline Kahn, and featuring a rousing theme sung by Frankie Laine.
EXT 5:00 a.m. SHADOWHEART (2009) A bounty hunter is out revenge in 1865 New Mexico. Directed by Dean Alioto from his and Peter Vanderwall's script. Starring Justin Ament, Angus Macfayden, Daniel Baldwin, William Sadler, and two great pros, Rance Howard and Charles Napier.
That's it for this week! In the coming weeks I'll have a review of Courtney Joyner's book, THE WESTERNERS, info about the upcoming Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, westerns on the radio and the internet, so don't touch that dial!