Saturday, May 1, 2010


The trailer for JONAH HEX, the comic book-based horror-western, has just been released – to see it CLICK HERE , along with a new poster, seen above. The Josh Brolin – Megan Fox – John Malkovich starrer will hit the big screen on June 18th. I think the trailer looks pretty good, but there’s been a lot of negative reaction to the poster -- which one online writer described as looking “…like Wild Wild West meets Van Helsing.” I think the earlier one, seen here on March 12th, was much better.

And there’s been other negative buzz in regards to the picture. MTV quoted Josh Brolin as saying that even as the release-date approaches, the filmmakers are still in the process of figuring out the movie’s tone. “I’d like it to become even more absurdist than it already is. My feeling is, this isn’t a straightforward Western. There are supernatural elements to it, and the more campy humor we go for, the better. We’re still in the process of solidifying that tone. There’s a lot of humor to use in this cut. We’ve been going, ‘How much humor do we use? Do we stay with the emotional line of the story? How can we release some of the exposition so we can just rely on the action? All this kind of sh-t.”

And while he can see it as a possible franchise, he’s not eager to do it with all of the involved prosthetic make-up. “It’s the toughest movie I’ve ever done. The stunts and the make-up…a lot of pain. The prosthetics on my face, they were holding my mouth back, then putting in a mouthpiece in that held my mouth back further. And then painting it and filling in the beard. I was walking around New Orleans with half a beard for three months, which was horrible. F-cking horrible! That combined with being in 100 degree heat, 98% humidity, three layers of wool on – I don’t know if I’d do it again.”

And something more to worry about – notes that months after director Jimmy Hayward wrapped the picture, Francis Lawrence, who directed the horror/scifiers Constantine and I Am Legend was brought on to consult with Hayward on reshoots.


The still of the street scene, above right, was snapped on one of the True Grit exteriors, and comes courtesy of


Furio Scarpelli, thrice nominated for Oscars, died in Rome at age 90, from a long-term heart condition. Although best known in the English speaking world for UGLY, Scarpelli was primarily a writer of comedies, with his longtime writing partner 'Age', with whom he'd collaborated since the 1940s. He was nominated for Oscars for The Organizer, Casanova '70, co-written with Age, and for Il Postino, which he wrote with other partners. UGLY was written by Scarpelli, Age, Sergio Leone and Luciano Vincenzoni.


Throughout the month of May, Turner Classic Movies will be showing dozens of westerns, showing a wide range of portrayals of American Indian characters in he movies. Kicking things off on Tuesday afternoon will be a quadruple bill of John Fords: Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), Cheyenne Autumn (1964) and Fort Apache (1948).


In honor of Cinco de Mayo, a Zorro double bill will be shown Wednesday May 5th at the Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Ave., at 14th Street in Santa Monica. The creation of pulp-writer Johnston McCulley, the thrilling Mark Of Zorro (1940), direced by Rouben Mamoulian stars Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone, Linda Darnell and Gale Sondegaard. The Sign Of Zorro (1958) is a feature compilation from episodes of the delightful Disney TV series, starring Guy Williams, and directed by Lewis Foster and Norman Foster.


Eric Spudic has been hosting free Friday night movies at his store, Spudic's Movie Empire, for over a year, but this is his first western-night, so let's have a big turn-out! He's selected a really interesting trio: at 6:30, SMOKE IN THE WIND (1975) stars John Ashley, John Russell, Myron Healy and Walter Brennan. It's the last film directed by Republic's greatest western director, Joe Kane. In fact, Walter Brennan's son, Andy, had to finish when Joe wasn't up to it. At 8:00 p.m., KEOMA (1976) also known as Django Rides Again, with Franco Nero and Woody Strode, directed by the only great spaghetti western director not named Sergio, Enzo G. Castellari. At 9:30 p.m., HIS NAME WAS KING (1971), directed by Giancarlo Romitello, and starring Richard Harrison and one of the biggest spaghetti western stars, Klaus Kinski. I haven't seen this one, but the score by Luis Bacalov is splendid. Spudic's Movie Empire is at 5910 Van Nuys Blvd., in Van Nuys, and he sells all VHS tapes for $3, all DVDs for $6 - and if you're coming, please be there by 8:00 p.m.!


"SWEETGRASS is an unsentimental elegy to the American West. The documentary follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana's breathtaking and often dangerous Absaroka-Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. The astonishingly beautiful yet unsparing film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, vulnerability and violence are all intimately meshed. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times calls the film 'a really intimate, beautifully shot examination of the connection between man and beast,' while Ronnie Scheib of Variety considers it 'a one-of-a-kind once epic-scale and earthbound.'" Okay, none of those Brokeback Mountain (2005) cheap-shots -- I'm sure these poor shepherds have heard 'em all. I just saw this film, and it is astonishingly beautiful -- I'll have a full review next week. Sweetgrass is playing at the Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis. The trailer looks beautiful -- check it out HERE.


I just saw this picture today, and it's an absolute knock-out -- I'll have a full review next week. It's a South Korean 'western' set in Manchuria in the 1930s. CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE. The movie continues through Thursday at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles and Kendall Square Cinema in Boston. On Friday, May 7th it opens in San Francisco at the Lumiere Theatre and Shattuck Cinemas, in Seattle at the Varsity Theatre, and in Philadelphia at The Ritz.

Note:AMC=American Movie Classics, EXT= Showtime Extreme, FMC=Fox Movie Channel, TCM=Turner Classic Movies. All times given are Pacific Standard Time.


Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They run a GUNSMOKE Monday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and on Friday they show two, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.. They're not currently running either series on weekends, but that could change at any time.


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.

I'll do the tv listings on Monday -- the only pseudo-western movie on Monday is THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946) on TCM at 10:30 p.m.



TCM Tuesday May 4th, at 5:00 p.m. - STAGECOACH, 7:00 p.m. THE SEARCHERS, 9:15 p.m. CHEYENNE AUTUMN, 12:00 Midnight FORT APACHE.

Thursday May 6th

TCM 4:00 a.m. BUGLE SOUNDS (1942) An old-time cavalry sergeant's resistance to 'progress' could cost him his post. With Wallace Beery, Marjory Main, Lewis Stone. Story by Cyril Hume and Lawrence Kimble, screenplay by Hume. Directed by S. Sylvan Simon.

FMC 5:00 a.m. PRINCE OF PLAYERS (1955) Playwright Moss Hart wrote the fascinating screenplay from Elearnor Ruggles' story. John Derek is assasssin John Wilkes Booth, Richard Burton is his brother Edwin, who must live of after his brother's despicable act. With Raymond Massey as their father, Maggie Macnamara, Charles Bickford, directed by Philip Dunne.

TCM 5:45 a.m. APACHE TRAIL (1942) An outlaw and his brother are on opposite sides of a stagecoach robbery. Starring Lloyd Nolan, William Lundigan and Donna Reed, directed by Richard Thorpe. Screenplay by Maurice Geraghty, from a story by Ernest 'Stagecoach' Haycox -- and reportedly outtakes from STAGECOACH (1939) were used. If you can spot them, please let us know in a comment or e-mail!

FMC 7:00 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!

TCM 7:00 a.m. GENTLE ANNIE (1944) Perhaps inspired by the James brothers (with a touch of Ma Barker), after the Civil War, frontierwoman Marjorie Main turns her family into bank robbers. With Donna Reed and Henry Morgan. Screenplay by Lawrence Hazard, from the MacKinlay Kantor novel, directed by Andrew Marton.

AMC 5:00 p.m. THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES (1976) Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, John Vernon and Sheb Wooley. Clint's a Missouri farmer who becaomes a Confederate guerilla -- reportedly Clints favorite among his films. Screenplay by Philip Kaufman, from Forrest Carton's novel.

TCM 7:00 p.m. WALK THE PROUD LAND (1956) Audie Murphy plays real-life Indian Agent John Philip Clum, who tried to give Indians autonomy, and helped organize the first Indian Tribal Police Force, which captured Geronimao (Jay Silverheels). Also with Anne Bancroft, Pat Crowley, directed by Jesse Hibbs. Screenplay by Gil Doud and Jack Sher, from the book by a Clum descendent, Woodworth Clum.

AMC 8:00 p.m. LAST OF THE DOGMEN (1995) - Tab Murphy wrote and directed this story about a bounty hunter tracking three escaped convicts, and supernatural events that ensue. Starring Tom Berenger, Barbara Hershey, Kurtwood Smith and, Parley Baer, the original 'Chester' from the radio drama GUNSMOKE.

TCM 9:00 p.m. THE FAR HORIZONS (1955) Fred MacMurray is Lewis, Charlton Heston is Clark, and Donna Reed is Sacajawea in this romanticized telling of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, directed by Rudolph Mat. Based on Della Gould Emmons' novel, scripted by Winston Miller and Edmund North.

TCM 11:00 p.m. APACHE (1954) Burt Lancaster is the renegade Indian Massai, who fights a one-man war against the U.S. Cavalry. With Jean Peters, Charles Bronson (when he was still Charles Buchinski) and Monte Blue as Geronimo. Directed by Robert Aldrich, scripted by James R. Webb, from a novel by Paul Wellman.

Friday May 7th

AMC 12:15 p.m.LAST OF THE DOGMEN (1995) - Tab Murphy wrote and directed this story about a bounty hunter tracking three escaped convicts, and supernatural events that ensue. Starring Tom Berenger, Barbara Hershey, Kurtwood Smith and, Parley Baer, the original 'Chester' from the radio drama GUNSMOKE.

TCM 12:45 a.m. NAVAJO JOE (1967) An Indian (Burt Reynolds) takes revenge on the outlaws who wiped out his people. With Aldo Sambrell, Fernando Rey, directed by Sergio Corbucci, from a story by Ugo Pirro, script by Fernando DiLeo.

TCM 2:30 a.m. STAY AWAY JOE (1968) Elvis Presley is a young Indian trying to save the 'res' by selling grazing rights to a corrupt tycoon. With Burgess Meredith and Joan Blondell. Directed by Peter Tewksbury, from Dan Cushman's novel, scripted by Michael A Hoey.

TCM 6:00 a.m. MAN OF THE WEST (1958) The great Anthony Mann directs the great Gary Cooper in this tale of a reformed outlaw whose past associates rob a train he's on. With Lee J. Cobb and Julie London, scripted by Reginald Rose from Will C. Brown's novel.

FMC 1:00 p.m. THE UNDEFEATED (1969) D:Andrew V. McLaglen, W:James Lee Barrett, from a story by Stanley Hough. At the close of the Civil War, Confederate officer Rock Hudson leads a group of southern loyalists to Mexico and Emperor Maximillian -- unless John Wayne can stop him. Rock Hudson later described the movies as "crap." Ironic, considering it's one of his more convincing performances. With Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr.

AMC 5:00 p.m.THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES (1976) Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, John Vernon and Sheb Wooley. Clint's a Missouri farmer who becaomes a Confederate guerilla -- reportedly Clints favorite among his films. Screenplay by Philip Kaufman, from Forrest Carton's novel.

Saturday May 8th

AMC 9:00 a.m. WINCHESTER '73 (1950) One of the finest, darkest collaborations between director Anthony Mann and James Stewart. It's all about the quest for "one out of one thousand," the special Winchester rifle that men will do anything to possess. The chilling script is by Robert Richards and Borden Chase, from a story by Stuart Lake. Stars Shelly Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, and, among a lot of great faces, a very young Roch Hudson and Tony Curtis.

AMC 11:15 a.m. TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE (1969) The largely true story of a 1909 manhunt, Robert Blake is Willie Boy, an American Indian who goes on the run after killing the father of his girlfriend, Katherine Ross. Robert Redford is the sheriff on his trail. Written and directed by blacklisted Abraham Polonsky (who never denied nor gave up his Marxist ways)from Harry Lawton's book.



All contents copyright May 2010 by Henry C. Parke -- All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment