It’s based on the book TEAM OF RIVALS: THE GENIUS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the nationally known historian and former aid to President Lyndon Johnson. The other three writers, credited with the screenplay, are Tony Kushner – Oscar nominated for
As revealed in last week’s Round-up (go HERE if you missed it), SONY Television is producing a miniseries entitled TO APPOMATTOX, starring Stephen Lang, who played Ike Clanton in TOMBSTONE and Gen. Pickett in GETTYSBURG, as Lincoln.
My personal disappointment is that, with all the interest in
At first, I was dubious. It looked like Universal, knowing it was the last of the series, had decided not to spend a dime on it: the opening scene in a sheriff’s office, where Kirby and Fuzzy try to talk themselves out of a murder charge, is static – Kirby tells his story as a way to introduce endless clips of stock footage, and I started to wonder if they’d ever leave the office. But once they do, the story -- and the new footage -- takes off. And you have two innocent victims of blind justice, a gang of serial bank-robbers, a good girl who happens to be the sheriff’s daughter (Jane Adams), a bad girl who happens to be a saucy French saloon chanteuse (Claudia Drake), and delightfully broad character actor Dick Curtis playing brothers, one a stodgy banker who is murdered, and the other a sea captain -- with a parrot -- trying to catch his brother’s killer! There’s also insurance fraud, grave-robbing, and our heroes tricked into taking on a murder contract with a gun loaded with blanks – not to mention several songs, all in under 54 minutes!
DVD REVIEW –
It’s written by Western specialists Norman Houston and Bernard McConville, and directed by Lesley Selander, who directed exactly half of the films Pop Sherman produced – 36 out of 72. Selander’s work was many cuts above what was done in most B or A westerns, not just in terms of action, but in direction of actors, and creativity – 21 post-World War II Tim Holt Westerns he directed at RKO are among the best B-westerns ever made.
More and more, classic TV Westerns are available all over the TV universe, but they tend to be on small networks that are easy to miss. Of course, ENCORE WESTERNS is the best continuous source of such programming, and has been for years. It’s not in my current satellite package, which is why I often forget to mention it, but currently they run
Built by cowboy actor, singer, baseball and TV entrepeneur Gene Autry, and designed by the Disney Imagineering team, the Autry is a world-class museum housing a fascinating collection of items related to the fact, fiction, film, history and art of the American West. In addition to their permenant galleries (to which new items are frequently added), they have temporary shows. The Autry has many special programs every week -- sometimes several in a day. To check their daily calendar, CLICK HERE. And they always have gold panning for kids every weekend. For directions, hours, admission prices, and all other information, CLICK HERE.
HOLLYWOOD HERITAGE MUSEUM
Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first Hollywood western, The Squaw Man. They have a permanent display of movie props, documents and other items related to early, especially silent, film production. They also have occasional special programs. 2100 Highland Ave., L.A. CA 323-874-2276. Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for senior, $1 for children.
WELLS FARGO HISTORY MUSEUM
This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166. 333 S. Grand Street, L.A. CA.
FREE WESTERNS ON YOUR COMPUTER AT HULU
A staggering number of western TV episodes and movies are available, entirely free, for viewing on your computer at HULU. You do have to sit through the commercials, but that seems like a small price to pay. The series available -- often several entire seasons to choose from -- include THE RIFLEMAN, THE CISCO KID, THE LONE RANGER, BAT MASTERSON, THE BIG VALLEY, ALIAS SMITH AND JONES, and one I missed from 2003 called PEACEMAKERS starring Tom Berenger. Because they are linked up with the TV LAND website, you can also see BONANZA and GUNSMOKE episodes, but only the ones that are running on the network that week.
The features include a dozen Zane Grey adaptations, and many or most of the others are public domain features. To visit HULU on their western page, CLICK HERE.
BONANZA and BIG VALLEY
Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They've stopped running GUNSMOKE. INSP is showing THE BIG VALLEY every weekday at noon, one p.m. and nine p.m., and Saturdays at 6 p.m., and have just added DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN to their schedule.
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 DANIEL BOONE at 1:00 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.
AMC has been airing a block of THE RIFLEMAN episodes early Saturday mornings, usually followed by Western features.
And RFD-TV is currently showing THE ROY ROGERS SHOW at 9:30 Sunday morning, repeated several times a week, and a Roy feature as well -- check your local listings.
That's a wrap for today -- I was hoping to include a story on Tombstone's Boot Hill, but that will have to wait until the next Round-up.
All Original Contents Copyright December 2011 by Henry C. Parke - All Rights Reserved