Happily, lots of broadcast and cable networks have jumped on the Western bandwagon lately, but none has shown a longer-tern commitment to the form than the HALLMARK CHANNEL and HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL, who have produced at least two Westerns a year for longer than I can recall.
In late January they presented Luke Perry in the second GOODNIGHT FOR JUSTICE feature, THE MEASURE OF A MAN, and they already have number three in the can. And I ran into a friend yesterday who’s just back from working on SHADOW ON THE MESA, with Kevin Sorbo. On Saturday, June 9th they’ll premiere HANNAH’S LAW. The story of an orphaned girl-turned bounty hunter, determined to track her family’s killers, Hannah is portrayed by VAMPIRE DIARIES star Sara Canning. Her best friend, Stagecoach Mary, is played by FOR COLORED GIRLS star Kimberly Elise.
Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday seem to be as busy on the screen today as Gabby Hayes was in his prime. In this version,
Director Rachel Talalay first gained attention with the
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
entry FREDDY’S DEAD (1991) and TANK GIRL (1995), and has since been a very busy
TV director. Script is by John Fasano,
who wrote THE LEGEND OF BUTCH AND SUNDANCE (2006), and in 1999 wrote the story
for THE HUNLEY, the remarkable true tale of the Confederate submarine of the
same name. We’ll have more information
on this production soon.
High Noon’s Western Americana Auction and Antique Show, held in
on January 28th, set a record for the highest price ever paid for a
saddle. Once the property of Mexican
revolutionary Pancho Villa, then given by his widow to movie director Howard
Hawks, the saddle was expected to go for between $150,000 and $250,000. The final selling price was $718,750! Mesa, Arizona
Bohlin spurs, estimated at ten to fifteen thousand, went for $14,375. Montie’s boots and a Nudie shirt, estimated
at one thousand to fifteen hundred, took $1,725. VANISHING AMERICAN author Zane Grey’s saddle
may not have been in the Pancho Villa league, but estimated at $4,000, it took
more than double, selling for $9,200. Montana
Tom Mix’s belt and Bohlin buckle was predicted to go for twelve to sixteen thousand, but actually raised $20,700. I predicted that Hopalong Cassidy’s leather director’s chair would get more than twice the estimated two to three thousand. In fact, it took less than the bottom estimate, just $1955. In the future I will avoid such bold predictions.
The two items I found of the greatest historical interest were an autograph of Apache Chief Geronimo, and a 42”
longbow recovered from the Little
Bighorn. The signature, estimated at
$1500 to $2000, sold for $4600. The bow,
estimated at $3000 to $5000, brought $7475 and, I am sure, a big smile to the
lady who sold it because of her son’s lack of interest in inheriting it. For more about the auction, go HERE. Cheyenne
Bethany Braley, Executive Director of the National Day of the Cowboy campaign, tells me there have been two major successes this week. Already this year,
Texas and Arizona passed
the resolution, and
became the first state to pass it in perpetuity. Wyoming
On Wednesday, March 21st, the Missouri State Legislature passed the resolution, and the next day the California Senate voted unanimously to pass the resolution, like
in perpetuity. “This means the 4th
Saturday in July will forever be recognized as the National Day of the Cowboy
in Wyoming .” California
To find out more about the National Day of the Cowboy, go HERE.
This annual celebration of film returns on April 12th, but even before it arrives, there are the Road To Hollywood events around the country. Of special interest to Western fans, on Tuesday, April 3rd, 7 BRIDES FOR 7 BROTHERS will screen in
, at the Landmark
Mayan Theatre. It’s hosted by Leonard
Maltin, with special guest Jane Powell.
And on Thursday, April 5th, in Denver Portland,
at the ,
MARTY will be screened, hosted by Ben Mankiewicz, with special guest Ernest
Borgnine. Northwest Film Center
The event is pricey: festival passes cost from $300 to $1200. Single event tickets are $20 a pop, but cannot be bought in advance, and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Western events include the screening of Howards Hawks’
SANTA CLARITA COWBOY FESTIVAL IN APRIL
Saturday and Sunday, April 21st and 22nd you can stroll the streets of Melody Ranch, where all the greats, from Gene Autry to Matt Dillon to Maverick, to the DEADWOOD folks, and most recently Quentin Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED cast have trod. This is a wonderful not-to-be-missed event.
Admission is $20 a day for adults, $10 for kids, with discounts for two days. There will be a wide variety of musical performances at four stages. The
will be open to give you a peek into movie history. Every manner of Western art, crafts,
clothing, boots, and hats imaginable will be available. Melody
Ranch Motion Picture Museum
Authors of Western fiction and fact will be signing and selling their tomes. Entertainers like champion gun-spinner Joey Dillon, saloon pianist Professor David Bourne and magician Pop Haydn will be performing. Cowboy poets and story-tellers will be rhyming words and spinning yarns. And there will be a ton of activities aimed at kids of all ages.
In addition, there will be separate events, some at different locations, different dates and separate charges. On Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hasley Hall Theatre at College of the Canyons, attend AN EVENING WITH JOEL COX, the Oscar-winning editor of UNFORGIVEN, and thirty other Clint Eastwood films (he was even an assistant editor on THE WILD BUNCH!).
On Thursday, April 19th -- no admission for this – at Old Town Newhall on
On Friday, April 20th, at 3:00 p.m. at the Repertory East Playhouse
Main St. in Old Town Newhall, join Peter Ford, son
of the great Glenn Ford, and author of Glenn Ford – His life and Movies. They’ll be screening THE ROUNDERS and afterwards Peter will discuss
his father's life and movie career.
And there’s so much more! For details and directions, go HERE.
THE AUTRY NATIONAL CENTER
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.
TCM FANATIC - WESTERN NOW ONLINE!
That's right, the segment I was interviewed for is now viewable here:
That's it for this week! In the next Round-up I hope to have the second part of our interview with BRANDED producer Andrew J. Fenady, and a review of GOOD FOR NOTHING, the new Western from New Zealand. Have a great week, and if you do anything of a western nature, fill me in!
Happy Trails 'til then!
All original contents Copyright March 2012 by Henry C. Parke - All Rights Reserved