“Yesterday, I went to see the film, for a couple of reasons:
1. Henry Parke gave it a glowing review, and Henry’s usually spot on.
2. I figured I couldn’t legitimately criticize a film without actually seeing it for myself.
“Long story short, I had a hell of a good time. Yes, it’s campy, it’s inauthentic, and it’s cheesy in spots. In short, it’s a Disney film. But I’d maintain that for the most part, it’s not much more campy, cheesy, inauthentic or implausible than many of the classic Westerns we self-proclaimed hardcores cut our teeth on. Think back for a moment…Roy Rogers, riding the range in a sequined shirt, saving the umpteenth ranch from an evil banker/land baron, on behalf of the poor widow du jour. Realistic? Hardly. Entertaining? You bet. How about Gene Autry, in sometimes less/sometimes more gaudy duds, swapping horses for planes, trains and automobiles at the drop of a cowboy hat, often all in the same picture. What the hell year was it supposed to be, anyway? Did we ever know? Did we care? And you could be sure that if a guitar appeared, either of those fellows would abruptly pause in the midst of his heroic derring-do and burst into song. Historically accurate? Man, I hope not, or America’s a sillier place than Camelot.
“Now consider the standard against which most detractors are judging this film– the Clayton Moore/Jay Silverheels versions. There was Tonto, wearing a costume than looked like it came from a bad Thanksgiving pageant. There was the Masked Man himself, wearing a form-fitting, unicolor outfit that would be more at home on a figure skater than a Western icon, and strapped with a double buscadero gun rig so blingy and pimped-out it would be the envy of any modern-day rapper. Did that bother anyone?
“My point, of course, is that Western films and TV shows have always been escapist, and have always included the fanciful as well as the factual - some going for realism and historical fidelity and others made for pure entertainment. And as long as the filmmakers and producers are honest about which sort they’re making, I think that’s o.k. There’s room for both. There always has been.”
Well folks, that's about it for this Round-up! Hope you have a great week! If there are a lot of little boxes around words, and stuff highlighted in blue, I have no idea why, but I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it.
Hi-yo Silver! Away!
All Original Contents Copyright July 2013 by Henry C. Parke - All Rights Reserved