Monday, January 14, 2019
NEW SPAGHETTI WESTERN – ‘BOUNTY KILLER’ – PLUS ‘HOW TV WEST IS WRITTEN’, AUTRY EVENTS, DVD REVIEWS AND MORE!
THIS JUST IN! STARTING TUESDAY, JANUARY 15TH, THE AUTRY WILL EXTEND FREE ADMISSION TO LAUSD STUDENTS AND THEIR CHAPERONES DURING THE LAUSD TEACHERS’ STRIKE!
‘BOUNTY KILLER’ OPENS JAN. 25TH IN L.A.!
‘BOUNTY KILLER’, the new Spaghetti Western from Chip Baker Films, opens Friday, January 25th, at the Arena Cinelounge, 6464 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028. When a young woman, played by Naila Mansour, is abducted during her wedding, her father, Eurowestern stalwart Antonio Mayans (MORE DOLLARS FOR THE MACGREGORS, A TOWN CALLED HELL) hires bounty hunter Crispian Belfrage to rescue the woman, and kill the men. Also in the cast are Aaron Stielstra (THE SCARLET WORM, 6 BULLETS TO HELL) and Lenore Andriel (YELLOW ROCK). Directed by Chip Baker, written by Baker and Danny Garcia, Jose Villanueva and Nick Reynolds, many of the folks who made the fine 6 BULLETS TO HELL are also part of BOUNTY KILLER. Cinematographer of both films Olivier Merckx may be the first to use a drone in a Western, and did so to striking effect.
It’s filmed in classic sets and locations in Tabernas, Almeria, and Andalucia, Spain, much of it on the McBain Ranch from ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. The film will be playing from Friday the 25 through Thursday the 31, and since the times vary from day to day, visit the Cinelounge website HERE for details.
‘HOW TV WEST IS WRITTEN’ AND MORE EVENTS AT THE AUTRY
TUESDAY JAN. 15 – A WORD ON WESTERNS SALUTES BURT LANCASTER
Detail from Thomas Hart Benton's 'The Kentuckian' poster
Tuesday, at 11 a.m., join Western authority Rob Word and his merry band at the Wells Fargo Theatre for another delightful ‘Word on Westerns’. The topic will be Burt Lancaster, whose Westerns include GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL, VERA CRUZ, APACHE, and THE KENTUCKIAN. Word notes, “Lancaster cared greatly about quality and, when he directed and starred in THE KENTUCKIAN (1955), hired Bernard Herrmann for the music and Thomas Hart Benton to do the movie poster!” Among the guests joining Rob will be Burt’s stunt double from ULZANA’S RAID and POSSE, Billy Burton, and from Burt’s last Western, CATTLE ANNIE AND LITTLE BRITCHES, producer Rupert Hitzig and actors William Russ and Kenny Call. Did I mention this event is free with your Autry admission? Doors open at 10:30.
WEDNESDAY JAN. 16 – HOW THE WEST IS WRITTEN: INSIDE MODERN TV WESTERNS
A must-attend for any would-be Western screenwriters, Wednesday night at 7 p.m., writers and producers from the latest crop of TV Westerns share insight into the creation of their series, how they’re reimagining the genre, and why stories out of the American West continue to inspire. Panelists include LONGMIRE writer and exec producer Hunt Baldwin, THE SON writer and exec producer Kevin Murphy, and HELL ON WHEELS and BRISCO COUNTY, JR. writer and exec producer John Wirth. This one costs $20 for members & students, $25 for non-members, and reservations are advised.
SATURDAY JAN. 26 – SILENT TREATMENT – ‘CLASH OF THE WOLVES’
The Silent Treatment is the Autry’s new series of silent Westerns with live musical accompaniment. 1925’s CLASH OF THE WOLVES stars Rin-Tin-Tin, his sweetheart Nanette, 7TH HEAVEN star Charles Farrell, and original Keystone Kop Heinie Conklin, in a tale of Borax miners and claim-jumpers. Presented at 2 p.m. in 35mm, with piano by Cliff Retallick. It’s free with admission.
SUNDAY, JAN. 27TH -- THE MUSIC OF ENNIO MORRICONE!
Morricone conducting the Hateful 8 score recording --
and no, he won't be there.
At 1 p.m. – the 5 p.m. performance is sold out -- a concert of music from film scores by the maestro of the Spaghetti Western, performed by a special ensemble of world-class musicians and singers. It’s $10 for members, $20 for non-members, and you’d better make your reservations now.
COWBOYS AND INDIANS AND VIKINGS! – A DVD REVIEW
Wild East Productions presents Volume 60 of their Spaghetti Western Collection, a Giuliano Gemma double feature, DAYS OF VENGEANCE and ERIK THE VIKING. In VENGEANCE (1967), Gemma stars as man framed and imprisoned not for just any crime, but the murder of his own father! His old girlfriend, Nieves Navarro, is now with the lawman who set him up, and Gemma teams up with a traveling charlatan (Manuel Muniz as his comic character Pajarito) and his granddaughter (gorgeous Grabriella Giorgelli) to get justice, and uncover a startlingly baroque conspiracy. It’s elegantly made and highly enjoyable.
The second film, ERIK THE VIKING (1965) is goofy, exuberant fun. Gemma is Erik, nephew of Viking King Thorwald, and when the old man is on his deathbed, he says he wants his power to pass to his nephew, not his own son Erloff (Lucio De Santis). It’s a tough time for Vikings, who get no end of abuse from the more militarily organized Danes. Erik convinces several Vikings that they should find a new land far away from the Danes, and sails off in search of it. They arrive in – you guessed it – the New World, where they make friends with some Indians and enemies with others.
This action-packed daffy little history lesson is surprisingly entertaining, capturing the spirit of the Warner Brothers swashbucklers of the 1930s and ‘40s, and borrowing plot elements from them as well. Yes, there is a beautiful Indian princess (Elisa Montes), and evil plotters working for Erloff, including the indispensable muscleman Gordon Mitchell.
Among the special features is an excellent interview with actress Nieves Navarro conducted by Western screenwriter Danny Garcia (6 BULLETS TO HELL, THE BOUNTY KILLER). The double feature sells for $21.72, and can be purchased HERE.
A NEW SOURCE FOR TV WESTERNS – JEWISH LIFE TV!
Gail Davis and Jimmy Hawkins
Next time you’re spinning the dial – remember when TVs had dials? – looking for a Western, you might just find one in an unexpected location: JLTV, aka Jewish Life Television, has added oaters to the line-up! Episodes of BONANZA, ANNIE OAKLEY, and the 1954 Western anthology series STORIES OF THE CENTURY have joined THE JACK BENNY SHOW and YOU BET YOUR LIFE, with Groucho Marx, as reasons to watch. Lorne Green, Michael Landon, and BONANZA-creator David Dortort were all Jewish, so perhaps that’s the connection, but whatever the reason, thanks JLTV!
‘UNSPOOLED’ LOOKS AT ‘THE SEARCHERS’
Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson, the film critics who are re-examining all of the films on the AFI 100 Best Movies of All-Time list, with 100 individual podcasts, are up to #34, THE SEARCHERS. They are knowledgeable, but not big Western fans – it’s the first John Wayne Western Scheer has seen (!) – so their takes on it are by turns fascinating and infuriating. Well worth a listen. And I must give them credit on one point in particular: it NEVER occurred to me that John Wayne might be searching not for his brother’s daughter, but his own! THE SEARCHERS is #34. The episode about HIGH NOON, where I was guest, is #19. You can hear them all HERE.
I HAVE 5 ARTICLES IN THE FEBRUARY ‘TRUE WEST’!
It’s a personal record for one issue! If you’d like to read ‘em…
p.19 – ‘Cowboy Pens Best Rodeo Movie Ever Made’
p. 26 – ‘Remembering Jeb Rosebrook’
p. 52 – ‘Max Evans in Hollywood’
p. 54 – ‘Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ review
p. 55 – ‘Fire Engulfs Paramount Western Ranch’
ONE MORE THING…
Every spring there are two events in the Los Angeles area that movie nuts, western nuts, and especially western movie nuts dream about all year. One is the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, a great get-together of all things cowboyish, at the estate of the great movie cowboy William S. Hart. The other is the annual TCM Classic Film Festival, one of the great and rare chances to see classic movies, and especially westerns, the way they should be seen, on a big screen. Well, after years of having them one weekend after another, the Cowboy Festival has been moved up, so they will both be on the weekend of April 13 and 14. TCM is actually the 11th through the 14th, and before you say, “Then just go to TCM on Thursday and Friday,” it doesn’t work that way, since the movies you want to see are generally scattered through the four days. They’ve just started to announce films, and included are BUTCH CASSIDY, a new restoration of WINCHESTER ’73, and a Tom Mix double bill with live music, THE GREAT K & A TRAIN ROBBERY and OUTLAWS OF RED RIVER. Cowboy Festival hasn’t started announcing their events yet, but it should be noted that for the second year, the Cowboy Festival will be free, while TCM costs a fortune, and even individual movies are $20 a pop. I’ll keep you informed as I learn more!
AND THAT’S A WRAP!
All Original Material Copyright January 2019 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved