CELEBRATE ‘THE COWBOYS’
WITH ‘A WORD ON WESTERNS’ TUESDAY AT THE AUTRY!
It’s been over two years
since Western historian, master interviewer and host Rob Word has held a live A
Word on Westerns event at The Autry!
And he returns right on time this Tuesday, May 17th, to
celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic John Wayne Western, The
Cowboys. Western fans know that May
is the month of the Duke’s birth, and Rob has always found a new Wayne theme
for the Word on Westerns celebration, but he’ll have a hard time topping
this one. For anyone who doesn’t know
the film, when Wayne’s ranch-hands run off after a gold strike, the only way he
can bring his herd to market is to hire a dozen school-boys for his
cattle-drive. Few boys, or men who once
were be boys, have ever seen the film and not ached to be a part of it.
stars scheduled to attend include:
Robert Carradine, who plays Slim; Nicolas Beauvy, who plays Dan, the kid
with glasses that Bruce Dern terrorizes; Alfred Barker Jr., who plays Fats; Steve
Benedict, who plays Steve; Stephen R. Hudis, who plays Charlie Schwartz; and
Sean Kelly, who plays Stuttering Bob. A
Martinez, who plays the outsider cowboy Cimarron, planned to attend, Word
explains, “But he got a job in Vancouver, and he said, ‘I’m really anxious to
get back to work.’ The COVID has been tough for everybody. So he came to the
house and we shot an interview,” part of which will be shown at the event.
And don’t think Rob has
taken the last two years off. With no
live events, he became even more committed to posting weekly videos on his Word
on Westerns YouTube page, interviewing so many Western filmmakers from both
sides of the camera. And all through
COVID, “we've never missed a Sunday, and it's been over a hundred shows now. I'm using more clips and more stills. It
takes 30 to 40 hours a week, every week. There is no break, there is no
And the fans are
appreciative. His 9 Stars Over 90
Share Hollywood Secrets has been watched more than 279,000 times since
posted. Among his many great ‘gets’, Rob
has recently posted an interview with the great actor – and villain of The
Comancheros – Nehemiah Persoff, “and then he passed away in April. But I'm
so lucky to not only have talked to him, because he was a wealth of wonderful
memories, but he got to see the episode. He’d written his autobiography, and at
the end of the Zoom, he says, ‘Hold that book up one more time!’ And so I held
it up. Then he calls and says, ‘I sold
150 copies that day!’ He was just
thrilled. I'm so glad that he saw that.”
The celebration of The
Cowboys will be Tuesday, May 17th, at The Autry, in the Wells
Fargo Theatre. Doors open at 10:30, and
the program begins at 11 a.m. I hope to
see you there!
Here’s a link to the Nehemiah
Persoff interview, which will lead you to over 100 more!
FILM FESTIVAL May 27th - May 29th!
The movie town located in
the San Bernadino Desert, where hundreds of Western films and TV episodes were shot,
will play host to the Pioneertown International Film Festival from Friday May
27th through Sunday May 29th. The first of what is planned as an annual
event, it was an unavoidably long time in the making. “It's been about five years since we started this
idea,” festival founder Julian Pinder recalls.
“We did all kinds of legwork, launched a website and announced the
festival; and about a month later, suddenly the whole world was shut down. We're
really happy that we survived COVID.”
Back in 1946, Western
movie villain Dick Curtis, Roy Rogers, and the band Sons of the Pioneers pooled
their resources and bought the 32,000 acres of desert that started out to be
the movie town of Rogersville, before it was decided to name the ranch after
the band. Unlike other movie towns, this
one was built with not just facades, but practical buildings, and real motel accommodations,
so crews could actually live there during production rather than
commuting. Hopalong Cassidy wing-man
Russell Hayden joined in, and soon he was shooting the Judge Roy Bean series,
Gene Autry was shooting The Gene Autry Show, and Duncan Reynaldo and Leo
Carrillo were filming The Cisco Kid on the lot.
Nearly 70 years later,
the joint is once again jumping, and featuring a remarkably eclectic mix of Western
films and entertainments. Events will be
happening at five venues: The Desert Willow Ranch, The Historic Soundstage, Pioneertown
Motel, Historic Red Dog Saloon, and the Super X Ranch. Among the films being screened are a double
bill of “Acid Westerns” directed by Monte Hellman and starring Jack Nicholson,
and presented by their daughters; Buck and the Preacher, starring and
directed by Sidney Poitier and co-starring Harry Belafonte; the premiere of a
documentary about the Durango Kid films; and From Dusk Till Dawn,
introduced by producer and special effects creator Robert Kurtzman.
Pinder notes, “The
traditional classic westerns obviously were made to be seen on a big screen. We really wanted to reintroduce folks to these
great classics like they should be seen. So we partnered with Paramount to
screen some of their recently restored westerns.”
There are plenty of new
films as well. “Inglorious Serfs is
a Ukrainian Western that was made in the last couple years. And the director,
because of the war he's been exiled in the U.S., so he's able to come.” There will even be the premiere of the much-anticipated
The Last Manhunt, produced by Jason Momoa. Inspired by the same events that were the
basis of Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, this version is based on the oral
history of the Chemehuevi tribe and, Pinder notes, “The Last Manhunt was
shot actually all around Pioneertown.”
And in a wonderful sort
of homecoming, there will be a performance by the current Sons of the Pioneers,
fronted by Roy’s son Dusty Rogers, and peopled by sons of the sons. And if that isn’t your musical taste, there
will also be a performance by The Dandy Warhols.
For tickets and
information, go here: https://www.pioneertownfilmfest.com/screenings-venues
VALLEY RELICS MUSEUM
PRESENTS MOVIE HISTORY OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY MAY 28TH
On Saturday, May 28th, from 4 ‘til 6 p.m., Hollywood Film Historian Dennis R. Liff will share a Powerpoint Presentation about the movie-making history of the San Fernando Valley. Joining him will be special guest Darby Hinton, a busy and talented actor, and so well-remembered for playing son to Fess Parker on Daniel Boone. To learn more, go here: valleyrelicsmuseum.org
INSP’S ‘DUKE DAYS OF MAY’
I hope you’ve been
enjoying the Duke Days of May on INSP, but if you’re a little late to the party,
you happily have two more weekends left in May, including Memorial Day Weekend,
and 14 more John Wayne movies to watch on INSP. And
there are quizzes and contests going on.
Check out their Facebook page for details!
ONE MORE THING…
Obviously, it’s been a
long time since I wrote a new Round-up – last July, to be specific. This has caused some readers to ask questions
like, “Hey Henry, did you fall off a cliff or something?” Happily, no.
The fact is, in addition to writing the Round-up, I’ve been the Western
Film & TV Editor for True West magazine for about seven years, and starting
this past September, the INSP Channel hired me to write regular articles for
their blog. So, while I haven’t been
writing the Round-up much, I’ve been writing about Westerns elsewhere.
I’m going to be updating
this Round-up post next week, and I’m going to add links to all of the articles
I’ve written for True West, and INSP in the last six months or so, as well as
links to the Writer’s Block podcasts, where I do an update on the Western film
biz on the first Thursday of every month.
All Original Content
Copyright May 2022 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved