Westerns Movie Log Journal & Recommendations

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I like some of his movies, but Iíve largely found he was never a great actor. He typically was the same in his westerns. His films mostly work due to the story itself, such as The Searchers and The Quiet Man which I found he was decent enough in.
Speaking of The Quiet Man, itís not a western but itís definitely worth watching as I felt it was a great film when I first watched it.

I've never been a John Wayne fan, but I'm starting to appreciate some of his movies, but more for the plot than for him.

I've seen both The Searchers and The Quiet Man, but I'm not much of a fan of either movie.
Haha. Tough critic




Directed by Robert Wise so I had high expectations for this film. It did have an interesting premise in that during the last days of the Civil War a unit of captured Confederate soldiers are given the chance to leave the Union prison they are in, if they will join the Union army and go west to fight Indians.

This was based on a novel and the problem was even though there were lots of interesting themes hit upon, there wasn't enough time spent on them to flesh them out. It's hinted that the Union Commander (Jeff Chandler) is secretly in love with his brother's window (Linda Darnell) so keeps her captive by telling her it's to dangerous to leave the fort. Then of course there's the whole thing about will the Rebs bolt and head to Texas or will they stay and fight the Indians.

Joseph Cotton is the big draw here and so is the surprisingly callous killing of an North American Indian that sparks a brutal attack.

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If you like John Wayne movies, you might want to watch North to Alaska (1960). It's a little bit different than most of his other movies because it's a western comedy. In addition to John Wayne, it also stars Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian, and Capucine.

I watched it last week, and I loved it. It has a good chance of making my list.
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If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.
OPEN FLOOR.



If you like John Wayne movies, you might want to watch North to Alaska (1960). It's a little bit different than most of his other movies because it's a western comedy. In addition to John Wayne, it also stars Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian, and Capucine.

I watched it last week, and I loved it. It has a good chance of making my list.
Whoops I missed this post, so sorry for the late reply. I like all those actors and I like stuff about Alaska (my last couple of vacations was to Alaska) so I'll watch it, thanks.

Watched The Grey Fox from the current westerns list. I think you'd like it.
Cool, I'll give it a go, sounds good, thanks.




The Ballad of Josie (1967)

Doris Day and Peter Graves star in this western comedy about a woman (Doris Day) who's accused of murdering her husband...then finds herself taking on a man's job by raising sheep. The only problem is that the men of the old west don't want a woman to wear britches and shoot a gun...and the cattle men don't want sheep in cattle land either.

Doris Day wrote in her autobiography that The Ballad of Josie was one of her least favorite films. I'd have to agree with Doris on that point. Still I'm glad I watched it as I plan on watching all of Ms. Day's movies, when I get the chance. I liked the location of the sheep ranch as I had never seen rolling green hills like that before. But the script was lazy with only a vaguely fleshed out plot and character development was lacking, which is often typical for comedy films of the late 1960s. I call that hippie film making where nothing really matters. Even Doris Day didn't really charm here and Peter Graves was insipid as always.

Still I'm glad I watched it, if for no other reason than for film history.

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Ulzana's Raid (1972)

I liked this one as it's well made and well balanced. It's a cat and mouse game between the U.S. Army lead by a tracker (Burt Lancaster) and an Apache tracker (Jorge Luke) and commanded by a young & green Lieutenant (Bruce Davison). The Lieutenant is a son of a preacher and has lofty ideas of morality that is challenged as he learns of the ways of the Apache warrior and the realities of command.

The soldiers are tracking down an Apache raiding party that has left the reservation and is lead by the cunning Ulzana. The movie pacing is never rushed...then there are several nearly instantaneous scenes of violence that has faster editing which adds to the emotional impact. In one scene we see a distance shot of a group of Apache's gutting a settler and then playing catch with his liver!

Ulzana's Raid does have a message of sorts, but unlike Solider Blue it doesn't cram it's message done your throat. And by being subtle the film works well, especially as when the violence happens it's unexpected.

Great scenery and cinematography and those are two different things. The score at times seemed like a throwback to the 1940s, but that was only for very brief periods, overall I was impressed.

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You're likely to get a lot of recommendations so I'll just give you 2, both of which I think you'll enjoy-The Shootist and The Iron Horse
I actually watched The Shootist today. One of the better John Wayne films I've seen and while that's only worth 3/5 from me I think CR would like it.
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I actually watched The Shootist today. One of the better John Wayne films I've seen and while that's only worth 3/5 from me I think CR would like it.
Yup, I plan on watching that one.

I didn't hate Ulzana's Raid but I wasn't a fan. I think I'll skip the other one.
I seen your review of it, I was kind of surprised you didn't like it more as it seemed like your movie. Would you say it was lacking in intensity?



I seen your review of it, I was kind of surprised you didn't like it more as it seemed like your movie. Would you say it was lacking in intensity?
Yea and I thought it was a bit bland in that nothing really stood out. I thought it was ok but it didn't do much for me.



Yea and I thought it was a bit bland in that nothing really stood out. I thought it was ok but it didn't do much for me.
OK, I can see that. I was just trying to get a feel for what you didn't like in it.




Cat Ballou (1965)

This is my favorite comedy western and I guess that's because it's still grounded in a firm story and not overly wacky. Jane Fonda was instructed to play it totally straight and indeed she does. That then makes the outrageously funny Lee Marvin in a duel row all the more funnier, as we then have a stable anchor to view his colorful performance against. I liked Bill Hickman (Dobbie Gillis) too. Here he had dark hair instead of the bleached blonde hair he had in his TV show. I'm not a big fan of Jane Fonda but to me I like her best in lighter comedy roles. She certainly looks purty good in deem jeans



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Cat Ballou (1965)

This is my favorite comedy western and I guess that's because it's still grounded in a firm story and not overly wacky. Jane Fonda was instructed to play it totally straight and indeed she does. That then makes the outrageously funny Lee Marvin in a duel row all the more funnier, as we then have a stable anchor to view his colorful performance against. I liked Bill Hickman (Dobbie Gillis) too. Here he had dark hair instead of the bleached blonde hair he had in his TV show. I'm not a big fan of Jane Fonda but to me I like her best in lighter comedy roles. She certainly looks purty good in deem jeans




I'll have to rewatch Cat Ballou for the Westerns List. I watched it for the 1960's Countdown, but it didn't make my list. Maybe I'll like it more after a rewatch.

BTW, I watched a western with Orson Welles in it. Man in the Shadow (1957) stars Jeff Chandler and Orson Welles. It doesn't have much of a western "feel" to it, but it was an interesting movie. (But it probably won't make my final list.)

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I'll have to rewatch Cat Ballou for the Westerns List. I watched it for the 1960's Countdown, but it didn't make my list. Maybe I'll like it more after a rewatch.

BTW, I watched a western with Orson Welles in it. Man in the Shadow (1957) stars Jeff Chandler and Orson Welles. It doesn't have much of a western "feel" to it, but it was an interesting movie. (But it probably won't make my final list.)

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I should probably know all about the Orson Welles film, but actually I'd never heard of it before. I did see Jeff Chandler the other day, he wasn't really too impressive. But thanks for telling me about it, I might watch it...I do have like a zillion westerns to watch, so sadly I can't get to all of them. Oh, I did find the one you mentioned on the western HoF thread, Rough Night in Jericho (1967) So I will give that one watch.



I should probably know all about the Orson Welles film, but actually I'd never heard of it before. I did see Jeff Chandler the other day, he wasn't really too impressive. But thanks for telling me about it, I might watch it...I do have like a zillion westerns to watch, so sadly I can't get to all of them. Oh, I did find the one you mentioned on the western HoF thread, Rough Night in Jericho (1967) So I will give that one watch.

I've watched a few westerns with Jeff Chandler recently. I liked him the most in Man in the Shadow, but it wasn't the best movie he was in. Broken Arrow (1950) starred James Stewart and Jeff Chandler, and it was the best of his movies that I've watched so far.