Westerns Movie Log Journal & Recommendations

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I was underwhelmed by Ride the High County. It just didn't seem to be focused enough. I read that the director Sam Peckinpah would shoot very little coverage film and 'edited' in his head. That left fewer options for using different takes in the editing room. I can't say I'm impressed with him as a director, the film seemed flat to me.




Pony Express (1953)

An all star cast, but more or a fun matinee movie than anything really serious. I enjoyed it for it's broad take on the creation of the Pony Express, though don't get your history here! Charlton Heston was decent as Buffalo Bill Cody, but Forest Tucker was rather bland as his friend, Will Bill Hickok. Rhonda Fleming was pretty to look at in her very fancy garb, (how did she keep from getting dusty?)...by far my favorite here was Jan Sterling who plays a tomboy, suede wearing girl who's in love with Cody, but he has eyes only for the fancy Rhonda Fleming. At 90 minutes this was enjoyable.
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Al Jennings of Oklahoma (1951)

Made by a director I never heard of, Ray Nazzaro. Loosely based on a true story, very loosely based. Shot in color and it looked good. It featured Dan Duryea as a hot headed lawyer turned stage coach robber. Gale Storm is the leading lady. I've seen her before but she wasn't much of a stand out here. No one really stands out, it's a fairly mediocore film, but still a fun watch.

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If I recall correctly you're a fan of Barbara Stanwyck. If so, you might dig The Furies.
I am Good timing too, I was planning on rewatching The Furies and Forty Guns with Stanwyck probably next as I've seen on the John Wayne westerns I planned on watching (I watched a Wayne western last night)




The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

Nothing special here, just Duke and the boys making another western. Nothing is taken serious, nor does it ever feel like anything of importance happens. Even Dean Martin doesn't get to do anything interesting as he did in Rio Bravo. I don't have anything else to say about it.


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I had interest in that but someone else watched it recently and I lost it. It seems like a title I've always known of; I wonder why?
I always heard it was good too, I'm surprised I didn't like it better. Well that wraps up John Wayne for me. I've seen most of his westerns except his early 1930s matinee singing cowboy films.




The Furies (1950)

Director Anthony Mann was at the forefront of some of the greatest westerns of the 1950s, such as: The Man from Laramie, The Far Country, The Naked Spur, Bend of the River & Winchester '73 and of course The Furies.

The Furies was based on a sprawling western novel by Niven Busch. The movie is rich in drama, intrigue, angst, greed, betrayal. This is not an action film and yet it packs a wallop as there's action when action is needed.

Veteran actor Walter Huston made his last appearance as the larger than life T.C. Jeffords, who's built an empire out of the open range of New Mexico circa 1870s. His firebrand daughter, Barbara Stanwyck is cut from the same jig as T.C. She's determined to run The Furies and her father is in full support of that...Until that is when he meets a cultured woman who has plans for The Furies herself, putting the daughter at odds with the outsider woman.



Barbara Stanwyck was 42 years old when she made this movie but damned if she doesn't look a day over 30...She's good here, as is Walter Huston. Wendel Corey has what might be his only romantic leading man role in his career.





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The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

Nothing special here, just Duke and the boys making another western. Nothing is taken serious, nor does it ever feel like anything of importance. Even Dean Martin doesn't get to do anything much interesting as he did in Rio Bravo. I don't have anything else to say about it.



I didn't care much for The Sons of Katie Elder either.

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As you know, I just watched The Furies and also thought highly of it. I watched it because Loner recommended it in the other thread. One of the things he said was that it strongly confronts racism. After I watched it and mentioned that I didn't see that part, he said it was subtle, but I was wondering where it stems from. T. C. obviously has a big issue with the Herreras, but it was presented to be because they were squatting on his land and I don't recall race being mentioned. So if there's no racism shown in the movie, I'm trying to figure out how the movie "strongly confronts racism". In fact, many of these old westerns do have racism in the story but I didn't see it at all here. My only guess is that he sees the loving relationship between Juan and Vance confronting the racist societal norms in real life at the time. Although, I don't see that as relevant today. Loner doesn't post a lot these days so I didn't want to pick his brain. What do you think?



As you know, I just watched The Furies and also thought highly of it. I watched it because Loner recommended it in the other thread. One of the things he said was that it strongly confronts racism. After I watched it and mentioned that I didn't see that part, he said it was subtle, but I was wondering where it stems from. T. C. obviously has a big issue with the Herreras, but it was presented to be because they were squatting on his land and I don't recall race being mentioned. So if there's no racism shown in the movie, I'm trying to figure out how the movie "strongly confronts racism". In fact, many of these old westerns do have racism in the story but I didn't see it at all here. My only guess is that he sees the loving relationship between Juan and Vance confronting the racist societal norms in real life at the time. Although, I don't see that as relevant today. Loner doesn't post a lot these days so I didn't want to pick his brain. What do you think?
I seen you guys talking about that and I don't see where The Furies was confronting racism and especially not strongly. Maybe Loner seen it so long ago that he forgot some of the details (it happens to me all the time). Or maybe he read the book and it does confront racism there.

I didn't hear any racial terms or any direct mention of race in the movie. The squatters on The Furies were to be driven off so that the bank loan didn't have a legal cloud over the ownership of the land, but it was never said it was because of their race. Same thing with the relationship between Vance and Juan, T.C. was never said to have a problem with it, until she crossed him by throwing the scissors so what was done to Juan was revenge towards Vance.

I suppose one could say the film does make a point of saying the Herreras and the other family had lived on the land for centuries and so were morally obligated to be there. Historical Spanish speaking people from Mexico had original settled the southwest, only to be driven off by white settlers and land barons, so maybe that's what he meant. All I know is it's a good western!



@Citizen Rules have you seen There Will be Blood? I just watched and loved it. Didnít think of it exactly as a Western but itís eligible and I will for sure be voting for it.
I know you're not asking me but I also loved it. I know it's eligible but since I also don't see it as a western, I won't be voting for it.



I know you're not asking me but I also loved it. I know it's eligible but since I also don't see it as a western, I won't be voting for it.
Hmm, yeah I was thinking about that, some people who loved it probably wonít vote for it which means it will likely have a lower place in the countdown than it should (I still fully expect it to make it). I might have to think more about voting for it but I understand the Western tropes, itís at least as much of a Western as Hell or High Water, The Good the Bad and the Weird, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.



@Citizen Rules have you seen There Will be Blood? I just watched and loved it. Didnít think of it exactly as a Western but itís eligible and I will for sure be voting for it.
Thanks for the recommendation. I've seen it, but so long ago I can't remember a thing about it, that's my life story