Rio Lobo (1970).a John Wayne western directed by Howard Hawks. Not one of the better films either gentleman was associated with. Sadly this dud was the last film Hawks directed and makes a sad end to a distinguished career. Wayne is a former Union cavalry officer who teams up with a couple of former Confederates to uncover which of his men was a traitor during the war and tipped off the Confederates about Union gold shipments. Eventually everyone ends up in Rio Lobo Texas. John Wayne is John Wayne which is fine but the three main supporting cast members performances range from awful to terrible. This movie is often cited as the third time Wayne and Hawks teamed to tell the same basic story in the classic Rio Bravo. It is less of a remake than El Doroado is and only resembles Rio Bravo at the end. The way the Confederates steal the gold at the beginning is clever and well staged and the final gun battle is well done. What happens in between is not so good. For hard core Duke fans only.
Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Harry Morgan, Anthony Quinn.
A classic American Western. 1885 Nevada. Fonda and Morgan ride into a town where they are virtual strangers. Soon word comes that a local rancher has been murdered and some of his cattle stolen. A posse is formed under dubious legal authority by a deputy in the sheirff's absense. Fonda and Morgan reluctantly join the posse because some townspeople view them suspiciously. That night the posse find the campsite of three men. Circumstances point to the trio as the guilty party but they claim to be nnocent. Emotions among the posse run high as they begin arguing amongst themselves. Some want to take the trio back to town while others want justice to be served on the spot.
A flat out great film with strong performances and characferizations. Fonda said this was one of his favorites of all his films. Clint Eastwood has also praised it.
Harry Morgan, billed here as Henry, had a long career in American movies and TV but is probley best known in the UK as Colonel Potter in MASH.
Haven't seen this classic revenge western since 1985 when I caught it on a Sunday afternoon and even then, I found it to be very tough, intense and dramatic. John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape) directed it and it featured Kirk Douglas in intense mode as a sheriff or ranger looking for his wife's killers. One of them happened to be the son of an old friend (Anthony Quinn). Plenty of emotional conflict, a few shootings and a final showdown. Maybe this was an influence on Michael Winner's Lawman and to an extent Chato's Land.
"What was I thinking of, hitting him? Nothing. No, I know. I hate him! I hate his guts, I hate everything he stands for with his PACE and his plus and his statements of purpose and his smiling at the punters and his have a nice day! I mean when was the last time he ever nicked anybody, eh? A real villain! When was the last time he ever put himself on the line?"
My first TV western wasn't Bonanza, but Branded with its opening sequence. I was always amazed his colonel never sliced his leg off snapping that cavalry sword! Didn't like Bonanza, but DID like High Chaperal a lot.
I just watched the first episode of The Wild Wild West, The Night of the Inferno. A fine and fast paced introduction to James West and Artemus Gordon. The story is fairly believable compared to the some of the later exploits Jim and Artie would have. Robert Conrad and Ross Martin made a great team right from the start. One of the DVD extras for this are the original "bumpers" that feature the series original title, The Wild West.
Watched another episode of The Wild Wild West, The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth. This episode introduced Dr. Miguelito Loveless played brilliantly by Michael Dunn. Loveless has created a super explosive and threatens California with destruction if his demands are not met. One of Loveless' aides is a guy named Voltaire played by Richard Kiel. Dunn and Kiel make a great team not just because of their striking visual contrast. Voltaire is mute and Loveless is well spoken.Artemis Gordon hardly apears in this episode but he did create a horse coach for Jim West that rivals Bond's Aston Martin DB-5. This episode was third originally broadcast by CBS but the sixth episode made. In broadcast order it is the first to actually be Wild. The first two episodes were much more realistic. It was produced by Fred Frieberger who was made producer early in the series production and was responsible for making the show what it would become. This time he was not a "show killer."
I watched Trinity Is Still My Name (1971) again last night. Dunno why, just fancied watching it.
A decent follow-up. Some of the jokes are repeated and are really corny, especially concerning the family with the baby that keeps breaking wind, but overall it's a good follow up. Very amusing. That is of course if you like Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. Which I do. There's a really neat poker game sequence that runs about 10 minutes, well worth watching, just for the shuffling skills. Very cool.
If you've seen this before it's the one where they pretend to be Federal Agents in order to rob a town but end up doing the right thing by saving a monastery (and the town) from a gang of evil arms dealers.
The end (like the first film) turns into a mass brawl, with free-for-all slapstick. And of course Bud hammer-blowing bad guys into oblivion.
I just came across an episode of Maverick and had to stop and watch. It's an episode with Roger Moore as the Maverick's English cousin Beau. Among the guest cast is John Carradine and Lee Van Cleef. It's interesting to see these three on screen together.