Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Westerns’

The Spoilers – Starring Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne & Randolph Scott

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Spoilers (1942)(DVD)  Directed by Ray Enright, starring Marlene Dietrich (The Blue Angel (1930), The Devil is a Woman (1935), Destry Rides Again (1939), Stage Fright (1950), Touch of Evil (1958)), Randolph Scott (Santa Fe (1951), Ride the High Country (1962)), John Wayne (Stagecoach (1939), Red River (1948), Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949),  Rio Grande (1950) and many other films) and others.  A great and classic Alaska gold-rush “Western”, The Spoilers, about miners, claim-jumpers and con-men, features, amidst mud and abundant and scintillating sexual innuendo, probably one of the greatest fist-fights ever filmed: a truly epic battle between John Wayne’s white-hat wearing Glenisster and Randolph Scott’s over-confident con-man, McNamara.  Marlene Dietrich, riding the success of her portrayal in Destry Rides Again (make a note that Wayne’s mining partner is also called Destry), is hot, bothered and loyal in love as she wears a succession of amazing gowns.  Randolph Scott, too, is hot and bothered, and overconfidently villainous as a conning gold commissioner. Not to be outdone, John Wayne is hot and bothered as well, making for quite a love triangle, and is arrogant and surprisingly stylish (in fact the entire cast is rather snappily costumed).  The Spoilers is wonderfully entertaining, with good sets, sharp dialogue and some great acting, not to mention some very dramatic action. (PR)

If you enjoy classic westerns, see our post on the film High Noon, one of the all-time greats, starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, and our post on the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, with John Wayne and James Stewart.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)(DVD)  Directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones (as actor: The Fugitive (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), Men in Black (1997), Space Cowboys (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), In the Valley of Elah (2007)), with Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan (1998), Seven Pounds (2008), True Grit (2010)), and others; screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams (2004), Babel (2006), The Burning Plain (2009)); music by Marco Beltrami (3:10 to Yuma (2007), The Hurt Locker (2008)); cinematography by Chris Menges (The Killing Fields (1984), The Mission (1986), The Reader (2008), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)).  A vision of the American West, with a very keen eye for detail, and not too distant from that found in No Country for Old Men, also starring Tommy Lee Jones, looking at honor and morality, friendship and the relations between men and women, and man, his history, and the stark beauty of the vastness of Texas/Mexico border,  The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada can be darkly funny, and say as much without words as with them.  Tommy Lee Jones shows an extraordinarily deft hand in his directing, and his acting is, of course, superb.  Perhaps not for the excessively squeamish, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, is, nevertheless, a must-see film. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by John Ford

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)(DVD)  Directed by John Ford (Stagecoach (1939), My Darling Clementine (1946), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Searchers (1956) and, of course, many, many others), starring John Wayne (Stagecoach (1939), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949),  The Searchers (1956) and many others), James Stewart (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and many others), Vera Miles (The Searchers (1956), Psycho (1960)), Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Big Red One (1980)) and others.  This excellent, rather sad, western looks at the transition in the American West from wide-open range, and its underpinning of individual justice, to American statehood, and rule by law and order.  The actions and implications of this change are personified in the lives, and personalities, of its two protagonists, Tom Doniphon (I personally thought is was “Donovan”..), played by John Wayne , the independent, rough and gun-carrying cowboy, and Ransom Stoddard, the Easterner, attorney at law, (and often referred to as “Dude” or, by Doniphon/Wayne, “Pilgrim”), played by James Stewart.

In keeping with the thematic “restrictions” of  “liberty” which characterise the story, Ford shot The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance primarily on studio sets, in contrast to his repeated use of location shooting, notably the majestic, wide-open spaces of the American West (often Monument Valley in Utah, USA), which have been the setting of so many iconic John Ford films (see above).

In any case, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is essential viewing for anyone interested in the films of John Ford, or any of the stellar cast of actors. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs. Have a wonderful personal film library..

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