Western Movies

Buried Treasures

Westerns_movies_vintage-movie-posters_1950s_lone-rangerDuring the 1960s, when Philadelphia’s channel 48 ran Satan’s Satellites, I had no idea I was munching popcorn through a serial (Zombies of the Stratosphere) re-cut into a feature.  I was jumping out of my pj’s because it was action-filled Sci-Fi, starring a jet-propelled hero, but I had never seen a chapter play. Featuring more fights and stunts than I had seen in a dozen programs, the story flew as fast as Rocket Man did, but something made it different.

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Old Tucson’s 75th

westerns_arizoan_jean-arthur_willian-holdenThe year 1938 was an off year for Westerns. Cecil B. DeMille hadn’t traveled West since making The Plainsman in 1936, while Stagecoach and Jesse James were still a year away. Major studio heads thought Westerns were strictly bread and butter for “B” outfits grinding out six-day features and serials.

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10 Questions for Michael Biehn

michael-biehn-and-powers-bootheMichael Biehn will revisit his role as Johnny Ringo in Tombstone as part of his guest appearance at the True West Railfest in Durango, Colorado, from August 15-18. In advance of his visit, we called him up and asked him a few questions:

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Talking Dutch

western-yuma-tall-t-john-ford-paul-newmanI had shaken Elmore Leonard’s hand three times, twice at book signings and once on a movie set, years before I wrote him a letter in 2008 and asked if he would be a part of a book I was putting together for McFarland called The Westerners: Interviews with Actors, Directors, Writers and Producers.

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Searching for The Searchers

The-Searchers_The-Making-of-an-American-Legend-by-Glenn-FrankelIn Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, Robert DeNiro and his buddies steal some cash and use it to see The Searchers. To some, Scorsese’s tribute to an old John Ford/John Wayne Western must have felt wildly out of place in the middle of a scorching New York street flick.

Author Glenn Frankel would not agree.

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The Best Western Movies, TV Series & DVDs of 2014

best-of-the-west-movies-dvds-tv-2014The Lone Ranger:
Masked Eye of the Storm

Hollywood loves trumpeting its failures as much as its successes: 1963’s Cleopatra, 1980’s Heaven’s Gate and 2012’s John Carter were all written about as their production costs soared, long before the branding they received from critics and the box office.

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Hardin Biopic

harden-western moviesFew movie producers can claim to being enshrined on the surface of the moon. Larry Zeug is the exception: “When I worked at Rocketdyne, I was in the experimental department, and we built the LEM that landed on the moon. They had a plaque that we all signed, and it was engraved. So my name’s on the moon.”

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Getting Shotgun Loaded

westerns_shotgun-comicCivil War doctor loses his family, and his right arm, to a group of psychopaths who have come to rob them, leaving everyone dying or dead. The doc replaces his missing limb with a double-barreled shotgun and goes after them.

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IN THE WORKS

upcoming westerns_streep-swank-russel-jonesTommy Lee Jones will be starring, directing and writing an adaptation of Glendon Swarthout’s classic novel The Homesman, costarring Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank.

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Digging for Treasure

Bob Murawski_Spaghetti Western_The Big GundownBob Murawski loves movies, and not in that bogus “Citizen Kane resonates on so many levels” kind of way. His is a dedication to underdog flicks, their history and their preservation.

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McLintock! Memories

ohn-wayne,-kathrine-Ohara_mclintockIt’s the movie people always ask me about. ‘Oh, I love John Wayne, but McLintock! has to be my favorite!’”

Actor Ed Faulkner punctuates this statement with an easy laugh and a degree of earned pride. His role, as the son of Bruce Cabot’s character, Ben Sage, triggers the wild mud brawl, which ranks among the most famous of Wayne’s movie moments. Audiences loved the knockdown comedy of 1963’s McLintock!,

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Favorite Docs on Film

western-movies_doc-holiday-on-film_burt-lancater-kurk-douglasIn November 8, 1887, gambler and gunfighter John Henry “Doc” Holliday finally played his last hand, succumbing to the tuberculosis that dogged him most of his adult life, but his legend had been building even before he took his last breath.

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A New Yawk Jesse James

westerns_badmen-posters_larry-robert-ryan"It never made any sense to put me in Westerns, because I never lost my ‘dem doity boids!’”

Larry Tierney punched the end of his New Yorker-accented statement with a pull on his drink.

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Lights, Camera, Miracle?

The-Wild-Bunch-movie-poster"I prefer working where I can control things, and you can’t outdoors.”

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Honoring Elmore

Westerns_justified_graham-yostThe success of FX’s Justified, created by Graham Yost from Elmore Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole,” is by now as familiar as Raylan Given’s Cattleman’s-style hat crafted by Baron Hats.

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Tombstone at 20

tombstone-imaget-twoA lifelong Western and Horror movie fan, with an intense interest in history and weapons, screenwriter John Fasano was actually focused on Bruce Willis, not Wyatt Earp, when Hollywood fate took a hand and he found himself suddenly working on what would become a Western classic, 1993’s Tombstone.

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The Mean-Nice Man

Michael-Preece_henry-hathawayBefore his extraordinary career as director of more than 500 hours of television, including 62 episodes of Dallas and 70 of Walker, Texas Ranger, Michael Preece cut his teeth as script supervisor for some of the toughest directors in the business: Anthony Mann, John Ford, Sam Peckinpah and Henry Hathaway.

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Behind the Mask

tonto_johnny-depp_lone-rangerMichael Blake grew up in the “business.” His father was a fine character actor who appeared in scores of movies and television shows, including the classic High Noon, while Blake has carved out a three-decades-long career for himself as a first-rate makeup artist. Among recent projects,

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Our Favorite Movies, TV Series & DVDs of 2012

est-of-wetsern-movies_john-wayneWe run into John Wayne fans everywhere we go in this great nation of ours, and by New Year’s Day, after the holiday gifts have all been exchanged or traded in for something better (hey, it happens!), we bet a lot of them will have big smiles on their faces.

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Kurt Russell Recap

kurt-Russell-wyatt-earp-tombstonWe’ve selected some of our favorite quotations from our groundbreaking interview with Kurt Russell. To read the entire feature, visit TWMag.com and search for: “The Western Godfather.” Smartphone users can scan the QR code at the bottom of this page for instant access.

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The Soul of Django Unchained

Quentin-Tarantino-django-unchained-movie-reviewQuentin Tarantino has called his upcoming film Django Unchained a “Southern,” as it takes place in the South, moments before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter. His story of runaway slave Django (Jamie Foxx)

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True West Site Guide

Mission

True West captures the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America's frontier history comes to life in True West, the world's oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

Western movie fans, re-enactors, history buffs and road warriors, we got your history covered: outlaw, cowboy, Indian, lawman, gunfighter, fur trapper, miner, prospector, gambler, soldier, entertainer and pioneer. Check out these True Westerners now!
 

Product of the Month

The Illustrated Life and Times of Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

"Your book is fascinating, coupling your powerful illustrations [and] tracking...from birth to Tombstone to the legend [Wyatt] had become;...even Wyatt would approve." --By Hugh O'Brian, of the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

"Hands down the definitive books on Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday." --By Allen Barra, New York Newsday