Lee Marvin on John Ford and John Wayne

After showing The Shootist last week, I watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence.  It was the first collaboration between Wayne and Stewart.  It was Lee Marvin who stole the show playing the bad dude Liberty Valence.

Here’s an interview with Marvin about that role and Wayne and Ford

click here


Posted in history of film | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Big Trail

You can watch the entire film in it’s Grandeur-vision glory on youtube, this is the full version directed by Raoul Walsh and starring John Wayne in his first starring role in 1930

click here

Posted in director, film, history of film | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Westerns set in Mexico

Last night I watched Viva Zapata . . . Marlon Brando and Anthony Quinn (won an oscar).  It got me thinking about “westerns” set in Mexico, some during the Mexican revolution (1908 – 1920).  While these films sure look and feel like westerns they aren’t the “westerns” about the pioneers who came west to settle Utah, Arizona, Oregon, California, etc.

Here are some titles:
Magnificent Seven
The Professionals
Viva Zapata
Valdes is Homing
The Wild Bunch
One Eyed Jacks
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trampas and the Virginian

In the most reproduced scene from the most popular Western of all time the cowboy hero known only as the Virginian confronts the cowboy villain Trampas across a poker – when Trampas calls the hero “you son of a . . . “ the Virginian menacingly tells him “when you call me that smile”.

here’s the scene from the 1929 movie

click here

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Owen Wister: Inventor of the Good-guy Cowboy

In researching films for the next series of Westerns in the Fall I came across this fascinating story . . .

click here

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Films about the west, cowboys, buffaloes, indians, infnatry, rustling cattle;  Roy Rogers, Hoot Gibson, Tom Hix, Clint Eastwood, Barbara Stanwyck, John Wayne, Shelly Winters, John Huston, John Ford . . . . the list goes on of the great who’ve made and appeared in westerns.  We’ll watch 6 films during the series beginning on April 18 at the Palm Theatre in SLO.

The hardest part of this process (picking the final six) is narrowing down the list of great films to just a few.

Here are the titles of films on the short list, if you have an opinion, let me know.

Destry Rides Again ’39
Winchester 73 ’50
The Plainsman ’36
Ride the High Country ’62
Four Faces West ’48
Last Train from Gun Hill
My Darling Clementine ’46
The Good The Bad The Ugly ’67
Forty Guns ’57
The Unforgiven ’46
Posted in cinematographer, director, film, history of film, western | Leave a comment

Astaire and Rogers

I hope everyone is looking forward to seeing the first six movies starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, the greatest dancing partnership Hollywood has ever seen.  We’ll start with “The Gay Divorcee” on Wednesday, January 10 at 12:30pm at the Palm Theatre in downtown SLO.  This was not the first time they appeared in film, that was in the movie “Flying Down to Rio”.  This is depression pre Hays Code film making and you can watch one of the most amazing scenes here on youtube.

click here

Posted in history of film, music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment