Westerns

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
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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.

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Alfred Hitchcock and the visuals of movie making – Strangers on a Train

Hitchcock was a classical technician in controlling his visuals, and his use of screen space underlined the tension in ways the audience is not always aware of. He always used the convention that the left side of the screen is for evil and/or weaker characters, while the right is for characters who are either good, or temporarily dominant. Consider the scene where Guy is letting himself into his Georgetown house when Bruno whispers from across the street to summon him. Bruno is standing behind an iron gate, the bars casting symbolic shadows on his face, and Guy stands to his right, outside the gate. Then a police car pulls up in front of Guy’s house, and he quickly moves behind the gate with Bruno; they’re now both behind bars as he says, “You’ve got me acting like I’m a criminal.”

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More on Fear Films

So many genres in the fear film category: Sci Fi, atomized insects, people being turned into animals, ghosts, zombies, haunted houses, monsters . . . . but whoever thought about hillbillies?

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Horror, Scary, Frightening movies

So we’re off on the road of horror, scary, frightening movies.  We’ll watch films like The Wolfman, Alien and the Haunting but one we won’t be watching but I highly recommend is Cult of The Cobra.  I like the alliteration and the image it creates and I remember watching this movie when I was a kid and it scared the begesis out of me; took a long time for me to warm up to the idea of a cobra snake.  Here’s a link to wikipedia page, you might be able to find the whole film on YouTube.

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Blackmail and The Ring

We recorded these early Hitchcock films and enjoyed both.  They are slow moving films, both being 1:45.  They are historic in many ways.  Blackmail is the first British “talkie” and also has Hitchcock’s longest on screen cameo.

 

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5o Years of Hitchcock

If you like Hitchcock you’re not going to want to miss what’s starting on TCM this Wednesday Turner Classic Movies month long the salute to the unsurpassed “master of suspense” kicks off with the British director’s silent 1927 boxing melodrama “The Ring”

 

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