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 Posted:   Jul 30, 2014 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

mgh
A really fine and overlooked little film is THE SUNDOWNERS (not the Mictchum/Kerr film) which was made in 1950; Robert Preston is wonderful in it.



Nice call. Glad you mentioned this sleeper. THE SUNDOWNERS (released 2 Feb 1950) was one of two low-budget indys produced by LeMay-Templeton Pictures, Inc. a company no doubt formed for that purpose. The other is called HIGH LONESOME (released 1 Sept 1950). Alan LeMay was a western author in central Texas who wrote knowledgeably about the area. Among his most famous and influential novels were THE SEARCHERS and THE UNFORGIVEN, both made into classic films (1956 and 1960, respectively). LeMay had done some script writing and script doctoring for Hollywood westerns. George Templeton was the director (RAWHIDE episodes), but LeMay is credited with directing HIGH LONESOME.

I suspect THE SUNDOWNERS and HIGH LONESOME were shot back-to-back in 1949. LeMay wrote the scripts which are more talk than action, but the talk is full of old western slang and expressions, and quite interesting. Both films star young John Drew Barrymore Jr in his debut and feature Chill Wills and Jack Elam. They were filmed at an uncommon location, Palo Duro Canyon and at isolated places around the nearby town of Amarillo. As an aside, Pal Duro Canyon is a fabled place in Texas, being the home of some of the first cattle ranches in the history of the American west (before that Pal Duro Canyon was the heart of Comancheria. There was no Amarillo then). Some great historical adventures came out of Palo Duro Canyon, which today is a national historic site. I don't know of any other westerns filmed there. THE SUNDOWNERS and HIGH LONESOME show a little of the location in rich Technicolor before tourism and traffic changed it.

Public domain copies float around, but VCI released authorized DVD's in better than adequate transfers. Check them out:


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007NMJD6/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007NMJDG/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=

I wish there was more background info on these unusual and interesting westerns.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 2:50 AM   
 By:   Cochise   (Member)

Top list
....
6. Hondo (1953) (John Wayne)



"6. Hondo (1953) (John Wayne)"

ought to read Hondo (1953) (John FARROW).



"Friendly Persuasion" (Zinnemann)

It might not qualify, but what is its genre?


Ought to read

"Friendly Persuasion" (WYLER)

And no one's yet mentioned Delmer Daves's "Broken Arrow" an early humanistic, atypically pro-Indian Western in which Jeff Chandler's magnetic, noble Cochise steals the film from under Jimmy Stewart.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 3:03 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I love, The Big Sky (1952), it really is a magical western (well I think so), & Warner has never even released it on DVD! They said they were looking for good elements of the longer version, but I'm thinking it wasn't a high priority for them (if it comes out on Blu looking pristine I'll happily eat my words). It was on BBC2 the other Sunday & it's on my planner now, & I think it looks a bit better than the R2 DVD.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 3:21 AM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

mgh
A really fine and overlooked little film is THE SUNDOWNERS (not the Mictchum/Kerr film) which was made in 1950; Robert Preston is wonderful in it.



Nice call. Glad you mentioned this sleeper. THE SUNDOWNERS (released 2 Feb 1950) was one of two low-budget indys produced by LeMay-Templeton Pictures, Inc. a company no doubt formed for that purpose. The other is called HIGH LONESOME (released 1 Sept 1950). Alan LeMay was a western author in central Texas who wrote knowledgeably about the area. Among his most famous and influential novels were THE SEARCHERS and THE UNFORGIVEN, both made into classic films (1956 and 1960, respectively). LeMay had done some script writing and script doctoring for Hollywood westerns. George Templeton was the director (RAWHIDE episodes), but LeMay is credited with directing HIGH LONESOME.

I suspect THE SUNDOWNERS and HIGH LONESOME were shot back-to-back in 1949. LeMay wrote the scripts which are more talk than action, but the talk is full of old western slang and expressions, and quite interesting. Both films star young John Drew Barrymore Jr in his debut and feature Chill Wills and Jack Elam. They were filmed at an uncommon location, Palo Duro Canyon and at isolated places around the nearby town of Amarillo. As an aside, Pal Duro Canyon is a fabled place in Texas, being the home of some of the first cattle ranches in the history of the American west (before that Pal Duro Canyon was the heart of Comancheria. There was no Amarillo then). Some great historical adventures came out of Palo Duro Canyon, which today is a national historic site. I don't know of any other westerns filmed there. THE SUNDOWNERS and HIGH LONESOME show a little of the location in rich Technicolor before tourism and traffic changed it.

Public domain copies float around, but VCI released authorized DVD's in better than adequate transfers. Check them out:


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007NMJD6/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007NMJDG/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=

I wish there was more background info on these unusual and interesting westerns.


Richard,
Thanks for that background on THE SUNDOWNERS and HIGH LONESOME. It has been many years since I've seen THE SUNDOWNERS, but it has stayed in my memory all that time. Mostly what I remember is Preston's charming bad guy and beautiful scenery. Again, thanks.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 3:51 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

I forgot an odd one that I liked very much:
Rancho Notorious (1952) (Fritz Lang)

This one has a song used a narrative tool that links the whole film.


Listen to the lyrics of The Legend of Chuck-A-Luck:
"And so ends the tale of hate, murder and revenge!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YXnMX5ADjs

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 10:04 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

Another western film that nobody mentioned:
Johnny Guitar (1954) (Nicholas Ray)



Johnny Guitar trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACgSyxdV9vE


Martin Scorsese on Johnny Guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAw7y76awqk

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2014 - 6:50 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

And nobody mentioned Otto Preminger's "River of No Return" (1954)
with Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSaI1CJPwEY

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 2, 2014 - 3:57 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

No one's mentioned Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

also:
1951 Branded - with Alan Ladd, directed by Rudolph Mate
1952 Hangman's Knot - with Randolph Scott; the only feature film directed by Maverick-creator Roy Huggins
1952 Springfield Rifle - with Gary Cooper, directed by Andre De Toth
1953 Escape From Fort Bravo - with William Holden, directed by John Sturges
1954 Sitting Bull - with Dale Robertson, directed by Sidney Salkow
1955 The Indian Fighter - with Kirk Douglas, directed by Andre De Toth
1955 Man Without a Star - with Kirk Douglas, directed by King Vidor
1955 The Tall Men - with Clark Gable, directed by Raoul Walsh
1955 Wichita - with Joel McCrea, directed by Jacques Tourneur
1956 The Fastest Gun Alive - with Glenn Ford, directed by Russell Rouse
1956 Gun the Man Down - with James Arness, the directorial debut of Andrew V. McLaglen
1957 Tribute to a Bad Man - with James Cagney, directed by Robert Wise
1957 Forty Guns - with Barbara Stanwyck, directed by Samuel Fuller
1957 Fury at Showdown - with John Derek, directed by Gerd Oswald
1957 Run of the Arrow - with Rod Steiger, directed by Samuel Fuller
1957 The True Story of Jesse James - with Robert Wagner, directed by Nicholas Ray
1959 No Name On the Bullet - with Audie Murphy, directed by Jack Arnold
1959 These Thousand Hills - with Don Murray, directed by Richard Fleischer

and I just have to include The Lone Ranger (1956) with Clayton Moore, directed by Stuart Heisler--the last shadow of all the earlier B westerns that entertained young boys in the 1930s and 1940s, and which faded from theater screens with the coming of television.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 2, 2014 - 6:41 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

HIGH NOON -52- GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL-57.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2014 - 11:57 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Bob DiMucci
...
and I just have to include The Lone Ranger (1956) with Clayton Moore, directed by Stuart Heisler--the last shadow of all the earlier B westerns that entertained young boys in the 1930s and 1940s, and which faded from theater screens with the coming of television.



You know, Stuart Heisler's The Lone Ranger (1956) looks pretty good after the utter travesty of the Disney version. I mean I think more highly of it now. The Lone Ranger and Tonto may be an Anglo and an Indian but, as played by Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, they know how to get along and work together for the benefit of everyone, and they always do the right thing. They are good role models for youngsters who were the intended audience. Ironically, Disney's remake corrupts that positive ideal for the sake of political correctness. The remake is clinically insane. The people who made it are sick in the head. Stick with the original. There is much virtue in the original's simplicity.

 
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