Of Rock Stars and the Rest of Us; The Seven Samurai’s Western Revival

“Find hungry samurai. Even bears come down from the mountains when they are hungry,” states the Old Man of the beleaguered village in Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.

In the next scene, in a nearby town, four peasants look for samurai who would deign to fight for them against ruthless bandits. But would a noble samurai ever . . . → Read More: Of Rock Stars and the Rest of Us; The Seven Samurai’s Western Revival

Et tu, Cimarron?; or More Rules for Epic Westerns

As I was saying before paying work and Valentine’s Day and the call of the West in the form of watching The Stalking Moon, starring Gregory “Awesome Gimlet-Eye” Peck, epic westerns aren’t my cuppa tea. Or joe.

I’d just finished spinning my snark about epic westerns in an earlier post when Nuts4r2 “Awesome Gimlet-eyed Film Reviewer” called . . . → Read More: Et tu, Cimarron?; or More Rules for Epic Westerns

The Animal Hero’s Journey into Serial Darkness; or, Not Another Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Western!?

Just when you thought it was safe to go blog surfing, one more Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Western! Nooooo!

Actually, it’s not too bad. In this flick, Rex and Rinty far outshine the human actors and the ridiculonkulousness of the script. Like their man’s-best-friend comrades in the real world, Rex and Rinty prove themselves to be . . . → Read More: The Animal Hero’s Journey into Serial Darkness; or, Not Another Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Western!?

Music and the Western; or, The New West’s Bittersweet Lesson

The stirring, swelling strains of Cimarron (1960), directed by Anthony Mann, music by Franz Waxman, make me want to chop wood and haul water and ride fast horses over wide plains and watch over cattle in the cold moonlight night and sweep a woman into my arms. It’s that insidious. This score would trick anyone into becoming . . . → Read More: Music and the Western; or, The New West’s Bittersweet Lesson

Following the Soundtrack of Dreams; or, Franz Waxman’s Cimarron

Cimarron!!! Cimarron!!!!

The woodwinds and brass crescendo, a chorus of voices swells in epic awesomeness. And “epic” is the target word in 1960’s Cimarron, directed by Anthony Mann et al, a frontier saga that swells with its own importance from the opening credits. Full disclosure: I have not yet completed watching this film. Why? Because I have . . . → Read More: Following the Soundtrack of Dreams; or, Franz Waxman’s Cimarron

A Happy New Year from Cowboylands; or, We All Have a Flaming Star So Get Going!

May 2011 be sparkly bright, dear readers and bloggers way out in the Wild Western Web, in my hometown in western PA (and you too, WV), NYC bloggers and dear friends, and FB cyberpals and Twitter cybertrail buddies…

May it be as bright as Graceland’s crystal chandelier

As big as Graceland’s hall of . . . → Read More: A Happy New Year from Cowboylands; or, We All Have a Flaming Star So Get Going!

New Grit; or, The Coen Brothers Remake Retribution

Vengeance is mine, saith the main character of True Grit, because I hath paid good money for it. So begins the saga of a trail of revenge from so-called civilized town to wilderness, a narrative trail so often traveled in westerns that it’s become like a tame, broad, well-lit avenue with stoplights.

The players: Grizzled, troubled veteran with heart . . . → Read More: New Grit; or, The Coen Brothers Remake Retribution

On Blizzards and Canceled Flights; or, The Holing Up of Cowboylands

Bemoaning a canceled flight is uncowboylike.

Would the Duke have crabbed about a few snowflakes and a change in travel plans? Would Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn have groused about downscaling from flight to bus, which exponentially increases the chance of seat mate with bad breath, fartage capability, and/or x-treme chattiness?

No!

As a poet friend reminds . . . → Read More: On Blizzards and Canceled Flights; or, The Holing Up of Cowboylands

The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

Ah, the beauty of pulpish western cover art, filled to the brim with all the perfect 1950s western cover clichés, combined and intertwined in a perfect union of cinematic, pulp western majesty.

Can life get any better?

You might recognize the title, perhaps? Anthony Mann’s films with James Stewart, such as The Man from Laramie (1955) are . . . → Read More: The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

Like a Mighty Cannonball; or, Can’t Stay Away from the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

This Thanksgiving, in between shots of rotgut rye, I gave thanks to all the gods and goddesses of the western world that Flapjack42 has the epic psychic strength to haul the universe into righteousness with the continuing countdown of the top-ten list of the absolute worst animal-as-hero westerns EVER.

Confused by life? Don’t be. Be confused . . . → Read More: Like a Mighty Cannonball; or, Can’t Stay Away from the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns