What Would Dad Do?; or, Four Fundamental Reel-Life Lessons from My Father

I love reel-life tough, taciturn cowboy heroes, in case you haven’t guessed. But don’t try to make this into a therapy session about my real-life father figure, who was a generous, slightly nerdy guy who loved music and reading, The Muppet Show (yes, it’s true, eek), and walks in the woods. He taught me just as much as . . . → Read More: What Would Dad Do?; or, Four Fundamental Reel-Life Lessons from My Father

The Good, Bad, and the Fugly; or, Silver-Screen Western Clichés in Ten Wanted Men

I thought I liked westerns until I saw Ten Wanted Men, 1955, directed by H. Bruce “Lucky” Humberstone, who never wasted a shot, even when it was shitty.

But if you can sit through this slog-fest of clichés and stilted dialogue and incongruous shots and dead airspace, westerns are your life.

Bad western clichés, gawd . . . → Read More: The Good, Bad, and the Fugly; or, Silver-Screen Western Clichés in Ten Wanted Men

Classic Western Props; or, Saguaros Gone Wrong

There are good saguaros and bad saguaros.

Good saguaros (in films) are those that highlight the epic awesomeness of a shot.

From an otherwise cardboardish Ten Wanted Men (1955), this scene features the grand stoic himself, Randolph Scott, amid the scattered saguaros above Old Tucson Studios–I mean Ocatilla. He is of the land, by the land, and for . . . → Read More: Classic Western Props; or, Saguaros Gone Wrong

A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do * ; or A Handy Guide to Life’s Goals

The epically awesome goals of a Silver-Screen Western hero can be distilled down to five emulation-worthy goals, which can be mixed and matched for dramatic effect.

win a love interest
protect society
wreak revenge
get rich
know thyself

*(btw, title from George Jetson of The Jetsons, not John Wayne)

Of these, . . . → Read More: A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do * ; or A Handy Guide to Life’s Goals