Great Western Scenes: Shane

For my  money, Shane is one of the best Western’s ever made.

I must have watched it three dozen times with my Dad.

Two of my favorite lines is “One (gun) is all you need if you can use it” and “A Gun is as good or bad as the man using it.”

 

 

Obscure Westerns Worth a Damn: The White Buffalo

I consider myself the quintessential Charlie Bronson fan and by that I mean I am a fan of ALL of his films, not just his big features that most people give him acclaim for.

Bronson, like Eastwood and Mitchum, came from an era in Hollywood when men were men and damn proud of it. There was no put on, no fakery and definitely no political correctness!  Bronson’s face had that particular kind of look where the deep lines and folds spoke volumes about the man without him ever having to say a word, unlike the plastic refined robots that try to pass off as actors today.

Having been born in the mid-seventies, this was without a doubt one of my favorite decade for westerns. Movies like Jeremiah Johnson, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Man in the Wilderness and The Shootist are still to this day some of my favorite and fondest western classics.

Three things stuck out to me about this movie: The Cast, the Atmosphere and the Dialogue. But before I jump into that let me first briefly touch on one of the biggest problems most people have with this movie: The Special Effects.

Yes, the effects are corny AWFUL. The white horned buffalo looking creature with the steaming nostrils and glowing eyes charging around on sometimes visible tracks is not what you would call “cutting edge” by any stretch of the imagination. Add to this the set decoration for the Black Hills winter always reminded me of the “Fortress of Solitude” ice city in Superman (made in 1978 not surprisingly).

OK, so once you get past THAT, this movie really does have a lot to offer the TRUE western fan!

 Cast

Jam packed to the gills with solid gold western talent! Slim Pickens, Jack Warden, Kim Novak, Clint Walker, John Carradine and Ed Lauter just to name a few. Will Sampson, a full blooded Muscogee Indian who plays Crazy Horse, will forever be cemented in my memory as Ten Bears in The Outlaw Josey Wales and Chief Bromden in one of my all time favorite Jack Nicholson films, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. 

Atmosphere

The surreal dream like quality that permeates this entire movie is really unique. The director went to great lengths to integrate Native American spirituality into the story without being insulting or too over the top. The Death and War songs that are sung throughout by Crazy Horse are authentic examples.

Dialogue

It was not until I had watched this movie a third time that I started picking up on the distinct dialogue. Often times in westerns, writers do not go to great lengths to use some of the same colorful regional language and colloquialism’s that were used during that time period (1870’s in this case). This would be later repeated on a very grand scale in the series and movie Deadwood (which not ironically stars Keith Carradine as Wild Bill Hickok!)

Some of my favorite lines and sayings come from Slim Picken’s character, Abel Pinkney

“God Damn! Blue Whistler musta caught her right in the third eye!” 

“Well there she is partner, Fetterman, Metropolis of the Bozeman Trail! Prettier than a nine tit sow ain’t she?”

and this one from Jack Warden’s character, George Zane (One Eye):

“Don’t freeze, it’s colder than a hooker’s heart.”

So next time you want to watch a decent western, grab one of your youngsters and check out The White Buffalo, it’s American storytelling at it’s finest and I think you both will enjoy it!

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

Better Dead than Red: A Holiday Viewing List

The good folk over at WRSA put out a decent list so I thought I would add mine to the mix.

Some of these are Cold War Classics, others are lesser known Foreign Films worth a look.

 

Firefox (1982)

 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)

 

The Man Who Saved the World (2014)

 

Rose(2011)

As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me (2001)

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

Military History Movies Worth A Damn: Asian Top 5 List

1. City of Life and Death (2009)

This gritty epic from 2009 depicts the Rape of Nanking by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The majority of the movie is in black and white which adds to the authenticity and historical realism. Chinese with English subtitles.

2. Back to 1942  (2012)

A Chinese Made War film that tells the tragic story of the great Henan Famine of 1942-43 and the invasion of mainland China by the Japanese. It stars Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins. (Chinese with English subtitles.)

3. Assembly (2007)

Set in 1948 during the Chinese Civil War, this Chinese made war film is action packed. In true Asian fashion, some of the battle scenes are a bit over the top, but it is still a good movie. (Chinese with English subtitles.)

4. My Way (2011)

One of the most unique and amazing Foreign World War Two movies in recent history, My Way is a Korean made film that is based on the true story of Yang Kyoungjong, a Korean who was conscripted into the Japanese Imperial Army, The Soviet Red Army and the Wermacht (German Army) during World War Two and was captured by the Americans on D-Day. (Korean with English Subtitles.)

5. The Admiral, Roaring Currents (2014)

The film mainly follows the famous 1597 Battle of Myeongryang during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598), where the iconic Joseon admiral Yi Sun-sin managed to destroy a total of 31 of 133 Japanese warships with only 13 ships remaining in his command. The battle, which took place in the Myeongryang Strait off the southwest coast of the Korean Peninsula, is considered one of the greatest victories of Yi. (Korean with English Subtitles.)