Jump to content
The Panda

Once Upon a Time at BOT: Top 50 Westerns Countdown TOP 5 REVEAL TODAY

Recommended Posts

Number 25

 

f7psOfs.png

 

"I've been poor my whole life, like a disease passing from generation to generation. But not my boys, not anymore."

 

‘Hell or High Water’ Nails Trump’s Shocking Rise

by Zachary Leeman

 

"You take a high-paying studio gig as one of five or six hatchet writers on a franchise movie. Or, you follow up with a piece of original work that’s not so good and further proves the sophomore slump theory for writers. Ex-actor and current wordsmith Taylor Sheridan has gone in a different direction with “Hell or High Water.” He’s the rare writer to top his first masterstroke with an arguably better movie. Most movies today don’t put much emphasis on the writer. Films are typically rewritten, uncredited or serve the vision of someone else. The days of the rebel screenwriter, like a Joe Eszterhas or Shane Black, seem like a distant memory.

 

“Hell or High Water” follows two Texas brothers forced onto the wrong side of the law when their family land is under threat of foreclosure. To save it, the two begin robbing banks and running from a weathered Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges), who is only weeks from retirement. The base of the story is simple, cliched even. The previous paragraph could be describing a number of VOD titles starring some aging action movie star like Dolph Lundgren or Wesley Snipes. Instead, Sheridan’s story packs plenty of surprises. It’s authentic at a time where Hollywood releases are feeling more and more foreign to the world we see around us. Despite a near perfect Rotten Tomatoes score (98 percent), some criticized “Hell or High Water” for teetering on being preachy and politically driven. I have to disagree wholeheartedly. Any film involving the poor robbing banks is never going to be apolitical, but this film’s political leanings come from its characters, rather than the writer or filmmakers.

 

Director David Mackenzie makes sure to photograph every inch of these deserted midwest towns and to capture billboards with exclamations about “Fast Cash” and loan offers. He does this because this is how much of the country looks. In a recent interview promoting the home video release, Bridges’ mentioned how “Hell or High Water” predicted Trump’s long shot upset. “The story the movie is telling shines a light on why the election went the way that it did, and how seriously disappointed many people have been in the way that the government is running,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly. And it’s true."

 

https://youtu.be/d4s5Ld0Dpdc

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 24

 

A3u6pHg.png

 

"There is a saying, a very old saying: when the pupil is ready the master will appear."

 

The Mask of Zorro Superhero Old California Spain Sexy Girl Hat Rapier Western Love Minimalism Canvas Retro Vintage Wall Art Print Poster

By PosterArtPrint on Etsy

 

"il_794xN.2709815419_ohna.jpg"

 

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
  • Astonished 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 23

 

H7lBrPx.png

 

"God better have mercy on you. You won't get any from me."

 

Expiring from The Criterion Channel: A few words about The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

By GThunderhead on the Criterion Collection subreddit

 

"12 ANGRY COWBOYS - Clocking in at a tight, tense 75 minutes, "The Ox-Bow Incident" wastes very little time. After a quick introduction and a few whiskeys, we find out a local has been murdered and the townspeople are out for blood. Just passing through, Carter (Henry Fonda) and Croft (Harry Morgan) reluctantly join the lynch mob so they don't come across as suspicious themselves.

 

 

When they reach a piece of land known as Ox-Bow, they come across a gang of rustlers (including Dana Andrews in a tremendous performance and a very young Anthony Quinn) and quickly pin the murder on them. Despite mounting evidence, the rustlers insist they're innocent. Through all of this, there are many supporting characters with interesting side stories and pointed exchanges. Some of them believe the rustlers are innocent. Others don't. To reveal anything more than that would be criminal.

 

It would be easy to assume that "The Ox-Bow Incident" is "just another Western." It's anything but. What a thrill it is to "discover" such a genuinely great film. (Subtitles/Captions: Yes!) Thanks to u/adamlundy23 for the recommendation! I never would've watched this otherwise."

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 22

 

ThWgxBF.png

 

"I couldn't help but notice you noticing me noticing you."

 

The Continued Calamity of Animated Westerns

By Christopher Campbell

 

"In March of 2011, Paramount Pictures released an ambitious animated feature called Rango. Directed by Gore Verbinski, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame, the movie stars the voice of Johnny Depp in the role of the titular chameleon, who is accidentally stranded in the Mojave Desert. The movie is technically set in modern times, but when Rango and his terrarium fall from his owner’s car, he finds himself a fish out of water in a world of desert creatures trapped in the Old West. Rango opened in first place, selling more tickets than a fellow opener starring Matt Damon (The Adjustment Bureau) and receiving better reviews than usual for a non-Pixar production. Speaking of which, 2011 was one of the rare years in which a Pixar movie was released (Cars 2) but did not earn an Oscar nomination. Rango not only was recognized with a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, but the movie was considered far and away the frontrunner in the category and indeed won the Oscar.

 

Nearly a decade later, nobody talks about Rango. Sure, we tweet perfect shots from the film on occasion, but there isn’t any context in which its legacy can flourish online. The movie spawned no sequels (whether it’s because of relatively low worldwide box office or recognition that it’s best left alone) and it comes from a studio (Paramount shingle Nickelodeon Films) with little prestige in the animation and general movie fandom world (Wonder Park is their latest). Most surprisingly, though, Rango barely shows up on movie site rankings of the best-animated features of this century. Certainly, there is a stigma attached to Depp at the moment, so Rango isn’t about to get any boost in its legacy anytime soon, but even before that blemish showed up on an otherwise flawless film, the thing had kind of fallen by the wayside, not unlike Rango himself at the beginning of his story. When we consider the lack of love overall for animated Westerns, though (and this isn’t to be confused with the term Western Animation), the neglect isn’t too surprising.

 

Like the Western as a whole, animated entries in the genre had their heyday decades ago. And even then, there wasn’t much interest in feature-length animated Westerns. Of course, for many years, there wasn’t much interest in feature-length animation outside of Disney in general. The lone exception was the 1965 musical indie The Man from Button Willow, which sold itself as “THE most delightful animated adventure since Snow White.” That’s a bit of a reach, but it’s not a bad film. The same year, over in Italy, West & Soda arrived as, I suppose given its origins, the first animated spaghetti Western. France and Belgium got into the mix in 1971 with Lucky Luke, aka Daisy Town (or, in some forms: Lucky Luke: Daisy Town), an animated Western feature that finally found American audiences via the Disney Channel and subsequent Disney home video release — despite the movie not being a Disney production — with Rich Little providing all the dubbed voices. Disney also imported its first sequel, 1978’s Lucky Luke: Ballad of the Daltons, but not 1983’s The Daltons on the Run.

 

Most famous of all animated Western shorts — or, at least those with the most famous Western-specific characters — are part of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies franchises. Among these Warner Bros. cartoon brand’s cast of characters is Yosemite Sam, who came into his own (following alternate versions introduced earlier) in 1945’s Hare-Trigger, an eight-minute animated Western that pit the gun-slinging cowboy/prospector against his subsequently longtime adversary Bugs Bunny. Although Warner Bros. was definitely guilty of bad depictions of Native Americans (1948’s A Feather in His Hare, most notoriously), having their main Western-style character mostly dealing with Bugs kept them from bothering with the “cowboys and Indians” concept. “Cowboys and wisecracking wabbits” was distinctly the interest there. However, even with that direction, you’d get a short like 1960’s Horse Hare, which has Sam leading an army of “Indians,” all horribly racist in their depiction.

 

Of course, outside of the stereotype embarrassments, after a while children’s entertainment also needed to get away from other staples of the Western. Guns haven’t stopped appearing in cartoons, but they’re not as prevalent as they were especially in the 1980s, and realistic firearms with triggers are particularly rare these days. And a lot of old cartoon cowboys were smokers, which is now a no-no. In fact, Disney has digitally erased the cigarette that was so prominent in Pecos Bill. But even with tamer treatments of the Western genre and its tropes have just simply been unpopular with wide audiences. In 1991, Universal released a sequel to its phenomenally globally successful animated feature An American Tail, and it was a major disappointment, grossing less than half what the original did. Was it because An American Tail: Fievel Goes West was a Western? Not necessarily. Is it that much worse than the first feature? There’s a comparative lack of wonder and imagination (maybe since Don Bluth didn’t direct the follow-up), but it’s not bad at all. Universal just had the foolish idea of opening it a week after Disney released Beauty and the Beast.

 

The Western genre has had difficulty attracting adult audiences over the years, too — for shame that such films as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Proposition, and last year’s The Rider and The Sisters Brothers didn’t perform better. And attempts at Western blockbusters like The Magnificent Seven and The Lone Ranger falter. Still, we’ve seen better results than with animation, given the accolades and ticket sales for hits like The Revenant, Django Unchained, and the True Grit remake, plus The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which did poorly in theatrical release but is fine streaming on Netflix. If animated Westerns were more popular, would they foster young fans of the genre who’d grow up to appreciate more live-action Westerns of all kinds? That’s not a certainty, but we can suppose a lack of interest in youth could be a disadvantage to the genre’s potential audience growth and prosperity in the future. Animated features don’t usually work for most genres outside of fantasy, but the Western definitely seems to have it the worst.

 

Ironically, one of the most popular and iconic animated movie characters of the last 25 years has been a cowboy. Toy Story‘s protagonist, Woody, is a doll of a Western character who is part of an ensemble of all sorts of toys. For those of us who do appreciate the Western and animated entries in the genre, the opening sequence of Toy Story 3 is spectacular. And fans of the franchise likely enjoy it, but what if Pixar made a whole feature set in that imagined universe with the gang going up against the evil Dr. Porkchop? It’d be a hit only because the characters are already so beloved. But maybe not as big a hit as other sequels. Animated movies involve so much work and cost so much money to produce that studios aren’t going to want to keep trying Westerns if they’re always going to do so poorly. But Netflix could probably get away with it. Otherwise, filmmakers are best off doing short films if they want to make animated Westerns. It worked well enough for Pixar’s Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, who earned an Oscar nomination for their independent 2015 short Borrowed Time. But that one also isn’t for kids anyway. We can presume a feature-length animated Western for adults would be among the least lucrative ideas ever."

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 21

 

ye1VkC6.png

 

"My mistake. Four coffins..."

 

 

How Kurosawa's Yojimbo Became Leone's A Fistful of Dollars

by Jason Bailey

 

"His name might not mean much to Joe Moviegoer, but among a certain kind of cinephile, Stephen Prince is a legend. Others may know their Kurosawa, but Prince wrote a brilliant deep-dive on the great Japanese director’s films (The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa), although his movie-geek street cred is mostly due to his Criterion Collection audio commentaries, which appear on the DVDs and Blu-rays for pretty much every Kurosawa film they’ve released–including Yojimbo, which was the one that brought us together. Last weekend, I had the honor of talking to Prince about Yojimbo at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, Kansas (one of our favorite under-the-radar film fests). Specifically, we discussed the link between that film and its unofficial remake, A Fistful of Dollars (which also screened at the fest).

 

“Sergio Leone had seen (Yojimbo) and thought very highly of it,” he told me at a post-screening Q&A, “and studied it on a Moviola. So Fistful is a very close, almost scene-for-scene remake. What’s kind of interesting about that is that Kurosawa was, at this time, an internationally famous director, and it’d gotten to the point where he started his own production company, was putting his own money into these movies, and he had established his film style… By contrast, when you’re looking at Fistful of Dollars, you’re seeing a filmmaker who’s really starting out, and with each subsequent film, the visual rhetoric that Leone involves becomes more and more elaborate, and more and more insistent.”

 

Leone was, as Prince noted, “very struck by the Western parallels in Yojimbo, and adapted that to a European framework. But it’s not the Western by way of Hollywood, it’s the Western by way of Japan, and then filtered through Leone’s perception of America that had come to him in the late ’40s, with the Occupation and the war.”

 

Film historian Stephen Prince and Flavorwire film editor Jason Bailey talk Kurosawa at the Tallgrass Film Festival. Photo credit: Tallgrass Film Festival.

 

And just as Leone was struck by the parallels in Kurosawa’s film, Kurosawa was struck by the parallels in Leone’s. “Y’know, Kurosawa did see Fistful,” Prince said, “and he liked it, just like he liked The Magnificent Seven. But in the case of Fistful, it was an infringement. So Toho (Kurosawa’s studio) sued Leone, and Kurosawa sent a letter, and Leone was very pleased to get it; the letter said, ‘I’ve seen your movie. It’s a very good movie. Unfortunately, it’s my movie.'”

 

Aside from Fistful, Yojimbo was also reworked in 1996 by director Walter Hill, who adapted it into an American bootlegger story with Bruce Willis called Last Man Standing — and those are just the most obvious children of Yojimbo (in his book, Prince writes convincingly that Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia was Peckinpah’s take on the material). I asked Prince what it is about this story, about this character, that is so “adaptable” to different cultures and time periods.

 

“It’s an archetypal story,” he explained. “On one level, it’s a revenge tale, very stripped-down–the fact that there’s no backstory surrounding the character of Sanjuro, who is the first Man with No Name, it’s a nonsense name. It’s a character familiar to American audiences from the Western; we watch a film like Shane, the character there has no backstory. So, when you do that, you can create a mythic aura around a character, and that can be very enjoyable to watch onscreen.”

 

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 20

 

QqEVvLU.png

 

"When ya pull a gun, kill a man."

 

 

Masculinity in My Darling Clementine

By Emma Napolitano, AmericanIconsTemple Blog

 

"There are two similar but distinct representations of masculinity in this movie: Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Wyatt Earp demonstrates bravery and intelligence at the very beginning of the movie, when he removes a drunken “indian” from the saloon of a town called Tombstone. Everyone in town has fled from the saloon, because the indian is firing his gun in every direction. Wyatt has just ridden in town with his brothers, looking for a shave (like a proper gentleman – another aspect of Earp’s masculinity), but he decides to take control of the situation. He sneaks through an upstairs window and knocks the indian out from behind. The townspeople immediately offer him the job as town Marshall, which he initially declines.

 

When Wyatt discovers that his younger brother James was shot dead by some cattle rustlers (while Wyatt and his other brothers were in town), he seems to feel responsible – James was only 18, perhaps Wyatt felt responsible for protecting his younger brother? After this discovery, Wyatt decides to take the job in Tombstone, and admits that his general plan is to “clean up this town.” When Doc Holliday initially tells Wyatt to draw, Wyatt reveals that he carries no gun (but his brothers are all there, and they have guns). In this respect, Wyatt appears to be a supporter of nonviolent problem solving, when possible. When the townspeople are on the edge of a riot, Wyatt calms them and delivers the missing actor to the stage to appease the audience. Wyatt appears to be a thinking man, while Doc Holliday appears to be a brute and a bully – his entrance into the story starts with him running a man out of town due to some previous disagreement. Holliday’s girlfriend(ish?), Chihuahua (what a cruel mother she must have had), tells Wyatt that Tombstone is Doc Holliday’s town, as if the town wasn’t big enough for both men (which seems like she’s calling out Wyatt’s machismo). It seems like every other scene, Doc is being violent or abrasive (especially toward Chihuahua), however Doc does demonstrate an appreciation of Shakespeare, and has even memorized lines from Hamlet – which speaks toward his sophistication and intelligence. Another surprising reveal is that Doc is actually a surgeon, albeit an ailing, drunken one.

 

The two men continue to butt heads for much of the film, especially when Clementine arrives in town. Wyatt treats Clementine with the utmost respect, while Doc tells her to get out of town (although Doc clearly has a deeper relationship with Clementine than Wyatt). In contrast, Wyatt throws Chihuahua into a trough of water after she slaps him, which seems like a very brutish response. At the climax of their conflict, Doc tells Wyatt to draw, and Wyatt shoots the gun out of Doc’s hand – which seems to indicate that Wyatt has ‘won.’ The way Wyatt handles the O.K. Corral also shows his intellect – he organizes his men to surround the Clantons, and he times his discussion with the Clantons so that he is hidden by the dust from a passing stagecoach when one of the Clantons begins shooting at him. A big part of this movie, despite it being a western (which we discussed in class, seems to emphasize simplicity and ruggedness over sophistication and intelligence), seems to associate manliness with cleverness. Doc and Wyatt seem to reflect various aspects of masculinity while foiling with each other: sometimes one seems sophisticated and the other seems brutish, sometimes one seems rugged and the other seems weak – but in the end they become friends (sort of) and Doc goes with Wyatt to avenge Wyatt’s brothers’ deaths at the O.K. Corral.

 

Women in the film: Clementine is a ‘proper woman’ who dresses modestly and maintains composure, while Chihuahua has a fiery temper (slaps Wyatt, throws a glass, manhandles Clementine’s clothes in a rage) and dresses a bit more provocatively. It seems that Clementine is the model of correct feminine behavior, while Chihuahua is a model of bad feminine behavior, or perhaps a statement about hispanic women (although it took me until about halfway through the film, when someone says her name, to realize she’s supposed to be Mexican. could they have picked a whiter actress?)? However, one thing can be said about Chihuahua – she took that anesthetic-lacking surgery like a damn pro.

 

Why is this movie named for the character who has probably the least screen time and the least character development?"

 

 

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 19

 

GRxpjYX.png

 

"You're a good-looking boy: you've big, broad shoulders. But he's a man. And it takes more than big, broad shoulders to make a man."

 

How the politics of High Noon forged a new path for the western

by Rich Johnson, Little White Lilies

 

"Lee Van Cleef silently awaits the arrival of his fellow gang member during the opening shot of Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon, and for his brief time on screen those iconic features seem to foresee the decline of the western genre, paving the way for the outsider, Sergio Leone, and the maverick, Sam Peckinpah. Zinnemann’s boots remain planted in the black-and-white mentality of his contemporaries; a sense of tradition that still illustrates the West as a place to be feared yet step closely towards more sophisticated, revisionist methods such as the real-time approach of the narrative.

 

As the clock ticks, Gary Cooper’s town marshal, Will Kane, is torn between riding off with his wife, Amy (Grace Kelly), or facing the gang leader (Ian MacDonald) he sent down years before. With the villain on his way back on the noon train and his gang of outlaws waiting at the station, the unison between Kane and Amy is to be tested much like 1950s America. The fear and paranoia which marked the early part of the Cold War, incubated by McCarthyism, spawned allegories of UFOs and horrific historical reminders of the witch hunts depicted in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. These references simmer beneath the surface of High Noon, illustrating Hollywood’s failure to stand up to the House Un-American Activities Committee as a questioning of civic responsibility. At its core High Noon is a film about integrity, duty and morality – a testament to law and order.

 

It is with some irony, then, that screenwriter Carl Foreman, an ex-member of the American Communist Party, found himself in the crosshairs of the HUAC and was subpoenaed during the 32-day shoot. There was a growing distrust within the studio and under the pressure to throw himself and his colleagues to the wolves the blacklisting led to Foreman’s experience bleeding into the final script. Life imitated art. With this in mind, it is easy to see how potent the clock remains throughout the film. Time counts down and the tension builds as the townsfolk begin to show their true nature. All the while, Kane’s morals and spirit, much like Foreman’s, are tested to the limit. He is now alone, his archetype laid bare and left to sweat in the afternoon sun.

 

This sense of abandonment echoes the backlash against High Noon, as the film was condemned by some as little more than a commie plot and rebuked by John Wayne, who deemed it ‘Un-American’. In light of Foreman’s fate, it is also no surprise that Howard Hawks, a vaunted custodian of the movie western, highlighted his own reaction to Zinnemann’s commentary in the 1959 classic, Rio Bravo. Where the male characters show vulnerability, the female characters show rare strength for the time. Not afraid to put men in their place, the women of High Noon hint at changing attitudes which Joan Crawford followed through on two years later in Johnny Guitar. Although some rather glaring stereotypes remain, any woman with a checkered background chooses what they say carefully until sharing words of advice. “If Kane was my man, I’d never leave him like this. I’d get a gun. I’d fight.”

 

It’s all the motivation Amy needs. After the film’s climactic shootout, husband and wife are reunited while the cowardly town begin to appear now the dust has settled. In true western fashion, Kane’s glance explains everything, his badge tossed aside. Where a sense of duty was once pinned to his waistcoat, wearing his masculinity as a mantel, now he leaves it in the dirt. After all, he has the rest of his life to live."

 

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 18

 

Ps1EeWd.png

 

"Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?"

 

The Real Josey Wales (And the Bizarre Story Behind the Legend!)

by Notes From the Frontier Blog

 

"There is usually a grain of truth to most legends and so it is with Josey Wales. More than a grain...more like a bushel basket. Josey Wales was based on a real man and one that was reputedly as tough, violent and vengeful as Wales. But, unlike the movie, the real man did not have as his driving force a vengeance for losing his family to murder by Union soldiers. But his family was rousted from their house and their homestead burned to the ground by Union soldiers.

 

The real Josey Wales was a Confederate guerilla fighter, a “bushwacker,” an associate of the bloody Quantrill Raiders, horse rustler, deadly shot, and killer of many. He was born William “Bill” Wilson in the Ozarks in Missouri of a well-to-do family. He grew into a very tall, dark and handsome man—6’2”, with jet black curly hair and sparkling crystal blue eyes. He was an amiable fellow, good-natured, clever, and skilled at playing the violin, so he was always in demand for weddings and parties.

 

His nimble fingers were not only quick on the fiddle, however. They were quick on the trigger as well. He was a deadly shot and always had on both hips two .44-calibre six shooters. He was a sure-shot at a stand-still but also practiced assiduously shooting on the run from the back of his horse.  Bill’s prosperous farmer father had made pains to remain neutral in the violently split border state of Missouri. He had owned several slaves but freed them before the War and advised his grown children remain as neutral as possible. But, in the summer of 1861, just after the War had started, some horses were stolen from the Union government in the area by a Confederate guerilla gang. Bill Wilson was immediately regarded as a suspect. A few days later, a group of Union solders raided his home, threw out his family, stole everything they could and set the entire homestead on fire. That was the end of Bill’s “neutrality.”  He moved his family to a small cabin on his parents’ farm and began a campaign of blood vengeance that would become legend in the Ozark Mountains, then the entire country.

 

Bodies of Union soldiers started showing up everywhere. The first victims were the four Union soldiers who had raided his farm. He hid in the trees by the trail leading back to the Union headquarters at Rolla, Missouri, and waited for the soldiers. With both of his revolvers drawn, he surprised them on the road and killed all four.  Killing Yankees had a side benefit: Bill confiscated their Army mounts and supplied the Quantrill Raiders with mounts for their many raids. Bill Wilson became known as “The Great Bushwacker” because he ambushed his many victims. The number of Union soldiers Wilson killed is unknown—according to the legend, possibly dozens. When the War ended, there was a $300 bounty on him, an immense amount at that time. He rode to Texas with as many as 150 other Quantrill Raiders to hide out. Some brokered pardons with the U.S. government, but Bill Wilson never did. He continued to make trips back to Missouri to visit his family and was welcomed by the Ozark mountain people as a folk hero.

 

Bill Wilson lived near Sherman, Texas, and married an Indian woman named Mary Ann Noaks in April 1865. Later, about 1869, he was selling a wagon load of apples in McKinney, Texas, when two ex-Missouri Qauntrill Raiders—his old comrades!—spied him. They decided to rob him and ambushed him north of the small frontier town of Van Alstyne, shot him many times to ensure he was dead, robbed him and buried him in a shallow grave. The two desperadoes were later caught, confessed and were hanged in Sherman on March 26, 1869. But Bill’s grave was never found. The Great Bushwacker had, himself, been bushwacked in the end."

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 17

 

nFlxOJA.png

 

"I'm your huckleberry..."

 

Gun Control Is as Old as the Old West

by Matt Jancer, Smithsonian Magazine

 

"It's October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, and Arizona is not yet a state. The O.K. Corral is quiet, and it's had an unremarkable existence for the two years it's been standing—although it's about to become famous. Marshall Virgil Earp, having deputized his brothers Wyatt and Morgan and his pal Doc Holliday, is having a gun control problem. Long-running tensions between the lawmen and a faction of cowboys – represented this morning by Billy Claiborne, the Clanton brothers, and the McLaury brothers – will come to a head over Tombstone's gun law.

 

The laws of Tombstone at the time required visitors, upon entering town to disarm, either at a hotel or a lawman's office. (Residents of many famed cattle towns, such as Dodge City, Abilene, and Deadwood, had similar restrictions.) But these cowboys had no intention of doing so as they strolled around town with Colt revolvers and Winchester rifles in plain sight. Earlier on this fateful day, Virgil had disarmed one cowboy forcefully, while Wyatt confronted another and county sheriff Johnny Behan failed to persuade two more to turn in their firearms. When the Earps and Holliday met the cowboys on Fremont Street in the early afternoon, Virgil once again called on them to disarm. Nobody knows who fired first. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne, who were unarmed, ran at the start of the fight and survived. Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers, who stood and fought, were killed by the lawmen, all of whom walked away. The “Old West” conjures up all sorts of imagery, but broadly, the term is used to evoke life among the crusty prospectors, threadbare gold panners, madams of brothels, and six-shooter-packing cowboys in small frontier towns – such as Tombstone, Deadwood, Dodge City, or Abilene, to name a few. One other thing these cities had in common: strict gun control laws.

 

"Tombstone had much more restrictive laws on carrying guns in public in the 1880s than it has today,” says Adam Winkler, a professor and specialist in American constitutional law at UCLA School of Law. “Today, you're allowed to carry a gun without a license or permit on Tombstone streets. Back in the 1880s, you weren't.” Same goes for most of the New West, to varying degrees, in the once-rowdy frontier towns of Nevada, Kansas, Montana, and South Dakota. Dodge City, Kansas, formed a municipal government in 1878. According to Stephen Aron, a professor of history at UCLA, the first law passed was one prohibiting the carry of guns in town, likely by civic leaders and influential merchants who wanted people to move there, invest their time and resources, and bring their families. Cultivating a reputation of peace and stability was necessary, even in boisterous towns, if it were to become anything more transient than a one-industry boom town.

 

Laws regulating ownership and carry of firearms, apart from the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, were passed at a local level rather than by Congress. “Gun control laws were adopted pretty quickly in these places,” says Winkler. “Most were adopted by municipal governments exercising self-control and self-determination.” Carrying any kind of weapon, guns or knives, was not allowed other than outside town borders and inside the home. When visitors left their weapons with a law officer upon entering town, they'd receive a token, like a coat check, which they'd exchange for their guns when leaving town. The practice was started in Southern states, which were among the first to enact laws against concealed carry of guns and knives, in the early 1800s. While a few citizens challenged the bans in court, most lost. Winkler, in his book Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, points to an 1840 Alabama court that, in upholding its state ban, ruled it was a state's right to regulate where and how a citizen could carry, and that the state constitution's allowance of personal firearms “is not to bear arms upon all occasions and in all places.”

 

Louisiana, too, upheld an early ban on concealed carry firearms. When a Kentucky court reversed its ban, the state constitution was amended to specify the Kentucky general assembly was within its rights to, in the future, regulate or prohibit concealed carry. Still, Winkler says, it was an affirmation that regulation was compatible with the Second Amendment. The federal government of the 1800s largely stayed out of gun-law court battles. “People were allowed to own guns, and everyone did own guns [in the West], for the most part,” says Winkler. “Having a firearm to protect yourself in the lawless wilderness from wild animals, hostile native tribes, and outlaws was a wise idea. But when you came into town, you had to either check your guns if you were a visitor or keep your guns at home if you were a resident.” Published in 1903, Andy Adams’s Log of a Cowboy, a “slightly fictionalized” account of the author’s life on the cattle trails of the 1880s, was a refutation against the myth-making dime store novels of the day. The book, which included stories about lawless cowboys visiting Dodge City firing into the air to shoot out lights, has been called the most realistic written account of cowboy life and is still in print today.

 

Crime records in the Old West are sketchy, and even where they exist the modern FBI yardstick of measuring homicides rates – the number of homicides per 100,000 residents – can exaggerate statistics in Old Western towns with small populations; even one or two more murders a year would drastically swing a town's homicide rate. Historian Robert Dykstra focused on established cattle towns, recording homicides after a full season of cattle shipments had already passed and by which time they'd have typically passed firearm law. He found a combined 45 murders from 1870-1885 in Kansas' five largest cattle towns by the 1880 census: Wichita (population: 4,911), Abilene (2,360) Caldwell (1,005), Ellsworth (929), and Dodge City (996).

 

Averaged out, there were 0.6 murders per town, per year. The worst years were Ellsworth, 1873, and Dodge City, 1876, with five killings each; because of their small populations, their FBI homicide rates would be high. Another historian, Rick Shenkman, found Tombstone's (1880 pop: 3,423) most violent year was 1881, in which also only five people were killed; three were the cowboys shot by Earp's men at the OK Corral. As Dykstra wrote, frontier towns by and large prohibited the “carrying of dangerous weapons of any type, concealed or otherwise, by persons other than law enforcement officers.” Most established towns that restricted weapons had few, if any, killings in a given year.

 

The one-man law seen of TV and film Westerns is how we remember the West today. It was a time and place where rugged individualism reigned and the only law in the West that mattered was the law on your hip – a gun. Most “cowboy” films had nothing to do with driving cattle. John Wayne grew his brand as a horseback vigilante in decades' worth of Westerns, from his first leading role in 1930's The Big Trail to 1971's Big Jake, in which the law fails and Wayne's everyman is the only justice. But as the classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance tells us, “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

 

As the West developed, towns pushed this mythos of the West as their founding ideology. Lax gun laws were just a part of an individualistic streak that manifested itself with the explosion in popularity of concealed carry licenses and the broader acceptance of openly carrying firearms (open-carry laws) that require no permit. “These Wild West towns, as they developed and became more civilized and larger, there was an effort to promote their Wild West heritage very aggressively, and that became the identity of the town,” says Winkler, “but that identity was based on a false understanding of what the past was like, and wasn't a real assessment of what places like Tombstone were like in the 1880s.”

 

So the orthodox positions in America's ongoing gun debate oscillate between  “Any gun law is a retreat away from the lack of government interference that made this country great” and “If we don't regulate firearms, we'll end up like the Wild West,” robbing both sides of a historical bedrock of how and why gun law developed as America expanded Westward."

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, The Panda said:

Number 19

 

GRxpjYX.png

 

"You're a good-looking boy: you've big, broad shoulders. But he's a man. And it takes more than big, broad shoulders to make a man."

 

How the politics of High Noon forged a new path for the western

by Rich Johnson, Little White Lilies

 

"Lee Van Cleef silently awaits the arrival of his fellow gang member during the opening shot of Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon, and for his brief time on screen those iconic features seem to foresee the decline of the western genre, paving the way for the outsider, Sergio Leone, and the maverick, Sam Peckinpah. Zinnemann’s boots remain planted in the black-and-white mentality of his contemporaries; a sense of tradition that still illustrates the West as a place to be feared yet step closely towards more sophisticated, revisionist methods such as the real-time approach of the narrative.

 

As the clock ticks, Gary Cooper’s town marshal, Will Kane, is torn between riding off with his wife, Amy (Grace Kelly), or facing the gang leader (Ian MacDonald) he sent down years before. With the villain on his way back on the noon train and his gang of outlaws waiting at the station, the unison between Kane and Amy is to be tested much like 1950s America. The fear and paranoia which marked the early part of the Cold War, incubated by McCarthyism, spawned allegories of UFOs and horrific historical reminders of the witch hunts depicted in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. These references simmer beneath the surface of High Noon, illustrating Hollywood’s failure to stand up to the House Un-American Activities Committee as a questioning of civic responsibility. At its core High Noon is a film about integrity, duty and morality – a testament to law and order.

 

It is with some irony, then, that screenwriter Carl Foreman, an ex-member of the American Communist Party, found himself in the crosshairs of the HUAC and was subpoenaed during the 32-day shoot. There was a growing distrust within the studio and under the pressure to throw himself and his colleagues to the wolves the blacklisting led to Foreman’s experience bleeding into the final script. Life imitated art. With this in mind, it is easy to see how potent the clock remains throughout the film. Time counts down and the tension builds as the townsfolk begin to show their true nature. All the while, Kane’s morals and spirit, much like Foreman’s, are tested to the limit. He is now alone, his archetype laid bare and left to sweat in the afternoon sun.

 

This sense of abandonment echoes the backlash against High Noon, as the film was condemned by some as little more than a commie plot and rebuked by John Wayne, who deemed it ‘Un-American’. In light of Foreman’s fate, it is also no surprise that Howard Hawks, a vaunted custodian of the movie western, highlighted his own reaction to Zinnemann’s commentary in the 1959 classic, Rio Bravo. Where the male characters show vulnerability, the female characters show rare strength for the time. Not afraid to put men in their place, the women of High Noon hint at changing attitudes which Joan Crawford followed through on two years later in Johnny Guitar. Although some rather glaring stereotypes remain, any woman with a checkered background chooses what they say carefully until sharing words of advice. “If Kane was my man, I’d never leave him like this. I’d get a gun. I’d fight.”

 

It’s all the motivation Amy needs. After the film’s climactic shootout, husband and wife are reunited while the cowardly town begin to appear now the dust has settled. In true western fashion, Kane’s glance explains everything, his badge tossed aside. Where a sense of duty was once pinned to his waistcoat, wearing his masculinity as a mantel, now he leaves it in the dirt. After all, he has the rest of his life to live."

 

 

 

 

https://www.denofgeek.com/culture/was-john-wayne-high-noon-s-biggest-villain/

 

Great article on how John Wayne - McCarthyite - despised the movie and made it a mission to ruin Carl Foreman for not naming names, hounded Cooper into not working with him any further and then had the unmitigated gall to accept Coopers Best Actor Oscar with this bullshit

 

I’m going to go back and find my business manager and agent, producer, and three-name writers and find out why I didn’t get High Noon instead of Cooper.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 16

 

R0Rgym0.png

 

"Whoa, take 'er easy there, Pilgrim."

 

John Ford’s Funeral Oration: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

By Temenuga Trifonova

 

"Even as he solemnly declares the old West dead, John Ford reaffirms the myth’s immortality exemplified by the now legendary words of the Shinbone Star editor towards the end of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” (1) And yet, from the very beginning the film’s mise en scène undercuts the myth’s immortality, providing visual evidence of the reification of myth into historical fact and of the inevitability of the new social order. There are no breathtaking vistas, no heart-stopping chases across the vast expanses of the desert. The real desert has already shrunk down to a symbol: the wild cactus roses growing among the ruins of Tom’s unfinished house, or the single cactus rose Hallie leaves on the tomb of “the old West” (Tom’s coffin). Instead of long panning and travelling shots bringing out the sublimity of the Southwest, we are “treated” to long debates, set in crowded and enclosed public spaces (the bar, the newspaper office, the election hall) about statehood, law, progress and the role of the press in the making of history. The film, whose flashback structure evokes Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941), unfolds like a chamber drama, with Liberty Valance and his gang providing the only (maniacal) respite from the invisible tyranny of public life, to which even Tom seems to have resigned himself. The world of Shinbone is the world of the mundane and the insignificant: men sit around, eat, cook, wash dishes, or give speeches; at the heart of the town is not the saloon with its ritualistic brawls and exciting, impulsive shoot-outs, but the kitchen of the respectable establishment run by a couple of practical minded Swedish immigrants. The talk is mostly of steaks and fried beans; no one pulls out a gun, except for Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) and Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) (2).

 

In the opinion of many genre critics the Western satisfies particular social needs. Will Wright, in his well-known study of the Western, Six Guns and Society: A Structural Study of the Western, suggests the genre: 1) dramatises the conflict between law and morality or “the conflict between the ethic of work and the ethic of leisure”; 2) represents “a legitimation of violence in a context of Puritan control over feelings”; 3) “affirms the necessity of society” by presenting and resolving “the conflict between key American values like progress and success and the lost virtues of individual honor, heroism and natural freedom”; and 4) “opposes Wilderness to Civilization in the contrasting images of the Garden and the Desert” (3). Wright also distinguishes four periods in the genre’s evolution: 1) the classical plot (1930 to 1955) that focuses on a lone gunfighter saving the town from the villains (gamblers or ranchers); 2) the vengeance variation (1955-1960) that features the hero, failing to adjust to society, seeking vengeance; 3) the transitional phase (early 1950s) in which the hero defends justice but is ultimately rejected by society; 4) the professional plot (1958 to 1970) where the hero is replaced by a group of professional gunfighters who “defend” society in exchange for money rather than out of love for, or commitment to, any ideals of law and justice (4). Ford’s film does not belong to any of these phases, though it combines aspects of all four of them.

 

One of the difficulties in categorising The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance stems from the uncertainty of the hero’s identity. The classical Western plot (5) is here skewed by the presence of what appears to be an anti-hero, Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart), who is neither a hero nor a villain. Alternatively, we might argue that we are dealing with a split protagonist (Stoddard and Doniphon collapsed into the figure of the hero), each of whose sides represents some of the characteristics of the Western hero while contradicting others (6). On the one hand, the hero appears to be Stoddard: he arrives from out of town and takes it upon himself to protect the community from the outlaw Liberty Valance. However, unlike the lonesome, rugged gunslinger who rides into town unexpectedly, Stoddard arrives in town from the wrong direction (East), beaten unconscious and in need of immediate medical attention, while the skills that are supposed to grant him a special status in society (following Wright’s account of the classical plot) are, to say the least, unusual (he is a lawyer, not a gunslinger). Stoddard’s association with the East emphasises the new “feminised masculinity” he will come to represent. In most Westerns it is the heroine, not the hero, who arrives from the East, which is always associated with “weakness, cowardice, selfishness, or arrogance” (7).

 

On the other hand, Doniphon seems to fit the Western hero perfectly for he is one of the two toughest men “south of the picket wire” (the other one being Liberty Valance); however, unlike the classical hero, Doniphon is not positioned outside civilisation – he lives a more or less settled life and is widely assumed to be the only local authority capable of keeping the villains in check. Indeed, the gunslinger and the outlaw are here positioned on the same side insofar as both Tom and Liberty stand for “Western law” – i.e. every man living according to his private moral (Tom) or amoral (Liberty) code – while Stoddard represents “The Law”. Both Tom and Liberty belong to a fast disappearing old frontier world (the outlaw’s name refers to the two fundamental values of that world: liberty and valiance), in which human life counts for little and all conflicts are resolved in the most direct, immediate way (i.e., with a gun). In fact, Liberty embodies the wandering, unsettled lifestyle usually associated with the Western hero: for example, when he arrives at the election venue and the townspeople try to stop him from registering “because he does not live south of the picket wire”, he proclaims, “I live where I hang my hat”. At the same time, however, his character anticipates the profit-minded gunslinger of “the professional plot” in that his “loyalties” remain undefined: it is only when he fails to have himself elected as a delegate to represent the farmers’ struggle for statehood that he starts recruiting hired guns to defend the big ranchers’ interests.

 

Lee Marvin’s performance deliberately turns Liberty into a jester rather than a psychopath (8). His demeanour, in combination with his outfit – sporting a ridiculous cowboy outfit he seems to have stepped right out of a children’s Wild West story – emphasises the playful, carnivalesque aspect of the character. The scenes in which he and Tom square-off are built around Liberty’s zaniness and impulsiveness; indeed, the two “enemies” appear to take greater pleasure in self-preening and teasing each other – while humiliating Stoddard – than in actually thinking of ways to kill each other. Liberty is an integral part of life in Shinbone: he is more of a nuisance than a serious threat to the town’s survival. The main conflict in the film, then, is not that between the gunslinger Tom Doniphon and the outlaw Liberty Valance; the real conflict is that between “the Old West” (Doniphon and Valance) and the forces of “progress” (Stoddard).

 

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a commentary on the relationship between myth and history, and between cinema and history; most potently, however, it is a funeral oration for the old, pre-modern technology frontier, for a vital past overshadowing the measly present, for the myth of the “Old Wild West”. The spectre of death hangs over the entire film: the austere coffin, the invisible corpse, the dust-covered carriage-turned-antique, the remains of Tom’s house, the wilderness-turned-garden-turned-wasteland – geographical, historical, psychological – left in the wake of the hero’s inevitable death. Melancholy is inherent in the odd temporality of the Western, which dramatises for contemporary audiences a world of the past, a world that is no more (19). Given the intertextual relationship between Westerns and Japanese samurai films (20), it is not surprising to find similarities between Ford’s film, an elegy to the myth of the old West, and Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai (1954), an elegy to the vanishing warrior class and the samurai code. Both films deal with the passing of time, with the vanishing of a vital part of one’s national mythology, and with the reification of myth into history. The complexity of Ford’s film can be attributed to the tension between the tragic/heroic/epic mode, which affirms the noble individualism and the autonomy of the hero in the face of the petty historical circumstances that led to his death (21) – and which brings Ford close to Kurosawa – and, on the other hand, the melancholic mode, which emphasises the painful awareness of the passing of time, thereby bringing Ford closer to another Japanese master, Yasujiro Ozu (22).

 

Ford’s film seems to say “everything passes away, even myths” and, at the same time, “myths transcend history”. The film provokes an emotional response familiar to viewers of Ozu’s films – “mono no aware” or an intuitive understanding of the cyclical nature of things, of the passing of time and its inevitability. And yet, while Ozu’s films encourage a Zen-like passive acceptance of the cyclical or transcendental view of time (provoking numerous critiques of the inherent conservatism of such a worldview), Ford offers us a realistic, steeped in historical detail account of the disappearance of myth only to resurrect that myth, which rises like a phoenix from the ashes of history, transcending any literary clichés used to describe its immortality. Although Ford’s film demonstrates the inability of one man to stop the inevitable course of history, it also reaffirms the transcendent power of myth over historical reality: Tom Doniphon might not have been strong enough to stop the march of history but he was strong enough to cast more than a “shadow of a doubt” on the belief in a post-mythical, enlightened, democratic America."

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, The Panda said:

Number 24

 

A3u6pHg.png

 

"There is a saying, a very old saying: when the pupil is ready the master will appear."

 

The Mask of Zorro Superhero Old California Spain Sexy Girl Hat Rapier Western Love Minimalism Canvas Retro Vintage Wall Art Print Poster

By PosterArtPrint on Etsy

 

"il_794xN.2709815419_ohna.jpg"

 

 

 

 

We ate good with this one 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 15

 

VU3fq4A.png

 

"Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges."

 

Ten Economic Lessons from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

By Robert Whaples

 

"With the price of gold having soared to above $1500 per ounce, here’s an investment tip. Spend a couple hours watching a cinematic classic – John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. The American Film Institute selected Sierra Madre as thirtieth on its list of the best one hundred movies from the first century of American cinema because it showcases fine acting and just the right balance of action and dialogue, suspense and intrigue, sentimentality and cold calculation. But critics have missed another fundamental attraction – this engrossing tale is packed with an unparalleled awareness of economic forces at work. The lessons of Sierra Madre, about entrepreneurship, the importance of property rights, the creation of value and a range of other economic issues deserve a very close examination.

 

Lesson 1: Entrepreneurs Need Not Be Omniscient to Be Successful

 

When Dobbs and Curtin first encounter Howard in a flophouse, he is expounding on the reasons that gold sells for $20 an ounce. Howard’s variant of the labor theory of value is way off the mark in the eyes of most economists. He argues gold is worth $20 an ounce because – “A thousand men, say, go searching for gold. After six months, one of ‘em is lucky – one out of the thousand. His find represents not only his own labor but that of nine hundred and ninety-nine others to boot. That's, uh, six thousand months or five hundred years scrabbling over mountains, going hungry and thirsty. An ounce of gold … is worth what it is because of the human labor that went into the finding and the gettin’ of it.” This analysis, of course, leaves out the demand side and it isn’t too accurate on the supply side either. By the late 1800s most gold production came from very capital intensive mines using methods much more advanced than those envisioned by Howard and shown in the movie. By the early twentieth century, massive earth moving equipment and chemical processes were the state of the art (Gaggio 2003).2 Howard brushes off the demand for gold: “Gold itself ain’t good for nothing, except for making jewelry with and gold teeth.”3 Saying that “gold itself ain’t good for nothing, except …” isn’t much different than saying that, say, chairs or haircuts or dogs or DVD players aren’t good for anything except …. Yet gold, chairs, haircuts, dogs and DVD players all have value to humans beyond our biological need for enough food and shelter to survive. They all have value because they are things that help make civilized life worth living.

 

Lessons 3 and 4: Big Bills Aren’t Left on the Sidewalk, Wise Decisions Compare Marginal Costs to Marginal Benefits

 

In a well-known joke, two economists are walking down the street. One spots a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk and remarks, “Wow! There’s a $100 bill.” The other assures him, “That can’t be a $100 bill. If it was, somebody would have already picked it up.” The point is that you are rarely the first one to walk down the sidewalk, rarely the first to enter a market. If so, profit opportunities that are obvious to everyone will quickly be seized and eliminated. Successful entrepreneurs must search for $100 bills in places others wouldn’t look – down in the storm drain, rather than on the sidewalk – and then try to figure out ways to pick up the hard-to-get bill. They don’t simply find hundred dollars, they painstakingly, insightfully make them – and get others to collaborate with them in making them. Why do so few people prospect today, in comparison, say, the days of the California (1840s), Australia (1850s), South Africa (1880s) or Klondike (1890s) gold rushes (Gold Rushes 2013)? Why was prospecting so rare by the 1920s? Simple economic logic suggests that in a field like gold mining, the most accessible sites will be hit first; the “low hanging fruit” will be picked first. Those who come later will have a higher marginal cost of finding ore and/or picking fruit. By the 1920s virtually any area with the potential for gold had been identified and scoured clean of the easy pickings. (The only major subsequent gold rushes have been in the very inaccessible Amazon region.) Howard knows this. In laying out their business strategy, he uses this economic logic to argue that they have to explore an area far from railroad tracks and civilization – where no construction engineer, surveyor or prospector had yet explored.

 

They have to go where the map shows nothing (neither mountain nor swamp nor desert), because this means that no outsider is sure what’s there – and explored places will have already been scoured clean. The economic logic is compelling: maps are made by people on salary, and they have no incentive to risk their hides going to places far from railroad routes and civilization. As a shrewd entrepreneur Howard is happy to hear tall tales about tigers so big and strong they can climb trees with burros in their mouths. These tales act as barriers to entry, keeping the faint of heart away from their destination and increasing the likelihood that there is still some gold to be found. The prospectors must look in a high cost area and after they’ve hacked their way through the jungle and braved a dust storm, their climb up into the mountains is a metaphorical climb up the marginal cost curve. After making this exhausting trek Curtin ruefully says, “If I’d known what prospecting meant, I’d’ve stayed in Tampico.” However, he and Dobbs don’t turn back. Their struggles in getting to the gold-bearing area are a sunk cost. They can’t be unspent. Their decision to return or forge onward must examine the marginal costs versus the marginal benefits. Next Howard uses compelling economic logic in selecting the precise site for their dig. While Dobbs and Curtin celebrate the discovery of fool’s gold (iron pyrite), Howard explains that they’ve already walked over four or five locations with gold. One looked like rich diggings but the cost of bringing water to the site would have been too high; the others weren’t promising enough to justify the effort (“there wasn’t enough gold to pay us a good day’s wages”). Howard is clearly bent on the maximizing profits, selecting the site with the highest expected rate of return by using the common sense of cost-benefit analysis. Finally, he directs them to pitch their camp down the mountain, away from their mine. Again, the economic logic is clear. The extra cost of commuting between the camp and mine is outweighed by the likely benefit of keeping their mine’s location secret if strangers shows up.

 

The Most Important Lessons: Lessons 5 and 9: Property Rights (Again) and Recognizing Value

 

Dobbs learns the value of trust and a partner too late, when he is alone and waylaid by the bandits. Clutching for straws, he asks if the bandits would like to work for him, bringing the burros to market. Gold Hat (played by Alfonso Bedoya) – who earlier in the movie delivers the iconic, but often misquoted line telling the miners “I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges” – thinks the question is funny, eventually claiming in broken English: “We can sell those burros for just as good as price as you can.” It turns out, however, that he is wrong. The identity of the seller can affect the sales price of many goods, even donkeys. When the bandits come into town with the stolen burros, they find that they can’t sell them. Because they are dressed in rags (except for the boots and other garments they obviously stolen) and don’t look or act like they are the rightful owners of the goods, the people in the town know that the burros are stolen and won’t buy them. The lesson is that value of a good is explained by more than the physical characteristics of the good itself, but also by the legal rights surrounding it. Hot goods aren’t as valuable, because the title to them isn’t as secure. Even though the dialogue between the bandits and the townsfolk is in Spanish, the economic logic of the situation let’s non-Spanish speakers know exactly what’s going on.6 At the climatic end of the movie all the gold blows away, but the prospectors get their burros back. To me, this is the most profound lesson of the movie – a powerful demonstration of the importance of property rights. The prospectors’ property right to the burros is very clear and relatively easy to enforce.

 

Everyone knows the burros are theirs because the “vehicle identification number” (i.e., brand mark) has been registered with the local authorities. Proving and enforcing ownership of the gold is virtually impossible. There is simply no way they can register their ownership of it or secure their rights to it in this dangerous region – although a powerful or politically-connected business would probably have found a way to protect its property right if it owned the gold. I know of few other cases that can as dramatically and effectively demonstrate the value of property rights – an institution which is crucial to understanding by some societies are rich, while others aren’t. Moreover, everyone immediately recognizes the value of the burros. At the key moment, however, the bandits don’t recognize the value of the gold; mistaking it for mere dirt, they dump it on the ground. 7 This drives home the point that wealth is only wealth in an economy if it is recognized as valuable. There are many resources that historically haven’t been recognized as valuable, but which became valuable after people made discoveries about their usefulness – such as oil and bauxite. In the film the wealth is dissipated because it isn’t obvious to the untrained eye.8 Finally, the last half hour of the movie makes clear the economic lesson that wealth is only wealth if it is in the right location. The gold is virtually worthless on the mountain and only gains value when it is brought securely to the market."

 

 

  • Like 7
  • Astonished 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 14

 

F8FWRZp.png

 

"Dances with Wolves! I am Wind In His Hair. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"

 

REVISITING THE WHITE SAVIOR COMPLEX: DANCES WITH AVATAR

by A Student at Middlebury College

 

"OUR WHITE SAVIORS

 

Dances with Wolves: John Dunbar

Screen-Shot-2018-02-02-at-9.36.22-PM-300

 

 

Avatar – Jake Sully

Screen-Shot-2018-02-02-at-9.36.39-PM-300

 

MATTHEW HUGHEY: WHITE SAVIOR FILM

 

 

The following constitutes the various aspects of a “White Savior Film” according to Matthew Hughey.

  • Crossing the Color and Culture Line
  • His Saving Grace
  • White Suffering
  • The Savior, the Bad White, and the Natives
  • The Color of Meritocracy
  • White Civility, Black Savagery
  • “Based on a True Story”: Racialized Historiography

 

WHITE SAVIORS ON TRIAL

 

Case Studies: We will analyze our core films and The Help to determine if they are guilty of being a white savior film according to Hughey.

 

Screen-Shot-2018-02-02-at-9.37.06-PM-768

 

 

DANCES WITH WOLVES

Screen-Shot-2018-02-02-at-9.37.21-PM-768

 

AVATAR

Screen-Shot-2018-02-02-at-9.37.44-PM-768

 

THE HELP

Screen-Shot-2018-02-02-at-9.38.00-PM-768

 

 

CLOSING IDEAS

 

Hughey: “The content of these films demonstrates a twofold dynamic: they collectively reflect the dominant ideological currents and unsettles racial times of each decade, and the demostract their creators’ attempts to design products that will resonate with audiences’ differing tastes and understandings of race relations”

 

 

 

  • Like 5
  • Haha 2
  • Astonished 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are calling Inarritu generic by allowing this film to make it, poor Inarritu... :(

Number 13

 

Z11bXBO.png

 

"My heart bleeds. But revenge is in the creator's hands."

 

"This Film Deserves to Be Watched in a Temple" Alejandro G. Inarritu talks the Revenant.

By Kevin Jagernuth

 

"Described as a “masterpiece” by Sean Penn, and “a poem” by Neil Marshall, Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s gritty “The Revenant” certainly has its share of admirers. And while the director himself has said he’s unlikely to put himself through such an ordeal again (the production was “a living hell” by some accounts) the director is not only proud of his film, but believes it deserves to be seen in the best theaters that cinema has to offer. 

 

“This film deserves to be watched in a temple,” he told Financial Times. And who can argue that Emmanuel Lubezki‘s breathtaking cinematography doesn’t deserve the best viewing possible?

 

And while Iñárritu welcomes all comments about his film, just don’t call “The Revenant” a western. “I don’t consider [my] film a Western,” he explained. “Western is in a way a genre, and the problem with genres is that it comes from the word ‘generic’, and I feel that this film is very far from generic.” I’m not a linguist, but I’m fairly certain Iñárritu’s take on the word “genre” isn’t quite correct. However, the larger point is that he probably doesn’t want his film boxed into any preconceived notions. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy is dispelling a rumor that he punched his director while on set of the movie. 

 

“If you hit somebody, you’d know about it. That didn’t happen. That’s just nonsense,” he told Variety. So there you go."

 

  • Like 5
  • Haha 1
  • Disbelief 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, The Panda said:

You guys are calling Inarritu generic by allowing this film to make it, poor Inarritu... :(

Number 13

 

Z11bXBO.png

 

"My heart bleeds. But revenge is in the creator's hands."

 

"This Film Deserves to Be Watched in a Temple" Alejandro G. Inarritu talks the Revenant.

By Kevin Jagernuth

 

"Described as a “masterpiece” by Sean Penn, and “a poem” by Neil Marshall, Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s gritty “The Revenant” certainly has its share of admirers. And while the director himself has said he’s unlikely to put himself through such an ordeal again (the production was “a living hell” by some accounts) the director is not only proud of his film, but believes it deserves to be seen in the best theaters that cinema has to offer. 

 

“This film deserves to be watched in a temple,” he told Financial Times. And who can argue that Emmanuel Lubezki‘s breathtaking cinematography doesn’t deserve the best viewing possible?

 

And while Iñárritu welcomes all comments about his film, just don’t call “The Revenant” a western. “I don’t consider [my] film a Western,” he explained. “Western is in a way a genre, and the problem with genres is that it comes from the word ‘generic’, and I feel that this film is very far from generic.” I’m not a linguist, but I’m fairly certain Iñárritu’s take on the word “genre” isn’t quite correct. However, the larger point is that he probably doesn’t want his film boxed into any preconceived notions. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy is dispelling a rumor that he punched his director while on set of the movie. 

 

“If you hit somebody, you’d know about it. That didn’t happen. That’s just nonsense,” he told Variety. So there you go."

 

 

*In Yosemite Sam accent* God is a squirrel

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, The Panda said:

 

 

"This Film Deserves to Be Watched in a Temple" Alejandro G. Inarritu talks the Revenant.

By Kevin Jagernuth

 

 

That quote is from before they gave have him a 2nd directing oscar.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 12

 

dtaxOsd.png

 

"What you got ain't nothin' new. This country's hard on people. You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

 

No Country For Old Genres: McCarthy, The Coens, and the Neo-Western

by John Arthur

 

"Genre is often a rather nebulous classification, lumping various media into groups based upon a broad set of shared characteristics. Occasionally, a work defies these traditional classifications. Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2007 film adaptation of No Country for Old Men is such a work. The complexities of the film have made assignment from traditional genres difficult, often resulting in hybridizations of the Western/Thriller/Noir. No Country transcends these hybridizations, however, demanding a unique genre: the Neo-Western.

 

Film scholars and critics define the traditional Western as one that operates within a direct morality, wherein hero and villain have well-defined roles and undertake specific tasks. No Country leaves these traditions of morality behind, focusing instead on the transformative nature of the American West and the new reality into which its characters are thrust. The emergence of an amoral villain in Anton Chigurh and aging hero Sherrif Bell’s inability to comprehend his opponent are chief among the redefining characteristics of No Country for Old Men. Additionally, the reordering of racial hierarchy and the film’s fatalistic conclusion are broad departures from the traditional Western. Though aspects of the traditional Western remain in No Country, they serve as indications of evolutionary change in the genre. Hero Bell carries a revolver, rides a horse, and wears a white hat, much in keeping with the traditions of Western film. His nemesis Chigurh, however, uses a silenced, semi-automatic shotgun, tracks Moss with a radio-transmitter, and wears no hat (only a bad haircut). Clearly the old ways are outdated.

 

Nowhere is the pace of change in the Neo-Western more evident than in the actions of Llewelyn Moss, an unsuspecting dupe who becomes the point of contention between hero and villain. Moss’s outdated morality betrays him when he returns to the scene of a drug deal gone bad to bring water to a dying drug-runner, and his underestimation of his adversaries and of technology repeatedly places him in harm’s way. Moss’s eventual recognition of these shortcomings reveals another tenet of the new genre: the heretofore triumphal Anglo of the American West is not matchless, and the redistribution of racial capital may leave whites out in the dark. Moss becomes a gross representation of the obsolescence of the traditional Western’s simple morality. Elements of suspense and pursuit highlight the pace at which change takes place in the Neo-Western. For the protagonist of this genre, chief among his difficulties is reconciling himself amid an environment that is rapidly evolving around him. This phenomenon of change is an exponential evolution: the forces that impact Bell and Moss increase in frequency and intensity with the passage of time. The changes that have wrought this strange and terrifying new world are reinforced and exacerbated by the speed at which they take place.

 

As the events of Moss’s flight take shape, Sheriff Bell is revealed as a man constrained by the morality of an erstwhile age, struggling and failing to cope with his rapidly changing environment. Bell’s concept of right and wrong is dependent upon his ability to quantify a perpetrator’s interest versus that of his (Bell’s) constituents. When situations exceed that simplistic framework, Bell’s comparatively sophomoric morality implodes. This implosion is ultimately the result of one man: Anton Chigurh. In No Country, Chigurh transcends the traditional villain, operating beyond the scope of personal or professional interest and instead within some ultimate, nihilistic game of chance. He operates with an exacting, almost robotic lethality — far beyond the moral parameters of the traditional Western.

 

Significantly, Chigurh also affects an exotic, foreign air, an aspect of his character that underscores a departure from the traditionally pro-Anglo racial ordering of the frontier. Also significant is the absence of an ultimate confrontation between hero and villain in No Country. Bell pursues Chigurh and Chigurh Moss, but there is no showdown. Chigurh escapes (essentially) unscathed after Moss is dispatched, and Bell retires in defeat. No Country’s tragic ending becomes definitive for the Neo-Western. The fatalistic conclusion is the product of the change that defines the genre. In the traditional Western, the protagonist was the harbinger of change, exerting his dominance upon his rivals. The fundamental shift to the Neo-Western occurs when the intruder becomes the intruded upon. Without the stabilizing framework of the traditional Western, No Country must be reclassified.

 

The Western of yesteryear is typified by Anglo invaders exacting their will (often with the aid of Samuel Colt) upon the “savage heathens” native to the American West, violently and dramatically seeking to extend their dominion — regularly with the explicit approval of a monochromatic morality. The expectation of moral superiority is obsolete in the Neo-Western, replaced by either a less ethnocentric view, or perhaps more dangerously, the complete detachment from morality. The traditional depiction of Western characters was of individuals pursuing the extension of settler hegemony within a myopic and binary morality of good or bad, right or wrong. The racial juxtapositions of No Country demonstrate perhaps the most striking change facing hero Bell. The successful encroachment of Mexican drug cartels and the brutal, unremitting pursuit of the exotic assassin Chigurh are indications that white westerners are now the old men of the country, and therefore the genre. This is the ethnographical essence of the Neo-Western: the promise of the frontier, of Manifest Destiny, of white, American domination is broken. The domineering settlers of the traditional Western failed to adapt and are being overtaken, just as they once overtook.

 

The overarching theme of McCarthy’s novel and the Coens’ film is the desperation of an aging man who finds himself unknowingly and unwillingly part of a rapidly changing world. The nature of that change is not only definitive for the Neo-Western, but is further applicable to a wide range of contemporary American media: the exploration of the challenges of transition faced by the U.S. in a globalized world being the modern cultural manifestation of No Country’s thematic message writ large. The traditional Western demonstrated the inevitability of change, but change wrought by white settlers bound by a simplistic moral code and operating with the understanding that the promise of their future was everlasting. The Neo-Western illustrates that fixity is an illusion in the American West (and in the broader world), and that change is an inevitability for all."

 

 

 

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 11

 

0fCc24p.png

 

"Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price. That is why the bounty killers appeared."

 

 

"(Un)Heavenly Choruses," Spaghetti Westerns, and Morricone's Dollars Trilogy

By Phillip D. Naumann

 

"With the addition of sound to cinema in the late 1920s, associations between visual modes of expression and corresponding musical representation found in nineteenth-century opera were transferred from the stage to the screen. This included non-diegetic dramatic vocalization, better known within film-composer circles as the "Heavenly Chorus." The use of dramatic vocalization within a cinematic narrative was first used to express lamentation or the supernatural, e.g. White Zombie (1932), Lost Horizon (1937), or The Wizard of Oz (1939). As the following decades progressed, film composers expanded the use of this device to signify religious or numinous connotations, eventually leading to its inclusion in Hollywood Biblical epics, most notably in the scores of Mikl�s R�zsa.

In this paper I propose that composer Ennio Morricone was exposed to and influenced by the film music of Biblical epics, most notably the use of a "Heavenly Chorus," transferring the device, and also transforming it in the process, to a new genre, the Spaghetti Western—and in the case of this paper, specifically what has been termed the Dollars Trilogy. Instead of using traditional folk-tunes and a neo-Romantic orchestra, as found in previous Hollywood Western film scores, Morricone took a different path, one that established a new set of clich�s that would endure for over the next fifty-plus years.

The "Heavenly Chorus" is a well-worn musical clich� that has been used in contexts ranging from cinematic epics to television commercials, for such things as the birth of the Messiah to the singing of praise for a new brand of laundry detergent—a bright light shines down accompanied by the wordless vocalization of invisible seraphim, highlighting the supposed supernatural aspects of the product or mise-en-sc�ne. Morricone's only use of the "Heavenly Chorus" in this traditional sense within the Dollars Trilogy comes from an early scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as Lee Van Cleef observes Clint Eastwood about to shoot down Eli Wallach from a noose.

 

After graduating from Rome's Conservatory of Santa Cecilia with degrees in composition, orchestration, conducting, and trumpet, Morricone settled in at RAI, the Italian national radio network, as a successful arranger. It would be several years before he expressed any interest in film music; Alfred Newman's epic 1953 score for The Robe [with significant amounts of "Heavenly Chorus"] apparently spurred his consideration of the medium's potential. Thus inspired, Moricone worked as an orchestrator for composer Mario Nascimbene on Death of a Friend [Morte di un amico] (1959) and director Richard Fleischer's Biblical epic Barabbas (1961) [which also includes moments of "Heavenly Chorus"].

During this period the number of Hollywood Westerns being produced began to decline due to competition from popular television shows such as Rawhide [including Clint Eastwood as a cast member] and Gunsmoke, yet the European appetite for the genre remained. With the success of the German Winnetou movies (from 1962 onward) a new trend followed. Highly skilled film crews, sitting idle after Hollywood production units pulled out of Spain, a landscape somewhat similar to the American southwest, and low production costs would soon lead to joint Spanish/Italian endeavors, and the birth of the Spaghetti Western.

For A Fist Full of Dollars director Sergio Leone originally wanted to use composer Francesco Lavagnino, who had scored the director's two previous films, the sword-and-sandal pseudo-epics The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) and The Colossus of Rhodes (1961), but Leone's distributor, Jolly Films, suggested Morricone. It was not an altogether untoward recommendation: Morricone had previously scored Gunfight at Red Sands (1963) and was just then completing the score for another early Italian Western, Pistols Don't Argue (1964). Leone was not impressed by the music for Gunfight at Red Sands since it sounded too much in the same vein as Dimitri Tiomkin's scores for American Westerns, yet, when pressed, Morricone's response was that that is what he had been paid to write at the time.

Leone instead was interested in an arrangement Morricone had made of Woodie Guthrie's song "Pastures of Plenty" for the American tenor Peter Tevis released as a single in Italy by RCA in 1962. The arrangement included a strong vocal line accompanied by whip-cracks, tubular bells, and a brief scale of sixteenths on soprano recorder. Of note is an insistent rhythm (eigth-sixteenth-sixteenth) often associated with galloping horses found throughout all three films of the Dollars Trilogy, as well as other tunes associated with the American West, including the theme from Bonanza, Rossini's William Tell Overture/The Lone Ranger theme, and many others. The accompanying wordless male chorus for "Pastures of Plenty" is identical to that used in the Fistful of Dollars theme.

 

The chorus used in A Fistful of Dollars—as well as For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly—was I Cantori Moderni, a group led by Alessandro Alessandroni, who also happens to be the performer behind the crisp, clear whistling as well as the clean, low-reverb Fender Stratocaster guitar solo (a la Duane Eddy or Dick Dale). Alessandroni's choir is used expressly for its timbre, which is clearly heard due to the complete lack of text. What makes Morricone's use of the chorus so unique in the Fistful of Dollars theme is its treatment; rather than using the chorus as an accompaniment to a solo melody, the chorus itself acts as an instrument that emphasizes rhythmic units and harmonic progressions. This striking instrumentation would become one of the most important features of the film, and would be used by Leone over the course of its narrative to play a role in the dramatic process."

 

 

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Number 10

 

PNLYfOy.png

 

"For justice delivered without dispassion is always in danger of not being justice."

 

 

The myth of redemptive violence and ‘The Hateful Eight’

By Michael Parnell

 

"I step onto some shaky ground here, but I will admit it: I love Quentin Tarantino. Yes, I know his movies are filled with violence and terrible language. But there are few directors working today that fill the screen with such images that make us think so theologically. Let me give you an example. In Pulp Fiction, Bruce Willis’ character, Butch, is delivered by Grace. If you have not seen it, go and check it out. I have a theory that Tarantino is trying to say something about the nature of God and humanity in many of his movies. The Hateful Eight, his current movie, is no exception.

 

In the opening scene of the movie, there is a long close up on a statue of Jesus Christ, dying on the cross. This is done in the midst of a horrific snow storm, but it is here that the movie begins. When I see something like this, I begin to pay close attention to what is going on. The movie moves forward as a stage coach is racing in the midst of the snow. It is stopped by a lone man who is standing on the snowy road. Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) hails the stage like a person would a cab.

 

On board is “The Hangman,” John Ruth (Kurt Russell). Ruth is a bounty hunter. In his custody is Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). We never learn what she has done, but we know she is not a good person and is on her way to hang in Red Rock. Ruth does not want to let Warren aboard, but because he knows Warren and Warren is a fellow bounty hunter, he gives in. It is made clear by Ruth that he is taking Domergue to hang and to collect the $10,000 bounty on her head, and he would not think twice of killing anyone attempting to take Daisy. As the movie and the stage moves forward, another person is found on the road. This is Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). He was once part of a Confederate renegade unit that made it his job to kill slaves during and after the war. Mannix claims he is to be the new sheriff of Red Rock and if Ruth is to be paid, it would be him that would do it. This makes Ruth give in and give Mannix a ride.

 

The stage coach travels on, and makes a stop at Minnie’s Haberdashery. The storm is getting too great and those with the driver (James Parks) have to stop and wait it out. Within they find Owaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) who says he is to be the new hangman in Red Rock. There is Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a cowboy on his way home to see his mother. Also there is Gen. Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), an ex-Confederate on his way to claim his son’s body. And Bob (Demain Bichir), who is the hired hand for Minnie. What follows is something that Tarantino does better than any other director — dialogue with the characters and the unfolding of how their stories intersect with each other in many ways. Also there is violence. Bloody, grisly violence. There have been many opinions that this movie plays like Tarantino’s first, Reservoir Dogs. Some have said it plays like an Agatha Christie “who done it.” There are elements to both of these here.

 

What I see Tarantino doing here is speaking to the myth of the redemptive nature of violence. He is using violence as a means of declaring how silly it is that we give into our desires when it comes to violence. I do not know if Tarantino read Walter Wink, but I see some of what Wink wrote on the myth of redemptive violence. The use of Christ at the beginning and the almost nihilistic way that the movie plays out speaks to some of the points that Wink makes about how we view violence so causally. Wink writes this at the end of his essay on the redemptive nature of violence:

 

'Redemptive violence gives way to violence as an end in itself. It is no longer a religion that uses violence in pursuit of order and salvation, but one in which violence has become an aphrodisiac, sheer titillation, and addictive high, a substitute for relationships. Violence is no longer the means to a higher good, namely order; violence becomes the end.'"

 

  • Like 6
  • Astonished 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines. Feel free to read our Privacy Policy as well.