Reflections on “Lone Ranger” (2013)

Lone RangerThe 2013 “Lone Ranger” is the sixth western in it’s series. A cinematographic depiction of the initial radio series of the same name, that started aired during the first half of the 20th century.

A Comanche Native American Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, evokes his memories of himself and a lawyer John Read. It is later revealed that Read is known as the Lone Ranger (portrayed by Arnie Hammer). They are trying to apprehend Butch Cavendish, an villainous outlaw sentenced to death by hanging. Cavendish had escaped from a train rushing along the Transcontinental Railroad, which is governed by magnate Latham Cole (portrayed by Tom Wilkinson). Tonto and Read were traveling in the same train, and after several events, they discover Cole’s sinister plans. He wants to take over the entire railroad company, and the two decide to stop him. They receive help from brothel madam Red Harrington portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter. Continue reading

Longstanding fame of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” Western Action Movie

Butch Cassidy
In 1969 director George Roy Hill filmed what turned out to be one of Hollywood’s most impressive movies about the American West. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” starred two already famous actors. The movie is based on historical events concerning the last few months in the lives of train robbers and bank looters, Robert Leroy Parker known as Butch Cassidy, and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, known by his alias Sundance Kid. Both actors over time earned the status of a sex-symbol. Continue reading

Excellent Psychological Characterization in “Dead Man” (1995)

dead-man-1995

In 1995 Jim Jarmusch directed the western “Dead Man”. It is a black & white movie, filmed as a homage to western movies from the first half of the 20th century. This movie brings us the last remaining days in the life of a William Blake played by Johnny Depp.

Blake is a young, shy and introvert accountant who comes to Machine, to take a position as an accountant in the Dickinson Metalworks. Since his skills are no longer needed, he find comfort in the bed of the local florist. Her fiancée Charles Dickinson kills her, while Blake kills him and leaves the town. He wakes up to find a Native American Nobody removing the bullet from his chest. Upon learning Blake’s name, Nobody begins to think Blake is a reincarnation of British poet and painter William Blake. Continue reading

The Choice of “Dances with the Wolves” (1990)

Dances with Wolves

Actor and movie producer Kevin Costner starred in a few western movies. The best of these is “Silverado” (1985), “Wyatt Earp” (1994), “The Postman” (1997), and “Open Range” (2003). But, Costner’s most notable western movie is “Dances with the Wolves” (1990). It was premised on a published work by Michael Blake, released two years before the movie was even made. Continue reading

A Masterpiece of Italian Western Slapstick Comedy

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill

From 1959 until 1994 Italian actors Carlo Pedersoli and Mario Girotti starred in eighteen movies. A number of those were western slapstick comedies. For the purpose of movie-making, these two actors used their American-sounding names of Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill. Bud Spencer is a tall and corpulent man with dark beard and distinctive authoritative demeanor. Terence Hill is a fair-haired man, shorter and slimmer. They shared an incredible “chemistry” on a movie set,
notable in almost every movie scene. It shows their devotion to movie-making. Continue reading

Ennio Morricone’s Work in “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)

A Fistful of Dollars

Ennio Morricone authored countless original scores for more than five hundred movies of different genres. Nowadays, his work is generally often linked with the Italian spaghetti western movies which he had collaborated on. Yet, he also made other movies memorable with his recognizable music score. Morricone had worked with the three most prolific Italian spaghetti western directors – notably Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci and Duccio Tessari. Of these, he is most usually
associated with Leone, as he has been deemed as the forerunner of this specific genre. On top of that, movies by Corbucci and Tessari never peaked as high as those made by Sergio Leone. A
possible exception may be “Django” (1966) by Corbucci, starring Franco Nero. Continue reading

Ambiguous Character of Ethan Edwards (John Wayne’s 1956 “The Searchers”)

The Searchers

From 1929 to 1974, the iconic actor John Wayne starred in almost 150 movies of various genres. More than half of those movies were westerns, in which he embodied sheriffs, ranchers, loners, and cowboys. These characters were brought to life on the big screen with his recognizable manners, voice and unique walk. Most of these movies were made during 1930s, but his most successful and lauded westerns have a much later date. For example, “Rio Bravo” was filmed in 1959, and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” in 1962. For “True Grit”, he finally won an Oscar in 1969. Continue reading

Parody of a Western Movie Genre by Mel Brooks

Blazing SaddlesIn 1974 American director Mel Brooks filmed “Blazing Saddles”. It is a satirical western comedy, based on a script Mel Brooks co-wrote with four other screenwriters. Mel Brooks was alreadyestablished and famed as a director of various movie parodies. His first famed parody was “Young Frankenstein” (1974), followed by “Blazing Saddles” (1974), science-fiction parody “Spaceballs” (1987), and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (1993). He usually appears in his parodies. Continue reading

“Cat Ballou” (1965)

Cat Ballou Quad

In 1965 director Elliot Silverstein filmed a comedy western masterpiece “Cat Ballou”. It stars Jane
Fonda as female train robber aspiring to become schoolteacher.She is a beautiful and at times
whimsical daughter of a ranch-owner Frankie Ballou. A local development corporation makes
vicious schemes to take over her father’s ranch. It is protected by Jackson Two-Bears, a Native
American who lives at the ranch. Continue reading

“Maverick” (1994): A Well Reserved Academy Award Nomination

maverick4si

 

So many western genre movies were filmed in the last decade of the 20th century. Around hundred movies were filmed in the United States alone. At least one remarkable and epic movie was made every year. Each movie tried to depict the nuanced atmosphere of the American Old West using real and set locations, production design, hair and makeup or costume design. Continue reading