NEW MATTIE ROSS CHOSEN FOR 'TRUE GRIT'
13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld will portray 14-year-old Mattie Ross in Paramount's True Grit, Joel and Ethan Coen's remake of the 1969 John Wayne starrer, from the Charles Portis novel. Hailee is a relative newcomer to the biz, her previous credits being a pair of short films, and an episode of Back To You(2007), where she played 'Little Girl.' She'll be following in the footsteps of Kim Darby, who played Mattie, the daughter driven to catch her father's killer, in the original. Rooster Cogburn, the role that won the Duke his Oscar, will be filled by current Oscar hopeful Jeff Bridges, with Matt Damon taking over for Glen Campbell as the Texas Ranger, and Josh Brolin as the killer. Brolin, one of the few young actors with cowboy creds, going back to playing young Bill Hickok in Young Riders (1989-92), and the Coens' No Country For Old Men, will be the hero and title character in Jonah Hex, due in theatres June 18th.
MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE -- FREE 'DJANGO' SCREENING, WITH DIRECTOR, AT THE CHINESE THEATRE!
This news flash comes courtesy of noted film historian Andy Erish. All this week, the Annual Italian Film Festival is taking place in Hollywood, at the famed Chinese Theatre complex. The showings are all free, but you should RSVP for the films you want to see, and get there early, as it's first come, first served seating. On Wednesday, March 3rd, at 11:00 a.m., they will be showing DJANGO RIDES AGAIN (1976), a.k.a. KEOMA, starring Franco Nero and Woody Strode, and honoring writer-director Enzo G. Castellari, who will attend. This film is generally aknowleged as the best of the countless official and unofficial DJANGO sequels. Castellari's many other directing credits include ANY GUN CAN PLAY (1967), I CAME, I SAW, I SHOT (1968), KILL THEM ALL AND COME BACK ALONE (1968), and the soon-to-be-released CARIBBEAN BASTERDS. If you visit his IMDB page, and click on the link, you can watch his post-apocalytic WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND (1982) complete.
Incidentally, Hollywood is an insane place to visit this week because of the Oscars on Sunday, whic take place at the Kodak Theatre, one block away. Many roads are closed all week! If you can possibly take the subway in, and get off at Hollywood and Highland, you'll be right there. For more information, and to reserve tickets, click here.
TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE - ANOTHER ENZO G. CASTELLARI WESTERN
Also at the Chinese Theatre, on Saturday, March 6th, 2:45 p.m., you can see JONATHAN OF THE BEARS (1993), one of the newest of spaghetti westerns, starring Franco Nero, John Saxon and Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman. As with DJANGO RIDES AGAIN, the screening is free, the director will be present, but you need to RSVP to the link in the write-up above.
HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL -- On March 2nd, CBS Home Video will release Season Four, Volume I of the great western series, starring Richard Boone as the "...Knight without armour in a savage land." His first name may or may not have been 'Wire', but his last name was definitely Paladin. I hope to have more details next week.
SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
And if you attend, please (a)let us know how it was and (b) tell 'em you heard about it at Henry's Western Round-up!
AUTRY CENTER - MASTERS OF THE AMERICAN WEST - last day, Sunday, March 7. For more info, CLICK HERE. And don't forget, there are family activities every weekend at The Autry, including Gold Panning! CLICK HERE to find out more.
GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE - ROCHESTER, NEW YORK -- Friday Feb 26th- Saturday Feb 27th -- A TOWN CALLED PANIC. Okay, it's not a traditional western. In fact, it's animation, very limited animation stop-motion, but it does feature a cowboy, an Indian, and a horse, and except for some cursing in the subtitles, it's supposed to be great for kids! If you're on the east coast, and not snowed in, check it out, and report back! CLICK HERE for more info.
OLD TOWN MUSIC HALL - Friday March 6 - Sunday March 8, THE GREAT K&A TRAIN ROBBERY (1926 silent) starring TOM MIX, DOROTHY DWAN, TONY THE HORSE. How often do you get to see Tom Mix on the big screen, with an accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer, no less?! If you've never attended a movie at the Music Hall, you're in for a treat. It's at 140 Richmond St., El Segundo, CA 90245. (310)322-2592 For more information, visit their website here.
WESTERN MOVIES ON TV
Note:AMC=American Movie Classics, EXT= Showtime Extreme, FMC=Fox Movie Channel, TCM=Turner Classic Movies. All times given are Pacific Standard Time.
Monday, March 1st
TCM 2:41 a.m. CALGARY STAMPEDE (1949) Eighteen minute short about the famous Canadian rodeo.
TCM 7:15 p.m. DAYS OF HEAVEN (1978) Terrence Malick wrote and directed this, odd turn-of-the-20th-century tale where lovers Richard Gere and Brooke Adams pretend to be siblings while working on a farm. A beautiful, haunting movie, with Oscar winning photography by Nestor Almendros, and nominated sound, costumes by Patricia Norris and magnificent score by Ennio Morricone. Also a wonderfully quirky deadpan performance by Linda Manz.
Tuesday March 2nd
TCM 1:30 a.m. LITTLE BIG MAN (1970) Arthur Penn directs from Calder Willingham's screenplay from Thomas Berger's novel about an incredibly old Dustin Hoffman recalling his upbringing by Indians and fighting alongside Custer. Yet another western where folks see AVATAR parallels. Also starring Faye Dunaway and Oscar-nominated Chief Dan George.
EXT 8:25 p.m. GANG OF ROSES (2003) Female rappers Lil' Kim, Macy Gray, Monica Calhoun, LisaRaye play gunslingers in a search for revemge and gold, not necessarily in that order. Written and directed by Jean-Claude LaMarre.
TCM 10:00 p.m. GIANT (1956) James Dean, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Wither star in Edna Ferber's story of a Texas ranching dynasty trying to survive changing times. George Stevens earned an Oscar for his direction of the Fred Guiol screenplay. The 'aging' of Taylor and Hudson is laughable. And just to prove the Academy is unsentimental, the great James Dean got his second posthumous Oscar nomination for this one, and lost both times.
Wednesday March 3rd
EXT 9:30 a.m. THE CLAIM (2000) Michael Winterbottom directs from Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay, based on Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, moved to the American west. Stars Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Nastassja Kinsky, Sarah Polley and Milla Jovovich.
TCM 1:30 a.m. CIMARRON (1960) Another Edna Ferber 'sweeping saga', about the settling of Oklahoma, has some good things in it, but could have been better. All of Anthony Mann's other westerns should be seen first. Script by Arnold Schuman, starring Glenn Ford, Maria Schell, Anne Baxter.
TCM 12:30 p.m. OKLAHOMA! (1955) Delightful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, script by Hammerstein, directed by Fred "HIGH NOON" Zinnemann. Stars Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger and Gloria Grahame as Ado Annie, the "Girl Who Can't Say 'No.'"
TCM 9:15 p.m. HEAVEN'S GATE (1981) Michael "DEER HUNTER" Cimino wrote and directed this infamous box-office flop, and I'm dying to see it: lots of westerners have highly recommended this story of Wyoming's Johnson County War. Stars Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt. Get a comfortable chair -- it's 219 minutes.
Thursday March 4th
EXT 3:15 a.m. THE CLAIM (2000) Michael Winterbottom directs from Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay, based on Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, moved to the American west. Stars Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Nastassja Kinsky, Sarah Polley and Milla Jovovich.
FMC 5:00 a.m. DRUMS ALONG THE MOWHAWK (1939)
John Ford directed with gusto from the Lamar Trotti, Sonya Levian script, based on the Walter D. Edmonds novel. Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda star in one of the finest of 'eastern' westerns, a Revoltionary War story packed with Ford stock company greats like John Carradine, Arthur Shields and Ward Bond. In a more normal year, it might have been named Best Picture, but in 1939 it received only two Oscar nominations, for Edna Mae Oliver's comic turn as Best Supporting Actress, and for Ray Rennahan and Bert Glennon's glorious Technicolor photography -- and it won neither. Highly recommended.
FMC 11:00 a.m. THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES (1957) Nicholas Ray directed this remake of the 1939 classic, starring Robert Wagner as Jesse, Jeffrey Hunter as Frank, and Alan Hale Jr. as Cole Younger, with Hope Lange and Agnes Moorehead. Scripy by Walter Newman, adapted from Nunnally Johnson's original.
FMC 1:00 p.m. THE UNDEFEATED (1969) D:Andrew V. McLaglen, W:James Lee Barrett, from a story by Stanley Hough. At the close of the Civil War, Confederate officer Rock Hudson leads a group of southern loyalists to Mexico and Emperor Maximillian -- unless John Wayne can stop him. Rock Hudson later described the movies as "crap." Ironic, considering it's one of his more convincing performances. With Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr.
FMC 3:00 p.m. THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER (1982) An Australian 'western' based on a poem by A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson, scripted by Cul Cullen, directed by George Miller. Stars Jack Thompson, Tom Burlinson, Kirk Douglas, and the lovely gal from the under-appreciated series, PARADISE, Sigrid Thornton.
FMC 7:15 p.m. THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER - see above
Friday March 5th
TCM 4:30 a.m. ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE (1947) Studio pro Roy Rowland directs lovely Janet Leigh in the Lester Cole adaptation of a MacKinlay Kantor tale. She falls for a man who, according to her family, was on the wrong side of the Civil War. With Van Johnson and Thomas Mitchell.
AMC 1:00 p.m. - DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) Actor Kevin Costner's directorial debut won him an Oscar, and there were seven more: best picture; Dean Semler for cinematography; Neil Travis for editing; John Barry for his score; Michael Blake for his adapted screenplay; and Russell Williams III, Jeffrey Perkins, Bill W. Benton and Gregory H. Watkins for sound. Starring Costner as an army officer who befriends the Lakota Souix. With Mary McDonnel.
EXT 3:15 p.m. GANG OF ROSES (2003) Female rappers Lil' Kim, Macy Gray, Monica Calhoun, LisaRaye play gunslingers in a search for revemge and gold, not necessarily in that order. Written and directed by Jean-Claude LaMarre.
Saturday March 6th
AMC 1:00 a.m. BROKEN LANCE (1954) D:Edward Dymtryk, W:Richard Murphy, from a story by Philip Yordan. You'd think this one couldn't miss, but it does. Richard Widmark, Hugh O'Brien, Earl Holliman and Robert Wagner are Spencer Tracy's sons, but only Wagner is current wife Katy Jurado's as well. There are two nice set pieces, but no other action, and the characters are so unlikeable that it's hard to care what happens to any of them. Hugh O'Brien is wasted -- he's in many scenes, but has two or three lines. Although the color is great and the image sharp, it's still a lousy pan-and-scan of a Cinemascope original, so you only see about a third of the picture. Katy Jurado will say a line off-camera, and it's the first time you know she's in the scene.
EXT 4:30 p.m. SHADOWHEART (2009) A bounty hunter is out revenge in 1865 New Mexico. Directed by Dean Alioto from his and Peter Vanderwall's script. Starring Justin Ament, Angus Macfayden, Daniel Baldwin, William Sadler, and two great pros, Rance Howard and Charles Napier.
TCM 9:00 a.m. HELLER IN PINK TIGHTS (1960) It was HELLER WITH A GUN when Louis L'Amour wrote the book -- director George Cukor put on the pink tights. It's the story of a theatrical troupe in the Wild West, starring Sophia Loren and Anthony Quinn, scripted by Walter Bernstein.
AMC 9:00 a.m. DANCES WITH WOLVES(1990) Actor Kevin Costner's directorial debut won him an Oscar, and there were seven more: best picture; Dean Semler for cinematography; Neil Travis for editing; John Barry for his score; Michael Blake for his adapted screenplay; and Russell Williams III, Jeffrey Perkins, Bill W. Benton and Gregory H. Watkins for sound. Starring Costner as an army officer who befriends the Lakota Souix. With Mary McDonnel.
You may want to check the blog again later this weekend -- I'll have an interview with spaghetti western star Robert Woods either this weekend, or in next week's entry!