COWBOY STAMPS ISSUED AT THE AUTRY
This morning at the Autry National Center of the American West, the U.S. Postal Service officially issued the ‘Cowboys of the Silver Screen’ stamps, a block of four featuring portraits of William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. The stamps, much in the style of movie posters, were painted by Robert Rodriguez, whose distinctive style you may recall from his posters for City Slickers II, The Two Jakes and Jewel of the Nile. He has now designed nineteen stamps, and having been a kid who rushed home after school to watch westerns on TV, he felt greatly honored.
Outside, long lines of collectors bought the just-issued stamps, affixed them to first day cover envelopes and had them hand-cancelled. Inside, a mix of numismatists and guys with hats watched the presentation by Autry organization officials, USPS representatives, Mrs. Gene Autry, and other members of both the Autry and the Roy Rogers family. Mrs. Jackie Autry commented, “I think it’s also special that Gene is put together with Roy, because they were the best of friends.” The gallery’s walls are covered with a mural that shows the history of the American west in fact and myth, and she pointed out that on the wall directly behind the audience were large images of Roy, Gene, Tom and Will. The program ended with Roy’s grandson, Rob Johnson, leading the audience in spirited renditions of ‘Back in the Saddle Again’, and ‘Happy Trails to You.’ Upstairs, on display in the lobby gallery are mementos of all four men, including a pair of 1860 revolvers that belonged to Hart, a white plastic saddle Rogers rode in the Rose Parade, and the floral bib-front cowboy shirt Mix was wearing when he had his fatal car crash.
(Photos - above left, l to r, Mrs. Gene Autry, Mrs. Monte Hale, Cheryl Rogers-Barnett. Above right, l to r, USPS L.A. District Manager Ed Ruiz, artist Robert Rodriguez, Autry Pres. John L. Gray.)
AUTRY MUSEUM ACQUIRES ROGERS ARCHIVE
During the presentation, Autry President and CEO John L. Gray announced that the Autry had acquired the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans archives. This is great news – and a great relief – to those of us who were worried that, with the closing of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri, the entire collection might have been sold off piecemeal and lost. This good news comes on the heels – or hooves – of the recent announcement that the Autry had acquired the David Dortort archives, Dortort being the nonagenarian television producer behind BONANZA and THE HIGH CHAPARRAL.
Gray also announced that starting in mid June, The Autry would present a western film festival, commencing with a Roy Rogers picture, although no titles were revealed.
JONAH HEX TRAILER TO DEBUT APRIL 29TH
I know, I know -- the premiere of coming attractions isn't exactly earth-shaking news, but sometimes that's all you get. It'll be on Syfy that night, and it'll also be spliced onto the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET re-hash that opens in theatres on April 30th. And if you act like those Star Wars nerds who buy tickets to a movie so they can see the new STAR WARS trailer, then try and get their money back, DON'T tell 'em you heard about it here. It stars Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and that alternative universe king of the cowboys, John Malkovich, and is set to open on June 18th. (Reportedly, Bret Hinds of the heavy-metal band Mastodon, who are doing the soundtrack, opined that from the footage he'd seen, he didn't think the film would be ready on time. But what do mastodons know about film editing?)
SANTA CLARITA COWBOY FESTIVAL!
The 17th Annual Festival will be taking place at the fabled Melody Ranch, of Gene Autry fame, April 22nd-25th. There are many different events and activities, including eating, shopping, touring the Melody Ranch Museum, a wide range of music and dance performances -- including my personal favorites, The Quebe Sisters Band, screenings of High Noon, and of The Shootist - featuring screenwriter Miles Swarthout. There are a ton of different individual events and packages, so for more information and tickets, click here. I just checked out the website an hour or so ago, and a lot of events are already sold out, so if you're planning to attend, don't delay getting tickets for the programs you want to see!
LEE VAN CLEEF DOUBLE-BILL!
Monday, April 19th, The New Beverly Cinema at 7165 West Beverly Boulevard in L.A. will be showing a pair of Mr. Bad's pasta-western treats: Death Rides A Horse (1967) and Sabata (1969). Horse co-stars John Phillip Law, and features a wonderful Ennio Morricone score. Sabata is produced by Sergio Leonce's producer, Alberto Grimaldi, and features production design and costumes by Carlo Simi. Tickets are $7. For showtimes, call 323-938-4038 or visit their website here.
FRED HARVEY BOOK SIGNING AT THE AUTRY TUESDAY, APRIL 20TH
From one to two p.m. Stephen Fried will sign APPETITE FOR AMERICA: HOW VISIONARY BUSINESSMAN FRED HARVEY BUILT A RAILROAD HOSPITALITY EMPIRE THAT CIVILIZED THE WILD WEST. RSVP at 323-667-2000 ext 233. Following the lecture, the Golden Spur Cafe will be serving a special course from the Fred Harvey cookbook!
CLINT EASTWOOD BOOK SIGNING WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21ST
Author David Frangioni will be signing CLINT EASTWOOD: ICON, THE ESSENTIAL FILM ART COLLECTION, and there will be a display of Eastwood posters on display. It's a7 p.m. at Larry Edmunds Boostore, 6644 Hollywood Boulevard. For more information, click here.
HOLLYWOOD AUTOGRAPH SHOW FRIDAY APRIL 23RD THROUGH SUNDAY APRIL 25TH
If you've never attended an autograph show before, you'll get a kick out of it. You can hobnob with roughly 90 celebs who will be selling and signing pictures, and there will be many dealers of film-related paper as well. Among the stars expected to attend are Bo Hopkins of WILD BUNCH fame, Joe Lando from DR QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN, Johnny Crawford from THE RIFLEMAN (Saturday only), Mike Connors, Ryan O'Neal, Stella Stevens, Tommy Kirk, Paul Lemat, and James McArthur. You can see the whole list here . But be warned -- the admission is in the $25 range, and stars charge for every signature, usually $20 and up. Check the website -- they sometimes have money-off coupons that you can download.
CHRIS HOPKINS PAINTINGS
It sounds a little weird sending people to a cemetery to see art, but the Forest Lawn Museum at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Glendale, is featuring a show of paintings by Chris Hopkins honoring the Northwest Coast Native Culture. The pictures on the invitation I received are strikingly handsome. The exhibit continues through April 25th -- the museum is closed on Mondays. The address is 1712South Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91205. For more information, visit the website here.
SWEETGRASS AT LANDMARK THEATERS
Here is the official blurb about a new documentary. "SWEETGRASS is an unsentimental elegy to the American West. The documentary follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana's breathtaking and often dangerous Absaroka-Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. The astonishingly beautiful yet unsparing film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, vulnerability and violence are all intimately meshed. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times calls the film 'a really intimate, beautifully shot examination of the connection between man and beast,' while Ronnie Scheib of Variety considers it 'a one-of-a-kind experience...at once epic-scale and earthbound.'" Okay, none of those Brokeback Mountain (2005) cheap-shots -- I'm sure these poor shepherds have heard 'em all. Sweetgrass is playing at the Varsity Theatre in Seattle, and the Edina Cinema in Minneapolis. The trailer looks beautiful -- check it out HERE.
WESTERN MOVIES ON TV
Note:AMC=American Movie Classics, FMC=Fox Movie Channel, TCM=Turner Classic Movies. All times given are Pacific Standard Time.
TV LAND - BONANZA and GUNSMOKE
Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They run a GUNSMOKE Monday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and on Friday they show two, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.. They're not currently running either series on weekends, but that could change at any time.
NEED YOUR BLACK & WHITE TV FIX?
Check out your cable system for WHT, which stands for World Harvest Television. It's a religious network that runs a lot of good western programming. Your times may vary, depending on where you live, but weekdays in Los Angeles they run THE LONE RANGER at 1:30 p.m., and two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.. On Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. it's THE RIFLEMAN again, followed at 2:30 by BAT MASTERSON. And unlike many stations in the re-run business, they run the shows in the original airing order. There's an afternoon movie on weekdays at noon, often a western, and they show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.
Monday April 19th
FMC 5:00 a.m. SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE (1951)- Escaped convicts stumble upon a town of women with guns and $40,00 of stolen loot. Starring Zachary Scott, Ethel Barrymore, Glenn Ford, Cyril Cusack, Ann Dvorak. Diredtec by Michael Gordon, screenplay by Oscar Saul, from a story by Anna Hunger and Jack Pollexfen, adapted by Victor Trivas.
That's it for tonight -- on Sunday I'll put up next week's TV listings!
FMC 6:30 a.m. THE OX-BOX INCIDENT (1943) One of the best of the dark ones, directed by William Wellman from Larmar Trotti's adaptation of Walter Van Tilburg Clark's novel. When we see so many bloated movies, it's amazing what pros can do with 75 taut minutes. Stars Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Anthony Quinn, and a ton of familiar faces, most of whom you'll want to smash with a rock before it's over.
TCM 7:00 a.m. THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON (1941) Romanticized telling of the life of George Armstrong Custer (Errol Flynn) and Custer's Last Stand, with Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy, directed by Raoul Walsh from a screenplay by Wally Kline and Aeneas MacKenzie.
Wednesday April 21st
FMC 5:00 a.m. NORTH TO ALASKA -- Misplaced my notes on this, but I remember it's John Wayne and Randolph Scott and gold prospecting -- I'll get bacj to it later.
TCM 5:00 a.m. RIDE, VAQUERO! (1953)Robert Taylor helps ranchers face off against bandits and Indians. With Eleanor Parker, Howard Keel. Directed by John Farrow, who helped Frank Fenton, uncredited, with the script.
AMC 5:00 p.m. THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES (1976) Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, John Vernon and Sheb Wooley. Clint's a Missouri farmer who becaomes a Confederate guerilla -- reportedly Clints favorite among his films. Screenplay by Philip Kaufman, from Forrest Carton's novel.
AMC 8:00 p.m. PALE RIDER (1985) Clint Eastwood directs and stars as a mysterious stranger (can you believe it?) protecting a town from bad guys. Moody and effective, script by Michael Butler and Dennis Shyrack, and featuring Carrie Snodgrass and Michael Moriarty.
TCM 9:00 a.m. WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1951) Frank Capra wrote this story to direct Gary Cooper in. But when he couldn't get it made, he let William Wellman do it. Robert Taylor leads an wagon-train of mail-order brides. Lot's of fun -- with Denise Taylor, John McIntire (who led a wagon train of his own later on). Screenplay by Charles Schnee.
Thursday April 22nd
TCM 12 - midnight JUNIOR BONNER (1972) Sam Peckinpah directs Jeb Rosebrook's involving story about second generation rodeo champ Steve McQueen nearing the end of his career, and having to make peace with his father (Robert Preston), mother (Ida Lupino) and more successful brother (Joe Don Baker). With Dub Taylor and Ben Johnson.
TCM 2:00 a.m. SEVEN WOMEN FOR THE MACGREGORS (1967) Director Franco Giraldi re-teams with writers Enzo Dellaquila and Fernando DiLeo in this sequel to the very popular and exuberant SEVEN GUNS FOR THE MACGREGORS. Starring David Bailey and Agata Flori, and boasting an Ennio Morricone score.
FMC 8:30 a.m. SHERIFF OF FRACTURED JAW (1959) Comedy western, D:Raoul Walsh, W:Howard Dimsdale, starring Jayne Mansfield, Kenneth More, Henry Hull, Bruce Cabot
AMC 11:30 a.m. PALE RIDER (1985) Clint Eastwood directs and stars as a mysterious stranger (can you believe it?) protecting a town from bad guys. Moody and effective, script by Michael Butler and Dennis Shyrack, and featuring Carrie Snodgrass and Michael Moriarty.
AMC 2:00 p.m. THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES (1976) Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, John Vernon and Sheb Wooley. Clint's a Missouri farmer who becaomes a Confederate guerilla -- reportedly Clints favorite among his films. Screenplay by Philip Kaufman, from Forrest Carton's novel.
TCM 7:30 p.m. - ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1969) Sergio Leone's masterpiece, about the fight for a prime spot of land, and the widow, Claudia Cardinale, who will not give up on her husband's plans. Among the many writers involved were directors Dario Argento, Bernardo Berolucci and Sergio Donati. Starring Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards Jr., and perhaps Ennio Morricone's most beautiful and haunting score. Leone's gives every scene the time it needs. The opening scenes, at the train depot and at the farm, are among the most fully-realized and effective sequences ever put on celluloid.
Friday April 23rd
FMC 3:00 a.m. RIO CONCHOS (1964) Richard Boone, Anthony Francisoa, STuart Whitman and Edmund O'Brien fight over a shipment of guns. Directed by Gordon Douglas. Clair Huffaker adapted his own novel, with the help of Joe Landon.
FMC 5:00 a.m. The Big Trail (1930) Raoul Walsh directed John Wayne in his first lead in this epic from Hal G. Evarts' story, and good as it was, it was a box-office disappointment, sending the Duke to do leads in Bs until Stagecoach (1939). Beautiful telling of the story of a wagon train, with Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Ty Power Sr., with uncredited early roles by Ward Bond and Iron Eyes Cody. Shot in 35 MM by Lucien Andriot, and 70MM by Arthur Edeson -- I don't know which version they show.
TCM 11:30 a.m. FORT APACHE (1948) One of John Ford's marvelous Cavalry Trilogy. Experienced Cavalryman John Wayne tries to steer his posturing by-the-books commander (Henry Fonda)from military disaster. Frank Nugent scripted from James Warner Bellah's story, MASSACRE. With Anna Lee, Ward Bond, George O'Brien, Shirley Temple and her then-husband John Agar.
Saturday April 24th
FMC 3:00 a.m. SHERIFF OF FRACTURED JAW (1959) Comedy western, D:Raoul Walsh, W:Howard Dimsdale, starring Jayne Mansfield, Kenneth More, Henry Hull, Bruce Cabot.
TCM 3:00 a.m. NORTHWEST PASSAGE - The true story of Roger's Rangers, and their fight with Algonquins and Frenchmen in the French and Indian War. Kenneth Roberts wrote the novel, and King Vidor directed -- there were eleven uncredited writers involved, in addition to Laurence Stallings and Talbot Jennings. Starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young and Walter Brennan.
FMC 5:00 a.m. O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE (1952) A collection of five O. Henry short stories directed by five directors: Henry Hathaway, Henry King, Henry Koster, Jean Negulesco, and doing the western segment, The Ransom of Red Chief, Howard Hawks. Writing this one segement, uncredited, were Ben Hecht, Nunnally Johnson and Charles Lederer! Starring Fed Allen and Oscar Levant as the kidnappers, and Rin Tin Tin star Lee Aaker as the 'victim', narrated by John Steinbeck!
AMC 6:15 a.m. GARDEN OF EVIL - Deep in Baja, Mexico, desperate and beautiful Susan Hayward hires three stranded adventurers -- Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark and Cameron Mitchell -- to rescue her husband, Hugh Marlowe. Director Henry Hathaway works his macho magic with Frank Fenton's script from Fred Freiberger's story -- great stuff!
TCM 7:30 a.m. BOWERY BUCKAROOS (1947) The Bowery Boys head west: it's about time! Starring Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bernard Gorcey and Iron Eyes Cody. Directed by One-take William Beaudine (once Mary Pickford's personal director), with a screenply by the often clever Tim Ryan and Edmond Seaward.
AMC 8:30 a.m. GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND (1993) Walter Hill directs from the John Milius script, the Apache chief's life story, starring Wes Studi in the title role, with Jason Partic, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall and Matt Damon.
FMC 9:00 a.m. BROKEN ARROW (1950) James Stewart is an ex-soldier, and Jeff Chandler is Apache Chief Cochise, trying together for peace. D:Delmer Daves, W:Albert Maltz(another writer's name may be one the credits -- Maltz was blacklisted and had someone 'front' for him).
Sunday April 25th
FMC 3:00 a.m. THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) A delight! Rouben Mamoulian directs John Taintor Foote's adaptation of the Johnston McCulley story. Ty Power, Basil Rathbone, Linda Darnell et al have great fun, and the audience has even more.
FMC 11:00 a.m. FLAMING STAR (1960) An early film from the soon-to-be-great Don Siegal, working from Nunnally Johnson's script of a Clair Huffaker novel. Elvis Presley, playing a role planned for Marlon Brando, is the half-breed son of white John McIntire and Kiowa Dolores Del Rio, forced to take sides in a local war between white and Indian. Surprisingly good, you realize how good an actor Elvis could have been if Col. Parker hadn't steered him into mostly inane crap. With Steve Forrest and Barbara Eden.
FMC 12:32 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 10:32 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.
All contents copyright April 2010 by Henry C. Parke