Posts Tagged ‘western’

Movie Review – A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

Today we’re taking a look at the 1964 western film, A Fistful of Dollars.

Released in Italy in 1964 and the United States in 1967, A Fistful of Dollars has been credited for launching the movie career for television actor Clint Eastwood.  The film also brought a tremendous amount of success and fame to Italian director Sergio Leone.  This movie is also responsible for starting the genre of spaghetti western, western films that were produced and directed by Italians.

A Fistful of Dollars involves a mysterious man arriving in a small town in Mexico, and discovering that the town’s two largest families were rivals with each other.  The two families continually fight for power, wealth and control of the town.  The mysterious man figures out a way to manipulate the two families and use it to his advantage.

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) - movie poster

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) – movie poster

Directed by Sergio Leone, A Fistful of Dollars stars Clint Eastwood as the Stranger.  He’s a man with no name and no information about his past.  The film’s music was created by Italian composer Ennio Morricone.

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) - (c) United Artists

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) – (c) United Artists

A Fistful of Dollars begins with a mysterious Stranger (Clint Eastwood) arriving in a small town in Mexico.  Although he doesn’t know or speak to anybody, he knows that some of the people in town do not want him there.  At one point he’s teased and harassed by four gunmen.  The Stranger then visits the town’s inn keeper, Silvanito (Jose Calvo), and learns that there are two families vying for control of the town — the Rojos and the Baxters. Read more…

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 18, 2015 at 10:11 pm

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Movie Review – The Lone Ranger (2013)

“Hi-Yo, Silver!  Away!”

Since first appearing in a radio show in 1933, the Lone Ranger has stood as a figure of justice against evil doers and villains.  Team with Tonto, an American Indian, the Lone Ranger has been a classic American icon and a symbol of the Old West.  After first appearing in a radio series, the Lone Ranger skyrocketed in popularity when Clayton Moore portrayed the character during a television series from 1949 to 1957.

The Lone Ranger (2013) - movie poster

The Lone Ranger returned to the big screen in 2013’s big budget film, The Lone Ranger.  The film was directed by Gore Verbinski, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and scored by Hans Zimmer.  This version of The Lone Ranger is an origin story starring Armie Hammer as John Reid / the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto.  Supporting them are a cast of actors and actresses including William Fichtner, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper.

The Lone Ranger begins in San Francisco in 1933.

The Lone Ranger (2013) - Will visits an Old West exhibit at a carnival.

The Lone Ranger (2013) – (c) Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

A young boy, Will (Mason Cook), is dressed as the Lone Ranger while walking through a carnival.  He’s intrigued when he spots an Old West exhibit, so he pays the small fee and enters the museum.  One of the displays shows “the noble savage,” an American Indian standing and holding a tomahawk.  To the boy’s shock the Indian suddenly comes to life.

At first the Indian seems to recognize the boy’s disguise, then he realizes that it’s just a child and not his companion from years ago.  The elderly Indian is Tonto (Johnny Depp).  After Will asks Tonto who he thought that he was, Tonto tells him the story of the Lone Ranger in a series of flashbacks.

The film goes back to March 18, 1869. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - December 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm

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Movie Review – Old Yeller (1957)

There’s nothing more classic than a story about a boy and his dog.

As we know, dogs aren’t merely pets.  They are best friends and members of the family.  A dog will always be faithful and will always be there to protect you, no matter the odds in succeeding.

Based on the book by the same name, Old Yeller tells a story about a frontier family that comes in contact with a stray yellow dog.  They befriend the dog and the eldest boy eventually respects and becomes best friends with the dog.  The dog risks his own life numerous times, even sacrificing himself to prevent a rabid wolf from attacking the family.

Old Yeller (1957) - movie poster

Old Yeller was directed by Robert Stevenson.  The film stars Dorothy McGuire as Katie Coates, the mother of the family.  Fess Parker plays the role of Jim, the father of the frontier family.  Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran play the roles of Katie and Jim’s sons Travis and Arliss.

Supporting them are Jeff York as Bus Searcy, Chuck Connors as Burn Sanderson, and Beverly Washburn as Bus Searcy’s daughter Lisbeth.  Most of the actors here have been in other Disney films at one point or another.  Dorothy McGuire, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran were all reunited for 1960′s Swiss Family Robinson, Fess Parker is better known as playing Davy Crockett amongst other characters in several Disney films, and Jeff York has played the role of Mike Fink in a couple of Davy Crockett episodes.

Old Yeller (1957) - He's just a good dog.

Old Yeller (1957) – (c) Buena Vista Distribution

Old Yeller begins with the classic song “Old Yeller.”  We see scenes of the dog Old Yeller running through fields and chasing a jackrabbit.

The main part of the film begins in the late 1860s out in Texas.  The Coates are a poor frontier family, and we see Travis (Tommy Kirk) and his little brother Arliss (Kevin Corcoran) talking about money and the items they can purchase it.  Travis admits that the only money he has seen was an old Confederate dollar bill from a while ago.

Inside their home, Jim Coates (Fess Parker) is preparing to leave for a cattle drive.  His wife Katie (Dorothy McGuire) is reluctant to see him leave, but she knows how much they need the money around the home.  Besides, she knows how to run their frontier home, and their eldest son will also help tend to their farm and look after the animals, including little Arliss. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - August 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm

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