Tag Archives: The Outlaw Josey Wales

The John Russell Effect

27 Dec

The other day, I visited my parents and found my dad watching the Western Channel. He always watches that channel, and I am usually familiar with whatever is on. After all, me and my brother were raised watching old Westerns. However, I had never seen what he was watching this time.

It was a television show called Cheyenne that stars Clint Walker. Some of you Western aficionados probably know it. As I watched it, my mind focused on the actor playing the bad guy. With his features and his voice, I knew that I had seen him, and I had a feeling where. Despite my dad jumping on me for looking at my phone, I did a quick search.

The actor in question was John Russell, and I knew him from Rio Bravo. In that movie, he plays Nathan Burdette, the local land baron who goes up against John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan. Obviously, he loses in the end.john-russell

That discovery was not surprising. However, it was surprising to learn that John Russell was in another of my favorite movies, The Outlaw Josey Wales. In that one, he makes a brief appearance as Bloody Bill Anderson.

Wait, there is more. He also plays the bad guy in Pale Rider and appeared in Honky Tonk Man, which was partially filmed in Nashville. Of course, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider and Honky Tonk Man have something in common other than John Russell. They also star Clint Eastwood. Apparently, they were buddies.

I thought that I had seen John Russell in one movie. As it turns out, he has shown up in several places. Heck, he just got shot on my television screen as I typed this. The mysterious stranger got him in Pale Rider before disappearing into the distance. Coincidence? I am not so sure. It could be the John Russell Effect.

If These Movies Are On Television, Then I Will Watch Them

30 Jul

The other day, I wrote a post about the BBC and its list of the 100 best American films, and a commenter said that I should provide my own list of top movies. Unfortunately, I am not a movie critic and cannot delve into the intricacies of acting and directing. I only know what movies I like and do not like.

With that in mind, I decided to take this challenge into a different direction. When I am scrolling through the guide, there are some things that I will automatically click on and watch for a while. This includes a few movies with different levels of quality. If I cannot make a list of the greatest movies of all time, then I can make a list of the 10 movies I will always watch if I see them on the television guide.

They are coming at you in the order that I thought of them.

Manhunter (1986) – This was on last night and led me to write this post. It is the first movie about Hannibal Lecter and is directed by Michael Mann. In other words, it is Silence of the Lambs meets Miami Vice. You may have seen its remake, Red Dragon, but this one is a lot more entertaining.

Flash Gordon (1980) – Let Dino de Laurentiis try to capitalize on the Star Wars phenomenon, and this is what you get. It has some great actors and some not-so-great actors, but they are all having a good time. It would have been awesome to been in the room when Flash attacked Ming’s guards by playing football. On top of that, Ornella Muti is there in all her glory.Ornella

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) – Two stars of the 1980s, Don Johnson and Mickey Rourke, try to make their transition into the next decade. They ride motorcycles. They go after drug dealers. They act cool. Well, acting might be too strong of a word. I have already written about this one and will move on down the line.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) – When I become king, a new law will make its way across the land. As a testament to its greatness, everyone must watch this movie. Clint Eastwood is awesome, and it is filled with awesome quotes. I should know because I have them all memorized. In the early days of this blog, I wrote an extensive post about this one.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – As with the previous movies, I have already written about this one. Burt Reynolds is at his peak. Jackie Gleason is hilarious. I saw it five times when it was in release and can never watch it too many times. The only problem is that television cleans up the language and, in the process, destroys a lot of the laughs.

El Dorado (1966) – I could have listed a ton of John Wayne movies, but I think I click on this one more than any other. It could be because this one is on regularly. Anyway, it is a script that was filmed several times, but it never gets old. Oh yeah, there is one other thing. As I have written before, it is a poetic movie.

The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) – This is a terrible movie. Klinton Spilsbury never made another movie. Heck, he did not really make this one. James Keach was brought in to dub his lines. However, it has some redeeming qualities. Merle Haggard sings the theme song, and part of it was filmed in Monument Valley.

Logan’s Run (1976) – I am a big fan of dystopian movies, and this is one of my favorites. How can post-apocalyptic life be bad with scantily clad women everywhere? On top of that, a push of a button can make one of the scantily clad women appear instantly in your apartment. The only thing that could go wrong is that Carrousel ride at the age of 30. On second thought, it would probably be better to live with a bunch of cats in a destroyed Washington, D.C.Cats

For Love of the Game (1999) – This is a movie that used to hit me on a deep emotional level. As the years pass, it does not have the same effect. Despite that, it is still a good movie. Kevin Costner has made a bunch of sports movies, but this is my favorite one. It could be because Vin Scully is calling the game.

Legends of the Fall (1994) – This is another movie that reaches me on an emotional level, but it is also interesting in a historical sense. Obviously, it is about a family that goes through years of heartache. However, it is also about rum-running during Prohibition. They talk about the Volstead Act and smuggling alcohol across the Canadian border. I could go deeper into a historical analysis, but I may need that for another post.

Now, let us analyze the list by decade.

1960s – 1

1970s – 3

1980s – 3

1990s – 3

Interestingly, nothing made in the past 16 years has knocked a movie off this list. I wonder what that means.

Then, there is this. Over half of the list was filmed between 1976 and 1986. Those must have been formative movie years for me.

Anyway, those are the movies that I will always watch if I find them on television. What are a few of the movies that would make your list?

The Man Who Shot the Shootist

22 Jan

Earlier, I was flipping through the channels and landed on The Shootist, John Wayne’s last movie. It is not my favorite, but, since it is the Duke’s final film, I have seen it several times. I guess that means I do not have this one memorized like a bunch of the other ones.The Shootist

Despite it not being a favorite, The Shootist has some good parts. James Stewart makes a cameo and having him in a movie is always a good thing. Ron Howard also appears during his transition from Opie Taylor to Richie Cunningham to famous director. Lauren Bacall shows up as Bond, a character named in honor of Ward Bond.

The movie has some good scenes and some good lines, but the ending always gets to me. Perhaps, it is because I know that it is the last time John Wayne appeared on film. The movie is about an era coming to an end and, although they did not realize it, the movie also marks the end of a career.

I have always wonder about the actors who took part in that final shootout. In the years that followed, did they think about that scene? Did they feel honored to be part of it? Did they care?

In short, John Wayne sets up one last gunfight with three people who would like to kill him.

Richard Boone was well-known as Paladin on Have Gun, Will Travel and had been in a bunch of movies, including John Wayne’s Big Jake.

Hugh O’Brian played the title character in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and had a bit part in In Harm’s Way with John Wayne.

Bill McKinney, a native Tennessean, accomplished something that could be unique. He was killed in the movies by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. The final scene in The Shootist did not work out for him, and, earlier that same year, he played Captain Red Legs Terrill in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Each one of those actors could challenge John Wayne in a gunfight, but, in true Duke fashion, they could not do him in. Instead, he was shot in the back by the bartender.

That is the whole point of this post. Who was given the role of shooting John Wayne in the back? Who killed John Wayne in his final film? After an extensive search, I discovered that the role went to an uncredited actor named Charles G. Martin.

He had sixteen acting credits, and The Shootist was also his last movie. Unfortunately, more information was hard to come by. I found no pictures and little about his life. He was born in Arlington, Texas in 1912 and passed away in Sarasota, Florida in 1998.

If anyone knows more about Charles G. Martin, then I would be interested to read about it.

Movie Wisdom – John Mitchum Edition

24 Nov

It is probably too soon for another edition of Movie Wisdom, but I have been inspired by one of my favorite movies, which is on television at this very moment. El Dorado stars John Wayne, James Caan, Robert Mitchum and a ton of character actors. One of those actors is Robert Mitchum’s brother, John.

John Mitchum was never a leading man like his brother, but he was in a bunch of good movies. In honor of finding this gem deep in the heart of my satellite dish, this is the Movie Wisdom that can be found in the movies of John Mitchum.John Mitchum

From Stalag 17

Just because they are dumb doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.

From My Fair Lady

The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.

The French don’t care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly.

There even are places where English completely disappears; in America they haven’t used it for years.

Women are irrational, that’s all there is to that!

From El Dorado

Next time you shoot somebody, don’t go near ’em till you’re… sure they’re dead!

Faith can move mountains, but it can’t beat a faster draw.

From Bandolero!

There things a man ought never do – spit in church, scratch his self in front of his ma, and pick his nose.

From Chisum

Because no matter where people go, sooner or later there’s the law. And sooner or later they find God’s already been there.

We may have to be neighbors, but I don’t have to be neighborly.

From High Plains Drifter

It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes ’em afraid.

They say the dead don’t rest without a marker of some kind.

From Magnum Force

A man’s got to know his limitations.

From The Outlaw Josey Wales

Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’.

Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean.

It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues.

Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

Without a doubt, those are wise words.

 

Movie Wisdom – Matt Clark Edition

7 Jun

Last night, we saw A Million Ways to Die in the West. It was not the worst movie I have ever seen, but it was not the best, either. Being a fan of Westerns, I knew what they were trying to do, but they could not quite accomplish it. However, there were a few things that I noticed.

They filmed in two of my favorite locations in the West, Monument Valley and the area around Santa Fe. Monument Valley was immediately recognizable, and, to the discerning eye, the other landscape was undoubtedly northern New Mexico.

I also noticed something else. One scene involves a grizzled old prospector, typical with his white beard and ragged clothes. As he spoke, I thought that I recognized the voice. It took a few seconds, but I finally realized that it was Matt Clark, who has appeared in a bunch of great movies.Matt Clark

He is another one of those character actors whose face people may know even when they do not know his name.

Seeing him in A Million Ways to Die in the West inspired me to compile wise quotes from some of his movies. Remember, a movie only qualifies if I have seen it and if it contains words to live by.

From Will Penny

That stuff’s for doctorin’! It’s not for drinkin’!

Sharin’ a blanket don’t make us married.

Ain’t no good way to go.

We don’t all have the same choices.

From The Cowboys

Well, it’s not how you’re buried, it’s how you’re remembered.

Every man wants his children to be better’n he was.

We’re burnin’ daylight.

Big mouth don’t make a big man.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand the drift of things.

The cow is nothing but trouble tied up in a leather bag.

From Jeremiah Johnson

Elk don’t know how many feet a horse has!

Keep your nose in the wind and your eye along the skyline.

Watch your top knot.

From Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

It feels like… times have changed.

Comes an age in a man’s life when he don’t wanna spend time figuring what comes next.

From White Lightning

The good, they die young!

From The Outlaw Josey Wales

Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. ‘Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is.

Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.

It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues.

Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

I guess some folks don’t like to be called ‘high rollers’.

From Brubaker

You can’t reform the system if you’re not in it.

From The Quick and the Dead

Why is it that the man who begs for mercy never gives it?

From Back to the Future Part III

Your future is whatever you make it.

We all have to make decisions that affect the course of our lives.

From Barbarians at the Gate

Let them curse the darkness – we’re not handing out any candles.

From 42

Roses and sleep are two wonderful things. But sleep you can get when you’re in your casket, and flowers look great on top of it.

From A Million Ways to Die in the West

Hey, dude, you really shouldn’t drink and horse.

 

There Is Not Much Quite Like

27 Feb

While walking on the treadmill, I started thinking about how lucky I have been. That luck has come in numerous ways, but I was specifically thinking about travel. My mind went to some of the great places I have visited and the great sights I have seen.

There is not much quite like…

drinking wine in the chateau of Inglenook Vineyards.Honeymoon 016

catching the sun set over the buttes of Monument Valley.West 2010 232

hearing the water break on the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

leaving an offering at the grave of Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood, South Dakota.

watching the Potomac River flow behind George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon.

feeling the power of water rushing over Niagara Falls.

zip-lining through the trees of north Georgia.

climbing the mesa at Ghost Ranch and looking the landscape often painted by Georgia O’Keefe.SONY DSC

sitting on the porch of the Old Faithful Lodge and watching buffalo roam through the geysers.

lying in the grass of Jackson Square and eating a beignet from Cafe Du Monde.

floating down the Rhine River and looking at the castle ruins passing by.

staring at the presidential faces of Mount Rushmore.

playing Blackjack at a Las Vegas table and watching the chips come and go.

touring Graceland and seeing The Outlaw Josey Wales playing in the TV Room.

hanging out on a beach in Cancun and watching my stepdaughter play volleyball.Cancun - Volleyball

strolling through the Vatican and trying to get a glimpse of the pope.

reading a book by a pool in Costa Rica.

climbing a waterfall in Jamaica.

being mesmerized by the killer whales and bald eagles in Glacier Bay.

dancing to “Me and Mrs. Jones” in a nightclub in Chicago.

standing in silence at the bombing memorial in Oklahoma City.SONY DSC

trying to see the tops of the Giant Sequoia in California.

driving through Hereford, Texas and passing thousands of head of cattle.

betting on Jai Alai in Florida.

lounging on the couch and watching television with my wife.

Movie Wisdom – Sheb Wooley Edition

23 Jan

In the olden days, albums were sold on television. They would play snippets of a few songs and scroll song titles over the screen. The performer would appear and lip synch a few words. Those commercials fascinated me, and I begged my parents to send a check to the address on the screen.

One of those ads was for a singer named Ben Colder, the country music version of Weird Al Yankovic. He sung parodies of country music’s biggest hits. My parents agreed to buy a few albums, but they never bought anything for me by Ben Colder. It is still a disappointment.

Years later, I learned that Ben Colder was not really Ben Colder. He was Sheb Wooley, and he had done a lot more things than sing parody songs.Sheb Wooley

Sheb Wooley was a true Renaissance Man. He had a huge hit in the 1950s with “The Purple People Eater” and acted in a bunch of movies. However, he was not just in a bunch of movies. He was in a bunch of great movies. Sheb Wooley was one of those character actors who popped up everywhere.

To make up for the fact that I never got a Ben Colder record, we will examine the movies of Sheb Wooley to see if we can find a few bits of wisdom. As before, the quotes must come from movies that I have seen.

From High Noon

People gotta talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it. Maybe because down deep they don’t care.

It takes more than big, broad shoulders to make a man.

It takes a pretty smart man to know when to back away.

From Johnny Guitar

A man who can’t hold on to a glass should drink like a baby from a bottle.

There’s only two things in this world that a ‘real man’ needs: a cup of coffee and a good smoke.

From Giant

Money isn’t everything.

Well, there’s one thing you got to say for cattle… boy, you put your brand on one of them, you’re gonna know where it’s at!

From Rio Bravo

Sorry don’t get it done.

From The War Wagon

That’s what I’ve always said the world needs… more simple understanding to bring people together!

From The Outlaw Josey Wales

Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. ‘Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is.

It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues.

Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy.

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

From Silverado

Some people think because they’re stronger, or meaner, that they can push you around. I’ve seen a lot of that. But it’s only true if you let it be. The world is what you make of it.

A grown man can’t have a little boy with him everywhere he goes.

The world is what you make of it, friend. If it doesn’t fit, you make alterations.

From Hoosiers

If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we’re gonna be winners.

Sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass everyday.

There you have it. The world according to Sheb Wooley movies.