Tag Archives: The Searchers

Many Great People Have Been Born on November 25

25 Nov

November 25 is a big day in the life of me. It is my birthday. I wonder who else was born on this date. Wait, I have an idea. I will look it up and write a post about it.Nov 25

1753 – Robert Townsend, one of George Washington’s spies during the American Revolution

1787 – Franz Xavier Gruber, organist who composed the music for “Silent Night”

1835 – Andrew Carnegie, industrialist who led the expansion of the steel industry

1844 – Karl Benz, inventor of the first automobile to have an internal combustion engine

1846 – Carrie Nation, anti-alcohol activist who was known for attacking taverns with a hatchet

1881 – Pope John XXIII, who obviously served as pope

1883 – Harvey Spencer Lewis, Imperator of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis

1914 – Joe DiMaggio, center fielder for the Yankees who hit safely in 56 straight games

1920 – Ricardo Montalban, actor known for playing Mr. Roarke and Khan Noonien Singh

1926 – Jeffrey Hunter, who starred alongside John Wayne in The Searchers 

1933 – Kathryn Crosby, actress and wife of Bing Crosby

1940 – Percy Sledge, singer of “When a Man Loves a Woman”

1944 – Ben Stein, speechwriter for Richard Nixon and later a game show host

1952 – Crescent Dragonwagon, writer who has an awesome pen name.

1960 – Amy Grant, former contemporary Christian singer who became a Country singer

1963 -Bernie Kosar, Cleveland Brown quarterback who could not get past John Elway

1968 – Jill Hennessy, actress known for roles on Law and Order and Crossing Jordan

I am stopping at that point. This list will not include anyone younger than me. It is my birthday, and that is my option.

 

 

Movie Wisdom – Ward Bond Edition

9 Aug

There have been several Movie Wisdom posts. Some of them have focused on leading actors, and others have focused on character players. This one covers the movies of one of the all time great character actors.

Ward Bond appeared in a ton of classics, but this list only includes the ones I have seen. Let us see what wisdom can be found in the works of Ward Bond.Rio Bravo

From Gone With the Wind

Tomorrow is another day.

With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.

From The Grapes of Wrath

A fellow ain’t got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody.

Seems like the government’s got more interest in a dead man than a live one.

Maybe there ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue, they’s just what people does.

Well, a woman can change better’n a man.

Takes no nerve to do something, ain’t nothin’ else you can do.

From The Maltese Falcon

Talking’s something you can’t do judiciously, unless you keep in practice.

The best goodbyes are short.

From It’s a Wonderful Life

No man is a failure who has friends.

Youth is wasted on the wrong people.

From Hondo

A man oughta do what he thinks is best.

Everybody gets dead.

Women always figure every man comes along wants ’em.

From Johnny Guitar

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

When a fire burns itself out, all you have left is ashes.

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

From The Searchers

Figure a man’s only good for one oath at a time.

From Rio Bravo

Man gets shot that’s got a gun, there’s room for reasonable doubt.

 

BBC, Movies and Me

22 Jul

There are a ton of lists about the greatest things that ever were. Books. TV shows. Cars. It goes on and on. Recently, BBC added to the list of lists by announcing the 100 greatest American movies of all time. According to the article, film critics from around the world provided their opinions.BBC

To create this post, I decided to list the movies I have seen and include my favorite line from each one.

97. Gone With the Wind – Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn96. The Dark Knight

91. ET: The Extraterrestrial – I just hope we don’t wake up on Mars or something surrounded by millions of little squashy guys.

90. Apocalypse Now – Charlie don’t surf!

84. Deliverance – Sometimes you have to lose yourself ‘fore you can find anything.

82. Raiders of the Lost Ark – Bad dates.

78. Schindler’s List – There will be generations because of what you did.

76. The Empire Strikes Back – Never tell me the odds.

75. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Einstein was probably one of them.

74. Forrest Gump – Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.

73. Network – I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

66. Red River – Well, I don’t like to see things goin’ good or bad. I like ’em in between.

65. The Right Stuff – Hey, Ridley, ya got any Beeman’s?

61. Eyes Wide Shut – Life goes on. It always does, until it doesn’t.

56. Back to the Future – I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.

55. The Graduate – Plastics.

52. The Wild Bunch – We all dream of being a child again, even the worst of us. Perhaps the worst most of all.

46. It’s a Wonderful Life – Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

45. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance.

42. Dr. Strangelove – Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.

41. Rio Bravo – If I ever saw a man holdin’ a bull by the tail, you’re it.

38. Jaws – Well it proves one thing, Mr. Hooper. It proves that you wealthy college boys don’t have the education enough to admit when you’re wrong.

36. Star Wars – Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

34. The Wizard of Oz – That’s a horse of a different color!

28. Pulp Fiction – There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.”

21. Mulholland Drive – I got the pool, she got the pool-man.

20. Goodfellas – Jimmy was the kind of guy that rooted for bad guys in the movies.

16. McCabe and Mrs. Miller – I got poetry in me!

14. Nashville – Who do you think is running Congress? Farmers? Engineers? Teachers? Businessmen? No, my friends. Congress is run by lawyers. A lawyer is trained for two things and two things only. To clarify – that’s one. And to confuse – that’s the other.

13. North by Northwest – In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only expedient exaggeration.

10. The Godfather Part II – If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.

9. Casablanca – Everybody comes to Rick’s.

5. The Searchers – That’ll be the day.

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey – It can only be attributable to human error.

2. The Godfather – Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

1. Citizen Kane – Those are the only terms anybody ever knows – his own.

That makes 35 out of 100. Looks like I need to watch a few more.

From Cynthia Ann Parker to Don McLean

29 Sep

Last week, the students in History of American Music discussed All Shook Up: How Rock n’ Roll Changed America, a book by Glenn Altschuler about the early days of Rock n’ Roll. It was a great discussion about music, society and all kinds of stuff. We even threw a little religion in there. I guided as they talked, but I was also thinking about a book that several of those students read for another class.

Last year, I taught Expansion of the United States and had them read The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, a book by Glenn Frankel about the difficulties caused by the mixing of history and myth. On the surface, this book has nothing to do with the other one. However, there is one connection that ties them together, and it is not the fact that both writers are named Glenn. It is a chain of events that links a tragic episode in the American West to a tragic episode in Rock n’ Roll.

On May 19, 1836, Cynthia Ann Parker was abducted from her home by a Comanche raiding party. Her family had settled on the Texas frontier and faced the dangers of that decision. Her uncle searched for her but, after several years, gave up. Cynthia Ann grew to adulthood as a Comanche and raised a family. Years later, she was recaptured and brought back to the Parker family. She never recovered from being ripped twice from the world that she knew.Cynthia Ann Parker

In 1954, a novel by Alan Le May was published. It was called The Searchers and told the story of a man on an epic search to find his abducted niece. Although he studied many abductions, Le May’s story is similar to the Parker saga. However, the book ends differently than real life. The uncle does not give up. Instead, he is killed by a Comanche woman.Alan Lemay

In 1956, John Ford and his stock company traveled to Monument Valley make The Searchers, a film based on the book. John Wayne starred as the uncle looking for his abducted niece, played by Natalie Wood. It is considered by many to be the greatest of all Westerns and Wayne’s best performance. The audience does not know what will happen when he finds her, but, in the end, he takes her home.images-5

On February 25, 1957, Buddy Holly, a Texan, recorded “That’ll Be the Day“, a song inspired by Wayne’s catchphrase in The Searchers. The song reached Number One and was the first song recorded by The Quarrymen, who are better known as The Beatles. On January 23, 1959, Holly died in a plane crash with Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson.Buddy Holly

On March 14, 1971, Don McLean debuted a new song at a concert in Philadelphia. “American Pie” is believed to be about the changing musical and cultural landscape of the 1960s. It begins with “the day the music died”, which most people think is a reference to Holly’s plane crash. After all, “them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye singing this’ll be the day that I die.”Don McLean

Yeah, that is where my mind went. I connected two books from two different classes. It probably looks weird, but there are some things that cannot be denied. One of those is a direct historical line from Cynthia Ann Parker to Don McLean.

 

 

Museums, Memorials, Steaks and Some College Football

16 Sep

This weekend, I traveled to Oklahoma with my nephews and Larry, a friend that you have read about. We went for a college football game but did a few other things, as well. At least, we did a few other things once we arrived. That, in and of itself, was an adventure.

We arrived at the Nashville airport in anticipation of a quick trip to Oklahoma City. That quick trip turned into a two-hour delay for mechanical problems. Once we got into the air, the plane was redirected due to weather. That added another couple of hours to the flight. A three-hour layover in Houston suddenly turned into a missed connection. When we landed, we discovered that the connecting flight was delayed because the plane had not left New Orleans. We did not miss our connection, but we still had to sit around for a couple of hours.

All of that adds up to a couple of things. First, a night of messing around Oklahoma City was cut short. Second,  I was reminded why I hate flying. If I am driving, then I know what the schedule is going to be. In an airport, I have to wait for somebody else to screw up.

Anyway, we made it to Oklahoma City and to our hotel. With little time to spare, we went to a couple of places that were high on the agenda.

I have been to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum many times on our annual field trip to New Mexico. We make a point to stop and show our students the site of the Murrah Federal Building, which was blown up in the first major terrorist attack in the United States. However, I had never seen it at night. I have heard that this is the time to visit. The memorial is lit up and the feelings of what happened there hit the hardest.image-9

I must say that it was a beautiful site to see, and the memorial is an appropriate tribute to the people who lost their lives.image-8

My oldest nephew had been there before, but my youngest nephew had not. I am glad that he got to see it. Unfortunately, we could not stay for long because we had our name on the list at our next destination.

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is a well-known restaurant across the river in Stockyards City. It has been around for decades and is known as the best steakhouse in Oklahoma. Some friends who were already there placed our name on the list, and we needed to get there before our buzzer went off.

The place was packed with people from Tennessee. Apparently, they all got the word that this was the place to eat. Heck, they could have seen it on Guy Fieri’s television show. It is a cool restaurant with a great atmosphere and a great history. If John Wayne and Ben Johnson have eaten there, then it must be a great place.

With all of that being said, I was disappointed with the food. The steak was pretty good, but it was far from the best I have ever eaten. It is no comparison to the Land of Magic in Manhattan, Montana. I am glad that we went because we can always say that we were there, but I hope that Oklahoma has better steak places.

After a long day of flights and a big meal of food, we were ready to pack it in for the day. Besides, the important day was coming up. There was a big night game to be played down the road, and there were a few more places to visit before heading to the stadium.

I had not been to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum since I was a kid, and, honestly, I did not know much about it. I figured it would be cheesy, but, with a lot of time on our hands, it was something to do. I could not have been more wrong. This was one of the best museums I have ever seen. Rooms were filled to the brim with artifacts, art and anything that a lover of the American West would want to see.image-11

There was a room full of firearms, but that was not my favorite. I liked the artwork by Frederick Remington, C.M. Russell and others. I also liked the room dedicated to movies, which had an extensive collection of John Wayne’s personal belongings. There was a painting based on The Searchers that I would steal if I know how to be an art thief. There were also props from a bunch of my favorite movies.image-10

I cannot write about the museum without mentioning the rodeo room, which places you in the middle of the ring, and the room with the town, which places you on the streets of an old cattle town. The only thing missing was a brothel, and I still have not gotten over that disappointment.

We left that museum with the intention of visiting the ASA Softball Hall of Fame. My dad is in the Tennessee Hall of Fame, and we know several people who are enshrined in the national one. Unfortunately, it is closed on the weekends. One would think that the weekend would be a good time to open the doors.

With all of that behind us, it was time to drive to Norman and the football game between the University of Tennessee and the University of Oklahoma. The game did not go the way we wanted, but we had a great trip. We saw some interesting things and visited some interesting places. Like always, it is always good to travel, but it is also good to return home.

Mourning in the Movies

29 Jun

This past week, I watched The Godfather on the big screen with my dad and my nephew. Obviously, it is a great movie, and I have seen it many times. However, this time was different. In a dark theater with no distractions, I was able to focus on details  that I had missed and also fully enjoy some of my favorite scenes.

One of those scenes is the funeral of Don Corleone. Movie funerals have always fascinated me. Usually, they are essential to the plot, but that does not have to be the case. For me, a well filmed funeral scene stands out, and I do not know why. Perhaps, it is because a movie funeral makes the film more realistic. It could be because it provides the ceremony of a funeral without a person really being dead. It could simply be the drama of it all. Whatever the case, some of my favorite scenes are funerals.

The funeral of Don Corleone is especially good because of all the underlying consequences. The heads of the other families get out of their limousines for the burial of the Godfather while they are plotting to bury the entire Corleone empire. Michael knows a betrayal is coming but does not know who the culprit will be. As people mourn his father, Michael is set up to be assassinated by Sgt. Fish from Barney Miller.Godfather

Another great movie funeral actually involves an assassination. Before Paul McCartney sings the iconic theme song. Before Jane Seymour makes her appearance as a Bond Girl. Before Roger Moore makes his debut as James Bond. Before all of that, an American agent is killed in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He watches as a jazzy funeral procession passes by and does not realize until too late that it is his funeral.Jazz

With that, Paul McCartney is cued to sing, and Live and Let Die begins.

Before the death of the agent, the jazz band is playing “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” a traditional gospel song. Other movies have also used well-known religious songs to great effect. This is where I have something to confess. In my mind, one of the most beautiful sounds in the world is “Amazing Grace” being played on a bagpipe, and no movie does this better than Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. As Spock is buried in space, Scotty plays the pipes.Spock

Then, Spock is shot into a dead planet that immediately springs to life.

I guess that you could say Spock went out in a Blaze of Glory. That can also be said Valeria, Conan’s girlfriend in Conan the Barbarian. After being killed by a poison snake arrow fired by James Earl Jones, Valeria is mourned by Conan and burned on a funeral pyre. The wizard thinks the pyre will not burn, but the fury of Arnold makes it burn.Funeral Pyre

Another dramatic exit took place in V for Vendetta, the graphic novel inspired story of a masked terrorist. When he dies, his muse, played by Natalie Portman, puts him on a train filled with explosives and flowers.Vendetta

She then sends it down the tracks toward Parliament. Once there, he finishes what Guy Fawkes started way back in 1605.

As far as funerals for graphic novel anti-heroes go, V has nothing on The Comedian from The Watchmen. His death drives the plot of the movie, but there is more greatness. It is a miserably rainy day.Comedian

The other anti-heroes show up.  Dr. Manhattan even wears a suit. However, those are not even the best parts. “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel plays over the scene to greater effect than it did that scene in The Graduate.

Then, there is the mourner who hides during the service. My favorite movie funeral scenes have someone watching from the distance who feels like they should stay away. Once everyone leaves, they go to the grave for their own private ceremony. In The Watchmen, Rorschach is the outsider who moves in after the fact.

In Cooley High, it is Preach who comes upon Chochise’s grave after everyone else has gone. This is another awesome scene. A drunken Preach reads a poem over the grave as a classic tune plays over the scene.Preach

Then, he wads up the paper and takes off into the gloom. This movie is also cool because it tells what happens to the characters as they grow older.

Alright, those are cool, but my favorite funeral scene with a distant viewer is in a western called The Sons of Katie Elder. The sons have come back home for the funeral of their mother. There preacher says some great words, and mourners tell the sons how great their mother was. However, one son is missing. He is a gunslinger who does not need to make a public appearance. He is John Wayne, and he is standing in the rocks looking down on the funeral.Katie Elder

John Wayne is also part of another great movie funeral. As his family is being buried in The Searchers, the Duke shuts down the ceremony because the time for praying is over.Searchers

The time for vengeance has arrived.

The time to end this post has also arrived.

Movie Wisdom – John Qualen Edition

29 May

I like watching old movies, and, as a watcher of old movies, I see the same actors show up time after time. These are not the ones who are famous and play in the leading roles. These are the ones who play in the supporting roles. They have familiar faces, but they do not have familiar names.

John Qualen was one of those actors. He was in tons of movies and television shows. In almost all of them, he had a Scandinavian accent. That is pretty good for someone who grew up in Illinois. In honor of John Qualen and other character actors, I have decided to continue the “Movie Wisdom” series with his movies.John Qualen

In the past, I have searched for nuggets of wisdom from the movies of different actors. There have been many, but the search for wisdom in the films of Burt Reynolds and Don Knotts are the most popular. I have also covered Kevin Costner, Steve McQueen, Ellen Barkin, Don Johnson, Paul Newman, Jodie Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, Sheb Wooley, Lee Marvin, and George Peppard.

The rules are always the same. I must have seen the movie, but it does not matter which character spoke the line.

From The Grapes of Wrath

I wouldn’t pray just for a old man that’s dead, ’cause he’s all right. If I was to pray, I’d pray for folks that’s alive and don’t know which way to turn.

Seems like the government’s got more interest in a dead man than a live one.

Takes no nerve to do something, ain’t nothin’ else you can do.

Maybe there ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue, they’s just what people does.

From Knute Rockne All American

Anyone who follows the truth in his heart never makes a mistake.

From The Devil and Daniel Webster

A man can always change things. That’s what makes him different from the barnyard critters.

From Casablanca

I never make plans that far ahead.

If we stop breathing, we’ll die.

Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

From The Searchers

Figure a man’s only good for one oath at a time.

I don’t believe in surrenders.

From North to Alaska

A bullet through the head is always the best cure for love.

From Two Rode Together

Well, there are some men you just can’t trust to stay where you put ’em.

You know, sometimes it takes a lot more courage to live than it does to die.

I can tell when a man walks through that door whether he prefers blondes or brunettes, drinks whiskey or beer, plays blackjack or poker, is a cheapskate or a high roller.

From The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

Courage can be purchased at yon’ tavern!

From Cheyenne Autumn

Does it ever matter who fires the first shot?

Now, as I understand it, a mademoiselle is a madam who ain’t quite made it yet – only younger and friskier.

From A Big Hand for the Little Lady

There’s a whole world waitin’ for you out there.

That’s a bargain all right, but a bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need.

Now look, mister, the first rule of the game of poker, whether you’re playing eastern or western rules, or the kind they play at the North Pole, is put up or shut up!