Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Five Underrated Westerns

This week I'm happy to be able to share my picks for Five Underrated Westerns over at the blog Rupert Pupkin Speaks.

It's an especial pleasure having my list posted this week as I just met Brian, the blogger behind the Rupert Pupkin site, at the Noir City Festival a couple of days ago. I suspect that if intermission hadn't come to an end we might still be talking movies today!

I'm keeping great company at his site, as other contributors of "Five Underrated Westerns" lists include Toby of 50 Westerns From the 50s and Colin of Riding the High Country.

Please click over to Rupert Pupkin Speaks to check out my list! I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to share thoughts on some favorite films and hope to help them find wider audiences.

More detailed reviews of each of the films mentioned in my guest post can be found by searching here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings.

Previous guest posts at Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Five Underrated Comedies and Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013.


Blogger john k said...

Hi Laura,

I have had a lot of fun trawling through these "underrated Western" lists,
and it's great that yourself,Toby and Colin have been invited to contribute.
As I recently (today actually) mentioned over at Toby's it's so cool that
directors like Lesley Selander,William Witney and Paul Landres have filtered
through into the mix.
I was also MOST IMPRESSED when Mr Pupkin called John Payne a "Film Noir Icon"
as I have always felt that Payne never got anything like the credit that he
should have for his enormous contribution to the genre.
It's also sad that many of Payne's great Noirs have yet to get released on DVD.
I am thinking about titles like LARCENY,HELL'S ISLAND and HIDDEN FEAR.
There is also his wonderful "Maritime Noir" CAPTAIN CHINA a film waiting
re-discovery if ever there was one. Gail Russell is aces in this film too.
Furthermore THE BOSS appeared on the MGM MOD series in terrible condition.
I do believe that DVD Beaver stated that this film needs a "proper" restoration
It's always great when you find other people fighting the corner of actors that
you feel are seriously under=valued.

Best wishes

Having a lovely time in London BTW a pal had loaned me his Blu Ray of GUN CRAZY
and some friends and myself are going to watch it Saturday night projected onto
a living room wall.....cannot wait!

11:03 AM  
Blogger SimpleGifts said...

Hi, Laura - I agree FOUR FACES WEST is a wonderful, underrated Western! It just so happens this movie starring Mr. and Mrs. Joel McCrea will be shown at their ranch in Thousand Oaks, CA on Saturday. Ranch tours follow the screening. There are a few openings left at - Best, Jane

7:28 PM  
Blogger barrylane said...

Four Faces West is certainly not underrated. But, if you mean that it isn't as well know and lauded as Red River, The Searchers, High noon, Riche The High Country, many others, there is a reason for that without any impact on dozens of fine, entertaining, but lesser projects. The use of underrated is similar to the abuse of the term 'legend.' All old actors are not legendary. Robin Hood is, but if one want to deal on with the film world, then Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Clark Gable, John Wayne. A few others. Very few.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much, John. The lists are great fun and I've been taking notes on films which sound appealing! (Like you, I'm a Payne fan!)

Jane, thanks so much for the info about the FOUR FACES WEST screening, wish I could be there! I hope someone who reads this will take advantage of the opportunity to tour the ranch and see it.

Barrylane, of course FOUR FACES WEST isn't as well known as RED RIVER, et al. -- which is exactly the reason I wanted to call attention to this fine film. I think it's important not to become caught up in side issues, such as semantic debates about adjectives, and instead focus on the goal, which is to hopefully create more awareness of some excellent lesser-known films. As Brian and I have discussed regarding his site, it's a wonderful thing when we can spread the word about movies we love so that others enjoy them too.

Best wishes,

9:21 PM  
Blogger barrylane said...

Words have meanings that are both precise and evocative. . The goal is worthy and obviously I am onside with it, but semantics matter because if they don't, we alter and possibly diminish that which we admire most.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

A final thought, Barrylane --

One of the issues with semantics, as in the discussion here, is that there are multiple ways to interpret words and the appropriateness of their use, rather than one "right" answer...and I'd simply rather that our discussion stay on track. I'd love to know if there are a couple lesser-known Westerns you especially recommend! Such suggestions are appreciated not only by myself but by many readers.

Best wishes,

12:19 AM  
Blogger barrylane said...

I like the picture you like in this group. Angel and The Badman, Four Faces West, Saddle Tramp (although a little less so), and, of course, they should be appreciated, and will be justly so. Film, theatre, music, art all go through periods of rediscovery, which seems to be happening now. I can add a cleverly produced western called Buckskin Frontier, directed by Lesley Selander, with Richard Dix, Jane Wyatt and Lee J. Cobb in the leads. Albert Dekker is featured, along with Max Baer, and they are both just wonderful.
A Victor Young score.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

Hi Laura
I really liked your list of westerns (under-rated or otherwise!). I first saw "Angel And The Badman" and "Four Faces West" when they were shown on BBC Tv in britain in the 1950s and I was a small boy. The films made deep impressions, the storylines were vividly etched in my mind and the names Quirt Evans and Ross McEwen have stayed with me to this day.
They are both important westerns, I think, as are the other three you chose. Certainly important to me. Many thanks.
Best wishes,

7:39 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Barrylane, thanks much for that recommendation. My father has enjoyed quite a bit of Richard Dix recently (he loved IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD) -- I need to catch up! Jotting this title in my notebook. The more movies I see, the more I appreciate Victor Young.

Jerry, thanks so much for sharing your memories of ANGEL AND THE BADMAN and FOUR FACES WEST. Aside from being great films, I also love the gentle lessons they impart about how we should treat others. I believe you'll agree there couldn't be better films to make strong impressions on a young viewer. Wonderful memories you shared!

Best wishes,

8:05 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

Hi John K
Hope you all enjoy "Gun Crazy" on Saturday night - great little movie! Will this perchance be accompanied by an Indian takeaway and a glass or two of lemonade??

9:12 AM  
Blogger barrylane said...


My father enjoyed It Happened In Hollywood a Richard Dix fan, but that is a film I have yet to see. heading for San FAncisco this afternoon but will make an effort upon return.

Victor Young contributed memorable music to arrange of films. Should be checked out, but Shane, The Quiet Man come to mind immediately.

9:21 AM  
Blogger john k said...

Hi Jerry.

The couple who host these screenings are teetotalers
so that means even more wine for me!
Furthermore the husband is an excellent cook so no need
for take-aways.
Furthermore my lady friend is driving so she cannot
drink so that means even more wine for me!

looking forward to meeting up in a weeks time and I
promise that I'll be sober...I hope....Only kidding BTW.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

John and Jerry, you're too funny! :) I envy your get-together and wish I could be there to "talk movies" with you!

When my daughter spent a semester in London she fell in love with Indian food. She's very happy an Indian restaurant is opening near us so she can try it when she's home for a visit!

Best wishes,

3:12 PM  

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