Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Western Roundup Part 1

May 7th, 2010

Many, many movies piled up on both the DVR and my “To Be Watched” shelves and many, many of those (27!) are westerns. It’s time to get through these films! So over a period of 20 days, I’ll be trying to get through as many of these as possible.

Here’s the rundown (I’m not a scholar or reviewer, I’m just giving a few impressions. All of these summaries are bare boned by even bare boned standards and don’t do justice to the films. If you want more info, check IMDb) Also, a couple of these movies I’ve seen before, but I either haven’t seen them in a while or I just want to watch them again.

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Wednesday 4-28-10
Blindman (1971)
Directed by Ferdinando Baldi
Written by Pier Giovanni Anchisi, Tony Anthony, Vincenzo Cerami & Lloyd Batista
Starring Tony Anthony, Lloyd Battista and Ringo Starr
I love movies where the hero has a simple, tangible objective – a bag of money, a Maltese Falcon, the Ark of the Covenant. All Blindman wants is his 50 women. Domingo keeps stealing the 50 women. The 50 women get bounced back and forth from bad guy to good guy like a volleyball. Not the best Spaghetti western, but not the worst.
2 out of 5 stars.

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Thursday 4-29-10
Will Penny (1968)
Written & Directed by Tom Gries
Starring Charlton Heston, Donald Pleasence & Lee Majors
Heston finds a woman and her son living in the cabin he’s supposed to keep free of squatters for the winter. Good thing he’s there when the family from “The Hills Have Eyes” shows up! A great, over-the-top performance by Pleasence. A tad bit corny, with one of those cheesy songs they liked to stick on westerns around this time, but overall pretty good. # 28 on the Western Writers of America list of the Top Westerns of All Time.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Friday 4-30-10……….DOUBLE FEATURE
Evil Roy Slade (1972)
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Jerry Belson & Garry Marshall
Starring John Astin, Mickey Rooney, Pamela Austin & Dick Shawn
Roy Slade was so evil that not even wolves would raise him! He falls for a schoolmarm that wants to change his ways to no avail. An okay, sit-commy western that shows John Astin should’ve had more of a career and has a stand-out performance by Dick Shawn.
2.5 out of 5 stars.
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Blazing Saddles (1974)
Directed by Mel Brooks
Written by Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Alan Uger & Richard Pryor
Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn & Harvey Korman
Of course I’ve seen this one before, but I haven’t sat down and watched it beginning to end in over twenty years. All I can say is that I feel sorry for people that can’t find any enjoyment in watching it. #95 on the Western Writers of America list of the Top Westerns of All Time and #6 on the American Film Institute’s list of the Top Comedies of All Time.
5 out of 5 stars.

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Saturday 5-1-10
The Burrowers (2008)
Written & Directed by J. T. Petty
Starring William Mapother, Sean Patrick Thomas, Karl Geary & Clancy Brown
A family of settlers has disappeared and a group of men sets out to find them. But were the missing taken by Indians or by something else? A very good horror-western with a nice twist at the end.
3.5 out of 5 stars

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