Shelley takes no nonsense…

This is Shelley Winters to me:

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Always has been. Always will be. In fact, I don’t know her in any other role. That is, the cigar-smoking, non-nonsense taking Kate from The Scalphunters (1968). So there you have it…another secret is out. I guess I should try watch at least one other movie of hers…but you know what? I quite like her as this western lady. The one who gives tough-as-nails leader of the “wickedest, crookedest”* scalp hunters, Jim Howie (who else but Telly Savalas?), a run for his money:

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She has to though…who else would put up with kissing a man who chews tobacco and likes prunes:

Kate: “Look. Look at my skin. It’s getting all dried up. Pretty soon I’m going to look like an old prune.”

Howie: “Well, I like prunes”

She’s not scared to tell Jim Howie to run his business “like you knew what you’s doing” in such a way that all he can reply with is  “ain’t she pretty?”. And that she is. Underneath all her toughness, she dreams of a fancy house and beautiful skin. And, she’s Shelley Winters, really a pretty lady who has the perfect balance of sweetness and feistiness to pull off this role. I’m not sure who else could have been so perfectly cast opposite Telly Savalas, himself at times overpowering the screen.

Here she is, promised that after having had her hair shampooed by the humble cactus, she’ll be a fine lady:

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I think that goal was definitely achieved:

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Throughout the movie, Shelley Winters is just fabulous in her role. The perfect fit here and when facing the Kiowa chief, offering him a bottle of whiskey, she sums up her character (and performance) absolutely perfectly: “Indian Man, I don’t know how many wives you got now…but you’re going to have yourselves the damnedest white squaw in the Kiowa nation.”

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, do so. Aside from Shelley‘s performance, Telly Savalas, Burt Lancaster and Ossie Davis add their great acting skills to this western (with some comic moments added in). The story is about a fur tracker who encounters some Indians and being forced to trade his precious goods for an escaped slave. Things are further complicated when the furs end up with the renegades. For a more detailed review of the actual movie, head on over here (here).

*as so aptly described by Joe Bass (Burt Lancaster) to Joseph Lee (Ossie Davis)

Now I’m heading over to Realweegiemidget Reviews and Poppity Talks Classic Film the hosts of The Shelley Winters Blogathon  (here) to be enlightened on some more of this actress’ roles.

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The Ladd Tag…

…my dear blogging and chocolate swap friend Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews likes a tag as much as I do…and she got me this time. The Mad About Ladd tag comes from a mad about Ladd blogger Pale Writer who I’ve recently discovered is also a western fan! Anyway, moving along, here’s the tag (albeit a little late):

  1. Please add the name of and link to the person/blogger who tagged you as well as a link to Pale Writer and her original post here.
  2. Please post your four favourite pictures of Alan Ladd as well as your favourite gif.
  3. Say why you love these four pictures and this gif.
  4. Tag four other bloggers/ people who are part of the classic film or film community on twitter.
  5. And please circulate the rules through linking this post 😊

So, point 1 done, I now need to look for pictures and a gif of an actor I’ve only ever heard of (sorry…I know, that’s soooo bad. How could I?) and not seen….I’ll be back just now…

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Ok, I found some stuff and next, I guess I’d better make some time to watch this actor..

Here are the pics and why I like (love might be a strong word for an actor I don’t know 🙂 ) them – be warned though, as I am totally unfamiliar with any of his works, my comments might just be totally out of context…but hey, I’m trying…

  1. The first one that really caught my eye…I like it purely because it looks so intriguing. So mysterious. So suspenseful. I might just need to track this movie down.

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2. The next one was just so sweet. I guess it touches a soft spot seeing parent and child together. And I just like their expressions.fb982226a6455ea18a1eb2281b685b62--famous-men-famous-people

3. Up next, weirdly enough…a similar one to my first. I guess this movie (I think it is from the same one as 1) is really calling out to me. Once again, that intrigue got my attention.

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and finally, number 4…well, this one just seemed such a “classic movie” pose. I’m the romantic at heart and this one just speaks love and that there is about to be a huge change coming but that it will eventually all work out.dorothy_lamour_dorothy_lamour_alan_ladd_wild_harvest_1947_Or0q79A_sized

Then, the gif…here it is…I’m just so curious as to how a man with a gun, obviously waiting out some situation ends up with a cat in his lap and a lady by his side…

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I’m going to have to pass the tagging of other bloggers because I think all the classic film bloggers have been tagged by this stage…if not, you’ve been tagged…tee hee.

Announcing the Jeff Bridges Blogathon

JeffBridgesI think it’s high time we have a Blogathon in honour of an often underrated but brilliant actors…Jeff Bridges! I was first introduced to this fantastic actor when I was a teen and right from that moment, he was right there on the top of my list of favourites. And there he remains to this day.

So, without further ado, here it is:

I’ll be doing a one day only Blogathon, on Jeff Bridges‘ birthday. So, 4th December 2019 it is. You can submit as many entries as you like and the topics can cover the man himself, his movies, or anything related to this versatile actor. I don’t mind duplicates as everyone is different. No previously published posts though.

JeffBridges00You know the drill I’m sure…sign up in the comments below with your topic/movie of choice and publish it on 4th December 2019. I’ll link them all up on the Blogathon page that day. Oh, and in the meantime, grab a banner from further down (or create your own) and link back to me here.

(Of course, it should go without saying that if you are not a fan, please don’t submit a post i.e. no disrespectful entries please. And, please don’t write about a movie you didn’t really enjoy just because Mr Bridges is in it. We’re here to celebrate after all. )

Here’s the roster so far:

Thoughts All Sorts – Lolly Madonna XXX (1973)

MovieRob – TBC

Pfeiffer Pfilms & Meg Movies – The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

Dubsism – Tucker: The Man and his Dream (1988)

Realweegiemidget Reviews – Starman (1984)

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Costumes and all the drama..

220px-Plunkett_&_Macleane…yep, we’re looking at costuming up within a costume drama…and some drama it is…with highway robbers and damsels (definitely not in distress). Let me introduce Plunkett & Macleane (1999). One of my favourites (thank you Paul).

Ah, what a wonderful movie. Plunkett (Robert Carlyle) and Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller) encounter each other one dark and dreary night during some grave robbing ruby retrieving activities. And what a perfect pair of (gentlemen) highwaymen they become…Macleane’s former socialite statues gets him back amongst the wealthy while Plunkett’s criminal know-how… well, you get the basic scenario. Add Lady Rebecca Gibson (Liv Tyler), who’s star-struck by our pair (well, one in particular) and finds it all quite daring and so much more exciting than being the prim and proper niece of powerful Lord Gibson (Michael Gambon). And definitely more adventurous than being “courted” by halitosis suffering General Chance (Ken Stott) who’s always (mostly) one step behind getting the pair behind bars. Ensuring some wonderful entertainment, Lord Rochester (Alan Cumming) and his cronies just round it all off. Especially on the costume side of things:

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“You forget something. I have morals” Oh please! The morals are long gone. Targeting the rich…not for the poor but for the grand plan of going across to America. For new beginnings. And gosh, the quotes are just wonderful. Actually, the whole movie is just great but if I tell you anything more you’re going to miss out on this gem (hmmm, no pun intended).

With a gentleman highwayman, ruby births (you’ll understand), gallows and balls…what more could you possibly want? Oh, you even get the costumes and the drama (and lots of comedy). I highly recommend.

Let the fireworks begin! Have fun! PlunkettMacleane8

And head over to Moon in Gemini for some other entries in this wonderful Costume Drama Blogathon (here)

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Musical Notes: A Trip down memory lane with Kim Wilde’s Cambodia

Wow…I’d totally forgotten about this one and then it just appeared on a vintage music channel. And bam! I remembered it…very fondly. It took me back to school days and the days of my father’s massive vinyl collection (although, to me, simply “records”). And finally, blaring in my car these days:

Gosh, how music videos have changed over the years. I honestly didn’t even realise they were made back then, so it is quite fun checking them out these days. Ah, the 80s…what great times!

Happy Listening.

Oh…and I came across her with Nena providing some more 80s nostalgia albeit with a more recent performance together..perfect to start this Friday:

 

Kelly’s Heroes…good fun

Kelly's_Heroes_film_posterI’m not a big “war movie person” but with Kelly’s Heroes (1970) I make an exception. Because this movie isn’t just a war movie, no, it goes far beyond that. It is memories of those Super 8 movie days with my father. And of us quoting various scenes from Kelly’s Heroes by heart…

…for example “Sixty feet of bridge…” aah…but I get ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack just a little…I think I should give you a rough breakdown of the happenings first:

So, we have Kelly, of course, who hears about a stash of gold that would be good for the taking. Problem is, said stash is behind enemy lines. But, fear not, Kelly, being a tough soldier gets together his band of “heroes” with some added takers who end up in the group just because they happen to be in the “right” spot at appropriate time (think “Oddball” here”…I’ll explain later). And off they go…with all sorts of antics along the way. Remember, this isn’t a war war movie, no, it’s more of a comedy war movie (of course, with serious moments along the way).

Anyway, this became one of the most quoted movies in our household…mostly, because the memorable lines come from Donald Sutherland who was my father’s favourite actor. Like when all the bridges are being blown up just as our band of heroes want to cross. And Oddball, yes, Donald Sutherland (who else?) is tasked with finding a bridge…part of his telephonic negotiation goes along the lines of this:

Oddball: “…look baby, I’m kinda hung up. I need sixty feet of bridge.”

Bellamy: “Hey kid. They haven’t got you in the nut ward again?”

Oddball: “Ah Bellamy, for cryin’ out loud………I don’t need you. Sixty feet of bridge I can get almost anywhere. Schmuck!”

Oh boy, and the “negative waves”…always positive even when the bridge gets blown. As for his “battle tactics”:

Oddball: “These tanks are faster than any other tanks in the European Theater of Operations. Forwards or backwards. You see man, we like to feel we can get out of trouble quicker than we got into it.”

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And when Kelly asks if he has any other weapons:

Oddball: “Well yeah, man, you see, like, all the tanks we come up against are bigger and better than ours, so that all we can hope to do is, like, scare ’em away y’ know. This gun is an ordinary 76mm but we add this piece of pipe onto it and the Krauts think, like uh, maybe it’s a 90mm”

Further explaining that “We have a loudspeaker here, and when we go into battle we play music, very loud. It kind of…calms us down.” and “We got our own ammunition. it’s filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes… pretty pictures. Scares the hell outta people!”

But, it isn’t only Oddball who’s fantastic in this one. The whole bunch of heroes work so well with nobody out-shadowing the other. Clint Eastwood, is of course Kelly, all serious and leader of the group. Second in command, if you like, is Big Joe…ah, what a character – also his own entity and always shouting about as only Telly Savalas can. Crapgame, Don Rickles, is always wheeling and dealing in some way or other. And the list goes on making for a well worthwhile watch.

Another thing that always sticks out for me is the opening (well, not opening but the first piece) song “Burning Bridges” by the Mike Curb Congregation. Back in the day, before online shopping, I searched many a CD store (remember those?) for this title…and finally found it on a compilation CD. Here it is with some snippets from the movie (so, possibly spoiler alert):

Overall, a treat of a war movie.

Thanks to Maddy of Maddy Loves her Classic Films together with Jay of Cinema Essentials for hosting this Blogathon. Head on over to their sites for other great entries.

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~Legends of Western Cinema Week Tag~

Ahhh….anything Western just catches my attention and so I came across Caftan Woman‘s Post titled LEGENDS OF WESTERN CINEMA WEEK: Post 2, Tag (originating at Along the Brandywine here.) And in this European heat wave…a tag is just perfect…especially with the Western theme. Ok, ok, a Western tag is perfect come rain or shine, hot or cold… 🙂

1) Do you tolerate, like, or love westerns?

What kind of question is that???? I looooooove Westerns! But those “traditional” style ones. These new-fangled modern-day Westerns aren’t for me.

2) What do you enjoy about them and, more broadly, the west itself (e.g. the history, accompanying paraphernalia, etc)?

War_Wagon_film_posterI just love that “romantic” notion that the Western movie brings me. There’s something special about a cowboy driftin’ the plains. The honkey tonk music somewhere in a distant saloon where someone is bound to come crashing to the boardwalk through the swinging doors. And then there are the cowgirls, the ladies who can swing into the saddle and wrangle as good as any man. She can hold her own in the dusty west yet always has a tender side.

3) What’s the first western you can remember watching?

The War Wagon with John Wayne on the Super 8 reels my parents had salvaged from a store who was about to throw them out when VHS and Beta Videos came out and the Video Store was born. I think part of my passion comes from that certain something that came with watching movies on our white lounge walls and ever so often having to change burnt out light bulbs or salvage stuck film before it melted.

4) Who are your favorite western stars, the ones whose presence in a western will make you pick it up off the shelf?

Gosh, this is a difficult one. When I was younger, John Wayne (but a young or middle-aged John Wayne) was a definite watch. Gary Cooper and Paul Newman weren’t too bad either. But over the past few years, Gregory Peck has become my favourite. But this too is bound to change. I like modern day actors in Westerns too – Michael Fassbender does a good job as does Karl Urban.

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5) What’s your favorite performance by an actress in a western?

scalphunters3I thoroughly enjoy Sharon Stone in her role as The Lady in The Quick and the Dead. But Shelley Winters as cigar smoking Kate in The Scalphunters is absolutely brilliant.

6) What is your “go-to” western, the one you’ll typically reach for?

Yellow Sky. And now and then The Magnificent Seven (1960). But yes…Yellow Sky. I’d say it is my favourite western.

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7) Do your family/friends share your interest in westerns, or are you a lone ranger (pun completely intended)?

My father loved a good western but these days I’m out on the prairie alone.

8) Pick one western to live inside for a week, and explain why you chose it.

I’d have to pick Yellow Sky…and of course I’d be “Mike” (Anne Baxter) as she’s tough as nails yet behind all that lies a woman who’d love a beautiful dress or that flowery bonnet. And it is just so wonderful how her friendship with “Stretch” (Gregory Peck) develops. Ok…fine, I just love this movie so I’ll admit it…I’d dream of living it…

 

Although, as a little girl I used to see myself as some character in Big Jake and make up my own derivative story.

9) Share one (or several!) of your favorite quotes from a western.

Ha ha…I don’t even need to look this one up: “You can call me father. You can call me Jacob. You can call me Jake. You can call me a dirty son-of-a-bitch. But if you ever call me Daddy again, I’ll finish this fight.” – Jacob McCandles (John Wayne) to his son James (Patrick Wayne) in one of my other favourites, Big Jake.

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