Dallas…I’ve never seen an episode in my life so on seeing the Darlin’ Dallasers Blogathon announced I almost passed it by. At the last moment (you know that point that you’re closing down a browser window and something catches your eye?) I saw a vital bit of information: “You don’t need to have seen Dallas”. Yay!
I trawled through IMDB’s cast list and voila I can write about Lou Diamond Phillips, a sidewalk thug in one episode of Dallas and starring in Young Guns (and Young Guns II but I’m not going there). The last time I watched said movie was exactly 10 years ago. How times flies so I think a re-watch is in order…I’ll be back a little later.
A little later…
And I’ve just finished watching. It was so much fun with its 80s music and general feel. Back to the Blogathon topic though…Lou Diamond Phillips. He plays outlaw ‘Jose’ Chavez y Chavez the perfect balance in the bunch of regulators who are out to avenge the murder of John Tunstall (Terence Stamp), the man who took them in. With hot-headed and impulsive William H. ‘Billy the Kid’ Bonney (Emilio Estevez), ever reasoning Josiah Gordon ‘Doc’ Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland) and the remaining gang personalities, Chavez seems to be the calmest of the lot. I’ve always enjoyed watching him think and reason before rushing into a situation. Make no mistake, when required, he’s in the middle of the action, putting his neck (or knives) out for his pals (there’s something elegant and powerful about his knife-throwing skills). And when he’s not in the main foreground goings-on (and visible in the background), notice his facial expressions or actions. I’d say now, as was the case back then, he’s still my favourite outlaw of the gang. Off on a tangent for a moment – I’d totally forgotten about Dermot Mulroney as tobacco chewing/spitting, rotten toothed Dirty Steve Stephens in this one.
I’ve been doing some reading today and found that the movie characters do, in fact, tie up with some of the real members of the Lincoln Country Regulators. Including Chavez. It appears that he was an outlaw from an early age and around his 20s joined the Regulators. He seemed to have quite an interesting lifestyle being at times a murderer, a Deputy Sheriff and even having a death sentence (or two) handed to him. Unlike what is portrayed in Young Guns II, he was not gunned down but actually died of natural causes in 1924, having been long pardoned by this time.
While Young Guns (1988) may not be the best western out there, it is still lots of fun and didn’t even score too badly on IMDB (6.8 rating). It was good to pull this DVD out again and I think I’m going to give Young Guns II a re-watching despite the fact that Young Guns finished off nicely stating fairly realistically what happened to those who survived the final shootout.
PS: I fondly remember how Young Guns was the only western my school friends knew at one stage. If I said I like westerns, it was typically “Oh, Young Guns” to which my response was “No, not really”. I had to laugh.
Some trivia from IMDB: Apparently Tom Cruise is to be seen donning a moustache in the final shootout but as hard as I look, I just can’t spot him.