Showing posts from May, 2015

Support Your Local Sheriff

Dir: Burt Kennedy - Cast: James Garner, Joan Hackett, Jack Elam, Bruce Dern, Harry Morgan, Walter Brennan, Henry Jones, Gene Evans, Dick Haynes
A delightful comedy western, using the popular theme of the stranger taming a lawless western town. The town is the Old West frontier town of Calendar, Colorado, the stranger is Jason McCullough (James Garner) a fortune seeker on his way to the promised land (No, not California, Australia).

Calender has fallen prey to the hysteria of a gold rush after the mayor’s daughter discovered gold in an open grave during a funeral ceremony. It has become a boomtown, but the only transportation route is controlled by the villainous Danby family and they ask a large fee for every shipment of gold brought out of town. The Mining Association urges the Town Council to appoint a new sheriff, but that’s easier said than done: three sheriffs were appointed in recent memory, two of them were killed, the third one ran off after no more…

Fort Massacre (1958)

Dir: Joseph M. Newman - Cast: Joel McCrea (Sgt. Vinson), Forrest Tucker (Pvt. McGurney), John Russell (Pvt. Travis), Anthony Caruso (Pawnee), Francis McDonald (Old Piute Man), Susan Cabot (Piute Girl)

Although it’s a minor production, shot on a reduced budget, this is one of the better ‘Indian westerns’ from the Fifties. It tells the familiar story of a small group of survivors who must try to get back to their outpost after an Indian attack. But if the premise is familiar, the execution is thoughtful and uncommon. The film is set in the last decade of the 19th Century, when the Apaches were fighting a desperate war in order to survive. The war has marked those who were involved in it - red or white - for life.

The soldiers have lost their Captain during the attack, and the highest person in rank, who now becomes their new leader, sergeant Vinson, is an Indian hater and a stubborn, inflexible person to boot:

"Do you think the Apaches are still following us, Serg?" “I don't…