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Author Topic: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020  (Read 13725 times)

Sandy

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #130 on: March 29, 2020, 04:14:06 PM »
It's 78 on the Sight and Sound list, so due by May. I'll get there! I love Michelle Williams, so I'm motivated to see Meek's. Still might not happen bc I got to get to three films in S&S by the end of March.

etdoesgood, you can add in movies to this marathon anytime after March. I keep an eye on the thread and will index any film that gets reviewed here. It was fun to read your Blazing Saddles review. I thought I was the only one here who hasn't seen it yet. Maybe now it's true. :)



1SO, I can't remember if I was told there was an older version of The Three Godfathers, than the 1948 version. I thought I had seen all of the them (3), but now you say there are too many to count!

Sandy

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #131 on: March 29, 2020, 05:20:14 PM »

1SO

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #132 on: March 29, 2020, 06:24:09 PM »
1SO, I can't remember if I was told there was an older version of The Three Godfathers, than the 1948 version. I thought I had seen all of the them (3), but now you say there are too many to count!

There are at least 4 silent versions and this is the 2nd one with sound.

Antares

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #133 on: March 30, 2020, 04:57:57 PM »
Man Without a Star (1955) 65/100 - Universal International was well known in the fifties for their western offerings, so I can't understand why Kirk Douglas, in his production company's first film, decided upon King Vidor to be the director. Last night, I watched an early Budd Boetticher film from two years earlier which had plenty of action and showed that Boetticher was a director on the rise. When the film started I was enthusiastic, because the opening theme song was sung by Frankie Laine, usually a good harbinger of things to come. But from the onset, it doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be. Bits of comedy, Douglas singing a song and in the end, a somewhat revenge vibe, that never really amounts to anything of merit. It was entertaining, hell, anything with Kirk Douglas is, but it never really satisfies. In the end, it comes across as nothing more than a B movie. Had Douglas chosen Boetticher, it may have been much, much better. It had the potential.
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Antares

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #134 on: March 31, 2020, 01:46:11 PM »
Now that we've come to the end of another March in the West marathon, it's fitting that I pay tribute to an icon of the genre.
He never carried a six gun, never busted a bronco nor did he drive cattle along the dusty trail.
But to a couple of generations of sagebrush saga fanatics, he was the voice of the West.
Blessed to be born with a set of pipes that would echo the sentiments and atmosphere of the lonely prairie, Frankie Laine was an enigma.
He was an Italian-American, born in the Bronx, but he sounded as if he had ridden the open ranges of the West for decades.
In 1955, Frankie Laine sang his first theme song for a western, the Kirk Douglas film Man Without a Star


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu9W4FHsXxk

That same year he sang the theme song for the Greer Garson/Dana Andrews western Strange Lady in Town.
Kind of forgettable from a songwriting viewpoint, but man does Laine hit some amazing notes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbOK9JrJ-yU

A couple of years later, in 1957, he'd record the two theme songs that would forever cement his legacy in the genre.
Gunfight at OK Corral & 3:10 to Yuma

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqyiRwlLa80 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkXDLNRVMxY

The following year he sang the theme for a B movie western from Republic Pictures called Bullwhip and it was a flop.
And just like Strange Lady in Town, the song isn't that great and Laine shares a few lines with a shrill female singer.
But Laine just can't be brought down, he finishes the song with ballsy bravado.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xK5iiygx_8

Laine made what should have been his final entry in the western genre in 1959, with the theme song from the hit western Rawhide.
The show is best remembered for being Clint Eastwood's first taste of fame.
Laine only sang eight western theme songs, but he is best remembered for this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJeBtHjqJz0

Now I mentioned that Rawhide should have been the last theme song he sang for a western.
But in 1973, when Mel Brooks was getting ready to start shooting Blazing Saddles, he wanted someone who sounded like Frankie Laine to sing the theme.
(from IMDB)
When Mel Brooks advertised in the show business trade papers for a "Frankie Laine-type" voice to sing the film's title song, he was hoping for a good imitator.
Instead, Frankie Laine himself showed up at Brooks' office two days later, ready to do the job, but nobody told him the movie was a parody.
Brooks never told Frankie Laine that the theme song "Blazing Saddles" was for a comedy.
Laine thought it was a dramatic western.
Brooks was worried that Laine wouldn't sing it with conviction if he knew the truth.


So, the theme from Blazing Saddles would be his final entry, and he definitely went out with a bang!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-XRYCoMc6w
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smirnoff

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #135 on: March 31, 2020, 02:27:39 PM »
Very cool Antares. I don't think it gets better than the Yuma song. Makes for one of the great endings of all time. :)

Antares

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #136 on: March 31, 2020, 05:49:17 PM »
Keoma (1976) 40/100 - The final climactic scene in this film has the main protagonist, a half breed squaring off with his three white half brothers, while a woman is giving birth and screaming in agony. But it is the viewer who is in agony after watching this incredibly bad movie. It has the worst soundtrack I have ever heard, with a screaming banshee of a woman and what sounds like a guy who is gargling with razor blades as he sings. Every time either one would start to sing, I had to stop the film and come back to it after a few days, it was that annoying to listen to. It took me over 8 attempts to make it to the end. Earlier in the month, after watching a Corbucci film, I pondered if I'd ever watch a spaghetti western again. After Keoma, my mind is set, I'm done.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 04:28:34 AM by Antares »
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Sandy

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #137 on: March 31, 2020, 10:05:00 PM »
 :D That is a decided review!



Thank you for the Frankie Laine tribute, Antares. I really enjoyed learning about him and listening to his songs.

Sandy

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #138 on: March 31, 2020, 10:20:13 PM »


There's just no sense to build and fence
Not if you like to wander
Each hill I see is callin' me
Go yonder, yonder, yonder
. - Man Without a Star


Thanks for all the great reviews everyone! Same time next year. :)


(If you have other Westerns, please feel free to add them here.)

1SO

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Re: Once Upon a March in the West - 2020
« Reply #139 on: March 31, 2020, 11:01:35 PM »
I always thought THE Western crooner was the one who sang "Do not forsake me, oh, my darling". So I looked it up.

That was also Frankie Laine.