CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 1995 |
If Al Jennings had been as tall as his tales, he might have become one of Hollywood's early leading men, instead of a technical adviser and character actor who helped shape one of the film industry's most enduring genres--the Western. Unfortunately, the gun-packing man who was variously an evangelist, outlaw, lawyer, author, actor and politician before becoming one of the San Fernando Valley's most colorful characters stood a scant five feet in height, even with his boots on.
June 20, 1993 |
To know "The Searchers" is to love it. Or is it? Directed by the venerable John Ford and starring John Wayne at his strongest and strangest, this, the most celebrated of Westerns (opening on Wednesday for a nine-day revival at Laemmle's Monica in Santa Monica), was not exactly fawned over when it first appeared.
December 5, 1993 |
America's Western hero is one tough hombre. Pronounced dead by critics on a number of occasions, he always manages to dust himself off and get back in the saddle again.
July 7, 2011 |
Robert Mitchum westerns? The quintessential film noir actor, whose distinctly urban air of seductive menace galvanized films such as "Out of the Past," riding hell bent for leather on some galloping steed? There must be some mistake. Of course, as all Mitchum fans know -- and as the new UCLA Film & Television Archive series "Tracking the Cat: Robert Mitchum in the West" starting at the Hammer Museum on Friday proves -- the actor had extensive western experience. So much so that, as he once famously told an interviewer, "I have two kinds of acting: one on a horse, one off a horse.
November 29, 1992 |
"They're all gone now except for me and Sammy Fuller," Budd Boetticher says quietly. The last roundup, perhaps? Oscar (Budd) Boetticher Jr. is talking about the major directors of the Hollywood Western's Golden Age. And the colleagues he's recalling--the Howard Hawkses, Raoul Walshes, Anthony Manns, Don Siegels and William Wellmans-- are mostly gone.
February 17, 2012 |
The best way to find a good guy in the westerns of director Sergio Leone is to look for a worse guy. The Italian director's penchant for blurring the lines between heroes and villains stood in stark contrast with the clear distinctions found in traditional Hollywood westerns and helped modernize and revitalize the genre, two facts readily apparent in "Once Upon a Time: The Films of Sergio Leone" at the American Cinematheque beginning Friday....
November 1, 2002 |
Don't tell the folks at Turner Classic Movies that the western is dead. The all-movie channel has lassoed the most comprehensive collection of movie westerns ever made for its "The Every Great Western (Except 'Shane') Film Festival" that begins Saturday with an all-day tribute to John Wayne. About that series title, TCM vice president of program production Tom Brown says the cable outlet decided to be upfront.
June 16, 1993 |
Just as Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Madeleine Stowe, Robert Duvall, Richard Dean Anderson and others are saddling up with various Westerns as part of a resurgence in the genre, one of Hollywood's legendary Western streets is biting the dust. By the end of today, Warner Bros.
January 18, 2011 |
Television has been around so long now ? more than 60 years in the commercial form we know today ? that to many of its viewers its origins are lost in the swirling mists of time, available to those who seek it out on video, but increasingly less a presence in the rota of reruns. "Pioneers of Television," a four-part series that begins Tuesday on KOCE, falls somewhere between archaeology and nostalgia. This is a second installment: Four earlier hours (on sitcoms, game shows, variety shows and talk shows)
July 11, 2003 |
The western has always been the story of a man and his gun, but as the genre teaches us time and again, just as a man can always find a new reason to fire a Colt revolver, so can a filmmaker. Built on myth and chaparral, the western was for decades an important part of the Hollywood studio mix, at times accounting for upward of a quarter of total production. Nowhere was it more important than at Columbia Pictures.