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October 30, 2010 | By Gina McIntyre, Los Angeles TImes
It's not every day an English actor gets the chance to play a cowboy ? just ask Andrew Lincoln. The star of AMC's new original series, "The Walking Dead," says that when he was first offered the role of Rick Grimes, a small-town sheriff who survives the zombie apocalypse and struggles to stay alive in a world decimated by the flesh-eating undead, the opportunity to saddle up and channel his inner Gary Cooper proved too tempting to resist. "I went to work, and I put on cowboy boots, a Stetson, a bag of guns, and got on a horse called Blade and rode into an apocalyptic Atlanta," Lincoln said recently during a telephone interview.
November 29, 1992 | MICHAEL WILMINGTON, Michael Wilmington is a frequent contributor to Calendar
"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 | Sari Heifetz-Stricke
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....
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 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
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)
June 4, 2003 | Michael F. Blake, Special to The Times
The plot of a lone rider helping a group of homesteaders to stand up to a greedy cattle baron has been material for numerous western novels and films over the decades. This story line can be found in the novels of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour as well as many B-western films. It can also be found in the history of the American West, notably the Johnson County War. But perhaps the greatest use of this threadbare plot was in the classic western released 50 years ago today: "Shane."
You've heard of the spaghetti Western, the cowboy movies shot in Italy and Spain in the 1960s and 1970s. Well, here's a new twist on that old genre. Call it the borscht Western. Head southwest out of Moscow for an hour and drive brazenly through the gates of a Russian army base, past the barbed wire and manned watchtowers and there's an amazing sight: a ramshackle American town of the 1890s, complete with saloon and church.
July 25, 2011
"Cowboys & Aliens" isn't the first movie to mix sci-fi and western genres. A new DVD set, "A Big Box of Cowboys, Aliens, Robots and Death Rays," features eight vintage sagebrush sagas that also enter the sci-fi zone. Perhaps the most famous is 1935's "Radio Ranch" with Gene Autry. "Radio Ranch" is actually an edited feature-length version of Autry's serial "The Phantom Empire," which finds the singing cowboy discovering a race of humans living in a metropolis under the earth. The set also features films starring such famed movie cowpokes as Tim McCoy in 1936's "Ghost Patrol," Ken Maynard in 1932's "Tombstone Canyon," Ray "Crash" Corrigan in 1941's "Saddle Mountain Roundup" and Bill Cody Sr. and Jr. in 1935's "Vanishing Riders.
When he was studying under novelist John Irving at the renowned University of Iowa Creative Writers' Workshop in the mid-'70s, Bruce Thorstad dreamed of one day writing the great American novel. But "since there were so few openings for the next Faulkner," Thorstad instead spent 14 years as a magazine editor--first for Off Duty Europe, a general interest magazine for American servicemen, in Frankfurt, Germany; and then in the '80s for Off-Duty's Costa Mesa-based U.S. edition. Today, Thorstad is the critically acclaimed author of novels in a genre he never dreamed of writing back in his Iowa days: Westerns.
April 18, 1999 | SEAN MITCHELL, Sean Mitchell is a regular contributor to Calendar
What does it mean when an actor as good as Bill Pullman admits that of all genres, westerns push him beyond the line of make-believe? Recalling his time on the set of Lawrence Kasdan's "Wyatt Earp" in 1994, Pullman says, "I noticed how potent it felt to be around that environment. It's a different feeling: the guns strapped on, all these guys walking around. Who's going to get the hat with the special rawhide strap? Do you look right? Can you ride a horse? You don't want to think, 'I'm a fraud.'
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