by Anubhav Bist
The little moments.
If you were to ask me what makes Howard Hawk’s 1959 western so special, thats what I would say. The little moments. For me, this could be something as quick as James T. Chance’s quirky reaction after Feathers says, “You forgot your pants,” (how he actual stops and thinks about it before realizing the joke); or the way Chance hands Dude his rolled up cigarette after Dude screw ups trying to roll his own, all while they talk about that fact that Feathers didn’t get on the stagecoach (a poignant gesture that’s subtle enough to just exist in that moment, without ever breaking the flow of their conversation). It seems so simple, until you realize that it’s anything but. In a way, that sums up Rio Bravo pretty well. A profound cinematic experience that masquerades as simple Hollywood entertainment.
Sheriff James T. Chance (John Wayne giving easily his greatest “John Wayne” performance) must find a way to keep a murder, who also happens to be the brother of a wealthy rancher with criminal connections, imprisoned until the US Marshal arrives. His only allies: his drunk partner Dude (Dean Martin giving arguably the film’s most memorable performance), his elderly cripple deputy Stumpy (Hawks regular and Western veteran Walter Brennan), a young hotshot gunslinger Colorado (pop star Ricky Nelson) and the mysterious female gambler Feathers (Angie Dickinson in one of her first big roles). Continue Reading »
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New Disney animated feature “Frozen”
by Sam Juliano
With everyone getting their fill of turkey, trimmings and pumpkin pie the focus has now shifted to home decorations and shopping malls for the frantic three period leading up to the annual ritual of gift-giving. While the Farmer’s Almanac can’t even tell us what to expect weather-wise, we can at least hope for the appearance of what Bing Crosby longed for decades ago in his seasonal favorite. The site would once again like to thank our very dear friend Dee Dee for keeping the holiday torched lit on the sidebar for Thanksgiving, and for her continued daily reference to the Western Countdown. Speaking of that two-month venture we have reached the final five, with the post for the #1 film set to publish on Friday. Though the comment totals can never approach the comedy and especially the musical countdowns, the page views have been consistently impressive, and the writing has held its own from day one. (For the record, the musical countdown of 2011 was the absolute high point of WitD when one takes in the staggering number of comments, the quality of those comments, thousands of page views and essays that set the bar, a bar that may not have been equaled. Still, a number of writers on this western countdown are more than entitled to take a bow!)
There has been talk (nothing definite, no commitments, nothing concrete or even preliminary to this point) but there has been some informal talk about the possibility of a ‘Best American Television Series/Show’ polling in 2014. intended to follow-up on Allan’s Best British Television Series (which he did himself) the current idea would be to include all voters to write the essays just as was done here for the western, musical and comedy countdown. Whether there will be energy, time and desire to move forward with such a project will depend on a number of factors, but the possibility has been broached. In any case, if it were to happen it wouldn’t be for a number of months. Continue Reading »
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