I've been a fan of Westerns since my early 1950s cinema-going childhood.  Whilst they have fallen out of

fashion in recent decades, they still retain their ability to tell a tale that entertains us in all sorts of ways,

and there have been occasional fine reminders of their original popularity in productions like "Missing"

(Tommy Lee Jones), "Unforgiven" (Clint Eastwood); "Open Range" (Kevin Costner >already famous for

"Dances With Wolves"), and the much admired TV presentation "Lonesome Dove"  (Robert Duvall/Tommy

Lee Jones).  Some of the older film productions like "Shane" and "The Searchers" possess a poetic 

quality that ensures their survival across the generations.  The genre itself has been sufficiently robust

to withstand the defiantly non-PC treatment of "Blazing Saddles\" (Mel Brooks) in which just about

anything and everything was mercilessly lampooned.  But the mickey-taking was nothing new - as I

was reminded during the last week when I dusted off my DVD copies of the two Bob Hope comedy

Westerns of the 1950s - "The Paleface" and "Son of Paleface".  Very definitely of their non-PC time,

Hope's characterisations of "Painless Potter" (the dentist who won the West. in the first film) - and then 

as the idiot son who travelled West to seek his old man's gold - aided and abetted by glamorous Jane

Russell in both films, plus the famous cowboy singing star Roy Rogers aboard his equally famous

horse "Trigger" ( a horse so smart that it could share a bed with Hope and keep pulling the

bedcovers across to his own side of the bed) all ensured the fun of the sequel.  But then even Laurel

and Hardy knew about the public fondness for the genre and their recording of a song called

"The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" from a Western film they made was a hit twice over - with decades in

between!.  Bob Hope could (and still can) get laughs from a riotous first appearance in a back-firing

jalopy, with his brash attempt to reassure the panicking townsfolk "It's only me. (a quick thought and

self-admiring gesture) - "ONLY me?  That has to be the understatement of the year!".

I saw both films on succeeding nights and went to bed with a huge grin on my face.  Now i live in the

hope that Steven Spielberg might bring his wonderful talents to the cause of making a Western.  That

would be something!  Poetry in motion and emotion seems a very likely result..  








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M.C. Newberry

Sun 23rd Oct 2022 00:48

Shucks, Miss Bethany - your pa displays all the discernment of a
refined gentleman! 😌

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Bethany Sallis

Sat 22nd Oct 2022 20:57

To quote my invisible Stetson and gun wearing/slinging * Paw*...
tham thar the mighty finest 'thang since sliced bread Ma'am! (me)

it's a wonder we aren't missing quite a few rooftiles with all the six-guns going off on telly day in day out! 😅

his fave cowboy film black bart type character-Jack Palance
his fave cowboy film goodie' ( sorry Mr Wayne ) Clint Eastwood

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