Special Sub-Topic: 10 Great Westerns From The 1950s
|(1950) Lin McAdam (James Stewart) wins a 'One-of-a-Thousand' rifle in a shooting competition. 'Dutch Henry' Brown (Stephen McNally) who McAdam wants to kill to avenge his father's murder, steals the rifle from McAdam. The rifle changes hands several times until a climactic shootout on a rocky hillside. What is the name of this movie?|
Winchester '73. This was the first of five westerns that Stewart and Director Anthony Mann would work together on. There were actually 133 'One-of-a-Thousand' Model 1873s that were manufactured. There was not enough money in the film budget to pay Stewart his asking price of $200,000 so Stewart offered to take a percentage of the films profits, one of the first deals of its kind. Stewart is thought to have made about $600,000 on "Winchester '73".
|(1950) Notorious gunslinger Jimmy Ringo (Gregory Peck) has to defend himself and he kills a man. The man's brothers are out for revenge but Ringo surprises them, takes their guns and drives off their horses. He then stops at a nearby town to see his wife and son, whom he has not seen in eight years. He tries to convince his wife that he has changed and wants to settle down, maybe in California. What is the name of this movie?|
The Gunfighter. John Wayne really wanted to play Ringo and Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures bought the rights to the movie with Wayne in mind. Wayne refused to work with Cohn who, nearly twenty years earlier, had mistreated him when he was first starting as an actor. Cohn then sold the rights to Twentieth Century Fox and Peck got the role.
|(1951) Fur trapper and mountain man Flint Mitchell (Clark Gable) leads an expedition to trap for beaver in the lands of the Blackfoot Indians. Flint buys and marries a young Blackfoot girl, Kamiah, who is the granddaughter of a chief, thinking that will get them safe passage. Over time Flint falls in love with Kamiah and they have a son. What is the name of this movie? |
Across the Wide Missouri. The film was shot in Technicolor and, when filming on location in Colorado, the crew had to use mules to get the heavy Technicolor cameras and equipment to the set. Ricardo Montalban, who played a Blackfoot chief in the movie, was seriously injured after being thrown from a horse. The injury required a 9-1/2 hour operation and left him in constant pain until his death in January 2009.
|(1952) On his wedding day Will Kane (Gary Cooper) finds out that a man he sent to prison when he was town Marshall is getting out of prison. At first, he decides to leave with his wife but he soon realizes that he has to go back and face the man. Soon after returning to town he realizes that the people he protected for so long are turning their backs on him when he needs them. What is the name of this movie?|
High Noon. The pained look on Cooper's face might not have been all acting; he had a bleeding ulcer at the time of filming and was actually in a lot of pain. A lot of the movie was filmed in the old gold rush town of Columbia, Ca. Today it is a state park on Highway 49 just outside of Sonora.
|(1953) Cavalry scout Lane (John Wayne) and his dog Sam take refuge in the middle of Apache country-at the ranch of Angie Lowe (Geraldine Page) and her son. After leaving the ranch Lane has a fight with Angie's cowardly husband and ends up killing him. The Apaches then capture Lane and, in order to save his life, Angie tells the chief that Lane is her husband. What is the name of this movie?|
Hondo. Louis L'Amour's short story, "The Gift of Cochise" was the basis for the screenplay. This was the first film role for Geraldine Page and she received an Academy Award nomination. Wayne had planned on just producing the movie for his Batjac producton company and he wanted Glenn Ford to play Hondo. Ford though had such a bad experience working with director John Farrow on another movie, he turned down the offer and Wayne took on the role.
|(1954) Following the US Civil War former a confederate soldier, Benjamin Trane (Gary Cooper), joins with a gang led by Joe Erin (Burt Lancaster). The men are hired, by Emperor Maximillian, to escort Countess Marie Duvarre through rebel territory. On the way, they discover there are three million dollars in gold coins hidden in the Countess' carriage and they all want it for themselves. What is the name of this movie?|
Vera Cruz. During a break in filming, Charles Bronson and Eanest Borgnine decided to ride to a nearby town for cigarettes. A group of Federales held them at gunpoint mistaking them for bandits because they were in full costume, pistols and all. Lancaster's company, Norma Productions, produced "Vera Cruz" for $1.7 million and it grossed over $11 million.
|(1956) Shortly after returning to Texas from the Civil War, Ethan Edwards' (John Wayne) two nieces are kidnapped and the rest of his family murdered by a band of Comanche Indians. Ethan and Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), who is Ethan's brother's adopted son, soon learn that one of the girls has been killed. The two spend the next five years looking for the remaining girl. What is the name of this movie?|
The Searchers. John Wayne named one of his sons Ethan in homage to his role in "The Searchers", he considered it one of his best roles and favorite movies. In June 2008, The American Film Institute ranked "The Searchers" as the No. 1 Western of all time.
|(1957) Pvt. O'Meara (Rod Steiger), a Confederate Army veteran, refuses to surrender to the Yankees and heads West. O'Meara is captured by a band of Sioux and survives a ritual-after which no Sioux may harm him. He then joins the tribe, takes a wife and they live happily, until the US Army shows up with plans to build a fort. What is the name of this movie?|
Run of the Arrow. RKO originally produced the movie but went bankrupt before the film was released, RKO then sold it to Universal and it was distributed as a Universal movie. This was the first film to use squibs to simulate the impact of bullets.
|(1959) A small town Texas sheriff, John T. Chance (John Wayne), tries to keep a murderer in custody while the man's brother does everything he can to break him out. Helping Chance are a drunk, Dude (Dean Martin), an old cripple, Stumpy (Walter Brennan) and a young guitar playing gunslinger, Colorado Ryan (Ricky Nelson). What is the name of this movie?|
Rio Bravo. This was the final appearance together for Wayne and Ward Bond, who had known each other since college at USC and had worked together in 22 movies. This was one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite movies; if he liked a girl he would show her "Rio Bravo" and she had better like it or that would be the end of the relationship.
|(1959) Colonel John Marlowe (John Wayne) leads a Union cavalry brigade on a mission behind Confederate lines to destroy a supply/railroad depot. The regimental surgeon, Major Henry Kendall (William Holden), who is constantly butting heads with the Colonel, is also torn between his duty as an Officer and the horrors of the war around him. After the mission is accomplished, Major Kendall has to decide whether to stay with the critically injured men and be captured or leave the men without medical care until the Confederates show up. What is the name of this movie?|
The Horse Soldiers. Holden and Wayne each received $775,000 plus 20% of the profits from the movie but, since the movie did not make any profit they just received their salaries. The contracts for the two amounted to twice as many pages as the movie script. Director John Ford suspended filming in Louisiana after stuntman Fred Kennedy was killed while performing a fall from a horse, filming was later finished in California.
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