Special Sub-Topic: 21 Gun Salute
|One actor plays both the hero and the villain. One has a tin nose because the other bit it off. Alcohol and the woman don't mix, but the horse likes to get drunk. What film is this?|
Cat Ballou. Lee Marvin won an Oscar for playing dual roles as Kid Shelleen, an alcoholic ex-gun fighter, and his twin brother Tim Strawn, a hired killer with a tin nose. The scene of Kid Shelleen sitting on his horse, with the both of them drunk, and leaning against a building fast asleep is unforgettable. Jane Fonda played the title role as a school marm seeking revenge for the murder of her father by Strawn. Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye are balladeers who sing the theme song thoughout this 1965 film that I rate as #10.
|The town marshal runs a saloon to make enough money to buy pistol ammunition. This town-tamer and his crippled side-kick must teach the area cowboys to respect the law. Which film is this?|
Warlock. Henry Fonda is Clay Blaisdell, a famous gunfighter hired to clean up a lawless town. His back-up is Anthony Quinn, as gambler Tom Morgan, who has a club foot and is fast with a gun. Hired as marshal, Blaisdell tells the city council he must open a gambling parlor to supplement his meager income. A group of ranch hands have been shooting up the town and must be stopped. Richard Widmark and Frank Gorshin play cowboy ,along with their friend, DeForest Kelley. This 1959 film has been sadly overlooked but I think it is a great one, in spite of Gorshin's irritating overacting and Fonda throwing his prize guns away in the dirt at the 1959 movie's ending. I rate this movie as #9.
|A band of hired guns ride into a village and teach the locals how to handle bullies. Gold and food have great meaning. What movie is this?|
The Magnificent Seven. This 1960 film, that I rate #8, has a superb musical score by Elmer Bernstein, outstanding direction by John Sturgis, and a fabulous cast of Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter,and Eli Wallach. Every year Mexican bandits ride into a small farming village and take the local harvest and winter supplies. The locals hire American gunmen, led by Chris, and are only able to pay each of them a 20 dollar gold piece. The Americans are unemployed and hungry so they accept the job, which includes all they can eat. One of the gunmen believes Chris knows where the farmers' gold treasure is hidden.
|After a botched robbery attempt, the gang, with a posse on its tail, heads for south of the border, getting into even bigger trouble. They end up in Agua Verde. What movie is this? |
The Wild Bunch. This 1969 Sam Peckinpah film featured William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Edmond O'Brien, Strother Martin, and Robert Ryan. In 1913, an aging outlaw gang tries to rob a Texas bank dressed as American soldiers but has to flee after shooting it out in an ambush by local authorities. Some of the gang, the rest being killed, are able to reach the Mexican town of Agua Verde where they end up being wiped out by a revolutionary bandido and his men. I rate this movie at #7.
|The title of this film could have been "Gold, Greed, and Spaghetti". How can a hideous man stand on a tombstone with a noose around his neck, with an evil man dead on the ground in front of him, and a decent guy trying to shoot the rope in two from around a mile away? Which movie is this?|
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. With an unique musical score, this 1966 film scores big as the first Spaghetti Western, in which Clint Eastwood as Blondie, Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes and Eli Wallach as Tuco are the good one, the bad one, and the ugly one. They all end up seaching and fighting for buried treasure, which lies hidden in a graveyard. These three shoot it out in a cemetary after finding the loot, with Bad lying dead, Ugly about to hang, and Blondie riding away in triumph. I rate this classic at #6.
|A tough Texas cattle baron comes to to believe his son is a cattle rustler and they end up duking it out. What film is this?
Red River. Directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, this taut 1948 movie has John "Duke" Wayne as the hard-as-nails cattle baron, Tom Dunston, and Montgomery Clift as his adopted son, Matt Garth. This pair start a long cattle drive from Texas to Kansas, only to become at odds over morals, management style, and proper destination. With the help of gunfighter Cherry Valance, played by John Ireland, and cook Nadine Groot, played by Walter Brennan, Matt takes over the drive, leaving Dunston behind. Dunston finally catches up with Garth. A tremendous fist fight takes place in Abilene, with neither winning but making up because of the intervention of the heroine. I rate this film at #5.
|The town marshal dispatches the Duck of Death, only to be eliminated by the Avenger before his leaky dream house can be finished. Don't mess with the ladies of the Cat House. What movie is this referring to?|
Unforgiven. In this 1992 film, Gene Hackman won an Oscar for his role of Little Bill Daggett, Marshal of Big Whiskey, Wyoming. After two cowboys cut up a whore, the other whorehouse gals offer a $1000 reward for the death of the cowboys involved, because the marshal downplays the crime. English Bob, a gunfighter, shows up to claim the reward, accompanied by a book writer who has published him as "The Duke of Death". Little Bill calls English Bob "The Duck of Death", severely beats him, and runs him out of town. Meanwhile, an ex-outlaw, Will Munny, shows up to avenge the cowboys' crime and also gets badly beaten by Little Bill, who beats and kills Will's friend. Little Bill wants nothing more than to finish building his dream home, but Munny makes sure the marshal and the cowboys are laid to rest. I like this film at #4.
|"Do not forsake me, oh my darling." is the the silent thought in this lawman's mind, as he hopelessly tries to get help against the killers coming to town. I quake to think of her unsupportive attitude. What is the name for this film?|
High Noon. This 1952 suspense thriller won an Oscar for Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane, who alone must face a group of killers. On his wedding day, Kane is informed that Frank Miller, a man he sent to prison for murder, has been released. Miller is arriving in town on the noon train to meet his gang (Lee Van Cleef, Sheb Wooley, Robert Wilke). Kane asks the townspeople for help but everyone tells him to run away, including his pacifist Quaker bride (Grace Kelly). With some miraculous maneuvering and luck, Kane manages to send the killers to boot hill, with some last minute help from his wayward wife. The great cast includes Harry Morgan, Thomas Mitchell, Katy Jurado, Lloyd Bridges, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Elam. The famous theme song is sung by Tex Ritter. Number 3 is my rating for this, among all-time greatest Westerns.
|"I found Lucy back in the canyon. What do you want me to do? Draw you a picture?" The Indians are raiding Texas ranches and a search for captured girls turns out to be a prolonged ordeal. In what movie does this occur?|
The Searchers. This classic 1956 John Ford film is a cornucopia of marvelous acting, directing, writing, scenery, and everything else. Confederate Ethan Edwards returns home to Texas three years after the Civil War. Shortly afterwards, he experiences the massacre of his brother and family by marauding Indians, who also kidnap his two young nieces, Lucy (Pippa Scott) and Debbie (Lana Wood as the young and Natalie Wood as the older). A posse of Texas Rangers and ranchers go after the Indians and Nathan finds Lucy dead. He now tells Lucy's boyfriend (Harry Carey Jr.) that Lucy is dead. After the posse gives up hunting for Debbie, Ethan and his nephew (Jeffrey Hunter) go on for years, searching. Finally, they find Debbie alive and return home with her. Others in this wondrous cast of Ford Players are Olive Carey, Ken Curtis, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Patrick Wayne, Hank Worden, and John Qualen. I rate this film at #2.
|The hero says to the villain, "I've heard that you're a low down Yankee liar." How shocking! That kind of filthy talk would make any man's blood boil. So it's the Buckskins versus the Leather Gloves with a boy watching the final Showdown. Which great movie is this?|
Shane. In my opinion, this 1953 film is the greatest Western ever. It's the cowboys versus the farmers, with George Stevens directing. Gunfighter Shane (Alan Ladd) rides into what appears to be a peaceful valley and goes to work for a farmer (Van Heflin) in order to lay down his gun. The farmer's wife (Jean Arthur in her last role) and son Joey (Brandon De Wilde) win the affection of Shane. Then comes trouble because the local cattle baron and his brother want to put the farmers out of business. They hire the meanest villain ever (Jack Palance as Jack Wilson) to get rid of Shane and all of the homesteaders. The climax has Shane in his buckskin clothes facing Wilson who wears black leather gloves to do his killing. Joey watches as Shane rides to town and insults Wilson. Shane kills Wilson, the cattle baron, and the brother in the saloon. Shane also gets shot, but rides off with Joey yelling to him to come back. Does Shane die from his wounds? The movie does not make it clear what becomes of Shane. Others in the cast are Ben Johnson, Elisha Cook Jr., and Edgar Buchanan. I like this as the greatest Western ever made.
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