Special Sub-Topic: A Trip to the Video Store
|The first movie I am going to look for is "Blazing Saddles" (1974) because it is one of the funniest cowboy movies I have ever seen. Who directed this satirical look at the typical western movie?|
Mel Brooks. This hysterically funny, star-studded movie made fun of just about everything related to western movies, including race. Actor Cleavon Little stars as the first black sheriff of a small town that has been told it is going to be demolished so that the railroad can come through. The movie featured Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, who were also featured in the Mel Brooks movie "Young Frankenstein" (1974). One of the most memorable scenes in the movie deals with farting from eating beans around a campfire. Mel Brooks' characteristic use of irreverent and somewhat scandalous humor led to the movie being nominated for three Academy Award nominations and was one of the 1970s' most popular westerns.
|Another movie I want to rent is a western that is based on real events that occurred in 1881 Arizona. Which one of these movies am I looking for?|
Gunfight At the O.K. Corral. The movie I need to rent is "Gunfight At the O.K. Corral" (1957). Directed by John Sturgis, this movie is about a shoot-out that occurred on Oct 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona. This star-studded movie featured Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holiday. It should be noted that the movie is not a historical account but rather a dramatized version. This classic western was nominated for two Academy Awards.
|Which 1931 movie should I be looking to rent if I want to see the first western movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture?|
Cimarron. "Cimarron" was a Depression era western that focused around the state of Oklahoma and the "Sooners" who had moved to this inhospitable area in an attempt to make a new life for themselves. Starring Richard Dix as Yancy Cravat and Irene Dunne as his wife, Sabra, the movie tells the story of a man who after being cheated out of his land claim, decides to start a newspaper. His constant muckraking and his skill with his pistols lead to him becoming a very feared man in the area. His constant need for adventure leads him to leave his long-suffering wife and children in a search for something new and exciting. His wife takes over the newspaper in order to support herself and her children and succeeds in creating a powerful publishing empire. The movie was a big hit and won three of the seven Academy Awards it was nominated for. Despite its popularity, so much money was invested in the making of this movie that RKO pictures did not make any money on it. It would be over 50 years before another western won this coveted award.
|I also want to rent "How the West Was Won" (1962) which was set in which of the following locations?|
All across the U.S.. "How the West Was Won" was an unusual western in that it took place from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This movie tells the story of a family as it moves ever farther west. It was filmed with five segments that covered 50 years. This star-studded movie won three of the eight Academy Awards it was nominated for. The music score for the movie appears on the AFI's list of 100 Best Film Scores. It is a movie that is definitely worth renting if you have never seen it. It is the epitome of the classic western.
|The next movie I am looking for is considered to be the third in what is known as "The Dollars Trilogy". What is the name of this Sergio Leone movie?|
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966) is the third movie in "The Dollars Trilogy" which included "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964) and "For a Few Dollars More" (1965). All of these movies were directed by the king of the Spaghetti Western, Sergio Leone. This classic movie starred Clint Eastwood (the good), Lee Van Cleef (the bad) and Eli Wallach (the ugly). With the classic panoramic views and dramatic musical score, this movie is viewed by some as the epitome of the classic Spaghetti Western. The movie was set during the Civil War era, and focuses on three men searching for a buried treasure. It was released to mixed reviews but has gone on to become a cult classic worthy of renting again and again.
|The next movie I am going to rent is called "Little Big Man" (1970) and starred which of the following multi-award winning actors?|
Dustin Hoffman. "Little Big Man" is a very unique western that featured Dustin Hoffman playing the role of Jack Crabb from the age of 17 up until the age of 121. This character is supposed to be a Caucasian boy who was captured and raised by the Cheyenne Indians. The movie tells the story of western expansion from the view of the Native American population. It explores the exploitation, genocide, and annihilation of many Native American tribes. The movie covers 104 years of Crabb's memories. Produced during the Vietnam War, it portrays the American military in the same negative fashion that many younger Americans of the time had.
|Another movie I need to rent is "Dances with Wolves" (1990). This film starred and was directed by Kevin Costner.|
True. "Dances with Wolves" is one of the most highly acclaimed western movies, ever. It won seven of the 12 Academy Awards for which it was nominated. This included the Best Picture Award, making it the first western to win this coveted award in over 50 years. It also earned Costner the award for Best Directing. Starring and directed by Kevin Costner, the movie followed a Civil War soldier who ventures west looking for a military post and focuses on his interactions with the proud Lakota Sioux. Shot in the exquisite open land country in Wyoming and South Dakota, the movie celebrates the beauty of this land in spring and summer while depicting the harshness and horrors that can abound in their terrible winters. When the soldier makes it to the decrepit and dilapidated military fort he befriends an inquisitive wolf that he names "Two Socks". The movie attempts to portray the reality of the end of the life known by Native American Plains Indians. Kevin Costner has also successfully directed and starred in "The Postman" (1985) and "Open Range" in 2003.
|The next movie on my "to rent" list is "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), which starred which of the following two actors in the lead roles?|
Robert Redford and Paul Newman. While all of these actors have appeared in westerns, it was Robert Redford and Paul Newman who teamed up to make this exciting dramatized version of two real life figures of the old west. The movie mixes dramatic license with historical fact to make a movie that won four of the seven Academy Awards that it was nominated for. This movie was very well received by the public and was the top grossing film of the year. It also left the watcher wondering if the two charming gunfighters survived the final gun battle and made it to South America where they had been planning to retire. This was not the only time that Robert Redford and Paul Newman paired up in a successful movie. In 1973 they paired up in the comedy "The Sting" which won seven Academy Awards. Their off-screen camaraderie shows through when they act together and their enjoyment at working together shines through to the audience. There are many fans who wish they had done more movies together but treasure the two that they did do.
|If I decide to rent the classic western "High Noon" (1952), starring Gary Cooper, who should I expect to see playing the female lead in this movie? |
Grace Kelly. I should expect to see Grace Kelly portraying the new Quaker wife of a sheriff (Gary Cooper) who is fixing to retire from his job after getting married. Cooper is forced to delay his retirement when he finds out that a criminal he had brought to justice is being brought back to town. Cooper is forced to face the outlaw, played by Ian MacDonald, and his crew. He and his wife manage to survive a gun battle with the gang in which Kelly is forced to kill a man. The movie ends with Cooper climbing aboard a train with his wife after throwing his badge to the ground in disgust. This was Grace Kelly's second movie and helped bring her to the forefront of female actors of the time. She charmed America with her portrayal in this movie and went on to star in nine more films before leaving Hollywood to become the Princess of Monaco. Considered one of the very best of the classic westerns, this movie won four of the eight Academy Awards it was nominated for including Best Actor for Cooper. In spite of these accolades the movie was not met with enthusiasm by the public as it focused on the weaknesses of men and their lack or morals overall.
|The last movie I am looking to rent is my favorite western. Often called John Wayne's swan song, what movie would I be looking to rent that co-starred Jimmy Stewart and Lauren Bacall?|
The Shootist. I would be looking for "The Shootist" (1977), which was the Duke's last film. A story about an aging gunfighter dying of cancer, the movie also featured Scatman Crothers, Ron Howard, Harry Morgan, John Carradine and Richard Boone. The movie takes place in 1901 Carson City, Nevada and attempts to portray that period in time when the wild west became more tame and modernized. To add reality to the movie, it starts with short clips from some of John Wayne's earlier westerns intimating that these are part of the past life of the dying gunfighter J.B. Books.
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