Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who Is Soapy Smith? I Aim To Learn More.

The older I get the more I discover how much more there is to discover! It's that way in the dynamics of life and in the things we do, including hobbies and interests, such as Western histories, Western films, and Western literature. Over the past week or so, I've bumped into the name "Soapy Smith," seemingly everywhere I turn. This morning I stumbled, again, onto this You Tube video, which then led me to snoop the web and find this web site (

I haven't yet begun to read much, but the real-life character and stories, the little bit that I have explored, have intrigued me, so I'm gonna spend some time, here and there, reading more about Soapy; he seems like a colorful man, and the stories look fun and interesting.

I'm going to buy and then add this Clark Gable flick to my 365-Western-Movies-In-One-Year List, and I've included a link, below, for those that wanna buy one, too. I'll probably write more about Soapy as I discover more about him.

Happy Trails...

Friday, March 27, 2009

...Of Kit Carson & William Cody

Howdy, Partners!

Two links for you today. See, below. The first is a FREE "popcorn-at-your-p.c." experience, I mean, this is awesome! It's Public Television's "American Experience" documentary of the life of the famous Kit Carson. This "American Experience" series is one reason I can never avoid giving money to public television; they do so dang much for us all and they do it, most always, with impeccable artistry, which engages me to the core! I was TOTALLY surprised to find this video available on line, and you don't have to sign up or download anything, simply click on the link and begin watching. Also, they've done us all a favor and posted the series in chapters, so you can come back and watch another chapter as you please. You'd better JUMP on this one, because I, for one, wouldn't want to risk them taking it offline before I got a chance to view it. This is the first "American Experience" documentary I've seen them make available and I love them for doing it. I watched the whole thing in one sitting, because I find that I lose the facts and storyline when I watch a chapter and come back, another day, to view another chapter.

Next, I've also posted a link to my audio show page, where I interviewed the Director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, in Golden, Colorado. I don't know if I would have thought much to watch the Kit Carson documentary if it had not been for the fact that I became more aware of Kit Carson and his importance as a result of this interview on the life of William Cody (Buffalo Bill); Cody was a huge fan of Carson's and named his own son "Kit," in homage to his hero. I hope you listen to enjoy that interview.

Here's those two links, as well as some further products of interest:

Kit Carson PBS Documentary Link:

My Interview Link on Buffalo Bill:

Happy Trails...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

True Grit Ain't True Grit Without The Duke!

I'm not bein' closed minded and I'm not bein' mean, but ya can't do "True Grit" without John Wayne, and unless you're planning to produce and show this "True Grit" film up yonder, I don't reckon The Duke will be found, shall we say, available!

I know, you're a sayin' "Hey, Westernman, it's those Cohen Brothers, they're box-office winners!" You're a sayin' "It's gonna be a "different" film than the first, 'cause they're gonna follow the book better; they're gonna present it from the girl's perspective; they're not fixin' to compete with the classic "True Grit!"

I says again, "Ya can't do "True Grit" without The Duke! I don't care what the book was about or how much they do their best to avoid competing with the present classic. The reality is that nobody really knows the book; they know the movie and they're gonna compare, and that's when the vultures will commence circling. Sorry.

Sure, many will read the book now, but not enough to fend off failure at the box-office. Sure, many will like it, the same folks, probably, that liked the Willie Wonka remake. But that won't be enough to make the producers and everyone else happy. Sorry, again. I predict not a flop but a disaster. It's like tryin' to substitute the Electric Grandmother for the real grandmother. Fun to try, gets the adrenaline pumping, gets a lot of PR stirred up, but, in the end, those involved will find themselves let down and feeling dirty, like they violated a national treasure, which they will deserve. Sorry.

Movies like "True Grit" need to be left alone, despite the purist ideas of integrity to the original novel. When The Duke did it, it was done, true to the book or not! It's "True Grit" because it's "True Grit" done by The Duke and its gonna stay that way. Sorry.


Keep those suggestions coming. I have seen "The Big Trees," but thanks for the suggestion. I'm adding "Gunfighter," I think. I'll publish a new list next week. Please get the word out on this blog and send people here to suggest.

Happy trails...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Adding More to The 365 List. Need More!

Thanks for more suggestions! Thanks to Bill, I've added "Ride the High Country."

There's way more I need, but The 365 List is updated, below. Get the word out, to your friends and contacts, to weigh in with their suggestions. Please post them, from now on, under the CURRENT DAY'S Blog, instead of the original blog post. Also, please remember to provide some reason for suggesting it to me. Thanks, partners!

Happy Trails....

1. The Big Trail
2. The Big Country
3. The Big Gundown
4. Death Rides A Horse
5. The Five Man Army
6. Sabata
7. Invitation To A Gunfighter
8. Ride the High Country

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Westerns Dying? Kiss My All-Fired Grits!!

Before I get into today's blog, and explain where certain people can FIND my grits, I first wanna take care o' some personal-type business, like thankin' Gary Dobbs, of The Tainted Archive blog ( for being so welcoming to me and for advertising my own shingle out on his own shingle. He's a real gent and I love his blog; I mean, this dude works hard on his blog and it shows! I've spent hours enjoyin' it! You check it out. I can't say enough about him and all such nice folk, who open their gate and front door for strangers!

Next, thanks to all you folks for reading, commenting and\or followin' this hear Westerns blog. I aim to do my best to keep us all cooped together tighter than a family of blind gnats in a heifer's nostril. Of course, the biggest method I aim to use is this here plan of watchin' 365 Western films in a year, one a day. And that brings me to this last point, I appreciated all the kind help in suggestin' titles for me to gander. I'm gonna start like so...

1. The Big Trail
2. The Big Country
3. The Big Gundown
4. Death Rides A Horse
5. The Five Man Army
6. Sabata
7. Invitation To A Gunfighter

I've already seen "Ride Beyond Vengeance," as was also suggested by Ray, and if there's anybody out there who could watch "...Vengeance" and not love it, I'd like to know who he be, so I could rub some hoof balm all over his skull, in hopes it cures his brains. "Vengence" is layered with emotional impact, from scene to scene, and the thickest layer is vengeance. I mean, I wanted to reach through the screen and do some damage on Chuck Conner's behalf! This is one Western that will not leave you untouched, and Conners is at his finest; the "Rifleman," like we knew he he was on the inside, though Mark (and we) never saw it. Yeah, his character here isn't far from Norfolk. Pick up the flick.

O.k. Now to today's blog...

I've been readin' here and there that some old sod busters have been callin' the Western a dyin' dear. Oh, really! We'll, just because most here, in the United States, happen to be temporarily spellbound by high falutin' movie special effects and titillatin' filth, doesn't mean the Western is dyin' here, in these United States or anywhere else. Tell the Aussies that Westerns are dyin' and see what they say, right?! Tell the Japanese that Westerns are dyin' and they'll probably load you up with a thousand gunshot squibs and make you run through one of their Western movie sets, while being pursued by enraged school children carrying smolderin' punks to light the squibs afire! Or, tell me, to my face, that Westerns are dyin' and see if I don't knock you for a loop for spewing lies against my dear friend!

Westerns ain't dyin' they just ain't as popular as they used to be. But that's 'cause mainstream media, Hollywood and the rest of the creators are chasing the loot and forgetting about their hometown, The Western. But they'll come back when they get hungry for home. When I was growin' up, as a fiery lad, I ate a lot of exotic desserts, but my favorite's still apple pie baked by Momma, you understand, friends. I always come back to Momma and apple pie, always. Momma ain't dead, or dyin' and neither is our old dear, The Western!

You see, the thing is, partners, is that it's all a grand illusion and a conspiracy of the money mongers in charge. Western's ain't dyin' and I'll prove it, with your help. Here's the deal...

Let's get their attention. I mean GET IT! I'm doin' this here 365-Westerns-In-A-Year thingy, so let's use it and get some mule mileage out of it. Let's get the word out about this blog and this thing I'm a gonna do, but let's shoot at tellin' these celebrity shakers and movers about it and let's get them to get on this hear blog and suggest their favorite Western movie to me, for me to watch during my thingy. In this way, by these high falutin' celebs weighin' in and making suggestions and what not, our dear Westerns genre will get all kinds of public relations and then these rascals that keep call for or intimating Western's death knoll will be forced to shut there mouths or kiss my grits!

Please, let's work this together. Get the word out about this thingy that I'm about to embark upon. Help me, dudes!

I'll write again on Thursday, after 9 p.m. EST.

Happy Trails...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Western A Day: Your Suggestions?

O.k. folks, this is it. Yup, I'm intent upon watching one Western movie per day, that's 365 titles, so I'm gonna need your kind help! Here's the deal...

I've got a DVR and I subscribe to the Western's Channel and AMC, but not Turner. I am also going to purchase a Netflix account. Soooo, what I need from you are 365 Western titles, which I have not seen. I will then post my reviews on each. The goal, of course, is to see 365 great Westerns in one year's time. And I will begin on May 1, 2009.

1. Post your suggestion in the Comments Section of MY LATEST blog entry. Make sure that you provide the reason I should watch it and, please, make 'em good movies, eh?! Each day, I will look at the Comments, from my last blog, and sort out the suggested new movies from the general comments that you might have made about my review of a particular movie.

2. It will be helpful to me if you PREFACE your post with the TITLE of the next suggested Western movie that you want me to watch. Also, tell me where I might see the flick, in other words, is it available on television that month or coming up on television? If so, tell me the channel and date\time. Or, if not, tell me that I have to buy or rent it. Any guidance you offer will be appreciated. If, however, you don't have a suggestion, but simply want to remark on my review, PREFACE that post with the words, "Remarks on Your Review." Doing this will make it easier for me to sort through the suggestions and general remarks.

3. I will keep score of every movie I like and I will maintain the tally of who recommended it. The person that provides me the most movies that I enjoy will receive, from me, a gift of gratitude, at the conclusion of the year.

4. If I have already seen the movie that you recommended, I will NOT be able to tell you this, because doing that will take too much of my time. But I will, each week, at least once per week, let you know what movies I intend to watch, that is, that I have added to the 365 list. The sooner the list is built the better.

5. All Westerns are up from grabs, as long as I can find them somewhere, including silent Westerns.

Please, I need your help. Let's do this!

I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Happy Trails...