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Day of the Outlaw

12/12/2014 06:41:18 AM

I like westerns, I like movies which could be described as chamber pieces, and I like snowy backdrops. Day of the Outlaw (1959), directed by Andre de Toth, checks all these boxes. It’s one of those films genre fans will enthuse about yet ...

The Shooting & Ride in the Whirlwind

12/03/2014 03:04:56 AM

Films naturally reflect the times in which they are made, there’s no getting away from that. As an art form they of course focus on certain themes, frequently timeless ones at that, but there’s no divorcing the artistic ambition from the ...

Underrated Thrillers

11/27/2014 14:19:21 PM

Earlier this year I contributed a list of underrated westerns to Brian’s site Rupert Pupkin Speaks. It was kind of fun thinking about and compiling those titles and I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to submit another selection. Th ...

Another Anniversary

11/26/2014 01:13:39 AM

It’s exactly seven years ago today that I put up my first post on the now defunct FilmJournal site. Although my output at this place has slowed to something of a trickle of late, I didn’t want to let the occasion pass without a mention. ...


11/01/2014 01:56:44 AM

There’s no living with a killing. There’s no going back from one. Right or wrong, it’s a brand… a brand sticks. There’s no going back… It’s a little difficult to know what to say when it comes to a movie like

The Stranger’s View

10/23/2014 01:35:24 AM

Last weekend I went to the cinema to see a movie set in my homeland. I suppose it qualifies as a kind of period piece now, the action taking place over 40 years ago. ’71 is a thriller which unfolds amid the Troubles in Belfast in the titular ...

Northern Pursuit

10/04/2014 01:24:30 AM

Well this is a first for me. The themed blogathon has grown in popularity and I’ve always wanted to contribute to one. The thing is I’ve never been one of those disciplined souls who’s felt able to commit himself to producing someth

The Killers in HD

09/19/2014 18:01:05 PM

As a huge Robert Siodmak fan, I just wanted to pass along the news that Arrow Films in the UK are releasing The Killers on Blu-ray on November 17. It’s up for pre-order on their website here. For me, it’s an awful close run thing trying ...


09/15/2014 02:34:10 AM

At one time the Hollywood studios all seemed to have a particular style and feel associated with them. Even without seeing the credits you could usually tell which company had produced a movie just by its look. Mention Universal to most film ...

Andrew V McLaglen

09/03/2014 17:49:09 PM

It’s just come to my notice that veteran film and TV director Andrew V McLaglen has passed at the age of 94. The son of Oscar winner and John Ford favorite Victor McLaglen, his long career in showbusiness makes for impressive reading and some ...

Joe Dakota

08/17/2014 19:23:55 PM

Last time I looked at a remake. The film in question today isn’t a direct remake, at least not a credited one, but instead it’s what we might term an alternative take on a similar theme. Anyone who has seen Bad Day at Black Rock will ea ...

Run for the Sun

08/03/2014 19:24:35 PM

Remakes frequently attract bad press, coming under attack for a lack of originality or the simple fact that they are unnecessary. This is so often the case that there’s a temptation to discount a remake out of hand, expecting it to conform ...

Venetian Bird

07/13/2014 19:16:30 PM

Post-war Europe made for an ideal backdrop for tales of intrigue and mystery. Aside from the fact the Cold War was never far from the minds of contemporary audiences, the natural chaos present in a continent still in the process of healing the ...

The Underworld Story

07/03/2014 14:09:36 PM

Things are tough all over. Pretty soon a man won’t be able to sell his own mother. There are plenty of examples of film noir weaving contemporary social issues into the tales featured. Through the 1950s it’s noticeable how the whole mat ...

Tribute to a Bad Man

06/18/2014 19:04:08 PM

We’re living in the middle of nowhere. Two hundred miles from any kind of law and order. Except for what I built myself. Ever since I started – and this you don’t know – I’ve been badgered, skunked, bitten out and bushwh

The Far Country

06/07/2014 02:18:26 AM

And so I come to the last western made by James Stewart and Anthony Mann, not the last they did together but rather the last one to be featured on this site. For a long time I tended to look upon The Far Country (1954) as the least of the M ...

Save The Alamo (1960).

05/29/2014 01:12:35 AM

Originally posted on 50 Westerns From The 50s.:It’s hard to believe that John Wayne’s The Alamo (1960) is in danger of being lost. What’s doing it in? First, the natural breakdown of its original film elements. Second, MGM’s l


05/22/2014 01:16:40 AM

The term Hitchcockian is one that has become familiar to most film fans. Such movies are defined by Wikipedia as “those made with the styles and themes similar to those of Alfred Hitchcock’s films” – few directors have had the


05/17/2014 08:07:19 AM

Today sees this site passing another little milestone. There have been one hundred thousand views since moving to the WordPress platform – a very pleasing statistic as far as I’m concerned. It’s an opportunity for me to send out a b

Act of Violence

05/07/2014 01:58:01 AM

You’re the same man you were in Germany. You did it once, and you’ll do it again. What do you care about one more man? You sent ten along already. Sure, you’re sorry they’re dead. That’s the respectable way to feel. Get


05/01/2014 00:33:21 AM

All my life, I’ve been a snake. I’ve lived by my wits. I’ve gotten what I’ve wanted any way I wanted it. Just lately I’ve been wondering just for once if I couldn’t do something straight… do something a littl

The Third Man

04/20/2014 03:56:17 AM

Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In ...

Ride a Crooked Trail

04/14/2014 00:36:27 AM

Anyone who has been a regular, or even occasional, visitor to this site will be aware of my fondness for westerns of the 1950s. And even a cursory glance through the various pieces I’ve written on these movies will reveal a particular term ...

Readers Choice 3

04/10/2014 00:55:41 AM

I reckon it’s time to feature another Audie Murphy western and I’ve narrowed it down to two options. Seeing as it’s been a while since I offered readers a chance to cast a vote for what they’d like to see, I thought it was a g

Movie Adaptations

04/03/2014 00:25:27 AM

Where do our favorite movies come from? A fair few have been, and continue to be, the result of original scripts but many are adaptations. While a modern movie may credit a play, a TV show, a comic book, or even a video game as its source, the ...

Underrated Westerns

03/28/2014 17:17:40 PM

Just wanted to let readers know that Brian at Rupert Pupkin Speaks has been running a feature on underrated westerns recently and getting contributions from various bloggers. Anyway, he asked me if I’d like to submit some for consideration. ...

Angel Face

03/27/2014 08:45:41 AM

 I don’t pretend to know what goes on behind that pretty little face of yours; I don’t want to. But I learned one thing very early. Never be the innocent bystander; that’s the guy that always gets hurt. The femme fatale, the deadly

A Distant Trumpet

03/20/2014 01:54:23 AM

It’s been remarked on before how the 1960s saw a gradual change in approach adopted by the Hollywood western. And it was indeed gradual, up until the middle of the decade, and even a little further in some cases, the influence and sensibi ...

The Suspect

03/10/2014 02:57:57 AM

A man trapped in a hellish domestic situation and driven over the edge by intolerable circumstances, challenged by a hydra-like fate at every turn. It sounds very much like a typical noir scenario, doesn’t it? Well, swap the glare of neon ...

The House of the Seven Hawks

03/02/2014 05:41:32 AM

The House of the Seven Hawks (1959) has a potentially interesting premise. There’s an American charter boat skipper with a laid-back approach to the law operating out of a foreign port, which straight away recalls Harry Morgan in Hawks’ ...

The Hanging Tree

02/19/2014 02:11:46 AM

I came to town to search for gold And I brought with me a memory And I seemed to hear the night winds cry Go hang your dreams on the hanging tree Your dreams of love that will never be Hang your faded dreams on the hanging tree. – Mack David ...

The Stand at Apache River

02/10/2014 06:57:19 AM

Something I like to do on this site is feature a mix of the better and lesser known films. When it comes to the latter category there’s no shortage of candidates to be found among the output of Universal studios. Second features or programmers ...

The Black Book

02/01/2014 00:19:18 AM

Recently, I’ve been watching a fair bit of film noir, and indeed mulling over and discussing exactly what does or does not constitute noir. And that brings me to a borderline case, a movie that flirts with the notion of film noir, has some ...

Man in the Saddle

01/20/2014 01:44:25 AM

The collaboration of actors and directors is a favorite area for analysis by film critics – Ford and Wayne, Mann and Stewart, Huston and Bogart readily spring to mind. That attention tends to get focused on these cinematic partnerships is ...

Night Has a Thousand Eyes

01/05/2014 18:01:53 PM

I’d become a sort of a reverse zombie. I was living in a world already dead, and I alone knowing it. Film noir is at heart a fatalistic genre. Greed, stupidity, desire and deceit all play a significant part to be sure, but back of it all is ...

2013 in review & thanks!

12/30/2013 22:42:50 PM

A new year is just round the corner so it’s nice to be able to celebrate some of the high points of the last 12 months. Overall, it’s been a pretty successful year for this site with more visitors and chat/commentary than ever. The stats ...

A new LAMB!

12/17/2013 14:41:53 PM

The Color Noir

12/14/2013 01:18:43 AM

Sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it? There are those who have deep reservations about applying the noir label to any film not shot in black and white. Personally, I don’t share that feeling but I can understand where those ...

A Day of Fury

12/05/2013 01:02:27 AM

That man is a creature of hell. If he stays here, he’ll turn this town into a hell. Quite a few westerns have served as social commentaries, using their frontier setting to focus the spotlight on a whole range of issues, as frequently acting ...

Six Years

11/25/2013 16:03:07 PM

Just a quick post here to acknowledge the fact that this place will have been open for business for six years tomorrow. Sadly, as I’m sure regular visitors have noticed, my output of late has slowed down considerably. Frankly, I’ve been ...

The Man with a Cloak

11/14/2013 01:17:44 AM

Lots of different things draw us to movies. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Gothic mysteries, particularly those where the Hollywood majors cooked up that special atmosphere that could only exist within the carefully crafted confines ...

Ten of the Best – Western Directors

10/27/2013 09:06:35 AM

Well, I’ve given myself another tough task here. Having tried something similar with actors before, I thought I’d have a go at the men behind the cameras. Once again, the sheer number of westerns produced, especially during the classic ...

The Mask of Dimitrios

10/14/2013 07:14:05 AM

To me the most important thing to know about an assassination is not who fired the shot – but who paid for the bullet. The passage of time can have a nasty tendency to cloud the memory, to cast a kind of nostalgic haze over things and distort ...

Saddle the Wind

09/24/2013 17:47:30 PM

It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have. – Unforgiven (1992) I decided to open with the above quote to prove a point of sorts. It’s a point about perception, the way cin