62-66 Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott at Columbia, 1957-1960

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#76 Post by zedz » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:29 pm

I'll tackle Westbound tonight, but my memory of it was as the least of the collaborations (vying with Sundown).

Buchanan kind of makes the argument that a comic western could actually work, without actually going over the edge and spoiling it all - and so the hypothesis remains unproven.

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#77 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:28 pm

Westbound

Still can’t decide whether this or Decision at Sundown is the weakest of the bunch, but with Westbound the weakness seems to be more objective: you can actually see what’s going wrong as the film unfolds.

The overall set-up is fine and interesting: there’s a promising dynamic in the plot, with everybody arrayed against Scott but distinguished by how far they’re prepared to go to attain their ends; Scott himself is very good, and the character is yet another variant on his persona in these films; he’s got a toothsome opponent in Michael Pate’s Mace; and there are a number of excellent individual shots and scenes.

But all of these things are comprehensively compromised. The plot dynamics unravel rather than unwind, leading to an incredibly perfunctory climax, with neither main villain getting sufficient attention, and the interesting twist that Scott gains allies simply as a reaction to the unconscionable behaviour of the villains, not through anything he’s done or any deeper change of heart, is frittered away in an extremely dumb moment: Scott, having refused any townsfolk help, goes to the final showdown, where he defends himself – very well – against vast odds. But then, when the townsfolk intervene after all, we cut to a shot of Scott telegraphing the plot development by changing his suddenly panic-stricken expression (which basically undermines his entire character to that point) to one of relief. Ugh. And domino called it right – that final flirt is simply grotesque, another decision for the moment that destroys much of the rest of the film.

Scott may be (otherwise) good, but he’s asea in mediocre to outright bad performances. The one-armed soldier is a walking plot device, mere meat on a hook, and Andrew Duggan’s town boss never manages to do anything to make us care about him. Worst by far – and up against Karen Steele’s patented Balsawood Barbie routine we’re talking a serious stinker – is Virginia Mayo. It seems like she’s painfully aware that the stock character she’s been given holds little interest, so she’s desperate mugging for every scintilla of attention. Just take a look at her main scene with Scott: she affects a dramatic pause and strikes a different dramatic pose before every single line of dialogue. It’s the kind of performance that was being parodied as Bad Movie Acting back in the thirties.

Michael Pate seems like a promising villain, but the film can’t decide if we should be focussed on him or his boss, and ends up focussing on neither satisfactorily, and for all his bad behaviour, he never really emerges as a true opponent. The same could be said for Craig Stevens in Buchanan Rides Alone, but in that instance it turns out to be the point. Here it just seems like a sloppy oversight.

Regardless, there are a number of memorable scenes, like the great initial confrontation between Pate and Scott, where the former calls out “Mister” and the extras behind Scott in longshot swarm out of the frame, but in almost every case something within the scene snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Let me count the ways:
- Four figures on horseback appear silently on a hill in the background, observing the set-up of the new staging post that they’re going to burn and pillage. How do you go about dissipating the tension and menace of that elemental shot? Let’s cut to a close-up of the four men and their expository dialogue spelling out everything the establishing shot implied much more powerfully!
- Scott and Eric the Half a Bee re-rustle their horses in the rain. A great, atmospheric scene, with the downpour, the quiet and the rundown shack – none of the baddies appear, but their presence is felt nevertheless. The plan succeeds, the sequence concludes gracefully, but waitaminute, what this sequence really needs is a jokey cap where the homicidal maniacs squabble about the long walk home!
- More expert Boetticher usage of landscape is in evidence with the pivotal raid on the coach at the end of the film, a sequence that builds from a superb, sweeping use of space to a genuinely horrifying conclusion – or it would do if it wasn’t punctuated by comically bad rear-screen projection work of the coach occupants being unconvincingly jostled (we know there’s a little girl in the coach – it’s actually far more horrific if we don’t see her bouncing around merrily before the vehicle is crushed) and another explanatory insert for the hard-of-thinking (“Let’s go down there and get the gold!”)

Oh well. But never mind: next up is one of the greatest westerns ever made.

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#78 Post by Yojimbo » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:52 pm

domino harvey wrote:So I undertook zedz' challenge despite being turned off by the first Boetticher/Scott western I sampled, the Tall T some time ago. I will be revisiting it next, obviously, but up now is a film I can find praise for much more easily: Seven Men From Now. Observations:

+ Boetticher takes advantage of his limited budget and scope by turning b-rate locales into pluses. The first half of this film looks like a minimalist play, not a western. The landscape is nondescript and vague, but instead of attempting to dress this up in a way which would only reveal its lack of breadth and funds, he plays into the restrictions. Thus when a man-made object intrudes on the scenery (such as the outpost or the clothing line), it strikes a chord of vulgarity, a clash against the dull natural vistas it has defiled.

+ Scott's role here is one of babysitter, and Scott plays up the dregs of such a duty well. His reluctance and, frankly, distaste at being shoehorned into watching over the greenhorn's shoulder for the length of his trip speaks nicely to the East Meets West clash seen a thousand times over in westerns. I think it works better here from the vantage of the insider (Scott) than the outsider.

+ The sexual politics, obviously. I think this doesn't play as well as it could here, partly because the big bow on it all (the self-defeating suicide in front of the sheriff's office) is too nonsensical to reconcile with the idea it attempts. The "I was wrong, he wasn't half a man" moment seemed telegraphed and unearned, and the interactions with Scott and the couple sold the idea better than Lee Marvin's more aggressive approach.

+ Speaking of, Marvin walks away with the movie, and I half-expected him to do the right thing by the end of it, the way the film so successfully painted him with a quasi-sympathetic and appealing shade. His aggressive jocularity, in the face of so much seriousness, has the same defilement quality on the characters that the human structures have on the topography.
Better late than never and I thought it best to reference Dom's relatively 'minimalist' review, rather than zedz' 'Tolstoyan' effort

I hadn't seen this film before and its definitely one of the strongest in the series; helped by a particularly strong script, but I also liked the variation in scenery and weather conditions, and that opening scene was a marvellous, succinct, introduction to the story; a propos another Lee Marvin movie, I was half-expecting the man to throw hot coffee in Scott's face.

Lee Marvin perhaps shades it over Scott's taciturn hero, but I also thought Walter Reed's performance was quite good and his character had a little more variety than Marvin's character suggested.
I don't remember too much of 'Westbound' and Comanche Station, but 'Decision At Sundown' is now the only one I haven't seen.
I've long considered 'Ride Lonesome' the best of those I have seen, even though I'm a big Richard Boone fan (from my childhood viewing of 'Have Gun Will Travel')
It looks to me like they filmed this one, for the most part, in the same location as 'The Tall T'.

btw, regarding product placement, that looked like a classic pair of Levi Strauss jeans Scott was wearing in the final scene!

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#79 Post by Yojimbo » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:02 am

domino harvey wrote:The mysteries of taste rear their ugly head once more. I thought Decision at Sundown was the best of the Boetticher westerns yet, but then again, I seem to be struggling to find the level of praise most of my peers heap on these films in general. But this is a movie that has far more interesting sexual politics than I think it is given credit for. I don't really want to nitpick, but several of zedz' nitpicks are petty-- Scott's companion had no idea that Mary was behind the revenge plot, so why would he scratch up old wounds during the three year journey? And the "You had no wife" is a pretty strong and effective indictment of Scott's masculine blindness to his beloved's true nature-- it was an arrangement in title, not heart. There's also the deep irony that Scott remains more or less a fool by the end of the film and his actions only cause change to those around him peripherally. Additionally, the film benefits from having a villain who's certainly a cad but hardly evil-- the best way to highlight Scott's foolishness (and why not see his ego-driven "Let him know he's being hunted" hole-up method as just more of this overly-masculine bluster?) is to pair him against an unsympathetic but nonetheless undeserving victim.

Also, I'm well aware that this is the thousandth Western I've seen with a friendly barkeep, but I sure did like Otis' line, "Doc, if you've been tending bar as along as I have, you wouldn't expect so much out of the human race!"
Just watched it; dramatically interesting, although I wouldn't place it in the top rank of the series, as Westerns.
There was a certain unevenness in tone, which perhaps served to make it more interesting, and
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I liked the way the seemingly stereotypical bad guy was made gradually more sympathetic, and also the gradual unravelling of the truth about Scott's wife.
Also
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Scott's character almost portrayed as a figure of fun at the end with that last scene of him propping up the bar, made the story almost surreal, or almost a black comedy. I'm not sure it was the best way to end it, especially as you got the sense that 'the villain' was heading off to a better life
I seem to recall Andrew Duggan, despite his size, playing a coward in other films.

Taylor Hackford got Karen Steele's character wrong in his introduction, which should have been described as a 'review', or 'post mortem', given the extent to which he spoiled the plot

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#80 Post by Yojimbo » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:17 pm

Just watched 'Buchanan Rides Alone' for the firs time in about 15 years and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. In fact, given that this was the second consecutive Lang Jr. scripted film I watched, it seems to me that he's not being given his due by fans of the series.
He seems to have put more of an emphasis on humor, particularly in this film, and in subverting genre conventions, more especially in 'Sundown', but I think this adds to their freshness, and might cause me to want to re-watch both, regularly, even more than some of the other films in the series, and 'Ride Lonesome', particularly.

When I read the synopsis on the box I was looking to see possible influence on the Kurosawa Masterpiece from which I took my moniker , but now I'm thinking that much of this film, and in particular the climactic scene on the bridge with the tussle over the saddlebag, and the humour, may have influenced Leone , particularly in climactic scenes of 'TGTB&TU' and 'FAFDM'.
As for the film itself, as with zedz, I thought the scenes where Buchanan was being escorted out of town were particularly well-staged, but I also loved the whole notion of cross and double-cross and outmanoeuvring one another in attempting to profit from the 'sale' of the young Mexican.

All round a beautifully-written script, with nice balance between humour and drama, and I should be able to find a place for it in my 50.

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#81 Post by Yojimbo » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:58 pm

What I liked most about 'Comanche Station' was its use of the widescreen, and shots from a distance, and unusual angles. Two scenes in particular stood out for me: firstly, the opening scene where Scott is seen being looked down upon by Indians and you're wondering how he'll get out of that pickle, then when he unrolls his blanket and he looks to have been unsuccessful with his trade. But both when the camera's viewing things from Scott's perspective, looking up, and when its looking down from the Indians' perspective, because its being filmed from a distance you can't really guage the characters next move.
The other scene is when Scott sets out across open, exposed desert to judge the lay of the land and its only when he's about midway that specks begin to appear on the horizon. And much of the action is filmed from different angles and perspectives to keep you constantly guessing.
(It also served to remind me of that beautiful Omar Sharif 'intro' in 'Lawrence of Arabia')

I also loved the somewhat surprising ending.

Another great feature of these films is that even though, structurally, and plot wise, they're very similar, he doesn't waste time in getting right down to business and his opening scenes, especially, are beautifully written and filmed.

The next to last shot reminded me of 'The Searchers', as, thematically, did much of the story; the final scene looked like a Remington painting; I think I'll do a screen capture of it.
Kennedy is more sparing in his use of humour than Lang Jr, but its never out of place and it never disrupts or distracts ones attention from the essence of the plot.

Thanks to zedz for starting this thread to help bring home to me what a wonderful series of films these are.
(I've a feeling I'll be finding a place for all of them in my 50)

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#82 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 02, 2011 8:48 pm

So, I've finished out the cycle with Ride Lonesome and Comanche Station. I must express bewilderment once again, this time at the praise for Ride Lonesome, one of the weakest entries to my eyes, with a messy story driven by a primary act that simply doesn't make any sense. Scott's characters often seem to be loners driven by a long-passed wrong that never seemed to be avenged. That's all well and good, but the wrong committed against his wife is like something out of a Vault of Horror comic, patently ridiculous and without any justification. I just could not engage with this one on even a level of entertainment, sad to say. But Comanche Station mostly washes the sour taste away by being the kind of film I wished all of these newly critically relevant b-westerns remembered they were: a little synthesized encapsulation of a familiar theme where the joy isn't in the act as much as what surrounds it. The point of reference here is obviously, as just stated, the Searchers, and there's a similar sadness to the Scott role here that Wayne embodies there. But this film is less about racism and more about the west's attitudes towards women, with the real crime not being that she was raped by Comanches, but that she was with another man (men?). In fact, as one character says late in the film, that rape by indians isn't nearly as offensive as the idea of her being taken by a white man. So we have the main conflict, one between typically masculine western approaches to female sexuality, underlined by the revelation that the husband would just as soon see her returned dead than alive. Unfortunately, the film's cop-out ending with the husband undermines much that the film achieved on this ground, leaving the viewer with merely an entertaining-enough film, but not one that takes it to the level of commentary it had flirted with. On the plus side, though, the movie is sharply written with wonderful dialog (easily the best of the series) and some of the cycle's most memorable supporting characters.

I must confess, I am not convinced of Boetticher's brilliance as a director, nor of these films' import. But I at least gave it the ol' college try. Decision at Sundown and Buchanan Rides Alone will probably make my list in the lower half, and that's something, I suppose... (To the Mysteries of Taste, Vol. 87)

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#83 Post by Yojimbo » Mon May 02, 2011 9:02 pm

domino harvey wrote:So, I've finished out the cycle with Ride Lonesome and Comanche Station. I must express bewilderment once again, this time at the praise for Ride Lonesome, one of the weakest entries to my eyes, with a messy story driven by a primary act that simply doesn't make any sense.
I think it may be a case that they're better in the telling than in what they say, particularly, or in the sense that, for some people, not every element of the story goes to create a cohesive, credible whole.

As I watched them, particularly after I was watching the third or fourth in quick succession, it was more the case that I was thrilling to the way it was being constructed, and the way the structure was fitting neatly, and beautifully, into place, and the way he was re-cycling familiar elements, or, rather, refreshing them, to use anew, than ultimately how credible the story, and its resolution was.
I've seen so much in here that to me were influences/inspirations for so many films I love: Peckinpah, Hellman, and Leone westerns; the whole spaghetti Western cycle, and even Kurosawa's magisterial 'Yojimbo', which I'm convinced 'Buchanan Rides Alone' was a major influence on, albeit that the Kurosawa film is far superior, as a work of cinema.

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#84 Post by zedz » Mon May 02, 2011 9:21 pm

Thanks for sticking with it, domino. It looks like, if we charted our respective responses to the films, one graph would be the inverse of the other (with the exception of our mutual disdain for Westbound), since I consider Comanche Station the least of the greats. Which is sort of satisfying, since I've long suspected that with a comically large number of our film tastes I'm the Bizarro You or you're the Bizarro Me. (And look folks, we can disagree thoroughly without resorting to name-calling or snits!)

Which only leaves: I promise to finally finish up these re-viewings this week!

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#85 Post by Richard--W » Tue May 03, 2011 9:42 am

Gentlemen, your posts have increased my appreciation for these films.

I was raised on westerns in the late 1960s and 1970s, but I didn't discover Randolph Scott until late in the cycle of VHS home video. I've appreciated the Boetticher-Scott westerns since I "discovered" them on Turner Classic Movies some twenty-odd years ago. They raised my appreciation for writer Burt Kennedy, whose later westerns as writer and director I had previously known as mostly comic -- meaning, not as good. He didn't write Decision At Sundown and Westbound, which are typical backlot westerns, no better or worse than all the other backlot westerns Scott had been making for the studios in the 1940s and 1950s. I can say that now that I've seen them all. What distinguishes them from other backlot westerns is more attention than usual paid to characterization and a sense of consequences. Randolph Scott has something to be stoic about in the Boetticher-Kennedy films, but in Decision At Sundown, he's in touch with the pain in every frame. There is more arc to his character, and it just might be one of his best performances.

Boetticher's westerns were flintier than most in the 1950s. There is an underlying ugliness to the off-screen murders in The Tall T that I don't see in other westerns of the period. The threat that everyone will end up at the bottom of the well in a moment or two gives the film an immediacy that is not sustained in the second act. These bad white men are as savage as Indians. In Ride Lonesome, the suggestion of murdering the woman to collect the reward stretches believability too far. But both elements do convey the feeling that people are at risk in the West and that there are consequences for one's behavior and decisions, which is something Boetticher is trying to tell us.

It is the underlying flintiness of these collaborations that makes them so memorable. That and the tight execution together with the pictorial values. The quality of The Tall T, Buchanan Rides Alone, and Ride Lonesome is very high, although the stories are a little thin.

I especially enjoy the location in Buchanan Rides Alone. The Old Tucson Studio with its rough-hewn board and crumbling adobe buildings, the surrounding desert park with its forest of sajuaro cactus and the dry bleached color, reeks with southwestern authenticity. A shame Boetticher and Scott did make another film there. The location was sadly underused in the 1950s.

Personally, I think Seven Men From Now and Comanche Station are the best of the Boetticher-Scott-Kennedy-Brown collaborations. They may have been thought of as programmers, but they achieve major A list status because they have the fullest, most fleshed-out and eventful scripts.

I'm enjoying this thread.
Keep your comments coming.

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#86 Post by zedz » Tue May 03, 2011 5:49 pm

Ride Lonesome

Well, if you want to know what makes Budd Boetticher a great director, this film is probably the clearest demonstration. It’s also the film in the cycle that best exemplifies the received notion of stark minimalism as his defining characteristic. Scott’s character here is his tersest and sternest – which is saying something – and Boetticher continually reduces his mise-en-scene to an iconographic minimum. In combination with Cinemascope, this strategy is revelatory, and Yojimbo’s comparison with Leone was astute.

Okay, let’s start with the opening scene, which unfolds in a tough, nuggety landscape. The lumps of rock are all around, creating a near-uniform backdrop so that the only significant visual components in the frame are the dark foreground figures: Brigade, Billy, Billy’s horse. What ensues is a rhythmic play of the various abstract possibilities of the set up (including, at the start, a classic Leone-avant-la-lettre shot of Brigade’s hips in close-up occupying the left hand side of the screen while a full-length long-shot of Billy occupies the right): one figure, two figures, three figures – all spread across the screen. I don’t think there is any cut from one type of composition to the same type. And at the close of the scene, he ties everything up visually by uniting the three figures in the centre of the frame, then superimposing them right in the middle of the screen as they file out away from the camera

Most importantly, and most telling in terms of Boetticher’s visual imagination, is that he includes a fourth kind of composition in the orchestration of the opening sequence: shots with no figures in them. This is the first instance of a very important recurring visual motif of the film. Time and again, Boetticher conceals a threat within the Cinemascope frame. Danger doesn’t come from outside; it’s already there. Some examples: the shots of plain rocks in the opening scene, implying an ambush behind them; the first appearance of Boone, hidden in the darkness of a doorway; the first sign of the Mescalero – a cloud of dust in the far distance behind some hills; the second – a plume of smoke from a ridge; the moment when a tracking shot on a conversation between Brigade and Boone takes in some dark static shapes on a distant dune; the shot of Frank’s gang that begins with them as specks in the desert; their arrival at the final showdown, announced yet again by a small cloud of dust deep in the landscape (and that rhyme of the earlier Mescalero shot anticipates another visual rhyme at the very end of the film). That’s a lot of examples from a film barely over an hour long, and in two of those instances, we’re supposed to notice the danger before the characters do.

And that technique is in turn an expression of Boetticher’s overall strategy of reducing his mise-en-scene to an expressive minimum. The central scene in which the Mescalero band chase the travellers to an abandoned station is a beautiful example. The landscape is all dunes, no topography to speak of, so that the action is entirely defined by the placement of the figures in the frame, and the refuge to which they’re fleeing is little more than a sketch of a fort, a set about as minimal and notional as the one in Dogville. Though in this instance the sketchiness has more dramatic meaning, since no walls means little cover. And dramatic impact is what Boetticher’s minimalism is all about. He completely understands, as not enough directors do, that the dramatic potential of the Cinemascope frame doesn’t lie in how much you can cram into it, but how much you can leave out.

Boetticher delineates his setpieces with geometric precision, and explores different visual themes with each one. Thus the horizontality of the desert siege (low walls, flat dunes, prone bodies) compares with the verticality of the final confrontation (culminating in the glorious, ominous crane shot that ends the film). In the various stand-offs, Boetticher very carefully triangulates the action for the viewer, even going to the trouble of providing us with Boone’s and Whit’s POV shots of the central action in the climactic scene. This is a very effective and disorienting, but perfectly logical, violation of classical style, which would normally pick the ‘best’ establishing angle on an iconographic scene and stick with it.

Each of the film’s set pieces is beautifully constructed, and the sinew connecting them is elegant and spare, but there’s still room for the surprising characterisation that makes the best of these films so memorable. Boone is one of the most likeable ‘villains’ in the genre (if you define ‘villain’ as somebody who intends to kill the hero), and, like Richard Boone in The Tall T, he’s an outlaw who’s craving the comforts of civilisation. This longing is very nicely written, as is Boone’s relationship with Whit, and Roberts and Coburn make a good team. Boone’s mildness, and Brigade’s apparent pig-headedness, bring a good deal of moral complexity to the film’s central relationships.

Even in a taut dramatic showdown, Boetticher and Kennedy weave idiosyncratic character bits into the texture of the conflict. I love how Billy’s voice cracks and splays when he realises he’s been outflanked in the opening scene, and the later scene in which he’s similarly psyched out is wonderfully written and staged, with each of the characters’ personalities determining how the stand-off plays out. And the capper of that scene is wonderful. I love how not one, but two scenes in the film rely dramatically on horses responding realistically to gunshots – how often do you see that in a western?

There’s one obvious weak point to the film, however: Karen Steele. She’s not as much of a liability as in her other two films in the series, maybe because she seems to have less dialogue to deal with, but her simultaneously stiff and limp readings certainly don’t communicate ‘tough frontier gal’ very effectively. She completely flubs her biggest scene – so badly that it almost plays as comedy. It’s plausible enough as written, but she simply doesn’t have the chops to sell the series of sharp, quick reversals it requires.
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It’s the scene where the Mescaleros want to trade her for a horse. Brigade cautions her, “whatever you do, don’t break down”; “I won’t break down,” she pouts, then immediately does that very thing, before the Indians have even done anything threatening. Brigade responds with sexist disgust, then she reveals the plausible reason for her breakdown, the oblique revelation of her husband’s slaughter. The problem is that she’s not convincing in any of her poses – pride, terror, grief, defiance – so she just comes off as emotionally immature – the very thing Brigade arrogantly presupposes and which the interplay within the scene is supposed to contradict.
As for domino’s specific complaints about the film, I can’t afford the luxury of judging films by the plausibility of their MacGuffins (!), but the motivating wrong committed in the film’s back story, though certainly ghastly, doesn’t strike me as outrageously unbelievable. In fact, the mere fact of its ghastliness – which is just about all we get to know or need to know about Frank, who’s also something of a MacGuffin – makes the action of the film more plausible for me, not less. Something extraordinary had to have made Brigade the way he is, and it’s a telling character bit that Frank himself barely remembers the incident.

I also like how Brigade’s scheme makes a virtue of the biggest problem with chase films: the chaser always has to catch up to the chase, so any delay or distraction along the way runs the risk of smacking of dramatic convenience (a.k.a. “what’s the matter, do they want to get caught or something?” syndrome). And actually, Brigade’s scheme of taking Billy as hostage rather than bounty has an appealingly brutal directness about it.
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I’m guessing he looked up “Psychopaths” in the Frontier Yellow Pages and found that Frank was unlisted, so how else is he going to track him down, assuming Frank is smart enough to keep a low profile?

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#87 Post by knives » Tue May 03, 2011 6:01 pm

To be honest I'm going to be on Domino's side on this one for the big picture even if I disagree on the specifics. I don't see anything particularly problematic with the storyline. What needs to be there is there and that's fine. I've never really cared for the film outside of the film anyways. Instead my biggest problem is all of the character interactions ring false. These films live and die by how believable their microcosms work and all of this came together like bull. The one character who seemed stable as a character and interacted in a plausible way was Van Cleef. Everyone else was dead, but especially the relationship between Scott and the criminal he captured. Likewise if to a far lesser extent Coburn and Steele were very enjoyable even if they still were reaky when they had to act off of someone else. This is the one Scott film that would be infinitely better without him.

That element gets even worse than the unlikeliness of their relationship when the entire time I was getting Naked Spur flashbacks and no film let alone one as weak as this one can survive that comparison. The film is short and entertaining enough that I won't call it bad, but it is the worst Boetticher film I've seen.

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Re: The Boetticher / Scott Westerns

#88 Post by zedz » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:22 pm

Comanche Station

I’ve always considered this the least of the ‘major’ (Kennedy-scripted) films of the cycle, mainly because it’s so darn self-reflexive. It’s like a greatest-hits medley version of the preceding films, with Ride Lonesome’s ‘valuable hostage’ narrative meeting the ‘abandoned wife’ trope under the supervision of Scott’s ‘buttoned-down widower’ persona. Plus we get a familiar mix of garrulous and naive ambiguous villains and a revision of Seven Men from Now’s rockbound showdown. Hey, we even get a glimpse of that hanging tree, or something very much like it.

But it’s all put together so beautifully I can’t help sinking in and enjoying the pleasures the film has to offer while shutting out the clatter of winks. And I suppose that, in a cycle of films that’s all about working variations on a small number of generic mainstays, it’s fitting that the concluding work takes that particular approach into overdrive.

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Re: Budd Boetticher Box Set

#89 Post by chmajcriterion » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:47 am

Hello all I got Budd Boetticher set today and i am very puzzled when the box set cover came with different color. The box set cover supposed be green/blue. But The box set cover I got is TAN. is that strange? can you guys tell me why??

thanks

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manicsounds
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Re: Budd Boetticher Box Set

#90 Post by manicsounds » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:11 pm

Where did you buy it from?

Either it's a bootleg, or maybe someone left it out in the sun too long...

Noiradelic
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Re: Budd Boetticher Box Set

#91 Post by Noiradelic » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:37 pm

Mine was the same color scheme you describe. Got it from Deep Discount recently. Noted the difference and just assumed Sony changed it.

chmajcriterion
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Re: Budd Boetticher Box Set

#92 Post by chmajcriterion » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:10 pm

I got it from Amazon itself, not from Amazon seller or whatever. I went ahead and ordered another one to check if Sony did changed the color on cover print.

chmajcriterion
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Re: Budd Boetticher Box Set

#93 Post by chmajcriterion » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:01 pm

hello All
I got another copy of Budd Box set and it still same color tan/sand. look like Sony changed the cover color. WOW

Tuco
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Re: Budd Boetticher Box Set

#94 Post by Tuco » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:04 pm

Since it appears that Criterion is working with at least some of the Val Lewton stuff, any ideas regarding Boetticher and Scott?

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domino harvey
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Re: Budd Boetticher Box Set

#95 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:51 pm

Mill Creek definitely still has these titles

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mistakaninja
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Re: Indicator

#96 Post by mistakaninja » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:04 pm

Photo at the bottom of the newsletter is Claude Akins in Comanche Station, so coupled with Nick Wrigley's tweet that confirms the Budd Boetticher box.

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rapta
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Re: Indicator

#97 Post by rapta » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:31 pm

Though it was going to be Boetticher's Columbia titles with Randolph Scott anyway, but glad to see it confirmed with this tease. In that case I suspect it'll be a five film set with The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone, Ride Lonesome and Comanche Station, and if it sells well they might consider licensing some more from Universal to do a follow-up set of The Cimarron Kid, Horizons West, Seminole, The Man from the Alamo and Wings of the Hawk.

Great to see them finally release some Westerns though. I wonder what the hold-up is with other Columbia Westerns, such as Cowboy (Daves), Major Dundee (Peckinpah), The Last Frontier (Mann), Cat Ballou (Silverstein), or Bite the Bullet (Brooks)? Thought at least a couple of those would be in the bag already...

Glowingwabbit
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62-66 Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott

#98 Post by Glowingwabbit » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:22 pm

They've mentioned on Twitter that they are announcing 5 films next week for May. As I was hoping for a Boetticher boxset I'm hoping this means Vol 1 (three movies) and two non-related single releases are announced. It seems doubtful that all 5 would be for a single set even though that would be ideal given that they typically announce boxsets alongside individual titles.

I'll be bummed if we just get an individual Comanche Station announcement.

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rapta
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Re: Indicator

#99 Post by rapta » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:57 am

I actually hope it is all five Randolph Scott/Budd Boetticher titles from Columbia. Be a shame if they skipped one. Would be their biggest set yet so I reckon it'd be fair to do so, just for one month.

I think they said Night of the Demon won't be arriving 'til Summer, but that's another instant pre-order for me.

M Sanderson
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Indicator: Five Tall Tales

#100 Post by M Sanderson » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:07 am

Astonishing news, regarding the Boetticher Box Set.

Five Tall Tales

Just received the Indicator newsletter.

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