You asked for western movies and we listened!
On April 28th we launched a new monthly series featuring the best “oaters” of all time, so plan on moseying on down to the Kiggins each 4th Sunday of the month for SADDLE UP SUNDAYS!
SADDLE UP SUNDAYS returns on June 23rd with the classic Howard Hawks film RIO BRAVO starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, Angie Dickinson, Ward Bond and Ricky Nelson!
In it a small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.
July 28th – SHANE
George Stevens’ Shane is the classic western film. The screen is filled with natural beauty of the high plains near Jackson, Wyoming in bold Technicolor. It contains all the basic tensions – good vs. evil, sodbusters (i.e. farmers) vs. cattlemen. This is this the first western that many people show their children or grandchildren. Alan Ladd plays the handsome blond haired drifter, Shane, who rides into town with a mysterious past and wins the respect of the farmers and a young boy, played by Brandon deWilde. Shane is a talented gunman tiring of his bloody work. He envies the life of a married man with all its domestic comforts, but like all aging gun men in westerns, he is drawn back into a life of violence. As the local cattlemen ramp up the pressure on the homesteaders to leave, Shane is forced to protect them.
A young Jack Palance plays Shane’s nemesis. This film was made decades before Palance appeared with Billy Crystal and Bruno Kirby in the City Slickers films or did push ups on the Oscar stage. There’s nothing funny about him in this film. He’s pure evil. When he saunters into town dressed in black, a dog runs off the other way sensing his malevolent spirit. Like Lee Van Cleef in High Noon, he doesn’t have to say a word to terrify and fascinate the audience. He just stares into the camera with his skull-like face and his cruel grin.
Elisha Cook Junior, a cult favorite of classic film aficionados, makes an appearance in Shane. As usual, he plays a small man trying to be tough, but we soon find out it’s only bluster. In other films, Cook is unceremoniously thrown out of a hotel lobby by Humphrey Bogart or double crossed by a woman. He has an unusual presence that is cherished by those who like to watch their favorite films over and over again.
Stevens originally wanted Montgomery Clift to play Shane and William Holden to play the part of Joe Starrett, who was played by Van Heflin. A brooding Clift would have been an interesting match for the menacing Palance. To emphasis the horrors of violence, Stevens created a loud cannon sound for gun shots by shooting a large calibre weapon in a garbage can. He also rigged the actors with wires so they would shake violently when shot.
August 25th – THE WILD BUNCH: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT (50th Anniversary)
September 22nd – THE SEARCHERS
October 27th – JOHNNY GUITAR
November 24th – A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS