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"All I Want to Do Is Enter My House Justified!"
The Classic American Western As Emblem of Historic American Culture
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Since the beginning of the twentieth century one of the newer art forms and expressions of our culture has been cinema—“motion pictures.” It was the novelty of live theater and acting captured as moving images in film and presented on a screen. In many respects, like other art forms, film represents what is happening in our culture. At its very finest it is capable of shining a vivid light on our beliefs and values, portraying them, dissecting them, and, like other art forms, it may be used as an instrument to affect or even shape our outlook and our politics.

The first significant commercial film produced and shown in the United States was The Great Train Robbery (1903), starring Bronco Billy Anderson. It was just twelve minutes long. American film culture began, thus, with a Western, and, indeed, it is arguable that the unique cinematic contribution made by the American film industry was the Western (according to Elia Kazan). It was from the classic Western that crime dramas and adventure films were spun off. One could well argue that major American crime movies up through, say, The Untouchables or even some more recent representations were “Westerns dressed up with cops and robbers.” And, those magnificent adventure films about space exploration—the Star Wars and Star Trek series—are they not Westerns transported into the relative infinity of space and time, with our unquenchable desire to explore new frontiers “where no man has gone before”?

It is the Western—and its multiple, modern cinematic godchildren—that represents so well and encapsulates so aptly the movement of American history, the aspirations and insatiable curiosity of our citizens, and just how we as a people overcame various challenges in building what became the United States of America. It is a story of conquering frontiers as a symbol for the growth and evolution of the American nation. It offers graphically and sometimes with violence the effects of right and wrong actions, and the absolute requirement for law and order in any civilized society. And it is, at its best, a chronicle of great persons—some real, some idealized, others made up—by whose hands a nation was fashioned.

We hold those persons up as heroes and as models. Thus, a Davy Crocket, a Wild Bill Hickok, a Sam Houston, a Buffalo Bill, a Jesse James—all real flesh-and-blood people in our past—have vividly emerged from the pages of our history books and have entered our consciousness, into our everyday lives. Sometimes, as in the case of a Billy the Kid or maybe the Clantons of Old Tombstone, they become iconic representations of the “bad guys”—of the less savory symbols of our history. But in all cases, they have become reference points that make our history alive and tangible.

Recently, The Playlist published a list of what it called “The 25 Best Westerns of All Time.” [ https://theplaylist.net/25-best-westerns-time-20170809/ ]Reading that list is to understand that as much of Hollywood has moved strongly to the ideological Left over the past decades, the Hollywood Western also reflects that movement in the subjects and messages it seeks to portray. Indeed, the fact that since the late 1960s and early 1970s the Western has receded as a major film genre is, in itself, significant. For the Western, more than other cinematic manifestations, is autobiographical about the growth, trials, and, above all, successes of and pride in the American experience. Since certainly the late 1960s, Vietnam, and the great success of cultural Marxism in our society, the role of the Western as a reflection of the triumph of traditional “good” over “evil,” of the ever-advancing and intrepid frontiersman triumphing over natural hazards, over the elements and fierce aborigines, has receded. America no longer celebrates those heroes; if it celebrates “heroes” at all, it is the vaunted pioneers in civil rights, a Susan B. Anthony or a Nat Turner, or hitherto unknown feminists (who, save for political correctness, should have remained unknown).

Right and wrong, black and white are muddied; we live in an age of the anti-hero, where inherited and tried-and-true standards of morality and moral conduct are not only shunted aside, but often ridiculed.

What does John Wayne in, for example, The Searchers or She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, have to tell us in our society now where even the concept of duty and obedience to moral right is largely downplayed and considered unsophisticated by the dominant culture?

In one of the last great classic Western epics, Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country from 1962, Joel McCrea is asked by his co-star, Randolph Scott, if he doesn’t really want more in life than just what appears to Scott to be his drudgery as a lonely, low paid deputy marshal. McCrea’s character, Steve Judd, responds laconically in one of those immortal lines that epitomizes both the representative and the didactic roles of the American Western: “All I want is to enter my house justified.” That is, I want to fulfill my duty, my God-given duty and appointed role in society, to obey and keep the law, to receive the precious legacy of the culture I inherited, perhaps add to it a bit, and then pass it on, unsullied, to my children and my posterity.

Is this not the message that the classic Western offered us, and, as well, was inculcated into the imaginations of millions of young boys and girls, as well as older adults, during its heyday? Was this not the message of Matt Dillon on TV’s “Gunsmoke” or Ben Cartwright of the Ponderosa?

In that incredibly rich John Ford Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, also from 1962, after Jimmy Stewart has recounted to the assembled newsmen the long history of how he almost inescapably took the credit for John Wayne’s gun down of the infamous bandit Liberty Valance (played deliciously by Lee Marvin) and how it propelled him to fame and to the United States Senate—and how what has been believed for years was essentially built on a legend, a stunned news reporter replies: “This is the West, sir. When legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

America—the America we have loved and wish to preserve and restore—has been dying a slow death for years for lack not only of genuine heroes, but for lack of sometimes shadowy, often times mythical, legends. For our society, our culture, is not only built on the quantifiable advances of science and materiality, or on the history of new civil rights laws, or on the growth of the sports and entertainment industry. Every culture has its legends, its quasi-mythical past that inspires it and adds a certain attractive richness and purpose to its existence. Without the great Norse Sagas of Scandinavia, or the legend of King Arthur of Britain, or the story of Pelayo in Spain, something integral, something very real and essential in the history of those entities would be lacking.

I remember going to see Ride the High Country with my dad at the old Ambassador Theater in downtown Raleigh. It was one of those indelible and intensely moving experiences that always remains with me. My father, growing up in the Charlotte area, had actually known the family of Randolph Scott, so the event was special for him. After the movie, he took the time to explain to me that the Scott character who, initially, had skipped out on McCrea but returned to help him fight one last battle with the bad guys (led by James Drury), had earned redemption and paid the price for his “sin,” by returning. McCrea, in one of the most memorable death scenes in all film, has a final conversation with Scott. Scott tells him: “Don’t worry, I will take care of everything.” (Including getting the gold shipment back into rightful hands.) McCrea replies: “Heck, I always knew you would—you just forgot for a while.”

Blessed are those who have the opportunity to repay the price for evil in this life—that was a message I took away from it. In a marvelous film representation, two old cowboys brilliantly and wonderfully illustrated and taught much about duty in life, about the importance of complying with our obligations, and, finally, about redemption for the sins we have committed.

Back then there were dozens of films coming out of Hollywood each year that represented what was noble and right in our history and that served as teaching models as we reached manhood. We wanted to be Gene Autry—we thought Matt Dillon the finest lawman ever—we laughed out loud with the lovable Hoss Cartwright and Gabby Hayes—we held up John Wayne as our national hero, whether on a horse out West or aboard a World War II battle wagon afloat. Tell me who society’s heroes are, and I will tell you what that society values—and that society’s future.

Those classic Westerns continue to be popular, although you wouldn’t know it from the Academy Awards or the hoopla generated by contemporary Hollywood. I remember a left-leaning film critic remarking in condescending tones last year that in all likelihood those much-abused “deplorables” who ended up voting for Donald Trump were probably “the same people who like old John Wayne Westerns and wanted to be Roy Rogers when growing up.”

I think he was right; but for the wrong reasons. For many of the “deplorables” are people who grew up with the inherited moral consciousness, a sense of right and wrong, essentially a religious sense, that had given birth and admirable vitality to this nation, but which is sorely lacking among so many of our fellow citizens today. Mention John Wayne, Audie Murphy or Clint Eastwood (of Outlaw Josey Wales fame) to a “deplorable” of a certain age, and you get a smile of acknowledgement and agreement. I don’t know many liberals who like Fort Apache….

To enliven the moral imagination and to also appreciate the legacy of our endangered culture there is no better and no simpler way than to engage in viewing the best of classic Westerns.

And, so, I’d like to offer a short list of some of the finer Western films out there, all available on DVD. Some are catchable occasionally on the TCM and Encore Westerns channels. The list is mine, and you may have your own favorites.

First, the collaboration of director John Ford and John Wayne was truly unique in cinematic history. Some of their finest films are: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which has to rank near the top of any list of great Westerns. Then, there is the cavalry trilogy from the late 1940s (Fort Apache, Rio Grande, and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon). None of these films is politically-correct—consider the band playing “Dixie” at the cavalry pass-by at the end of Rio Grande or the moving respect given to deceased former Confederate general “Private John Smith” (aka, Rome Clay) in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. Critics generally consider Stagecoach and The Searchers to be the best Ford/Wayne collaborations, and, again, political correctness and modern egalitarianism find no defenders therein. Rather, obedience to duty, moral courage, loyalty to one’s state and family—these are the virtues celebrated and heralded.

The late Professor Mel Bradford once told me that the John Wayne vehicle, Red River, was his favorite film, and I can see why, as it is the story of post-War Between the States Texas and the great legendary cattle drives. But also it unravels in detail conflicting loyalties, the father and son relationship, the belief in honor and in keeping one’s word as a bond of trust.

I have mentioned Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country, with Randy Scott and Joel McCrea, both, by the way, hard core conservatives politically, as were the vast majority of Western actors. Right before playing in Ride the High Country, Scott did a series of seven lean Westerns with director Budd Boetticher, beginning with Seven Men from Now and ending with Comanche Station, each recounting the story of a man alone against the elements and against those who would stop him: always there was duty to be fulfilled and honor to be kept.

Many Westerns are, to be correct, “Southern Westerns” that use the War Between the States as an essential backdrop, an integral “player” in the plot and action. Thus, such standout films as Jesse James (with Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Randolph Scott), The Return of Frank James (with Fonda), Run of the Arrow (with Rod Steiger),The True Story of Jesse James (with Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter), Rebel in Town (with John Payne) and the largely unknown, but personal favorite, Rocky Mountain (with Errol Flynn and Slim Pickens) are movies that at the least present the Southern viewpoint, unmarred by modern political correctness or the cultural Marxist fascination about race that everything must revolve around that subject.

James Garner is well-known for his portrayal in TV’s “Maverick” series, but he also starred in several underrated oaters, most notably Hour of the Gun from 1967, a kind of continuation of the classic 1950s Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Featuring Garner, Robert Ryan and Jason Robards (as Doc Holliday), it continues the famous O. K. Corral narrative to its deadly conclusion. At first ignored by film critics, it has gained in reputation in recent years. It’s one of my favorites as a superb study of how Wyatt Earp’s (Garner’s) character changes over time and through tragedy.

Two more John Ford creations fill out this short list, and they both emphasize a fundamental moral understanding—that underlying and undergirding the basis of our culture there is a religious sensibility. First, there is his 1948 version of Three Godfathers, again with Wayne and also Ward Bond and Harry Carey Jr. (Ford has his famous “stock company” of dependable and outstanding actors), with its deeply Christian symbolism of penance and redemption. And, then, Wagon Master (with Carey, Bond and a young Ben Johnson), a lyrical chronicle of pilgrims searching for that ideal valley, that eventual home where they may set down roots and raise their families under both Natural and Divine Positive law. In so many words, is it not the story of the American experience, of blood and land, and rootedness and faith?

We cannot separate our politics from our culture and history. The culture of our society reflects in large measure the religious outlook we have and exhibit. As Cardinal John Henry Newman observed more than a century and a half ago: political issues always reflect an essentially religious question at their base.

Classic Westerns offer insight into who we have been as a people, our hopes and aspirations, our trials and tragedies, but also our triumphs. They offer in film the stories of legendary heroes and heroic events, hold up honor and duty as admirable benchmarks, emphasize the importance of family and of place, and they reveal the necessity of a grounded religious faith in the pursuit of our ideals.

In all the talk about “Making America Great Again” we must understand that such efforts involve a panoply of activities on different levels, not just about how we vote, but also in the family, the church, the school, and what we do for entertainment. And one way to accomplish this is, in the place of the tawdry and garish “kulchur” that parades before us, to gather in family and view a classic John Wayne/John Ford film or something with one of those fine Westerners of yesteryear, a Joel McCrea or a Randolph Scott or maybe a Audie Murphy.

Our heritage and those principles we hold most dear will live but only if we let them live first within us, and if we pass them on, unsullied, to our children. The culture we have received from our ancestors, in the great legends and wonderful stories brought to the silver screen, nourish the moral imagination and help repair the disintegrative diseases of the modern mind.

“All I want is to enter my house justified”—to do my duty and fulfill my purpose before God, my family and my fellow men…and, indeed, doing that make America great again.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Film, Movies, Political Correctness, Westerns 
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  1. My favorites are “The Shootist” with John Wayne, one of his rare great films. The best is Eastwood’s “Unforgiven”, about a bad guy gone good, sort of. In the film, an admiring writer asks about his famous shooting exploits, and Eastwood says: “I don’t remember much, I was drunk most the time.” And the people of Nebraska can never forget the scene where Gene Hackman says he thought he was dead, but turns out, he was just in Nebraska.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    My favorites are “The Shootist” with John Wayne, one of his rare great films. The best is Eastwood’s “Unforgiven”, about a bad guy gone good, sort of.

    THE SHOOTIST is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. It has significance because of the direction by 'auteur' Don Siegel and cuz it was the Duke's last movie.

    UNFORGIVEN takes itself way too seriously. It's Eastwood's idea of Art as creative constipation. No Strain, No Gain. It needs Ex-Lax. It has some nice moments, esp with Richard Harris. But overall, we don't need a Western where people sit around and psycho-analyze themselves.

    "I shot him. Shucks, mister, I thought it'd be manly, but I feel sick in my tum-tum."
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  2. Dan Hayes says:

    When asked to name his three favorite directors, Orson Welles famously said, “I like the old masters…by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, John Ford.”

    The comment continued, “With Ford at his best, you get a sense of what the earth is made of – even if the script is by Mother Machree”.

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  3. Da Wei says:

    One more: Shane.

    Good job here,
    Scout’s Honor.

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    • Replies: @Jake
    Shane to Jack Wilson: "i've heard that you're a low down Yankee liar."

    Translated to our time, Shane is part of the Basket of Deplorables, and Wilson is the hired nurderer for the billionaire globalists and the Neocon strategists.
    , @Priss Factor
    SHANE is much-beloved by Western fans but not so much by film scholars.

    George Stevens is a respected figure but considered overly serious and strained.

    Film scholars prefer more 'honest' Westerns. I love SHANE, but I see what they mean.
    SHANE is an attempt to turn the Western Genre into a Christo-Fable. The Greatest Western Story Ever Told.

    Stevens had talent but his seriousness could be deadly. His GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD is just godawful.
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  4. utu says:

    Forget about it. You cannot step into the same river twice. It is over.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    You cannot step into the same river twice.

    True enough, but you can step into the same pile of bullshit again, especially if you don't know what you are doing.
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  5. ‘American history’, here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, “The Sand Creek Massacre’, Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, ‘Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America’, 1859, 1996, New York

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    • Disagree: Cloudbuster
    • Replies: @helena
    What do Natives call the country?

    'Thankstaking' (Henry Standing Bear, Longmire)
    , @The Anti-Gnostic

    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.
     
    Or how it resembles virtually every polity in human history, including that of the American tribes who never made the Neolithic jump, acquiring and holding territory by force, and eradicating the Y-chromosomal lines of competing tribes.
    , @Wally
    Is that why there's so many brown Indians running around everywhere in 'America'?
    , @RadicalCenter
    Yeah, because those noble Indians didn’t get horses or women or whatever else they wanted by killing rival tribes.

    Why are white peoples the only ones required to grovel for doing what almost every people did who were capable?
    , @Alden
    Typical commie Marxist jealous of America N. European. Check out the history of the Netherlands and Indonesia. Your royal family is the richest in the world, even richer than the Saudies because of the looting of Indonesia for hundreds of years. The Dutch are supremely evil, evil, evil White European conquerors of Indonesia. The Dutch also were prominent in the slave trade.

    I also tell the empty vessel English who brought the slaves to America. It was the British and Dutch.

    You treated the Indonesians far, far worse than any N. or S Americans ever did. And you left Indonesia in far worse shape when they kicked you out. You remind me of the English who pontificate about what American did to the Indians while completely ignoring the genocide of the Irish committed by the English for 500 years.
    Acknowledge the sins of the Dutch before repeating the anti American propaganda your teachers drummed into you from age 6.

    Your mind is a typical liberal mind. It's an empty sink. Liberal propaganda central opens the plug, empties out the current propaganda, closes the plug and turns on the faucet. The latest propaganda flows in. And the empty vessel brain of the liberal believes it all.
    , @Alden
    Have your ever heard of commenting about the article? This is an article about fictionalized entertainment.
    , @Alden
    Here we go again. I’m a pompous European pseudo intellectual raised in the days when soviet propaganda was pumped into my empty brain.

    Now I’m retired I spend my time posting things about America on unz. The unz readers are so uneducated and ignorant I graciously inform of the many deficiencies of themselves and their country.

    I can’t wait till you post that there is no public transportation of any kind, bus, trolley, subway or light rail anywhere in America. That’s a favorite claim European empty brain idiot intellectuals make against us.

    I have English relatives. All their idiot intellectual friends parrot the same things you do.
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  6. “It was the novelty of live theater and acting captured as moving images in film and presented on a screen.”

    Even in its infancy, it was recognised that cinema was much greater than a mere capturing of a theatrical performance. So many other aspects, e.g. POV, lighting, scene composition could be brought to bear in the telling of a story in ways that were absent from mere theatrical performances.

    ” It offers graphically and sometimes with violence the effects of right and wrong actions, and the absolute requirement for law and order in any civilized society.”

    It was always more about right vs. wrong than about law and order. This is why the hero often operated outside the law.

    ” For the Western, more than other cinematic manifestations, is autobiographical about the growth, trials, and, above all, successes of and pride in the American experience.”

    Bingo! For that reason, the genre had to die or, worse still be morphed into comedy like Wild, Wild West or, worse still, feminist diatribe like Bad Girls.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Even in its infancy, it was recognised that cinema was much greater than a mere capturing of a theatrical performance. So many other aspects, e.g. POV, lighting, scene composition could be brought to bear in the telling of a story in ways that were absent from mere theatrical performances.

    Not really. Most early efforts were little more than Nickleodeon novelty gimmicks.

    It was always more about right vs. wrong than about law and order. This is why the hero often operated outside the law.

    That theme is ageless. It's there in Christianity too. Jews have their laws of what is right. Romans have their own laws of what is right. Jesus has a personal sense of what is right.

    The Western hero could operate outside the law because the law could be corrupt, as usually is the case in the very cynical Italian Westerns. But in most Hollywood Westerns, the hero operates outside the law because the law has yet to be established and enforced. So, frontier justice paves the way for Law and Order where justice is institutionally than individually dispensed.

    Western is also about courage of justice. With assurance of institutional justice, even the wimpiest can call the police and depend on the state to carry out justice. But in the West, you can't just call the cops. You have to stand on your own two feet against villains. And Westerns show that most people are sheep, and it takes a special man to risk life and limb to stand up to do what is right. So, in a way, the Western is paradoxical. It says the Frontier is a wild and crazy place where justice is weak. But precisely justice isn't assured, it allows the rise of higher justice of courage and honor. A Western hero must have true grit to have justice. He might fight for it himself. And there is real nobility in that.

    While many Westerns are about right vs wrong, many are also about honor and pride than right or wrong. In the manly world of the Western, man cannot rely on being right alone. A man has to prove his mettle, his pride, his courage. So, it becomes a matter of honor. This is why THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE is a sad movie. Even though Tom Donifan knows Valance is a bad guy, Valance won't take away his girl. But Stewart's character does. So, Donifan's pride is really wounded more by Stewart than by anything Valance did. In Tom's way of thinking, his pride was vested in getting the prettiest girl in town. The pretty girl should go with the toughest man. But Stewart's character comes with books and teaches her to read, and she becomes aware of finer things than guys acting tough. And Donifan can't compete with that.

    "For the Western, more than other cinematic manifestations, is autobiographical about the growth, trials, and, above all, successes of and pride in the American experience.”

    Bingo! For that reason, the genre had to die or, worse still be morphed into comedy like Wild, Wild West or, worse still, feminist diatribe like Bad Girls.

    In a way, the Western did represent the American spirit and history, but its appeal was also that it preserved a moment in time. It was forward-looking with stories of frontier, but it was also nostalgic: the lost frontier.
    Because the Western was locked in time -- mainly from mid-19th century to late 19th century -- , it was limited in its symbolism and relevance.
    So, as America changed more and more, the Western became more a thing of the past.

    That is the charm of the Western too. If Western could be molded to be anything, it wouldn't be what it is. It was bound to fade as America grows more technological and urban.
    Same could be said of Samurai movies. They are still made but not like they used to be. They speak less and less to modern Japanese experience.
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  7. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There is nothing — NOTHING — in US culture, certainly not US culture as reflected in cinema that is worth passing along unsullied to our children — the ones we don’t abort.

    That is the real legacy of our age: we have become consumers not (re)producers; having no faith in our culture, we abort our children in order to pursue, unencumbered, our inter narcissism and its external markers. Those we don’t abort we hand over to the agents of psychological warfare to deform and turn into consumers of cotton candy. The pacifier is the symbol of the last 100 years of American culture.

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  8. One great western that was a made-for-TV-movie was “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid”, with Robert Duvall as Jesse James and Cliff Robertson as Cole Younger. In one scene, Frank is trying to get Cole to abandon his wounded brothers by quoting scripture, or at least quoting Jesse’s quote of scripture.

    Frank says something like: “Like Jesse said, Cole, let the dead bury the dead.”

    Cole replies: “Bob ain’t dead, Jesse ain’t the Lord and we ain’t goin’ “.

    Another fine western made as a TV mini-series was “Lonesome Dove”. To me, the more modern westerns were better than the older ones, such as “Open Range”, the first version of ” True Grit”, and “The Long Riders”.

    I outgrew the old style Western genre soon after seeing “The Wild Bunch”.

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    • Replies: @Jake
    Yours is an example of a post that confuses me. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid is a good example of a 'new western' in that it seems its primary purpose is to remake Jesse and Frank James into 'Bible kooks' as understood by Hollywood Liberals. Bible kooks who are the worst of cowards.

    Lonesome Dove began as a screenplay for John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, which quickly turned into homage to the type Westerns they made, and finally was finished as a novel. In many key ways, it is antithetical to The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid.

    Open Range is as much about the things Boyd Cathey discusses as are Fort Apache and Shane.

    The Wild Bunch is seen by most standard critics as an awareness, perhaps a celebration, of the fact that there never was any honor among men on the Old West. I see it as Peckinpah exploring what the end of the Old West, replaced by the 20th century, would mean. It is thus perfect that the bunch enters Revolutionary Mexico, which had murdered almost all honor and decency that had marked Old Mexico. In other words, The Wild Bunch is that which will give us the horrors of World War 1: Modern, Progressive, Revolutionary. The final slaughter is what Peckinpah sees as the deserved fate of Modernism and its waves of revolution that have murdered the Old West as surely as they murdered the Old South.

    That scene from Ride With the Devil marks the English-speaking source of that revolutionary monster of tyranny that will exterminate all more traditional cultures: the people who settled Lawrence were 100% Anglo-Saxon Puritan. Their allies in that film and its novel source and in actual history were the German immigrants of the recent past, especially those who left the Germanies because they supported the failed Revolution of 1848, for which Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto.
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  9. helena says:
    @jilles dykstra
    'American history', here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, "The Sand Creek Massacre', Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, 'Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America', 1859, 1996, New York

    What do Natives call the country?

    ‘Thankstaking’ (Henry Standing Bear, Longmire)

    Read More
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  10. Jake says:
    @Da Wei
    One more: Shane.

    Good job here,
    Scout's Honor.

    Shane to Jack Wilson: “i’ve heard that you’re a low down Yankee liar.”

    Translated to our time, Shane is part of the Basket of Deplorables, and Wilson is the hired nurderer for the billionaire globalists and the Neocon strategists.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Translated to our time, Shane is part of the Basket of Deplorables, and Wilson is the hired nurderer for the billionaire globalists and the Neocon strategists.

    To Self-loathing Whites, Shane's remark will sound offensive.

    But in a way, your point could be reversed. Ranchers could be seen as the Deplorables because they want to keep the West the way it is: Wild and Free, with cattlemen and cattle riding around and being tough men.

    The sodbusters are like 'immigrants' to the West who seek to replace the wild-spirited ranchers. And Shane is a like a race-traitor. He is a gunslinger, a man of the West. But he sides with the new arrivals, some of whom have funny accents.
    A mega version of this dynamic is HEAVEN'S GATE where some 'good' Anglos side with Immigrant farmers against the Anglo founders.

    So, a Western can be read in many ways. It could be seen as 'right' or 'left' or this or that.

    SHANE is a great movie.
    , @Da Wei
    Jake,
    Funny, this, and probably right close to the damn truth!
    That is, speaking for Shane. Speaking for me, right on target.
    Thanks.
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  11. MEexpert says:

    This article is a refreshing change. A journey in nostalgia. Long live the westerns. Today’s cinema is loud, deafening computerized pictures and sound effects and without a story. That is why the industry is failing. Today the sad story is that we voted for the right reasons but were duped. We had no clear choice of good vs evil. Today we settle for the lesser of the two evils but in the end we end up with evil. And that is the big tragedy of this country.

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    • Agree: renfro
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    This article is a refreshing change. A journey in nostalgia. Long live the westerns. Today’s cinema is loud, deafening computerized pictures and sound effects and without a story. That is why the industry is failing.

    No, Hollywood is having trouble because of competition from TV and home video and streaming. Also, there's the problem of piracy in the digital age.

    It's true that a lot of bad dumb movies have been made but there have also been many interesting indie movies. Technology led to all these CGI-loaded blockbusters, but it also brought down film-production technology for amateurs. Digitechnology made cinematography and editing so much simpler.

    And there have been some excellent movies recently. Consider SLOW WEST, KING OF SUMMER, ELEPHANT, COLD IN JULY, JOE, COG, and etc.

    Also, Hollywood was always into big special effects, though by other means. 10 COMMANDMENTS was a huge special effects extravaganza. And film industry was facing much harder times in the late 50s and 60s due to rise of TV.

    One difference is this. Back then, kids were quicker to turn to TV shows, and TV shows cater to kiddies with shows like GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. In contrast, movies were slow to change and remained old-fashioned. Even in the 60s, John Wayne made lots of movies. Though old-fashioned, the movie studio expected older audiences to come.

    Now, it's the opposite. TV tends to be more adult whereas movies tend to be more geared to youth. At least big-budget movies.
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  12. Jake says:
    @Twodees Partain
    One great western that was a made-for-TV-movie was "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid", with Robert Duvall as Jesse James and Cliff Robertson as Cole Younger. In one scene, Frank is trying to get Cole to abandon his wounded brothers by quoting scripture, or at least quoting Jesse's quote of scripture.

    Frank says something like: "Like Jesse said, Cole, let the dead bury the dead."

    Cole replies: "Bob ain't dead, Jesse ain't the Lord and we ain't goin' ".

    Another fine western made as a TV mini-series was "Lonesome Dove". To me, the more modern westerns were better than the older ones, such as "Open Range", the first version of " True Grit", and "The Long Riders".

    I outgrew the old style Western genre soon after seeing "The Wild Bunch".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0asSaCVDzw

    Yours is an example of a post that confuses me. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid is a good example of a ‘new western’ in that it seems its primary purpose is to remake Jesse and Frank James into ‘Bible kooks’ as understood by Hollywood Liberals. Bible kooks who are the worst of cowards.

    Lonesome Dove began as a screenplay for John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, which quickly turned into homage to the type Westerns they made, and finally was finished as a novel. In many key ways, it is antithetical to The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid.

    Open Range is as much about the things Boyd Cathey discusses as are Fort Apache and Shane.

    The Wild Bunch is seen by most standard critics as an awareness, perhaps a celebration, of the fact that there never was any honor among men on the Old West. I see it as Peckinpah exploring what the end of the Old West, replaced by the 20th century, would mean. It is thus perfect that the bunch enters Revolutionary Mexico, which had murdered almost all honor and decency that had marked Old Mexico. In other words, The Wild Bunch is that which will give us the horrors of World War 1: Modern, Progressive, Revolutionary. The final slaughter is what Peckinpah sees as the deserved fate of Modernism and its waves of revolution that have murdered the Old West as surely as they murdered the Old South.

    That scene from Ride With the Devil marks the English-speaking source of that revolutionary monster of tyranny that will exterminate all more traditional cultures: the people who settled Lawrence were 100% Anglo-Saxon Puritan. Their allies in that film and its novel source and in actual history were the German immigrants of the recent past, especially those who left the Germanies because they supported the failed Revolution of 1848, for which Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto.

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    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    I'm a little confused about your confusion. The depiction of Jesse James as a demagogue who uses biblical quotations to exhort his gang to the most unchristian acts has diddly to do with any attempt to "remake Jesse and Frank James into ‘Bible kooks’". Maybe you should watch it instead of guessing at its content. The James brothers are portrayed as vicious murderers; Jesse as being clearly insane which, by some contemporary accounts, he was and Frank being depicted as a dimwit, which is unlikely to be true. They aren't depicted as bible-thumpers.

    I don't disagree with your assessment of "The Wild Bunch", or of "Open Range". My preference for "new westerns" is what I was expressing. The old John Ford Westerns just aren't my favorites.

    The clip from the Ang Lee film is just an illustration of why I like the new western movies better. That exchange between Evans and Jack Bull Childs is so non-PC that it is remarkable. The Kansas side of the Border War produced the most atrocious characters, such as John Brown and, later James Lane, though the PC version of history has those two monsters as heroes, if not saints. I read the Woodrell novel "Woe to Live On" which was the basis for "Ride With the Devil" I understand the former '48ers you mention, so maybe you just misunderstood my reason for posting the clip.

    "Ride With the Devil" is THE greatest revisionist film ever made on the period of Lincoln's war, IMO. That scene in which Evans explains the difference between the Yankee and normal people is the kind of thing that the old westerns only hinted at on that subject. Those old films were just much more likely to reinforce the official version of history as it was told in their day.

    , @Priss Factor
    The Wild Bunch is seen by most standard critics as an awareness, perhaps a celebration, of the fact that there never was any honor among men on the Old West. I see it as Peckinpah exploring what the end of the Old West, replaced by the 20th century, would mean. It is thus perfect that the bunch enters Revolutionary Mexico, which had murdered almost all honor and decency that had marked Old Mexico. In other words, The Wild Bunch is that which will give us the horrors of World War 1: Modern, Progressive, Revolutionary.

    WILD BUNCH is about "no honor among men"? No, the very opposite.
    It's like this. Westerns always had bad guys, but good guys were at the center. Good guys had law and righteousness on their side. But the Wild Bunch is about bad guys at the center.
    The problem is bad guys don't have law and righteousness on their side. So, what do they have left? Honor. WILD BUNCH is about honor among thieves. Pike Bishop isn't always true to his code of honor, but he tries to live by it. He agonizes over having left his friend behind. He tries to keep the bunch together by talking of the importance of the Word. When you give your word to a man, it must mean something. And this goes for Angel too. As Dutch says, "he played his strings right out to the end." Even under torture, Angel doesn't spill the beans. And the Bunch could have ridden off with the gold but they go back for Angel. Why? Honor.

    And even though Mapache is a gross character, Peckinpah's shows his one positive side. He too has a sense of honor. When Poncho Villa's men are attacking his soldiers, most men cower and hide. But Mapache stands tall like Patton. He doesn't budge. He doesn't fear bullets. Also, when he founds out that Angel really meant to kill the girl, he understands and laughs heartily. Mapache may be a no-good monster and thief... but he is a real man.
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  13. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Great article. Read that list that was on the Playlist link. I continue to maintain that “The Searchers” was the greatest Western ever produced and one of the top five American motion pictures of all time. That said, I can understand the reasoning for their choice of #1 on that list. It’s Ford’s last great movie and certainly among the top five Westerns.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Read that list that was on the Playlist link.

    It has some great titles but it's a sucky list overall.

    How did BUTCH CASSIDY AND SUNDANCE KID make it in top 10, above THE WILD BUNCH?
    MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is pretty good but overblown and ludicrous. OUTLAW JOSEY WALES is so overrated. EL TOPO is trash. DEAD MAN is certainly interesting and has a great Tarkovksyean ending but one of the ugliest things ever. UNFORGIVEN is Eastwood shitting a log through his ass.

    ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES is a great movie but I wonder if the Jesse James story is really a Western. It's more a Southern. It's not about frontiers. It's not about East vs West but North vs South. It has Western-like gunmen but the dynamics are very different.
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  14. To understand the destruction of America, read the PROTOCOLS OF ZION and the book THE COMMITTEE OF 300 by John Coleman, it can be had on amazon.com.

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  15. Che Guava says:

    Enjoying the article.

    Would adding the trilogy of Sergio Leoni spaghetti westerns, with brilliant soundtracks by Ennio Morrocone and Eastwood as the star (the first is having an important War of Northern Aggression scene).

    The original Django, where a maniac for justice is towing a Gatling gun around in a coffin, to dealing justice, also great. I am thinking I am never wanting to see Quentin Tarantula’s film ‘inspired’ by it.

    The coffin is also the inspiration for the scene in T3 (very good action SF movie, IMHO, far better than the contemporary live-action Matrix movies) where Arnold is bearing a coffin.

    I was also enjoying The Big Country, only to recalling the Japanese title, 大いなる西武、but the full title in Japanese was coming up automatically on my entering the first part of the title, very popular here. In contrasting to that, I was posting to a friend the word meaning ‘claustrophobia’, except for the part before ‘phobia’, was having to enter the characters one by one, but the Japanese title of The Big Country is instantly recognized, because so popular.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Would adding the trilogy of Sergio Leoni spaghetti westerns, with brilliant soundtracks by Ennio Morrocone and Eastwood as the star (the first is having an important War of Northern Aggression scene).

    Leone was a great master and one of the most influential stylists ever. But his films would go against the gist of Cathey's thesis. Cathey's fondness is for Western as morality tale and national saga/epic. Leone's Westerns are nihilistic and cynical. The classic Western is about Anglo morality and code of honor. Spaghetti Westerns present a world as hopelessly corrupt as Greece, Spain, and Italy. In the classic Western, there is hope for a better society of law, order, and morality. But forget such hopes in Leone's movies. It's a world of thieves and cutthroats, and you gotta get what's yours. And there is no shame in that. Now, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is somewhat more moralistic, as the Bronson character doesn't play for money. Even so, the character who inherits the earth is a harlot. Also, if the classic Western was a myth about history, Leone's movies are about myth about a myth. Bronson's character is so mythic that he might as well be a ghost.

    The original Django, where a maniac for justice is towing a Gatling gun around in a coffin, to dealing justice, also great. I am thinking I am never wanting to see Quentin Tarantula’s film ‘inspired’ by it.

    Corbucci had none of the talent of Leone. DJANGO is rough ugly work. Still, one advantage of lack of finesse and style was his films could be grittier and more compelling as realist drama. Take BIG SILENCE, which is, in some ways, a messy ugly movie. But it has the stuff of dark tragedy missing in Leone's Westerns. It is also the only Western that I know of where good doesn't prevail. And memorable score by Morricone.
    Such rough-hewn Westerns may have paved the way for the remarkable Altman Western MCCABE AND MRS MILLER, which is both the grimiest-grittiest and most dreamy-romantic Western ever made.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h1zpQkX6gA

    I was also enjoying The Big Country, only to recalling the Japanese title, 大いなる西武、but the full title in Japanese was coming up automatically on my entering the first part of the title, very popular here. '

    Damn that movie. It's the first Western that made a huge impact on me. I went to a revival showing in 1974 or 1975 when I was 6 or 7, and it set the template of what America is about. Perhaps a misleading as myth but what a magnificent vision. I saw SAMSON AND DELILAH also in revival showing around the same time, and those two movies have been dogging me all my life. Kids are impressionable, and I just imprinted on the movie. BIG COUNTRY IS America.

    BIG COUNTRY never got the respect it got because it was made by William Wyler, who also did BEN HUR. Wyler eventually came to be appreciated, but the word in the auteurist 60s was that he was one of those impersonal directors, a professional than an artist. So, he made Big A movies for Hollywood with all the crowd-pleasing conventional stuff, but he lacked vision or derring-do. There is some validity to this. Wyler didn't invest his 'personality' into his works as some others. It's hard to imagine what would be Wylerian, as opposed to Hitchcockean, Wellesian, Hawksians, Fordian, or etc.
    But good is good, magnificent is magnificent, and BIG COUNTRY is certainly all that.

    Also, being a Jewish director like Fred Zinnemann who did HIGH NOON, he was less invested in Western mythology as some other directors. BIG COUNTRY is a celebration of American frontier spirit but also a stinging critique of the cult of manhood, pride of honor(that can lead to violence over petty stuff), and social pressure over personal integrity. The character played by Gregory Peck is a tad too idealized, as if rehearsing for his role in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. (It has elements of something like BAD DAY AT BLACKROCK where an urbane person has to bring light of reason to 'rednecks'. While many Westerns had this theme, it was maybe overstated in BIG COUNTRY because Peck's character is so very upstanding and right-all-the-time.) Still, it's not a simple morality tale. Every character is fleshed out, and even the slimiest, the Chuck Connors character, is allotted his due humanity. And the two old men whose ancient grudges threaten to tear the valley apart have their own kind of pride and honor that are impressive and admirable. And helluva script. The scene when Burl Ives interrupts the party is especially wonderful. It's like roughneck shakespeare. And there are so many great scenes... like when Peck steps onto the porch after his first night in the West is just grand. And what great music.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW2JONQ2k3c

    Wyler had much bigger success with BEN HUR, which certainly has its moments. But I prefer BIG COUNTRY, and it's here that the Western had a certain advantage. As it was about a no-nonsense world of struggle, survival, and power, it discouraged over-arching pomposity that was rife in all the Biblical and Historical Epics. BEN HUR is great as an adventure and spectacle but really sags when it tries to go for MEANING.
    BIG COUNTRY certainly has a message but it's still about a meat-and-potatoes world, and that keeps it more honest.
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  16. @jilles dykstra
    'American history', here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, "The Sand Creek Massacre', Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, 'Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America', 1859, 1996, New York

    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Or how it resembles virtually every polity in human history, including that of the American tribes who never made the Neolithic jump, acquiring and holding territory by force, and eradicating the Y-chromosomal lines of competing tribes.

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    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    No idea what the neolithic jump was, but they were obviously content with their lives:
    ⦁ Francis Parkman, ‘The Oregon trail’, New York, 2002, Boston, 1883, 1847
    Holding territory, the Indians did no such thing.
    Indian tribes most of the time did not live at a fixed location.
    Indian wars were no more than skirmishes, until they had to fight the white intruders.
    Eradicating Y chromosomal lines, this intrigues me.
    What is or was it, who did it to whom, why, and how did they get this genetical information?
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  17. iffen says:
    @utu
    Forget about it. You cannot step into the same river twice. It is over.

    You cannot step into the same river twice.

    True enough, but you can step into the same pile of bullshit again, especially if you don’t know what you are doing.

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  18. Davey says:

    I was reading through all of the reply’s to see if The Big Country would be mentioned. My favorite. Strong tough characters that walked the fine line between right and wrong, good and evil. Rugged individualism, but also the need for social cooperation. Everyone with some flaw, but yet sympathetic too. Men settled conflict if they had to with their fists, then after mutual admiration. Feminist hysteria is even on display here. Long, but worth it!

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  19. @Jake
    Yours is an example of a post that confuses me. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid is a good example of a 'new western' in that it seems its primary purpose is to remake Jesse and Frank James into 'Bible kooks' as understood by Hollywood Liberals. Bible kooks who are the worst of cowards.

    Lonesome Dove began as a screenplay for John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, which quickly turned into homage to the type Westerns they made, and finally was finished as a novel. In many key ways, it is antithetical to The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid.

    Open Range is as much about the things Boyd Cathey discusses as are Fort Apache and Shane.

    The Wild Bunch is seen by most standard critics as an awareness, perhaps a celebration, of the fact that there never was any honor among men on the Old West. I see it as Peckinpah exploring what the end of the Old West, replaced by the 20th century, would mean. It is thus perfect that the bunch enters Revolutionary Mexico, which had murdered almost all honor and decency that had marked Old Mexico. In other words, The Wild Bunch is that which will give us the horrors of World War 1: Modern, Progressive, Revolutionary. The final slaughter is what Peckinpah sees as the deserved fate of Modernism and its waves of revolution that have murdered the Old West as surely as they murdered the Old South.

    That scene from Ride With the Devil marks the English-speaking source of that revolutionary monster of tyranny that will exterminate all more traditional cultures: the people who settled Lawrence were 100% Anglo-Saxon Puritan. Their allies in that film and its novel source and in actual history were the German immigrants of the recent past, especially those who left the Germanies because they supported the failed Revolution of 1848, for which Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto.

    I’m a little confused about your confusion. The depiction of Jesse James as a demagogue who uses biblical quotations to exhort his gang to the most unchristian acts has diddly to do with any attempt to “remake Jesse and Frank James into ‘Bible kooks’”. Maybe you should watch it instead of guessing at its content. The James brothers are portrayed as vicious murderers; Jesse as being clearly insane which, by some contemporary accounts, he was and Frank being depicted as a dimwit, which is unlikely to be true. They aren’t depicted as bible-thumpers.

    I don’t disagree with your assessment of “The Wild Bunch”, or of “Open Range”. My preference for “new westerns” is what I was expressing. The old John Ford Westerns just aren’t my favorites.

    The clip from the Ang Lee film is just an illustration of why I like the new western movies better. That exchange between Evans and Jack Bull Childs is so non-PC that it is remarkable. The Kansas side of the Border War produced the most atrocious characters, such as John Brown and, later James Lane, though the PC version of history has those two monsters as heroes, if not saints. I read the Woodrell novel “Woe to Live On” which was the basis for “Ride With the Devil” I understand the former ’48ers you mention, so maybe you just misunderstood my reason for posting the clip.

    “Ride With the Devil” is THE greatest revisionist film ever made on the period of Lincoln’s war, IMO. That scene in which Evans explains the difference between the Yankee and normal people is the kind of thing that the old westerns only hinted at on that subject. Those old films were just much more likely to reinforce the official version of history as it was told in their day.

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  20. wayfarer says:

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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  21. Brabantian says: • Website

    One thing very ugly about Westerns – and also about recent USA television cop shows – is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging … actually last practiced in the USA in the 1990s, with two hangings, one in Bill Gates’ USA Washington State, another in Joe Biden’s Delaware … Delaware notorious also for using judicial flogging up through the 1950s

    It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today’s Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month, sometimes in groups, with women dying more slowly due to their lighter body mass … There is the possibility of instant coma with the neck broken in a drop through the gallows floor but this is not reliable, and in countries like Iran they don’t even attempt a long drop

    For all its alleged ‘horror’, the guillotine was a very humane method of execution, almost always killing instantly … the French Revolution giving all condemned citizens what was formerly the merciful death only of aristocrats … whilst Britain kept the gallows as their universal method, with few of the elites ever executed in ‘modern’ Britain till they ended it in 1962 … France last used the guillotine in 1979

    Beheading and the bullet seem the most humane execution methods, whilst lethal injection has sometimes been an hour-long torture session, electrocutions and gassings having gone horribly slow and torturous as well … the bullet in the back of the head, Soviet-style, may have been a mess but is perhaps the most humane of all … Russia has cancelled the death penalty today, in line with the EU

    It was very nauseating one day to watch the ‘new’ Hawaii Five-O television show, only to have the ‘Hawaii cops’ gloating to a man they arrested that he would ‘get the needle’ as his penalty … have not been able to stomach looking at that show ever since

    It is often forgotten that the USA had a death penalty moratorium from 1967-77, when more humane judges in that era tag-teamed to effectively ban it … the US oligarchy replaced those judges, and after Ronald Reagan had sent a man to the gas chamber in 1967, a decade later, in his last days in office in January 1977, US President Gerald Ford allowed a firing-squad killing in Utah to get the execution horror show rolling again

    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now … nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan

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    • Replies: @another fred
    Yes, the US is a horrible place.

    I wish you'd get the word out more so all these people would quit coming here.


    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now … nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan
     
    Wow, 88% of countries. And what % of the world's population would they compose?

    Are you counting countries like Brazil in your list where the cops routinely execute people on the streets?

    I've encountered a half-dozen murderers in my life. Most were not nice people at all and most had killed more than one other person. Only one was imprisoned, and that because of your moratorium back in the 70s. He had killed four people. Three of these murderers were (thankfully) killed by rivals. One committed suicide while the cops had him under surveillance.

    One guy I knew was murdered by some guys he charitably pulled out of a ditch late one night. They had to kill him, I guess, since they had the dead body of the man whose car they had stolen in the trunk.

    Somehow I lack your sense of outrage at the death penalty.

    , @Priss Factor
    "One thing very ugly about Westerns – and also about recent USA television cop shows – is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging … It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today’s Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month"

    Death Penalty is great. Scum suckers must die. Besides, isn't lifetime incarceration also cruel?

    A person can live for an hour when hung? You gotta be kidding me.

    At any rate, most Westerns weren't about death penalty but death, period. A sheriff or gunslinger prefers to kill right there and then. Few Westerns are about justice of law. They are about justice meted out by gun fights or disputes settled by the faster draw.

    And when Westerns did involve the Law, it showed how letting scumsuckers go can unleash hell on earth. Because the Law didn't kill Frank Miller or lock him up forever, he came back to kill Will Kane, and there was yet more violence. Just like politicians keep going easy on Scorpio in DIRTY HARRY, the Law went easy on Frank Miller, and Will Kane had to finish him off with the fast draw(and his woman's claw).

    And there were plenty of Westerns about the danger of frontier justice, vigilante justice, and lynchmob justice. Consider the OX-BOW INCIDENT where the townsfolk realize they killed the wrong fellers. And there is a Gregory Peck movie where the hero takes justice into his hands and kills the bad guys... only to realize that he killed the wrong people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bravados

    Such westerns were surely a commentary on problems in the South where it was assumed that white vigilantes were hanging innocent blacks from trees. Since Hollywood back then was anxious about directly addressing race issues, they were transmuted to Westerns where frontier sense of justice was seen as ugly, dangerous, and wreaking of bloodlust.

    Oddly enough, even though HIGH NOON is seen as a leftist Western, the setup is pretty right-wing. After all, it was the Law that let Frank Miller go. And the lawful people of the town care more about themselves or money than for justice and honor. So, it is up to Will Kane to go semi-vigilante to take on Miller and gang by himself.

    Westerns made by Jewish directors or European emigres offered a different perspective that were often interesting. Even before Leone made his films in Italy, the Western was increasingly 'Europeanized' in sensibility by the works of men like Zinnemann and Andre De Toth who made the excellent DAY OF THE OUTLAW.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocvpYhVbP2w

    Arthur Penn's Freudian LEFT-HANDED GUN is also a different kind of Western.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BhhGqb6k4I
    , @TWS
    Please warn people to never come to America and if here leave asap. We are a cruel barbarous people who will cross a frozen river at midnight on Christmas to kill you in your sleep.
    , @Alden
    The guillotine was not used for anyone before the revolution. Before the revolution beheading was done with a sword by a skilled executioner..
    before you post your ignorance do a little research.

    The guillotine was adapted from a butchering machine used to kill smaller animals, sheep and goats. The guillotine was a more humane way of killing than most.
    Most countries had public executions in those days. But the spectacle of mass executions including as many women as men for the most trivial of reasons was a gruesome display of sadism and dominance.

    Another European asshole intellectual enlightening us American peasants about how dreadful we are.
    , @Alden
    So why do you watch those dreadful TV shows that glorify the death penalty?

    Unz readers don’t watch watch those shows. Why do you?
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  22. Boyd never heard of him. Beautiful article. It made me cry a little bit.

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  23. Ragno says:

    Fine article. I’m surprised he left out the other great death scene in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY: Randolph Scott’s slowly, slowly sinking out of the Panavision frame just before THE END is superimposed on the screen.

    That’s one more huge plus to exploring and discovering the classic Westerns: the Western represented one of the rare opportunities for studio-era filmmakers to reach for visual poetry, none more brilliantly than John Ford. There are countless great moments in Ford Westerns dependent on little or no dialogue: the town dance in MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, the Duke framed by the doorway at the end of THE SEARCHERS, the dramatic shot introducing The Duke in STAGECOACH, the climactic doomed charge in FORT APACHE. (Never much cared for LIBERTY VALENCE, though.)

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Randolph Scott’s slowly, slowly sinking out of the Panavision frame just before THE END is superimposed on the screen.

    You mean Joel McCrea.
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  24. @The Anti-Gnostic

    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.
     
    Or how it resembles virtually every polity in human history, including that of the American tribes who never made the Neolithic jump, acquiring and holding territory by force, and eradicating the Y-chromosomal lines of competing tribes.

    No idea what the neolithic jump was, but they were obviously content with their lives:
    ⦁ Francis Parkman, ‘The Oregon trail’, New York, 2002, Boston, 1883, 1847
    Holding territory, the Indians did no such thing.
    Indian tribes most of the time did not live at a fixed location.
    Indian wars were no more than skirmishes, until they had to fight the white intruders.
    Eradicating Y chromosomal lines, this intrigues me.
    What is or was it, who did it to whom, why, and how did they get this genetical information?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    Yawn, the fake & leftist 'noble savages' again

    ‘Noble savages’ debunked, excerpt from:
    http://principia-scientific.org/crichton-environmentalism-religion/
    excerpt:
    "And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did. On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process. And what was the condition of life? Loving, peaceful, harmonious? Hardly: the early peoples of the New World lived in a state of constant warfare. Generations of hatred, tribal hatreds, constant battles. The warlike tribes of this continent are famous: the Comanche, Sioux, Apache, Mohawk, Aztecs, Toltec, Incas. Some of them practiced infanticide, and human sacrifice. And those tribes that were not fiercely warlike were exterminated, or learned to build their villages high in the cliffs to attain some measure of safety.
    How about the human condition in the rest of the world? The Maori of New Zealand committed massacres regularly. The dyaks of Borneo were headhunters. The Polynesians, living in an environment as close to paradise as one can imagine, fought constantly, and created a society so hideously restrictive that you could lose your life if you stepped in the footprint of a chief. It was the Polynesians who gave us the very concept of taboo, as well as the word itself. The noble savage is a fantasy, and it was never true. That anyone still believes it, 200 years after Rousseau, shows the tenacity of religious myths, their ability to hang on in the face of centuries of factual contradiction."
    , @Talleyrand
    The Crow Creek massacre demonstrates that stone age savagery thrived in North America long before the evil Europeans arrived on the scene. They would have done more damage to one another had they other than rudimentary tool making skills.
    , @Alden
    I live about a mile from one of the greatest libraries in the world. I think I’ll go over there and find out how the barbarian Teutonic invaders who were the ancestors of the Dutch treated the indigenous people who lived in what is now the Netherlands when they invade and took over another people’s land.
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  25. The conversion-consumption mentality has come to define every aspect of Americanism and the West.

    A missionary is bored with existing Christians. His excitement and joy come with converting people into New Christians. So, he seeks out yet more heathens to convert. He gets his thrills that way. Already-Christians are boring. The glory comes with saving new souls for Christ. It’s like a hunter is bored with trophies on the wall. He wants to kill new animals. A fisherman is bored with caught fish. He wants the excitement of catching new fish.

    Same goes for shopping and collecting. A woman is bored with clothes and shoes she has. The joy comes in buying New shoes and clothes. The new stuff could be no better or even worse than the stuff she already has, but there is excitement in newness itself.
    And book collectors keep getting new books even though old ones go unread cuz of the excitement of getting new stuff. And people wanna travel to new places to feel the thrill again.

    So, America is more excited about New Americans. America must shop for New Americans. Old Ones are boring. America must convert non-Americans into Saved People by becoming Americans.
    And Europe is excited about New Europeans. Merkel is like a fisherman dragging in a giant net that overflows with tons of new fish.

    So, even illegals are ‘dreamers’. And the future is always more hopeful than the past or the now. As Scarlett said, “Tomorrow will be another day.” And Annie sang about Tomorrow. America is to be Tomorrowland.

    But as the retro-nostalgia of TOMORROWLAND showed, there can be no tomorrow without yesterday. And BACK TO THE FUTURE shows future owes to the past. And the Renaissance was about paving into the future by regaining lost knowledge, culture, and glory.

    Progs are into missionary zeal. They are about converting others into New Americans or New Europeans.

    Cons are more into the born-again experience. It’s about rediscovering the truth within you and drawing excitement from such realization via reconnection. To be born-again means to realize what’s inside that has been ignored or forgotten.

    Hilary was into converting the world. She is missionary-istic.

    Trump’s MAGA message is Americans must be born-again and find glory in the Americanism that they’ve forgotten. It is baptivistic, to be born again, to become who you are.

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  26. GP 100 says:

    It should be noted that “All I want to do is enter my house justified” is the character applying our Lord’s parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector to himself –

    He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayeda thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” St. Luke 18:9-14

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  27. wayfarer says:

    Savored every line of this magnificent article. Brilliantly written.

    America, I love your soul.

    Here are a couple of my favorite American westerns.

    Open Range (full movie)

    Dances with Wolves (trailer)

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  28. @Brabantian
    One thing very ugly about Westerns - and also about recent USA television cop shows - is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging ... actually last practiced in the USA in the 1990s, with two hangings, one in Bill Gates' USA Washington State, another in Joe Biden's Delaware ... Delaware notorious also for using judicial flogging up through the 1950s

    It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today's Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month, sometimes in groups, with women dying more slowly due to their lighter body mass ... There is the possibility of instant coma with the neck broken in a drop through the gallows floor but this is not reliable, and in countries like Iran they don't even attempt a long drop

    For all its alleged 'horror', the guillotine was a very humane method of execution, almost always killing instantly ... the French Revolution giving all condemned citizens what was formerly the merciful death only of aristocrats ... whilst Britain kept the gallows as their universal method, with few of the elites ever executed in 'modern' Britain till they ended it in 1962 ... France last used the guillotine in 1979

    Beheading and the bullet seem the most humane execution methods, whilst lethal injection has sometimes been an hour-long torture session, electrocutions and gassings having gone horribly slow and torturous as well ... the bullet in the back of the head, Soviet-style, may have been a mess but is perhaps the most humane of all ... Russia has cancelled the death penalty today, in line with the EU

    It was very nauseating one day to watch the 'new' Hawaii Five-O television show, only to have the 'Hawaii cops' gloating to a man they arrested that he would 'get the needle' as his penalty ... have not been able to stomach looking at that show ever since

    It is often forgotten that the USA had a death penalty moratorium from 1967-77, when more humane judges in that era tag-teamed to effectively ban it ... the US oligarchy replaced those judges, and after Ronald Reagan had sent a man to the gas chamber in 1967, a decade later, in his last days in office in January 1977, US President Gerald Ford allowed a firing-squad killing in Utah to get the execution horror show rolling again

    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now ... nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan

    Yes, the US is a horrible place.

    I wish you’d get the word out more so all these people would quit coming here.

    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now … nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan

    Wow, 88% of countries. And what % of the world’s population would they compose?

    Are you counting countries like Brazil in your list where the cops routinely execute people on the streets?

    I’ve encountered a half-dozen murderers in my life. Most were not nice people at all and most had killed more than one other person. Only one was imprisoned, and that because of your moratorium back in the 70s. He had killed four people. Three of these murderers were (thankfully) killed by rivals. One committed suicide while the cops had him under surveillance.

    One guy I knew was murdered by some guys he charitably pulled out of a ditch late one night. They had to kill him, I guess, since they had the dead body of the man whose car they had stolen in the trunk.

    Somehow I lack your sense of outrage at the death penalty.

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  29. Read More
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  30. @Ragno
    Fine article. I'm surprised he left out the other great death scene in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY: Randolph Scott's slowly, slowly sinking out of the Panavision frame just before THE END is superimposed on the screen.

    That's one more huge plus to exploring and discovering the classic Westerns: the Western represented one of the rare opportunities for studio-era filmmakers to reach for visual poetry, none more brilliantly than John Ford. There are countless great moments in Ford Westerns dependent on little or no dialogue: the town dance in MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, the Duke framed by the doorway at the end of THE SEARCHERS, the dramatic shot introducing The Duke in STAGECOACH, the climactic doomed charge in FORT APACHE. (Never much cared for LIBERTY VALENCE, though.)

    Randolph Scott’s slowly, slowly sinking out of the Panavision frame just before THE END is superimposed on the screen.

    You mean Joel McCrea.

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  31. @Carlton Meyer
    My favorites are "The Shootist" with John Wayne, one of his rare great films. The best is Eastwood's "Unforgiven", about a bad guy gone good, sort of. In the film, an admiring writer asks about his famous shooting exploits, and Eastwood says: "I don't remember much, I was drunk most the time." And the people of Nebraska can never forget the scene where Gene Hackman says he thought he was dead, but turns out, he was just in Nebraska.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td7i10RAXeg

    My favorites are “The Shootist” with John Wayne, one of his rare great films. The best is Eastwood’s “Unforgiven”, about a bad guy gone good, sort of.

    THE SHOOTIST is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. It has significance because of the direction by ‘auteur’ Don Siegel and cuz it was the Duke’s last movie.

    UNFORGIVEN takes itself way too seriously. It’s Eastwood’s idea of Art as creative constipation. No Strain, No Gain. It needs Ex-Lax. It has some nice moments, esp with Richard Harris. But overall, we don’t need a Western where people sit around and psycho-analyze themselves.

    “I shot him. Shucks, mister, I thought it’d be manly, but I feel sick in my tum-tum.”

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    • Replies: @MEexpert
    Personally, I like "The Searchers" as the greatest western film, a masterpiece of both John Ford and John Wayne. I will never forget the pain in Wayne's eyes to see his sweetheart married to his brother. The looks alone told the entire story. I don't much care about Clint Eastwood as a western actor. I certainly don't put him in the same category as John Wayne.
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  32. @Da Wei
    One more: Shane.

    Good job here,
    Scout's Honor.

    SHANE is much-beloved by Western fans but not so much by film scholars.

    George Stevens is a respected figure but considered overly serious and strained.

    Film scholars prefer more ‘honest’ Westerns. I love SHANE, but I see what they mean.
    SHANE is an attempt to turn the Western Genre into a Christo-Fable. The Greatest Western Story Ever Told.

    Stevens had talent but his seriousness could be deadly. His GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD is just godawful.

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    • Replies: @Da Wei
    Priss Factor,
    I appreciate your scholarship, and I mean that. However, I approach this
    from a less intellectual point of view, (and I like the book more than the movie,
    by the way). I like the ass kicker friend Shane is to father and son. It's really
    that simple. It's the kind of loyalty and honor you see in Breaker Morant.
    Finally, Priss Factor, I quite agree that Greatest Story is a pain in the ass. I saw
    it as a kid in the theater and it left me cold. Shane didn't.
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  33. @The Alarmist

    "It was the novelty of live theater and acting captured as moving images in film and presented on a screen."
     
    Even in its infancy, it was recognised that cinema was much greater than a mere capturing of a theatrical performance. So many other aspects, e.g. POV, lighting, scene composition could be brought to bear in the telling of a story in ways that were absent from mere theatrical performances.

    " It offers graphically and sometimes with violence the effects of right and wrong actions, and the absolute requirement for law and order in any civilized society."
     

    It was always more about right vs. wrong than about law and order. This is why the hero often operated outside the law.

    " For the Western, more than other cinematic manifestations, is autobiographical about the growth, trials, and, above all, successes of and pride in the American experience."
     
    Bingo! For that reason, the genre had to die or, worse still be morphed into comedy like Wild, Wild West or, worse still, feminist diatribe like Bad Girls.

    Even in its infancy, it was recognised that cinema was much greater than a mere capturing of a theatrical performance. So many other aspects, e.g. POV, lighting, scene composition could be brought to bear in the telling of a story in ways that were absent from mere theatrical performances.

    Not really. Most early efforts were little more than Nickleodeon novelty gimmicks.

    It was always more about right vs. wrong than about law and order. This is why the hero often operated outside the law.

    That theme is ageless. It’s there in Christianity too. Jews have their laws of what is right. Romans have their own laws of what is right. Jesus has a personal sense of what is right.

    The Western hero could operate outside the law because the law could be corrupt, as usually is the case in the very cynical Italian Westerns. But in most Hollywood Westerns, the hero operates outside the law because the law has yet to be established and enforced. So, frontier justice paves the way for Law and Order where justice is institutionally than individually dispensed.

    Western is also about courage of justice. With assurance of institutional justice, even the wimpiest can call the police and depend on the state to carry out justice. But in the West, you can’t just call the cops. You have to stand on your own two feet against villains. And Westerns show that most people are sheep, and it takes a special man to risk life and limb to stand up to do what is right. So, in a way, the Western is paradoxical. It says the Frontier is a wild and crazy place where justice is weak. But precisely justice isn’t assured, it allows the rise of higher justice of courage and honor. A Western hero must have true grit to have justice. He might fight for it himself. And there is real nobility in that.

    While many Westerns are about right vs wrong, many are also about honor and pride than right or wrong. In the manly world of the Western, man cannot rely on being right alone. A man has to prove his mettle, his pride, his courage. So, it becomes a matter of honor. This is why THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE is a sad movie. Even though Tom Donifan knows Valance is a bad guy, Valance won’t take away his girl. But Stewart’s character does. So, Donifan’s pride is really wounded more by Stewart than by anything Valance did. In Tom’s way of thinking, his pride was vested in getting the prettiest girl in town. The pretty girl should go with the toughest man. But Stewart’s character comes with books and teaches her to read, and she becomes aware of finer things than guys acting tough. And Donifan can’t compete with that.

    “For the Western, more than other cinematic manifestations, is autobiographical about the growth, trials, and, above all, successes of and pride in the American experience.”

    Bingo! For that reason, the genre had to die or, worse still be morphed into comedy like Wild, Wild West or, worse still, feminist diatribe like Bad Girls.

    In a way, the Western did represent the American spirit and history, but its appeal was also that it preserved a moment in time. It was forward-looking with stories of frontier, but it was also nostalgic: the lost frontier.
    Because the Western was locked in time — mainly from mid-19th century to late 19th century — , it was limited in its symbolism and relevance.
    So, as America changed more and more, the Western became more a thing of the past.

    That is the charm of the Western too. If Western could be molded to be anything, it wouldn’t be what it is. It was bound to fade as America grows more technological and urban.
    Same could be said of Samurai movies. They are still made but not like they used to be. They speak less and less to modern Japanese experience.

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    • Replies: @anon
    PrissFactor, you are among the most important contributors to this forum. Glad you share your talent, and glad Unz created the forum.
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  34. @Jake
    Shane to Jack Wilson: "i've heard that you're a low down Yankee liar."

    Translated to our time, Shane is part of the Basket of Deplorables, and Wilson is the hired nurderer for the billionaire globalists and the Neocon strategists.

    Translated to our time, Shane is part of the Basket of Deplorables, and Wilson is the hired nurderer for the billionaire globalists and the Neocon strategists.

    To Self-loathing Whites, Shane’s remark will sound offensive.

    But in a way, your point could be reversed. Ranchers could be seen as the Deplorables because they want to keep the West the way it is: Wild and Free, with cattlemen and cattle riding around and being tough men.

    The sodbusters are like ‘immigrants’ to the West who seek to replace the wild-spirited ranchers. And Shane is a like a race-traitor. He is a gunslinger, a man of the West. But he sides with the new arrivals, some of whom have funny accents.
    A mega version of this dynamic is HEAVEN’S GATE where some ‘good’ Anglos side with Immigrant farmers against the Anglo founders.

    So, a Western can be read in many ways. It could be seen as ‘right’ or ‘left’ or this or that.

    SHANE is a great movie.

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  35. @MEexpert
    This article is a refreshing change. A journey in nostalgia. Long live the westerns. Today's cinema is loud, deafening computerized pictures and sound effects and without a story. That is why the industry is failing. Today the sad story is that we voted for the right reasons but were duped. We had no clear choice of good vs evil. Today we settle for the lesser of the two evils but in the end we end up with evil. And that is the big tragedy of this country.

    This article is a refreshing change. A journey in nostalgia. Long live the westerns. Today’s cinema is loud, deafening computerized pictures and sound effects and without a story. That is why the industry is failing.

    No, Hollywood is having trouble because of competition from TV and home video and streaming. Also, there’s the problem of piracy in the digital age.

    It’s true that a lot of bad dumb movies have been made but there have also been many interesting indie movies. Technology led to all these CGI-loaded blockbusters, but it also brought down film-production technology for amateurs. Digitechnology made cinematography and editing so much simpler.

    And there have been some excellent movies recently. Consider SLOW WEST, KING OF SUMMER, ELEPHANT, COLD IN JULY, JOE, COG, and etc.

    Also, Hollywood was always into big special effects, though by other means. 10 COMMANDMENTS was a huge special effects extravaganza. And film industry was facing much harder times in the late 50s and 60s due to rise of TV.

    One difference is this. Back then, kids were quicker to turn to TV shows, and TV shows cater to kiddies with shows like GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. In contrast, movies were slow to change and remained old-fashioned. Even in the 60s, John Wayne made lots of movies. Though old-fashioned, the movie studio expected older audiences to come.

    Now, it’s the opposite. TV tends to be more adult whereas movies tend to be more geared to youth. At least big-budget movies.

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  36. @Jake
    Yours is an example of a post that confuses me. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid is a good example of a 'new western' in that it seems its primary purpose is to remake Jesse and Frank James into 'Bible kooks' as understood by Hollywood Liberals. Bible kooks who are the worst of cowards.

    Lonesome Dove began as a screenplay for John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, which quickly turned into homage to the type Westerns they made, and finally was finished as a novel. In many key ways, it is antithetical to The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid.

    Open Range is as much about the things Boyd Cathey discusses as are Fort Apache and Shane.

    The Wild Bunch is seen by most standard critics as an awareness, perhaps a celebration, of the fact that there never was any honor among men on the Old West. I see it as Peckinpah exploring what the end of the Old West, replaced by the 20th century, would mean. It is thus perfect that the bunch enters Revolutionary Mexico, which had murdered almost all honor and decency that had marked Old Mexico. In other words, The Wild Bunch is that which will give us the horrors of World War 1: Modern, Progressive, Revolutionary. The final slaughter is what Peckinpah sees as the deserved fate of Modernism and its waves of revolution that have murdered the Old West as surely as they murdered the Old South.

    That scene from Ride With the Devil marks the English-speaking source of that revolutionary monster of tyranny that will exterminate all more traditional cultures: the people who settled Lawrence were 100% Anglo-Saxon Puritan. Their allies in that film and its novel source and in actual history were the German immigrants of the recent past, especially those who left the Germanies because they supported the failed Revolution of 1848, for which Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto.

    The Wild Bunch is seen by most standard critics as an awareness, perhaps a celebration, of the fact that there never was any honor among men on the Old West. I see it as Peckinpah exploring what the end of the Old West, replaced by the 20th century, would mean. It is thus perfect that the bunch enters Revolutionary Mexico, which had murdered almost all honor and decency that had marked Old Mexico. In other words, The Wild Bunch is that which will give us the horrors of World War 1: Modern, Progressive, Revolutionary.

    WILD BUNCH is about “no honor among men”? No, the very opposite.
    It’s like this. Westerns always had bad guys, but good guys were at the center. Good guys had law and righteousness on their side. But the Wild Bunch is about bad guys at the center.
    The problem is bad guys don’t have law and righteousness on their side. So, what do they have left? Honor. WILD BUNCH is about honor among thieves. Pike Bishop isn’t always true to his code of honor, but he tries to live by it. He agonizes over having left his friend behind. He tries to keep the bunch together by talking of the importance of the Word. When you give your word to a man, it must mean something. And this goes for Angel too. As Dutch says, “he played his strings right out to the end.” Even under torture, Angel doesn’t spill the beans. And the Bunch could have ridden off with the gold but they go back for Angel. Why? Honor.

    And even though Mapache is a gross character, Peckinpah’s shows his one positive side. He too has a sense of honor. When Poncho Villa’s men are attacking his soldiers, most men cower and hide. But Mapache stands tall like Patton. He doesn’t budge. He doesn’t fear bullets. Also, when he founds out that Angel really meant to kill the girl, he understands and laughs heartily. Mapache may be a no-good monster and thief… but he is a real man.

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    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    The character's name is Bishop Pike, not Pike Bishop, but you're right about the honor of the Bunch. Even the Gorch brothers immediately joined Pike in going to get Angel saying, "Why not?".
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  37. @anonymous
    Great article. Read that list that was on the Playlist link. I continue to maintain that "The Searchers" was the greatest Western ever produced and one of the top five American motion pictures of all time. That said, I can understand the reasoning for their choice of #1 on that list. It's Ford's last great movie and certainly among the top five Westerns.

    Read that list that was on the Playlist link.

    It has some great titles but it’s a sucky list overall.

    How did BUTCH CASSIDY AND SUNDANCE KID make it in top 10, above THE WILD BUNCH?
    MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is pretty good but overblown and ludicrous. OUTLAW JOSEY WALES is so overrated. EL TOPO is trash. DEAD MAN is certainly interesting and has a great Tarkovksyean ending but one of the ugliest things ever. UNFORGIVEN is Eastwood shitting a log through his ass.

    ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES is a great movie but I wonder if the Jesse James story is really a Western. It’s more a Southern. It’s not about frontiers. It’s not about East vs West but North vs South. It has Western-like gunmen but the dynamics are very different.

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  38. MEexpert says:
    @Priss Factor
    My favorites are “The Shootist” with John Wayne, one of his rare great films. The best is Eastwood’s “Unforgiven”, about a bad guy gone good, sort of.

    THE SHOOTIST is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. It has significance because of the direction by 'auteur' Don Siegel and cuz it was the Duke's last movie.

    UNFORGIVEN takes itself way too seriously. It's Eastwood's idea of Art as creative constipation. No Strain, No Gain. It needs Ex-Lax. It has some nice moments, esp with Richard Harris. But overall, we don't need a Western where people sit around and psycho-analyze themselves.

    "I shot him. Shucks, mister, I thought it'd be manly, but I feel sick in my tum-tum."

    Personally, I like “The Searchers” as the greatest western film, a masterpiece of both John Ford and John Wayne. I will never forget the pain in Wayne’s eyes to see his sweetheart married to his brother. The looks alone told the entire story. I don’t much care about Clint Eastwood as a western actor. I certainly don’t put him in the same category as John Wayne.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    I will never forget the pain in Wayne’s eyes to see his sweetheart married to his brother.

    Nothing compared to the ordeal of watching Julianne Moore in FART FROM HELL kissing a Negro, on the lips to.
    , @Priss Factor
    Personally, I like “The Searchers” as the greatest western film, a masterpiece of both John Ford and John Wayne.

    SEARCHERS' reputation is somewhat strange. If you look at the SIGHT AND SOUND list of great films, it really sticks out among the other films.

    Many of them were clearly made to be great works of art, masterpieces... like 2001, PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, 8 1/2, CITIZEN KANE. Some have purity as personal visions, like PERSONA, TOKYO STORY, AU HASARD BALTHASAR, RULES OF THE GAME. Some were groundbreaking films, true revolutions in style and expression: BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN and MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA.
    Some are clearly Hollywood, but they have consistency of vision. The obsession of Hitchcock's hypnotic VERTIGO or the exuberance of SINGING IN THE RAIN.

    In contrast, THE SEARCHERS has none of those qualities. It was meant as action entertainment than for masterpiece status. A lot of care went into it, but Ford was not trying to make art. Besides, despite his own way of doing things, Ford never tried to be a personal artist. He was a professional and craftsman, entertainer and storyteller. Also, THE SEARCHERS was not stylistically innovative. Had it not existed, the progression of film language would have been the same. And unlike obsessive VERTIGO and cheerful SINGING IN THE RAIN that have consistency of tone and purpose, THE SEARCHERS is all over the map, from tragedy to comedy to realism to escapism. It's so different from SEVEN SAMURAI where Kurosawa creates a setting with key characters and sticks with the mood. Even though SS has tragic and funny moments, they all unfold in a world of action-realism. In contrast, THE SEARCHERS is sometimes far more serious than most Hollywood Westerns but sometimes sillier, and sometimes, it's happy to be just another Western with all the familiar conventions, even cliches, but then lurches into dark areas that come closer to the vision of Nicholas Ray.

    It's not a Masterpiece like most masterpieces. Much of it is half-serious, some of it's just downright silly, and even some of the serious stuff is more of the same of a very familiar genre. Most characters are stock figures we've seen many times in Ford movies and other Westerns. Some are downright caricatures.
    Yet, the sum of its parts add up to greatness. Not grand Greatness but a simpler kind of greatness. Its lack of purity, its running all over the map in meaning-tone-purpose-depth-style, always keeps it moving. It's like an amusement ride with lots of turns and curves. And that lack of commitment to aesthetic and/or ethical purity somewhat makes it more lifelike even though it's very Hollywood and very genre.
    Greeks had tragedies and comedies. But life is usually a mix of two modes and everything in between.
    And people are hardly consistent. They don't consistently inhabit a tragic universe or a comic universe but find themselves on a bumpy ride, up and down. Also, most people are stereotypes and pretty predictable. They are walking-talking cliches and go through the usual routines. They have habits of mind than minds. And yet, despite the familiarity of things and people around us, we are surprised by events and by emotions that come out of nowhere. THE SEARCHERS is very much like that. It is a most familiar movie with some big surprises.

    And Wayne's character and the movie convey that topsy turvy and cantankerous spirit. And this spirit is close to the organismic way of life. Humans are animals, and animals too live in a funny-horror world. Animals like to play and have fun, but they experience intense moments of fear. And all die horribly and 'tragically' of old age, disease, weakness, hunger, or being hunted by other animals or by man. Animal documentaries capture both sides of life. Animals goofing around, having fun, doing thrilling/exciting things but also struggling in blood and mud, suffering setbacks, exhibiting rage and terror, and dying horribly of hunger, disease, or violence.
    And THE SEARCHERS, more than most movies, capture the wild contradictions of humanity and America. In this light, its silliness and seriousness are part of a vision of life.

    Though scholars tend to talk of it in serious, tragic, and dark terms --- the dark character of Ethan, a 'racist', goes from rescue mission to revenge mission and may even kill the girl --- , so much of the movie is funny. Scoresese discusses it in the most serious manner, but in MEAN STREETS, he shows a bunch of guys reacting to it with gales of laughter.

    Old Mose is hilarious. The scene where Marty takes a bath interrupted by Vera Miles is a riot. The guitar-player guy who goes 'huh huh huh' is a ridiculous character. It gets even more ridiculous because he talks funny but sings beautifully. When the goofball starts to strum his guitar and sing a tune, we can see how he eventually won Laurie's heart.

    There were other Westerns in the 50s that were just as dark, serious, and thoughtful as THE SEARCHERS. Ford was not alone in revising the meaning of the Western, and others went even deeper in digging through the myth. And yet, SEARCHERS is more memorable because it's not just serious, sober, deep, or dark. It's because it's so funny and childlike at times. It has the furies but also the muses and graces. The violence goes from harrowing to slapstick. Marty, the reasonable foil to Ethan throughout the movie, turns into an ear-biting savage in his fight with the guitar player for the girl... and she likes it, she likes it. It's like a movie made by someone whose IQ and maturity shifts wildly from 70 to 130. Some of the jokes are close to THREE STOOGES but some moments have the cathartic power of great tragedies. It is crass but has elements of class, especially in the opening scene and closing scene that are handled masterfully.

    And there are moments that are funny and disturbing at the same time. The one that comes to mind is when Ethan uses Marty as bait near the campfire. It is funny as hell but it was life and death. And three people did get killed in the failed assassination. But Ethan treats it like just a game and expects Marty to just take it like a man. And even as Ford registers Marty's rage, he also laughs along with the Duke. Ford captures what it means to be a man in a tough world. But he also shows the crude side of this cult of manhood. There is something brutal and beastly about Ethan, but we can't help but admire him as a survivor and warrior in a tough world. And even though we would like to see a better world without war and brutality, we would also miss out on men like Ethan whose true worth is manifest only in a world of struggle and violence. It's like the men in BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES are glad to be back home, but as civilians, they have no risk and heroism in their lives. Even as Marty sticks close to Ethan to save Debbie, he also likes to serve as mentor to a real man who can handle himself in that part of the world. And Ethan isn't a dark soul all the time. Sometimes, he's like a kid. And despite his trepidation about Marty's mixed blood, he seems oblivious to his relation with Vera Miles' character and is willing to bequeath his property to him.

    PC would have us believe in simple dichotomies. Unless a white person is prog, he is a 'nazi' or 'racist'. THE SEARCHERS shows how people are much bigger than any label.
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  39. wayfarer says:

    One may condemn America for its wars, but as for an honest condemnation of this brutal history one need look no further than a hidden hand of the Rothschild family dynasty from Waterloo to Fallujah, with their groveling politicians and legal architects; all bought, paid for, and owned outright.

    “Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War” by Jim McWilliams
    source: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/ambrose-bierces-civil-war/

    “One of the Missing” by Ambrose Bierce
    source: http://www.ambrosebierce.org/missing.html
    source: http://www.ambrosebierce.org/works.html

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  40. Wally says:
    @jilles dykstra
    No idea what the neolithic jump was, but they were obviously content with their lives:
    ⦁ Francis Parkman, ‘The Oregon trail’, New York, 2002, Boston, 1883, 1847
    Holding territory, the Indians did no such thing.
    Indian tribes most of the time did not live at a fixed location.
    Indian wars were no more than skirmishes, until they had to fight the white intruders.
    Eradicating Y chromosomal lines, this intrigues me.
    What is or was it, who did it to whom, why, and how did they get this genetical information?

    Yawn, the fake & leftist ‘noble savages’ again

    ‘Noble savages’ debunked, excerpt from:

    http://principia-scientific.org/crichton-environmentalism-religion/

    excerpt:
    “And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did. On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process. And what was the condition of life? Loving, peaceful, harmonious? Hardly: the early peoples of the New World lived in a state of constant warfare. Generations of hatred, tribal hatreds, constant battles. The warlike tribes of this continent are famous: the Comanche, Sioux, Apache, Mohawk, Aztecs, Toltec, Incas. Some of them practiced infanticide, and human sacrifice. And those tribes that were not fiercely warlike were exterminated, or learned to build their villages high in the cliffs to attain some measure of safety.
    How about the human condition in the rest of the world? The Maori of New Zealand committed massacres regularly. The dyaks of Borneo were headhunters. The Polynesians, living in an environment as close to paradise as one can imagine, fought constantly, and created a society so hideously restrictive that you could lose your life if you stepped in the footprint of a chief. It was the Polynesians who gave us the very concept of taboo, as well as the word itself. The noble savage is a fantasy, and it was never true. That anyone still believes it, 200 years after Rousseau, shows the tenacity of religious myths, their ability to hang on in the face of centuries of factual contradiction.”

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  41. @jilles dykstra
    No idea what the neolithic jump was, but they were obviously content with their lives:
    ⦁ Francis Parkman, ‘The Oregon trail’, New York, 2002, Boston, 1883, 1847
    Holding territory, the Indians did no such thing.
    Indian tribes most of the time did not live at a fixed location.
    Indian wars were no more than skirmishes, until they had to fight the white intruders.
    Eradicating Y chromosomal lines, this intrigues me.
    What is or was it, who did it to whom, why, and how did they get this genetical information?

    The Crow Creek massacre demonstrates that stone age savagery thrived in North America long before the evil Europeans arrived on the scene. They would have done more damage to one another had they other than rudimentary tool making skills.

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  42. Wally says:
    @jilles dykstra
    'American history', here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, "The Sand Creek Massacre', Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, 'Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America', 1859, 1996, New York

    Is that why there’s so many brown Indians running around everywhere in ‘America’?

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  43. “Tell me who society’s heroes are, and I will tell you what that society values—and that society’s future.”
    Does not look good for a society whose heroes are victims, the opressed.

    Very good article.

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  44. @Che Guava
    Enjoying the article.

    Would adding the trilogy of Sergio Leoni spaghetti westerns, with brilliant soundtracks by Ennio Morrocone and Eastwood as the star (the first is having an important War of Northern Aggression scene).

    The original Django, where a maniac for justice is towing a Gatling gun around in a coffin, to dealing justice, also great. I am thinking I am never wanting to see Quentin Tarantula's film 'inspired' by it.

    The coffin is also the inspiration for the scene in T3 (very good action SF movie, IMHO, far better than the contemporary live-action Matrix movies) where Arnold is bearing a coffin.

    I was also enjoying The Big Country, only to recalling the Japanese title, 大いなる西武、but the full title in Japanese was coming up automatically on my entering the first part of the title, very popular here. In contrasting to that, I was posting to a friend the word meaning 'claustrophobia', except for the part before 'phobia', was having to enter the characters one by one, but the Japanese title of The Big Country is instantly recognized, because so popular.

    Would adding the trilogy of Sergio Leoni spaghetti westerns, with brilliant soundtracks by Ennio Morrocone and Eastwood as the star (the first is having an important War of Northern Aggression scene).

    Leone was a great master and one of the most influential stylists ever. But his films would go against the gist of Cathey’s thesis. Cathey’s fondness is for Western as morality tale and national saga/epic. Leone’s Westerns are nihilistic and cynical. The classic Western is about Anglo morality and code of honor. Spaghetti Westerns present a world as hopelessly corrupt as Greece, Spain, and Italy. In the classic Western, there is hope for a better society of law, order, and morality. But forget such hopes in Leone’s movies. It’s a world of thieves and cutthroats, and you gotta get what’s yours. And there is no shame in that. Now, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is somewhat more moralistic, as the Bronson character doesn’t play for money. Even so, the character who inherits the earth is a harlot. Also, if the classic Western was a myth about history, Leone’s movies are about myth about a myth. Bronson’s character is so mythic that he might as well be a ghost.

    The original Django, where a maniac for justice is towing a Gatling gun around in a coffin, to dealing justice, also great. I am thinking I am never wanting to see Quentin Tarantula’s film ‘inspired’ by it.

    Corbucci had none of the talent of Leone. DJANGO is rough ugly work. Still, one advantage of lack of finesse and style was his films could be grittier and more compelling as realist drama. Take BIG SILENCE, which is, in some ways, a messy ugly movie. But it has the stuff of dark tragedy missing in Leone’s Westerns. It is also the only Western that I know of where good doesn’t prevail. And memorable score by Morricone.
    Such rough-hewn Westerns may have paved the way for the remarkable Altman Western MCCABE AND MRS MILLER, which is both the grimiest-grittiest and most dreamy-romantic Western ever made.

    I was also enjoying The Big Country, only to recalling the Japanese title, 大いなる西武、but the full title in Japanese was coming up automatically on my entering the first part of the title, very popular here.

    Damn that movie. It’s the first Western that made a huge impact on me. I went to a revival showing in 1974 or 1975 when I was 6 or 7, and it set the template of what America is about. Perhaps a misleading as myth but what a magnificent vision. I saw SAMSON AND DELILAH also in revival showing around the same time, and those two movies have been dogging me all my life. Kids are impressionable, and I just imprinted on the movie. BIG COUNTRY IS America.

    BIG COUNTRY never got the respect it got because it was made by William Wyler, who also did BEN HUR. Wyler eventually came to be appreciated, but the word in the auteurist 60s was that he was one of those impersonal directors, a professional than an artist. So, he made Big A movies for Hollywood with all the crowd-pleasing conventional stuff, but he lacked vision or derring-do. There is some validity to this. Wyler didn’t invest his ‘personality’ into his works as some others. It’s hard to imagine what would be Wylerian, as opposed to Hitchcockean, Wellesian, Hawksians, Fordian, or etc.
    But good is good, magnificent is magnificent, and BIG COUNTRY is certainly all that.

    Also, being a Jewish director like Fred Zinnemann who did HIGH NOON, he was less invested in Western mythology as some other directors. BIG COUNTRY is a celebration of American frontier spirit but also a stinging critique of the cult of manhood, pride of honor(that can lead to violence over petty stuff), and social pressure over personal integrity. The character played by Gregory Peck is a tad too idealized, as if rehearsing for his role in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. (It has elements of something like BAD DAY AT BLACKROCK where an urbane person has to bring light of reason to ‘rednecks’. While many Westerns had this theme, it was maybe overstated in BIG COUNTRY because Peck’s character is so very upstanding and right-all-the-time.) Still, it’s not a simple morality tale. Every character is fleshed out, and even the slimiest, the Chuck Connors character, is allotted his due humanity. And the two old men whose ancient grudges threaten to tear the valley apart have their own kind of pride and honor that are impressive and admirable. And helluva script. The scene when Burl Ives interrupts the party is especially wonderful. It’s like roughneck shakespeare. And there are so many great scenes… like when Peck steps onto the porch after his first night in the West is just grand. And what great music.

    Wyler had much bigger success with BEN HUR, which certainly has its moments. But I prefer BIG COUNTRY, and it’s here that the Western had a certain advantage. As it was about a no-nonsense world of struggle, survival, and power, it discouraged over-arching pomposity that was rife in all the Biblical and Historical Epics. BEN HUR is great as an adventure and spectacle but really sags when it tries to go for MEANING.
    BIG COUNTRY certainly has a message but it’s still about a meat-and-potatoes world, and that keeps it more honest.

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    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Thank you Priss,

    For the details, will be looking at this reply of yours again (very tired now).

    As I was saying, its fame persists as demonstrated by auto-completion of the Japanese title. It is above my age, I watched it for the firtst time on rented VHS from the recommendation of a 60-plus man at the time.

    Enjoyed watching it again on broadcast (satellite) TV later, NHK, so it is probably still liked among many people in thirties, at least.
    , @El Dato

    Leone’s Westerns are nihilistic and cynical.
     
    Goddammit Priss are you also doing film critic?

    I don' agree with that. They are about individualism, righteous revenge, staying alive in a chaotic world that doesn't particularly care for you, and maybe getting away with a hoard of cash in the end if one is interested in such things.

    In "A Fistful of Dollars" (basically a remake of Yojimbo) the hero decides to stay in town a bit and basically to take out the trash at great personal risk.

    In "For a Few Dollars More" bounty hunters are busy getting rid of the roaches, and one of them is in it for a personal vendetta. In the end, he doesn't care about the money, and drives off, riding the death wagon loaded with the corpses of the bandits, as I remember.

    In "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", Blondie not above scamming the Western Town Goodthink Rubes off bounty money. But in the end, he doesn't predate, cleans up (he must be an instrument of God, really) and gets the gold. And he's till fair enough to share it 50/50 with the guy who wanted to kill him, several times. The interaction of Tuco and Blondie with the completely pointless Civil War massacre is telling: None of them has skin in this stupid game. They blow up a bridge to progress on their quest, then camp out until all the benighted crazies have left to kill each other at some other place.

    Later we got Eastwood's Pale Rider which amplifies the theme of "For a Few Dollars More", only this time the roaches are no longer bandits but are the System: the oligarchy and the guys with badges who are their enforcers. May bullets find them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2KiUnWA6IE

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  45. @MEexpert
    Personally, I like "The Searchers" as the greatest western film, a masterpiece of both John Ford and John Wayne. I will never forget the pain in Wayne's eyes to see his sweetheart married to his brother. The looks alone told the entire story. I don't much care about Clint Eastwood as a western actor. I certainly don't put him in the same category as John Wayne.

    I will never forget the pain in Wayne’s eyes to see his sweetheart married to his brother.

    Nothing compared to the ordeal of watching Julianne Moore in FART FROM HELL kissing a Negro, on the lips to.

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  46. @jilles dykstra
    'American history', here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, "The Sand Creek Massacre', Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, 'Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America', 1859, 1996, New York

    Yeah, because those noble Indians didn’t get horses or women or whatever else they wanted by killing rival tribes.

    Why are white peoples the only ones required to grovel for doing what almost every people did who were capable?

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    • Replies: @boogerbently
    Exactly, as noted here (UNZ) before, locomotive and repeating rifles versus primatives with sharpened stones on arrows. The modern version of US History is just "America was built by negros after it was stolen from the Indians." America will be unrecognizable in the "history" books our great-grandchildren will be exposed to.
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  47. @Brabantian
    One thing very ugly about Westerns - and also about recent USA television cop shows - is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging ... actually last practiced in the USA in the 1990s, with two hangings, one in Bill Gates' USA Washington State, another in Joe Biden's Delaware ... Delaware notorious also for using judicial flogging up through the 1950s

    It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today's Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month, sometimes in groups, with women dying more slowly due to their lighter body mass ... There is the possibility of instant coma with the neck broken in a drop through the gallows floor but this is not reliable, and in countries like Iran they don't even attempt a long drop

    For all its alleged 'horror', the guillotine was a very humane method of execution, almost always killing instantly ... the French Revolution giving all condemned citizens what was formerly the merciful death only of aristocrats ... whilst Britain kept the gallows as their universal method, with few of the elites ever executed in 'modern' Britain till they ended it in 1962 ... France last used the guillotine in 1979

    Beheading and the bullet seem the most humane execution methods, whilst lethal injection has sometimes been an hour-long torture session, electrocutions and gassings having gone horribly slow and torturous as well ... the bullet in the back of the head, Soviet-style, may have been a mess but is perhaps the most humane of all ... Russia has cancelled the death penalty today, in line with the EU

    It was very nauseating one day to watch the 'new' Hawaii Five-O television show, only to have the 'Hawaii cops' gloating to a man they arrested that he would 'get the needle' as his penalty ... have not been able to stomach looking at that show ever since

    It is often forgotten that the USA had a death penalty moratorium from 1967-77, when more humane judges in that era tag-teamed to effectively ban it ... the US oligarchy replaced those judges, and after Ronald Reagan had sent a man to the gas chamber in 1967, a decade later, in his last days in office in January 1977, US President Gerald Ford allowed a firing-squad killing in Utah to get the execution horror show rolling again

    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now ... nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan

    “One thing very ugly about Westerns – and also about recent USA television cop shows – is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging … It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today’s Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month”

    Death Penalty is great. Scum suckers must die. Besides, isn’t lifetime incarceration also cruel?

    A person can live for an hour when hung? You gotta be kidding me.

    At any rate, most Westerns weren’t about death penalty but death, period. A sheriff or gunslinger prefers to kill right there and then. Few Westerns are about justice of law. They are about justice meted out by gun fights or disputes settled by the faster draw.

    And when Westerns did involve the Law, it showed how letting scumsuckers go can unleash hell on earth. Because the Law didn’t kill Frank Miller or lock him up forever, he came back to kill Will Kane, and there was yet more violence. Just like politicians keep going easy on Scorpio in DIRTY HARRY, the Law went easy on Frank Miller, and Will Kane had to finish him off with the fast draw(and his woman’s claw).

    And there were plenty of Westerns about the danger of frontier justice, vigilante justice, and lynchmob justice. Consider the OX-BOW INCIDENT where the townsfolk realize they killed the wrong fellers. And there is a Gregory Peck movie where the hero takes justice into his hands and kills the bad guys… only to realize that he killed the wrong people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bravados

    Such westerns were surely a commentary on problems in the South where it was assumed that white vigilantes were hanging innocent blacks from trees. Since Hollywood back then was anxious about directly addressing race issues, they were transmuted to Westerns where frontier sense of justice was seen as ugly, dangerous, and wreaking of bloodlust.

    Oddly enough, even though HIGH NOON is seen as a leftist Western, the setup is pretty right-wing. After all, it was the Law that let Frank Miller go. And the lawful people of the town care more about themselves or money than for justice and honor. So, it is up to Will Kane to go semi-vigilante to take on Miller and gang by himself.

    Westerns made by Jewish directors or European emigres offered a different perspective that were often interesting. Even before Leone made his films in Italy, the Western was increasingly ‘Europeanized’ in sensibility by the works of men like Zinnemann and Andre De Toth who made the excellent DAY OF THE OUTLAW.

    Arthur Penn’s Freudian LEFT-HANDED GUN is also a different kind of Western.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Barbantian probably didn’t even read the article. Like the intellectual ignoramous Jilles, he just injected his anti American death penalty views into the comment section.

    Had the article been about Christmas toys he would have posted his death penalty useful idiot c**p into the discussion.

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  48. I remember a left-leaning film critic remarking in condescending tones last year that in all likelihood those much-abused “deplorables” who ended up voting for Donald Trump were probably “the same people who like old John Wayne Westerns and wanted to be Roy Rogers when growing up.”

    We wish. Your average Deplorable plays videogames and watches superhero movies.

    Indeed, a Liberal is much more likely to know something about film history and the films of John Wayne.

    Deplorables are more into dumb stuff like Rambo and Schwarzenegger movies.

    It was from the classic Western that crime dramas and adventure films were spun off. One could well argue that major American crime movies up through, say, The Untouchables or even some more recent representations were “Westerns dressed up with cops and robbers.”

    This probably isn’t true. The Gangster movie or Crime drama developed along with the Western, and of course, crime fiction as genre has long existed before the Western.

    D.W. Griffith made an early gangster film that developed film grammar.

    And some think Sternberg’s UNDERWORLD is his greatest work.

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  49. Since certainly the late 1960s, Vietnam, and the great success of cultural Marxism in our society, the role of the Western as a reflection of the triumph of traditional “good” over “evil,” of the ever-advancing and intrepid frontiersman triumphing over natural hazards, over the elements and fierce aborigines, has receded. America no longer celebrates those heroes; if it celebrates “heroes” at all, it is the vaunted pioneers in civil rights, a Susan B. Anthony or a Nat Turner, or hitherto unknown feminists (who, save for political correctness, should have remained unknown).

    But in a way, the Western was sort of Marxian(if not Marxist) because it was based on a dialectic. The Western was leftist and rightist, populist and elitist. But then, the US itself was a contradiction. On the one hand, US was a rebellion against Europe, the Old World, the old hierarchies. It was a new beginning in wilderness, a new Eden, the Promised Land.
    But on the other, US was an extension of European civilization. It imported everything from Europe and in its development, looked to Europe for literature, music, culture, and ideas.

    The relation between America and Europe was replayed in the dialectic of East and West in the Western. US was great for breaking away from Europe. It was democratic and promised equality. So, serfs and dirt-poor peasants who had to bow down to nobility and landed masters in Europe could be free man with dignity in America. And they could ride horses, shoot guns, and hunt and own land like gentry back in Europe. American Rule of Law protected the rights of a humble farmer who was, in the eyes of the state, equal to a rich man. Titles didn’t mean much in the US. A person had to earn respect with individual work, diligence, and achievement. American individualism was both anti-rightist and anti-leftist. It rejected aristocratic notion of lineage and inheritance. In Old Europe, a son born to an aristocrat was special simply by blood. In the US, he had to prove his worth via work, thus work ethic was important. So, American individualism was anti-rightist. But it was also anti-leftist because an individual who worked and achieved something deserved what he got. For the mob to demand his pie that he baked was wrong. Also, as land was plenty, the idea was that people shouldn’t bitch about lack of opportunities but stake a claim and run his own property.

    Though the genre is called the Western, it could only exist in relation to the East. The Western was about free-spirited man going to the West to get away from the confines of the East. West was freer and wilder. One would write one’s own story in the West, like Lawrence in the deserts of Arabia. But the Western wasn’t about white folks taking leave of civilization and becoming like red savages. It was about white folks moving from East to West to turn the West into a civilization like the East. So, the Western was both anti-Eastern and pro-Eastern. Also, Western demonstrated not only the wonders of freedom in open spaces but the tyranny of liberty of wilderness. Without Rule of Law, a new kind of tyranny dominates. The tyranny of savages(the Indians who slap their mouths and go ah-ah-ah-ah before they scalp you), tyranny of outlaws who just rob & steal like barbarians, or tyranny of oligarchs who take over entire areas as rancher-barons, the new kind of aristocracy.
    So, in order for justice to prevail for everyone in the West, it has to draw more influences and investment from the settled East where institutions are far more well-established and sound. The dialectics of the Western says the East is too boring and too restrictive but then utterly necessary to provide the men and institutions to make the west livable. For freedom, one has to go West. But with freedom comes the problems of anarchy and outlawry, and people of the West must model their communities on Eastern standards. We can see the pros and cons of both the Wayne and Stewart character in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE. Wayne’s character is tough and good with the gun. He is a classic westerner who can survive by courage and toughness. But most people are not like him and cower before the outlaws. And he’s rough around the edges.
    In contrast, Stewart’s character represents positive stuff like rule of law, book-learning, and civilized stuff. But he’s a party pooper who teaches a woman how to read so that she’ll end up reading FEMININE MYSTIQUE than bake some cookies for her man.

    In a way, I think people mistook the Western. The genre was far more complex than general impression suggested. There were plenty of dark westerns, almost as dark as Noir films. And few Westerns were about simple good or bad. Mann and Boetticher Westerns were especially ambiguous, with much angst and self-doubt. A movie like STAGECOACH has great sympathy for a whore and exposes respectable people of town to be corrupt phonies. There is the theme of redemption because everyone in the West is escaping from something. It’s like what the woman tells Pacino in INSOMNIA. Everyone in Alaska is running from something.
    Also, the Western in its incarnation was much broader in scope. Though CIMARRON is hardly discussed as a great Western, I think it is. It covers all aspects of Western life, from family life to politics to economics, and etc. It is truly grand, comparable to SIBERIADE the great Soviet epic. And Raoul Walsh’s BIG TRAIL is the same way.
    I think over time, Hollywood distilled what was most popular about the Western and streamlined the genre to essentially focus on plot concerning gunmen and the inevitable shootout. The Western gained but also lost out in this process. The director who distilled Westernism to its purest essence was Boetticher in his works with Scott. They are very lean. I think later Westerns tried to re-establish the broader vision of the West. It’s like the difference between the classic gangster genre movie with its essential plot points AND Scorsese’s GOODFELLAS that encompasses so many varying aspects of what it means to be part of the gangster world.

    Sadly, John Wayne in the 60s bought into his own myths. Western at its best was NOT about simple good guys vs bad guys, but Wayne came to see Vietnam War that way. Even though the tragic war was a very complicated affair, Wayne’s GREEN BERETS, a sort of Western in the jungle, made it out to be good cowboys killing bad Indians to save good Indians. It was ludicrous. Indeed, the best Western directors wouldn’t have gone anywhere near such an absurd project. It was directed by some hack named Ray Kellogg(and John Wayne himself). Wayne was a good actor and great star, but he didn’t get complexity, something Ford, Hawks, Lang, Zinnemann, Toth, Walsh, and etc understood.

    One of the lessons of the best westerns was that one should never trust the official story, especially as news were iffy out in the West that was rife with tall-tales, legends, and propaganda. But increasingly, American conservatives invoked the western and Wayne as being about simple good and bad.

    Cathey says America longer celebrates those heroes and instead favors Susan B. Anthony and Nat Turner. But has there been a blockbuster movie about Anthony? And the Nat Turner movie bombed.
    The fact is Hollywood never stopped celebrating those kinds of heroes. The 70s gave us DEATH WISH and DIRTY HARRY movies. It gave us Rocky who in sequels whupped the ghastly Negroes and even a commie Russkie. Chuck Norris made movies about saving Vets and had a long-running TV series as a ranger. 70s had ROCKFORD FILES and lots of cop shows. Even Jewish cops like Kojack and Columbo were locking up bad guys. And before robert blake went nuts, he was Baretta catching bad guys.
    Sean Connery as 007 was bit horny with ladies but he was fighting for freedom against communism and evil lords. Lucas had a giant hit with STAR WARS and then made the Indy series of the gung ho American hero.
    American culture continued to celebrate the tough hero. The problem was not so much ‘marxism’ as vulgarity. Wayne was no sophisticate but still recognizably human in his movies. In contrast, the muscled heroes of the 80s, Schwarzenegger and Stallone, wallowed in wanton violence and grotesque mayhem. And the rise of comic book superhero got silly cuz they were done so seriously, esp by Christopher Noland who made ‘art movies’ out of caped wonder. And so much of the violence has gotten so over-the-top.
    Take 300. Well-made in a comic-book way but what ugly celebration of gore and blood.

    Also, even when white males got replaced, their roles remained. Look at current STAR WARS. All the classic heroic roles of action and adventure remain.. but traditional white male roles have been taken over by gorilla-faced Negro, dimsum chinagirl, antheaded white girl, purpled haired bitch, and homo-looking guy.
    The ‘marxists’ are no longer out to destroy the classic archetypes but to replace the roles with Diversity. It’s like Jewish commies once tried to destroy Christianity and churches, but now, they are more about replacing Christ with homo colors inside churches.
    Less iconoclasm than iconoplasm.

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  50. ‘Open Range’ is one of the better new Westerns. One of the best shootouts on film.

    Surprised no one mentioned ‘Bone Tomahawk.’ The troglodyte natives in that picture are frightening.

    Let’s just say it wasn’t all dream catchers and peace pipes before whitey showed up.

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  51. What does John Wayne in, for example, The Searchers or She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, have to tell us in our society now where even the concept of duty and obedience to moral right is largely downplayed and considered unsophisticated by the dominant culture?

    Not so.

    THE SEARCHERS, by the way, has a very ambiguous attitude about duty and obedience.
    After all, Ethan Edwards is a rebel on so many levels. He fought on the side of the South in rebellion against the Union. Then, even after the war, he didn’t turn in his sword. He never accepted defeat, and the war rages on in his soul. It aint over with him even after his side surrendered and ordered all men to call it quits. He carries stolen gold. Indeed, if anything keeps him participating with Yankees, it’s that they are both white men against the red savages. It’s like when Ethan Edwards meets a young yankee soldier. Even though Ethan can’t stand Yankees(race traitors in his eyes), he allies with them in the end against the red savages. This is what bothers Ethan. Why is it that Yankee whites will work with Southern whites to wipe out red savages BUT will not help southern whites against the black savages? If Yankee whites and Dixie whites can ally to whup red Indians, why can’t yankee whites side with dixie whites against the ghastly Negroes who are even more terrifying than Indians? After all, an Indian is dangerous only with a bottle of whiskey and tomahawk. He might get drunk and crack your head open. But without firewater and weapon, a red man is no threat to white man. But even with bare hands, the stronger negro can whup a white man and then hump white womenfolk. That was the great nightmare of the South, but the damn yankees sided with Negroes against whites. If Yankees believed slavery had to end cuz it was ‘evil’, then why did they side with Southern whites to wipe out Indians? Isn’t ‘genocide’ worse than slavery? Ethan is much confused.

    Because of this confusion, Ethan is both doing his duty and disobeying. He is still fighting his private war against the north. Also, his pursuit of Debbie begins as a rescue operation to a personal vendetta. And THE SEARCHERS makes us realize that every act of rebellion or disobedience can be another kind of loyalty or act of honor. It’s like Brutus killing Caesar, as explained in LAST DAYS OF DISCO. On one level, it is an act of betrayal against a friend. Yet, Brutus acted in loyalty to the Roman republic, for the higher good.

    Likewise, when Ethan decides to kill Debbie, he is betraying Christian morality and his original mission. But he is being loyal to white honor and pride. She has been sullied and her womb will produce red savages who will grow up to hate white folks. It’s like Greek mythology where an act could be in accordance with one god but in discordance with another god. THE SEARCHERS is about an angry man in an uncertain world after a major war and in a world of new wars with savages in which southern whites must work together with northern whites against savages even though northern whites sided with black savages against southern whites in the Civil War.

    In one of the last great classic Western epics, Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country from 1962, Joel McCrea is asked by his co-star, Randolph Scott, if he doesn’t really want more in life than just what appears to Scott to be his drudgery as a lonely, low paid deputy marshal. McCrea’s character, Steve Judd, responds laconically in one of those immortal lines that epitomizes both the representative and the didactic roles of the American Western: “All I want is to enter my house justified.” That is, I want to fulfill my duty, my God-given duty and appointed role in society, to obey and keep the law, to receive the precious legacy of the culture I inherited, perhaps add to it a bit, and then pass it on, unsullied, to my children and my posterity.

    I think it’s sadder than that, which is why it’s such a poignant film. What sets RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY from the Western Genre is the sense that Judd is something of a deluded fool. In a way, Scott’s character is right in the movie given what we are shown of humanity. People are difficult, deceitful, corrupt, brutal, nasty, and delusional. Whether it’s the brutal Bible-thumping father who is all sexual repression or the Hammond brothers of the Harvey Weinstein Boing School, the world is filled with cretins, creeps, and crazies.

    In TV Westerns like BONANZA, there is a sense of shared morality and values. So, one can believe that a good person will be honored, respected, and remembered. A good world values good men.
    But the world of RIDE OF HIGH COUNTRY is so compromised and mercenary. Even the bank that hired McCrea’s character lied about the amount involved. It’s a world without character.

    So, an act of goodness and honor in this world is like the sound of clap in a world of the deaf. No one hears it. In the context of the world shown us, Scott’s arguments are right. No one cares, no one remembers. Why risk one’s life for people who show no appreciation and lie and cheat to get theirs. And the one moralistic character turns out to be an intolerant bully of a father who keeps his girl like a prisoner. Indeed, his over-protectiveness made her naive and easy prey for the boing-ish Hammond brothers.
    And even a noble act by the ‘judge’ had to be at the point of a gun. Scott threatens the ‘judge’ to annul the marriage, whereupon he gets beaten up so bad by Hammonds.

    The hero of HIGH NOON is also unappreciated but it’s because people are afraid. They hide and cower because they want to save their own hide. But at the end, when Will Kane wins and rides out of town, he feels vindicated and we know that the townsfolks admire him for his courage and ability.
    But even that is missing in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY. It is really a lonely private act of virtue that will go unacknowledged by all the world except by his friend(who doesn’t have many yrs left) and two young people with an uncertain future.

    So, the stoicism of RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is a self-delusion. Touching but out-of-touch. The world cannot be saved and isn’t worth saving. There is no vindication. Just one man’s stubborn self-respect that he did the right thing.

    And in a way, even though McCrea’s character is a good man, his virtue is also an act of repression not unlike the sexual repression of the bully father played by R. G. Armstrong. The father, to remain true to his late wife and to keep his daughter clean, cannot come to terms with sexuality. And McCrea’s life of failure and poverty has meaning only by invoking selfless virtue. If he began to even slightly agree with Scott’s character, he would realize he’s lived a great lie.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    But they're all honkies, they should die!
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  52. My most beloved Western is High Noon. Original with Gary. There were two others but worthless.
    I am still waiting For TCM to show it that I could tape it.

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  53. @RadicalCenter
    Yeah, because those noble Indians didn’t get horses or women or whatever else they wanted by killing rival tribes.

    Why are white peoples the only ones required to grovel for doing what almost every people did who were capable?

    Exactly, as noted here (UNZ) before, locomotive and repeating rifles versus primatives with sharpened stones on arrows. The modern version of US History is just “America was built by negros after it was stolen from the Indians.” America will be unrecognizable in the “history” books our great-grandchildren will be exposed to.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    That’s what Jilles Dykstrra keeps posting after every article, the same old same old White Americans are evil monsters who stole Indian land while we Europeans never hurt anyone.

    There are 3 times more Indians today than there were 400 years ago, hardly genocide.
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  54. catfish says:

    Tombstone
    Silverado
    True Grit ( the remake too)
    The Searchers
    Outlaw Josey Wales

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  55. catfish says:

    Forgot

    The Undefeated (Rock Hudson AND John Wayne with the NFL QB Roman Gabriel)
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    The Missouri Breaks

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    SILVERADO is the worst.

    Some good ones:

    ONE EYED JACKS
    JUBAL
    YELLOW SKY
    WARLOCK
    BULLET FOR THE GENERAL
    TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE(though maybe not a Western)
    VIVA ZAPATA(again, maybe doesn't qualify as a Western)
    RIDE LONESOME
    LITTLE BIG MAN
    MAN FROM LARAMIE
    GERONIMO(much better than DANCES)
    WILD BILL
    LAST MAN STANDING (combo of western and gangster)
    FORTY GUNS
    3:10 TO YUMA, the original
    HOMBRE, a really good lefty Western
    VERA CRUZ, fantastic movie
    MAJOR DUNDEE, maligned and misunderstood
    DUCK YOU SUCKER
    KENTUCKIAN, well-directed by Lancaster himself.
    PROFESSIONALS
    UNFORGIVEN, the 1960 film with Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn
    THEY CALL ME TRINITY
    HIRED HAND
    GUNFIGHTER (Henry King)
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  56. It’s all about getting the girl – Love this movie “Along Came Jones”
    Western novels, were Harlequin Romance novels for men. In the early seventies I worked for my dad on the oil rigs in Canada’s north; I have fond memories of him on the rigs, standing in the doghouse (him being the driller, he had time on is hands) reading Zane Grey, Louis Lamour and other western novels. They were hard men, but the best of them were romantics to the core.

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  57. Let’s not forget the Modern Westerns:

    HUD
    MIDNIGHT COWBOY
    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
    LONELY ARE THE BRAVE
    URBAN COWBOY
    COOGAN’S BLUFF
    ELECTRIC HORSEMAN
    SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION
    STACKING
    INTO THE WILD

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    JUNIOR BONNER is another good Modern Western.
    , @Jake
    Midnight Cowboy?

    Are you on some serious meds, or are you another playacting (probably Jewish) Leftist?
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  58. @catfish
    Forgot

    The Undefeated (Rock Hudson AND John Wayne with the NFL QB Roman Gabriel)
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    The Missouri Breaks

    SILVERADO is the worst.

    Some good ones:

    ONE EYED JACKS
    JUBAL
    YELLOW SKY
    WARLOCK
    BULLET FOR THE GENERAL
    TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE(though maybe not a Western)
    VIVA ZAPATA(again, maybe doesn’t qualify as a Western)
    RIDE LONESOME
    LITTLE BIG MAN
    MAN FROM LARAMIE
    GERONIMO(much better than DANCES)
    WILD BILL
    LAST MAN STANDING (combo of western and gangster)
    FORTY GUNS
    3:10 TO YUMA, the original
    HOMBRE, a really good lefty Western
    VERA CRUZ, fantastic movie
    MAJOR DUNDEE, maligned and misunderstood
    DUCK YOU SUCKER
    KENTUCKIAN, well-directed by Lancaster himself.
    PROFESSIONALS
    UNFORGIVEN, the 1960 film with Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn
    THEY CALL ME TRINITY
    HIRED HAND
    GUNFIGHTER (Henry King)

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  59. I think these boys will faint if they see a Western

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/05/13/low-young-masculinity-britain/

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  60. SOL says:

    I wonder what Dr. Cathey will make of the new movie Hostiles.

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  61. joe webb says:

    somehow the Cowboys vs. the Injuns gets left out here. How dat?

    Count up the movies made about wild Indians. The Indians were our biggest threat racially, besides the Negro. The racial themes are overlooked in these comments and the article.

    Since I don’t go to movies, the only contemporary movie that I am aware of that deals with injuns is the HBO series, Deadwood. Injuns only show up tangentially to the story, but their wildness mirrors the wildness of a more or less lawless Deadwood..South Dakota. Whites are often violent but injuns ARE violence…LIttle Big Horn and Custer are referenced. 1875…last gold rush sorta.

    The Good white man, Seth Bullock, is a sucker for Good Injuns. Not that he won’t kill them for self-defense, but he makes a fuss out of a proper burial for the one he killed who tried to kill him. Good White Man Admires the Good Indian. Just has a different Culture. I waited for the Culture word, but thank god it did not show up. Thanks David.

    If you have not viewed Deadwood, you are missing out on a Great movie, the Best I have ever seen….19 episodes. despite its jewish flaws. Milch is a genius.

    Of course, the Negro only shows up in Deadwood as a jewish tool to skewer Whites. But the rest of the series is suberb, except for the cardboard jewish character.

    The Negro in the movies is pure cardboard, except for Birth of a Nation, before the jews discovered the usefulness of the Negro…and later the injuns. Bad White Man. The jews abolished the Good White Man as the movies fell more and more into their money -changer hands.

    I recall Magnificent Seven back in the 60s when the magnificent cowboys were ready to kill live whites over the burial of a dead injun. So much for historical reality. That was the beginning of The Mythology of Race in the US…ca. 1960.

    America’s Race Story in the movies is a story of jewish war on whites. AS for the lone hero theme, another master-stroke of jewish propaganda, setting up the white tendency for individualism to be further celebrated, thus reinforcing the anti-political tendencies of whites. When the darkies are featured, the social dimension is included…the propagandized Group of suffering blacks. is always there .

    That is always the background. The White hero has no social background, he is a loner , without a history, without a past, except the past of what the Third World Champions call a ‘settler’ and racist past. Right. Pioneers cannot be celebrated. To be fair to Milch/Deadwood, pioneers are celebrated. Children are also celebrated….beautiful white children

    Take a look at the museums of the Northwest and consider the lives of those pioneers….true grit and suffering that makes all of us today look like spoiled brats…espec blacks and browns on the dole and bonking their way to the welfare check.

    PS, there is a great treatment of the Chinese. Something to keep In mind as our new Yellow Peril imperils us
    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
    Dead on!
    , @Priss Factor
    I saw 15 min of DEADWOOD and all I got was a bunch of cowboys saying 'fuc*' a million times.

    I think the Cowboy-Indian thing fell out of favor even before rise of neo-westerns and anti-westerns that gave the Indians their due.

    It was more interesting to have white vs white stories because the writers were more convincing in creating white characters. Indians tended to be exotic or stereotypical, and it got a bit boring watching white vs red. The conflict was brutish than moral. It was just clash of cultures.

    In contrast, white vs white could involve more moral shading and complications.

    Speaking of white vs Indian, JEREMIAH JOHNSON is quite an enjoyable movie.

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  62. J1234 says:

    Overrated:

    Sorry, the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns are junk.

    The Big Country was well made, but philosophically a load of crap. Gregory Peck makes me ill. He was never in a good western…and most that he appeared in were made bad by his presence.

    Anything Paul Newman was in.

    Unforgiven

    Underrated:

    Bone Tomahawk (horror)

    many of Randolph Scott’s movies.

    My favorites:

    Red River

    Pale Rider

    The Searchers

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    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
    What about Stalking Moon, or Man with two hats?
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  63. @joe webb
    somehow the Cowboys vs. the Injuns gets left out here. How dat?

    Count up the movies made about wild Indians. The Indians were our biggest threat racially, besides the Negro. The racial themes are overlooked in these comments and the article.

    Since I don't go to movies, the only contemporary movie that I am aware of that deals with injuns is the HBO series, Deadwood. Injuns only show up tangentially to the story, but their wildness mirrors the wildness of a more or less lawless Deadwood..South Dakota. Whites are often violent but injuns ARE violence...LIttle Big Horn and Custer are referenced. 1875...last gold rush sorta.

    The Good white man, Seth Bullock, is a sucker for Good Injuns. Not that he won't kill them for self-defense, but he makes a fuss out of a proper burial for the one he killed who tried to kill him. Good White Man Admires the Good Indian. Just has a different Culture. I waited for the Culture word, but thank god it did not show up. Thanks David.

    If you have not viewed Deadwood, you are missing out on a Great movie, the Best I have ever seen....19 episodes. despite its jewish flaws. Milch is a genius.

    Of course, the Negro only shows up in Deadwood as a jewish tool to skewer Whites. But the rest of the series is suberb, except for the cardboard jewish character.

    The Negro in the movies is pure cardboard, except for Birth of a Nation, before the jews discovered the usefulness of the Negro...and later the injuns. Bad White Man. The jews abolished the Good White Man as the movies fell more and more into their money -changer hands.

    I recall Magnificent Seven back in the 60s when the magnificent cowboys were ready to kill live whites over the burial of a dead injun. So much for historical reality. That was the beginning of The Mythology of Race in the US...ca. 1960.

    America's Race Story in the movies is a story of jewish war on whites. AS for the lone hero theme, another master-stroke of jewish propaganda, setting up the white tendency for individualism to be further celebrated, thus reinforcing the anti-political tendencies of whites. When the darkies are featured, the social dimension is included...the propagandized Group of suffering blacks. is always there .

    That is always the background. The White hero has no social background, he is a loner , without a history, without a past, except the past of what the Third World Champions call a 'settler' and racist past. Right. Pioneers cannot be celebrated. To be fair to Milch/Deadwood, pioneers are celebrated. Children are also celebrated....beautiful white children

    Take a look at the museums of the Northwest and consider the lives of those pioneers....true grit and suffering that makes all of us today look like spoiled brats...espec blacks and browns on the dole and bonking their way to the welfare check.

    PS, there is a great treatment of the Chinese. Something to keep In mind as our new Yellow Peril imperils us
    Joe Webb

    Dead on!

    Read More
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  64. @J1234
    Overrated:

    Sorry, the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns are junk.

    The Big Country was well made, but philosophically a load of crap. Gregory Peck makes me ill. He was never in a good western...and most that he appeared in were made bad by his presence.

    Anything Paul Newman was in.

    Unforgiven

    Underrated:

    Bone Tomahawk (horror)

    many of Randolph Scott's movies.


    My favorites:

    Red River

    Pale Rider

    The Searchers

    What about Stalking Moon, or Man with two hats?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    "The Stalking Moon" was one of the greats. Gregory Peck did a good job in his role.
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  65. The thin steady stream of westerns of recent years is a hopeful sign.

    Appaloosa

    Open Range

    Broken Trail (TV)

    Blackthorn

    Blackthorn is my favorite of these with honorable mention to the several TV films put out with/by Tom Selleck. These last seem to embody the spirit the author likes best.

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  66. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Outstanding response to the current cultural and individual despair.

    @ “All I want is to enter my house justified”—to do my duty and fulfill my purpose before God, my family and my fellow men…and, indeed, doing that make America great again.

    Bravo. Individual responsibility, plus a true understanding of Dovstoievsky’s “salvation lies in the other”.

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  67. Bill Jones says: • Website
    @Priss Factor
    What does John Wayne in, for example, The Searchers or She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, have to tell us in our society now where even the concept of duty and obedience to moral right is largely downplayed and considered unsophisticated by the dominant culture?

    Not so.

    THE SEARCHERS, by the way, has a very ambiguous attitude about duty and obedience.
    After all, Ethan Edwards is a rebel on so many levels. He fought on the side of the South in rebellion against the Union. Then, even after the war, he didn't turn in his sword. He never accepted defeat, and the war rages on in his soul. It aint over with him even after his side surrendered and ordered all men to call it quits. He carries stolen gold. Indeed, if anything keeps him participating with Yankees, it's that they are both white men against the red savages. It's like when Ethan Edwards meets a young yankee soldier. Even though Ethan can't stand Yankees(race traitors in his eyes), he allies with them in the end against the red savages. This is what bothers Ethan. Why is it that Yankee whites will work with Southern whites to wipe out red savages BUT will not help southern whites against the black savages? If Yankee whites and Dixie whites can ally to whup red Indians, why can't yankee whites side with dixie whites against the ghastly Negroes who are even more terrifying than Indians? After all, an Indian is dangerous only with a bottle of whiskey and tomahawk. He might get drunk and crack your head open. But without firewater and weapon, a red man is no threat to white man. But even with bare hands, the stronger negro can whup a white man and then hump white womenfolk. That was the great nightmare of the South, but the damn yankees sided with Negroes against whites. If Yankees believed slavery had to end cuz it was 'evil', then why did they side with Southern whites to wipe out Indians? Isn't 'genocide' worse than slavery? Ethan is much confused.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy2XfYaYGM8

    Because of this confusion, Ethan is both doing his duty and disobeying. He is still fighting his private war against the north. Also, his pursuit of Debbie begins as a rescue operation to a personal vendetta. And THE SEARCHERS makes us realize that every act of rebellion or disobedience can be another kind of loyalty or act of honor. It's like Brutus killing Caesar, as explained in LAST DAYS OF DISCO. On one level, it is an act of betrayal against a friend. Yet, Brutus acted in loyalty to the Roman republic, for the higher good.

    https://youtu.be/DH9nqX9sYUs?t=1m19s

    Likewise, when Ethan decides to kill Debbie, he is betraying Christian morality and his original mission. But he is being loyal to white honor and pride. She has been sullied and her womb will produce red savages who will grow up to hate white folks. It's like Greek mythology where an act could be in accordance with one god but in discordance with another god. THE SEARCHERS is about an angry man in an uncertain world after a major war and in a world of new wars with savages in which southern whites must work together with northern whites against savages even though northern whites sided with black savages against southern whites in the Civil War.

    In one of the last great classic Western epics, Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country from 1962, Joel McCrea is asked by his co-star, Randolph Scott, if he doesn’t really want more in life than just what appears to Scott to be his drudgery as a lonely, low paid deputy marshal. McCrea’s character, Steve Judd, responds laconically in one of those immortal lines that epitomizes both the representative and the didactic roles of the American Western: “All I want is to enter my house justified.” That is, I want to fulfill my duty, my God-given duty and appointed role in society, to obey and keep the law, to receive the precious legacy of the culture I inherited, perhaps add to it a bit, and then pass it on, unsullied, to my children and my posterity.

    I think it's sadder than that, which is why it's such a poignant film. What sets RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY from the Western Genre is the sense that Judd is something of a deluded fool. In a way, Scott's character is right in the movie given what we are shown of humanity. People are difficult, deceitful, corrupt, brutal, nasty, and delusional. Whether it's the brutal Bible-thumping father who is all sexual repression or the Hammond brothers of the Harvey Weinstein Boing School, the world is filled with cretins, creeps, and crazies.

    In TV Westerns like BONANZA, there is a sense of shared morality and values. So, one can believe that a good person will be honored, respected, and remembered. A good world values good men.
    But the world of RIDE OF HIGH COUNTRY is so compromised and mercenary. Even the bank that hired McCrea's character lied about the amount involved. It's a world without character.

    So, an act of goodness and honor in this world is like the sound of clap in a world of the deaf. No one hears it. In the context of the world shown us, Scott's arguments are right. No one cares, no one remembers. Why risk one's life for people who show no appreciation and lie and cheat to get theirs. And the one moralistic character turns out to be an intolerant bully of a father who keeps his girl like a prisoner. Indeed, his over-protectiveness made her naive and easy prey for the boing-ish Hammond brothers.
    And even a noble act by the 'judge' had to be at the point of a gun. Scott threatens the 'judge' to annul the marriage, whereupon he gets beaten up so bad by Hammonds.

    The hero of HIGH NOON is also unappreciated but it's because people are afraid. They hide and cower because they want to save their own hide. But at the end, when Will Kane wins and rides out of town, he feels vindicated and we know that the townsfolks admire him for his courage and ability.
    But even that is missing in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY. It is really a lonely private act of virtue that will go unacknowledged by all the world except by his friend(who doesn't have many yrs left) and two young people with an uncertain future.

    So, the stoicism of RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is a self-delusion. Touching but out-of-touch. The world cannot be saved and isn't worth saving. There is no vindication. Just one man's stubborn self-respect that he did the right thing.

    And in a way, even though McCrea's character is a good man, his virtue is also an act of repression not unlike the sexual repression of the bully father played by R. G. Armstrong. The father, to remain true to his late wife and to keep his daughter clean, cannot come to terms with sexuality. And McCrea's life of failure and poverty has meaning only by invoking selfless virtue. If he began to even slightly agree with Scott's character, he would realize he's lived a great lie.

    But they’re all honkies, they should die!

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  68. @Priss Factor
    The Wild Bunch is seen by most standard critics as an awareness, perhaps a celebration, of the fact that there never was any honor among men on the Old West. I see it as Peckinpah exploring what the end of the Old West, replaced by the 20th century, would mean. It is thus perfect that the bunch enters Revolutionary Mexico, which had murdered almost all honor and decency that had marked Old Mexico. In other words, The Wild Bunch is that which will give us the horrors of World War 1: Modern, Progressive, Revolutionary.

    WILD BUNCH is about "no honor among men"? No, the very opposite.
    It's like this. Westerns always had bad guys, but good guys were at the center. Good guys had law and righteousness on their side. But the Wild Bunch is about bad guys at the center.
    The problem is bad guys don't have law and righteousness on their side. So, what do they have left? Honor. WILD BUNCH is about honor among thieves. Pike Bishop isn't always true to his code of honor, but he tries to live by it. He agonizes over having left his friend behind. He tries to keep the bunch together by talking of the importance of the Word. When you give your word to a man, it must mean something. And this goes for Angel too. As Dutch says, "he played his strings right out to the end." Even under torture, Angel doesn't spill the beans. And the Bunch could have ridden off with the gold but they go back for Angel. Why? Honor.

    And even though Mapache is a gross character, Peckinpah's shows his one positive side. He too has a sense of honor. When Poncho Villa's men are attacking his soldiers, most men cower and hide. But Mapache stands tall like Patton. He doesn't budge. He doesn't fear bullets. Also, when he founds out that Angel really meant to kill the girl, he understands and laughs heartily. Mapache may be a no-good monster and thief... but he is a real man.

    The character’s name is Bishop Pike, not Pike Bishop, but you’re right about the honor of the Bunch. Even the Gorch brothers immediately joined Pike in going to get Angel saying, “Why not?”.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    The character’s name is Bishop Pike, not Pike Bishop

    No, Bishop Pike is the leader of another gang called Bunch Wild.
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  69. @Ilyana_Rozumova
    What about Stalking Moon, or Man with two hats?

    “The Stalking Moon” was one of the greats. Gregory Peck did a good job in his role.

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  70. Da Wei says:
    @Priss Factor
    SHANE is much-beloved by Western fans but not so much by film scholars.

    George Stevens is a respected figure but considered overly serious and strained.

    Film scholars prefer more 'honest' Westerns. I love SHANE, but I see what they mean.
    SHANE is an attempt to turn the Western Genre into a Christo-Fable. The Greatest Western Story Ever Told.

    Stevens had talent but his seriousness could be deadly. His GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD is just godawful.

    Priss Factor,
    I appreciate your scholarship, and I mean that. However, I approach this
    from a less intellectual point of view, (and I like the book more than the movie,
    by the way). I like the ass kicker friend Shane is to father and son. It’s really
    that simple. It’s the kind of loyalty and honor you see in Breaker Morant.
    Finally, Priss Factor, I quite agree that Greatest Story is a pain in the ass. I saw
    it as a kid in the theater and it left me cold. Shane didn’t.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    I like the ass kicker friend Shane is to father and son.

    The problem of course is that Shane is liked by both but also comes in between them even though he doesn't intend to.

    The kid loves his father out of familial bond and affection. But the kid is drawn to Shane because he's so handsome, dashing, and good with the gun. Shane tries to underplay this. He tries to go civilian and just be one of the farmers.
    But the son wants the 'cool' side of Shane, the gunslinger who outdraws people. And the villains keep pushing until Shane has no choice but to become his old self.
    So, when Shane is fighting with the father, the son is torn. And he is angry with Shane not so much because he won the fight but because he won dirty. He hit the father in the head with the gun.

    Shane is like an anti-ideal ideal. He is the ideal Man of Action. Handsome, fast with gun, cool under pressure. He has much in common with the Jack Palance character. But if Palance's character is a nihilist-narcissist who doesn't care for anything but his ego and pride, Shane has or gained a sense of humanity. He understands why the kid is drawn to him and realizes he must ride out of the place.
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  71. Da Wei says:
    @Jake
    Shane to Jack Wilson: "i've heard that you're a low down Yankee liar."

    Translated to our time, Shane is part of the Basket of Deplorables, and Wilson is the hired nurderer for the billionaire globalists and the Neocon strategists.

    Jake,
    Funny, this, and probably right close to the damn truth!
    That is, speaking for Shane. Speaking for me, right on target.
    Thanks.

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  72. @Twodees Partain
    The character's name is Bishop Pike, not Pike Bishop, but you're right about the honor of the Bunch. Even the Gorch brothers immediately joined Pike in going to get Angel saying, "Why not?".

    The character’s name is Bishop Pike, not Pike Bishop

    No, Bishop Pike is the leader of another gang called Bunch Wild.

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  73. @Da Wei
    Priss Factor,
    I appreciate your scholarship, and I mean that. However, I approach this
    from a less intellectual point of view, (and I like the book more than the movie,
    by the way). I like the ass kicker friend Shane is to father and son. It's really
    that simple. It's the kind of loyalty and honor you see in Breaker Morant.
    Finally, Priss Factor, I quite agree that Greatest Story is a pain in the ass. I saw
    it as a kid in the theater and it left me cold. Shane didn't.

    I like the ass kicker friend Shane is to father and son.

    The problem of course is that Shane is liked by both but also comes in between them even though he doesn’t intend to.

    The kid loves his father out of familial bond and affection. But the kid is drawn to Shane because he’s so handsome, dashing, and good with the gun. Shane tries to underplay this. He tries to go civilian and just be one of the farmers.
    But the son wants the ‘cool’ side of Shane, the gunslinger who outdraws people. And the villains keep pushing until Shane has no choice but to become his old self.
    So, when Shane is fighting with the father, the son is torn. And he is angry with Shane not so much because he won the fight but because he won dirty. He hit the father in the head with the gun.

    Shane is like an anti-ideal ideal. He is the ideal Man of Action. Handsome, fast with gun, cool under pressure. He has much in common with the Jack Palance character. But if Palance’s character is a nihilist-narcissist who doesn’t care for anything but his ego and pride, Shane has or gained a sense of humanity. He understands why the kid is drawn to him and realizes he must ride out of the place.

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    • Replies: @Da Wei
    Interesting. Thanks.

    Now, you've gone and outdrawed me an shot straight to boot. An you've done yer
    homework on this movie. I done met my match. Good thing it's only a flesh wound.

    Truth is, I saw Shane in the theater in my home town when it first came out and not since.
    The book is fresher in my mind. I loved the movie, though, and wanted to be just like Shane,
    but maybe it was just the Milk Duds talkin'. Must be, cause I plumb forgot about the gun butt
    to the head.

    Your analysis is on point, fer sure. Only, "anti-ideal ideal"? Is that like an anti-hero?
    And "nihilist-narcissist"? Is that like a dad burned low down sidewinder? Or is that just
    Gabby Hayes talkin'?
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  74. @joe webb
    somehow the Cowboys vs. the Injuns gets left out here. How dat?

    Count up the movies made about wild Indians. The Indians were our biggest threat racially, besides the Negro. The racial themes are overlooked in these comments and the article.

    Since I don't go to movies, the only contemporary movie that I am aware of that deals with injuns is the HBO series, Deadwood. Injuns only show up tangentially to the story, but their wildness mirrors the wildness of a more or less lawless Deadwood..South Dakota. Whites are often violent but injuns ARE violence...LIttle Big Horn and Custer are referenced. 1875...last gold rush sorta.

    The Good white man, Seth Bullock, is a sucker for Good Injuns. Not that he won't kill them for self-defense, but he makes a fuss out of a proper burial for the one he killed who tried to kill him. Good White Man Admires the Good Indian. Just has a different Culture. I waited for the Culture word, but thank god it did not show up. Thanks David.

    If you have not viewed Deadwood, you are missing out on a Great movie, the Best I have ever seen....19 episodes. despite its jewish flaws. Milch is a genius.

    Of course, the Negro only shows up in Deadwood as a jewish tool to skewer Whites. But the rest of the series is suberb, except for the cardboard jewish character.

    The Negro in the movies is pure cardboard, except for Birth of a Nation, before the jews discovered the usefulness of the Negro...and later the injuns. Bad White Man. The jews abolished the Good White Man as the movies fell more and more into their money -changer hands.

    I recall Magnificent Seven back in the 60s when the magnificent cowboys were ready to kill live whites over the burial of a dead injun. So much for historical reality. That was the beginning of The Mythology of Race in the US...ca. 1960.

    America's Race Story in the movies is a story of jewish war on whites. AS for the lone hero theme, another master-stroke of jewish propaganda, setting up the white tendency for individualism to be further celebrated, thus reinforcing the anti-political tendencies of whites. When the darkies are featured, the social dimension is included...the propagandized Group of suffering blacks. is always there .

    That is always the background. The White hero has no social background, he is a loner , without a history, without a past, except the past of what the Third World Champions call a 'settler' and racist past. Right. Pioneers cannot be celebrated. To be fair to Milch/Deadwood, pioneers are celebrated. Children are also celebrated....beautiful white children

    Take a look at the museums of the Northwest and consider the lives of those pioneers....true grit and suffering that makes all of us today look like spoiled brats...espec blacks and browns on the dole and bonking their way to the welfare check.

    PS, there is a great treatment of the Chinese. Something to keep In mind as our new Yellow Peril imperils us
    Joe Webb

    I saw 15 min of DEADWOOD and all I got was a bunch of cowboys saying ‘fuc*’ a million times.

    I think the Cowboy-Indian thing fell out of favor even before rise of neo-westerns and anti-westerns that gave the Indians their due.

    It was more interesting to have white vs white stories because the writers were more convincing in creating white characters. Indians tended to be exotic or stereotypical, and it got a bit boring watching white vs red. The conflict was brutish than moral. It was just clash of cultures.

    In contrast, white vs white could involve more moral shading and complications.

    Speaking of white vs Indian, JEREMIAH JOHNSON is quite an enjoyable movie.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    the injun /cowboy movies were probably just cliched. (And what was the 'due' of injuns? Jews got hold of them and made them saints. No torture, no slavery, no constant warfare amongst their own.)

    The film makers could have been done much better, what with several decades of Indian -White wars. This would have had to include realistic and historically accurate scenes of Injun mayhem, which was probably would have required a lot of work. Think Apocalypto by Gibson, decades later, etc, but rendering the noble savage correctly...as well as illustrating their choice....Christianity or the Jungle...they took the jungle way. What we got today is still the jungle

    Deadwood. Since you spent 15 minutes on 19 episodes, you mighty agree that that is a pretty skimpy sampling.

    You have to get past the cussing. When I first accidentally watched it....I was put off and searched for why the cussing. They said that the cussing of the time did not work for us, and so they used what would work.

    This is a superb piece of art, only marred by the pee-cee with regard to two black characters and one jewish character. You have to watch it all. The cliche of
    'character development' ...it has it. Children are spectacular, and can I say, many scenes are painterly? and are great.

    If you do not give it a fair chance, you are missing a great experience. It starts with the historicity of Deadwood as a lawless, stateless, gold rush town. It is a state of nature type story, with enough adults to keep the Lord of the Flies theme under control, with White misbehavior bootstrapping itself into relative civility. Also the sheer realism of pioneer experience is there.

    My grandfather was nearby in Spokane at the same time.... its
    first public health officer. The doc in the movie ...yes I identify with him. My grandfather got honorable mention in a local history of Spokane.

    You may get in touch with your inner pioneer by watching this movie. Also, if in the Pacific Northwest, get to the museums along the Oregon Trail....see the stations of Little Big Horn (?) where various injun battles were fought. See the dioramas of prairie schooners and White folks with true grit. Only white English settlers brought along their women...compared to the Spanish and Portuguese, etc. yes, different centuries but worth a thought.

    Also worth a thought ...that if the Chinese got here first, there would be no Indians left. Btw, the Chinese get, I assume, historically accurate treatment in the movie. Yellow Peril indeed.

    Joe
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  75. @Priss Factor
    Let's not forget the Modern Westerns:

    HUD
    MIDNIGHT COWBOY
    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
    LONELY ARE THE BRAVE
    URBAN COWBOY
    COOGAN'S BLUFF
    ELECTRIC HORSEMAN
    SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION
    STACKING
    INTO THE WILD

    JUNIOR BONNER is another good Modern Western.

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  76. Che Guava says:
    @Priss Factor
    Would adding the trilogy of Sergio Leoni spaghetti westerns, with brilliant soundtracks by Ennio Morrocone and Eastwood as the star (the first is having an important War of Northern Aggression scene).

    Leone was a great master and one of the most influential stylists ever. But his films would go against the gist of Cathey's thesis. Cathey's fondness is for Western as morality tale and national saga/epic. Leone's Westerns are nihilistic and cynical. The classic Western is about Anglo morality and code of honor. Spaghetti Westerns present a world as hopelessly corrupt as Greece, Spain, and Italy. In the classic Western, there is hope for a better society of law, order, and morality. But forget such hopes in Leone's movies. It's a world of thieves and cutthroats, and you gotta get what's yours. And there is no shame in that. Now, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is somewhat more moralistic, as the Bronson character doesn't play for money. Even so, the character who inherits the earth is a harlot. Also, if the classic Western was a myth about history, Leone's movies are about myth about a myth. Bronson's character is so mythic that he might as well be a ghost.

    The original Django, where a maniac for justice is towing a Gatling gun around in a coffin, to dealing justice, also great. I am thinking I am never wanting to see Quentin Tarantula’s film ‘inspired’ by it.

    Corbucci had none of the talent of Leone. DJANGO is rough ugly work. Still, one advantage of lack of finesse and style was his films could be grittier and more compelling as realist drama. Take BIG SILENCE, which is, in some ways, a messy ugly movie. But it has the stuff of dark tragedy missing in Leone's Westerns. It is also the only Western that I know of where good doesn't prevail. And memorable score by Morricone.
    Such rough-hewn Westerns may have paved the way for the remarkable Altman Western MCCABE AND MRS MILLER, which is both the grimiest-grittiest and most dreamy-romantic Western ever made.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h1zpQkX6gA

    I was also enjoying The Big Country, only to recalling the Japanese title, 大いなる西武、but the full title in Japanese was coming up automatically on my entering the first part of the title, very popular here. '

    Damn that movie. It's the first Western that made a huge impact on me. I went to a revival showing in 1974 or 1975 when I was 6 or 7, and it set the template of what America is about. Perhaps a misleading as myth but what a magnificent vision. I saw SAMSON AND DELILAH also in revival showing around the same time, and those two movies have been dogging me all my life. Kids are impressionable, and I just imprinted on the movie. BIG COUNTRY IS America.

    BIG COUNTRY never got the respect it got because it was made by William Wyler, who also did BEN HUR. Wyler eventually came to be appreciated, but the word in the auteurist 60s was that he was one of those impersonal directors, a professional than an artist. So, he made Big A movies for Hollywood with all the crowd-pleasing conventional stuff, but he lacked vision or derring-do. There is some validity to this. Wyler didn't invest his 'personality' into his works as some others. It's hard to imagine what would be Wylerian, as opposed to Hitchcockean, Wellesian, Hawksians, Fordian, or etc.
    But good is good, magnificent is magnificent, and BIG COUNTRY is certainly all that.

    Also, being a Jewish director like Fred Zinnemann who did HIGH NOON, he was less invested in Western mythology as some other directors. BIG COUNTRY is a celebration of American frontier spirit but also a stinging critique of the cult of manhood, pride of honor(that can lead to violence over petty stuff), and social pressure over personal integrity. The character played by Gregory Peck is a tad too idealized, as if rehearsing for his role in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. (It has elements of something like BAD DAY AT BLACKROCK where an urbane person has to bring light of reason to 'rednecks'. While many Westerns had this theme, it was maybe overstated in BIG COUNTRY because Peck's character is so very upstanding and right-all-the-time.) Still, it's not a simple morality tale. Every character is fleshed out, and even the slimiest, the Chuck Connors character, is allotted his due humanity. And the two old men whose ancient grudges threaten to tear the valley apart have their own kind of pride and honor that are impressive and admirable. And helluva script. The scene when Burl Ives interrupts the party is especially wonderful. It's like roughneck shakespeare. And there are so many great scenes... like when Peck steps onto the porch after his first night in the West is just grand. And what great music.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW2JONQ2k3c

    Wyler had much bigger success with BEN HUR, which certainly has its moments. But I prefer BIG COUNTRY, and it's here that the Western had a certain advantage. As it was about a no-nonsense world of struggle, survival, and power, it discouraged over-arching pomposity that was rife in all the Biblical and Historical Epics. BEN HUR is great as an adventure and spectacle but really sags when it tries to go for MEANING.
    BIG COUNTRY certainly has a message but it's still about a meat-and-potatoes world, and that keeps it more honest.

    Thank you Priss,

    For the details, will be looking at this reply of yours again (very tired now).

    As I was saying, its fame persists as demonstrated by auto-completion of the Japanese title. It is above my age, I watched it for the firtst time on rented VHS from the recommendation of a 60-plus man at the time.

    Enjoyed watching it again on broadcast (satellite) TV later, NHK, so it is probably still liked among many people in thirties, at least.

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  77. Cat Balou and Wild bunch were not mentioned.
    Shame on you!

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    • Replies: @Alden
    I’m not much of a western fan, but Cat Ballou is my all time favorite.
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  78. Cortes says:

    Keller, Lawrence Block’s hitman, nailed the Western in “Keller on Horseback”:

    “The hotel that inspired Hickok-Holliday fantasies was the Martingale, located right in the center of things on the wide Main Street. Keller imagined himself walking in, slapping a credit card on the counter. Then the desk clerk – Henry Jones always played him in the movie – would say that they didn’t take plastic. “Or p-p-paper either,” he’d say, eyes darting, looking for a place to duck when the shooting started.
    And Keller would set a silver dollar spinning on the counter.”I’ll be here a few days,” he’d announce. “If I have any change coming, buy yourself a new pair of suspenders.”
    And Henry Jones would glance down at his suspenders, to see what was wrong with them.”

    Unmentioned classics of the genre:

    City Slickers.
    Brokeback Mountain
    Blazing Saddles
    Valdez is Coming
    Hombre

    In its favour, the Western did give rise to the immortal west of Scotland joke:

    Which song is used in 70% of John Wayne films?

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Unmentioned classics of the genre:
    City Slickers.
    Brokeback Mountain


    Trollin' Trollin' Trollin' Rawhide!!!
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  79. renfro says:

    Great, great article!!

    If I say this is the America I was raised in….”Rather, obedience to duty, moral courage, loyalty to one’s state and family—these are the virtues celebrated and heralded.”…there will be those who say America was never that way. But it was for some or even most of us.

    I don’t even have to go into the influences that degraded those virtues.

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  80. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra
    'American history', here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, "The Sand Creek Massacre', Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, 'Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America', 1859, 1996, New York

    Typical commie Marxist jealous of America N. European. Check out the history of the Netherlands and Indonesia. Your royal family is the richest in the world, even richer than the Saudies because of the looting of Indonesia for hundreds of years. The Dutch are supremely evil, evil, evil White European conquerors of Indonesia. The Dutch also were prominent in the slave trade.

    I also tell the empty vessel English who brought the slaves to America. It was the British and Dutch.

    You treated the Indonesians far, far worse than any N. or S Americans ever did. And you left Indonesia in far worse shape when they kicked you out. You remind me of the English who pontificate about what American did to the Indians while completely ignoring the genocide of the Irish committed by the English for 500 years.
    Acknowledge the sins of the Dutch before repeating the anti American propaganda your teachers drummed into you from age 6.

    Your mind is a typical liberal mind. It’s an empty sink. Liberal propaganda central opens the plug, empties out the current propaganda, closes the plug and turns on the faucet. The latest propaganda flows in. And the empty vessel brain of the liberal believes it all.

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    • Agree: David In TN
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  81. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra
    'American history', here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, "The Sand Creek Massacre', Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, 'Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America', 1859, 1996, New York

    Have your ever heard of commenting about the article? This is an article about fictionalized entertainment.

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  82. B. Thorn says:

    Mr. Cathey,

    Thank you for this excellent article! I will seek out these films in due time!

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  83. Boyd Cathey is one of my favorite writers. This column is superb and brought back my childhood with fond memories of Western movies and television shows. Oh for the good old days!

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  84. NAVY JACK says:

    Mr. Cathey, thank you for the excellent article. It certainly raised my spirits, which are characteristically low around the Christmas Season. While your article is very, very good, the comments are what have captured my fullest attention.

    It is amazing to me how one can follow a distinct cultural shift along generational lines in both the commenters’ responses to your articles and their competing lists of “best” Westerns and in their response to the John Wayne Westerns, in particular. Those commenters whom I take to be my age (45) and older retain a love for the genre, a love for the characters, a hopefulness for America and a reverence for the manly virtues of sacrifice, honor, and duty. Those commenters whom I take to be considerably younger, age 35 and below, demonstrate a disdain for the Western as “myth,” a jaded view of American history and a nihilistic self-reverence that seems to mark many Millennial boys.

    By “nihilistic self-reverence” I mean the absolute confidence that there is nothing noble, good and worthwhile in the world UNLESS it resides in oneself. Of course, no human being can fall for that kind of rot if he has actually lived, love and suffered. But of course, much of the Millennial Generation has never lived at their own risk, never loved anyone other than themselves and never suffered anything greater than a lack of Wi-Fi access. The Westerns of which you write so eloquently are inaccessible to them.

    I was blessed to have been raised around men who could have walked out of some of the Duke’s Westerns. They were flawed men, but they had a personal code – – they worked with their hands – – they respected and enjoyed women – – and they knew that there were things worse than death. I knew men scarred by war, by the loss of children, by failure in life and by the daily drudgery of living on the lower rungs – – most of them could tell you what they believed in, what they would die for. They knew God was watching – – they knew they would be held to account.

    And that is the key. The true Western assumes an orderly Universe, assumes a Creator, assumes a Natural Law. The Moderns’ revolt against this knowledge, their refusal to acknowledge the Eternal, renders them unable to understand the language of the classic Western….or the Western Classics. They hate the Duke – – but they hate Augustine and Aristotle even more.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    @ but they hate Augustine and Aristotle more.

    Bravo! And agree. May your Christmas be holy and lit with joy.
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  85. My favorite Western dialogue of all time:

    Well, I reckon he had it coming.

    Kid, we all have it coming.

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  86. El Dato says:
    @Priss Factor
    Would adding the trilogy of Sergio Leoni spaghetti westerns, with brilliant soundtracks by Ennio Morrocone and Eastwood as the star (the first is having an important War of Northern Aggression scene).

    Leone was a great master and one of the most influential stylists ever. But his films would go against the gist of Cathey's thesis. Cathey's fondness is for Western as morality tale and national saga/epic. Leone's Westerns are nihilistic and cynical. The classic Western is about Anglo morality and code of honor. Spaghetti Westerns present a world as hopelessly corrupt as Greece, Spain, and Italy. In the classic Western, there is hope for a better society of law, order, and morality. But forget such hopes in Leone's movies. It's a world of thieves and cutthroats, and you gotta get what's yours. And there is no shame in that. Now, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is somewhat more moralistic, as the Bronson character doesn't play for money. Even so, the character who inherits the earth is a harlot. Also, if the classic Western was a myth about history, Leone's movies are about myth about a myth. Bronson's character is so mythic that he might as well be a ghost.

    The original Django, where a maniac for justice is towing a Gatling gun around in a coffin, to dealing justice, also great. I am thinking I am never wanting to see Quentin Tarantula’s film ‘inspired’ by it.

    Corbucci had none of the talent of Leone. DJANGO is rough ugly work. Still, one advantage of lack of finesse and style was his films could be grittier and more compelling as realist drama. Take BIG SILENCE, which is, in some ways, a messy ugly movie. But it has the stuff of dark tragedy missing in Leone's Westerns. It is also the only Western that I know of where good doesn't prevail. And memorable score by Morricone.
    Such rough-hewn Westerns may have paved the way for the remarkable Altman Western MCCABE AND MRS MILLER, which is both the grimiest-grittiest and most dreamy-romantic Western ever made.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h1zpQkX6gA

    I was also enjoying The Big Country, only to recalling the Japanese title, 大いなる西武、but the full title in Japanese was coming up automatically on my entering the first part of the title, very popular here. '

    Damn that movie. It's the first Western that made a huge impact on me. I went to a revival showing in 1974 or 1975 when I was 6 or 7, and it set the template of what America is about. Perhaps a misleading as myth but what a magnificent vision. I saw SAMSON AND DELILAH also in revival showing around the same time, and those two movies have been dogging me all my life. Kids are impressionable, and I just imprinted on the movie. BIG COUNTRY IS America.

    BIG COUNTRY never got the respect it got because it was made by William Wyler, who also did BEN HUR. Wyler eventually came to be appreciated, but the word in the auteurist 60s was that he was one of those impersonal directors, a professional than an artist. So, he made Big A movies for Hollywood with all the crowd-pleasing conventional stuff, but he lacked vision or derring-do. There is some validity to this. Wyler didn't invest his 'personality' into his works as some others. It's hard to imagine what would be Wylerian, as opposed to Hitchcockean, Wellesian, Hawksians, Fordian, or etc.
    But good is good, magnificent is magnificent, and BIG COUNTRY is certainly all that.

    Also, being a Jewish director like Fred Zinnemann who did HIGH NOON, he was less invested in Western mythology as some other directors. BIG COUNTRY is a celebration of American frontier spirit but also a stinging critique of the cult of manhood, pride of honor(that can lead to violence over petty stuff), and social pressure over personal integrity. The character played by Gregory Peck is a tad too idealized, as if rehearsing for his role in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. (It has elements of something like BAD DAY AT BLACKROCK where an urbane person has to bring light of reason to 'rednecks'. While many Westerns had this theme, it was maybe overstated in BIG COUNTRY because Peck's character is so very upstanding and right-all-the-time.) Still, it's not a simple morality tale. Every character is fleshed out, and even the slimiest, the Chuck Connors character, is allotted his due humanity. And the two old men whose ancient grudges threaten to tear the valley apart have their own kind of pride and honor that are impressive and admirable. And helluva script. The scene when Burl Ives interrupts the party is especially wonderful. It's like roughneck shakespeare. And there are so many great scenes... like when Peck steps onto the porch after his first night in the West is just grand. And what great music.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW2JONQ2k3c

    Wyler had much bigger success with BEN HUR, which certainly has its moments. But I prefer BIG COUNTRY, and it's here that the Western had a certain advantage. As it was about a no-nonsense world of struggle, survival, and power, it discouraged over-arching pomposity that was rife in all the Biblical and Historical Epics. BEN HUR is great as an adventure and spectacle but really sags when it tries to go for MEANING.
    BIG COUNTRY certainly has a message but it's still about a meat-and-potatoes world, and that keeps it more honest.

    Leone’s Westerns are nihilistic and cynical.

    Goddammit Priss are you also doing film critic?

    I don’ agree with that. They are about individualism, righteous revenge, staying alive in a chaotic world that doesn’t particularly care for you, and maybe getting away with a hoard of cash in the end if one is interested in such things.

    In “A Fistful of Dollars” (basically a remake of Yojimbo) the hero decides to stay in town a bit and basically to take out the trash at great personal risk.

    In “For a Few Dollars More” bounty hunters are busy getting rid of the roaches, and one of them is in it for a personal vendetta. In the end, he doesn’t care about the money, and drives off, riding the death wagon loaded with the corpses of the bandits, as I remember.

    In “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“, Blondie not above scamming the Western Town Goodthink Rubes off bounty money. But in the end, he doesn’t predate, cleans up (he must be an instrument of God, really) and gets the gold. And he’s till fair enough to share it 50/50 with the guy who wanted to kill him, several times. The interaction of Tuco and Blondie with the completely pointless Civil War massacre is telling: None of them has skin in this stupid game. They blow up a bridge to progress on their quest, then camp out until all the benighted crazies have left to kill each other at some other place.

    Later we got Eastwood’s Pale Rider which amplifies the theme of “For a Few Dollars More”, only this time the roaches are no longer bandits but are the System: the oligarchy and the guys with badges who are their enforcers. May bullets find them.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    I don’ agree with that. They are about individualism, righteous revenge, staying alive in a chaotic world that doesn’t particularly care for you, and maybe getting away with a hoard of cash in the end if one is interested in such things.

    Sounds pretty cynical and nihilistic.

    In “A Fistful of Dollars” (basically a remake of Yojimbo) the hero decides to stay in town a bit and basically to take out the trash at great personal risk.

    It's true that the Man with No Name(though called Joe for some reason) is not entirely without moral compass. He does feel sympathy for the woman and the family and goes the extra mile to help them. But, FISTFUL's main appeal is style and attitude. This killer comes to town and looks to cash in on the conflict between the clans. That was his initial plan, and he's willing to gun down anyone to get the job done. Also, the killings are so stylized that it's fabulous. Classic Westerns are exciting too, but there is a sense that people got killed and death is never fun. But there are no such reservations in FISTFUL. When MWNN guns down his first victims, it's just far-out. Also, he didn't do it to get revenge. He just wanted to show off his gunmanship so that he'd be hired for money.

    In “For a Few Dollars More” bounty hunters are busy getting rid of the roaches, and one of them is in it for a personal vendetta. In the end, he doesn’t care about the money, and drives off, riding the death wagon loaded with the corpses of the bandits, as I remember.


    Yes, there is an element of backstory to Colonel Mortimer played by Lee Van Cleef. He's not only in it for the money. He does have a personal vendetta against Indio. But that's just lurid excuse for a pornographic murder flashback. We don't really believe in her character. It's just there to add some spice and heat between Mortimer and Indio in the final duel. We don't believe in any character in FOR A FEW as we believe in the characters in Ford westerns. Leone's characters are more like fashion models making a statement. Their move around like models doing catwalk. So, even the flashback is part of the style and fantasy. They don't register as real characters or real story. It's just a mood, like an hallucination.

    Even though Mortimer ultimately had a goal(of revenge), he is mostly a cynical player. He's a bounty hunter who will hunt down anyone for a price. The movie begins with caption "Where life has no value, death has a price. That is why a bunch of fellers decided to become bounty killers and make some dough." That is the premise of the movie. Any moral consideration is accidental or incidental, not essential.

    And look at Mortimer acts in the very first scene. He stops a train just to get off where he wants. He acts like he's above the law because he's so good with the gun.

    In “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“, Blondie not above scamming the Western Town Goodthink Rubes off bounty money. But in the end, he doesn’t predate, cleans up (he must be an instrument of God, really) and gets the gold. And he’s till fair enough to share it 50/50 with the guy who wanted to kill him, several times. The interaction of Tuco and Blondie with the completely pointless Civil War massacre is telling: None of them has skin in this stupid game. They blow up a bridge to progress on their quest, then camp out until all the benighted crazies have left to kill each other at some other place.

    Blondie is slightly more conscientious than The Bad and The Ugly, but not much better. He's in it for the game. His intentions are purely mercenary and remains that way to the end.. which is different from THREE KINGS where the guys go from greed to good.
    Everyone lies and cheats everyone. They are like the character of SEVEN BEAUTIES who is always out for #1. But if Wertmuller has something to say about human tragedy, Leone's ends on a whistle with the triumph of gold. Wertmuller finds WWII to be absurd but still devastating to humanity. In GBU, there is a sense of the awful toll of war... but the minute the guys can play the game of gold again, amnesia is immediate and total. So, Blondie offers his cigarillo to a dying soldier... but when he sees Tuco take off, he's back in the game, and it's like they war doesn't even exist.

    And even though Blondie gave Tuco the gold, it was a cruel cat and mouse game. After all, there was 50/50 chance Tuco would not make it. Indeed, Blondie's willingness to go 50/50 only reinforces his nihilism. His vanity is greater than his greed. He wants to prove to Tuco and to himself that he is indeed the best gunman in the West. So, he takes his gamble and shoots and cuts the noose. He feels validated. He is the Best, and that's worth more than gold to a totally vain narcissist.

    Later we got Eastwood’s Pale Rider which amplifies the theme of “For a Few Dollars More”, only this time the roaches are no longer bandits but are the System: the oligarchy and the guys with badges who are their enforcers. May bullets find them.

    PALE RIDER is thematically closest to SHANE.
    Eastwood's most nihilistic movie is HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER where a ghostly gunman comes back to haunt a town that didn't lift a finger to save him. It's moralism as nihilism. The ghost-man's rage is so extreme that he feels no sympathy for anyone in town. Everyone must be punished like Sodom and Gomorrah must be destroyed.

    PALE RIDER is similar in having a gun-man who may be a ghost. But unlike the killer angel of HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER who takes pleasure in destroying the entire town, the Pale Rider is committed to doing good and helping the townsfolk.
    PALE RIDER isn't nihilistic, and it was made when Eastwood was reassessing his role in action cinema. He worried that his films had fostered too much trigger-happy violence. PALE RIDER set the tone for UNFORGIVEN that came 6 or 7 yrs later.
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  87. @El Dato

    Leone’s Westerns are nihilistic and cynical.
     
    Goddammit Priss are you also doing film critic?

    I don' agree with that. They are about individualism, righteous revenge, staying alive in a chaotic world that doesn't particularly care for you, and maybe getting away with a hoard of cash in the end if one is interested in such things.

    In "A Fistful of Dollars" (basically a remake of Yojimbo) the hero decides to stay in town a bit and basically to take out the trash at great personal risk.

    In "For a Few Dollars More" bounty hunters are busy getting rid of the roaches, and one of them is in it for a personal vendetta. In the end, he doesn't care about the money, and drives off, riding the death wagon loaded with the corpses of the bandits, as I remember.

    In "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", Blondie not above scamming the Western Town Goodthink Rubes off bounty money. But in the end, he doesn't predate, cleans up (he must be an instrument of God, really) and gets the gold. And he's till fair enough to share it 50/50 with the guy who wanted to kill him, several times. The interaction of Tuco and Blondie with the completely pointless Civil War massacre is telling: None of them has skin in this stupid game. They blow up a bridge to progress on their quest, then camp out until all the benighted crazies have left to kill each other at some other place.

    Later we got Eastwood's Pale Rider which amplifies the theme of "For a Few Dollars More", only this time the roaches are no longer bandits but are the System: the oligarchy and the guys with badges who are their enforcers. May bullets find them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2KiUnWA6IE

    I don’ agree with that. They are about individualism, righteous revenge, staying alive in a chaotic world that doesn’t particularly care for you, and maybe getting away with a hoard of cash in the end if one is interested in such things.

    Sounds pretty cynical and nihilistic.

    In “A Fistful of Dollars” (basically a remake of Yojimbo) the hero decides to stay in town a bit and basically to take out the trash at great personal risk.

    It’s true that the Man with No Name(though called Joe for some reason) is not entirely without moral compass. He does feel sympathy for the woman and the family and goes the extra mile to help them. But, FISTFUL’s main appeal is style and attitude. This killer comes to town and looks to cash in on the conflict between the clans. That was his initial plan, and he’s willing to gun down anyone to get the job done. Also, the killings are so stylized that it’s fabulous. Classic Westerns are exciting too, but there is a sense that people got killed and death is never fun. But there are no such reservations in FISTFUL. When MWNN guns down his first victims, it’s just far-out. Also, he didn’t do it to get revenge. He just wanted to show off his gunmanship so that he’d be hired for money.

    In “For a Few Dollars More” bounty hunters are busy getting rid of the roaches, and one of them is in it for a personal vendetta. In the end, he doesn’t care about the money, and drives off, riding the death wagon loaded with the corpses of the bandits, as I remember.

    Yes, there is an element of backstory to Colonel Mortimer played by Lee Van Cleef. He’s not only in it for the money. He does have a personal vendetta against Indio. But that’s just lurid excuse for a pornographic murder flashback. We don’t really believe in her character. It’s just there to add some spice and heat between Mortimer and Indio in the final duel. We don’t believe in any character in FOR A FEW as we believe in the characters in Ford westerns. Leone’s characters are more like fashion models making a statement. Their move around like models doing catwalk. So, even the flashback is part of the style and fantasy. They don’t register as real characters or real story. It’s just a mood, like an hallucination.

    Even though Mortimer ultimately had a goal(of revenge), he is mostly a cynical player. He’s a bounty hunter who will hunt down anyone for a price. The movie begins with caption “Where life has no value, death has a price. That is why a bunch of fellers decided to become bounty killers and make some dough.” That is the premise of the movie. Any moral consideration is accidental or incidental, not essential.

    And look at Mortimer acts in the very first scene. He stops a train just to get off where he wants. He acts like he’s above the law because he’s so good with the gun.

    In “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“, Blondie not above scamming the Western Town Goodthink Rubes off bounty money. But in the end, he doesn’t predate, cleans up (he must be an instrument of God, really) and gets the gold. And he’s till fair enough to share it 50/50 with the guy who wanted to kill him, several times. The interaction of Tuco and Blondie with the completely pointless Civil War massacre is telling: None of them has skin in this stupid game. They blow up a bridge to progress on their quest, then camp out until all the benighted crazies have left to kill each other at some other place.

    Blondie is slightly more conscientious than The Bad and The Ugly, but not much better. He’s in it for the game. His intentions are purely mercenary and remains that way to the end.. which is different from THREE KINGS where the guys go from greed to good.
    Everyone lies and cheats everyone. They are like the character of SEVEN BEAUTIES who is always out for #1. But if Wertmuller has something to say about human tragedy, Leone’s ends on a whistle with the triumph of gold. Wertmuller finds WWII to be absurd but still devastating to humanity. In GBU, there is a sense of the awful toll of war… but the minute the guys can play the game of gold again, amnesia is immediate and total. So, Blondie offers his cigarillo to a dying soldier… but when he sees Tuco take off, he’s back in the game, and it’s like they war doesn’t even exist.

    And even though Blondie gave Tuco the gold, it was a cruel cat and mouse game. After all, there was 50/50 chance Tuco would not make it. Indeed, Blondie’s willingness to go 50/50 only reinforces his nihilism. His vanity is greater than his greed. He wants to prove to Tuco and to himself that he is indeed the best gunman in the West. So, he takes his gamble and shoots and cuts the noose. He feels validated. He is the Best, and that’s worth more than gold to a totally vain narcissist.

    Later we got Eastwood’s Pale Rider which amplifies the theme of “For a Few Dollars More”, only this time the roaches are no longer bandits but are the System: the oligarchy and the guys with badges who are their enforcers. May bullets find them.

    PALE RIDER is thematically closest to SHANE.
    Eastwood’s most nihilistic movie is HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER where a ghostly gunman comes back to haunt a town that didn’t lift a finger to save him. It’s moralism as nihilism. The ghost-man’s rage is so extreme that he feels no sympathy for anyone in town. Everyone must be punished like Sodom and Gomorrah must be destroyed.

    PALE RIDER is similar in having a gun-man who may be a ghost. But unlike the killer angel of HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER who takes pleasure in destroying the entire town, the Pale Rider is committed to doing good and helping the townsfolk.
    PALE RIDER isn’t nihilistic, and it was made when Eastwood was reassessing his role in action cinema. He worried that his films had fostered too much trigger-happy violence. PALE RIDER set the tone for UNFORGIVEN that came 6 or 7 yrs later.

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    • Replies: @El Dato
    Excellent writing!
    , @helena
    More, more, more please!

    These are my favourites. I would love to read your critique on any:

    Hell on Wheels
    Pat Garett and Billy the Kid
    The Missing
    Missouri Breaks
    Bullwhip
    The Tall Men

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  88. @Cortes
    Keller, Lawrence Block’s hitman, nailed the Western in “Keller on Horseback”:

    “The hotel that inspired Hickok-Holliday fantasies was the Martingale, located right in the center of things on the wide Main Street. Keller imagined himself walking in, slapping a credit card on the counter. Then the desk clerk - Henry Jones always played him in the movie - would say that they didn’t take plastic. “Or p-p-paper either,” he’d say, eyes darting, looking for a place to duck when the shooting started.
    And Keller would set a silver dollar spinning on the counter.”I’ll be here a few days,” he’d announce. “If I have any change coming, buy yourself a new pair of suspenders.”
    And Henry Jones would glance down at his suspenders, to see what was wrong with them.”

    Unmentioned classics of the genre:

    City Slickers.
    Brokeback Mountain
    Blazing Saddles
    Valdez is Coming
    Hombre

    In its favour, the Western did give rise to the immortal west of Scotland joke:

    Which song is used in 70% of John Wayne films?

    Unmentioned classics of the genre:
    City Slickers.
    Brokeback Mountain

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’ Rawhide!!!

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  89. El Dato says:
    @Priss Factor
    I don’ agree with that. They are about individualism, righteous revenge, staying alive in a chaotic world that doesn’t particularly care for you, and maybe getting away with a hoard of cash in the end if one is interested in such things.

    Sounds pretty cynical and nihilistic.

    In “A Fistful of Dollars” (basically a remake of Yojimbo) the hero decides to stay in town a bit and basically to take out the trash at great personal risk.

    It's true that the Man with No Name(though called Joe for some reason) is not entirely without moral compass. He does feel sympathy for the woman and the family and goes the extra mile to help them. But, FISTFUL's main appeal is style and attitude. This killer comes to town and looks to cash in on the conflict between the clans. That was his initial plan, and he's willing to gun down anyone to get the job done. Also, the killings are so stylized that it's fabulous. Classic Westerns are exciting too, but there is a sense that people got killed and death is never fun. But there are no such reservations in FISTFUL. When MWNN guns down his first victims, it's just far-out. Also, he didn't do it to get revenge. He just wanted to show off his gunmanship so that he'd be hired for money.

    In “For a Few Dollars More” bounty hunters are busy getting rid of the roaches, and one of them is in it for a personal vendetta. In the end, he doesn’t care about the money, and drives off, riding the death wagon loaded with the corpses of the bandits, as I remember.


    Yes, there is an element of backstory to Colonel Mortimer played by Lee Van Cleef. He's not only in it for the money. He does have a personal vendetta against Indio. But that's just lurid excuse for a pornographic murder flashback. We don't really believe in her character. It's just there to add some spice and heat between Mortimer and Indio in the final duel. We don't believe in any character in FOR A FEW as we believe in the characters in Ford westerns. Leone's characters are more like fashion models making a statement. Their move around like models doing catwalk. So, even the flashback is part of the style and fantasy. They don't register as real characters or real story. It's just a mood, like an hallucination.

    Even though Mortimer ultimately had a goal(of revenge), he is mostly a cynical player. He's a bounty hunter who will hunt down anyone for a price. The movie begins with caption "Where life has no value, death has a price. That is why a bunch of fellers decided to become bounty killers and make some dough." That is the premise of the movie. Any moral consideration is accidental or incidental, not essential.

    And look at Mortimer acts in the very first scene. He stops a train just to get off where he wants. He acts like he's above the law because he's so good with the gun.

    In “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“, Blondie not above scamming the Western Town Goodthink Rubes off bounty money. But in the end, he doesn’t predate, cleans up (he must be an instrument of God, really) and gets the gold. And he’s till fair enough to share it 50/50 with the guy who wanted to kill him, several times. The interaction of Tuco and Blondie with the completely pointless Civil War massacre is telling: None of them has skin in this stupid game. They blow up a bridge to progress on their quest, then camp out until all the benighted crazies have left to kill each other at some other place.

    Blondie is slightly more conscientious than The Bad and The Ugly, but not much better. He's in it for the game. His intentions are purely mercenary and remains that way to the end.. which is different from THREE KINGS where the guys go from greed to good.
    Everyone lies and cheats everyone. They are like the character of SEVEN BEAUTIES who is always out for #1. But if Wertmuller has something to say about human tragedy, Leone's ends on a whistle with the triumph of gold. Wertmuller finds WWII to be absurd but still devastating to humanity. In GBU, there is a sense of the awful toll of war... but the minute the guys can play the game of gold again, amnesia is immediate and total. So, Blondie offers his cigarillo to a dying soldier... but when he sees Tuco take off, he's back in the game, and it's like they war doesn't even exist.

    And even though Blondie gave Tuco the gold, it was a cruel cat and mouse game. After all, there was 50/50 chance Tuco would not make it. Indeed, Blondie's willingness to go 50/50 only reinforces his nihilism. His vanity is greater than his greed. He wants to prove to Tuco and to himself that he is indeed the best gunman in the West. So, he takes his gamble and shoots and cuts the noose. He feels validated. He is the Best, and that's worth more than gold to a totally vain narcissist.

    Later we got Eastwood’s Pale Rider which amplifies the theme of “For a Few Dollars More”, only this time the roaches are no longer bandits but are the System: the oligarchy and the guys with badges who are their enforcers. May bullets find them.

    PALE RIDER is thematically closest to SHANE.
    Eastwood's most nihilistic movie is HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER where a ghostly gunman comes back to haunt a town that didn't lift a finger to save him. It's moralism as nihilism. The ghost-man's rage is so extreme that he feels no sympathy for anyone in town. Everyone must be punished like Sodom and Gomorrah must be destroyed.

    PALE RIDER is similar in having a gun-man who may be a ghost. But unlike the killer angel of HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER who takes pleasure in destroying the entire town, the Pale Rider is committed to doing good and helping the townsfolk.
    PALE RIDER isn't nihilistic, and it was made when Eastwood was reassessing his role in action cinema. He worried that his films had fostered too much trigger-happy violence. PALE RIDER set the tone for UNFORGIVEN that came 6 or 7 yrs later.

    Excellent writing!

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  90. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @NAVY JACK
    Mr. Cathey, thank you for the excellent article. It certainly raised my spirits, which are characteristically low around the Christmas Season. While your article is very, very good, the comments are what have captured my fullest attention.

    It is amazing to me how one can follow a distinct cultural shift along generational lines in both the commenters' responses to your articles and their competing lists of "best" Westerns and in their response to the John Wayne Westerns, in particular. Those commenters whom I take to be my age (45) and older retain a love for the genre, a love for the characters, a hopefulness for America and a reverence for the manly virtues of sacrifice, honor, and duty. Those commenters whom I take to be considerably younger, age 35 and below, demonstrate a disdain for the Western as "myth," a jaded view of American history and a nihilistic self-reverence that seems to mark many Millennial boys.

    By "nihilistic self-reverence" I mean the absolute confidence that there is nothing noble, good and worthwhile in the world UNLESS it resides in oneself. Of course, no human being can fall for that kind of rot if he has actually lived, love and suffered. But of course, much of the Millennial Generation has never lived at their own risk, never loved anyone other than themselves and never suffered anything greater than a lack of Wi-Fi access. The Westerns of which you write so eloquently are inaccessible to them.

    I was blessed to have been raised around men who could have walked out of some of the Duke's Westerns. They were flawed men, but they had a personal code - - they worked with their hands - - they respected and enjoyed women - - and they knew that there were things worse than death. I knew men scarred by war, by the loss of children, by failure in life and by the daily drudgery of living on the lower rungs - - most of them could tell you what they believed in, what they would die for. They knew God was watching - - they knew they would be held to account.

    And that is the key. The true Western assumes an orderly Universe, assumes a Creator, assumes a Natural Law. The Moderns' revolt against this knowledge, their refusal to acknowledge the Eternal, renders them unable to understand the language of the classic Western....or the Western Classics. They hate the Duke - - but they hate Augustine and Aristotle even more.

    @ but they hate Augustine and Aristotle more.

    Bravo! And agree. May your Christmas be holy and lit with joy.

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  91. GLASS CASTLE is not a Western but has themes familiar to the genre. The anachronistic man with pioneer spirit in changing times. He is both hopefully behind-the-times and ahead-of-time.

    Father is a hillbilly hippie. A rugged individualist and reckless egotist. He imbibed all the beatnik counterculture sensibilities but is a macho man, a bully, a drunk. Hard to watch at times, and overly manipulative, sometimes preposterous. But well-acted and engaging.

    The father guy reminded me of the Billy the Kid character in Sam Peckinpah’s film. A man who represents freedom and refusal to compromise but so utterly lacking in responsibility and conscience. He has vision but no wisdom. And he has a cruel streak that masquerades as being tough or teaching his kids to be tough.

    The writer must have a big heart to be so empathetic and forgiving of this awful man.

    He is like a Western archetype. One of the themes of the West was to be tough, a real man. You see it in RED RIVER. But there was a dark side to this. Men oftentimes hid their own vulnerabilities and tried to prove their toughness by violence. And when they couldn’t beat the system, they bullied easy victims. Or they hit the bottle. Sam Peckinpah had this problem. Having been raised to be tough, he had problem dealing with the more sensitive side of himself and overcompensated with streaks of cruelty masquerading as manliness.

    Western archetype of the tough hero is positive, but it could also had an element of repression, a denial of the gentler aspects of self that one was too ashamed to express.
    The father guy in GLASS CASTLE is so confused because of a powerful duality.
    He’s so much a part of manhood culture, like in GREAT SANTINI. But he’s also into Bohemianism and tries to teach his children the poetic side of life. Sometimes one wonders if his ‘creative’ side is just a crutch against the grim reality that he’s never amounted to anything. Sadly, his kids have to navigate through these torrents.

    Not entirely successful but certainly worth watching.

    One refreshing thing about this movie is it doesn’t wallow in victim-ism. While the authoress could have made a compelling case of how she’s been victimized by her parents, her main theme is struggle and strength. It’s about overcoming and making peace with oneself. She’s no snowflake.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    The beauty of Unz. No matter the topic there is someone with a depth of knowledge in the commentariat. Thanks Priss.
    , @Presocratic
    Your film criticism is first-rate. Many original insights and a certain artistry of presentation.
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  92. joe webb says:
    @Priss Factor
    I saw 15 min of DEADWOOD and all I got was a bunch of cowboys saying 'fuc*' a million times.

    I think the Cowboy-Indian thing fell out of favor even before rise of neo-westerns and anti-westerns that gave the Indians their due.

    It was more interesting to have white vs white stories because the writers were more convincing in creating white characters. Indians tended to be exotic or stereotypical, and it got a bit boring watching white vs red. The conflict was brutish than moral. It was just clash of cultures.

    In contrast, white vs white could involve more moral shading and complications.

    Speaking of white vs Indian, JEREMIAH JOHNSON is quite an enjoyable movie.

    the injun /cowboy movies were probably just cliched. (And what was the ‘due’ of injuns? Jews got hold of them and made them saints. No torture, no slavery, no constant warfare amongst their own.)

    The film makers could have been done much better, what with several decades of Indian -White wars. This would have had to include realistic and historically accurate scenes of Injun mayhem, which was probably would have required a lot of work. Think Apocalypto by Gibson, decades later, etc, but rendering the noble savage correctly…as well as illustrating their choice….Christianity or the Jungle…they took the jungle way. What we got today is still the jungle

    Deadwood. Since you spent 15 minutes on 19 episodes, you mighty agree that that is a pretty skimpy sampling.

    You have to get past the cussing. When I first accidentally watched it….I was put off and searched for why the cussing. They said that the cussing of the time did not work for us, and so they used what would work.

    This is a superb piece of art, only marred by the pee-cee with regard to two black characters and one jewish character. You have to watch it all. The cliche of
    ‘character development’ …it has it. Children are spectacular, and can I say, many scenes are painterly? and are great.

    If you do not give it a fair chance, you are missing a great experience. It starts with the historicity of Deadwood as a lawless, stateless, gold rush town. It is a state of nature type story, with enough adults to keep the Lord of the Flies theme under control, with White misbehavior bootstrapping itself into relative civility. Also the sheer realism of pioneer experience is there.

    My grandfather was nearby in Spokane at the same time…. its
    first public health officer. The doc in the movie …yes I identify with him. My grandfather got honorable mention in a local history of Spokane.

    You may get in touch with your inner pioneer by watching this movie. Also, if in the Pacific Northwest, get to the museums along the Oregon Trail….see the stations of Little Big Horn (?) where various injun battles were fought. See the dioramas of prairie schooners and White folks with true grit. Only white English settlers brought along their women…compared to the Spanish and Portuguese, etc. yes, different centuries but worth a thought.

    Also worth a thought …that if the Chinese got here first, there would be no Indians left. Btw, the Chinese get, I assume, historically accurate treatment in the movie. Yellow Peril indeed.

    Joe

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    More savagery in the future

    https://twitter.com/BaizanteenSnek/status/944297563032899584
    , @helena
    "My grandfather was nearby in Spokane at the same time…. its
    first public health officer."

    Wow!

    I loved it. "This is a superb piece of art" Agree

    "historicity of Deadwood as a lawless, stateless, gold rush town." - a lot of westerns tell the story of some stage of Development - the gun-action around that is really secondary except in B movies where the story is about the gun-action. Put in the right sequence westerns are a manual on how to build a civilisation from a wilderness - albeit with civilisation-building tools to begin with. Manual Destiny.

    "Also the sheer realism of pioneer experience is there." lots of mud!

    I couldn't understand the dialogue, it was like listening to a foreign language but I figured out most of what was going on and the characters and costumes and set were mesmerising.
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  93. @joe webb
    the injun /cowboy movies were probably just cliched. (And what was the 'due' of injuns? Jews got hold of them and made them saints. No torture, no slavery, no constant warfare amongst their own.)

    The film makers could have been done much better, what with several decades of Indian -White wars. This would have had to include realistic and historically accurate scenes of Injun mayhem, which was probably would have required a lot of work. Think Apocalypto by Gibson, decades later, etc, but rendering the noble savage correctly...as well as illustrating their choice....Christianity or the Jungle...they took the jungle way. What we got today is still the jungle

    Deadwood. Since you spent 15 minutes on 19 episodes, you mighty agree that that is a pretty skimpy sampling.

    You have to get past the cussing. When I first accidentally watched it....I was put off and searched for why the cussing. They said that the cussing of the time did not work for us, and so they used what would work.

    This is a superb piece of art, only marred by the pee-cee with regard to two black characters and one jewish character. You have to watch it all. The cliche of
    'character development' ...it has it. Children are spectacular, and can I say, many scenes are painterly? and are great.

    If you do not give it a fair chance, you are missing a great experience. It starts with the historicity of Deadwood as a lawless, stateless, gold rush town. It is a state of nature type story, with enough adults to keep the Lord of the Flies theme under control, with White misbehavior bootstrapping itself into relative civility. Also the sheer realism of pioneer experience is there.

    My grandfather was nearby in Spokane at the same time.... its
    first public health officer. The doc in the movie ...yes I identify with him. My grandfather got honorable mention in a local history of Spokane.

    You may get in touch with your inner pioneer by watching this movie. Also, if in the Pacific Northwest, get to the museums along the Oregon Trail....see the stations of Little Big Horn (?) where various injun battles were fought. See the dioramas of prairie schooners and White folks with true grit. Only white English settlers brought along their women...compared to the Spanish and Portuguese, etc. yes, different centuries but worth a thought.

    Also worth a thought ...that if the Chinese got here first, there would be no Indians left. Btw, the Chinese get, I assume, historically accurate treatment in the movie. Yellow Peril indeed.

    Joe

    More savagery in the future

    Read More
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  94. Bill Jones says: • Website
    @Priss Factor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdNiNhSeSDk

    GLASS CASTLE is not a Western but has themes familiar to the genre. The anachronistic man with pioneer spirit in changing times. He is both hopefully behind-the-times and ahead-of-time.

    Father is a hillbilly hippie. A rugged individualist and reckless egotist. He imbibed all the beatnik counterculture sensibilities but is a macho man, a bully, a drunk. Hard to watch at times, and overly manipulative, sometimes preposterous. But well-acted and engaging.

    The father guy reminded me of the Billy the Kid character in Sam Peckinpah's film. A man who represents freedom and refusal to compromise but so utterly lacking in responsibility and conscience. He has vision but no wisdom. And he has a cruel streak that masquerades as being tough or teaching his kids to be tough.

    The writer must have a big heart to be so empathetic and forgiving of this awful man.

    He is like a Western archetype. One of the themes of the West was to be tough, a real man. You see it in RED RIVER. But there was a dark side to this. Men oftentimes hid their own vulnerabilities and tried to prove their toughness by violence. And when they couldn't beat the system, they bullied easy victims. Or they hit the bottle. Sam Peckinpah had this problem. Having been raised to be tough, he had problem dealing with the more sensitive side of himself and overcompensated with streaks of cruelty masquerading as manliness.

    Western archetype of the tough hero is positive, but it could also had an element of repression, a denial of the gentler aspects of self that one was too ashamed to express.
    The father guy in GLASS CASTLE is so confused because of a powerful duality.
    He's so much a part of manhood culture, like in GREAT SANTINI. But he's also into Bohemianism and tries to teach his children the poetic side of life. Sometimes one wonders if his 'creative' side is just a crutch against the grim reality that he's never amounted to anything. Sadly, his kids have to navigate through these torrents.

    Not entirely successful but certainly worth watching.

    One refreshing thing about this movie is it doesn't wallow in victim-ism. While the authoress could have made a compelling case of how she's been victimized by her parents, her main theme is struggle and strength. It's about overcoming and making peace with oneself. She's no snowflake.

    The beauty of Unz. No matter the topic there is someone with a depth of knowledge in the commentariat. Thanks Priss.

    Read More
    • Agree: Dan Hayes, Alden
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  95. George Lucas was one of the Movie Brats who were greatly influenced by Westerns, esp John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS.

    Of course, his big success was STAR WARS, and it is in the news again. The latest installment LAST JEDI has been blasted in many quarters. Not just the Alt Right but from the fanbase.

    Mark Hamill himself wasn’t happy about what was made of Luke Skywalker. I haven’t seen it and don’t want to, but maybe the latest installment is really about George Lucas’ betrayal of his own destiny.

    Not for nothing was the hero named Luke Skywalker. Luke was the alter ego of Lucas.

    Like Luke, George Lucas was divided between his destiny as an artist and the temptation of business and money. He began as an experimental film-maker, and Coppola regarded him as his protege. His first feature film was THX 1138, one of the boldest sci-fi films ever. And he continued in the personal vein with AMERICAN GRAFFITI. And even the first STAR WARS was quite an imaginative leap and derring-do as film spectacle. With the success of STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES, Lucas had the money to make more personal films. In the 70s, that was supposed to be his Destiny. After all, the original plan was for Lucas to direct APOCALYPSE NOW with John Milius.

    Lucas was supposed to succeed in business ONLY TO make enough money to serve his true calling as a great American auteur of personal film-making. He would be the new Welles-Kurosawa-Ford-Kubrick. He would go even further than Coppola, his Obi-Wan.

    One day, with enough money, he would do what he was meant to do and become a great auteur.
    But in the end, he just went for the Empire of Greed. He just stuck to STAR WARS franchise and made them more infantile to rake in the bucks. He squandered art for bucks.
    But after the 6 films, did he not have enough money to FINALLY fulfill his destiny as a great personal film-maker? So, what did he do? He sold STAR WARS to Disney for billions and gave up on his Destiny for good. He financed junk like RED TAILS.

    So, maybe the broken-down Luke in LAST JEDI is supposed to be a commentary on George Lucas. Lucas’ myth of being this personal artist who took on Hollywood and did his own thing proved to be false. He just became another greedy mogul who marketed formula, and when he got through with it, he just sold it to Disney. He gave up his baby just like Luke Skywalker tosses away his light saber and burns the sacred texts. When Lucas gave up his vision(however already compromised) to Disney, he might as well have burned the myth. And when Yoda tells him to go ahead and burn the text, it’s as if even Yoda lost faith in the myth. Why not burn it when Lucas sold his life work to Disney for more money that he could possibly spend?

    So, Lucas’ selling his vision to Disney was like Luke in LAST JEDI burning the Jedi Canon and destroying the remnants of the Jedi order. He is conceding that it’s all futile in the end.
    Ultimately, the empire will always win. And this ‘empire’ is a metaphor for universal lust for power. The ‘empire’ is not some great Other Evil. It is lust for power itself regardless of which side wins.
    So, even though the Rebels won in RETURN OF THE JEDI, the victory only led to new power that birthed a new empire. So, even if the Resistance wins, it will lead to yet another empire. It’s like US won WWII and defeated Nazi empire and Japanese empire. And then US defeated the Soviet Empire. But the US became another empire with insatiable power lust. And the boomers who opposed Nixon and war just grew up to take power and run the empire themselves. So, even if the empire is defeated, the winners just create a new empire. And Jews who were victimized by WWII became the ‘new nazis’ of globalism fomenting wars and crushing Palestinians.

    Lucas was once one of the young turks of Hollywood. They were the rebels and upstarts. They challenged the Studio and the old way of doing things. But as they gained success and power, they became the New Empire, indeed bigger than any empire before. And if they’d started with idealism, they eventually grew tired of the dream and came to believe in money and power and judged everything by box office success and marketshare.

    So, the fact that Luke Skywalker is exposed to be a has-been phony who has lost faith in the Jedi mythology reflects what happened to George Lucas. Lucas became a tired cynical old man who just lived for money and power. His talk of personal film-making became just self-serving nonsense. He became the empire, a tired one at that. He betrayed all the Jedi principles of 70s cinema. He gave up on auteurism and became a mogul. He went over to the dark side while pretending to be on the side of light.

    George Lucas grew stale, cynical, and bored.
    And Luke Skywalker in the latest movie, as if to channel the corrupted and faded Lucas, is presented as a tired soul who no longer believes in anything. Also, he’s realized one thing. No matter who wins, good guys or bad guys, the empire will always win since the new boss will become like the old boss in time. Power has its own logic. Eventually, it purges naive and utopian ideals and became a naked game of power. The new empire is just an outgrowth of the Rebellion that became Republic that became Empire.

    And the fact that Luke beams himself as a hologram? It goes to show that Lucas has become a phony myth. The real Lucas is a greedy cynical old man who believes in nothing. The Lucas myth is a hologram beamed to the world. Lucas has become a hyped myth.
    Being a faded and corrupt soul as an artist, the only thing he has left is his legend that is propped up by electronic media. And since he has betrayed his true destiny to become a real artist, even his legend is fake. The fact is he even failed to fully realize STAR WARS as a visionary work, and worse, he even sold his baby to Disney to make billions when he already had many millions. He gave up and just turned into vehicle for merchandising and special effects.

    So, it’s fitting that the Luke in the latest movie is as tired and cynical as Jabba the Hutt.

    This is actually a fitting commentary on what has become of boomers, counter-culture, Lucas, and the dream of New American Cinema of the 70s that was supposed to be about the rise of the auteurs. But the auteurs just became the tired and cynical moguls of a new empire more soulless than previous ones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    The old STAR WARS just became greed. Those who bitch about how Disney ruined are missing the point. Lucas gave up on the vision and just pursued it as a business. I think a part of Lucas always felt a certain shame since he betrayed his destiny in following the footsteps of Ford, Kurosawa, and Coppola. So, after awhile, he didn't even try to hide the fact that STAR WARS became just more excuse to make more money and keep Lucas relevant in the business since he gave up on his other personal projects, whatever they may have been.

    So, even prior to the sales to Disney, STAR WARS was just franchising. Disney paid big bucks for one reason only. MORE MONEY. It was purely cynical. But lest it be accused of shameless and naked Greed, Disney globo-corporate capitalists wrapped it with 'progressive' tropes of Girl Power, Diversity, Jungle Fever, Purple-Haired Lesbian Narcissism, and etc. But this supposed Space Socialism cost $200 million for one reason and one reason only. To rake in billions of bucks from around the world. For noble souls to watch this 'progressive' work of 'resistance', they have to fork out $20, big bucks for kids without jobs these days. Some socialism. To see Space Socialism, get in line folks, and hand over your hard-earned cash to see Social Justice long long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

    Just like Wall Street wraps itself in 'progressive' homo colors to evade scrutiny, Disney squeezes STAR WARS as cash cow for milky way galaxy of dough, and it easily suckers all these 'progressive' critics by pretending to spread a message of Hope against Literally Hitler Trump. Corporate Disney, a force of 'progress'. LOL. What a clown world we live in.

    Also, the media are owned by Jews, and they are kinder to STAR WARS now since The Tribe at Disney now own it. It now belongs to the Jawas.

    Jews in the media were hostile to Old STAR WARS because it was owned by gentile Lucas. But now that it is firmly in Jewish hands, Jewish media and critics praise it to the sky.

    No wonder cynicism keeps spreading.
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  96. @Priss Factor
    George Lucas was one of the Movie Brats who were greatly influenced by Westerns, esp John Ford's THE SEARCHERS.

    Of course, his big success was STAR WARS, and it is in the news again. The latest installment LAST JEDI has been blasted in many quarters. Not just the Alt Right but from the fanbase.

    Mark Hamill himself wasn't happy about what was made of Luke Skywalker. I haven't seen it and don't want to, but maybe the latest installment is really about George Lucas' betrayal of his own destiny.

    Not for nothing was the hero named Luke Skywalker. Luke was the alter ego of Lucas.

    Like Luke, George Lucas was divided between his destiny as an artist and the temptation of business and money. He began as an experimental film-maker, and Coppola regarded him as his protege. His first feature film was THX 1138, one of the boldest sci-fi films ever. And he continued in the personal vein with AMERICAN GRAFFITI. And even the first STAR WARS was quite an imaginative leap and derring-do as film spectacle. With the success of STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES, Lucas had the money to make more personal films. In the 70s, that was supposed to be his Destiny. After all, the original plan was for Lucas to direct APOCALYPSE NOW with John Milius.

    Lucas was supposed to succeed in business ONLY TO make enough money to serve his true calling as a great American auteur of personal film-making. He would be the new Welles-Kurosawa-Ford-Kubrick. He would go even further than Coppola, his Obi-Wan.

    One day, with enough money, he would do what he was meant to do and become a great auteur.
    But in the end, he just went for the Empire of Greed. He just stuck to STAR WARS franchise and made them more infantile to rake in the bucks. He squandered art for bucks.
    But after the 6 films, did he not have enough money to FINALLY fulfill his destiny as a great personal film-maker? So, what did he do? He sold STAR WARS to Disney for billions and gave up on his Destiny for good. He financed junk like RED TAILS.

    So, maybe the broken-down Luke in LAST JEDI is supposed to be a commentary on George Lucas. Lucas' myth of being this personal artist who took on Hollywood and did his own thing proved to be false. He just became another greedy mogul who marketed formula, and when he got through with it, he just sold it to Disney. He gave up his baby just like Luke Skywalker tosses away his light saber and burns the sacred texts. When Lucas gave up his vision(however already compromised) to Disney, he might as well have burned the myth. And when Yoda tells him to go ahead and burn the text, it's as if even Yoda lost faith in the myth. Why not burn it when Lucas sold his life work to Disney for more money that he could possibly spend?

    So, Lucas' selling his vision to Disney was like Luke in LAST JEDI burning the Jedi Canon and destroying the remnants of the Jedi order. He is conceding that it's all futile in the end.
    Ultimately, the empire will always win. And this 'empire' is a metaphor for universal lust for power. The 'empire' is not some great Other Evil. It is lust for power itself regardless of which side wins.
    So, even though the Rebels won in RETURN OF THE JEDI, the victory only led to new power that birthed a new empire. So, even if the Resistance wins, it will lead to yet another empire. It's like US won WWII and defeated Nazi empire and Japanese empire. And then US defeated the Soviet Empire. But the US became another empire with insatiable power lust. And the boomers who opposed Nixon and war just grew up to take power and run the empire themselves. So, even if the empire is defeated, the winners just create a new empire. And Jews who were victimized by WWII became the 'new nazis' of globalism fomenting wars and crushing Palestinians.

    Lucas was once one of the young turks of Hollywood. They were the rebels and upstarts. They challenged the Studio and the old way of doing things. But as they gained success and power, they became the New Empire, indeed bigger than any empire before. And if they'd started with idealism, they eventually grew tired of the dream and came to believe in money and power and judged everything by box office success and marketshare.

    So, the fact that Luke Skywalker is exposed to be a has-been phony who has lost faith in the Jedi mythology reflects what happened to George Lucas. Lucas became a tired cynical old man who just lived for money and power. His talk of personal film-making became just self-serving nonsense. He became the empire, a tired one at that. He betrayed all the Jedi principles of 70s cinema. He gave up on auteurism and became a mogul. He went over to the dark side while pretending to be on the side of light.

    George Lucas grew stale, cynical, and bored.
    And Luke Skywalker in the latest movie, as if to channel the corrupted and faded Lucas, is presented as a tired soul who no longer believes in anything. Also, he's realized one thing. No matter who wins, good guys or bad guys, the empire will always win since the new boss will become like the old boss in time. Power has its own logic. Eventually, it purges naive and utopian ideals and became a naked game of power. The new empire is just an outgrowth of the Rebellion that became Republic that became Empire.

    And the fact that Luke beams himself as a hologram? It goes to show that Lucas has become a phony myth. The real Lucas is a greedy cynical old man who believes in nothing. The Lucas myth is a hologram beamed to the world. Lucas has become a hyped myth.
    Being a faded and corrupt soul as an artist, the only thing he has left is his legend that is propped up by electronic media. And since he has betrayed his true destiny to become a real artist, even his legend is fake. The fact is he even failed to fully realize STAR WARS as a visionary work, and worse, he even sold his baby to Disney to make billions when he already had many millions. He gave up and just turned into vehicle for merchandising and special effects.

    So, it's fitting that the Luke in the latest movie is as tired and cynical as Jabba the Hutt.

    This is actually a fitting commentary on what has become of boomers, counter-culture, Lucas, and the dream of New American Cinema of the 70s that was supposed to be about the rise of the auteurs. But the auteurs just became the tired and cynical moguls of a new empire more soulless than previous ones.

    The old STAR WARS just became greed. Those who bitch about how Disney ruined are missing the point. Lucas gave up on the vision and just pursued it as a business. I think a part of Lucas always felt a certain shame since he betrayed his destiny in following the footsteps of Ford, Kurosawa, and Coppola. So, after awhile, he didn’t even try to hide the fact that STAR WARS became just more excuse to make more money and keep Lucas relevant in the business since he gave up on his other personal projects, whatever they may have been.

    So, even prior to the sales to Disney, STAR WARS was just franchising. Disney paid big bucks for one reason only. MORE MONEY. It was purely cynical. But lest it be accused of shameless and naked Greed, Disney globo-corporate capitalists wrapped it with ‘progressive’ tropes of Girl Power, Diversity, Jungle Fever, Purple-Haired Lesbian Narcissism, and etc. But this supposed Space Socialism cost $200 million for one reason and one reason only. To rake in billions of bucks from around the world. For noble souls to watch this ‘progressive’ work of ‘resistance’, they have to fork out $20, big bucks for kids without jobs these days. Some socialism. To see Space Socialism, get in line folks, and hand over your hard-earned cash to see Social Justice long long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

    Just like Wall Street wraps itself in ‘progressive’ homo colors to evade scrutiny, Disney squeezes STAR WARS as cash cow for milky way galaxy of dough, and it easily suckers all these ‘progressive’ critics by pretending to spread a message of Hope against Literally Hitler Trump. Corporate Disney, a force of ‘progress’. LOL. What a clown world we live in.

    Also, the media are owned by Jews, and they are kinder to STAR WARS now since The Tribe at Disney now own it. It now belongs to the Jawas.

    Jews in the media were hostile to Old STAR WARS because it was owned by gentile Lucas. But now that it is firmly in Jewish hands, Jewish media and critics praise it to the sky.

    No wonder cynicism keeps spreading.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Blame George Lucas. He created his own vision, and good or bad, it was his. He had control over it and was associated with it. Lucas = Luke. It was like a fantasy autobiography, about being torn between fulfilling his destiny as a true artist and the temptation to just go for the money.

    In a way, Lucas betrayed himself and just went for the money. But in some ways, he remained true to himself because he maintained absolute control over his biggest success, STAR WARS, a personal vision and possession. And his Industrial Light and Magic did revolutionize cinema that is the most technological of the arts.
    So, even though failed to become a Kubrick or Kurosawa(not even a Coppola), he made his own movies in his way, and he had personal control over his empire. He remained independent of Hollywood even as he worked in the mainstream.

    But he totally betrayed himself by selling STAR WARS to Disney, an unscrupulous whore factory. He was as foolish and deluded as the Lord in Kuroswa's RAN who believes his domain and his prestige will remain intact even after he relinquishes power to his sons. He soon realizes that his sons, the first and second, are sharks who will even betray their father to further their own naked ambitions.

    Lucas was surely assured by Disney that his original vision will not be tarnished or compromised: The new sequels would carry on with the original concept of the Force.
    But once Disney got a hold of the material, it was totally turned upside down. Disney trampled all over the original vision and made it into a total freakshow closer in look to STAR TREK.
    Lucas gained the world but lost his soul. It's all the more ludicrous because he already had more money than he could possibly spend. If he were strapped for cash, it'd be more understandable. He just got so addicted to more and more money. He became not so Darth as Jabba.

    He's a rich man in business but a poor man in art. He has no integrity left. He has no respect from any quarter. He's a total joke, like the lord in RAN after ceding authority.
    The old man Luke in the new movie seems as lost and disoriented as the fallen Lord in RAN.

    It is so fitting that Luke makes himself into a hologram in LAST JEDI because that's what Lucas is in the New STAR WARS. With the original hexalogy, Lucas's spirit was all over them. He made them with his own mind, heart, and hands. His body and soul were directly connected to those works.

    But, Lucas's presence in the new series is totally an illusion. He sold the rights, and Disney can do whatever it wants to. And Lucas' presence is merely 'virtual'.
    Just like Disney is no longer what it used to be --- a gentile operation in an industry dominated by Jewish moguls --- and is instead only a brand controlled by people who have no respect for its founder, the STAR WARS franchise is now associated with Lucas in name only. Lucas is used a hologram in the new series, like the fake CGI Leia in the end of ending of ROGUE ONE.
    Just like Clu takes over from the real Flynn in TRON LEGACY, hologram faux-Lucas has replaced the real Lucas in the new STAR WARS. Without ownership of the franchise, Lucas' power over the material is purely illusory. It's like the fallen lord in RAN suddenly finds himself weaker than the jester. And in LAST JEDI, the old Luke is pushed around by some silly girl.
    It's either the director rubbing it in or lamenting that Lucas betrayed his vision by ceding the rights to Disney. In that sense, the new movie could be as subversive as Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi epics. Straight on the outside but mocking on the inside. The director is telling Lucas, 'You dummy, how could you have done this to yourself?"

    Lucas had the Force as long as he held onto the rights of the original. But once he sold the rights and gave up authority, his Force was gone. It was now owned by others, and his role in the New STAR WARS was purely titular and ceremonial. It's the Farce.

    Worse, the new series proved to be regicidal because Disney did to Lucas' vision what the Bolsheviks did to the Tsar and his family.

    Lucas helped Kurosawa realize the project of KAGEMUSHA where the original lord is replaced by a shadow. Lucas made himself into a shadow in the New STAR WARS.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDG4opXDVVc
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  97. helena says:
    @joe webb
    the injun /cowboy movies were probably just cliched. (And what was the 'due' of injuns? Jews got hold of them and made them saints. No torture, no slavery, no constant warfare amongst their own.)

    The film makers could have been done much better, what with several decades of Indian -White wars. This would have had to include realistic and historically accurate scenes of Injun mayhem, which was probably would have required a lot of work. Think Apocalypto by Gibson, decades later, etc, but rendering the noble savage correctly...as well as illustrating their choice....Christianity or the Jungle...they took the jungle way. What we got today is still the jungle

    Deadwood. Since you spent 15 minutes on 19 episodes, you mighty agree that that is a pretty skimpy sampling.

    You have to get past the cussing. When I first accidentally watched it....I was put off and searched for why the cussing. They said that the cussing of the time did not work for us, and so they used what would work.

    This is a superb piece of art, only marred by the pee-cee with regard to two black characters and one jewish character. You have to watch it all. The cliche of
    'character development' ...it has it. Children are spectacular, and can I say, many scenes are painterly? and are great.

    If you do not give it a fair chance, you are missing a great experience. It starts with the historicity of Deadwood as a lawless, stateless, gold rush town. It is a state of nature type story, with enough adults to keep the Lord of the Flies theme under control, with White misbehavior bootstrapping itself into relative civility. Also the sheer realism of pioneer experience is there.

    My grandfather was nearby in Spokane at the same time.... its
    first public health officer. The doc in the movie ...yes I identify with him. My grandfather got honorable mention in a local history of Spokane.

    You may get in touch with your inner pioneer by watching this movie. Also, if in the Pacific Northwest, get to the museums along the Oregon Trail....see the stations of Little Big Horn (?) where various injun battles were fought. See the dioramas of prairie schooners and White folks with true grit. Only white English settlers brought along their women...compared to the Spanish and Portuguese, etc. yes, different centuries but worth a thought.

    Also worth a thought ...that if the Chinese got here first, there would be no Indians left. Btw, the Chinese get, I assume, historically accurate treatment in the movie. Yellow Peril indeed.

    Joe

    “My grandfather was nearby in Spokane at the same time…. its
    first public health officer.”

    Wow!

    I loved it. “This is a superb piece of art” Agree

    “historicity of Deadwood as a lawless, stateless, gold rush town.” – a lot of westerns tell the story of some stage of Development – the gun-action around that is really secondary except in B movies where the story is about the gun-action. Put in the right sequence westerns are a manual on how to build a civilisation from a wilderness – albeit with civilisation-building tools to begin with. Manual Destiny.

    “Also the sheer realism of pioneer experience is there.” lots of mud!

    I couldn’t understand the dialogue, it was like listening to a foreign language but I figured out most of what was going on and the characters and costumes and set were mesmerising.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    congrats. my CD set I got at the local used record store. As someone who has almost no DVDs, I learned how to get subtitles up for the dialogue. I still use them when watching it.

    Call me crazy, but I have viewed this series probably 15 times over the last 2 or 3 years. I never, when I went to movies...long gone....saw a movie twice.

    Even the Sopranos...which is at least a B I am not much interested in seeing again. Deadwood is AAAA plus, minus the jew pee-cee on the black and jewish characters.

    HBO dropped the series after 3 seasons. Milch was devastated. Probably Deadwood was dropped because it was too complicated for the "hoopleheads" out there in TV land.

    It is sort of Dickensian, what with so many characters from different classes, etc. And the pace is slow but intense....if that is possible.

    So Helena, you are one of the elect...congrats. Joe Webb
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  98. helena says:
    @Priss Factor
    I don’ agree with that. They are about individualism, righteous revenge, staying alive in a chaotic world that doesn’t particularly care for you, and maybe getting away with a hoard of cash in the end if one is interested in such things.

    Sounds pretty cynical and nihilistic.

    In “A Fistful of Dollars” (basically a remake of Yojimbo) the hero decides to stay in town a bit and basically to take out the trash at great personal risk.

    It's true that the Man with No Name(though called Joe for some reason) is not entirely without moral compass. He does feel sympathy for the woman and the family and goes the extra mile to help them. But, FISTFUL's main appeal is style and attitude. This killer comes to town and looks to cash in on the conflict between the clans. That was his initial plan, and he's willing to gun down anyone to get the job done. Also, the killings are so stylized that it's fabulous. Classic Westerns are exciting too, but there is a sense that people got killed and death is never fun. But there are no such reservations in FISTFUL. When MWNN guns down his first victims, it's just far-out. Also, he didn't do it to get revenge. He just wanted to show off his gunmanship so that he'd be hired for money.

    In “For a Few Dollars More” bounty hunters are busy getting rid of the roaches, and one of them is in it for a personal vendetta. In the end, he doesn’t care about the money, and drives off, riding the death wagon loaded with the corpses of the bandits, as I remember.


    Yes, there is an element of backstory to Colonel Mortimer played by Lee Van Cleef. He's not only in it for the money. He does have a personal vendetta against Indio. But that's just lurid excuse for a pornographic murder flashback. We don't really believe in her character. It's just there to add some spice and heat between Mortimer and Indio in the final duel. We don't believe in any character in FOR A FEW as we believe in the characters in Ford westerns. Leone's characters are more like fashion models making a statement. Their move around like models doing catwalk. So, even the flashback is part of the style and fantasy. They don't register as real characters or real story. It's just a mood, like an hallucination.

    Even though Mortimer ultimately had a goal(of revenge), he is mostly a cynical player. He's a bounty hunter who will hunt down anyone for a price. The movie begins with caption "Where life has no value, death has a price. That is why a bunch of fellers decided to become bounty killers and make some dough." That is the premise of the movie. Any moral consideration is accidental or incidental, not essential.

    And look at Mortimer acts in the very first scene. He stops a train just to get off where he wants. He acts like he's above the law because he's so good with the gun.

    In “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“, Blondie not above scamming the Western Town Goodthink Rubes off bounty money. But in the end, he doesn’t predate, cleans up (he must be an instrument of God, really) and gets the gold. And he’s till fair enough to share it 50/50 with the guy who wanted to kill him, several times. The interaction of Tuco and Blondie with the completely pointless Civil War massacre is telling: None of them has skin in this stupid game. They blow up a bridge to progress on their quest, then camp out until all the benighted crazies have left to kill each other at some other place.

    Blondie is slightly more conscientious than The Bad and The Ugly, but not much better. He's in it for the game. His intentions are purely mercenary and remains that way to the end.. which is different from THREE KINGS where the guys go from greed to good.
    Everyone lies and cheats everyone. They are like the character of SEVEN BEAUTIES who is always out for #1. But if Wertmuller has something to say about human tragedy, Leone's ends on a whistle with the triumph of gold. Wertmuller finds WWII to be absurd but still devastating to humanity. In GBU, there is a sense of the awful toll of war... but the minute the guys can play the game of gold again, amnesia is immediate and total. So, Blondie offers his cigarillo to a dying soldier... but when he sees Tuco take off, he's back in the game, and it's like they war doesn't even exist.

    And even though Blondie gave Tuco the gold, it was a cruel cat and mouse game. After all, there was 50/50 chance Tuco would not make it. Indeed, Blondie's willingness to go 50/50 only reinforces his nihilism. His vanity is greater than his greed. He wants to prove to Tuco and to himself that he is indeed the best gunman in the West. So, he takes his gamble and shoots and cuts the noose. He feels validated. He is the Best, and that's worth more than gold to a totally vain narcissist.

    Later we got Eastwood’s Pale Rider which amplifies the theme of “For a Few Dollars More”, only this time the roaches are no longer bandits but are the System: the oligarchy and the guys with badges who are their enforcers. May bullets find them.

    PALE RIDER is thematically closest to SHANE.
    Eastwood's most nihilistic movie is HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER where a ghostly gunman comes back to haunt a town that didn't lift a finger to save him. It's moralism as nihilism. The ghost-man's rage is so extreme that he feels no sympathy for anyone in town. Everyone must be punished like Sodom and Gomorrah must be destroyed.

    PALE RIDER is similar in having a gun-man who may be a ghost. But unlike the killer angel of HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER who takes pleasure in destroying the entire town, the Pale Rider is committed to doing good and helping the townsfolk.
    PALE RIDER isn't nihilistic, and it was made when Eastwood was reassessing his role in action cinema. He worried that his films had fostered too much trigger-happy violence. PALE RIDER set the tone for UNFORGIVEN that came 6 or 7 yrs later.

    More, more, more please!

    These are my favourites. I would love to read your critique on any:

    Hell on Wheels
    Pat Garett and Billy the Kid
    The Missing
    Missouri Breaks
    Bullwhip
    The Tall Men

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    MISSOURI BREAKS is more discomfiting than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

    Brando's grand inquisitor is one of the most perverse creations.
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  99. Da Wei says:
    @Priss Factor
    I like the ass kicker friend Shane is to father and son.

    The problem of course is that Shane is liked by both but also comes in between them even though he doesn't intend to.

    The kid loves his father out of familial bond and affection. But the kid is drawn to Shane because he's so handsome, dashing, and good with the gun. Shane tries to underplay this. He tries to go civilian and just be one of the farmers.
    But the son wants the 'cool' side of Shane, the gunslinger who outdraws people. And the villains keep pushing until Shane has no choice but to become his old self.
    So, when Shane is fighting with the father, the son is torn. And he is angry with Shane not so much because he won the fight but because he won dirty. He hit the father in the head with the gun.

    Shane is like an anti-ideal ideal. He is the ideal Man of Action. Handsome, fast with gun, cool under pressure. He has much in common with the Jack Palance character. But if Palance's character is a nihilist-narcissist who doesn't care for anything but his ego and pride, Shane has or gained a sense of humanity. He understands why the kid is drawn to him and realizes he must ride out of the place.

    Interesting. Thanks.

    Now, you’ve gone and outdrawed me an shot straight to boot. An you’ve done yer
    homework on this movie. I done met my match. Good thing it’s only a flesh wound.

    Truth is, I saw Shane in the theater in my home town when it first came out and not since.
    The book is fresher in my mind. I loved the movie, though, and wanted to be just like Shane,
    but maybe it was just the Milk Duds talkin’. Must be, cause I plumb forgot about the gun butt
    to the head.

    Your analysis is on point, fer sure. Only, “anti-ideal ideal”? Is that like an anti-hero?
    And “nihilist-narcissist”? Is that like a dad burned low down sidewinder? Or is that just
    Gabby Hayes talkin’?

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  100. @Priss Factor
    The old STAR WARS just became greed. Those who bitch about how Disney ruined are missing the point. Lucas gave up on the vision and just pursued it as a business. I think a part of Lucas always felt a certain shame since he betrayed his destiny in following the footsteps of Ford, Kurosawa, and Coppola. So, after awhile, he didn't even try to hide the fact that STAR WARS became just more excuse to make more money and keep Lucas relevant in the business since he gave up on his other personal projects, whatever they may have been.

    So, even prior to the sales to Disney, STAR WARS was just franchising. Disney paid big bucks for one reason only. MORE MONEY. It was purely cynical. But lest it be accused of shameless and naked Greed, Disney globo-corporate capitalists wrapped it with 'progressive' tropes of Girl Power, Diversity, Jungle Fever, Purple-Haired Lesbian Narcissism, and etc. But this supposed Space Socialism cost $200 million for one reason and one reason only. To rake in billions of bucks from around the world. For noble souls to watch this 'progressive' work of 'resistance', they have to fork out $20, big bucks for kids without jobs these days. Some socialism. To see Space Socialism, get in line folks, and hand over your hard-earned cash to see Social Justice long long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

    Just like Wall Street wraps itself in 'progressive' homo colors to evade scrutiny, Disney squeezes STAR WARS as cash cow for milky way galaxy of dough, and it easily suckers all these 'progressive' critics by pretending to spread a message of Hope against Literally Hitler Trump. Corporate Disney, a force of 'progress'. LOL. What a clown world we live in.

    Also, the media are owned by Jews, and they are kinder to STAR WARS now since The Tribe at Disney now own it. It now belongs to the Jawas.

    Jews in the media were hostile to Old STAR WARS because it was owned by gentile Lucas. But now that it is firmly in Jewish hands, Jewish media and critics praise it to the sky.

    No wonder cynicism keeps spreading.

    Blame George Lucas. He created his own vision, and good or bad, it was his. He had control over it and was associated with it. Lucas = Luke. It was like a fantasy autobiography, about being torn between fulfilling his destiny as a true artist and the temptation to just go for the money.

    In a way, Lucas betrayed himself and just went for the money. But in some ways, he remained true to himself because he maintained absolute control over his biggest success, STAR WARS, a personal vision and possession. And his Industrial Light and Magic did revolutionize cinema that is the most technological of the arts.
    So, even though failed to become a Kubrick or Kurosawa(not even a Coppola), he made his own movies in his way, and he had personal control over his empire. He remained independent of Hollywood even as he worked in the mainstream.

    But he totally betrayed himself by selling STAR WARS to Disney, an unscrupulous whore factory. He was as foolish and deluded as the Lord in Kuroswa’s RAN who believes his domain and his prestige will remain intact even after he relinquishes power to his sons. He soon realizes that his sons, the first and second, are sharks who will even betray their father to further their own naked ambitions.

    Lucas was surely assured by Disney that his original vision will not be tarnished or compromised: The new sequels would carry on with the original concept of the Force.
    But once Disney got a hold of the material, it was totally turned upside down. Disney trampled all over the original vision and made it into a total freakshow closer in look to STAR TREK.
    Lucas gained the world but lost his soul. It’s all the more ludicrous because he already had more money than he could possibly spend. If he were strapped for cash, it’d be more understandable. He just got so addicted to more and more money. He became not so Darth as Jabba.

    He’s a rich man in business but a poor man in art. He has no integrity left. He has no respect from any quarter. He’s a total joke, like the lord in RAN after ceding authority.
    The old man Luke in the new movie seems as lost and disoriented as the fallen Lord in RAN.

    It is so fitting that Luke makes himself into a hologram in LAST JEDI because that’s what Lucas is in the New STAR WARS. With the original hexalogy, Lucas’s spirit was all over them. He made them with his own mind, heart, and hands. His body and soul were directly connected to those works.

    But, Lucas’s presence in the new series is totally an illusion. He sold the rights, and Disney can do whatever it wants to. And Lucas’ presence is merely ‘virtual’.
    Just like Disney is no longer what it used to be — a gentile operation in an industry dominated by Jewish moguls — and is instead only a brand controlled by people who have no respect for its founder, the STAR WARS franchise is now associated with Lucas in name only. Lucas is used a hologram in the new series, like the fake CGI Leia in the end of ending of ROGUE ONE.
    Just like Clu takes over from the real Flynn in TRON LEGACY, hologram faux-Lucas has replaced the real Lucas in the new STAR WARS. Without ownership of the franchise, Lucas’ power over the material is purely illusory. It’s like the fallen lord in RAN suddenly finds himself weaker than the jester. And in LAST JEDI, the old Luke is pushed around by some silly girl.
    It’s either the director rubbing it in or lamenting that Lucas betrayed his vision by ceding the rights to Disney. In that sense, the new movie could be as subversive as Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi epics. Straight on the outside but mocking on the inside. The director is telling Lucas, ‘You dummy, how could you have done this to yourself?”

    Lucas had the Force as long as he held onto the rights of the original. But once he sold the rights and gave up authority, his Force was gone. It was now owned by others, and his role in the New STAR WARS was purely titular and ceremonial. It’s the Farce.

    Worse, the new series proved to be regicidal because Disney did to Lucas’ vision what the Bolsheviks did to the Tsar and his family.

    Lucas helped Kurosawa realize the project of KAGEMUSHA where the original lord is replaced by a shadow. Lucas made himself into a shadow in the New STAR WARS.

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  101. @helena
    More, more, more please!

    These are my favourites. I would love to read your critique on any:

    Hell on Wheels
    Pat Garett and Billy the Kid
    The Missing
    Missouri Breaks
    Bullwhip
    The Tall Men

    MISSOURI BREAKS is more discomfiting than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

    Brando’s grand inquisitor is one of the most perverse creations.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    no country for old men...'discomfiting?' what does that mean?

    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery...Injun savagery.
    And if you know that White folks don't know what is coming . no country for white folks.

    I am reading a history of Islam and the Middle East and points east ....Persia, India, Afghanistan, etc.

    A am noticing that the Arabs and maybe Islamists generally, once other non-arab ethnys were taken over, and maybe with some cross-breeding as well...that they liked to decapitate enemies. Like the Amerindians, there is something of a peculiar institution going on here.

    There is mention made of Turks's fondness for boys. Also, the harem seems to be a wrinkle that White men may have dreamed of, but did not do... Sort of like Trump and grabbed pussies...like in Deadwood, actually grabbed, but not for sex.

    In Lawrence of Arabia, the movie, there was a segment of a Turk tying to get at Lawrence sexually.
    I suppose, like child-rape in Europe by Islamists, that since the Veil and non-co-ed society generally, that a little child rape is afforded leniency under Sharia law. Like in Talmudic Law.

    I don't recall decapitation as a white practice. Some disrespect of the corpse, like Achilles' of the dead Hector, and the like, I recall, but not widespread head removal of the vanquished. Head removal is a lot of work, compared to just spearing someone, etc. Must have a special emotional significance for Arabs and Amerindians. Big Bang in the Balls or something.

    I see that Islam brought with it constant inter-tribal/dynastic warfare. Now, since it is difficult to sort all of this out qualitatively, quantitatively it would be useful to list several hundred years...like 500 years...of history of ancient White folks as opposed to ancient Arabs and Arabized folks with regard to how many wars each fought against one-another, NOT against an outgroup.

    Rome managed to do a lot of internecine warfare...somebody can do the comparison.

    And try to find out how many heads were removed by Islamists vs. Romans in their respective 500 years history of in-fighting.

    Hint: a non-universalistic religion probably has less war and head removal.

    Joe Webb

    Far be it from me as a racial democrat to accuse any other race , like semites, of being particularly savage...we are all equal.

    Joe Webb
    , @Twodees Partain
    The death scene for Brando's character was unforgettable, with Jack Nicholson's lines being:
    "You know what woke you up? You just had your throat cut".
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  102. joe webb says:
    @helena
    "My grandfather was nearby in Spokane at the same time…. its
    first public health officer."

    Wow!

    I loved it. "This is a superb piece of art" Agree

    "historicity of Deadwood as a lawless, stateless, gold rush town." - a lot of westerns tell the story of some stage of Development - the gun-action around that is really secondary except in B movies where the story is about the gun-action. Put in the right sequence westerns are a manual on how to build a civilisation from a wilderness - albeit with civilisation-building tools to begin with. Manual Destiny.

    "Also the sheer realism of pioneer experience is there." lots of mud!

    I couldn't understand the dialogue, it was like listening to a foreign language but I figured out most of what was going on and the characters and costumes and set were mesmerising.

    congrats. my CD set I got at the local used record store. As someone who has almost no DVDs, I learned how to get subtitles up for the dialogue. I still use them when watching it.

    Call me crazy, but I have viewed this series probably 15 times over the last 2 or 3 years. I never, when I went to movies…long gone….saw a movie twice.

    Even the Sopranos…which is at least a B I am not much interested in seeing again. Deadwood is AAAA plus, minus the jew pee-cee on the black and jewish characters.

    HBO dropped the series after 3 seasons. Milch was devastated. Probably Deadwood was dropped because it was too complicated for the “hoopleheads” out there in TV land.

    It is sort of Dickensian, what with so many characters from different classes, etc. And the pace is slow but intense….if that is possible.

    So Helena, you are one of the elect…congrats. Joe Webb

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  103. Jake says:
    @Priss Factor
    Let's not forget the Modern Westerns:

    HUD
    MIDNIGHT COWBOY
    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
    LONELY ARE THE BRAVE
    URBAN COWBOY
    COOGAN'S BLUFF
    ELECTRIC HORSEMAN
    SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION
    STACKING
    INTO THE WILD

    Midnight Cowboy?

    Are you on some serious meds, or are you another playacting (probably Jewish) Leftist?

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Don't be a PC tard when it comes to art.

    Left PC and Right PC don't get art.
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  104. @Jake
    Midnight Cowboy?

    Are you on some serious meds, or are you another playacting (probably Jewish) Leftist?

    Don’t be a PC tard when it comes to art.

    Left PC and Right PC don’t get art.

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  105. @MEexpert
    Personally, I like "The Searchers" as the greatest western film, a masterpiece of both John Ford and John Wayne. I will never forget the pain in Wayne's eyes to see his sweetheart married to his brother. The looks alone told the entire story. I don't much care about Clint Eastwood as a western actor. I certainly don't put him in the same category as John Wayne.

    Personally, I like “The Searchers” as the greatest western film, a masterpiece of both John Ford and John Wayne.

    SEARCHERS’ reputation is somewhat strange. If you look at the SIGHT AND SOUND list of great films, it really sticks out among the other films.

    Many of them were clearly made to be great works of art, masterpieces… like 2001, PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, 8 1/2, CITIZEN KANE. Some have purity as personal visions, like PERSONA, TOKYO STORY, AU HASARD BALTHASAR, RULES OF THE GAME. Some were groundbreaking films, true revolutions in style and expression: BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN and MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA.
    Some are clearly Hollywood, but they have consistency of vision. The obsession of Hitchcock’s hypnotic VERTIGO or the exuberance of SINGING IN THE RAIN.

    In contrast, THE SEARCHERS has none of those qualities. It was meant as action entertainment than for masterpiece status. A lot of care went into it, but Ford was not trying to make art. Besides, despite his own way of doing things, Ford never tried to be a personal artist. He was a professional and craftsman, entertainer and storyteller. Also, THE SEARCHERS was not stylistically innovative. Had it not existed, the progression of film language would have been the same. And unlike obsessive VERTIGO and cheerful SINGING IN THE RAIN that have consistency of tone and purpose, THE SEARCHERS is all over the map, from tragedy to comedy to realism to escapism. It’s so different from SEVEN SAMURAI where Kurosawa creates a setting with key characters and sticks with the mood. Even though SS has tragic and funny moments, they all unfold in a world of action-realism. In contrast, THE SEARCHERS is sometimes far more serious than most Hollywood Westerns but sometimes sillier, and sometimes, it’s happy to be just another Western with all the familiar conventions, even cliches, but then lurches into dark areas that come closer to the vision of Nicholas Ray.

    It’s not a Masterpiece like most masterpieces. Much of it is half-serious, some of it’s just downright silly, and even some of the serious stuff is more of the same of a very familiar genre. Most characters are stock figures we’ve seen many times in Ford movies and other Westerns. Some are downright caricatures.
    Yet, the sum of its parts add up to greatness. Not grand Greatness but a simpler kind of greatness. Its lack of purity, its running all over the map in meaning-tone-purpose-depth-style, always keeps it moving. It’s like an amusement ride with lots of turns and curves. And that lack of commitment to aesthetic and/or ethical purity somewhat makes it more lifelike even though it’s very Hollywood and very genre.
    Greeks had tragedies and comedies. But life is usually a mix of two modes and everything in between.
    And people are hardly consistent. They don’t consistently inhabit a tragic universe or a comic universe but find themselves on a bumpy ride, up and down. Also, most people are stereotypes and pretty predictable. They are walking-talking cliches and go through the usual routines. They have habits of mind than minds. And yet, despite the familiarity of things and people around us, we are surprised by events and by emotions that come out of nowhere. THE SEARCHERS is very much like that. It is a most familiar movie with some big surprises.

    And Wayne’s character and the movie convey that topsy turvy and cantankerous spirit. And this spirit is close to the organismic way of life. Humans are animals, and animals too live in a funny-horror world. Animals like to play and have fun, but they experience intense moments of fear. And all die horribly and ‘tragically’ of old age, disease, weakness, hunger, or being hunted by other animals or by man. Animal documentaries capture both sides of life. Animals goofing around, having fun, doing thrilling/exciting things but also struggling in blood and mud, suffering setbacks, exhibiting rage and terror, and dying horribly of hunger, disease, or violence.
    And THE SEARCHERS, more than most movies, capture the wild contradictions of humanity and America. In this light, its silliness and seriousness are part of a vision of life.

    Though scholars tend to talk of it in serious, tragic, and dark terms — the dark character of Ethan, a ‘racist’, goes from rescue mission to revenge mission and may even kill the girl — , so much of the movie is funny. Scoresese discusses it in the most serious manner, but in MEAN STREETS, he shows a bunch of guys reacting to it with gales of laughter.

    Old Mose is hilarious. The scene where Marty takes a bath interrupted by Vera Miles is a riot. The guitar-player guy who goes ‘huh huh huh’ is a ridiculous character. It gets even more ridiculous because he talks funny but sings beautifully. When the goofball starts to strum his guitar and sing a tune, we can see how he eventually won Laurie’s heart.

    There were other Westerns in the 50s that were just as dark, serious, and thoughtful as THE SEARCHERS. Ford was not alone in revising the meaning of the Western, and others went even deeper in digging through the myth. And yet, SEARCHERS is more memorable because it’s not just serious, sober, deep, or dark. It’s because it’s so funny and childlike at times. It has the furies but also the muses and graces. The violence goes from harrowing to slapstick. Marty, the reasonable foil to Ethan throughout the movie, turns into an ear-biting savage in his fight with the guitar player for the girl… and she likes it, she likes it. It’s like a movie made by someone whose IQ and maturity shifts wildly from 70 to 130. Some of the jokes are close to THREE STOOGES but some moments have the cathartic power of great tragedies. It is crass but has elements of class, especially in the opening scene and closing scene that are handled masterfully.

    And there are moments that are funny and disturbing at the same time. The one that comes to mind is when Ethan uses Marty as bait near the campfire. It is funny as hell but it was life and death. And three people did get killed in the failed assassination. But Ethan treats it like just a game and expects Marty to just take it like a man. And even as Ford registers Marty’s rage, he also laughs along with the Duke. Ford captures what it means to be a man in a tough world. But he also shows the crude side of this cult of manhood. There is something brutal and beastly about Ethan, but we can’t help but admire him as a survivor and warrior in a tough world. And even though we would like to see a better world without war and brutality, we would also miss out on men like Ethan whose true worth is manifest only in a world of struggle and violence. It’s like the men in BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES are glad to be back home, but as civilians, they have no risk and heroism in their lives. Even as Marty sticks close to Ethan to save Debbie, he also likes to serve as mentor to a real man who can handle himself in that part of the world. And Ethan isn’t a dark soul all the time. Sometimes, he’s like a kid. And despite his trepidation about Marty’s mixed blood, he seems oblivious to his relation with Vera Miles’ character and is willing to bequeath his property to him.

    PC would have us believe in simple dichotomies. Unless a white person is prog, he is a ‘nazi’ or ‘racist’. THE SEARCHERS shows how people are much bigger than any label.

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  106. joe webb says:
    @Priss Factor
    MISSOURI BREAKS is more discomfiting than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

    Brando's grand inquisitor is one of the most perverse creations.

    no country for old men…’discomfiting?’ what does that mean?

    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery…Injun savagery.
    And if you know that White folks don’t know what is coming . no country for white folks.

    I am reading a history of Islam and the Middle East and points east ….Persia, India, Afghanistan, etc.

    A am noticing that the Arabs and maybe Islamists generally, once other non-arab ethnys were taken over, and maybe with some cross-breeding as well…that they liked to decapitate enemies. Like the Amerindians, there is something of a peculiar institution going on here.

    There is mention made of Turks’s fondness for boys. Also, the harem seems to be a wrinkle that White men may have dreamed of, but did not do… Sort of like Trump and grabbed pussies…like in Deadwood, actually grabbed, but not for sex.

    In Lawrence of Arabia, the movie, there was a segment of a Turk tying to get at Lawrence sexually.
    I suppose, like child-rape in Europe by Islamists, that since the Veil and non-co-ed society generally, that a little child rape is afforded leniency under Sharia law. Like in Talmudic Law.

    I don’t recall decapitation as a white practice. Some disrespect of the corpse, like Achilles’ of the dead Hector, and the like, I recall, but not widespread head removal of the vanquished. Head removal is a lot of work, compared to just spearing someone, etc. Must have a special emotional significance for Arabs and Amerindians. Big Bang in the Balls or something.

    I see that Islam brought with it constant inter-tribal/dynastic warfare. Now, since it is difficult to sort all of this out qualitatively, quantitatively it would be useful to list several hundred years…like 500 years…of history of ancient White folks as opposed to ancient Arabs and Arabized folks with regard to how many wars each fought against one-another, NOT against an outgroup.

    Rome managed to do a lot of internecine warfare…somebody can do the comparison.

    And try to find out how many heads were removed by Islamists vs. Romans in their respective 500 years history of in-fighting.

    Hint: a non-universalistic religion probably has less war and head removal.

    Joe Webb

    Far be it from me as a racial democrat to accuse any other race , like semites, of being particularly savage…we are all equal.

    Joe Webb

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    no country for old men…’discomfiting?’ what does that mean?
    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery…Injun savagery.


    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is plenty disturbing because of levels of corruption, of society and soul, and because the figure of Chigurh is beyond good and bad.

    But I wouldn't say it is discomfiting because it boils down a badass chase-duel between Chigurh and the other guy.

    MISSOURI BREAKS has a similar character in the figure of Brando, but this one gets under the skin because his character is so perverse, grotesque, and passive/aggressive. Chigurh is just a dark priest of death. In contrast, Brando's grand inquisitor is half-clown half-psycho. He even puts on a woman's dress at one point like Norman Bates in PSYCHO. So, MISSOURI BREAKS left me feeling weird and disoriented. It may have inspired some of ickier aspects of DEAD MAN which is a singular work in some way but too ugly for my taste.
    It was a critical and commercial failure, but Penn was aiming for something.
    , @Alden
    The English monarchs did a lot of decapitation and dismembering right up to about 1600
    , @Alden
    Margaret of Anjou and her son Edward ordered beheadings after York armies were defeated. The French Revolution beheaded a couple hundred thousand people in great theatrical displays of domination and sadism.

    The ancient Celts of France kept the heads of enemies in their homes. The heads were dipped in tar and kept on shelves.

    Beheading is very much a European thing.
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  107. @joe webb
    no country for old men...'discomfiting?' what does that mean?

    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery...Injun savagery.
    And if you know that White folks don't know what is coming . no country for white folks.

    I am reading a history of Islam and the Middle East and points east ....Persia, India, Afghanistan, etc.

    A am noticing that the Arabs and maybe Islamists generally, once other non-arab ethnys were taken over, and maybe with some cross-breeding as well...that they liked to decapitate enemies. Like the Amerindians, there is something of a peculiar institution going on here.

    There is mention made of Turks's fondness for boys. Also, the harem seems to be a wrinkle that White men may have dreamed of, but did not do... Sort of like Trump and grabbed pussies...like in Deadwood, actually grabbed, but not for sex.

    In Lawrence of Arabia, the movie, there was a segment of a Turk tying to get at Lawrence sexually.
    I suppose, like child-rape in Europe by Islamists, that since the Veil and non-co-ed society generally, that a little child rape is afforded leniency under Sharia law. Like in Talmudic Law.

    I don't recall decapitation as a white practice. Some disrespect of the corpse, like Achilles' of the dead Hector, and the like, I recall, but not widespread head removal of the vanquished. Head removal is a lot of work, compared to just spearing someone, etc. Must have a special emotional significance for Arabs and Amerindians. Big Bang in the Balls or something.

    I see that Islam brought with it constant inter-tribal/dynastic warfare. Now, since it is difficult to sort all of this out qualitatively, quantitatively it would be useful to list several hundred years...like 500 years...of history of ancient White folks as opposed to ancient Arabs and Arabized folks with regard to how many wars each fought against one-another, NOT against an outgroup.

    Rome managed to do a lot of internecine warfare...somebody can do the comparison.

    And try to find out how many heads were removed by Islamists vs. Romans in their respective 500 years history of in-fighting.

    Hint: a non-universalistic religion probably has less war and head removal.

    Joe Webb

    Far be it from me as a racial democrat to accuse any other race , like semites, of being particularly savage...we are all equal.

    Joe Webb

    no country for old men…’discomfiting?’ what does that mean?
    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery…Injun savagery.

    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is plenty disturbing because of levels of corruption, of society and soul, and because the figure of Chigurh is beyond good and bad.

    But I wouldn’t say it is discomfiting because it boils down a badass chase-duel between Chigurh and the other guy.

    MISSOURI BREAKS has a similar character in the figure of Brando, but this one gets under the skin because his character is so perverse, grotesque, and passive/aggressive. Chigurh is just a dark priest of death. In contrast, Brando’s grand inquisitor is half-clown half-psycho. He even puts on a woman’s dress at one point like Norman Bates in PSYCHO. So, MISSOURI BREAKS left me feeling weird and disoriented. It may have inspired some of ickier aspects of DEAD MAN which is a singular work in some way but too ugly for my taste.
    It was a critical and commercial failure, but Penn was aiming for something.

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    interesting analysis. I don't know Missouri Breaks nor almost all the westerns remarked. Quit movies a long time ago, but always enjoyed them when younger...like High Noon or more recently,
    The Wild Bunch.. How realistic that one....?

    As biologically oriented, almost completely, I perhaps naively somehow, dismiss psychopaths as merely biological botches, as opposed to Evil., which cannot be explained

    In California we have the worst of the worst in Pelican Bay prison. My simple minded position is this: one bullet each for every black and brown, and 2 bullets each for every white...just to make sure and protect the white gene pool. from more damage.

    The parable of the frog or bird and the scorpion is just true. Being old, I have run into a few of those in a lifetime. Simple: kill them.

    Here is something on Rosh Shashana, wiki: "Rosh Hashanah is also the day of "Yom Hadin", known as Judgment day. On Yom Hadin, 3 books are opened, the book of life, for the righteous among the nations, the book of death, for the most evil who receive the seal of death, and the third book for the ones living in doubts with non-evil sins."

    This is the Jew New Year celebration. Easy enough for we in a Christian culture to remark that Christ, the peacenik/mercy God, stands in contrast to King Jehovah, the War god, yet I guess that most Christians believe in some sort of hell for the wicked. Jewish language there is "blotted out" from the Book of Life. Dunno if jews have a hell.

    All by way of not-to-worry too much over the psychos like Chigurh; just kill them. Psychopaths are noticed by the time they are about 8 years old. Kill them at 8 is a possibility.

    Then, there are the run of the mill killers , like some in DEADWOOD. Was it Augustine who compared brigands to statesmen and their respective killing? Who's worse? Swearengen in Deadwood comes closest to a psychopath, but Milch, the director is at pains to show him as a victim of his terrible childhood, and Milch also shows him getting kinder and gentler.I guess Milch is a democrat.

    Arguably, from a Darwinian perspective, the Group or Race killing for racial survival is not psychopathic. What is psychopathic is the person without fellow feeling even for his racial fellows.
    The berserker in Viking times was probably a psychopath...get rid of him by putting him in the front of the boat or land formation, to kill and get killed hopefully.

    There are plenty of scorpions out there. I have run into two in White Nationalist circles. Plus a couple others in life generally.

    Not as bad as the Chigurh, but when pushed a bit...

    Then there are the opportunists in movie art and otherwise, who want to amp up the thing for box office. Think of Silence of the Lambs, or the Vietnam War movie by what's his name, Apocalypse Now or something...even Coppola? said it was a piece of crap. Warmed - over leftovers of
    Conrad...the Horror, the Horror. I yelled out in a movie theatre at the time, The Idiocy, the Idiocy!

    A footnote on No Country...Chigurh set the rules, and played by them. An interesting mind set, like the whacko killer in the remake movie played by the Al Pacino? actor who was obsessed that the DA did not follow the law, which would have set him free...technicality. The Pacino character had "Justice " tattooed on his back, etc. Abstractions. Rules, self-made...like, uh, god.

    Assuming that the practical position of every race/people has the right to live in their own land, thus avoiding constant war, anti-immigration is one part of that position. Immigration is war making, whether illegal or legal.

    White race-traitors mostly don't know what they are doing, but will suffer the consequences of their race treason. Crazy Ideas are the mark of liberals and lefties. One of the great scenes in DEADWOOD has the doc remarking re our civil war, in which he treated the mangled, that he had seen as much Bad done by those do-Gooders as the Bad done by presumed bad guys.

    That is where we are at now. The psychopaths can be killed easily enough, but the liberals and lefties are our problem, not movie killers.

    By the way, I assume that everybody on this list is armed.

    Joe Webb

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  108. @Priss Factor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdNiNhSeSDk

    GLASS CASTLE is not a Western but has themes familiar to the genre. The anachronistic man with pioneer spirit in changing times. He is both hopefully behind-the-times and ahead-of-time.

    Father is a hillbilly hippie. A rugged individualist and reckless egotist. He imbibed all the beatnik counterculture sensibilities but is a macho man, a bully, a drunk. Hard to watch at times, and overly manipulative, sometimes preposterous. But well-acted and engaging.

    The father guy reminded me of the Billy the Kid character in Sam Peckinpah's film. A man who represents freedom and refusal to compromise but so utterly lacking in responsibility and conscience. He has vision but no wisdom. And he has a cruel streak that masquerades as being tough or teaching his kids to be tough.

    The writer must have a big heart to be so empathetic and forgiving of this awful man.

    He is like a Western archetype. One of the themes of the West was to be tough, a real man. You see it in RED RIVER. But there was a dark side to this. Men oftentimes hid their own vulnerabilities and tried to prove their toughness by violence. And when they couldn't beat the system, they bullied easy victims. Or they hit the bottle. Sam Peckinpah had this problem. Having been raised to be tough, he had problem dealing with the more sensitive side of himself and overcompensated with streaks of cruelty masquerading as manliness.

    Western archetype of the tough hero is positive, but it could also had an element of repression, a denial of the gentler aspects of self that one was too ashamed to express.
    The father guy in GLASS CASTLE is so confused because of a powerful duality.
    He's so much a part of manhood culture, like in GREAT SANTINI. But he's also into Bohemianism and tries to teach his children the poetic side of life. Sometimes one wonders if his 'creative' side is just a crutch against the grim reality that he's never amounted to anything. Sadly, his kids have to navigate through these torrents.

    Not entirely successful but certainly worth watching.

    One refreshing thing about this movie is it doesn't wallow in victim-ism. While the authoress could have made a compelling case of how she's been victimized by her parents, her main theme is struggle and strength. It's about overcoming and making peace with oneself. She's no snowflake.

    Your film criticism is first-rate. Many original insights and a certain artistry of presentation.

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  109. joe webb says:
    @Priss Factor
    no country for old men…’discomfiting?’ what does that mean?
    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery…Injun savagery.


    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is plenty disturbing because of levels of corruption, of society and soul, and because the figure of Chigurh is beyond good and bad.

    But I wouldn't say it is discomfiting because it boils down a badass chase-duel between Chigurh and the other guy.

    MISSOURI BREAKS has a similar character in the figure of Brando, but this one gets under the skin because his character is so perverse, grotesque, and passive/aggressive. Chigurh is just a dark priest of death. In contrast, Brando's grand inquisitor is half-clown half-psycho. He even puts on a woman's dress at one point like Norman Bates in PSYCHO. So, MISSOURI BREAKS left me feeling weird and disoriented. It may have inspired some of ickier aspects of DEAD MAN which is a singular work in some way but too ugly for my taste.
    It was a critical and commercial failure, but Penn was aiming for something.

    interesting analysis. I don’t know Missouri Breaks nor almost all the westerns remarked. Quit movies a long time ago, but always enjoyed them when younger…like High Noon or more recently,
    The Wild Bunch.. How realistic that one….?

    As biologically oriented, almost completely, I perhaps naively somehow, dismiss psychopaths as merely biological botches, as opposed to Evil., which cannot be explained

    In California we have the worst of the worst in Pelican Bay prison. My simple minded position is this: one bullet each for every black and brown, and 2 bullets each for every white…just to make sure and protect the white gene pool. from more damage.

    The parable of the frog or bird and the scorpion is just true. Being old, I have run into a few of those in a lifetime. Simple: kill them.

    Here is something on Rosh Shashana, wiki: “Rosh Hashanah is also the day of “Yom Hadin”, known as Judgment day. On Yom Hadin, 3 books are opened, the book of life, for the righteous among the nations, the book of death, for the most evil who receive the seal of death, and the third book for the ones living in doubts with non-evil sins.”

    This is the Jew New Year celebration. Easy enough for we in a Christian culture to remark that Christ, the peacenik/mercy God, stands in contrast to King Jehovah, the War god, yet I guess that most Christians believe in some sort of hell for the wicked. Jewish language there is “blotted out” from the Book of Life. Dunno if jews have a hell.

    All by way of not-to-worry too much over the psychos like Chigurh; just kill them. Psychopaths are noticed by the time they are about 8 years old. Kill them at 8 is a possibility.

    Then, there are the run of the mill killers , like some in DEADWOOD. Was it Augustine who compared brigands to statesmen and their respective killing? Who’s worse? Swearengen in Deadwood comes closest to a psychopath, but Milch, the director is at pains to show him as a victim of his terrible childhood, and Milch also shows him getting kinder and gentler.I guess Milch is a democrat.

    Arguably, from a Darwinian perspective, the Group or Race killing for racial survival is not psychopathic. What is psychopathic is the person without fellow feeling even for his racial fellows.
    The berserker in Viking times was probably a psychopath…get rid of him by putting him in the front of the boat or land formation, to kill and get killed hopefully.

    There are plenty of scorpions out there. I have run into two in White Nationalist circles. Plus a couple others in life generally.

    Not as bad as the Chigurh, but when pushed a bit…

    Then there are the opportunists in movie art and otherwise, who want to amp up the thing for box office. Think of Silence of the Lambs, or the Vietnam War movie by what’s his name, Apocalypse Now or something…even Coppola? said it was a piece of crap. Warmed – over leftovers of
    Conrad…the Horror, the Horror. I yelled out in a movie theatre at the time, The Idiocy, the Idiocy!

    A footnote on No Country…Chigurh set the rules, and played by them. An interesting mind set, like the whacko killer in the remake movie played by the Al Pacino? actor who was obsessed that the DA did not follow the law, which would have set him free…technicality. The Pacino character had “Justice ” tattooed on his back, etc. Abstractions. Rules, self-made…like, uh, god.

    Assuming that the practical position of every race/people has the right to live in their own land, thus avoiding constant war, anti-immigration is one part of that position. Immigration is war making, whether illegal or legal.

    White race-traitors mostly don’t know what they are doing, but will suffer the consequences of their race treason. Crazy Ideas are the mark of liberals and lefties. One of the great scenes in DEADWOOD has the doc remarking re our civil war, in which he treated the mangled, that he had seen as much Bad done by those do-Gooders as the Bad done by presumed bad guys.

    That is where we are at now. The psychopaths can be killed easily enough, but the liberals and lefties are our problem, not movie killers.

    By the way, I assume that everybody on this list is armed.

    Joe Webb

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    Were it not for abortion, we’d need 20 Pelican Bay type prisons in California.

    Unfortunately, about the same time abortion aka throwing out the trash before it does any damage was legalized the PTB invited in even more trash from the rest of the world.
    , @Alden
    Jews don’t have hell.
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  110. @Priss Factor
    MISSOURI BREAKS is more discomfiting than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

    Brando's grand inquisitor is one of the most perverse creations.

    The death scene for Brando’s character was unforgettable, with Jack Nicholson’s lines being:
    “You know what woke you up? You just had your throat cut”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    how 'bout Dority's (DEADWOOD) "See how you like it when you're dead." I find that useful when talking to liberals about beaners.
    Joe webb
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  111. KenH says:

    Much has changed since the John Wayne days and the era of the spaghetti Westerns. But even as that era was ending I noticed a couple of movies that slipped in some good Indians contrasted with a few evil and nasty cowboys. The industry went full throated communist/leftist revisionist when it released Dances With Wolves in 1990 and depicted the plains Indians as good and the white men as very bad. The only good white man was Kevin Costner because he went native and turned against his own people.

    With few exceptions the American movies industry is now just a tool to brainwash and propagandize the population not unlike how cinema was used on the old Soviet Union especially under Stalin. It’s used as less as an entertainment medium and more to promote radical left wing social change, multiracialism and globalism.

    Pretty much everyone knows Hollywood is dominated and controlled by Jews and they churn out movies that distort American history and reality. There are movies that glorify and romanticize non-white and black hatred and violence towards whites (Django Unchained, Machete) and racial mixing (especially white females with black males) but demonizes and villainizes whites who don’t hate themselves (Betrayed, Higher Learning, American History X).

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  112. joe webb says:
    @Twodees Partain
    The death scene for Brando's character was unforgettable, with Jack Nicholson's lines being:
    "You know what woke you up? You just had your throat cut".

    how ’bout Dority’s (DEADWOOD) “See how you like it when you’re dead.” I find that useful when talking to liberals about beaners.
    Joe webb

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    • LOL: Twodees Partain
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  113. Alden says:
    @joe webb
    no country for old men...'discomfiting?' what does that mean?

    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery...Injun savagery.
    And if you know that White folks don't know what is coming . no country for white folks.

    I am reading a history of Islam and the Middle East and points east ....Persia, India, Afghanistan, etc.

    A am noticing that the Arabs and maybe Islamists generally, once other non-arab ethnys were taken over, and maybe with some cross-breeding as well...that they liked to decapitate enemies. Like the Amerindians, there is something of a peculiar institution going on here.

    There is mention made of Turks's fondness for boys. Also, the harem seems to be a wrinkle that White men may have dreamed of, but did not do... Sort of like Trump and grabbed pussies...like in Deadwood, actually grabbed, but not for sex.

    In Lawrence of Arabia, the movie, there was a segment of a Turk tying to get at Lawrence sexually.
    I suppose, like child-rape in Europe by Islamists, that since the Veil and non-co-ed society generally, that a little child rape is afforded leniency under Sharia law. Like in Talmudic Law.

    I don't recall decapitation as a white practice. Some disrespect of the corpse, like Achilles' of the dead Hector, and the like, I recall, but not widespread head removal of the vanquished. Head removal is a lot of work, compared to just spearing someone, etc. Must have a special emotional significance for Arabs and Amerindians. Big Bang in the Balls or something.

    I see that Islam brought with it constant inter-tribal/dynastic warfare. Now, since it is difficult to sort all of this out qualitatively, quantitatively it would be useful to list several hundred years...like 500 years...of history of ancient White folks as opposed to ancient Arabs and Arabized folks with regard to how many wars each fought against one-another, NOT against an outgroup.

    Rome managed to do a lot of internecine warfare...somebody can do the comparison.

    And try to find out how many heads were removed by Islamists vs. Romans in their respective 500 years history of in-fighting.

    Hint: a non-universalistic religion probably has less war and head removal.

    Joe Webb

    Far be it from me as a racial democrat to accuse any other race , like semites, of being particularly savage...we are all equal.

    Joe Webb

    The English monarchs did a lot of decapitation and dismembering right up to about 1600

    Read More
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  114. Alden says:
    @joe webb
    no country for old men...'discomfiting?' what does that mean?

    No Count;ry for Old Men, a line from Yeats by the way, is good entertainment but not disturbing, if that is what you mean. Not disturbing if you already are aware of Mexican savagery...Injun savagery.
    And if you know that White folks don't know what is coming . no country for white folks.

    I am reading a history of Islam and the Middle East and points east ....Persia, India, Afghanistan, etc.

    A am noticing that the Arabs and maybe Islamists generally, once other non-arab ethnys were taken over, and maybe with some cross-breeding as well...that they liked to decapitate enemies. Like the Amerindians, there is something of a peculiar institution going on here.

    There is mention made of Turks's fondness for boys. Also, the harem seems to be a wrinkle that White men may have dreamed of, but did not do... Sort of like Trump and grabbed pussies...like in Deadwood, actually grabbed, but not for sex.

    In Lawrence of Arabia, the movie, there was a segment of a Turk tying to get at Lawrence sexually.
    I suppose, like child-rape in Europe by Islamists, that since the Veil and non-co-ed society generally, that a little child rape is afforded leniency under Sharia law. Like in Talmudic Law.

    I don't recall decapitation as a white practice. Some disrespect of the corpse, like Achilles' of the dead Hector, and the like, I recall, but not widespread head removal of the vanquished. Head removal is a lot of work, compared to just spearing someone, etc. Must have a special emotional significance for Arabs and Amerindians. Big Bang in the Balls or something.

    I see that Islam brought with it constant inter-tribal/dynastic warfare. Now, since it is difficult to sort all of this out qualitatively, quantitatively it would be useful to list several hundred years...like 500 years...of history of ancient White folks as opposed to ancient Arabs and Arabized folks with regard to how many wars each fought against one-another, NOT against an outgroup.

    Rome managed to do a lot of internecine warfare...somebody can do the comparison.

    And try to find out how many heads were removed by Islamists vs. Romans in their respective 500 years history of in-fighting.

    Hint: a non-universalistic religion probably has less war and head removal.

    Joe Webb

    Far be it from me as a racial democrat to accuse any other race , like semites, of being particularly savage...we are all equal.

    Joe Webb

    Margaret of Anjou and her son Edward ordered beheadings after York armies were defeated. The French Revolution beheaded a couple hundred thousand people in great theatrical displays of domination and sadism.

    The ancient Celts of France kept the heads of enemies in their homes. The heads were dipped in tar and kept on shelves.

    Beheading is very much a European thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    well. beheading for executions, more or less legal, are one thing, and mass beheadings in wars is another thing.

    As for 1789, your "couple hundred thousand" sounds farly fetched. I mean, how many aristocrats were there in Versailles having a good time all the time and not tending to their duties at home?

    one of the princes in Muslim history solved the problem of widespread killing of family members to prevent his own assassination...by locking up all his brothers and cousins in the harem for years. Sort of like Versailles per above. I live in the wrong century)

    (I read somewhere that blondes were especially favored for the guillotine.)

    Just finishing a 500 page 'scholarly' book on the Moslem conquests of the near east , middle east, and so on. The book appears to have been written by a Persian...about 1950.

    lots of head cutting and constant warfare amongst themselves as well, with the Shia/Sunni split going all the way back. Then the Turks get rough treatment, deserved probably by this author.

    Reminds me of Haiti, with its blacks killing men, when and children ...French folks of course, about 25,000 and then proceedingto have about 100 "governments" over the next century or so. Constant coups. Intro to Africa in the 20th century.

    How about a survey of all the wars of the Muslims , internal and external, and compared to the White folks, over the same time period? A good historian could compile such a list. And throw in the head-removal factor if possible. And a body count?

    Do not count modern times with the communist factor...100 million dead per The Black Book of Communism...Robert Conquest.

    Interesting note that this book I am reading refers to the Armenian slaughter by the Turks back around 1910 or so as only 100,000 deaths. Also, no mention that the Armenians were Christians.
    The numbers we see today are way higher.

    Turks seem to be the least appealing compared to Arabs, etc. Out of Asia...the genuine oriental despots, as opposed to the me too ers. The putative melting pot of Turkic, Arab and odds and ends of various ethnys in that part of the world...and throw in the low IQs generally...mid 80s per Richard Lynn...(whose 2015 revised edition of his first IQ AND GLOBAL INEQUALITY now seems to be more available, just ordered one from Amazon) leads to a particularly ugly portrait of the region.

    The Turks spread their genetic tendencies far and wide....with the Ottomans, for 400 years plus, contaminating Greece, Balkans, etc.

    Joe Webb
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  115. Alden says:
    @joe webb
    interesting analysis. I don't know Missouri Breaks nor almost all the westerns remarked. Quit movies a long time ago, but always enjoyed them when younger...like High Noon or more recently,
    The Wild Bunch.. How realistic that one....?

    As biologically oriented, almost completely, I perhaps naively somehow, dismiss psychopaths as merely biological botches, as opposed to Evil., which cannot be explained

    In California we have the worst of the worst in Pelican Bay prison. My simple minded position is this: one bullet each for every black and brown, and 2 bullets each for every white...just to make sure and protect the white gene pool. from more damage.

    The parable of the frog or bird and the scorpion is just true. Being old, I have run into a few of those in a lifetime. Simple: kill them.

    Here is something on Rosh Shashana, wiki: "Rosh Hashanah is also the day of "Yom Hadin", known as Judgment day. On Yom Hadin, 3 books are opened, the book of life, for the righteous among the nations, the book of death, for the most evil who receive the seal of death, and the third book for the ones living in doubts with non-evil sins."

    This is the Jew New Year celebration. Easy enough for we in a Christian culture to remark that Christ, the peacenik/mercy God, stands in contrast to King Jehovah, the War god, yet I guess that most Christians believe in some sort of hell for the wicked. Jewish language there is "blotted out" from the Book of Life. Dunno if jews have a hell.

    All by way of not-to-worry too much over the psychos like Chigurh; just kill them. Psychopaths are noticed by the time they are about 8 years old. Kill them at 8 is a possibility.

    Then, there are the run of the mill killers , like some in DEADWOOD. Was it Augustine who compared brigands to statesmen and their respective killing? Who's worse? Swearengen in Deadwood comes closest to a psychopath, but Milch, the director is at pains to show him as a victim of his terrible childhood, and Milch also shows him getting kinder and gentler.I guess Milch is a democrat.

    Arguably, from a Darwinian perspective, the Group or Race killing for racial survival is not psychopathic. What is psychopathic is the person without fellow feeling even for his racial fellows.
    The berserker in Viking times was probably a psychopath...get rid of him by putting him in the front of the boat or land formation, to kill and get killed hopefully.

    There are plenty of scorpions out there. I have run into two in White Nationalist circles. Plus a couple others in life generally.

    Not as bad as the Chigurh, but when pushed a bit...

    Then there are the opportunists in movie art and otherwise, who want to amp up the thing for box office. Think of Silence of the Lambs, or the Vietnam War movie by what's his name, Apocalypse Now or something...even Coppola? said it was a piece of crap. Warmed - over leftovers of
    Conrad...the Horror, the Horror. I yelled out in a movie theatre at the time, The Idiocy, the Idiocy!

    A footnote on No Country...Chigurh set the rules, and played by them. An interesting mind set, like the whacko killer in the remake movie played by the Al Pacino? actor who was obsessed that the DA did not follow the law, which would have set him free...technicality. The Pacino character had "Justice " tattooed on his back, etc. Abstractions. Rules, self-made...like, uh, god.

    Assuming that the practical position of every race/people has the right to live in their own land, thus avoiding constant war, anti-immigration is one part of that position. Immigration is war making, whether illegal or legal.

    White race-traitors mostly don't know what they are doing, but will suffer the consequences of their race treason. Crazy Ideas are the mark of liberals and lefties. One of the great scenes in DEADWOOD has the doc remarking re our civil war, in which he treated the mangled, that he had seen as much Bad done by those do-Gooders as the Bad done by presumed bad guys.

    That is where we are at now. The psychopaths can be killed easily enough, but the liberals and lefties are our problem, not movie killers.

    By the way, I assume that everybody on this list is armed.

    Joe Webb

    Were it not for abortion, we’d need 20 Pelican Bay type prisons in California.

    Unfortunately, about the same time abortion aka throwing out the trash before it does any damage was legalized the PTB invited in even more trash from the rest of the world.

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  116. Alden says:

    My absolutely favorite western is Cat Ballou. I also liked all those Audie Murphy Calvary against the Indians movies. I liked the uniforms I guess. I also love every Jesse James movie ever made.

    Some of my ancestors were run out of Lawrence Kansas by Quantrill’s raiders. Others rode with Quantrill. They all kept going till they ran up against the Pacific and couldn’t run anymore.

    Liberty Valance was ruined by that taller version of Woody Allen, the supreme pompous ass nerd passive creep Jimmy Stewart.

    The only tv channel I watch is turner movies. Whenever a Jimmy Stewart movie comes on I turn it off and pick up a book or the phone or anything but watch Jimmie Stewart.

    Supposedly old Joe Kennedy more or less invented the western in the early 1920s. He wanted cheap to make movies that would be popular in the Saturday kids matinees. Tom Mix and other early cowboy heroes were created by Kennedy.

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  117. Alden says:
    @joe webb
    interesting analysis. I don't know Missouri Breaks nor almost all the westerns remarked. Quit movies a long time ago, but always enjoyed them when younger...like High Noon or more recently,
    The Wild Bunch.. How realistic that one....?

    As biologically oriented, almost completely, I perhaps naively somehow, dismiss psychopaths as merely biological botches, as opposed to Evil., which cannot be explained

    In California we have the worst of the worst in Pelican Bay prison. My simple minded position is this: one bullet each for every black and brown, and 2 bullets each for every white...just to make sure and protect the white gene pool. from more damage.

    The parable of the frog or bird and the scorpion is just true. Being old, I have run into a few of those in a lifetime. Simple: kill them.

    Here is something on Rosh Shashana, wiki: "Rosh Hashanah is also the day of "Yom Hadin", known as Judgment day. On Yom Hadin, 3 books are opened, the book of life, for the righteous among the nations, the book of death, for the most evil who receive the seal of death, and the third book for the ones living in doubts with non-evil sins."

    This is the Jew New Year celebration. Easy enough for we in a Christian culture to remark that Christ, the peacenik/mercy God, stands in contrast to King Jehovah, the War god, yet I guess that most Christians believe in some sort of hell for the wicked. Jewish language there is "blotted out" from the Book of Life. Dunno if jews have a hell.

    All by way of not-to-worry too much over the psychos like Chigurh; just kill them. Psychopaths are noticed by the time they are about 8 years old. Kill them at 8 is a possibility.

    Then, there are the run of the mill killers , like some in DEADWOOD. Was it Augustine who compared brigands to statesmen and their respective killing? Who's worse? Swearengen in Deadwood comes closest to a psychopath, but Milch, the director is at pains to show him as a victim of his terrible childhood, and Milch also shows him getting kinder and gentler.I guess Milch is a democrat.

    Arguably, from a Darwinian perspective, the Group or Race killing for racial survival is not psychopathic. What is psychopathic is the person without fellow feeling even for his racial fellows.
    The berserker in Viking times was probably a psychopath...get rid of him by putting him in the front of the boat or land formation, to kill and get killed hopefully.

    There are plenty of scorpions out there. I have run into two in White Nationalist circles. Plus a couple others in life generally.

    Not as bad as the Chigurh, but when pushed a bit...

    Then there are the opportunists in movie art and otherwise, who want to amp up the thing for box office. Think of Silence of the Lambs, or the Vietnam War movie by what's his name, Apocalypse Now or something...even Coppola? said it was a piece of crap. Warmed - over leftovers of
    Conrad...the Horror, the Horror. I yelled out in a movie theatre at the time, The Idiocy, the Idiocy!

    A footnote on No Country...Chigurh set the rules, and played by them. An interesting mind set, like the whacko killer in the remake movie played by the Al Pacino? actor who was obsessed that the DA did not follow the law, which would have set him free...technicality. The Pacino character had "Justice " tattooed on his back, etc. Abstractions. Rules, self-made...like, uh, god.

    Assuming that the practical position of every race/people has the right to live in their own land, thus avoiding constant war, anti-immigration is one part of that position. Immigration is war making, whether illegal or legal.

    White race-traitors mostly don't know what they are doing, but will suffer the consequences of their race treason. Crazy Ideas are the mark of liberals and lefties. One of the great scenes in DEADWOOD has the doc remarking re our civil war, in which he treated the mangled, that he had seen as much Bad done by those do-Gooders as the Bad done by presumed bad guys.

    That is where we are at now. The psychopaths can be killed easily enough, but the liberals and lefties are our problem, not movie killers.

    By the way, I assume that everybody on this list is armed.

    Joe Webb

    Jews don’t have hell.

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  118. Alden says:
    @boogerbently
    Exactly, as noted here (UNZ) before, locomotive and repeating rifles versus primatives with sharpened stones on arrows. The modern version of US History is just "America was built by negros after it was stolen from the Indians." America will be unrecognizable in the "history" books our great-grandchildren will be exposed to.

    That’s what Jilles Dykstrra keeps posting after every article, the same old same old White Americans are evil monsters who stole Indian land while we Europeans never hurt anyone.

    There are 3 times more Indians today than there were 400 years ago, hardly genocide.

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  119. “There are 3 times more Indians today than there were 400 years ago, hardly genocide.”

    Nonsense. Nobody knows how many people lived here 400 years ago. A statement like that can only be made by pulling a figure out of your ass and comparing it with a dubious figure from a government source. Just because some ‘genius’ did that and you read it somewhere and were impressed for some reason doesn’t make it an intelligent thing to repeat.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    I didn’t make up the figure. Anthropologists and historians made up the figure based whatever evidence they found.
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  120. TWS says:
    @Brabantian
    One thing very ugly about Westerns - and also about recent USA television cop shows - is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging ... actually last practiced in the USA in the 1990s, with two hangings, one in Bill Gates' USA Washington State, another in Joe Biden's Delaware ... Delaware notorious also for using judicial flogging up through the 1950s

    It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today's Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month, sometimes in groups, with women dying more slowly due to their lighter body mass ... There is the possibility of instant coma with the neck broken in a drop through the gallows floor but this is not reliable, and in countries like Iran they don't even attempt a long drop

    For all its alleged 'horror', the guillotine was a very humane method of execution, almost always killing instantly ... the French Revolution giving all condemned citizens what was formerly the merciful death only of aristocrats ... whilst Britain kept the gallows as their universal method, with few of the elites ever executed in 'modern' Britain till they ended it in 1962 ... France last used the guillotine in 1979

    Beheading and the bullet seem the most humane execution methods, whilst lethal injection has sometimes been an hour-long torture session, electrocutions and gassings having gone horribly slow and torturous as well ... the bullet in the back of the head, Soviet-style, may have been a mess but is perhaps the most humane of all ... Russia has cancelled the death penalty today, in line with the EU

    It was very nauseating one day to watch the 'new' Hawaii Five-O television show, only to have the 'Hawaii cops' gloating to a man they arrested that he would 'get the needle' as his penalty ... have not been able to stomach looking at that show ever since

    It is often forgotten that the USA had a death penalty moratorium from 1967-77, when more humane judges in that era tag-teamed to effectively ban it ... the US oligarchy replaced those judges, and after Ronald Reagan had sent a man to the gas chamber in 1967, a decade later, in his last days in office in January 1977, US President Gerald Ford allowed a firing-squad killing in Utah to get the execution horror show rolling again

    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now ... nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan

    Please warn people to never come to America and if here leave asap. We are a cruel barbarous people who will cross a frozen river at midnight on Christmas to kill you in your sleep.

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  121. joe webb says:
    @Alden
    Margaret of Anjou and her son Edward ordered beheadings after York armies were defeated. The French Revolution beheaded a couple hundred thousand people in great theatrical displays of domination and sadism.

    The ancient Celts of France kept the heads of enemies in their homes. The heads were dipped in tar and kept on shelves.

    Beheading is very much a European thing.

    well. beheading for executions, more or less legal, are one thing, and mass beheadings in wars is another thing.

    As for 1789, your “couple hundred thousand” sounds farly fetched. I mean, how many aristocrats were there in Versailles having a good time all the time and not tending to their duties at home?

    one of the princes in Muslim history solved the problem of widespread killing of family members to prevent his own assassination…by locking up all his brothers and cousins in the harem for years. Sort of like Versailles per above. I live in the wrong century)

    (I read somewhere that blondes were especially favored for the guillotine.)

    Just finishing a 500 page ‘scholarly’ book on the Moslem conquests of the near east , middle east, and so on. The book appears to have been written by a Persian…about 1950.

    lots of head cutting and constant warfare amongst themselves as well, with the Shia/Sunni split going all the way back. Then the Turks get rough treatment, deserved probably by this author.

    Reminds me of Haiti, with its blacks killing men, when and children …French folks of course, about 25,000 and then proceedingto have about 100 “governments” over the next century or so. Constant coups. Intro to Africa in the 20th century.

    How about a survey of all the wars of the Muslims , internal and external, and compared to the White folks, over the same time period? A good historian could compile such a list. And throw in the head-removal factor if possible. And a body count?

    Do not count modern times with the communist factor…100 million dead per The Black Book of Communism…Robert Conquest.

    Interesting note that this book I am reading refers to the Armenian slaughter by the Turks back around 1910 or so as only 100,000 deaths. Also, no mention that the Armenians were Christians.
    The numbers we see today are way higher.

    Turks seem to be the least appealing compared to Arabs, etc. Out of Asia…the genuine oriental despots, as opposed to the me too ers. The putative melting pot of Turkic, Arab and odds and ends of various ethnys in that part of the world…and throw in the low IQs generally…mid 80s per Richard Lynn…(whose 2015 revised edition of his first IQ AND GLOBAL INEQUALITY now seems to be more available, just ordered one from Amazon) leads to a particularly ugly portrait of the region.

    The Turks spread their genetic tendencies far and wide….with the Ottomans, for 400 years plus, contaminating Greece, Balkans, etc.

    Joe Webb

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    Yes it was about a quarter million executed. The vast majority of those executed were not Versailles aristocrats. They were ordinary people. The Paris terror was rather short lived. But the executions went in for years.

    The information is easily available.
    , @Alden
    Wigs were in style for everyone, men and women of all social classes. Natural light blonde or White hair was the most favored by the wig makers because it could be dyed any color.

    So old women with long White hair were prize victims. The executioner’s assistants gathered the women’s hair into pony tails and cut it off short while they were waiting to be killed. They had 15 or so containers for the different colors of hair.

    When people all over Europe realized that their wigs were being made of guillotined women’s hair the fashion came to an end. It was totally barbaric.
    , @Ilyana_Rozumova
    Here is axiom for you!
    Loosing civilizations also nation states become highly nationalistic in every aspect.
    Turks had to chase out Armenians because they had to prepare dwellings or lebensraum for returning
    faithful from Europe, who were in turn being chased out by Christians.
    Germans become highly nationalistic because of loosing WW1.
    US is becoming nationalistic because it is loosing the economic war with the rest of the world.
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  122. joe webb says:

    A belated Merrie Chrsitmas from the Old Testament:

    You recall the ‘swords into ploughshares’ bit, in which we whites are told to be peaceniks by the MLKs and rabbis.

    Here is Isaiah 2: 4. He will wield authority over the nations
    and adjudicate between many peoples;
    these will hammer their swords into ploughshares,
    their spears into sickles.
    Nation will not lift sword against nation,
    there will be no more training for war.

    O House of Jacob, come,
    let us walk in the light of Yahweh.

    So the preceding verse, Isaiah 2:3 concludes with:
    and the oracle of Yahweh from Jerusalem.
    He will wield authority over the nations.

    Now , just in case the Nations don’t bend over for Yahweh,

    Joel 4:9 : Proclaim this, among the nations,
    Prepare for war!
    Muster the champions!
    Warriors, advance,
    quick march!
    Hammer you ployshareds into swords,
    your sickles into spears,..

    and, Isaiah 54:2: Your race will take possession of the nations,
    and people the abandoned cities.
    My Jerusalem Bible edition remarks that this about jewish fertility…and of course the abandoned cities include Jerusalem and the Jews Are Back Baby…with Yahweh’s vengeance.

    Jews are never told to disarm.

    And another battle will rage in the valley of Jehoshaphat with Jehovah sitting in judgement..

    Yahweh roars from Zion,
    makes his voice heard from Jerusalem;
    heaven and earth tremble. Joel 4:18

    So swords into ploughshares AFTER the defeat of the Nations and when in rebellion against Jews the ploughsharee morph back into swords.

    Jerusalem the center of the world with Jehovah raging and the world trembling. The oracle is in Jerusalem, however right now he is under arrest for embezzlement. But the Jew York Times is the Oracle for the Nations, at least the idiots of the West. The roar of thermonuclear bombs…the Jewish Gift to the Gentiles.

    Merrie Christmas!!

    Joe Webb.

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  123. Alden says:
    @joe webb
    well. beheading for executions, more or less legal, are one thing, and mass beheadings in wars is another thing.

    As for 1789, your "couple hundred thousand" sounds farly fetched. I mean, how many aristocrats were there in Versailles having a good time all the time and not tending to their duties at home?

    one of the princes in Muslim history solved the problem of widespread killing of family members to prevent his own assassination...by locking up all his brothers and cousins in the harem for years. Sort of like Versailles per above. I live in the wrong century)

    (I read somewhere that blondes were especially favored for the guillotine.)

    Just finishing a 500 page 'scholarly' book on the Moslem conquests of the near east , middle east, and so on. The book appears to have been written by a Persian...about 1950.

    lots of head cutting and constant warfare amongst themselves as well, with the Shia/Sunni split going all the way back. Then the Turks get rough treatment, deserved probably by this author.

    Reminds me of Haiti, with its blacks killing men, when and children ...French folks of course, about 25,000 and then proceedingto have about 100 "governments" over the next century or so. Constant coups. Intro to Africa in the 20th century.

    How about a survey of all the wars of the Muslims , internal and external, and compared to the White folks, over the same time period? A good historian could compile such a list. And throw in the head-removal factor if possible. And a body count?

    Do not count modern times with the communist factor...100 million dead per The Black Book of Communism...Robert Conquest.

    Interesting note that this book I am reading refers to the Armenian slaughter by the Turks back around 1910 or so as only 100,000 deaths. Also, no mention that the Armenians were Christians.
    The numbers we see today are way higher.

    Turks seem to be the least appealing compared to Arabs, etc. Out of Asia...the genuine oriental despots, as opposed to the me too ers. The putative melting pot of Turkic, Arab and odds and ends of various ethnys in that part of the world...and throw in the low IQs generally...mid 80s per Richard Lynn...(whose 2015 revised edition of his first IQ AND GLOBAL INEQUALITY now seems to be more available, just ordered one from Amazon) leads to a particularly ugly portrait of the region.

    The Turks spread their genetic tendencies far and wide....with the Ottomans, for 400 years plus, contaminating Greece, Balkans, etc.

    Joe Webb

    Yes it was about a quarter million executed. The vast majority of those executed were not Versailles aristocrats. They were ordinary people. The Paris terror was rather short lived. But the executions went in for years.

    The information is easily available.

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  124. Alden says:
    @joe webb
    well. beheading for executions, more or less legal, are one thing, and mass beheadings in wars is another thing.

    As for 1789, your "couple hundred thousand" sounds farly fetched. I mean, how many aristocrats were there in Versailles having a good time all the time and not tending to their duties at home?

    one of the princes in Muslim history solved the problem of widespread killing of family members to prevent his own assassination...by locking up all his brothers and cousins in the harem for years. Sort of like Versailles per above. I live in the wrong century)

    (I read somewhere that blondes were especially favored for the guillotine.)

    Just finishing a 500 page 'scholarly' book on the Moslem conquests of the near east , middle east, and so on. The book appears to have been written by a Persian...about 1950.

    lots of head cutting and constant warfare amongst themselves as well, with the Shia/Sunni split going all the way back. Then the Turks get rough treatment, deserved probably by this author.

    Reminds me of Haiti, with its blacks killing men, when and children ...French folks of course, about 25,000 and then proceedingto have about 100 "governments" over the next century or so. Constant coups. Intro to Africa in the 20th century.

    How about a survey of all the wars of the Muslims , internal and external, and compared to the White folks, over the same time period? A good historian could compile such a list. And throw in the head-removal factor if possible. And a body count?

    Do not count modern times with the communist factor...100 million dead per The Black Book of Communism...Robert Conquest.

    Interesting note that this book I am reading refers to the Armenian slaughter by the Turks back around 1910 or so as only 100,000 deaths. Also, no mention that the Armenians were Christians.
    The numbers we see today are way higher.

    Turks seem to be the least appealing compared to Arabs, etc. Out of Asia...the genuine oriental despots, as opposed to the me too ers. The putative melting pot of Turkic, Arab and odds and ends of various ethnys in that part of the world...and throw in the low IQs generally...mid 80s per Richard Lynn...(whose 2015 revised edition of his first IQ AND GLOBAL INEQUALITY now seems to be more available, just ordered one from Amazon) leads to a particularly ugly portrait of the region.

    The Turks spread their genetic tendencies far and wide....with the Ottomans, for 400 years plus, contaminating Greece, Balkans, etc.

    Joe Webb

    Wigs were in style for everyone, men and women of all social classes. Natural light blonde or White hair was the most favored by the wig makers because it could be dyed any color.

    So old women with long White hair were prize victims. The executioner’s assistants gathered the women’s hair into pony tails and cut it off short while they were waiting to be killed. They had 15 or so containers for the different colors of hair.

    When people all over Europe realized that their wigs were being made of guillotined women’s hair the fashion came to an end. It was totally barbaric.

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  125. Alden says:

    The Jews are already being victimized by the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. Our state department owns a building near the Jerusalem consulate. It an apartment house of small apartments for elderly immigrants. The leases will be up in 4 years and there are fears the USA evil state department might evict the elderly immigrants and convert the building to offices.

    The more we do for Jews the more they demand. No matter what happens Jews will always turn it around to make their paranoid selves victims.

    Roman historians wrote of this kind of thing 2,000 years ago.

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  126. Alden says:
    @Twodees Partain
    "There are 3 times more Indians today than there were 400 years ago, hardly genocide."

    Nonsense. Nobody knows how many people lived here 400 years ago. A statement like that can only be made by pulling a figure out of your ass and comparing it with a dubious figure from a government source. Just because some 'genius' did that and you read it somewhere and were impressed for some reason doesn't make it an intelligent thing to repeat.

    I didn’t make up the figure. Anthropologists and historians made up the figure based whatever evidence they found.

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  127. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra
    'American history', here we go again, meant is USA history.
    That there is a history of tens of thousands of years before USA history, USA citizens prefer to ignore it.
    They also prefer to ignore how the USA resembles Israel, driving away or killing the original inhabitants, and destroying their cultures.

    Stan Hoig, "The Sand Creek Massacre', Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    Paul Kane, 'Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of America', 1859, 1996, New York

    Here we go again. I’m a pompous European pseudo intellectual raised in the days when soviet propaganda was pumped into my empty brain.

    Now I’m retired I spend my time posting things about America on unz. The unz readers are so uneducated and ignorant I graciously inform of the many deficiencies of themselves and their country.

    I can’t wait till you post that there is no public transportation of any kind, bus, trolley, subway or light rail anywhere in America. That’s a favorite claim European empty brain idiot intellectuals make against us.

    I have English relatives. All their idiot intellectual friends parrot the same things you do.

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  128. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra
    No idea what the neolithic jump was, but they were obviously content with their lives:
    ⦁ Francis Parkman, ‘The Oregon trail’, New York, 2002, Boston, 1883, 1847
    Holding territory, the Indians did no such thing.
    Indian tribes most of the time did not live at a fixed location.
    Indian wars were no more than skirmishes, until they had to fight the white intruders.
    Eradicating Y chromosomal lines, this intrigues me.
    What is or was it, who did it to whom, why, and how did they get this genetical information?

    I live about a mile from one of the greatest libraries in the world. I think I’ll go over there and find out how the barbarian Teutonic invaders who were the ancestors of the Dutch treated the indigenous people who lived in what is now the Netherlands when they invade and took over another people’s land.

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  129. Alden says:
    @Brabantian
    One thing very ugly about Westerns - and also about recent USA television cop shows - is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging ... actually last practiced in the USA in the 1990s, with two hangings, one in Bill Gates' USA Washington State, another in Joe Biden's Delaware ... Delaware notorious also for using judicial flogging up through the 1950s

    It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today's Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month, sometimes in groups, with women dying more slowly due to their lighter body mass ... There is the possibility of instant coma with the neck broken in a drop through the gallows floor but this is not reliable, and in countries like Iran they don't even attempt a long drop

    For all its alleged 'horror', the guillotine was a very humane method of execution, almost always killing instantly ... the French Revolution giving all condemned citizens what was formerly the merciful death only of aristocrats ... whilst Britain kept the gallows as their universal method, with few of the elites ever executed in 'modern' Britain till they ended it in 1962 ... France last used the guillotine in 1979

    Beheading and the bullet seem the most humane execution methods, whilst lethal injection has sometimes been an hour-long torture session, electrocutions and gassings having gone horribly slow and torturous as well ... the bullet in the back of the head, Soviet-style, may have been a mess but is perhaps the most humane of all ... Russia has cancelled the death penalty today, in line with the EU

    It was very nauseating one day to watch the 'new' Hawaii Five-O television show, only to have the 'Hawaii cops' gloating to a man they arrested that he would 'get the needle' as his penalty ... have not been able to stomach looking at that show ever since

    It is often forgotten that the USA had a death penalty moratorium from 1967-77, when more humane judges in that era tag-teamed to effectively ban it ... the US oligarchy replaced those judges, and after Ronald Reagan had sent a man to the gas chamber in 1967, a decade later, in his last days in office in January 1977, US President Gerald Ford allowed a firing-squad killing in Utah to get the execution horror show rolling again

    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now ... nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan

    The guillotine was not used for anyone before the revolution. Before the revolution beheading was done with a sword by a skilled executioner..
    before you post your ignorance do a little research.

    The guillotine was adapted from a butchering machine used to kill smaller animals, sheep and goats. The guillotine was a more humane way of killing than most.
    Most countries had public executions in those days. But the spectacle of mass executions including as many women as men for the most trivial of reasons was a gruesome display of sadism and dominance.

    Another European asshole intellectual enlightening us American peasants about how dreadful we are.

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  130. Alden says:
    @Brabantian
    One thing very ugly about Westerns - and also about recent USA television cop shows - is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging ... actually last practiced in the USA in the 1990s, with two hangings, one in Bill Gates' USA Washington State, another in Joe Biden's Delaware ... Delaware notorious also for using judicial flogging up through the 1950s

    It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today's Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month, sometimes in groups, with women dying more slowly due to their lighter body mass ... There is the possibility of instant coma with the neck broken in a drop through the gallows floor but this is not reliable, and in countries like Iran they don't even attempt a long drop

    For all its alleged 'horror', the guillotine was a very humane method of execution, almost always killing instantly ... the French Revolution giving all condemned citizens what was formerly the merciful death only of aristocrats ... whilst Britain kept the gallows as their universal method, with few of the elites ever executed in 'modern' Britain till they ended it in 1962 ... France last used the guillotine in 1979

    Beheading and the bullet seem the most humane execution methods, whilst lethal injection has sometimes been an hour-long torture session, electrocutions and gassings having gone horribly slow and torturous as well ... the bullet in the back of the head, Soviet-style, may have been a mess but is perhaps the most humane of all ... Russia has cancelled the death penalty today, in line with the EU

    It was very nauseating one day to watch the 'new' Hawaii Five-O television show, only to have the 'Hawaii cops' gloating to a man they arrested that he would 'get the needle' as his penalty ... have not been able to stomach looking at that show ever since

    It is often forgotten that the USA had a death penalty moratorium from 1967-77, when more humane judges in that era tag-teamed to effectively ban it ... the US oligarchy replaced those judges, and after Ronald Reagan had sent a man to the gas chamber in 1967, a decade later, in his last days in office in January 1977, US President Gerald Ford allowed a firing-squad killing in Utah to get the execution horror show rolling again

    Most of the world, 88% of nations, have no death penalty now ... nearly all of those that do have it, are Muslim countries, plus the empire-fantasy countries of USA, China, India and Japan

    So why do you watch those dreadful TV shows that glorify the death penalty?

    Unz readers don’t watch watch those shows. Why do you?

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  131. Alden says:
    @Priss Factor
    "One thing very ugly about Westerns – and also about recent USA television cop shows – is the acceptance of the death penalty, which in Westerns was the extremely barbaric death by hanging … It can take as long as an hour for the victim to die slowly strangling at the end of a rope, as is seen regularly in today’s Iran, hanging sometimes 100 people in a month"

    Death Penalty is great. Scum suckers must die. Besides, isn't lifetime incarceration also cruel?

    A person can live for an hour when hung? You gotta be kidding me.

    At any rate, most Westerns weren't about death penalty but death, period. A sheriff or gunslinger prefers to kill right there and then. Few Westerns are about justice of law. They are about justice meted out by gun fights or disputes settled by the faster draw.

    And when Westerns did involve the Law, it showed how letting scumsuckers go can unleash hell on earth. Because the Law didn't kill Frank Miller or lock him up forever, he came back to kill Will Kane, and there was yet more violence. Just like politicians keep going easy on Scorpio in DIRTY HARRY, the Law went easy on Frank Miller, and Will Kane had to finish him off with the fast draw(and his woman's claw).

    And there were plenty of Westerns about the danger of frontier justice, vigilante justice, and lynchmob justice. Consider the OX-BOW INCIDENT where the townsfolk realize they killed the wrong fellers. And there is a Gregory Peck movie where the hero takes justice into his hands and kills the bad guys... only to realize that he killed the wrong people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bravados

    Such westerns were surely a commentary on problems in the South where it was assumed that white vigilantes were hanging innocent blacks from trees. Since Hollywood back then was anxious about directly addressing race issues, they were transmuted to Westerns where frontier sense of justice was seen as ugly, dangerous, and wreaking of bloodlust.

    Oddly enough, even though HIGH NOON is seen as a leftist Western, the setup is pretty right-wing. After all, it was the Law that let Frank Miller go. And the lawful people of the town care more about themselves or money than for justice and honor. So, it is up to Will Kane to go semi-vigilante to take on Miller and gang by himself.

    Westerns made by Jewish directors or European emigres offered a different perspective that were often interesting. Even before Leone made his films in Italy, the Western was increasingly 'Europeanized' in sensibility by the works of men like Zinnemann and Andre De Toth who made the excellent DAY OF THE OUTLAW.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocvpYhVbP2w

    Arthur Penn's Freudian LEFT-HANDED GUN is also a different kind of Western.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BhhGqb6k4I

    Barbantian probably didn’t even read the article. Like the intellectual ignoramous Jilles, he just injected his anti American death penalty views into the comment section.

    Had the article been about Christmas toys he would have posted his death penalty useful idiot c**p into the discussion.

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  132. Alden says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova
    Cat Balou and Wild bunch were not mentioned.
    Shame on you!

    I’m not much of a western fan, but Cat Ballou is my all time favorite.

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  133. @joe webb
    well. beheading for executions, more or less legal, are one thing, and mass beheadings in wars is another thing.

    As for 1789, your "couple hundred thousand" sounds farly fetched. I mean, how many aristocrats were there in Versailles having a good time all the time and not tending to their duties at home?

    one of the princes in Muslim history solved the problem of widespread killing of family members to prevent his own assassination...by locking up all his brothers and cousins in the harem for years. Sort of like Versailles per above. I live in the wrong century)

    (I read somewhere that blondes were especially favored for the guillotine.)

    Just finishing a 500 page 'scholarly' book on the Moslem conquests of the near east , middle east, and so on. The book appears to have been written by a Persian...about 1950.

    lots of head cutting and constant warfare amongst themselves as well, with the Shia/Sunni split going all the way back. Then the Turks get rough treatment, deserved probably by this author.

    Reminds me of Haiti, with its blacks killing men, when and children ...French folks of course, about 25,000 and then proceedingto have about 100 "governments" over the next century or so. Constant coups. Intro to Africa in the 20th century.

    How about a survey of all the wars of the Muslims , internal and external, and compared to the White folks, over the same time period? A good historian could compile such a list. And throw in the head-removal factor if possible. And a body count?

    Do not count modern times with the communist factor...100 million dead per The Black Book of Communism...Robert Conquest.

    Interesting note that this book I am reading refers to the Armenian slaughter by the Turks back around 1910 or so as only 100,000 deaths. Also, no mention that the Armenians were Christians.
    The numbers we see today are way higher.

    Turks seem to be the least appealing compared to Arabs, etc. Out of Asia...the genuine oriental despots, as opposed to the me too ers. The putative melting pot of Turkic, Arab and odds and ends of various ethnys in that part of the world...and throw in the low IQs generally...mid 80s per Richard Lynn...(whose 2015 revised edition of his first IQ AND GLOBAL INEQUALITY now seems to be more available, just ordered one from Amazon) leads to a particularly ugly portrait of the region.

    The Turks spread their genetic tendencies far and wide....with the Ottomans, for 400 years plus, contaminating Greece, Balkans, etc.

    Joe Webb

    Here is axiom for you!
    Loosing civilizations also nation states become highly nationalistic in every aspect.
    Turks had to chase out Armenians because they had to prepare dwellings or lebensraum for returning
    faithful from Europe, who were in turn being chased out by Christians.
    Germans become highly nationalistic because of loosing WW1.
    US is becoming nationalistic because it is loosing the economic war with the rest of the world.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    there is a wee bit of difference between killing people and population transfers. I don't know what the current accepted figure is for the Armenian genocide, but it apparently was in the hundreds of thousands.

    I have a definite postjudice about
    Turkey, ..the book I just finished on the Muslim part of the world, wtritten by a muslim.. confirms my view. They brought nothing to the cultural table and their current IQ in Lynn, 2015, RACE DIFFERENCES IN INTELLIGENCE, P. 40 is 87.5. This is lower than reported in his first book...at about 90.

    Who 'chased out' the Turks from Europe recently?
    And when did Christians chase out Turks ever?

    Your claim about the US now is nonsense. Our per capita GDP is about 54K, and the highest in the world except for the Arab oil states, which are almost as dumb as the Turks.

    We are getting ready to push out all the unwashables cuz they are so strange, and stupid, and violent.

    Joe Webb
    , @Avery
    {Turks had to chase out Armenians}

    Turks did not, quote, 'chase out' Armenians.
    What happened was a pre-planned, organized campaign to exterminate Armenians and wipe them out from their ancestral lands: it is called Armenian Genocide, not 'Armenian chase out'.

    As to Turks being chased out of the Balkans, Greece etc: yeah, there were spontaneous massacres of Turk civilians during the expulsion, as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing, and it was wrong. But, the local people who were under the vile Turkish yoke for centuries had had enough.

    And how did Turks - originally nomad tribes from East and Central Asia - end up in the Balkans in the first place?
    And whose lands were those Turks living on? the lands of native peoples of the Balkans whom the invading Turks massacred and ethnically cleansed.
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  134. joe webb says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova
    Here is axiom for you!
    Loosing civilizations also nation states become highly nationalistic in every aspect.
    Turks had to chase out Armenians because they had to prepare dwellings or lebensraum for returning
    faithful from Europe, who were in turn being chased out by Christians.
    Germans become highly nationalistic because of loosing WW1.
    US is becoming nationalistic because it is loosing the economic war with the rest of the world.

    there is a wee bit of difference between killing people and population transfers. I don’t know what the current accepted figure is for the Armenian genocide, but it apparently was in the hundreds of thousands.

    I have a definite postjudice about
    Turkey, ..the book I just finished on the Muslim part of the world, wtritten by a muslim.. confirms my view. They brought nothing to the cultural table and their current IQ in Lynn, 2015, RACE DIFFERENCES IN INTELLIGENCE, P. 40 is 87.5. This is lower than reported in his first book…at about 90.

    Who ‘chased out’ the Turks from Europe recently?
    And when did Christians chase out Turks ever?

    Your claim about the US now is nonsense. Our per capita GDP is about 54K, and the highest in the world except for the Arab oil states, which are almost as dumb as the Turks.

    We are getting ready to push out all the unwashables cuz they are so strange, and stupid, and violent.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Avery
    { I don’t know what the current accepted figure is for the Armenian genocide, but it apparently was in the hundreds of thousands.}

    The current accepted figure is ~1.5 million for Armenians for the period of 1915-1923.
    Note that (Christian) Assyrians and (Christian) Pontic Greeks were also subjected to genocide between 1915-1923. There are various estimates, but about 3-3.5 million Christians were subjected to genocide by Muslim Turks and their Muslim Kurd collaborators during 1915-1923

    Prior to 1915, Sultan Hamid massacred ~300,000 Armenians 1894-1896.
    And in 1909, ~30,000 Armenians were massacred in the city of Adana by Turks.

    Asia Minor was nearly 100% Christian prior to the invasion of Muslim Turks from East and Central Asia.
    Circa 1915, about 25% of Ottoman Turkey (in Asia Minor) was Christian: Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontic Greeks.

    Today Turkey is 99.8% Muslim.
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  135. Avery says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova
    Here is axiom for you!
    Loosing civilizations also nation states become highly nationalistic in every aspect.
    Turks had to chase out Armenians because they had to prepare dwellings or lebensraum for returning
    faithful from Europe, who were in turn being chased out by Christians.
    Germans become highly nationalistic because of loosing WW1.
    US is becoming nationalistic because it is loosing the economic war with the rest of the world.

    {Turks had to chase out Armenians}

    Turks did not, quote, ‘chase out’ Armenians.
    What happened was a pre-planned, organized campaign to exterminate Armenians and wipe them out from their ancestral lands: it is called Armenian Genocide, not ‘Armenian chase out’.

    As to Turks being chased out of the Balkans, Greece etc: yeah, there were spontaneous massacres of Turk civilians during the expulsion, as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing, and it was wrong. But, the local people who were under the vile Turkish yoke for centuries had had enough.

    And how did Turks – originally nomad tribes from East and Central Asia – end up in the Balkans in the first place?
    And whose lands were those Turks living on? the lands of native peoples of the Balkans whom the invading Turks massacred and ethnically cleansed.

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  136. Avery says:
    @joe webb
    there is a wee bit of difference between killing people and population transfers. I don't know what the current accepted figure is for the Armenian genocide, but it apparently was in the hundreds of thousands.

    I have a definite postjudice about
    Turkey, ..the book I just finished on the Muslim part of the world, wtritten by a muslim.. confirms my view. They brought nothing to the cultural table and their current IQ in Lynn, 2015, RACE DIFFERENCES IN INTELLIGENCE, P. 40 is 87.5. This is lower than reported in his first book...at about 90.

    Who 'chased out' the Turks from Europe recently?
    And when did Christians chase out Turks ever?

    Your claim about the US now is nonsense. Our per capita GDP is about 54K, and the highest in the world except for the Arab oil states, which are almost as dumb as the Turks.

    We are getting ready to push out all the unwashables cuz they are so strange, and stupid, and violent.

    Joe Webb

    { I don’t know what the current accepted figure is for the Armenian genocide, but it apparently was in the hundreds of thousands.}

    The current accepted figure is ~1.5 million for Armenians for the period of 1915-1923.
    Note that (Christian) Assyrians and (Christian) Pontic Greeks were also subjected to genocide between 1915-1923. There are various estimates, but about 3-3.5 million Christians were subjected to genocide by Muslim Turks and their Muslim Kurd collaborators during 1915-1923

    Prior to 1915, Sultan Hamid massacred ~300,000 Armenians 1894-1896.
    And in 1909, ~30,000 Armenians were massacred in the city of Adana by Turks.

    Asia Minor was nearly 100% Christian prior to the invasion of Muslim Turks from East and Central Asia.
    Circa 1915, about 25% of Ottoman Turkey (in Asia Minor) was Christian: Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontic Greeks.

    Today Turkey is 99.8% Muslim.

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    • Replies: @joe webb
    thanks. And how were they killed, directly or indirectly thru famine, etc?. J
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  137. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor
    Even in its infancy, it was recognised that cinema was much greater than a mere capturing of a theatrical performance. So many other aspects, e.g. POV, lighting, scene composition could be brought to bear in the telling of a story in ways that were absent from mere theatrical performances.

    Not really. Most early efforts were little more than Nickleodeon novelty gimmicks.

    It was always more about right vs. wrong than about law and order. This is why the hero often operated outside the law.

    That theme is ageless. It's there in Christianity too. Jews have their laws of what is right. Romans have their own laws of what is right. Jesus has a personal sense of what is right.

    The Western hero could operate outside the law because the law could be corrupt, as usually is the case in the very cynical Italian Westerns. But in most Hollywood Westerns, the hero operates outside the law because the law has yet to be established and enforced. So, frontier justice paves the way for Law and Order where justice is institutionally than individually dispensed.

    Western is also about courage of justice. With assurance of institutional justice, even the wimpiest can call the police and depend on the state to carry out justice. But in the West, you can't just call the cops. You have to stand on your own two feet against villains. And Westerns show that most people are sheep, and it takes a special man to risk life and limb to stand up to do what is right. So, in a way, the Western is paradoxical. It says the Frontier is a wild and crazy place where justice is weak. But precisely justice isn't assured, it allows the rise of higher justice of courage and honor. A Western hero must have true grit to have justice. He might fight for it himself. And there is real nobility in that.

    While many Westerns are about right vs wrong, many are also about honor and pride than right or wrong. In the manly world of the Western, man cannot rely on being right alone. A man has to prove his mettle, his pride, his courage. So, it becomes a matter of honor. This is why THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE is a sad movie. Even though Tom Donifan knows Valance is a bad guy, Valance won't take away his girl. But Stewart's character does. So, Donifan's pride is really wounded more by Stewart than by anything Valance did. In Tom's way of thinking, his pride was vested in getting the prettiest girl in town. The pretty girl should go with the toughest man. But Stewart's character comes with books and teaches her to read, and she becomes aware of finer things than guys acting tough. And Donifan can't compete with that.

    "For the Western, more than other cinematic manifestations, is autobiographical about the growth, trials, and, above all, successes of and pride in the American experience.”

    Bingo! For that reason, the genre had to die or, worse still be morphed into comedy like Wild, Wild West or, worse still, feminist diatribe like Bad Girls.

    In a way, the Western did represent the American spirit and history, but its appeal was also that it preserved a moment in time. It was forward-looking with stories of frontier, but it was also nostalgic: the lost frontier.
    Because the Western was locked in time -- mainly from mid-19th century to late 19th century -- , it was limited in its symbolism and relevance.
    So, as America changed more and more, the Western became more a thing of the past.

    That is the charm of the Western too. If Western could be molded to be anything, it wouldn't be what it is. It was bound to fade as America grows more technological and urban.
    Same could be said of Samurai movies. They are still made but not like they used to be. They speak less and less to modern Japanese experience.

    PrissFactor, you are among the most important contributors to this forum. Glad you share your talent, and glad Unz created the forum.

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  138. joe webb says:
    @Avery
    { I don’t know what the current accepted figure is for the Armenian genocide, but it apparently was in the hundreds of thousands.}

    The current accepted figure is ~1.5 million for Armenians for the period of 1915-1923.
    Note that (Christian) Assyrians and (Christian) Pontic Greeks were also subjected to genocide between 1915-1923. There are various estimates, but about 3-3.5 million Christians were subjected to genocide by Muslim Turks and their Muslim Kurd collaborators during 1915-1923

    Prior to 1915, Sultan Hamid massacred ~300,000 Armenians 1894-1896.
    And in 1909, ~30,000 Armenians were massacred in the city of Adana by Turks.

    Asia Minor was nearly 100% Christian prior to the invasion of Muslim Turks from East and Central Asia.
    Circa 1915, about 25% of Ottoman Turkey (in Asia Minor) was Christian: Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontic Greeks.

    Today Turkey is 99.8% Muslim.

    thanks. And how were they killed, directly or indirectly thru famine, etc?. J

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    I have not studied how Assyrians and Greeks were killed, but Armenians were killed both directly and indirectly thru exhaustion, starvation as long columns of women, children, old were marched without food or water to Der el Zor desert (Syria). On the way, people were killed, children abducted by roving bands of Kurd and Turk brigands. Turk troops guarding the columns encouraged the bloodbaths and also participated. I imagine Assyrians and Greeks were killed directly mostly where they were, because I have not read of those two ethnoses being marched together with Armenians to their deaths.

    The Genocide was launched on April 24, 1915, when about 250-300 Armenian intellectuals, civic leaders, etc were rounded up and were 'disappeared'. Armenian men serving in the Ottoman Turk military were disarmed and shot. Other fighting age men who learned about the massacres managed to escape and organize armed defense whenever and wherever they could. The numbers of Turks and Kurds were too overwhelming to stop the AG, but self-defense saved the lives of many 1,000s of Armenians, who otherwise would have been massacred. They eventually found refuge in Eastern Armenia, which eventually became today's Republic of Armenia, about 1/10th of historic Armenian lands, currently mostly occupied by the country of Turkey.


    Thanks for the interest and thanks for correcting poster Ilyana_Rozumova
    Greatly appreciated.

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  139. Avery says:
    @joe webb
    thanks. And how were they killed, directly or indirectly thru famine, etc?. J

    I have not studied how Assyrians and Greeks were killed, but Armenians were killed both directly and indirectly thru exhaustion, starvation as long columns of women, children, old were marched without food or water to Der el Zor desert (Syria). On the way, people were killed, children abducted by roving bands of Kurd and Turk brigands. Turk troops guarding the columns encouraged the bloodbaths and also participated. I imagine Assyrians and Greeks were killed directly mostly where they were, because I have not read of those two ethnoses being marched together with Armenians to their deaths.

    The Genocide was launched on April 24, 1915, when about 250-300 Armenian intellectuals, civic leaders, etc were rounded up and were ‘disappeared’. Armenian men serving in the Ottoman Turk military were disarmed and shot. Other fighting age men who learned about the massacres managed to escape and organize armed defense whenever and wherever they could. The numbers of Turks and Kurds were too overwhelming to stop the AG, but self-defense saved the lives of many 1,000s of Armenians, who otherwise would have been massacred. They eventually found refuge in Eastern Armenia, which eventually became today’s Republic of Armenia, about 1/10th of historic Armenian lands, currently mostly occupied by the country of Turkey.

    Thanks for the interest and thanks for correcting poster Ilyana_Rozumova
    Greatly appreciated.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    Direct killings mostly took place in towns and villages, during regularly organized massacres.
    For example, as noted above, the Adana Massacre of 30,000 Armenians in 1909 took place in the city of Adana. Turkish military organized and carried it out, with enthusiastic participation of Turk civilians, who looted and appropriated the properties of the dead victims.

    The minorities in Turkey - Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Jews - were generally enterprising and were relatively well off in the cities, compared to Muslims. So, the massacres were a dual 'benefit' to the criminals: free loot, and no owners to claim it.
    , @geokat62

    I imagine Assyrians and Greeks were killed directly mostly where they were, because I have not read of those two ethnoses being marched together with Armenians to their deaths.
     
    Hey, Avery. They did to the Assyrians and Greeks what they did to the Armenians:

    Indeed, as with the Armenians, the Greeks were generally accused as a disloyal and traitorous “fifth-column,” and eventually most of the population was rounded up and forcibly deported to the interior. This modus operadi was more or less the same for all three Christian victim groups.

    http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/center-study-genocide-conflict-resolution-and-human-rights/genocide-ottoman-greeks-1914-1923
     
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  140. Avery says:
    @Avery
    I have not studied how Assyrians and Greeks were killed, but Armenians were killed both directly and indirectly thru exhaustion, starvation as long columns of women, children, old were marched without food or water to Der el Zor desert (Syria). On the way, people were killed, children abducted by roving bands of Kurd and Turk brigands. Turk troops guarding the columns encouraged the bloodbaths and also participated. I imagine Assyrians and Greeks were killed directly mostly where they were, because I have not read of those two ethnoses being marched together with Armenians to their deaths.

    The Genocide was launched on April 24, 1915, when about 250-300 Armenian intellectuals, civic leaders, etc were rounded up and were 'disappeared'. Armenian men serving in the Ottoman Turk military were disarmed and shot. Other fighting age men who learned about the massacres managed to escape and organize armed defense whenever and wherever they could. The numbers of Turks and Kurds were too overwhelming to stop the AG, but self-defense saved the lives of many 1,000s of Armenians, who otherwise would have been massacred. They eventually found refuge in Eastern Armenia, which eventually became today's Republic of Armenia, about 1/10th of historic Armenian lands, currently mostly occupied by the country of Turkey.


    Thanks for the interest and thanks for correcting poster Ilyana_Rozumova
    Greatly appreciated.

    Direct killings mostly took place in towns and villages, during regularly organized massacres.
    For example, as noted above, the Adana Massacre of 30,000 Armenians in 1909 took place in the city of Adana. Turkish military organized and carried it out, with enthusiastic participation of Turk civilians, who looted and appropriated the properties of the dead victims.

    The minorities in Turkey – Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Jews – were generally enterprising and were relatively well off in the cities, compared to Muslims. So, the massacres were a dual ‘benefit’ to the criminals: free loot, and no owners to claim it.

    Read More
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  141. geokat62 says:
    @Avery
    I have not studied how Assyrians and Greeks were killed, but Armenians were killed both directly and indirectly thru exhaustion, starvation as long columns of women, children, old were marched without food or water to Der el Zor desert (Syria). On the way, people were killed, children abducted by roving bands of Kurd and Turk brigands. Turk troops guarding the columns encouraged the bloodbaths and also participated. I imagine Assyrians and Greeks were killed directly mostly where they were, because I have not read of those two ethnoses being marched together with Armenians to their deaths.

    The Genocide was launched on April 24, 1915, when about 250-300 Armenian intellectuals, civic leaders, etc were rounded up and were 'disappeared'. Armenian men serving in the Ottoman Turk military were disarmed and shot. Other fighting age men who learned about the massacres managed to escape and organize armed defense whenever and wherever they could. The numbers of Turks and Kurds were too overwhelming to stop the AG, but self-defense saved the lives of many 1,000s of Armenians, who otherwise would have been massacred. They eventually found refuge in Eastern Armenia, which eventually became today's Republic of Armenia, about 1/10th of historic Armenian lands, currently mostly occupied by the country of Turkey.


    Thanks for the interest and thanks for correcting poster Ilyana_Rozumova
    Greatly appreciated.

    I imagine Assyrians and Greeks were killed directly mostly where they were, because I have not read of those two ethnoses being marched together with Armenians to their deaths.

    Hey, Avery. They did to the Assyrians and Greeks what they did to the Armenians:

    Indeed, as with the Armenians, the Greeks were generally accused as a disloyal and traitorous “fifth-column,” and eventually most of the population was rounded up and forcibly deported to the interior. This modus operadi was more or less the same for all three Christian victim groups.

    http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/center-study-genocide-conflict-resolution-and-human-rights/genocide-ottoman-greeks-1914-1923

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    OK Geo.
    Learned something new today (.....I am embarrassed that I did not already know about something like that).

    Thanks.
    Yasou.

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  142. Avery says:
    @geokat62

    I imagine Assyrians and Greeks were killed directly mostly where they were, because I have not read of those two ethnoses being marched together with Armenians to their deaths.
     
    Hey, Avery. They did to the Assyrians and Greeks what they did to the Armenians:

    Indeed, as with the Armenians, the Greeks were generally accused as a disloyal and traitorous “fifth-column,” and eventually most of the population was rounded up and forcibly deported to the interior. This modus operadi was more or less the same for all three Christian victim groups.

    http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/center-study-genocide-conflict-resolution-and-human-rights/genocide-ottoman-greeks-1914-1923
     

    OK Geo.
    Learned something new today (…..I am embarrassed that I did not already know about something like that).

    Thanks.
    Yasou.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
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