Tag Archives: western genre

Come Sundown

This is a kind of a mother of all western novel from Mike Blakely. It straddles generations as Honore Greenwood aka The Plenty Man, a runaway from France lands in an unlikely wild west to live a life as a Comanche, an Indian tribe. Greenwood or On’ry as he is sometimes called is a kind of do it all handy man for settling all kind of disputes among the tribes and also between the tribes and the white people.

He takes the side of the Union against the Texans and later fights the blue coats to stave off destruction of his Comanche tribe. Greenwood is a brilliant mind that could have become a doctor yet he ends up learning medicine from the local chieftain. He takes in a Cheyenne wife Westerly and that ends in a kind of tragedy.

Large section of the book dwells upon the indigenous Indians and their never ending fight against the white people who are out to massacre them and grab their lands and cattle and property. The narrative of Mike Blakely is absolutely magnificent in the sense that you start flowing with his words among the wild west territory and feeling for the natives of the land. Goodreads 5/5

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The Gunfighter

Lovely American western movie “The Gunfighter” (1950) directed by Henry King and starring Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott among others .

Jimmy Ringo (Gregory Peck) is known as the fastest draw in the west and nobody ain’t matching him for that. A young reckless cowboy infuriates him forcing Jimmy to draw and the kill the young kid. His three brother wants revenge.

Jimmy heads to Cayenne where he hopes to meet his estranged wife and kid whom he has never seen so far. He runs into Marshal Mark Strett (Milard Mitchell) who is his old friend and treats him well, but urges him to leave town as soon as possible. His wife Peggy (Helen Westcott) refuses to meet him.

Meanwhile another daring young policeman needles Ringo for a draw but Jimmy refuses to get involved. He just wants to meet his wife and kid and leave. The three brothers meanwhile arrive into town for a showdown.

Nice clean movie with very little gun fight unlike what you normally see in western movies. In fact there is hardly any gunfight around save for one or two. Gregory Peck is nice and restrained and mature acting skills do him too good. Milard Mitchell as the sheriff has done a reasonably good job.

Lot of excitement in the movie, lots of human interest without too much of emotional showdown. There is a kind of a legacy for good honest gunners in the wild west with the underlying theme being either them or me. IMDB 8/10

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Under the Sweetwater Rim

Another bustling fast moving Western from the master of the Western genre Louis L’Amour.

A wagon train carrying passengers including women, children and senior people and gold for the payroll is attacked by renegades and the wagons runs off the track and falls into a gorge, killing all the people on board. But one coach carrying the money, ambulance and two women were not among the wreckages.

One of the women is the daughter of Major Mark Devereaux, Mary Devereaux and her companion Belle Renick, wife of a captain. They are out in the wild with Lieutenant Tenadore Brian a fine officer as can be with rich international experience as well as cunning of the frontier west, where he grew up. Mary and Brian have something going on between themselves, which her father is not happy about.

So they have the women and the gold and Major Devereaux is on their trail with his contingent of officers and bad man Reuben Kelsey also on his back for the gold. Kelsey is Brian’s good friend from his younger days gone rogue and eyeing money and women now.

Louis L’Amour has presented a beautiful picture of the rugged frontier west with its mountains, caves, hills, slopes, hard country and kept an absorbing narrative to the end. Plenty of action throughout the book. Goodreads 5/5

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Stagecoach

What a brilliant western movie this one, Stagecoach (1939) directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Louise Platt, John Carradine, George Bancroft, Thomas Mitchell among others.

A rich star cast, superb direction, awesome camera work, beautiful cinematography, awesome story and screenplay make this a cult classic. A fine western movie as has been made any time – one of the all time great westerns.

Dallas (Claire Trevor) is a prostitute driven out of town by a Law and Order League of women of that town. Mrs. Mallory (Louise Platt) is pregnant and going to meet her husband who is a soldier in the army. They are all going in a stagecoach with Marshal Curley (George Bancroft) and Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell) a sozzled doctor. Hatfield (John Carradine) a gambler tags along.

There is danger on the way from Apaches. Banker Henry Gatewood comes along after having embezzled from the bank and he is running away. Along the way Ringo Kid (John Wayne) joins in. He has broken from jail and on the lookout for Luke Plummer and his brother and father who were responsible for the murder of his brother and father. He has vowed revenge.

All this makes for a heady cocktail. There is romance brewing between Ringo and Dallas, there is the much pregnant Mrs. Mallory, the drunken doc, danger from apaches, hard country, hard riding all going into a tumultuous end. The horse riding scene with the apaches chasing them is quite spectacular. Would have been great to watch this scene on the big screen.

The movie is in black and white, still the cinematography is quite breathtaking by Bert Glennon. It would have been great to have this movie digitally converted into colour.

All the characters have acted quite superbly – from John Wayne, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell as the drunken doc got the best supporting actor at the Oscars and George Bancroft whom we saw act quite brilliantly in Underground, is again very good here. All in all, a great western movie to watch.

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Angel and the Badman

1947 American western starring John Wayne, Gail Russell among others. Quirt Evans (John Wayne) comes to Worth’s farm in an injured state. The Worth family who are Quakers who believe in non violence tend to him and nurse him to health. Their daughter Penelope (Gail Russell) develops fond feelings for him. But Quirt has a past to catch up with and that past comes back to the Worth ranch to settle the dues. Against him are a bunch of no gooders who steal cattle and loot. Exciting second half of the movie when matters start stirring up. Excellent action scenes involving the horses and riders in rough country. Some great chase sequences there. Cinematography is quite brilliant for a movie made in 1947. The movie was originally made in black and white but somebody put colour into it through artificial intelligence and it has come out very well. John Wayne looks old and jaded in the movie while Gail Russell looked fresh. It was a pity that Gail Russell had such a short and tragic life.

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McCabe

McCabe by Edmund Naughton (no image found anywhere) is a western fiction book. McCabe is a larger than life hero, having moved to a small nondescript town called Presbyterian Church. The town had this church, one main street, couple of dining bars and that’s about all. When McCabe moved from Bearpaw to Presbyterian Church, there was one dining bar owned by Sheehan. McCabe damaged that monopoly by building his own dining bar with gambling tables. Out comes Mrs. Miller a whore looking to establish herself in Presbyterian Church. She had also come from Bearpaw, where she apparently learned that this town had some zinc, so good prospects for business. McCabe slowly falls for her. He is also a ace gunshot by the way. So when the mining company tries to buy out the entire town, problem starts. They send somebody to negotiate, it fails, then they send gunmen to finish it off. Not much of a story in the book. Apparently this book was made into a movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmFMpg_fgIg directed by Robert Altman and it became a huge hit in 1971. The book was published in 1959 by the way. Edmund Naughton (1926-2013) was an American writer and McCabe was his first book. He wrote 5 more books, “The Pardner” in 1971, “A Case in Madrid” in 1973 and “The Maximum Game” in 1975. Two more books were directly translated into French only.

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

Goodreads 2/5

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Trail of a Gunfighter

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Story of a frontier man, Shelby Scott a.k.a. Sam Austin set in the 19th century in the tough dusty rugged countryside of America. He rescues the infant daughter of his best friend Sam Bass and sets about a life to give the best of life to the kid, but in the meanwhile, battling various enemies along the way. The story has three narrations, one from Sam Austin, second from the girl he rescued Sarah Ann Frank and the third from her husband, late into the story. True western genre, beautiful narrative, moving story, rare book. Goodreads 5/5

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The Gun-Slingin’ Gringo

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William Colt MacDonald is the master of the western genre, and boy he does not let you down with this thrilling gun-slingin tale of an American Dale Stephens who is broke and hungry meets up with a spanish hombre Pascal Santiago. Stephens saves Santiago for which he is all gratitude and then he needs help from Dale a.k.a. Gila Shadow in relocating his son from Mexico, there is money from bank loot, guns, lots of shooting, lots of killing, horse rides, typical western fare from the master of the genre. Goodreads 5/5

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