Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hail, hail...the conqeror

As I am sure I have written before, I am not a fan of the western genre. As a matter of fact, I prefer comedies that spoof Western cliches like Blazing Saddles and Support Your Local Sherriff more than actual great westerns.

This goes the same for classic westerns as it does for more modern ones. People talk about how great John Wayne classics such as She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, True Grit or Rio Bravo. I just don't get them as being "must sees".

Though if you want a must see John Wayne movie, consider the 1956 film The Conquerer. Are you sitting down, in this film, Wayne plays mongolian warrior Genghis Khan. Think about that for a second. Genghis Khan!!!! And this wasn't one of those he was contractually obligated to play this role, Wayne apparently read the script and lobbied for the starring role. Here is an excerpt from the film from youtube.

What's even funnier, this one reviewer says the casting of Wayne is not the worst part of the movie. Check out his review for more details. The legend of this film has become even larger due to the fact that it was filmed in St. George, Utah, downwind of the US government's nuclear testing facility. Even after the six week shoot, producer Howard Hughes had 60 tons of that sand taken to Hollywood so they could do re-shoots. By 1984, 91 members of the cast and crew had developed cancer with over half that number dying from that cancer including all the principal actors from the film.

Top 5 favourite classic westerns
1. Winchester '73
2. High Noon
3. The Searchers
4. Shane
5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance
Ironically, the point of this blog entry was to talk about the 1993 western Tombstone. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked talking about John Wayne so Tombstone will have to wait until tomorrow.



Blogger Merdus said...

Jbo, that was one of the most painful clips I've ever seen. Was that filmed in Arizona? And I didn't know that Genghis Khan had a caucasian wife, or that the mongols rode palominos and thoroughbreds....... (barf!)
About the western genre, you're mostly right, but there are good ones. I like Unforgiven, for one, Pale Rider and Dances with Wolves - although the latter doesn't involve gunslinging in any way. Unforgiven is a little tongue in cheek, but that's part of what makes it good.

Can you do your next entry on Clint Eastwood westerns, pleeeeze?


10:50 AM  

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