open range

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OPEN RANGE and THE ALAMO (DVD): The return of the real Westerns?

OPEN RANGE and THE ALAMO (DVD): The return of the real Westerns?

Recently the Kevin Costner movie Dragonfly from 2002 turned up on television. You'd probably never heard of it. I hadn't. It's hard to believe that after Dances with Wolves of 1990 and the inexplicably popular The Bodyguard of just two years later that it could all go downhill so fast for Costner. Just three years after getting...

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY; THE DIRECTOR'S CUT (DVD): The horse opera of death

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY; THE DIRECTOR'S CUT (DVD): The horse opera of death

The reputation of the epic Western has been somewhat tarnished in recent years, but the tradition of outsiders and the lawless world they inhabited is an honourable one. However, by the mid-Sixties, with the rise of the anti-hero and a more gritty kind of cinema, it took the Italian director Sergio Leone to re-invent the tired genre....

THE BRAVADOS and BANDOLERO! (DVD): Westerns of the outlaw kind

THE BRAVADOS and BANDOLERO! (DVD): Westerns of the outlaw kind

The early years of the 21st century saw a revival of gritty, realistic and unglamorous westerns with morally ambivalent characters. Clint Eastwood (of course) had set the tone in the early Nineties with Unforgiven; Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall resurrected the genre to great critical if not commercial success in 2004 with Open...

THE HAUNTING PAST OF CINEMA: Classics illustrated

THE HAUNTING PAST OF CINEMA: Classics illustrated

For those of us who are pay-per-view civilians, television is a kaleidoscope portal from the present (the Oscars, downtown Baghdad on a bad day) to the past (the History Channel), and sometimes into an imagined future (although heaven forbid it should be as po-faced as Stargate SG-1). The time-shift possibilities can be fun, but they are a...

THE MISSING a film by RON HOWARD

THE MISSING a film by RON HOWARD

For those who consider the Western as an art form there will always be debate on which films should be counted among the greatest in the genre: down to personal taste and protracted argument would be 3.10 To Yuma (1957, Van Heflin vs Glenn Ford in a story by Elmore Leonard); Posse ('75 Kirk Douglas vs Bruce Dern); The Gunfighter ('50, Gregory...

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