Standard 1950s Western


Hey folks,

This is no Lonesome Dove, but it is a decent Western and worth watching. I probably saw this back in the 1950s, but I do not recall seeing it back then.

In addition to Calhoun and Teal, it was a real pleasure to see Max Baer, the former heavyweight champion of the world in a featured role. It is plain to see that Baer is no fish out of water while on screen. Baer is most convincing in his role and clearly shows he had the talent to earn his way as a journeyman actor. In his early fight scene with Calhoun, he is more than able to make the action look natural. At the end of the fight after being spent and beaten by Calhoun, he clings to a hitching rail and slips down the post most convincingly. There are many times in films where an actor doing such a scene will drop in such a phony way, but not Baer.

Was this my favorite Western? No way - not close, but it was worth watching, and the story was pretty good. It was based on a Louis L'Amour novel that I do not remember reading. I guess I will have to read the novel now.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile



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Hey Dave,

Max Baer was a natural actor, because he was always performing before the public. He loved being in the limelight, and was always clowning around. Maybe if he did less clowning and more fighting, he would have been a been a better Champion. It's interesting how many boxers have tried their hand at acting--it seems an obsession.

Gentleman Jim Corbett beat John L. Sullivan, and then went on stage for five years, never defending his Championship until he was beaten by Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897. Jack Dempsey spent much of his time as champion in Hollywood during the 20's. The list of boxers that have appeared in movies and TV is longer than Joe Biden's list of gaffs, but I guess the two professions go hand-in-hand a good deal of the time.

Even Joe Frazier tried to have a singing career (now that was a treat),and Jake LaMotta did a nightclub act for years.

One final note -- Max Baer passed his acting genes on to his son, who portrayed Jethro on "The Beverly Hillbillies" (certainly one of the most masterful performances in modern-day cinema).

Also, I thought the treatment of Max Baer in the movie "Cinderella Man" was sad. It made a good story, but I don't think Max Bear was the belligerent, mean, bent on destruction beast portrayed in the movie.

Best wishes,
Clintessence

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Hey Clint,

I thought Cinderella Man was a really good film that was diminished by portraying Max Baer as he was. What was Ron Howard thinking? Braddock's story was a great story, and it was just plain dumb to create the Baer monster.

Having never seen Gentleman Jim Corbett live, I have no idea of what thespian abilities he may have had. I have seen some films of Dempsey outside of the ring, and while he certainly did seem to be most personable, I never saw anything of thespian nature. Dempsey was also famous for saying, "I can't sing and I can't dance, but I can lick any SOB in the house." Back in 1958, I met a man who told me he once saw and heard Dempsey make that statement at some staged event where he challenged all comers to fight for house money. I know one thing - those guys were a lot tougher than I.

After winning the heavyweight championship in 1959, Ingemar Johansson was featured in the 1960 film, All the Young Men. If I remember correctly, I do not think he was all that convincing in his role. He certainly was not the talent that was exhibited by Max Baer.

Concerning Baer's son, Max Baer Jr., he apparently had an acting career that went from 1960 to 1989, and he was probably best known for his role in The Beverly Hillbillies. In all fairness to Junior, I do not remember any of his work except The Beverly Hillbillies, and I hated that show and gave no credence to any of the actors in the show - including Buddy Ebsen who I liked in many other shows.

Yes, I think Max Baer Sr. really was a talented actor.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile


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Hey Dave,

Here's a little trivia for you, since you said you give no credence to any of the actors on "The Beverly Hillbillies". Donna Douglas (who played Ellie Mae Clampett), guest starred with Clint Eastwood on an episode of "Mr. Ed". I told you this because I know you secretly wanted to know.

Best wishes,
Clintessence

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Hey Clint,

When I said I did not give credence to the actors on that show, I was admitting my prejudice. I did not say there was no talent; I simply said I did not recognize it as such because I was prejudiced in my opinion of the show. I thought it was hokey, and that is being kind in my opinion. I also think the same thing about Mr Ed, Petticoat Junction, The Dukes of Hazard, and other similar shows of such ilk.

I do not dislike comedy. I dislike dumb slapstick stuff some folks call comedy. Now if you want to talk about MASH, Barney Miller, Mary Tyler Moore Show, and a few others like them, then I am all for comedy.

In my opinion, neither Douglas nor Eastwood were acting in Mr Ed. I would say they were getting paid to be seen on TV, which almost seems like J. Fred Muggs was doing for Dave Garroway.

You ought to be ashamed to admit you watched those shows.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

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No Dave,it is not Lonesome Dove with a filthy script.
Utah Blaine is a Great Western!

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All you guys make this forum interesting - and funny. 😃To bad more of the IMDB posters don't lighten up a bit more.

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You guys write some good stuff. I enjoy reading - and it's funny😃 Too bad more of the IMDB posters can't lighten up a bit more.

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