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Another excellent shootout that we've missed is the end of Ride the High Country.
"Where's the rifle"
"It's on the horse"
Funny you should mention Ride the High Country. Here's something to ponder about that film.

Released seven years before The Wild Bunch, it was also directed by Sam Peckinpah. It's often considered Peckinpah's first truly great film. So think about this. Both films are about over-the-hill men in the early part of the 20th Century. Except in this case Joel McCrea plays an ex-lawman.

And note how McCrea looks and dresses in the film. He's pretty much an early version of William Holden in the later film. Only thing missing is the mustache. And McCrea's character even employs some of the same looks and gestures that Holden did later in The Wild Bunch. They look enough alike to be brothers.

And Peckinpah changed the whole shooting script around. You know how, in The Wild Bunch, even though the audience sees Holden's bunch as the good guys (even though they're outlaws), all the good guys die in the end. In Ride the High Country, the original script called for just the bad guys to die in the shootout. Peckinpah changed it around so that McCrea's character dies in the end, adding a whole 'nother level to the film and making it even more successful. The film was McCrea's and Scott's last major role. Matter of fact, Randolph Scott retired after completing the film. I guess he wanted to quit while he was ahead.

In spite of a few critically acclaimed westerns in the fifties, the genre was about as dead as a strung up cattle rustler. Most westerns by then were mostly "B" movies (my opinion). With Ride the High Country, Peckinpah sort of resurrected the genre and gave it back the depth and meaning of the real Old West. And after Ride the High Country, The Wild Bunch, and the early Clint Eastwood westerns, every movie studio on the planet was looking to make "cowboy movies".

Randolph Scott, by the way, is buried just about three miles from my house.

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If you go very far down in this article about movie rental “prop guns” and what became of some of them, it talks about a guy who bought a blue worn 5 1/2” wood handled SAA and after researching it’s film history discovered it was “Pike Bishop’s” gun. What a score that was.

 

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Peckinpah's first full-length feature The Deadly Companions is good too, if you like Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara. Not a great movie but above average.
I watched the ending of Major Dundee the other night.

Peckinpah's first choice for Pike Bishop was Lee Marvin, but Marvin was paid big bucks to do Paint Your Wagon which turned out good imo. While Lee Marvin would have been a good Pike, Holden was perfect. Charlton Heston was also considered.
 

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Peckinpah's first full-length feature The Deadly Companions is good too, if you like Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara. Not a great movie but above average.
I watched the ending of Major Dundee the other night.

Peckinpah's first choice for Pike Bishop was Lee Marvin, but Marvin was paid big bucks to do Paint Your Wagon which turned out good imo. While Lee Marvin would have been a good Pike, Holden was perfect. Charlton Heston was also considered.
Speaking of Lee Marvin, I like The Professionals.
 

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Speaking of Lee Marvin, I like The Professionals.
Lee Marvin died way too soon. His death genuinely shocked me. His character in The Professionals, Henry Fardan, was totally believable. The film takes place in 1910, and really, the only way to say it is Lee Marvin looks the part he's playing. It's almost as if he isn't acting.

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Lee Marvin died way too soon. His death genuinely shocked me. His character in The Professionals, Henry Fardan, was totally believable. The film takes place in 1910, and really, the only way to say it is Lee Marvin looks the part he's playing. It's almost as if he isn't acting.

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I read somewhere that when they filmed this movie in the desert Lee Marvin and Woodie Strode were partying and drinking in Las Vegas and they we’re shooting at some casino sign with a bow and arrow trying to put out the lights. There’s a scene in the movie during the escape where LM sits next to Claudia Cardinals and instinctively removed his right gun from the holster so she couldn’t grab it. Just a little yet real detail. He did it so instinctively Like his character would.
 

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Great WOW clip thanks Matt!

Off topic but there is a great adventure novel called "The Chinese Bandit" by Stephen Becker about a China Marine adrift in the middle kingdom pre- "liberation". Peckinpah being a China Marine could have made a super great movie out of that- book came out in 75', word was someone optioned it but it never was made.

Alas Sam left far to soon..
 

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Lee Marvin died way too soon. His death genuinely shocked me. His character in The Professionals, Henry Fardan, was totally believable. The film takes place in 1910, and really, the only way to say it is Lee Marvin looks the part he's playing. It's almost as if he isn't acting.

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Lee Marvin was drunk for much of the movie according to several sources...as he was during other movies he was in as well. Supposedly Burt Lancaster was fed up with him for much of the filming. He was functional enough when weapons were being used his Marine training kicked in and was completely professional in weapons handling and discipline regardless of his alcohol intake.
 

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Lee Marvin was drunk for much of the movie according to several sources...as he was during other movies he was in as well. Supposedly Burt Lancaster was fed up with him for much of the filming. He was functional enough when weapons were being used his Marine training kicked in and was completely professional in weapons handling and discipline regardless of his alcohol intake.
When I was young, I wanted to be a professional actor. I've done enough of it to say Lee Marvin was a better actor drunk than many were sober. :)
 

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I thought this gunfight in “Conagher” was very realistic. Not much to it since I think only three or four shots were fired. Usually in westerns guys blast away, but here Sam Elliott takes careful aim and you can hear the bullet slapping into the guy. This was a TV movie, though, and not a theater release film like w’re talking about here. Bottom vid where he trades some Sharps carbines for supplies.


 

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In the sixties, when Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name films hit the American market, I was stationed down at Eglin AFB. The films caused a sensation and catapulted Eastwood to stardom which has lasted for the rest of his life. My best friend and shooting buddy Chris and I were hooked. We wanted to be the Man With No Name. We had single-actions and western gun belts and holsters. In those days, you could pick up a fancy carved Mexican-made rig for ten bucks. We did the quick draw thing using wax bullets (messy at times, but fun). And of course, the Eastwood films spawned a host of what became known as Spaghetti Westerns.

Anyway, one of my all-time favorite fanciful shootout scenes is the now-famous my-mule-don't-like-people-laughin' scene from A Fistful of Dollars. I use the word "fanciful" because reality doesn't figure into it. Eastwood plays it so straight-faced, it's really just a little masterpiece all by itself. And the viewer knows it's all B.S., but still, you can't help but love it.

 
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