Chester Graham Jr.:I have no intention of eating your “grub,” as you call it.
Dan Matthews: Come chow time, you’ll change your mind. Come on, we haven’t got all day.
Chester Graham Jr.: I’m not going with you and I’m not going on any dirty old cattle drive.
Dan Matthews: Hmm. I guess we’ll have to use the same tactics we use with the buckity colt.
Charlie Allnut: How’d you like it?
Rose Sayer: Like it?
Charlie Allnut: White water rapids!
Rose Sayer: I never dreamed. . .
Charlie Allnut: I don’t blame you for being scared – not one bit. Nobody with good sense ain’t scared of white water. . .
Rose Sayer: I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!
I first saw this film on Elizabeth Taylor day during the 2010 Summer under the Stars on TCM and I’ll admit I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about. I was unsure why it was considered one of the greatest American movies. Then I saw it a second time, about six months later, on the big screen at the Egyptian Theatre during the TCM Film Festival in 2011 and suddenly I got it. That’s not to say it doesn’t necessarily translate well on the small screen (I’ve seen it many times since at home), but there was just something about seeing it on the big screen that made the magic come alive for me. I love this film so dearly and it is one I just cannot recommend enough. It was one AFI’s 100 Years. . .100 Movies list ranking at #92, but when they did their ten-year anniversary it fell off the list. It also ranked #53 on AFI’s 100 Years. . .100 Passions list. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning six. It lost Best Picture to An American in Paris, which was nominated for only eight Academy Awards, but won six as well. The only two awards An American In Paris lost (Director/Film Editing) were to A Place in the Sun, which was nominated for: Best B&W Cinematography (won), Best B&W Costume Design (won), Best Score (won), Best Screenplay (won), Best Film Editing (won), Best Actor Montgomery Clift, Best Actress Shelley Winters, Best Director (won) and Best Picture. The other films nominated that year were Decision Before Dawn, Quo Vadis, A Streetcar Named Desire and winner An American in Paris. This was also a strange year because three of the acting awards went to A Streetcar Named Desire (the fourth went Bogart in The African Queen). Also, if you look at the awards both A Place in the Sun and An American in Paris won, the only way they could have won them was because they were in separate categories (B&W vs. color, musical vs. not musical). This is part of why I love looking at the older Academy Awards ceremonies; they have a fun evolutionary history.
Now available from the Warner Archive, William A. Wellman’s western drama Westward The Women is not only an impressive feat in cinematic storytelling, but also features one of the best ensembles of women in the classical Hollywood era. I’m really quite surprised this film isn’t more highly regarded than it is. It definitely packs the kind of shocking punch you come to expect from a Bill Wellman picture. In fact, it almost feels like some of his pre-code films and contains some elements that I found rather shocking in a film from 1951.
Henry Holland: A minute later, the guard will appear around this corner, and you, Pendlebury, will detain him for at least half a minute. Ask him for a light, ask him the way, ask him anything, but keep him there, we must have those thirty seconds.
Henry Holland: I beg your pardon?
Pendlebury: Isn’t one supposed to say that when one’s being briefed? On my rare visits to the cinema. . .
Henry Holland: The word is “roger.”
Pendlebury: Oh, roger. How silly of me.