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Nailed It: Hawks, Brackett and Wayne!   Leave a comment

Hey all! I have another Nailed It! Guest Blog for you this week, this time coming from my long time partner in crime Little Sam! Who is of regular size, but still smaller than me.  He tells us about what makes a perfect movie for him  – Atomic Sam

JW

The talk of Star Wars, Instant Netflix, and the idea of the perfect film have gotten me thinking. Thanks, Sam… you jerk!

In fairness, Spam pitched the Nailed It! series.  So blame him too! – AS

Firstly, I should mention that I like Westerns and John Wayne Westerns in particular. I grew up on them and credit them with much of my paleo-conservative blood-lust. The perfect John Wayne movie for me has to be a Western and it has to be of a very specific genre:

With the help of a widow with a questionable past, John Wayne and three sidekicks hold up in a jail with their prisoner waiting on the US Marshall/Cavalry until one of them is captured by the bad guys and they must make a prisoner exchange.”

That IS a specific genre! –AS

While The War Wagon, Hondo, The Train Robers, Big Jake and maybe a dozen others contain elements or are attempts at a variation on this, three films set the standard:

220px-RiobravoposterRio Bravo (1959)
220px-El_Dorado_(John_Wayne_movie_poster)
El Dorado (1966)
220px-Rio_Lobo_1970
and Rio Lobo (1970)

All were produced and directed by Howard Hawks, written by Leigh Brackett (from different source materials) and stared John Wayne. The cast is always different but all feature a drunk, an old coot, a brunette widow and a young-kid-who-can’t-stay-out-of-trouble.  Hell! Wayne is even using the same gun and wearing the same buckle in all three!

Rio Bravo is good but El Dorado is the perfect telling of that tale. But, that didn’t stop the team from trying again with Rio Lobo Rio Lobo was Leigh Brackett last film with either Wayne or Hawks. Brackett’s last film, which she died before completing, is  The Empire Strikes Back (I told you this was about Star Wars).

And now for Little Sam’s thoughts on perfection (or lack there of) in film:

Whether it is Rothko and the Seagram Murals or Roddenberry and Star Trek the artist often exists in a war with the audience for control. While most modern creators seek to create a perfection it is often in the perfect that we (the audience) find the most satisfaction. Film nerds in particular are notorious for finding joy in imperfections. Whether it is Han’s “I know” line or the car in the distance of a shot of LOTR, we take sick glee in the unplanned or erroneous. These errors tend to add to the appreciation rather than detract.

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Posted February 20, 2013 by atomicsam in Guest Posts, Nailed It

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