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Wayne’s World - Lights - Camera - Auction!

By Bennett Owen

Heritage Auctions has just released a catalog of items from ‘The Personal Property of John Wayne’ to be auctioned off on October 6-7.  We’re talking everything from his 1977 driver’s license to his Golden Globe Award for True Grit.  For those who are interested, you can browse through it online.  

Let’s say I have an extra $100,000 tucked under the mattress, just waiting for the right investment to come along. Yes, as a matter of fact it DOES look suspiciously like Monopoly (c) money. Nevertheless, here’s my wish list of John Wayne memorabilia: 

1 - We start out with his Stetson hat from Hondo, one of my personal favorite Wayne westerns - Asking price - $25,000

Credit: Heritage Auction

Credit: Heritage Auction

2 - How about a conversation piece? One of the eye patches, Wayne wore as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit - asking price - $4,000

Credit: Heritage Auction

Credit: Heritage Auction

3 - A Period Suit from “McLintock” - I’ll probably have to have it tailored and brown doesn’t really suit me but just the thought that Maureen O’Hara touched it gives me goose bumps. Another of my favorite westerns for the fight scene alone - asking price - $4,000

Credit: Heritage Auction

Credit: lookmeintheye

4 - Eight Sheriff Badges - One for each day of the week. I’ll have to research how many sheriffs Duke actually played - asking price - $650

Credit: Heritage Auction

5 - A script from Stagecoach - yes it truly is one of the best westerns of all time. I’ve read the screenplay about 10 times at but this will be nice to have and hold - asking price - $3,000

Credit: Heritage Auction

6 - A pair of Lucchese Cowboy Boots from True Grit - Hey, he may have been a mangy old codger but Rooster had style! - asking price - $8.000

Credit: Heritage Auction

7 - A leather vest from The Comancheros, another Wayne western I’ll have a look at any chance I get. Say, I might actually wear this one in public - asking price - $4,000

Credit: Heritage Auction

Credit: Heritage Auction

OK folks, I’m up at the $50,000 mark and I’m salivating over two big ticket items and only have enough cash to buy one of them. So help me out ... which of the following would YOU choose???

- The Golden Globe Award for True Grit - asking price - $50,000

Credit: Heritage Auction

Credit: Heritage Auction


- John Wayne’s Western Saddle and Stand - asking price - $45,000

Credit: Heritage Auction

Credit: Heritage Auction

So weigh in with your personal choice and a few words that might sway me! 


Cowboys and Tomatoes

By Bennett Owen

Credit: accessatlanta

It’s sitting on a 75% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes…no word yet on box office numbers but we can be reasonably sure Cowboys and Aliens is a smash! A sampling of reviews –

…”When the wonderfully grumpy, still Indy-fit Harrison Ford socks Daniel Craig on the jaw and Craig hits back even harder, it feels like a baton is being passed.”

Washington Post         

“It’s just big silly fun, the kind you’re supposed to have at a summer movie with a ridiculous title.”

Detroit News         

"Cowboys & Aliens has less to do with aliens and more to do with the relationships among the earthlings – cowboys, Indians, criminals, prostitutes, saloonkeepers, orphans and a mysterious, beautiful woman who come together to fight a common, extraterrestrial enemy.”

San Diego Union         


Credit Socialitelife

“Aliens abduct astonished townspeople in the Old West! A mysterious amnesiac gunslinger rides to the rescue! Extraterrestrials get lassoed and blown to bits in cool-looking ways! What’s not to like?”

New York Post         

“With this performance and his recurring role as James Bond, Craig may be the baddest man on the planet. To paraphrase a popular joke, ‘Daniel Craig is so bad that Chuck Norris has his poster on his wall.’”

Nolan’s Pop Culture Review         

“The Searchers meets Independence Day. Great fun.”

Chicago Sun-Times         

“It’s like a double feature but with all the boring bits taken out and all the fight scenes spliced together.”

Newark Star-Ledger         

“The actors seem truly invested in trying to convey what characters in a Western would do if confronted by aliens. That they succeed in taking the viewers on that journey with them is the precise extent to which Cowboys & Aliens becomes something special.

MSN Movies         

Hey. Nobody has even mentioned Olivia Wilde’s half-naked campfire scene. That must mean the rest of the movie is simply all kinds of awesome.  Let us know what YOU thought!

Credit: Socialitelife


Cowboys and Aliens – From Start to Finish

By Bennett Owen

OK, humor me. Just one more post after this and then it’s off to C&A Rehab. 

Cowboys and Aliens is a project that exists on the broad shoulders of its title alone. From its conception as a comic book, graphic novel and now summer blockbuster, it’s the title that’s lured investors, writers and A-List Hollywood talent.

Credit: seanpaune

Gone With the Wind may be the best-selling movie of all time but the name is not an instant grabber.  Think of the titles that will plant butts in movie seats on opening night no matter how good or bad the subject matter is:

  • Strangers on a Train
  • Snakes on a Plane
  • A Fistful of Dollars
  • A Streetcar Named Desire

And now, please add Cowboys and Aliens to the list. Here’s co-screenwriter and producer Roberto Orci admitting as much to SuperHeroHype:

SHH: What was it about the comic or the premise that got you interested in developing it?

Orci: Honestly, it was the title. We saw it on a list of development projects and we thought, "Why isn't that awesome title being actively turned into a movie?" Then we looked at the comic, and it was exactly what we hoped it would be…

Credit: Comic Book Resources

C&A started as a comic adventure, created by Comic Book King Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, based on a game he played as a kid.

But even as a comic, developers saw its future up on the silver screen. C&A is an alternate history concept. A "what if" story that turns warring Cowboys and Indians into grudging allies as they are confronted by an alien force.

Credit: scificool


Rosenberg’s Platinum Studios released the  "Cowboys & Aliens" graphic novel in 2006 and it quickly rose to number one.


Insiders say the final movie script has little in common with the comic other than the premise. But the screenwriting team has a magnificent combined body of work behind it, so that bodes well for the finished product.

Credit: Tradereadingorder

John Nolte at Big Hollywood is just as excited to see the movie as I am. Here’s his take:


For the first time in a long time, I’m drawn to see something in the theatre and will try to catch a matinee tomorrow. I like Daniel Craig, love director Jon Favreau, the title is awesome, the trailer even better, Westerns rule, and maybe — just maybe — after 15 disastrous years that culminated in the dreadfully embarrassing Indiana Jones IV, Harrison Ford will go back to being Harrison Ford again.

And finally, here’s yet another phenomenal Ford interview at Screen Rant:


And now if you’ll excuse me, it’s my turn to man the sleeping bag in front of the Multiplex.


Cowboys & Aliens Countdown

By Bennett Owen

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Come here often? Then you know I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since the last pixel of True Grit faded from the silver screen, so from now until Saturday it’s ‘C & A’ as far as the ‘I can C’.

So by now you’ve seen the trailers featuring the alien space ships …

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Harrison Ford …

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Daniel Craig …

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

But this is the shot that has tongues wagging all across the blogosphere …

There’s some old fashioned smolder in that look and it belongs to up and comer Olivia Wilde. Director John Favreau knew he had gold when he got that shot …

Credit: Beyond Hollywood

Wilde tells MTV, “It was kind of strange because I was half-naked in front of a bunch of people, including the crew, a bunch of Apache warriors, a bunch of cowboys … AND Daniel Craig."

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

And in the UK Daily Mail she confesses to a schoolgirl crush on Craig:

He is so fine and he doesn't even know it,' she said. 'He's such a goof, but he has a confidence that allows him to shine in the way that Steve McQueen stole every single scene in The Magnificent Seven...“

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

So Wilde, my sister and about a kazillion other women think Craig’s pretty magnificent himself ... what do they see in him?

Credit: Digital Journal

An accomplished horsewoman and all-round athlete, Wilde did much of her own stunt work on C & I, including a scene where she gets ripped from the saddle by a bungee cord. She told it all to Leno last night, the story starts about two minutes in:

At age 27, Wilde is just starting to creep onto the A-List but she’s had a recurring role on ‘House’ and took on a meaty role in ‘Tron Legacy.”

When she was 18, Wilde married an Italian aristocrat she met at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. Alas, she’s suddenly single again.

“I got a divorce and self medicated with food,'” she said. “'But I figure that's better than self-medicating with crack cocaine.”

Wilde took her screen name as an homage to the Irish playwright. And who knows … at some Academy Award ceremony somewhere down the line, she might pick up his first name too.

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC


Django Unchained - QT Cooks Up Some Spaghetti

By Bennett Owen

 Credit: - © Touchstone Pictures; Photo: Chris Large

If all goes well, Kevin Costner will soon be back in the saddle and up on the big screen and that is good news because both he and the western genre are making a making a big time comeback. Hopefully Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western will do for Costner’s career what “Cowboys and Aliens” is about to do for Harrison Ford, namely, catapult him back to the top of his game.

Credit: The Golden Closet

Tarantino wants Costner to play ‘Ace Woody,’ a character described as a ‘sadistic bad guy.’  Sounds like a role made for Costner, doesn’t it? Christoph Waltz, the Oscar-winning Austrian actor from Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ reportedly also has a role, as do Leonardo di Caprio and Samuel L. Jackson. 

As one critic put it, “Like him or loathe him, Tarantino has the rare ability to reboot a genre.”  Put me in the loathe category, but hey … it’s a western with Kevin Costner … so it will get my money.

Costner gets a lot of flack for his wooden acting style but like Brad Pitt, give him the right role and he’s golden.  He first caught my eye as ‘Jake,’ a young buck full of mischief in Silverado…

Credit: idiotflashback

Credit: idiotflashback

Watch a scene from Silverado at

Then came “Dances With Wolves,” “Wyatt Earp” and “Tin Cup” …  well, OK, “Tin Cup” isn’t a western but it’s set in Texas and features Rene Russo  …  a star that has affected my life in ways she will never know.  Come to think of it Costner’s character is ‘Jake,’ reincarnated as a West Texas golf pro…

Costner also directed “Open Range,” and starred alongside the mighty Robert Duvall.  It’s one of my all time favorites.

As his film star status flickers, Costner’s is a rising country western talent, with his award-winning band, “Modern West.” They’ll be performing next week at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. He’s also teamed up with German pop legend Nena (remember 99 Red Balloons?) on an upcoming album. Here’s a recent Modern West performance at the Grand Ol’ Oprey.

Kevin Costner leads his band Modern West Thursday night at Showcase Live. Credit: Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Well, OK, he’s no Waylon Jennings. But then again, Waylon probably wouldn’t have gotten too far with a gal like Rene Russo.