"Informative and entertaining, My-West will be a valued destination for westerners and devotees of all things western. Well-written posts, evocative photos and fine art, valuable travel tips, and an upbeat style make this a destination site for travelers and web surfers. Go West!" - Stan Lynde, Award-winning Western novelist and cartoonist
The brothers settled on the rim of the Grand Canyon at the head of Bright Angel Trail…in a time and landscape where just getting water pure enough to develop prints meant trekking down into the depths of the canyon and back up…often three times per day.
Initially they earned a living taking photographs of tourists.
This vintage photograph of my grandmother is one of the images of which I am most proud. Wearing a flapper dress in the early 1920s, she is sporting a pistol and sitting sidesaddle. She was spirited and even though she lived on a Montana ranch 40 miles from the nearest town, she had style.
The film is called ‘Good For Nothing’ and will go down as the first western movie ever filmed in New Zealand, which I guess is good for something. It’s been doing the rounds of the film festivals to generally positive reviews and will see limited US release this spring.
I know, I know, I’ve said it about ‘Lonesome Dove’ and ‘High Plains Drifter’ and ‘Red River’ and ‘Magnificent Seven’ and both versions of 3:10 to Yuma…hell I probably even said it about ‘Silverado’. But after yet another viewing last night I am now unequivocally stating that ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ truly is the best western movie of them all.
Oh my God! This is too good to be true! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, The Rifleman is returning to a home entertainment system (AKA boob tube) near you! CBS is working on a reboot of the original hit that made Chuck Conners a household name in the early 60s ...
Despite scathing reviews, Hell on Wheels had one of the strongest debuts ever on AMC, attracting 4.4 million viewers last night. AMC points out that the young adult demographic was particularly strong. Alright, so maybe this isn’t the series that will re-launch the TV western, but it is further proof that the genre is making a comeback. Although… let’s just not mention Cowboys & Aliens.
Small get-away homes in the West are the perfect answer for a real vacation. TEN things I'd do if if I could spend my vacation in one of these small homes. I'd start by wading in a creek every day; I'd read Swedish detective novels and collect wildflower bouquets for the one table in my one room ...
It’s one of my favorite sayings and comes from football legend Johnny Unitas: “It’s what you learn AFTER you know it all that counts.” For us kids, a lot of that learning took place in the hayfield. Good judgment comes from having lots of bad judgment. And I had that in spades:
Stacking was by far the worst chore, a summer sentence of sweat and swirling hay dust and the sense of constantly climbing up out of quicksand. The one reward at season’s end was a slightly heavier paycheck and a body that was way beyond buff.
My earliest memory of shadows is from a time when I was three or four-years-old lying on my grandmother’s couch for an afternoon nap. I would watch the shadows of the Aspen leaves skipping and playing across the living room walls. Even at that age I appreciated the ambiguity; they were small good-natured shadows, but they were shadows.
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. Think of the titles that will plant butts in movie seats on opening night no matter how good or bad the subject matter is:
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…
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.
The Terminator – The Governator – The Philanderer – call him what you like, Arnold Schwarzenegger will reportedly begin filming this fall on a western tentatively named, “The Last Stand.” Sources describe it as “an old-fashioned western specifically designed for a 63-year old broken-down guy with a moral decision.”
Once you start to look for patterns in your environment you’ll see them everywhere: pencils in a cup on the desk, books slanting on a shelf, glasses lined up in the cupboard. Don’t think about it too much, though—it could drive you crazy. In the sparse regions of the West, even larger patterns emerge in the landscape. ... Here are some images we thought you'd like.
Hot Damn! Cowboys & Aliens is just one month away! The anticipation only grows as we inch towards opening night. I’m a kid again, counting down to Christmas! I haven’t been this excited since I found the Lone Ranger PJs in my parents’ closet with the ‘For Bennett – From Santa’ tag on it.
For 20 years, from 1955 - ’75, Marshall Dillon kept the peace in Dodge City in one of the longest running and most popular series’ in the history of television. His character, perhaps more than any other, embodied the taciturn, heroic lawman of western mystique.
It’s happened to anyone who’s spent time driving around the west. A speed trap, the flashing lights, wail of sirens, the slow walk up to your car window. The embarrassment, the chagrin, the lecture. The experience is emblazoned in our minds like an old trauma, so that any little indicator that it may be about to happen yanks our foot from the gas pedal.
She is the mainspring of my lifelong love of redheads. At the very start of Quiet Man, when she looks out across that emerald field, all curls and fire and statuesque beauty – and we watch her fall instantly and incurably in love at her very first sighting of Sean Thornton as played by John Wayne.
Of course you may remember it as Alias Smith & Jones but its two loveable outlaws were obviously based on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The movie was a smash in 1969 and Alias S&J debuted a little over one year later as a mid-season replacement on ABC.
Meek’s Cutoff takes us back to the Oregon Trail, circa 1845, with three families following a mountain guide who knows a shortcut through the desert. It’s the setup for a burgeoning battle of the sexes ...
‘Laredo’ debuted on NBC in 1965, documenting the adventures of three fun loving, bar brawling Texas Rangers and a feisty Saloon girl with a heart of gold. These days Laredo is described as a spinoff of the Virginian. But actually, NBC made use of a trick of the time, using a popular, established TV series to introduce new fare…a bit like cross breeding ...
Following hot on the heels of True Grit comes a summer blockbuster with all the trappings of a classic western, and just may rescue Harrison Ford’s career. This movie will get plenty of my money based on the title alone.
Of all the Western TV shows, perhaps none has created more ill fated, forgettable spinoffs and re-makes than the purely awesome Maverick. Producers tried to capitalize on that loveable con man, Bret Maverick. But alas, there was only one James Garner…a man and a character that made women swoon; men chuckle and applaud in equal measure; and in its heyday, regularly outperformed the legendary Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen shows.
She cast a GIANT shadow… Elizabeth Taylor was 23-years old and already a Hollywood Legend when she made Giant in 1955, a blockbuster that cemented her metamorphosis from child and teen actress to bona fide Diva. Stunning, strong-willed and yet somehow so vulnerable…
Wind-dried clothes take on the personality of the environment; absorbing foremost the aroma of sage, ozone and sunshine - but hints of yarrow, willow branches, Indian paint brush, wild lupine, mint and pine trees are infused in the clothes as well. Clothes flapping in the Western breeze are like prayer flags signaling your arrival home.
I came up with the idea for obscure westerns while doing research on a completely unrelated topic – funny how the term “redhead” plays a prominent role in most of my Internet searches - and amazingly, I stumbled across a western TV show that I hadn’t thought of in years.
My-West is still in its infancy and already we're generating controversy. Since I wrote at length (the emotional scars obviously haven't yet healed - click here for the sordid details) about Nicky, the antisocial Shetland Pony we had as kids, relatives and readers have been writing, calling, tweeting, texting and facebook posting that they had no problems with their ponies and sending pictures to prove it. Add to our humiliation and the growing list by emailing me at email@example.com, or by uploading your photos to the My-West Photography Challenge Pool on Flickr.
Be sure to check Seinfeld's pony opinions in the post - and as always, thanks until better paid.
The movies on this list surely will rank among the classics of the genre and are proof positive that westerns continue to attract both audiences and A-list actors and directors:
1) 3:10 to Yuma – 2) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 3) Open Range – (any movie with the mighty Robert Duvall automatically makes my list!) 4) Appaloosa 5) All the Pretty Horses 6) The Virginian (A darn good made for TV version) 7) Shanghai Noon 8) Brokeback Mountain 9) There Will Be Blood
And rounding out the top 10 - True Grit – relentless, gritty, box office gold. It’s opening the Berlin Film Festival on February 10 and MyWest will be there.