Tuesday, April 15, 2014



The 5th annual TCM Classic Film Festival technically began on Thursday afternoon, April 10th, with a presentation called SONS OF GODS AND MONSTERS, at The Hollywood Museum, aka the DeMille Barn, hosted by director Joe Dante (THE HOWLING) and FX make-up master Rick Baker (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON).  But the ‘official’ start came at 6:30 p.m., when stars walked down the red carpet outside Sid Grauman’s Chinese IMAX Theatre to see the restored presentation of the Western musical OKLAHOMA!, with female lead Shirley Jones in attendance. 

Kim Novack

The TCM Fest is like no other event I’ve ever attended.  With as many as seven venues screening movies or having live events at any given moment, it’s the cinematic equivalent of the three-ring circus – there’s so much great stuff happening that you can’t do it all, but you can do more than enough.  In addition to the Chinese Theatre, films screen at the immense Grauman’s Egyptian, and Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, with most screenings taking place in the Chinese Multiplex next door to the Chinese.  A few films were even screened poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Attendees make a major commitment of money as well as time: the most expensive package costs $1599, which includes the red carpet screening, plus the VANITY FAIR after-party, and screenings and events.  The least expensive package is $249 – and I understand that all of the packages quickly sell out.  And starting last year, non-packagers could buy tickets for unfilled screenings on a stand-by basis for $20.

Margaret O'Brien, carrying 
Mickey Rooney's top-hat

As I write this, it’s  Monday, April 14th, the day which marks the 20th anniversary of the Turner Classic Movies channel, and I can think of no other organization or outlet which has done half as much as TCM to preserve film and bring it before the public.  

Tippi Hedron

At about 4:30 we media-types were assigned our spots along the red carpet that began in front of the Hollywood & Highland Center and ran along Hollywood Boulevard to the entrance of Grauman’s Chinese.  The guests began arriving at five.  Shirley Jones was with her irrepressible husband, comedian Marty Ingalls, who held a sign announcing ‘37 YEARS’.  After waking part of the length of the red carpet with her, Ingalls left her to do interviews while he entertained the rest of us.  When someone asked him if he was proud of his wife, he responded, “Is she here?” in mock concern, then added, “Don’t tell her you’ve seen me.  I’m with a date.”  He walked down to the end of the carpet, to a bleacher full of fans.  “Isn’t she amazing?  And she’s a hundred years old!”  Shirley Jones turned 80 last month. 

Marty Ingalls

Merrie Spaeth and Shirley Jones

Merrie Spaeth was next down the crimson walk.  In 1964 she played one of the two teenagers obsessed with Peter Sellers’ pianist character in THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT.  I asked her what Sellers was like off-camera.  “Peter Sellers was a lovely man who wanted attention.  And Tippi (Walker) and I would sit at his feet, and he would perform.  The funniest thing he would do is take Inspector Clouseau to places where he actually never went.  We thought he was wonderful, and he responded.”

Worst picture ever taken of Greg Proops

Comedian Greg Proops, probably best known for WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?, is a very busy voice-actor in addition to his on-camera work -- and my awful picture of him may get him even more voice work!  Very knowledgeable about film, he introduced the excellent Ginger Rogers comedy BACHELOR MOTHER later that night.  “My favorite westerns?  By a long mile, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.  I also liked DESTRY RIDES AGAIN.  And there’s a really odd Henry Fonda film called WELCOME TO HARD TIMES that I think is superb.  I also love THE CULPEPPER CATTLE COMPANY.  I like lots of westerns.  WILD BUNCH.”

Susan Lloyd

Susan Lloyd, granddaughter of silent screen great Harold Lloyd, was attending, and would present his WHY WORRY? on Friday.  She was very excited about the imminent release from Criterion of Lloyd’s THE FRESHMAN.  She’d spoken about how her father dressed in a much more ‘regular’ manner than Chaplin or Keaton, even wearing glasses.  I reminded her that he looked quite different in his earlier films, as Lonesome Luke.    “Yes he did.  And unfortunately some of the ‘Lonesome Lukes’ got destroyed in a fire at his estate.  So there aren’t a lot of Lonesome Lukes.  But Lonesome Luke – the first one was Willy Work, where he wore tight clothes and a split mustache, like Chaplin.  Lonesome Luke was a little boy, and he started putting glasses on with Lonesome Luke.  And he had to fight with (producer Hal) Roach to let him wear glasses; that’s what happened, and then the glasses stuck.  And then he put on a suit, and a regular tie, and that was it.”

“And he looked like no one else, because he looked like everyone else?”

“He looked like everyone else, and he was happy.  He could walk down the street in make-up and still look like everybody else.”

Andy Dick trying to come up with an answer

Comedian Andy Dick has never been in the running for King of the Cowboys, and seemed genuinely baffled by my question.  “Western?  That’s a stumper.  I can’t really…  Have I seen a western?  Oh: CHINATOWN!”  A friend in his entourage coached, “You might want to go with TOMBSTONE or something.”

Tiffany Vazquez

New to the red carpet was New Yorker Tiffany Vazquez, one of the twenty ‘Super Fans’ TCM selected to be guest programmers.  “Western?  I don’t know too much about westerns, so I’m going to have to go with either THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY or maybe THE SEARCHERS.”

Joe Dante

When director Joe Dante walked by, I asked, “When are you going to make a Western?”

“When they let me!  Actually I did one for Showtime, with Brian Keith (note: it’s an episode of PICTURE WINDOWS called LIGHTNING, written by GUNSMOKE’s Jim Byrnes, featuring Keith, Henry Jones, Ron Perlman and Kathleen Quinlan).  They don’t do westerns anymore.”

Bo Hopkins

Then along came Bo Hopkins, who made his screen premiere in THE WILD BUNCH.  “Mr. Hopkins, what are your favorite westerns?”

“Well, THE WILD BUNCH.  CULPEPPER CATTLE COMPANY.  Oh God, all the John Ford movies, Gary Cooper movies.”

“I liked your work in a small but very good picture called CHEYENNE WARRIOR.”

“That’s right; that was a good one.”

Lynn Stalmaster

One of the unexpected pleasures of the red carpet was to speak with legendary casting director Lynn Stalmaster, who famously cast GUNSMOKE for its first decade, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL and other Western series, and features like TOOTSIE, DELIVERENCE, MONTE WALSH, VALDEZ IS COMING, JEREMIAH JOHNSON, and all of the MAGNIFICENT 7 sequels.  Of Mickey Rooney stature, nearing 90, and bubbling with energy and enthusiasm, when I told him that I wrote the Round-up, he responded, “Oh, I’m happy to meet you, because I’ve cast so many westerns that you have seen.   The last one I did was THE COWBOYS, with John Wayne.”

“You cast all of those boys?”

“Yes, and most of them were new to film.  And Roscoe Lee Brown; there was a brilliant chemistry between him and Wayne.  And Bruce Dern.  And he created a villain that had dimension, because he was that kind of an actor.  And I cast HALLELUJAH TRAIL for (director) John Sturges. HOUR OF THE GUN, also for Sturges.  And Jon Voight (playing Curly Bill Brocius) appeared in that, and had a couple of wonderful moments; an actor of that caliber can make so much of even a brief role.”

“What do you look for when you’re casting a period picture?  Is it a different quality?”

“I like to introduce something fresh.  Much as I love the old character actors that appeared in every John Ford film, I like to try to find a unique way, that hopefully the director will accept.  So I try all kinds of things.” 

“Which directors were the best to work with?”

“Sunday we’re showing FIDDLER ON THE ROOF; Norman Jewison.  Robert Wise; we did WEST SIDE STORY.” 

Robert Osbourne

I’ll have more on the TCM Festival in next week’s Round-up!


On Wednesday, April 16th at 12:30 p.m., Rob Word will hold his 3rd-Wednesday-of-the-month Cowboy Lunch @ the Autry, and the topic will be Sam Peckinpah’s THE WILD BUNCH.  Admission is free, although naturally you have to buy your own lunch.  After lunch, guests who will be discussing the film will include despicable bounty hunter L.Q. Jones; Bo Hopkins, whose very first movie role was Crazy Lee, and who will hopefully talk “…’til Hell freezes over or you say different!”; stuntman, horse specialist and frequent Peckinpah collaborator Gary Combs; and Gordon Dawson, who supervised costumes in WILD BUNCH, and eventually co-wrote BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA with Bloody Sam.

L.Q. Jones

To whet your appetite, here’s a clip from a recent luncheon, with Bruce Boxleitner talking about making the series HOW THE WEST WAS WON.  (You can find many more clips from these events by going to Youtube and searching ‘a Word on Westerns.’)

Bo Hopkins


Longtime Henry’s Western Round-up reader Sally Gomez of Baldwin Park, California has won a pair of tickets to the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival by correctly identifying Champion as Gene Autry’s horse.  Those of you who wrote in ‘Topper’ or ‘Buttermilk’ may now hang your heads in shame.   The Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 26 & 27 at Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita. 

Gold panners

As there is a film currently in production at the Ranch (that’s why they’re in business, after all), some of the Western street will not be available for strolling, access to other areas has been expanded, and some venues will be in new locales – I know for instance that the OutWest Buckaroo Book Store will be in a large tent that will actually give them more room for author events than they’ve had in the past.  Good news for me, as I’ll be moderating a couple of authors’ panels.  On Saturday from 1:30 to 2, the topic is THE WEST IMAGINED, and I’ll be talking with Western novelists Edward M. Erdelac, author of COYOTE’S TRAIL; Jim Christina, author of THE DARK ANGEL; and C. Courtney Joyner, author of SHOTGUN.

Author JR Sanders

And on Sunday, from 1:30 to 2, the topic is THE WEST LIVED, and I’ll be talking to non-fiction writers Jerry Nickle, great-grandson of the Sundance Kid; JR Sanders, author of SOME GAVE ALL; and Peter Sherayko, author of TOMBSTONE – THE GUNS AND GEAR. 

Also on Saturday at 12:30, and Sunday at 2:30, I’ll be chatting with Miles Swarthout, who wrote the screenplay for THE SHOOTIST from his father Glendon Swarthout’s novel.  Miles is also involved with the upcoming movie THE HOMESMAN, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, from a novel by Glendon Swarthout.  You can learn all about the events at the Buckaroo Book Shop by going HERE.  

You can learn all about the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival HERE .

Joey Dillon prepares to shoot an apple 
off a volunteer's head!


As you know if you read the Round-up, Quentin Tarantino had announced on The Tonight Show that he was following up DJANGO UNCHAINED with a new Western entitled THE HATEFUL 8.  And you also know that some a-holes put the script up on-line, which so angered Tarantino that he shelved the project and sued the A-holes.  (A-hole court date is January 27, 2015.  A-holes involved are officially known as the GAWKER website.)  And you know that, as a benefit for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Tarantino decided to hold a staged reading of the script at the Museum, with tickets costing $200 a pop, for LACMA Film Club members only.  But what you perhaps did not know is that scheduling conflicts have caused a change of date and location for the reading. 

The Theatre at the Ace Hotel - formerly 
The United Artists Theatre

The new date is Saturday, April 19th – that’s this Saturday – at 8 p.m.  The new location is downtown L.A., at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015.  The new prices, depending on seat location, are $100, $125, $150 and $200.  They went on-sale on Friday to members of the LACMA Film Club, Film Independent, and New York Times Film Club.  Any unsold tickets will go on-sale to everyone else tomorrow, Wednesday, at 5 p.m.  Here’s the link to Ticketmaster: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/09004C8A982C9420

As you may have gathered, they’re kinda touchy about things leaking out, so NO cell phones will be permitted at the event.  The theatre, incidentally, was built as the United Artists Theatre in 1927, and is one of Downtown’s treasures.  Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith had just begun UNITED ARTISTS to have control over their films, and commissioned the building of the theatre.

The dramatic reading is significant, and open to wildly different interpretations.  Friends who are attending have told me they think that, with the script being shelved, this will be their only chance to witness this new Tarantino work.  Others, myself included, are hoping that the enthusiasm and excitement generated by this event will reinvigorate Tarantino’s enthusiasm, and convince him to make the movie.  We’ll have to wait and see who’s right.


James Drury, star not only of THE VIRGINIAN series, but of Sam Peckinpah’s RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, FORBIDDEN PLANET, POLLYANA, and many TV westerns -- memorably THE REBEL, RAWHIDE and THE RIFLEMAN -- will turn 80 on Friday.  To celebrate, INSP, which exclusively shows the venerable series, will air Drury’s two favorite episodes among the 249 he starred in.  In THE MOUNTAIN OF THE SUN, the Virginian tries to discourage a trio of female missionaries from going to help Yaqui Indians in Mexico, and in the process falls for one of them, played by lovely Dolores Hart.  This was Hart’s last performance before she gave up acting and became a nun.   In FELICITY’S SPRING, the Virginian and Felicity Andrews (Katherine Crawford) make wedding plans, and I’ll not say more than that.   In addition to the two 90 minute episodes, INSP will also run some never-before-seen footage to celebrate James’ birthday.  Don’t miss it!

James Drury with Clu Gulager


Del Mar’s 69th Annual Horse Show is going on, and on Saturday night, April 19th, Night of the Horse presents Hoofbeats Through History, which will examine the moment man first encountered the horse, and how his world was forever changed.  Anthony DeLongis, actor, stuntman, accomplished mounted shooter, knife-thower, and whip-cracker will demonstrate his remarkable warfare skills.

Peter Sherayko as Buffalo Bill

Peter Sherayko, western movie actor, historical accuracy authority, and action coordinator will don the goatee from his famous Buffalo Bill Cody one-man-show, and reenact how the cowboy tamed the west, opened territory, ranched, mined, blazed trails and brawled!

The show will also feature Clay Maier driving dressage and jumping, cavalry style.  Nancy Nunke will present the world’s only trained Przewalksi’s horse – these are the prehistoric horses seen in cave paintings!  Present-day knights in shining armor will demonstrate their jousting skills, plus there will be Charros, Roman Riders and Trick Riders!  To learn more, go HERE .


That’s it for this week!  Have a great one, and let me know about anything in your neck of the woods that the Round-up Rounders ought to know about!

Happy Trails,


All Original Content Copyright April 2014 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved       

Monday, April 7, 2014



Tonight, April 6th, at 6 p.m. Western time, 9 p.m. Eastern, AMC’s new drama series, TURN, will premier.  Set in the midst of the American Revolution, it is based on the true story of the Culper Ring, a group of grown-up boyhood friends who became a spy network working to get information on Redcoat troop movements for General George Washington.  

Based on the best-selling history book WASHINGTON’S SPIES by Alexander Rose, it is a spy-thriller with three-cornered hats, and I found the pilot enthralling.   Shot in Virginia, and set in New York’s Long Island, the story centers around farmer Abraham Woodhull, a married man with a baby son.  Long Island is occupied by the British, and the Woodhulls are among the families suffering the indignity of having a British soldier quartered in their home. 

Woodhall has other problems as well: his crop of cauliflower is infested with maggots, which makes it unlikely that he’ll be able to pay off his debts – owed to a tavern-owner now married to Woodhall’s former beloved.  With the government controlling commerce, the desperate Woodhall tries to sell a few head of cauliflower on the black market, unsure of whether he has more to fear from British or the gun-toting colonists – and his simple act sets wheels in motion that will change the lives of everyone he knows.

The at-first reluctant spy Woodhall is played convincingly by Jamie Bell – remarkable to realize that at the turn of the last century he amazed us all as the title character of BILLY ELLIOT.  Meegan Warner plays Mrs. Woodhall who wants her husband to have nothing to do with spying.  Heather Lind, who played Katy on BOARDWALK EMPIRE, plays Anna Strong, whom Woodhall would have married if she hadn’t spurned him.  And Seth Numrich, late of the grim comedy series GRAVITY, plays Colonial Army officer and Woodhall’s childhood friend Ben Talmage, who approaches Woodhall to help his country-in-the-making. 

Written by Alexander Rose and producer-writer Craig Silverstein, whose voluminous credits include NIKITA, TERRA NOVA and BONES, the plotting is clever, the telling is smart, quick and sensible, with a fine eye for historical detail that creates reality without screaming about it.  The action is exciting and not for the squeamish – the occupying army is unflinchingly brutal, and the occupied must at times answer in kind.  
Rather than being played as symbols, as is often the case with movies of this historical period, and despite the powdered wigs, the characters are motivated by a mix of practicality and ideals, just like real humans. 

For myself, the most unnerving aspect of the show is that Robert Rogers, of Rogers’ Rangers, is one of the principal villains of the piece!  Having grown up loving the NORTHWEST PASSAGE series, starring Keith Larsen in that role, as well as Spencer Tracy in the feature, it’s troubling to see the rest of his history on the screen.   For hero though Rogers was in the French and Indian Wars, he was fighting alongside the British against the French.  It’s disappointing, but not unreasonable that he sided with the British again during the American Revolution.  Here he is played with gravitas by Angus McFayden, who was excellent in the recent COPPERHEAD, and is perhaps best remembered as Robert The Bruce in BRAVEHEART.  

Tonight’s opener is ninety minutes, and will be repeated later tonight, plus on Monday, and next Saturday and Sunday.  The regular episodes will be an hour.  I’d make a point to see the pilot if I were you – it’s fine stuff, and my guess is it will continue to improve.


Here are the first images from THE HOMESMAN, which will premiere on May 24th at the Cannes Film Festival!  Co-written, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, based on the novel my Glendon Swarthout, Jones plays a rustler who takes on the job of transporting three madwomen across the desert to an asylum in Kansas. 

Joining Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones are fellow statuette owners Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep, as well as John Lithgow, James Spader, Hailee Steinfeld – Mattie Ross in the TRUE GRIT remake, William Fichtner, and Barry Corbin.  It’s produced by Luc Bresson, the French writer-producer-director who created the LA FEMME NIKTA, TRANSPORTER and THE PROFESSIONAL franchises.

Novelist Glendon Swarthout has an excellent record in the cinema.  Films adapted from his novels include BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN, WHERE THE BOYS ARE, and the Westerns 7TH CAVALRY, THEY CAME TO CORDURA and, most famously, John Wayne’s final film, the marvelous THE SHOOTIST.  Glendon’s son, Miles Swarthout, wrote the screenplay for THE SHOOTIST, and was involved in THE HOMESMAN as well. 

I’ll be interviewing Miles Swarthout about his own and his father’s career at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, at Melody Ranch, on Saturday and Sunday, April 26th & 27th, at the Buckaroo Book Shop.  We’ll talk at 12:30 on Saturday and 2:30 on Sunday. You can learn all about the events at the Buckaroo Book Shop by going HERE.  https://www.facebook.com/events/434317293370585/434413240027657/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

You can learn all about the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival HERE http://cowboyfestival.org/


Speaking of the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, and yes, I’ve been speaking about it a lot, it’s coming to the Veluzat family’s Melody Ranch on Saturday and Sunday, April 26th & 27th.   What started as a working ranch has been a popular location for filmmakers for nearly a century.  Owned at one time by Monogram Pictures, then purchased by Gene Autry and christened Melody Ranch after his radio show, nearly every A or B Western star worked there at one time or another.  A very busy movie ranch, in growing demand with the resurgence of the Western movie and TV series, it was home base for both DEADWOOD and Quentin Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED, as well as many other films, music videos and TV commercials.

The Festival is an outgrowth of a Cowboy Poetry Festival held annually at Santa Clarita High School.  When the 1994 earthquake demolished the school’s auditorium, the Veluzat family offered the use of their movie ranch, and a twenty-year tradition was born.  There’s still poetry, as well as food, shopping for all things Western, strolling the ranch and visiting its museum.  There activities for children and adults, and all manner of entertainment, including magician Pop Haydn, gun-slinger par excellence Joey Dillon, and lariat-tosser Dave Thornbury.  Then there’s the music – at five different venues big and small throughout the ranch, more than twenty acts will perform, including Don Edwards, Sons of the San Joaquin, Waddie Mitchell, Cow Bop, Dave Stamey and many more. 

Miles Swarthout & C. Courtney Joyner

And at the Buckaroo Book Store, run by the folks at OutWest, Western fact and fiction writers will be meeting fans, signing books, and giving talks.  Among the authors attending will be Cheryl Rogers-Barnett (daughter of Roy and Dale), Margaret Brownley, Jim Christina, Peter Conway, Steve Deming, Edward M. Erdelac, J.P. Gorman, Dale B. Jackson, Jim Jones, C. Courtney Joyner, Andria Kidd, Antoinette Lane, Jerry Nickle (a descendant of Harry Longabaugh, alias the Sundance Kid), J.R. Sanders, Tony Sanders, Peter Sherayko, Janet Squires, ‘Cowgirl Peg’ Sundberg, Miles Hood Swarthout, Rod Thompson, and Nancy Pitchford-Zee. 

And in addition to the interviews I’ll be doing with Miles Swarthout, I’ll also be moderating a pair of authors’ panels.  On Saturday from 1:30 to 2, the topic is THE WEST IMAGINED, and I’ll be talking with Western novelists Edward M. Erdelac, author of COYOTE’S TRAIL; Jim Christina, author of THE DARK ANGEL; and C. Courtney Joyner, author of SHOTGUN. On Sunday, from 1:30 to 2, the topic is THE WEST LIVED, and I’ll be talking to non-fiction writers Jerry Nickle, great-grandson of the Sundance Kid; JR Sanders, author of SOME GAVE ALL; and Peter Sherayko, author of TOMBSTONE – THE GUNS AND GEAR. 

Admission is $20 per day for adults, $10 for kids, but the good folks at OutWest – click their logo at the top of the page to learn all about ‘em – are going to give away a pair of tickets to the event!  Thousands will pay, but you won’t have to if you’re our lucky winner!  How do you win?  Answer this question: For a long time, after Gene Autry had stopped making movies at the ranch, Gene held onto the property to provide a home to one particular horse.  What was that horse’s name?  E-mail your answer, along with your name, address, phone number, and what day you’d want the tickets for, to swansongmail@sbcglobal.net , with ‘Cowboy Festival Ticket Giveaway’ in the subject line.  The winner will be selected randomly from all correct entries, and announced in next week’s Round-up.  Good luck!


Check out the trailer for the new present-day Western starring Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irvine, and Angie Cepeda.


For details on what Westerns are playing, check out last week’s Round-up here: http://henryswesternroundup.blogspot.com/2014/04/free-tcm-movie-locations-tour-heston.html
For details on all films and events, go here: http://filmfestival.tcm.com/


As part of the Autry’s ‘What is a Western?’ series, Henry King’s dazzling Technicolor telling of the James Brothers myth will be screened in 35mm!  The original screenplay is by the great Nunnally Johnson.  The cast includes Henry Fonda as brother Frank, Nancy Kelly, Randolph Scott, Henry Hull, Brian Donlevy, John Carradine, Donald Meek and Jane Darwell.  The film will be introduced by curator Jeffrey Richardson, who always provides fascinating background and insights into the films in this fine monthly series.  It’s at 1:30 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Theatre, free with your museum admission.


Just heard that the Mick has passed away.  I saw him at a number of events, but never got to talk to him.  But I had the pleasure of speaking with many child stars of the 1930s and 1940s over the years, and without exception they all held that the most talented and versatile of them all was Joe Yule Jr., a.k.a. Mickey Rooney.  A tremendous talent who will be sorely missed.  I’ll have more in next week’s Round-up.


I’ve got the TCM Festival coming up this week, Rob Word’s Cowboy Lunch @ the Autry saluting THE WILD BUNCH a week from Wednesday, and the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival the week after that!  Should be a lot of interesting stuff coming up in the Round-up!

Happy Trails,


All Original Contents Copyright April 2014 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



Paramount Studio Gates

For exactly zero dollars, I enjoyed a three-hour tour (apologies to Gilligan) of movie locations in Hollywood, Downtown, Edendale, Echo Park, Chinatown and other filming locations; studios; old theaters; and other places of historic interest.  Turner Classic Movies is celebrating their 20th anniversary with a series of activities, culminating in their 5th Annual TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL in and around the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard (more about that later in this Round-up!). 

The RKO globe -- the lot is now part of Paramount

If you are a movie nut anywhere near L.A., you will want to take advantage of this --  there are eleven more available dates, from Friday April 4th through Monday April 14th  , and clicking the link below will get you all of the dates and times.  You meet in the footprint-famous forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, travel on a beautiful roomy bus which holds 45 or 50 passengers, with a knowledgeable tour-guide, and occasional commentary by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz on a big screen.  But the screen is mainly used to show scenes from films shot at the very location you can see through the windshield!  You’ll visit locations from films as old as Keaton and Sennett comedies and as new as FAST & FURIOUS films -- and that contrast is separated by just a couple of blocks! 

The Echo Park Bridge, used by Laurel & Hardy, and Jack Nicholson

You’ll have two walk-around stops, at the Bradbury Building, and Union Station, both stunning and historically important examples of architecture in their own rights, as well as frequently seen movie locations. Now the website will tell you the tickets are all committed, but you can go on standby, AND THERE WERE NINE EMPTY SEATS ON OUR BUS!  And when the guide asked how many passengers were TCM viewers, only six of us raised our hands!  (The guide kept asking us movie questions, and my wife and I tried to restrain ourselves, but we were the only ones who knew the answers.)  Don’t waste this great opportunity to have a lot of fun, and learn a lot – I certainly learned plenty.  Here’s the link: http://www.tcm.com/20/

And if you go, please post a comment or send us an email about it!  Below are a few more peeks at things we saw on the trip…

Once Chaplin Studios, now Jim Henson Studios -- in between
it was Red Skelton Studios and A&M Records

This jewelry store used to be a Warner Brothers Theatre - note
the diamond over the WB logo shield; also the William Fox 
Builiding across the street

Inside the Bradbury Building

Grauman's Million Dollar Theatre, seen through
Bradbury front door

Million Dollar Theatre architectural details

Los Angeles Theatre

Union Station

Union Station interior

City Hall

The Vista Theatre stands at the intersection of Hollywood 
and Sunset Boulevards, where D. W. Griffith's 
INTOLERANCE Babylon sets once stood

The elephant sculptures at Hollywood & Highland, an 
homage to Griffith's INTOLERANCE

Don't miss your bus!


The late actor Charlton Heston will be honored on Friday April 11th with the 18th stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series.  In conjunction with the TCM Classic Film Festival, a dedication ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre, where the actor’s family will be represented by his son and collaborator on a dozen projects, Fraser Heston.  Best known for his portrayal of the title character in Wyler’s BEN HUR as Moses in DeMille’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, and as the last free human in PLANET OF THE APES, Heston had many fine Western roles as well.  Beginning in 1952, heb played a white boy raised by a Sioux chief in THE SAVAGE, and followed with PONY EXPRESS as Buffalo Bill Cody, ARROWHEAD, THREE VIOLENT PEOPLE, THE BIG COUNTRY, THE BUCCANEER as Gen. Andrew Jackson, Peckinpah’s MAJOR DUNDEE, WILL PENNY, THE CALL OF THE WILD, THE LAST HARD MAN, THE MOUNTAIN MEN, THE AVENGING ANGEL, and TOMBSTONE.  The dedication will be followed by a noon screening of Orson Welles’ TOUCH OF EVIL, costarring Heston and Janet Leigh. 

The portrait, based on a photograph by his widow, Lydia Clarke Heston, was Drew Struzman, a master of movie art whose movie posters include all of the INDIANA JONES and STAR WARS movies, as well as Western-themed movie posters including BACK TO THE FUTURE 3, COWBOYS & ALIENS, FRISCO KID, and the up-coming Stephen King, DARK TOWER – THE MIST.  A show of the movie art of Drew Struzman and Bob Peak is currently on display at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, and will continue through May 26th


The 5th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival will open at 6:30 on Thursday night, April 11th, following the red carpet, with a screening of the newly restored Western musical OKLAHOMA! at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre, with star Shirley Jones attending and discussing the film.  At 10 pm that night, Nicholas Ray’s JOHNNY GUITAR, starring Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden and Scott Brady will screen at the Chinese Multiplex.  On Friday morning at 9:15, STAGECOACH will screen at the Multiplex.  At 9 pm, BLAZING SADDLES will screen at the Chinese, with a discussion with writer/director/star Mel Brooks. 

On Saturday at 2pm, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY screens at the Chinese while, starting an hour later, across Hollywood Boulevard at the El Capitan, John Ford’s HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY will be shown, with a discussion by the movie’s star, Maureen O’Hara – that’ll be a tough call!  And on Sunday, GONE WITH THE WIND will screen at the Chinese at 1:30, and John Ford’s THE QUIET MAN will screen at 4:30 at the Chinese Multi.  There are dozens of non-Western screenings and events going on, with personal appearances by Jerry Lewis – he’ll have his footprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese!, Alan Arkin, Richard Dreyfus, Ryan O’Neal, Tim Conway, Bo Hopkins, Candy Clark, Paula Prentiss, Paul LeMat, Bill Hader, Alec Baldwin, Patton Oswalt, Alex Trebek, directors Billy Freidkin, Joe Dante, and Gareth Edwards – he directed this summer’s GODZILLA remake and will introduce the original, composers Quincy Jones, John Williams, and Carl Davis.  I covered last year’s festival for the first time, and had a wonderful time.  The films are wonderful, the opportunities to hear filmmakers are unique, and it’s a delight to meet so many people who are as knowledgeable and passionate about movies as we are.  I highly recommend attending.  Individual tickets are available for any not-sold-out shows.  Learn more here: http://filmfestival.tcm.com/


Just got word that while we’re doing all of our usual Western activities, the folks from Warner Brothers will be shooting a movie at the ranch.  We’re all going to be shifted around a bit, as folks were when DEADWOOD was being filmed, but all activities will go on as scheduled.  Seeing as WB will be shooting on the main Western street, I’m guessing it’s for a Western. 

Ed Erdelac

Here’s what I’ll be doing at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival: I’ll be moderating a couple of authors’ panels at the OutWest Buckaroo Book Shop.  On Saturday from 1:30 to 2, the topic is THE WEST IMAGINED, and I’ll be talking with Western novelists Edward M. Erdelac, author of COYOTE’S TRAIL; Jim Christina, author of THE DARK ANGEL; and C. Courtney Joyner, author of SHOTGUN – I hope to have my review of SHOTGUN and my interview with Court in next week’s Round-up!

 C. Courtney Joyner (r) with L.Q. Jones

And on Sunday, from 1:30 to 2, the topic is THE WEST LIVED, and I’ll be talking to non-fiction writers Jerry Nickle, great-grandson of the Sundance Kid; JR Sanders, author of SOME GAVE ALL; and Peter Sherayko, author of TOMBSTONE – THE GUNS AND GEAR. 

Peter Sherayko

Also on Saturday at 12:30, and Sunday at 2:30, I’ll be chatting with Miles Swarthout, who wrote the screenplay for THE SHOOTIST from his father, Glendon Swarthout’s novel.  Miles is also involved with the upcoming movie THE HOMESMAN, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, from a novel by Glendon Swarthout.  You can learn all about the events at the Buckaroo Book Shop by going HERE.  
You can learn all about the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival HERE http://cowboyfestival.org/
Hope to see you there!


On Saturday, March 29th, one of the most talented and entertaining dramatic and comic actors in international cinema marked his 75th birthday.  Terence Hill was born in Venice of an Italian father and a German mother.  His birth name was Mario Girroti.  He started acting in films at the age of twelve, and before Spaghetti Westerns started he was a well-known villain under his own name in the German westerns films based on Karl May novels.  When Franco Nero refused to do another DJANGO film, Girroti, indistinguishable from Nero in make-up, starred in the excellent DJANGO, PREPARE A COFFIN, and a star was born.  Equally busy in Eurocrime dramas, Hill is best-remembered in the TRINITY films with Bud Spencer, and his films and TV shows as LUCKY LUKE.  A busy actor on Italian TV, where he has starred in 175 episodes of the current series DON MATTEO, he starred in two America-lensed Westerns in 2009, DOC WEST and TRIGGERMAN.


Happy Cesar Chavez Day!  Have a great week!

Happy Trails,


All Original Contents Copyright March 2014 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved