BOOK/DISC SIGNING BRINGS OUT THE CELEBS
Saturday afternoon’s book signing at Burbank’s Dark Delicacies produced an interesting crowd on both sides of the tables. Last-minute Christmas-shoppers and die-hard fans filled the place. First at the table was Michael Druxman, longtime Hollywood publicist-turned-screenwriter and director for Roger Corman. CHEYENNE WARRIOR, which he wrote, is one of the best western films of the last twenty years. He was signing his short-story collection, DRACULA MEETS JACK THE RIPPER AND OTHER REVISIONIST HISTORIES, plus his Basil Rathbone biography, and his newest volume of memoirs, LIFE, LIBERTY & THE PURSUIT OF HOLLYWOOD, which I’ll be reviewing soon in the Round-up.
C. Courtney Joyner and Michael Druxman
Next to him was C. Courtney Joyner, whose first Western novel, SHOTGUN has just been published. The press has been excellent (you’ll be reading my review shortly), and publisher Pinnacle is delighted – they’ve already signed Court for several more. Court was also signing the Grindhouse Releasing new release of Sergio Sollima’s THE BIG GUNDOWN, starring Lee Van Cleef (read about it HERE), which Court wrote the liner notes for. Court and I did the audio commentary on BIG GUNDOWN, and he kept signing them and sending them to me. It was my first time signing autographs, an ego-swelling experience! And who turned up for a couple of copies of SHOTGUN by Bob Murawski, Oscar-winning editor of THE HURT LOCKER, and President of Grindhouse Releasing.
Bob Murawski getting SHOTGUN signed
L.Q. Jones and Courtney Joyner
Sitting beside Court was the biggest draw of the event, Western screen legend L.Q. Jones. Beloved and remembered for dozens of eccentric and frightening characters, from CASINO to THE WILD BUNCH – where he and Strother Martin played the most revolting bounty hunters in history – many fans don’t realize he’s a very accomplished writer and director as well. He was signing new BluRay releases of three of his films, THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN, A BOY AND HIS DOG (and featuring interviews with Jones and story author Harlan Ellison), both written and directed by Jones, and THE BEAST WITHIN, in which he costars. Beside L.Q. Jones was BEAST WITHIN director Philip Moran, who also directed the Australian western MAD DOG MORGAN. Beside Moran was actor Paul Clemens, also of THE BEAST WITHIN.
John Gulager, L.Q. Jones, Paul Clemens, Philip Moran,
Courtney Joyner; seated, Dave Del Valle
Signing BluRays of his new movie ZOMBIE NIGHT, starring Anthony Michael Hall, Daryl Hannah and Shirley Jones, was director John Gulager. John is the son of Western legend Clu Gualger, who also dropped by for the event. Also by to get some books signed was prolific writer-director Rolfe Kanefsky. He told me that STAND YOUR GROUND, now retitled DOC HOLLIDAY’S REVENGE, which he scripted and David Decoteau directed, is now edited and ready for release from Lionsgate. I’ll have more details on this project, including my interview with Rolfe, in the near future.
Clu Gulager signing a scroll
LONE RANGER CONTEST – THE WINNERS!
I am truly impressed with my Round-up readers’ knowledge. I didn’t want the contest to be ridiculously easy, so I did the match-the-Ranger-to-the-Tonto, figuring most folks couldn’t answer it off the top of their heads – I know I couldn’t. Well, I posted at 11 p.m. on Sunday night, and at 1:50 a.m., Monday morning, I received my first entry – and it was a winner. The next entry, a 5:15 a.m., was also a winner, and as the entries began to come in faster, I kept checking them, and after a dozen, I saw that every one was correct!
For the record, here are the correct answers:
1. 1. Robert Livingston, B. Chief Thundercloud in THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN (Republic serial, 1939)
2. William Conrad, F. Ivan Naranjo in THE TARZAN/LONE RANGER/ZORRO ADVENTURE HOUR (1980 Filmation animation)
3. Brace Beemer, E. John Todd in THE LONE RANGER radio show (WXYZ Radio in Detroit, from 1933)
4. Lee Powell, A. Chief Thundercloud in THE LONE RANGER (Republic serial, 1938)
5. Clayton Moore, A. Jay Silverheels in THE LONE RANGER (TV series and movies, 1949-1958)
6. Klinton Spilsbury, C. Michael Horse in LEGENED OF THE LONE RANGER (ITC, Wrather Productions 1981)
7. Armie Hammer, D. Johnny Depp in THE LONE RANGER (Disney, 2013)
8. John Hart, A. Jay Silverheels in THE LONE RANGER (TV series 1952-1953)
And now, the winners! The first winner of the LONE RANGER set, including a Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital copy in Ronald Wallace of Rochester, New York! Our second winner is Yusuf S. Nasrullah of Boston, Massachusetts! I will be sending them their prizes as soon as they come from the Walt Disney Company, and I’m grateful to them, and to everyone who entered. Aside from movie premiere tickets a couple of years ago, this is our first giveaway, and I’m happy to say we’ll be doing more very soon. But now, having had a little experience, I think I have a more fair way of choosing winners than just the first correct entries. Instead, I’ll be accepting entries for several days, and randomly choosing winners from among all correct entries.
MY APPEARANCE ON ‘AROUND THE BARN’ AVAILABLE ON PODCAST!
I had a wonderful time on Saturday, December 14th, as a guest on ‘Around The Barn,’ on KHTS radio 1220 AM in Santa Clarita. The topic was ‘It’s all about Gene Autry,’ the regulars were hosts Nancy Pitchford-Zhe and Bobbi Jean Bell, and Roy Rogers’ and Dale Evans’ granddaughter Julie Fox Pomilia. The guests were Gene Autry Enterprises President Karla Buhlman, and myself. We listened to some of Gene’s great Christmas music, and discussed his music and TV career, and also spoke quite a bit about me and the Round-up. I was fascinated! If you, too would like to be fascinated, follow the link below and you can hear the podcast: http://hometownstation.com/on-air-features/podcasts/around-barn/around-barn-december-14-2013-39565
Julie Fox Pomilia, Nancy Pitchford-Zhe, Karla Buhlman, Bobbi Jean Bell
SONY MOVIE CHANNEL PLANS WEST FESTS IN JANUARY
In addition to showing Westerns scattered throughout their schedule all through the month, Sony Movie Channel is offering a fine mix of sagebrush binge-viewing fun! On New Years Day, starting at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time, and running for about twenty hours, they’ll be playing THE LONGEST DRIVE (from the 1976 series THE QUEST, starring Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson); three Randolph Scott’s, THE NEVADAN, THE TALL T, and COMANCHE STATION; two Karl May Winnetou westerns, FRONTIER HELLCAT featuring Elke Sommer and RAMPAGE AT APACHE WELLS featuring Terrence Hill when he was still playing villains, and both starring Pierre Brice and Stewart Granger; three Columbia westerns starring Philip Carey before he became the boss on LARDEO, MASSACRE CANYON, WYOMING RENEGADES, and THE NEBRASKAN; Louis L’Amour’s THE SHADOW RIDERS starring Tom Sellick and Sam Elliot as the Traven brothers; Richard Brooks’ exuberant BITE THE BULLET, starring Gene Hackman, James Coburn and Candice Bergen; and ending with MACKENNA’S GOLD, featuring a great cast, including Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas and Julie Newmar – she told me it’s her favorite of all her western appearances.
Then on Saturday, January 25th, through Sunday the 26th, starting at 5:10 a.m., they reprise
BITE THE BULLET; FRONTIER HELLCAT; RAMPAGE AT APACHE WELLS; then add THE TEXICAN, Audie Murphy’s only Spaghetti Western; LAND RAIDERS, a Budapest-shot Western starring Telly Savalas, George Maharis and Arlene Dahl; THE LONGEST DRIVE; THE SHADOW RIDERS; Lawrence Kasdan’s SILVERADO, starring Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline and Scott Glenn; THE MASK OF ZORRO starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and Katherine Zeta Jones; THE SHADOW RIDERS; CONSPIRACY (don’t know which movie this is); THE LONGEST DRIVE; THE NEVADAN; THE TALL T; COMANCHE STATION; Richard Brooks’ brilliant THE PROFESSIONALS, starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Jack Palance, and Claudia Cardinale; Martin Ritt’s contempo western MURPHY’S ROMANCE, starring James Garner and Sally Field; A MAN CALLED SLEDGE, a James Garner Spaghetti Western co-directed and co-written by Vic Morrow; and MACKENNA’S GOLD one more time.
WESTERN LEGEND AWARDS JOINS SO. CAL. MOTION PICTURE COUNCIL AWARDS
On Monday night, December 16th, movie makers and movie fans gathered at the famous Sportsmen’s Lodge for the Southern California Motion Picture Council’s Halo Awards. Begin in 1936, the Council is one of the oldest civic-minded industry organizations in town, and annually they give out their Halo lifetime achievement awards. Julie Ann Ream has been presenting her Western Legend Awards for several years, a tradition she began to honour her late uncle Rex Allen, the last of the great singing cowboys. For the first time, the Western Legend Award has been made a part of SCMPC’s awards, and Julie is delighted at the prospect of Western Legend having a permanent home, as it has been hopscotching across the nation. The Western Legend to be honoured that night was actress Angie Dickinson, the award presented by her POLICE WOMAN co-star Earl Holliman.
I’ll have details about that part of the event later (I’m waiting to get my hands on some photos), but I had the great pleasure of chatting with a pair of stars who were ‘Halo’ honorees that night, Stuart Whitman and Julie Newmar. Whitman, who had come with his lovely wife from their home in Santa Barbara, still with still-boyish smile and clear, cultured voice, is best remembered by Western fans for two roles; as Paul Regret, opposite John Wayne – who keeps calling him ‘Mon-sewer’ – in THE COMANCHEROS, and as Marshal Jim Crown in the short-lived but excellent CIMARRON STRIP; you’ll never see any actor sit a horse better than Stuart Whitman in the opening credits of that series. But of course, he didn’t start with those leading roles.
Stuart Whitman (not a great shot, but my head-on
shots were all washed out. I'm asking Santa for a new camera)
HENRY: I was just watching a ROY ROGERS SHOW, and so surprised to see you in it. Did doing shows like that, like THE RANGE RIDER, kid stuff, help prepare you for the more adult, serious Westerns later on?
STUART WHITMAN: Oh, absolutely. That’s where we learned to do it all.
HENRY: Did you like westerns when you were a kid?
STUART WHITMAN: Oh yes. And what was that theatre on Hollywood Boulevard? The Hitching Post. And we could bring our cap-guns. I’d just come from New York. I was born in San Francisco, I’d just come from New York. And wow, we could have our cap-guns! Pow! Pow! Shoot all the bad guys and the Indians. Henry, I understand there’s a bar around here.
A few minutes later, beautiful Julie Newmar, the best Catwoman of them all, appeared. I tried to think of her Western credits. She was lovely in 7 BRIDES FOR 7 BROTHERS, and she was positively stupefying in LI’L ABNER (okay, a stretch for a Western).
HENRY: What is your favorite of all your westerns?
JULIE NEWMAR: MACKENNA’S GOLD! In the most beautiful part of America, Utah, Arizona. Even Robert Kennedy came there to visit us. He was there with a family of about thirty people. Omar Sharif, Gregory Peck, Edward G. Robinson – marvelous cast!
AND THAT’S A WRAP!
Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas! I hope everything you want the most turns up under your tree!
All Original Contents Copyright December 2013 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved