50s Western Dialogue Of The Day: No Name On The Bullet (1959).

50 Westerns From The 50s.

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Here’s a great little speech from No Name On The Bullet (1959), maybe Audie Murphy’s best picture. He plays a gun-for-hire who rides into town and creates a wave of paranoia — as everybody’s convinced he’s here to kill them.

John Gant (Audie Murphy): “Take two men. Say they have robbed and lied, and have never paid. The man whom one of them has robbed comes to me and says, ‘Kill that man who’s robbed me.’ And I kill him. The other man becomes ill and would die, except for a physician who returns him to health to rob and lie again. Who’s the villain in this piece? Me or the physician?”

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In The Company Of Heroes.

50 Westerns From The 50s.

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We walked around Arlington National Cemetery this afternoon — it was a beautiful day. While there, we paid a visit to a few of our heroes.

We were told there was a desire to give Audie Murphy his own monument at Arlington. But in his will, he requested that he be buried just like his buddies.

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Lee Marvin is buried next to boxer Joe Louis. The nice lady in the Visitor’s Center knew exactly where Marvin was, rattling off his location (Section 7A, grave 176) in a split second. He’s a popular one, she says.

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Burt Kennedy is also in Section 7A (grave 15). Took these with my cell phone, so I apologize for the quality. Also, the subject line is lifted from Harry Carey Jr.’s book.

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Night Passage (1957).

50 Westerns From The 50s.

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Directed by James Neilson
Produced by Aaron Rosenberg
Screenplay by Borden Chase
Based on a story by Norman A. Fox
Director Of Photography: William Daniels, ASC
Music composed and conducted by Dimitri Tiomkin
Film Editor: Sherman Todd, ACE

CAST: James Stewart (Grant McLaine), Audie Murphy (The Utica Kid), Dan Duryea (Whitey Harbin), Dianne Foster (Charlotte Drew), Elaine Stewart (Verna Kimball), Brandon de Wilde (Joey Adams), Jay C. Flippen (Ben Kimball), Herbert Anderson (Will Renner), Robert J. Wilke (Concho), Hugh Beaumont (Jeff Kurth), Jack Elam (Shotgun), Tommy Cook (Howdy Sladen), Paul Fix (Mr. Feeney), Olive Carey (Miss Vittles), James Flavin (Tim Riley), Donald Curtis (Jubilee), Ellen Corby (Mrs. Feeney), John Day (Latigo).

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Over the three-year life of this blog, few topics have generated the level of response as a recent post — nothing more than a few production photos, really — on Night Passage (1957). It’s a film with quite…

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Gallery: Shooting Night Passage (1957).

50 Westerns From The 50s.

Night Passage red sized 1Night Passage (1957) is a film I’ve taken my time getting around to. It’s been years since I sat down and watched it, though I’ve looked at bits and pieces of the gorgeous transfer Universal cooked up for the DVD. (The Technirama would be incredible on Blu-ray.) William H. Daniels’ cinematography is some of the best widescreen outdoor stuff I’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t take much to make Durango, Colorado look good.

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One of the problems with Night Passage is that we don’t look at it as 50s Westerns fans. We come at it as Anthony Mann snobs, putting it (and its eventual director, James Neilson) down and speculating about what it could’ve been if he’d hung around long enough to direct it.

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But the truth is, anything with Jimmy Stewart going up against Dan Duryea is gonna be worthwhile. Add in Audie Murphy, not to mention Jack Elam…

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The Cimarron Kid (1951)

50 Westerns From The 50s.

A frequent commenter here, John Knight, sent me a copy of Budd Boetticher: The Western. Thanks, John! A dossier put together by Jim Kitses for the BFI back in 1969, it’s got some excellent writing on Boetticher and his work. (Two Mules For Sister Sara, which he wrote, was in production when this was published.) The highlight has to be a lengthy interview from 1963. It’s fascinating, without the focus on the Ranown cycle that would come later, and full of all sorts of wonderful stuff.* Here’s a quick sample.

Budd Boetticher: “One of the first films that I directed was a Western, The Cimarron Kid. Audie Murphy wasn’t my kind of actor, and that showed up in the film. Audie is a very complicated young man… He’s sensitive, he’s got taste, and guts. The film wasn’t great, there was one good sequence in a train.”

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