Month: November 2017
Diversions of the Groovy Kind has posted a gallery of Neal Adams splash pages from his run with Denny O’Neil on Green Lantern/Green Arrow. Those were classic issues that plunged comics into modern day issues. O’Neil and Adams run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow was as controversial as it was groundbreaking. It was a joy to see all of the splash pages again. You can too, and at a much larger size if you click over.
Me-TV presents 9 Tough as Leather Facts About Rawhide. Here are three of my favorites…
EASTWOOD WORE HIS ‘RAWHIDE’ BOOTS IN ‘UNFORGIVEN.’
No need for a wardrobe department when it comes to Clint. To bookend his career as a cowboy, Eastwood wore his same Rowdy Yates boots in his Oscar-winning 1992 masterpiece Unforgiven.
LOADS OF SOON-TO-BE-FAMOUS FACES APPEARED ON THE SHOW.
That’s Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery taking aim in “Incident at El Crucero,” in a guest role that would foreshadow her gig as Mrs. Sundance. Star Trek crew members Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley appeared on the Western, too. Sitcom legends Buddy Ebsen, Barbara Eden, Alan Hale, Jr., June Lockhart, Gavin MacLeod, Marion Ross and William Schallert also pop up — just to name a few. Then there’s Martin Landau, Frankie Avalon, Anne Francis, Peter Lorre…
TWO EPISODES WERE SLAPPED TOGETHER TO FORM A MOVIE, UNTIL EASTWOOD PREVENTED ITS RELEASE.
Rawhide finished its run in the first week of 1966. By that year, Eastwood was a star of small and big screen. The classic Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) revolutionized the genre. To further capitalize on Eastwood’s fame, Jolly Film, the studio behind A Fistful of Dollars, pieced together a couple old episodes of Rawhide, primarily “The Backshooter” with Louis Hayward and Slim Pickens, and labeled the flick The Magnificent Stranger, the original shooting title for A Fistful of Dollars. However, Eastwood sued and had the 1967 film withdrawn.
This Atomic Blonde tribute piece by Victor Santos was too good not to share. You can see a bigger version and more of Victor’s art at his site.
Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 21 Things We Learned from Rob Reiner’s Misery Commentary. Here are three of my favorites…
2. James Caan was not his first choice for the film, and he instead was turned down by Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, William Hurt (twice), Richard Dreyfuss, and others. “But at the end of the day you can’t imagine anybody else playing the part.”
13. Bates was stage-trained and preferred excessive rehearsals while Caan is more “instinctive and naturalistic,” so they had to balance the rehearsal time to make it less than she wanted and more than he wanted.
18. The novel has Annie chop off Paul’s feet and cauterize the stumps, but they opted to simply hobble him instead by having her break his feet with a sledgehammer. Their thinking was that they wanted him to be victorious in the end, and losing his feet would be too high of a price. “It was pretty darn painful to look at, so I don’t think we compromised it too much.”
That’s the cover to Cold War #1 above. Cold War is a new series by writer Chris Sebela and artist Hayden Sherman. The premise is pretty interesting..
Panacea Cryonics offered its customers life after death by keeping their heads frozen until the day technology could rebuild them, free of disease and death. However, as these everyday people from the past are revived, they’re not handed the keys to a new life, but a gun, body armor and an ultimatum. They must fight in a war against unknown opponents for unknown reasons, to secure their place in a brave new world that doesn’t want them around.
If this sounds like something you’d like, you can find it at comic shops in February. If you’d like to see more of a preview, then check out AfterShock Announces COLD WAR by Sebela & Sherman at Comicoscity.
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Bright stars Will Smith add is directed by David Ayer which is enough to get me to tune in. I kind of dig the Alien Nation vibe Bright is giving off, so that’s a plus. I just hope that the focus is on action, not comedy. If so, Bright could be a winner.
Odds are, pro wrestling fan or not, you know that the photo above is of the “styling-and-profiling, limousine-riding, jet-flying, Rolex-wearing, champagne-drinking, kiss-stealing, wheeling-‘n-dealing, dirtiest player in the game,” Ric Flair.
Yahoo Sports!, Dan Wetzel has written an excellent profile – Ric Flair Faces the Music with Regret but No Excuses – and it is well worth a read.
In 1931, as Universal Studios was preparing to film the now classic Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, it was decided that a Spanish version would be made at the same time. Although the Spanish version would feature a different cast, the same screenplay and sets would be used as the English version. Lugosi’s Dracula would film during the day and then that evening the Spanish crew would come in and film. By all accounts the Spanish Dracula is excellent.
You can learn more about The Making of the Spanish Language Version of Dracula (1931) at Old Hollywood Films.
James and Margaret Reed, Donner Party members. (Credit: Public Domain)
In 1846, the Donner brothers led a wagon train of pioneers heading to California. Caught in the Sierra Mountains in one of the worst winters ever recorded, the settlers were forced to hunker down. As their food and supplies ran out, and over half of the party died, most of the survivors were forced to resort to cannibalism.
Evan Andrews and History.com present 10 Things You Should Know About the Donner Party. Here are three of my favorites…
2. They fell behind schedule after taking an untested shortcut.
After reaching Wyoming, most California-bound pioneers followed a route that swooped north through Idaho before turning south and moving across Nevada. In 1846, however, a dishonest guidebook author named Lansford Hastings was promoting a straighter and supposedly quicker path that cut through the Wasatch Mountains and across the Salt Lake Desert. There was just one problem: no one had ever traveled this “Hastings Cutoff” with wagons, not even Hastings himself. Despite the obvious risks—and against the warnings of James Clyman, an experienced mountain man—the 20 Donner Party wagons elected to break off from the usual route and gamble on Hastings’ back road. The decision proved disastrous. The emigrants were forced to blaze much of the trail themselves by cutting down trees, and they nearly died of thirst during a five-day crossing of the salt desert. Rather than saving them time, Hasting’s “shortcut” ended up adding nearly a month to the Donner Party’s journey.
7. Not all of the emigrants engaged in cannibalism.
As their supplies dwindled, the Donner emigrants stranded at Truckee Lake resorted to eating increasingly grotesque meals. They slaughtered their pack animals, cooked their dogs, gnawed on leftover bones and even boiled the animal hide roofs of their cabins into a foul paste. Several people died from malnutrition, but the rest managed to subsist on morsels of boiled leather and tree bark until rescue parties arrived in February and March 1847. Not all of the settlers were strong enough to escape, however, and those left behind were forced to cannibalize the frozen corpses of their comrades while waiting for further help. All told, roughly half of the Donner Party’s survivors eventually resorted to eating human flesh.
9. One rescuer singlehandedly led nine survivors out of the mountains.
Perhaps the most famous of the Donner Party’s saviors was John Stark, a burly California settler who took part in the third relief party. In early March 1847, he and two other rescuers stumbled upon 11 emigrants, mostly kids, who been left in the mountains by an earlier relief group. The two other rescuers each grabbed a single child and started hoofing it back down the slope, but Stark was unwilling to leave anyone behind. Instead, he rallied the weary adults, gathered the rest of the children and began guiding the group singlehandedly. Most of the kids were too weak to walk, so Stark took to carrying two of them at a time for a few yards, then setting them down in the snow and going back for others. He continued the grueling process all the way down the mountain, and eventually led all nine of his charges to safety. Speaking of the incident years later, one of the survivors credited her rescue to “nobody but God and Stark and the Virgin Mary.”
Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 20 Things We Learned from the Atomic Blonde Commentary. Here are three of my favorites…
3. The man seen running through the street in the opening is the film’s stunt coordinator, Sam Hargrave, “who’s also a good actor” and plays the soon to be dead James Gasciogne. He does various stunts throughout the film including the car flip.
15. The “one-take” stairwell fight scene features multiple hidden (or digital) edits including the motion blur of Lorraine throwing a guy to the floor at 1:12:04 and a handful of whip-pans that follow.
10. The book holding the cassette tapes at 32:53 is also in John Wick.