Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another anachronism

Actually I'm not sure 'anachronism' is the right word but I can't think what the correct word is. For this isn't about something appearing in the wrong time but rather about something appearing in the wrong location.

I've just been watching Winchester 73[^]. Great film and the first time I've seen it. I've always liked James Stewart[^] in movies made from about 1947 onward; his earlier stuff with Frank Capra[^] leaves me cold but from about Call Northside 777[^] onwards he was good. In Rear Window[^] and Vertigo[^] he was great.

Truth to tell I've tended over the past 30 years to avoid Westerns. I had the usual childhood fascination with Westerns to be sure and I always hated it when I was chosen to be an 'injun' in the playground. Much more fun to be a cowboy and get to win (as the cowboys invariably did). Not much glory in having a tyke point his finger at you, shout 'bang bang, you're dead' and feeling obliged to fall to the ground!

With a background like that the Western started to feel like a thing of one's childhood, to be put away in adulthood and perhaps remembered indulgently.

Absolute bullshit of course! The first cracks in that theory came from seeing The Ox-Bow Incident[^].

Even so, it took me a long time to come around to the genre. I still avoid John Wayne[^] like the plague though that probably has more to do with his politics than anything else.

Moving to the Southwest USA helped rekindle my interest in Westerns. It's amazing how many Westerns have been shot here in Arizona. The second full weekend here after I moved we, Sonya and I, set off for a short tour of Southern Arizona, through Tucson to Tombstone[^], thence to Bisbee and a drive along the US Mexico Border. I don't think there's anyone in the English speaking world who hasn't heard of Tombstone Arizona (and many in the non English speaking world will also have heard of it).

Having been to Tombstone I always get a chuckle when I see the 'classics' supposedly shot there but showing Monument Valley[^].

So to tonights movie. The action commences in Dodge City, Kansas[^] on the centenary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4 1876. The action moves (in a matter of days) to Texas which, even in 1876, would have been possible. Some more action and a couple more days pass and suddenly we're into Saguaro[^] country! Somehow or other the characters have managed, on horseback, to cross the entirety of New Mexico and found themselves in Maricopa County!

It sure looked like this movie was shot in The Valley of the Sun[^]!

I've become a Phoenix boy! Not sure if that's a good thing or not :-)

1 comment:

Monty said...

That's a good thing my fellow Phoenician... Welcome Home!!