Tuesday, October 02, 2007

October 2, 2007 Bonus Bonus Blog
I met a guy out at the Wild West Festival last Saturday who is an expert on movie locations. Greg Stewart regaled me with his passion of visiting and chronicling all of the sites used for TV shows and movies. One of them is The White Stallion Guest Ranch near Marana, Arizona. Greg told me that many Westerns were filmed there and many are not even known by the owners of the ranch. Well, I happen to know Russell True, the owner, and found it interesting there would be movies he didn't even know about.

Last night, I was watching the Gene Autry Westerns Channel Celebration of Gene's 100th birthday, and the movie was "The Big Sombrero" filmed in 1949. It was in blazing color and involved a guest ranch and a Mexican hacienda named The Big Sombrero Ranch. I could swear it was filmed on the White Stallion. I've only been there once, but I could swear those are saguaros and the mountains behind the ranch (actually near Cortaro Road and Rillito Road on I-10). That was exciting, and the color in the movie was beautiful. The Westerns Channel has spent a bundle rennovating some of Gene's old films and they are a hoot to watch just for the costuming alone.

Speaking Of Westerns
"Last Saturday I was in Deadwood for a western book festival and I got to meet author Pete Dexter. Pete wrote one of the best western novels ever.....'Deadwood', and wrote a screenplay from the book. I asked him, what was the disconnect between his fantastic book and the awful movie Wild Bill? I also told him that I was tagged way back when to scout some locations for the movie when they were still using his screenplay....(I had to find an island on a lake for a moose hunting scene.) Pete said things went to hell on the film when Walter Hill came on board. Hill really liked a stage play about Hickok and had the film rewritten. Pete said that there is only one scene in the movie that he had written (and that was not in the book.) The book's main character is actually Charlie Utter who gets all the best lines....and he in NOT in the film Wild Bill. They did use a lot of the book for the HBO series Deadwood. If Hollywood wanted to make a film version to capitalize on the success of the HBO series......they should ressurect Pete Dexter's original screenplay and film it as is."
—Jim Hatzell

According to Variety, 3:10 to Yuma is at #4. So far, it has made $40 million. Film budget was $50 million + $27 million for publicity and advertising. So not stellar numbers, but it will probably make money for the studio.

When I was a punk kid I looked down my nose at all the people who went to work everyday at the same job year after year. I thought real enlightenment and real success was found in exotic, far-off places. I don't think that anymore. Gee, I wonder if Richard Nelson has anything to say about that?

"There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains."
—Richard Nelson

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