Friday, January 30, 2009

January 30, 2009
Yesterday, a friend on this site asked me when we were going to film some new True West Moments. I called my producer, Jeff Hildebrandt, at the Westerns Channel, and he is aiming for late summer, or early fall, to do the next batch. We are also working on a way to feature at least one or two of the questioners in the bumper. In other words, have you ask the question on camera. There are logistical problems (flying someone in from Scotland, for example), but Jeff and I are working on it.

I receive several questions almost every day. For example, here's one I got yesterday:

On Jan 29, 2009, at 12:33 PM, Rachel Welsh wrote:

"Hi Bob. I noticed that they are always drinking coffee in westerns and I know that they don't even grow it in the continental united states, so I was wondering how they got all of this imported coffee, and if they really did drink it all of the time. That is my main question, but since I'm writing to you I was also wondering if you knew why the sound never matches the mouth movements in spaghetti westerns. Thank You so much , Rachel"

Yes, cowboys drank a ton of coffee, and yes, it was imported. Cowboys mostly preferred Arbuckles Ariosa Coffee and you can still buy it today. check them out at

As for the Spaghetti Westerns, there are two answers. The first is that in those days Italian movies were filmed entirely without sound on location and then "foleyed" in "post." That means they reconstructed the sounds and dialogue in post production (in a sound studio). But, the second reason
for the mouth mashup, is because the Spaghetti Westerns featured actors from all over Europe. In "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly," the outlaw Tuco is played by an American actor (Eli Wallach), and his brother in the film is played by a German. When they filmed it, both actors spoke their native tongues and then in post, it was translated, or dubbed, into, first Italian, and second, English. In the DVD for these Sergio Leone classic Westerns, Clint Eastwood remembered how he would say his lines, then wait for the other guy in the scene with him to say his lines (that he couldn't understand), and wait for him to stop talking before saying the next lines. Amazing, huh?

Bob Boze Bell
Executive Editor, True West magazine

Does anyone know how coffee was imported in those days? And made it out West. That would be interesting in itself.

"I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance. I just put my feet in the air and move them around."
—Fred Astaire

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