It wasn't a surprise to me that a whole bunch of people are passionate about historical accuracy in Westerns. But, the absolutely stunning part to me is the fact that a whole bunch of people bring so many different nitpicks to the genre. Based on the response to my recent post, it isn't just the hats and the gear (my basic prejudice) that upsets fans, it's also the riding (or, lack of it) and the cooking utensils, the false movie locations and even the horse gender that burn people up. Here's just a taste of the historical nitpicking I've received, so far:
Pale Rider vs. A Poor Rider
"John Wayne couldn't ride a horse worth a damn," claims David John Madden on Facebook. This, of course is blasphemy to the many lovers of the Duke. When someone defended Wayne and mentioned the Duke did okay in his younger days, but he merely got tired in later years and too often grabbed the saddle horn, David John Madden is not amused: "It wasn't grabbing the horn that bothers me—for starters it was the way he jerked their heads around, tearing up their mouths. He made a lot of films with Ben Johnson, he should've paid attention." Okay, I will be watching for the "jerking the heads around" the next time I see The Shootist.
Dutch Oven Travesty
Lisa Gaunky says she loves Lonesome Dove, but "it always makes me cringe when Gus lifts the lid off his Dutch oven and you see those biscuits in there. That's just not what they should look like. I've made biscuits in a Dutch oven over (and under) the coals."
Catherine Peterson gets bugged about actors in general and their "horrible riding," and she also hates "unlikely, random horse whinnies and nickers." Timothy Brazzil is bugged by "visible Blevins buckles on stirrup leathers. They weren't invented until after WWII."
Blevins Stirrup Buckles, as advertised in True West magazine in February 1953, and at right in March 2006.
Praise for Ride With The Devil
Randy Kramer, who rides with Phil Spangenberger, hates bad gear and adds, "I believe Ride With The Devil is about as close to the real thing there is, right down to the McClellen saddles and the period dress."
Sloan Rodgers Tejas thinks Tommy Lee's "Hell Bitch" "looks pretty good for a gelding." So, are we looking at horse genitalia now? Apparently so, according to my artist compadre and horsewoman, Amy Wilmoth Watts:"Yes, it always bothered me that Hell Bitch had a visible weinie."
Terry burns hates wrong location settings, like "seeing Monument Valley scenes for a movie supposedly set in Texas.
Cringe Worthy Hair
Chris Hill cringes "when I see a gal with her hair down, or the inappropriate wearing of bangs. That one little thing can ruin a movie for me."
Double Dating Hate
A fellow artist has a suggestion for me:
"Maybe you and Merrill could have movie night and spoil it for each other."