Thursday, January 12, 2017

Zane Grey Meets The Coen Brothers Should Make for A New Breed of Zany Westerns

January 12, 2017
    If you loved old TV Westerns like The Rifleman, Wanted: Dead Or Alive and The Rebel, get ready for some exciting news. According to Variety, Joel and Ethan Coen are the latest auteurs moving into television, with a new event anthology set in the Old West.

 Annapurna Television is partnering with the Coen brothers on a limited series Western called “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Sources tell Variety that Annapurna intends to pursue an innovative approach that could combine television and theatrical.

Chuck Connors as "The Rifleman," Steve McQueen in "Wanted: Dead Or Alive"
and Nick Adams as "The Rebel" all came from a one-off anthology series.

"I'm particularly excited that it's going to be an anthology series, a form which disappeared decades ago.  I always think of Dick Powell Presents Zane Grey Theater, and the fact that The Rifleman, Wanted Dead Or Alive, The Westerner, Johnny Ringo and, for all practical purposes The Rebel, all started as one-episode pilots on Zane Grey."
—Henry Parke, Westerns Film Editor, True West magazine

"I hope this is the ultra-violent script they mentioned before settling on True Grit for their "proper Western". They said it featured torture with fire ants and that there was an unforgettable scene involving a chicken."
David Lambert

   And thanks to David Lambert, here is the actual quote:

Joel Coen warns: ”We've written a western with a lot of violence in it. There's scalping and hanging ... it's good. Indians torturing people with ants, cutting their eyelids off.”Of course, this being the Coen brothers, you know that will be graphic in its depiction and not just an implied violence. Still, the intent is not to make a horror picture, but a Western says Ethan Coen: "It's a proper western, a real western, set in the 1870s. It's got a scene that no one will ever forget because of one particular chicken." 


  1. IY's good Indians Torturing people with ants and, cutting their eyelids." We do not need any more violent stereotypical white depictions of Native Americans. I thought we have progressed not regressed.

    1. Anonymous8:21 AM can go to ear's of History in any civilization, and retrieve nauseatingly barbaric practices....Europe was vey good at such stuff. The Oriental World was strikingly innovative in pain infliction....and one has a monopoly on it...heck, the Viking Era had a few...unh..well never mind. everyone do their own research before they make judgements, thank you.

    2. Anonymous12:08 PM

      Every show can't be a political statement. It's best to tell it like it was and forget political correctness.

  2. I didnt like the remake of true grit. I heard it was excellent went to see it. No way. No chemistry at all between the actors. Every movie jeff bridges does now he mumbles through it and you can hardly understand him. Also quit trying to GROSS everyone out! We know bad things happened on both sides but do we have to see it in a graphic and gory way. Tell a good damn story and quit trying to up each other on how gory we can be

  3. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Mr. Reyes, there was no shortage of barbarity (by Anglos or Natives) in the American West. Unfortunately, revising history to protect your delicate sensibilities will not negate the actual events that transpired.

  4. I agree. Also, I know I'll sound like an old fogy but why can't the westerns concentrate on a nice compact story (as they did in the past) instead emphasis on graphic depiction. Old radio left a lot to the imagination, TV westerns left a lot to the imagination, also. Do we really need to have everything pointed out so graphically.

  5. Anonymous7:26 AM

    Since fire ants didn't arrive in the United States until the 1930s, they might as well go with the flow and upgrade the Colts to .45 autos.


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