Blowing Wild

“You’ll never get away from me. I’ll never let you go. I’ll say you helped me. I’ll say I killed him and you helped me. I don’t care if they hang me just so they hang you, too!”

That sample of dialogue comes near the end of Blowing Wild (1953), during the climax and just before a no holds barred shootout. It is pure unashamed melodrama, as indeed is the entire movie. It came up in the comments section of a piece I wrote back last autumn and provoked the expression of a number of markedly contrasting opinions. At that point, I hadn’t seen the movie but my fondness for the stars and director not to mention the polarized views it prompted meant I was going to have to do something about that. It took a bit of time for me to get around to it (why break the habit of a lifetime, I suppose) but I have to say I’m delighted that I did – I had a wonderful time with it. Sure, as I said, the melodramatic aspects are dialed up as far as they can go and the emotions on display are raw and unrestrained. And I think that’s precisely what I liked about it, the fact that the director and cast wholeheartedly embrace the burning passions it depicts.

The credits roll to the accompaniment of Dimitri Tiomkin and Frankie Laine’s soaring and swooping theme song and the camera tracks the progress of a group of heavily armed bandits picking their way through locations that film fans will recognize from countless westerns, from Garden of Evil through The Wild Bunch. The screen caption tells us it’s “South America” but we know it’s Mexico. Jeff Dawson (Gary Cooper) and his partner Dutch Peterson (Ward Bond) are wildcatting, drilling for oil and about to lose their shirts. The fact is they are lucky not to lose more as those bandits led by El Gavilan (Juan Garcia), channeling Alfonso Bedoya in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, demand payment of the money the two oilmen don’t have before laying waste to the derrick and campsite. Our two hapless prospectors find themselves suddenly destitute and desperate to find some means of buying their fare back to the States, desperate enough to agree to haul a load of nitroglycerine back through the badlands they just vacated. When payment for this is withheld by Ian MacDonald’s smooth chancer – shades of To Have and Have Not creeping in here – the only way out seems to be taking a job with an old friend. Now why would anyone be reluctant, no make that downright hostile, to accept an offer from a friend? Well, that friend is Paco (Anthony Quinn) and the problem really relates to his wife Marina (Barbara Stanwyck). We first encounter her primping and sneering like a cat in heat in an already smouldering atmosphere, and it’s apparent to all, except the smitten Paco, that she and Jeff have what might be delicately referred to as a past. I’ll leave it at that for now; I reckon most people reading this can guess where the story is headed, and the real pleasure to be had is observing the emotional temperature get ratcheted up remorselessly.

While I have not seen all of Hugo Fregonese’s films – to be honest, I’ve really only seen a fraction of his output – I can confidently say that I’ve yet to meet one I didn’t like, and some of them are quite wonderful. Saddle Tramp is very good while Apache Drums, The Raid, and Harry Black and the Tiger are all excellent. Blowing Wild is all about love, loyalty, passion and betrayal, and every one of those elements is given an extensive workout in Philip Yordan’s script. Some will say it’s overdone, that the seasoning is too rich and the blend is too heavy. I have to disagree though. When I think of passion I think of the Greek πάθος, from which it is derived, and all the full-bodied and full-blooded longing and suffering it implies. One cannot portray something so primal and powerful with subtlety or delicacy, it needs to be given full rein, and Fregonese’s movie certainly does just that.

As for the casting, Cooper looks worn and a little beat up as he so often did in the 50s, but it’s a good look for him, complementing that characteristic halting delivery of his and making him seem a little more human. His Jeff Dawson is a stoic creation, a solid man of principal with most of the edges smoothed down by the hard experience of just living, yet still vital and still hungry. Whether his hunger relates to the black gold he’s drilling for or the two women vying for his attention is eventually resolved, but not before all have had a chance to flirt with him. The focus is mainly on Stanwyck, a woman who looks as though she’s got what she wanted, but it’s clear enough that this is only what she thought she wanted. Her realization that she has actually succeeded only in deceiving herself lies at the heart of her obsessive pursuit of Cooper. Love has become twisted into fixation and all the destructiveness that follows in its wake. The age of these two works in their favor as well, in my view anyway. Cooper was in his early 50s, but looking older, and Stanwyck in her mid-40s when Blowing Wild was made. To me, this lends a touch of urgency that would be missing had a younger pair been cast in these roles, and it amounts to an added layer to appreciate.

Ruth Roman seems to have been a bit short-changed in her part. It’s a key role and one that you would expect to offer more, but her character is ill-defined and frequently sidelined. This isn’t a criticism of Roman, who plays the part well, but the way her character is written. Anthony Quinn is as large as ever; it’s a typical performance in some respects with all the bravado and heart you tend to associate with the man, but touchingly and admirably vulnerable too. When Paco acknowledges his own fears and powerlessness (are we to read into that some allusion to a different type of impotence?) we are treated to one of those moments of honesty that are always welcome. Ward Bond’s sympathetic sidekick is fine too but the second half of the movie sees him off screen for long stretches as he recuperates in hospital from a gunshot wound.

As for availability, Blowing Wild was released  some years ago by Olive Films and the picture quality is very strong, crisp and clean with only one very brief sequence early on looking a bit rough. I don’t believe the film is that well thought of and it probably has more detractors than supporters. However, I’m happy to place myself in the latter category and I certainly recommend it to those who enjoy their melodrama bold and brazen. With that, I’ll sign off and leave you with Frankie Laine’s rendering of the theme song:

74 thoughts on “Blowing Wild

    • I enjoyed it very much although I’m aware not everyone is going to feel the same about it. But yes, if you are in the right frame of mind or if this type of film appeals in general, then it’s definitely worth watching.

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  1. Brilliant exploration of a favourite picture, Colin. Not sure about the equivocation that ‘it’s a good movie…if you’re in the right mood’. I always find that BLOWING WILD irresistibly hooks my attention from the opening notes of the Frankie Laine theme right along to its savage conclusion. It has an almost operatic intensity. A essential part of the mood created is clearly down to the Dimitri Tiomkin score whose CV includes so many great movies….Thanks again for taking the time to write about this.

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    • Thank you very much, chum. Let me clarify though – I was trying to inject a touch of objectivity into my overall assessment and that’s why I thought the “mood” reference, which Sergio brought up above, was worth running with. I know that I am am almost always in the mood for movies of this type, but tastes do differ and some others may not be attuned to the tone of the movie quite so readily.

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  2. Hi Colin….

    As you note above in your review, quote…….”It came up in the comments section of a piece I wrote back last autumn and provoked the expression of a number of markedly contrasting opinions.” and “polarized views”, etc.

    Colin, I do remember there was quite a lengthily discussion about many interesting aspects of the film. To help this discussion along, any chance you could cross-reference the previous film review so we may refresh our memories of the comments that were made? No doubt it was instrumental in your decision to view the film and it’s subsequent review. Thanks.

    Scott

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      • Thanks for the above ‘link’ Colin. It definitely helped me revive my ever depleting memory.

        So….I will add a little further comment. For me, right after viewing the movie I knew I liked it……although, I wasn’t exactly sure why this cranked-up ‘soap’ appealed to me? Consequently, a re-watch was in order. Basically, without going into detail about those in front of and behind the camera, I feel the central theme consisted of a generated intensity during the overall pace of events. The targeted focus of psychological elements of and between the characters…….and how those characters confronted and maneuvered within those events. This I found to be most thought provoking and the main drivers in holding my attention throughout the movie.

        COLIN……that is an excellent effort in review of this movie Sir…….it shines.

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        • Thanks. There sure is an intensity to the relationships, something of an emotional vortex. I can’t say why the movie eluded me for so long but I’m pleased to have had the chance to catch up with it.

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          • Hi again Colin…..
            Ya know…..as I began to re-watch the movie again, much to my surprise, the film was neither shot in color nor widescreen as I thought I’d recollected. Henceforth, I kept thinking how much better the viewing experience if it had. After all, the necessary visual elements all seemed to be there to lend to it. Just my thoughts.

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            • Well widescreen simply wouldn’t have been an option at that stage but color might have been used. I like the monochrome look though, it lends a slightly noir feel to some scenes and, in a way, it strengthens the link (in my mind anyway) with other movies that have certain shared characteristics – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, To Have and Have Not, The Wages of Fear, and even Boom Town in some respects.

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              • Scott and Colin, I see where you are coming from Scott, because I thought the same thing about how good BLOWING WILD(1953) would have looked in color, and I think it would have looked good, as did GARDEN OF EVIL(1954) and VERA CRUZ(1954), two other Gary Cooper movies filmed in Mexico. Although, my first viewings were on a black and white cabinet RCA TV with a 26 inch screen and the movie was filmed in the ratio of 1.37: 1 in black and white. Also, I can understand Colin’s take on the noirish aspect, being more so in black and white. Good thoughts.

                On another note, Ward Bond’s character was called “Dutch” as was Ernest Borgnine’s character in THE WILD BUNCH(filmed 1968, released 1969). I wonder if screenwriters Walon Green and Sam Peckinpah ever viewed BLOWING WILD? Also, Walon Green wrote the screenplay for SORCERER(filmed 1976, released 1977), which was essentially a remake of THE WAGES OF FEAR(filmed 1951-52, released 1953). Just some more thoughts.

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  3. It’s an interesting film to read about. You clearly really like it while I felt, when watching it again quite recently, rather more ambivalent. I am a big fan of Cooper and Stanwyck but I found the melodrama a bit too ‘overblown’. As Sergio intimated though, on another day it might hit me quite differently.

    Although Ruth Roman’s role was not as large as it could have been, I found her interpretation just right, and I would have liked more of her.

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    • That’s fair enough, Jerry. I imagine I’m more in the minority on this one but we all respond in different ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
      I take your point about Roman too and don’t entirely disagree – I don’t feel her work was poor but the script gave her only limited opportunities to do anything.

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          • Ruth Roman was rather good in westerns but perhaps her real forte was the ‘film noir’ where she seemed so ideally suited. But as that genre gradually wound down as the 1950s progressed she maybe had trouble, or rather the studios did, in finding the right vehicles for her.

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            • She was in a number of westerns, and some pretty good ones too but for some reason I don’t have her filed away mentally as a “western actress”, whatever that might mean. If I were to associate her with a type of movie, then I guess film noir is the one that springs to mind more readily. I know I first became aware of her when I saw Strangers on a Train, whether or not people regard that as noir is of course another matter entirely. So yes, I can see your point that her career maybe being affected by the decline of those genres she worked most successfully in.

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  4. Jerry, Colin
    I agree with your take on Miss Roman. Noir was a perfect fit, whether as a femme fatale or a woman in distress.. Not an attack on her skill, or looks, which were excellent, but I always got the feeling that the Studios treated her like a second tier Liz Taylor. CHAMPION, THE WINDOW, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY, MARA MARU, DOWN 3 DARK STREETS and others stand out for me. Her television work was also top flight. I still recall THE LONG HOT SUMMER (1965-66) series she made with Edmond O’Brien and Roy Thinness.

    Gord

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  5. In view of the strong and impressive stars, I saw it a long ago and felt it was a letdown. Now with your review and the positive views of the guests hereof will find the time to look it up again.

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    • Good for you. I’m generally keen to encourage people to give movies another look, especially if a long period of time has elapsed – we do change over time and our tastes shift and evolve constantly. Of course you may still feel as you did in the past, and all the rave reviews by fans of a movie count for little if certain elements are just not to your taste.

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  6. Colin, thank you for an excellent review.

    BLOWING WILD(1953) is a movie that I first viewed on WREC Channel 3 and WMC Channel 5, out of Memphis, Tennessee. The movie was aired many times during the 1960’s and 1970’s and I viewed it more than once. I liked it, because of the star power and I thought the story and setting were good. I didn’t view it again for several years. In the early 1990’s I bought a VHS tape of the Republic Pictures Home Video series the “Hollywood Stars” of which BLOWING WILD(1990) was one of the series. I still liked the movie and I continue to.

    On my later viewing of the movie I recognized some familiarity about the movie and other movies, such as THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE(1948) and THE WAGES OF FEAR(1953), although this movie was released after the filming of BLOWING WILD had wrapped up, but one of Philip Yordan’s uncredited writers might have read the novel LE SALAIRE DE LA PEUR(1950) written by Georges Arnaud(Henri Girard), which was the source material for THE WAGES OF FEAR. Despite the familiarity of it, there are some smart words flowing from the screenwriting mill of Philip Yordan(it is hard to tell what he actually wrote, because he was a front for blacklisted screenwriters and others trying to a get a foothold in writing for the screen) and the noteworthy cast kept me watching, because all of them were good and Gary Cooper, as Jeff Dawson, has always been a masterful lead(number 1 at the box office in 1953), but it’s Barbara Stanwyck who stands out as Marina Conway and does so in a headlong and reckless fashion. Anthony Quinn’s role as Frank “Paco” Conway, self-made oilman, that really does love his wife is mind-aching. Ruth Roman, the down on her luck Sal Donnelly, does a lot with the screen time she receives. I enjoyed the scene where Roman and Stanwyck face-off. Ward Bond, as Dutch Peterson, is a humorously worried partner to Jeff Dawson.

    I think Director Hugo Fregonese made a skillful solid modern day Western and the movie’s Mexico locations look really good amongst the oil fields, which adds to an authentic look thanks to the photography of Sid Hickox. Dmitri Tiomkin’s marvelous music score along with the remarkable balladeer Frankie Laine is a delight. For my two cents worth, I find BLOWING WILD to be an interesting and enjoyable movie, well worth viewing.

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    • I like your description of Stanwyck’s character in this as “headlong and reckless” as it’s very apt. Those riding scenes of hers illustrate that quality perfectly, don’t they?
      And I appreciated that short scene which saw Roman and Stanwyck confronting each other, highly charged yet still very controlled.

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      • Colin, once in an interview, Barbara Stanwyck was asked why she liked to make Western Movies and she replied, “Because you get to ride horses and shoot guns.” Well, she definitely, too me anyway, enjoyed riding that handsome horse. Also, as a fire and ice femme, Marina(Stanwyck) is far more deadly than any of the bandits, and that is without having to shoot a pistol, or rifle.

        I’m a Ruth Roman fan and she sure showed us her acting chops in being able to go up against Marina(Stanwyck) in a verbal laced stare down of “if looks could only kill.”

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  7. Weekend Watching
    After hearing all the positive words from the bunch here, I finally got around to, THE OUTCAST. This 1954 William Witney helmed effort starring John Derek, Jim Davis and Joan Evans was far better than I had been expecting. The decent story moves right along aided by an excellent supporting cast that includes, Bob Steele, Frank Ferguson, Slim Pickens, Catherine McLeod, Harry Carey Jr and the always reliable James Millican. While I am a big fan of Republic Pictures noir, I must admit I tend to let Republic westerns slip right on by me. I really need to smarten up in that department.
    Gord

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    • Hi Gord……

      Glad to hear you took in THE OUTCAST and it exceeded your expectations. I’ve seen it a couple of times in the past few of years. It has some good moments, but with some holes is my take. You mention “the always reliable James Millican”. I especially like Millican as the sturdy force in a lot of his good guy supporting roles. Thus, I was excited to see his name in the cast. Although listed fairly far down, I was still hopeful his presence would be put to good use. Personally, I feel they wasted him here as just a level-one henchman. Even though his character had moments they seemed to write him in just for the sake of it. Another errrr…..the pretense of the Derek character being somewhat juvenile at times and going at it alone seemed a little too far fetched for me. Too bad the screenplay didn’t allow for an added dimension that would characterize Millican to be a sturdy force and indirectly allied to a young upstart John Derek. I know, I know it was just the way the script was written and John Derek was on the brink of stardom. In conclusion…..I did like both the Bob Steele and Slim Pickens performances. I can do without the casting of Joan Evans and Catherine McLeod.

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  8. Hi Gord,
    Certainly if you enjoy Republic Pictures ‘noir’, directed by the likes of George Sherman or George Blair, you ought to also enjoy some of their westerns (maybe). Mind you, you’re taking this from ‘the converted’ LOL.
    “THE OUTCAST” though is a semi-A picture in my book, in colour and directed by specialist William Witney, it is a personal favourite of mine. It looks and ‘moves’ like a western should.
    There are, of course, others such as “THUNDER OVER ARIZONA” (1956), again in colour and this time directed by another Republic specialist Joe Kane. Stars Skip Homeier. We are not talking classic films here of course, just the kind of solid, bread-and-butter westerns I love.

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  9. Jerry
    LOL
    It is more a case of not enough time if truth be told. I still have 100s of noir, crime , war films etc to get through. The dusters I slip in when I can, or when you good folks here suggest a sleeper. For example, I have seen 150 or more Rod Cameron tv episodes, but maybe only 3 or 4 of his western films. I might have mentioned this before, but Rod Cameron holds the record for a born here in Calgary actor for leading roles in Hollywood productions.
    Gord

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    • You’re talking there, Gord, about an actor I enjoy watching increasingly. Rod Cameron’s TV series, which seem to have been very successful overall, are most entertaining. But several of his westerns for either Republic or Allied Artists (Monogram) were terrific. He was a real ‘natural’ in westerns. Tops for me would be “STAMPEDE”, “BRIMSTONE”, “SHORT GRASS”, “PANHANDLE” & “RIDE THE MAN DOWN” -all excellent. But there were others that were very enjoyable too. Those 5 though are fine examples of the semi-A western at its finest, I humbly submit!

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  10. As a side note about Cooper…….
    We know that the man was struggling with health issues in 1953, but further adding to his discomfort, according to Wikipedia, he took a heavy blow to a shoulder with metal debris during a dynamiting sequence of an oil rig. Looking closely enough you could tell this man was struggling at times, i.e. the fight in the stream bed he had with El Gavilan was staged so poorly it was barely pulled off. The filming of this movie must have taken a toll on the man……it sure showed in the exiting final scene.

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  11. Jerry, I too am a fan of Rod Cameron. To me, he is in the same tier as Rory Calhoun, Audie Murphy, George Montgomery. He has the height and built for westerns. SAN ANTONE was the 1st film of Rod, I saw on the big screen.

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    • “SAN ANTONE” is arguably not up with those 5 Rod Cameron westerns, Chris, but certainly a good and enjoyable job. And you probably have a personal fondness for it as it was the first of his you saw.

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  12. Guys
    Any suggestions for a Rod Cameron festival? Taking Jerry’s choices, “STAMPEDE”, “BRIMSTONE”, “SHORT GRASS”, “PANHANDLE” & “RIDE THE MAN DOWN” as a starting point.. What would be some more Cameron films worth a look?

    Gord

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    • Gord…….don’t let the movie title fool ya. It’s not one of those typical Maria Montez escapism vehicles nor a swashbuckler. Although, there is a limited amount of swordplay by Rod Cameron. The choreographed action scenes and the level of Rod’s skill as a swordsman may actually surprise you!
      Enjoy.

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  13. Gordon, I’m a long time fan of Rod Cameron and his movies that have already been listed are good ones. I’ve always liked STAGE TO TUCSON(1950) and FRONTIER GAL(1945) with Yvonne De Carlo.

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    • RE: FRONTIER GAL…..
      Some interesting things went on in the making of this film. The screenplay was written with the thought it would be another Maria Montez/Jon Hall technicolor vehicle. However, in 1945, the studio had already began switching things around lessening Hall as the Montez primary love interest, i.e. Turhan Bay in SUDAN.
      Therefore, just before production started in April 45′ the studio switched from Hall to Rod Cameron. To further shake things up, Montez then refused to work with Cameron and did not want the role of motherhood as written in FRONTIER GAL So, now enter Yvonne De Carlo getting her first big break handed to her on a silver platter. Thus, in one big swoop we go from Montez/Hall to De Carlo/Cameron and consequently, from Universal’s “Queen of Technical” Montez (1942-1944/45) to De Carlo (1945-1947).
      Personally, I liked this movie. What I found most interesting was the likeness of Montez that was being exhibited by De Carlo. Especially noticeable during the first half of the movie was the typical Montez dialogue, verbal accent, makeup and colorful costume designs that were typical to Montez. The costume and makeup departments must have already been prepared before pre-filming and De Carlo absolutely looked stunning as Montez twin like at times. So as a plus…..one will see two beautiful women in one.
      Oh…..Montez will eventually have her day with Rod Cameron in her last studio film appearance in “Pirates of Monterey” (1947). Highly recommended.

      Note – Some info drawn from Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    • WOW! As we say here – he had a darned good innings. What an achievment for this character actor, so memorable in Hitch’s “SABOTEUR” (1940).

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  14. Just thought I would detail the rather strange journey
    Hugo Fregonese took after leaving Hollywood.
    From the early 60’s onwards he worked mainly in Europe
    at least up until 1970.
    His first Euro film was MARCO POLO (1962) with Rory Calhoun and
    Yoko Tani. Iv’e never seen it but it did get a limited release in the UK.
    Next up was THE DEATH RAY OF DR MABUSE (1964) one of several
    atempts to revive that franchise.
    OLD SHATTERHAND (1964) was the biggest budget of the popular
    “Winnetou” films shot in 70mm. The UK and USA shortened version
    (89 minutes) was titled APACHE’S LAST BATTLE.
    One scene a strikingly shot raid on a ranch showed that Fregonese
    had lost none of his directing skills.
    The Winnetou films toned down the violence and were generally chaste
    but Fregonese spiced things up with some full frontal nudity when Daliah
    Lavi goes skinny dipping by a waterfall.This scene only appeared in the full
    length (122 minutes) Euro version.
    OLD SHATTERHAND had American appeal with leads Lex Barker
    and Guy Madison.
    SAVAGE PAMPUS (1965) was another big budget Euro Western headlined
    by Robert Taylor,this one was set and partly filmed in Argentina.
    Strangest of them all was the notorious ASSIGNMENT TERROR (1970)
    This monster mash up had aliens in human form thinking that they could
    defeat us earthlings by reviving the Universal Monsters roster, but they were
    undone by a socially inclined Werewolf !!
    Fregonese is said to have directed three quarters of the picture but jumped
    ship when the producers cut back on the budget meaning that special
    effects scenes involving flying saucers and The Golem were axed.
    The Golem…..enough already!
    As Fregonese had not made a picture for five years I guess he was
    desperate for work or perhaps he had always wanted to make a
    Sci Fi Horror picture.
    The leads really were above this sort of thing;Micheal Rennie,
    Karin Dor and Craig Hill,even odder that Dor had just finished a lead
    role in Hitchcock’s TOPAZ.
    Fellow Argentinian Tulio Demicheli completed the film and has the
    sole directing credit.
    Demicheli’s best known picture was possibly SON OF CAPTAIN BLOOD
    starring Sean Flynn and Ann Todd-this Harry Joe Brown production got
    Worldwide distribution.
    Gary at DVD Beaver reviewed the Blu Ray of ASSIGNMENT TERROR
    recently,he rather likes it!

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    • Yes, it’s an odd assortment of movies, mind you I think cinema itself was experiencing something of a chaotic period at that time with so much cultural upheaval taking place. I noticed that review of Assignment Terror too – it does look very trashy, but I can see how people might find it fun.

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  15. While we are talking all things Euro I thought that I would mention a few early Spaghetti Westerns that tried as much as possible to look like the “real thing” i’e. traditional American Westerns. These early Spaghetti’s are disowned by hardcore fans as they don’t have the staple ingredients that defined the genre i.e fantastical shootouts with huge body counts,gore and sadism laid on with a trowel and endless extended torture scenes.
    Tulio Demicheli’s GUNMEN OF RIO GRANDE (1964) is pretty traditional, some of his landscapes make one feel they are watching the “real thing” This film also known as DUEL AT RIO BRAVO has Guy Madison as Wyatt Earp although there are no references to the Earp legend or myth. BULLETS DON’T ARGUE (1964) also has an American lead Rod Cameron this time playing Pat Garrett with nary a mention of Billy The Kid. Like the Earp film the name is only used to broaden the film’s appeal. BULLETS DON’T ARGUE has shdes of High Noon with Garrett forced to track down killers on his wedding day. RIDE AND KILL (1964) is pretty traditional too with Alex Nicol as the town drunk who cleans up an outlaw ridden town.
    These early Spaghetti Westerns are ignored by video companies like Wild East and Arrow who seem to prefer to release the more brutal and violent kind which I guess is what the fans want these days. I find it rather sad that there is a huge market for these Spaghetti Westerns yet no market at all for the very fine Republic A Westerns starring the likes of Rod Cameron,William Elliott and Forrest Tucker.
    BTW to backtrack SAN ANTONE, I rate as Top Drawer Rod Cameron,one of his very best I thought.

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    • I have never seen any of those you mention, although I wouldn’t be at all averse to sampling them given their hybrid nature, and the fact you suggest they may lean more towards the genre’s roots than some of the later and higher profile efforts. I see Arrow have a box set of Spaghettis on the way but I have to say I have zero interest in that kind of material. I’ve seen a good deal over the years and have grown impatient with the excesses.

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  16. A Hugo Fregonese picture that I forgot was FIND A PLACE TO DIE (1968). Fregonese is listed as producer on this Spaghetti Western re-hash of GARDEN OF EVIL. FIND A PLACE TO DIE headlined Jeffrey Hunter and Fregonese reportedly directed several scenes,including one striking scene
    where the desperadoes gather in an abandoned church.
    An earlier Hunter Spaghetti Western MURIETA (Aka Vendetta) 1965 was George Sherman’s sole Euro Western and co starred Arthur Kennedy. With Sherman at the helm the film is as traditional as is possible under the circumstances.

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  17. John, as usual I enjoyed your views hereof. As to those Winnetou westerns, I did not fancy them, particularly the settings and/or locations and the vistas did not give me the ‘ atmosphere’ of the Hollywood or spaghetti westerns! I saw one of them that starred Stewart Granger and Elke Sommer and can’t remember its title.

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  18. Off topic here folks
    I at last got my first COVID 19 shot. The good stuff I’m told , Pfizer. Gee, whiz, of course there are no bars open to go have a beer to honor the occasion. There would be full scale riots if they had closed the beer stores as well!!!! Have a great weekend folks. I’m going to take in THE SEA CHASE 1955 with the Duke tonight.

    Gord

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  19. Everyone, I received my 2nd shot of the vaccine Moderna this morning. So far I feel fine. About 35% of the population here, in the USA, are totally vaccinated. I wish everyone well.

    Scott, I hope everything turns out okay for you in Cambodia. I can understand your concerns. These are such trying times for everyone.

    PASSPORT TO TREASON(1956) starring Rod Cameron isn’t a Western, but I rather enjoyed this pre-James Bond British spy/detective/mystery. This movie was produced by Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman and also directed and photographed respectively. Besides Cameron, two other Canadians are featured in this movie, Lois Maxwell and John Colicos.

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  20. Backtracking……Rod Cameron, Euro Westerns and other stuff.

    Firstly Alfred L Werker’s PIRATES OF MONTEREY is being released by Universal Germany as a 3 x Blu Ray Pirate set. It’s due July 29th and includes REAP THE WILD WIND, PIRATES OF MONTEREY and YANKEE BUCCANEER. An odd trio the latter title stars Jeff Chandler and Scott Brady
    nice price too ’round about 14 Euros. The “Winnetou” film with Stewart Granger and Elke Sommer was released in the UK and USA as AMONG VULTURES. Rod Cameron did a Winnetou as well “Old Firehand” which was released in the USA as THUNDER AT THE BORDER. Cameron also made another Spaghetti BULLETS AND THE FLESH (1964), I’ve never seen that one. He also made another Brit Flick ESCAPEMENT (1958) aka The Elecrtonic Monster a Merton Park special directed by Montgomery Tully. The film co starred Mary Murphy. I’m sure Talking Pictures TV will dig this one up eventually.

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  21. I’ve only seen a pretty ropey copy and it’s a most odd film.
    A sort of thriller/Sci Fi hybrid with some decidedly kinky
    dream/dance sequences. Even odder that Murphy is draped in
    a fur coat more or less throughout even in the interior scenes
    giving one the impression that she was suffering from a severe
    cold during the making.

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  22. Wow……a lot of love going out to Rod Cameron and fellow Canadian born Yvonne De Carlo. In FRONTIER GAL (1945) with Cameron, a young De Carlo absolutely sizzled. In a movie I hadn’t seen in decades until today, RIVER LADY (1948) again with Cameron and co-star Dan Duryea she once again looked fabulous. Also, RIVER LADY was under the ever capable Direction of George Sherman. Both these Technicolor movies make for a wonderful book-end viewing experience. Throw in PIRATES OF MONTEREY (1947) with Cameron and Maria Montez one has a trifecta of Rod Cameron in Technicolor.

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  23. Sunday it hit plus 27 C – 80F and on Thursday they are calling for a massive dump of snow and minus 5. OH my aching knees!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully that is the end of the winter. Tonight I am taking in a re-watch of 1993s TOMBSTONE. It has been 6-7 years so I think it is time for it again.

    Gord.

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    • I haven’t seen that film in well over a decade. A large part of what made it enjoyable for me was Val Kilmer’s eccentric turn as Doc. And o course the presence of Charlton Heston, Harry Carey Jr and the narration of Robert Mitchum add a link to the classic era.

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