Thunderhoof


“There’s a story they tell that whoever catches him gets what’s coming to him, his judgment right here on earth.”

I think that one of the great delights of the cinema is its ability to be surprising, to reveal gems we the viewers had previously been unaware of.  I can’t see myself ever tiring of the movies for it seems that when I’m not revisiting old favorites to bask in the comforting warmth of their presence I’m reassessing those which I’d thought less successful to see what positives I may have missed. Then there are the discoveries, those new viewing experiences that remind me of the vein of riches yet to be mined. Thunderhoof (1948) is an example of the latter, although it may sound more than a little odd to think of a production that is over 70 years old as a new discovery. Still, from my perspective, that is exactly what it is, a title I only came to after some recent discussion about the work of director Phil Karlson brought it to my attention. A number of people whose judgement I trust sang its praises and, having now had the chance to see it for myself, I can only echo those sentiments.

Thunderhoof is a film that never misses an opportunity to wrong-foot the viewer, tempting you to think one thing before deftly showing you how neatly your own expectations have allowed you to be deceived. That is how it opens, with Scotty Mason (Preston Foster), a man engaged in a tight race between his own encroaching middle-age and his desire to start a horse ranch, one which will permit him to offer his much younger wife Margarita (Mary Stuart) the type of life he wants for her. That opening has Margarita watching over a remote and deserted camp in the wilderness, rifle poised to fire in the face of any threat. Out of the desolate night comes a rider with what looks like the figure of a lifeless man slung across his saddle, and up goes the rifle to challenge him. There is no danger here though, it is only Scotty coming back and bringing with him The Kid (William Bishop), the nameless young man he rescued and raised. For a moment we’re encouraged to think The Kid is dead, but he’s merely dead drunk.

This film is at heart a study of proprietorship, both on a personal level and in a wider context. Scotty has ridden out in the night to find and restore The Kid to the triangular family unit formed by these characters. There is that old old proverb from the East claiming that to save a life means taking on responsibility for it thereafter and that is certainly the philosophy Scotty appears to adhere to; whether The Kid likes it or not, his mentor and former guardian intends to see to it that he’s taken care of. For his part, The Kid is consumed with the restlessness of youth, the need to break out and break away, although he too would not be averse to laying claim to Margarita’s affections. Powering all of this is Scotty’s ambition to own and later to breed a line sired by the fabled mustang Thunderhoof. When the chance to rope this wild beast arises, both men, who were at that very moment in the process of trying to kill each other, put their differences to one side temporarily. Thunderhoof’s capture comes at the cost of a broken leg for Scotty, a major impediment to survival in such a hostile environment. Scotty wants the horse and he also wants his wife, The Kid is set on Margarita alone, and she seems unsure of what she hungers for bar some nebulous and ill-defined notion of fulfillment. However, the only way for these disparate characters to have a shot at attaining their desires is by keeping the others alive and kicking.

Thunderhoof was written by Hal Smith, whose credits include the lesser known film noir Night Editor as well as The River’s Edge, The Defiant Ones and Inherit the Wind. That script is a marvelously tight affair with its focus firmly on the interactions and rivalries of the three characters. It takes a fairly simple scenario and spins as much suspense and doubt from it as possible. The small cast and spartan setting allow the themes of desire, trust and betrayal to be thoroughly examined, and the conclusions reached, as the three travelers discover their true natures, are remarkably satisfying. Karlson’s direction is smooth and refuses to shy away from the tougher aspects of the story and the less savory sides of its characters. A good part of it is shot at night, meaning cinematographer Henry Freulich gets to show off some superbly evocative shadow painting as Scotty, The Kid and Margarita play out their subtly shaded roles.

Preston Foster had a long career playing all kinds of characters. I enjoyed the ambivalence he brought to his role in Karlson’s Kansas City Confidential and he also did good work for De Toth in Ramrod. As Scotty Mason he had the chance to take on a fully rounded individual, one of those fascinating characters who spend their time chasing dreams while they are simultaneously doing their level best to outrun the relentless clutches of time. Superficially, it is a big, booming performance, earthy and rambunctious and indomitable. Yet in his quieter moments, there is doubt and a niggling fear of life or his own failings – the cold desperation we see writ large upon his shadow drenched features as he lies drifting in and out of fever, while The Kid and Margarita sing and laugh in the next room, is beautifully realized.

Mary Stuart is someone I know I’ve seen in a few movies but who hadn’t made much of an impression on me. Her greatest success came on television in a long-running role in daytime soap opera. I cannot comment on that aspect of her career but I do know that she was excellent in the part of former saloon singer Margarita. She juggled the loyalty she felt toward Scotty with the temptation to run off with The Kid and achieved the perfect balance in the process. Of course such a role is a plum one but it is to her credit that she carried it off so convincingly. Her climactic stumbling through the nighttime desert, abandoned, desperate and bereft till the figure of the man she truly loves rides into view to offer both physical and spiritual salvation is poetically shot and movingly played. William Bishop’s life was cut tragically short but he made a number of fine movies in the time he had. The role of The Kid presented him with what I think is the best, or most nuanced, part I’ve seen him play. I’m now keen to catch up with Lorna Doone, another movie he made with Phil Karlson. This piece would of course be incomplete without some mention of the title character. Dice was a horse that also appeared in Duel in the Sun and he was used well in this movie, first as the prize to be won and then later as savior. The scenes of his capture and of his breaking are excitingly filmed and I am of the opinion that the image of horses being broken tends to act as a metaphor for the taming of the West itself – something wild, beautiful and untamed that must be carefully and patiently brought under control, that is gradually transformed from a source of peril into a symbol of support and a means of ensuring survival.

Thunderhoof was a Columbia picture and was released on DVD some years ago by Sony as part of the now defunct Choice Collection MOD program. It looks solid throughout, sharp, clean and attractive. Part of me wishes I’d been aware of this movie years ago, but I’m pleased to have been guided towards “discovering” it recently. I am also grateful to be in the position now where I can recommend this rather wonderful little film to others.

 

59 thoughts on “Thunderhoof

  1. I think “THUNDERHOOF” is one of the most memorable ‘discoveries’ I have made in recent years and I am truly delighted to know, Colin, that it has affected you the same way. Actually though I was pretty sure it would.
    I was not previously aware of Mary Stuart but she more than held her own in such limited company. William Bishop was a real loss later on. Preston Foster was a fine actor and, here, he is most impressive – perhaps my favourite Foster performance.
    The filming of the beautiful rugged setting is marvellous. Highly underrated movie.

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    • I thought it a superb little sleeper, a real neglected gem that I was very pleased to come upon. Generally, I enjoy movies that ask a small cast to carry the plot on the strength of their portrayals and interactions and this film came good on that score. I’ve liked Foster in everything I’ve seen him in, a highly accomplished player with plenty of depth. All the roles are quite ambiguous, which I think is one of the picture’s great strengths, and Bishop taps into that aspect of his character very successfully. He’s a seething mess of recklessness, selfishness and what I can only describe as tortured loyalty. Like the roped mustang he ultimately breaks, he too yearns for freedom but finds it nearly impossible to break the bond with Scotty. In the end, all this irreconcilable conflict has to lead to a rupture, and it’s all the more powerful and affecting as a result of the pain and soul-searching the three principals have been seen to endure. They do all learn to see themselves as they truly are, which I’d argue is no mean feat for anyone and probably a form of redemption in itself. When they suffer and struggle against nature, each other and their own weaknesses, we empathize and feel for all of them due to the fact they have bared their souls to us along the way. Such fine writing, and such fine interpretations.

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  2. Thanks Colin so much for mentioning Hal Smith
    he seemed to be involved with several important movies as well
    as some pretty minor ones.
    I’ve always admired THE RIVER’S EDGE the last great Allan Dwan
    movie-not the last- but the last really good one!
    I recently caught up with NIGHT EDITOR which I found a very impressive
    B. I’d like to see some of Smith’s other B Movies like BLACK EAGLE (also
    with Bishop) and CUSTOMS AGENT with William Eythe (on the way down
    after his promising stint with Fox)
    Another good early Karlson is BLACK GOLD with Anthony Quinn available as
    a Warner Archive MOD DVD.
    For B Movie Junkies like myself these MOD/DVD’s were Manna From Heaven
    as so many obscure B Pictures were suddenly released from the vaults.
    Sadly only Warner Archive survives and these days they are purely Blu Ray
    so I doubt if many B pics will be forthcoming.
    The Sony MOD imprint were generally very good transfers and the Fox
    MOD series had to be approached with caution-their releasing CinemaScope
    pictures as washed out 4×3 versions was wretched.
    There is however some gems among the dross and generally (but not always)
    their old black & white movies fared better.
    BERLIN CORRESPONDENT (1942) is a peach of a B Movie clocking in
    at just an hour it seems like a 90 minute movie; it just moves so fast
    and there’s so much going on.
    Virginia Gilmore is stunning to look at-Dana Andrews gives a much
    broader performance than usual and Martin Kosleck does his usual
    “thing” as only he can.
    The transfer from Fox is well above par for the series.,
    Sadly both Gilmore and Andrews careers were plagued by alcoholism
    although both in later life helped those smitten with addiction.
    It’s good to see them together when their careers
    were blossoming and their individual stars were rising.

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    • I think Smith’s writing plays a significant role in making the thing work, John, and I have appreciated those movies he worked on which I’ve been lucky enough to see.
      Thanks for the reminder on Berlin Correspondent, I have a copy of that that I really ought to get round to watching.

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      • I liked Night Editor well enough when I first saw it yet I felt the ending let it down somewhat. I’ve seen it a few times since then and am less inclined to be bothered by that ending now. In fact, I rather like the way it winds up. It leaves you feeling much better about things and doesn’t actually negate anything that went before.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Sadly only Warner Archive survives and these days they are purely Blu Ray
      so I doubt if many B pics will be forthcoming.

      I continue to dislike the Blu-Ray format. There is no earthly reason for releasing black-and-white B-movies on Blu-Ray. In fact there’s no good reason for releasing any b/w movies on Blu-Ray. I have several b/w movies in both formats and the DVD and Blu-Ray transfers are basically identical.

      It seems to me that the main driving force behind Blu-Ray to was to justify charging consumers higher prices.

      In the same way that streaming benefits the studios, not consumers.

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      • Obviously, I can only speak of m own experience, but I have enjoyed the overall improvement in most of those movies that I have replaced or upgraded. I do think it is easier to appreciate this when it comes to color productions – some of those genuinely “pop” in high definition, and I’ll also grant that some B&W movies already looked strong on DVD. Of course some of this is down to the size of the devices we view on – the bigger the screen, the more Hi-Def offers. That said, I have absolutely no intention of getting into this 4K stuff.

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  3. “They do all learn to see themselves as they truly are, which I’d argue is no mean feat for anyone and probably a form of redemption in itself. ”

    That’s a really great line, Colin. It’s not within your excellent piece, so it makes me hope folks will read the comments too. Because I believe that is perhaps one of the finest and most moving of themes that narrative art can offer. Think of a lot of great movies that we all know (and literature as well)–and it’s there.

    Like Jerry, and like you, this was one of my great discoveries of recent years–by a director I admired but had not been aware of this movie in years of seeing some of his others a number of times. Yes, and a great script and stunning black and white cinematography too. But now I do know the film and have it and seeing it several times, it only gets better.

    Just to put a point on one thing that can’t be said enough: With caring artists like those here–on both sides of the camera–there are no real limitations on any level of filmmaking, and a B (though it’s so beautifully filmed it’s hard to think of that way) can be everything an A can be, and sometimes a lot more.

    As one of those here who encouraged you to seek this out, your response and your thoughtful piece are very gratifying.

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    • I guess I have said this before in one form or another, but one great pleasure I’ve derived from this place over the years, and one of the mot rewarding for sure is the way people like yourself, Jerry, John and other visitors and contributors have helped to bring to my attention material I’d not been aware of. I’d like to think that in turn I’ve been able to pass on some of that to others from time to time. This pooling not only of knowledge but also of appreciation is of great value to me, as is any opportunity I then have to share my own impressions.

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  4. Hi, Colin – your fine review makes this a “must-get” for me, although my initial search to locate a copy has been fruitless. I have recently watched Phil Karlson’s 99 RIVER STREET, an impressive noir which also features some effective nighttime cinematography. You reviewed it favourably in 2013! Preston Foster was memorable in the great RAMROD so I look forward to seeing him again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steve, the DVD does, unfortunately, seem to be out of print now but there are copies available from third party sellers which can be pricey. That said, films like this do tend to fluctuate in price and I’ve found in the past that a bit of patience often pays off as affordable copies do tend to eventually turn up. Of course, it can be viewed online, not on YouTube but on a platform that I don’t wish to link to these days.

      99 River Street is one of Karlson’s best efforts and uses John Payne’s noir persona to particularly good effect.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “I can’t see myself ever tiring of the movies for it seems that when I’m not revisiting old favorites to bask in the comforting warmth of their presence I’m reassessing those which I’d thought less successful to see what positives I may have missed. Then there are the discoveries, those new viewing experiences that remind me of the vein of riches yet to be mined. ”

    I can’t think of any better words to sum up what films mean and have always meant to me. Thanks for putting those words in my mind, Colin.

    Btw, I think “99 RIVER STREET” is a terrific ‘noir’, one of my favourites. John Payne was spot-on in his role here; very fine performance. Then there was Peggie Castle who was so beautiful and such a good actress.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved reading your thoughts on this film Colin – this movie was a nice surprise for me a couple years back, especially as I’m a Preston Foster fan. I also loved your opening thoughts on the wonder of continuing to make new film discoveries.

    And Blake, great to see you pop up here in the comments! 🙂

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Colin-
    I’m glad you will get the chance,eventually,to see BERLIN CORRESPONDENT I hope it is granted a RTHC review ‘though Martin Kosleck as a “Babe Magnet” is hard to take then & now. This film really MOVES and is great fun as well as scoring more serious points. Backtracking to our previous conversations regarding George Raft flicksI finally caught NOCTURNE which I really enjoyed it’s very good but not as good as the much darker RED LIGHT. RED LIGHT is a much tougher film than I was expecting from old Hollywood softie Roy Del Ruth-Bert Glennon’s stark photography has much to do with this. Glennon also shot SHOW THEM NO MERCY! a much tougher film than what we expect from George Marshall. The remake RAWHIDE softened the main villain Hugh Marlowe somewhat but in Marshall’s film the main bad guys are pure evil. Sadly only a sub par Fox MOD disc is available for SHOW THEM NO MERCY! if ever a film needed a 4K restoration,that’s it. B Movie wizard Ross Lederman’s second unit (including Robert Aldrich) gets a much bigger credit than usual on Del Ruth’s film-one would assume the explosive climax had much to do with Lederman’s team. The combination of Religion, Catholic Guilt and finally Redemption weaves a strange trail into this underrated Noir. One scene,set in a church between Priest Arthur Shields and Raft musthave shocked audiences in 1949 and it’s still potent today.

    Note to Laura: Speaking of Roy Del Ruth I caught TAIL SPIN recently
    and totally loved it-your influence on my viewing continues to gain
    much further traction.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I already mentioned Karlson’s BLACK GOLD and it’s worth seeing for it’s main theme of Native Americans integrating into mainstream white society. This themes has been included in various vintage films,notably Aldrich’s APACHE with the Morris Ankrum character.

    Lancaster “You have a squaw, yet YOU fetch the water”
    Ankrum: “Some of the white man’s ways are hard to accept”

    Other films with a focus on that theme include Heisler’s TULSA, Pevney’s FOXFIRE and Mann’s CIMARRON.

    BLACK GOLD is important for Karlson followers in that it explores themes of community and/or racism which appear peppered throughout Karlson’s later work : THE BROTHERS RICO, THE PHONIX CITY STORY,THEY RODE WEST, GUNMAN’S WALK and HELL TO ETERNITY.

    A love of vintage cinema is a never ending voyage of discovery especially when obscure,forgotten gems suddenly appear on the market.

    Colin-I think Chris recommended Don Graham’s warts ‘n all Audie Murphy biography No Name On The Bullet-I highly endorse Chris’s
    recommendation.

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    • Black Gold has been mentioned around these parts in the past, in passing anyway. I very much like the sound of it and those kinds of themes appeal to me quite a lot, they tend to be full of potential.

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  9. Colin-
    I guess you already know that Signal One are releasing the restored version of Ida Lupino’s OUTRAGE. Signal One’s price will be far lower than the priceI paid for the Imprint version. IMHO Lupino’s finest film as director and yes that includes THE HITCH HIKER. Far be it from me to chip in but OUTRAGE is essential and VILLA RIDES is not
    only saying pal…………. 🙂

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    • Thanks, I will certainly bear all that in mind. One good thing about Signal One titles is the fact they usually turn up very competitively priced after some time. And of course I should say I’ve yet to encounter a weak transfer from them.

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  10. Returning to a common theme on this thread of “discoveries”, our friend Laura has got me hooked on vintage flying flicks of the B Movie variety usually from RKO and often starring Jerry fave Richard Dix and Chester Morris. Watched WITHOUT ORDERS (1936)last night and was very taken by an appealing young actress named Frances Sage. Checking her out on imdb I see Frances only made 4 films was blacklisted (along with hubby Nedrick Young) and sadly took her own life age 47. Cinema indeed is a never ending voyage of discovery and sometimes Happy Endings are not always the result of our research.

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  11. Love hearing about your viewing of the ’30s aviation films, John. TAIL SPIN is in my collection but it’s one I haven’t seen yet! WITHOUT ORDERS is a particularly good one. Like other ’30s films it will give you a good look at Glendale Central Air Terminal – the buildings still exist and I believe are owned by Disney.

    Here’s to cinematic discoveries of all kinds!

    Best wishes,
    Laura

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    • I very recently caught up with “HELL’S ANGELS” (1930) which was actually directed by Howard Hughes. The story of two fliers played by Ben Lyon and James Hall and their falling-out over a tramp played by Jean Harlow was OK but the many flying sequences were sensational and, I would contend, never bettered. Of course aviation was very much Hughes’ thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely love 30s aviation movies, especially the ones that deal with civil aviation. Whether they’re romances or comedies or adventure films or melodramas or murder mysteries or spy flicks, in the 1930s a movie dealing with civil aviation was just about guaranteed to be fun.

      There’s something very positive and hopeful about them. Civil aviation represented progress and progress was going to be a great adventure.

      I love 30s serials dealing with aviation as well.

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  12. Speaking of Ida Lupino, she is sensational in ROAD HOUSE, a very good noir which Colin highly recommended in another of his thoughtful, balanced reviews in 2012. She dazzles as a tough cookie who knows exactly how to handle men, including slapping them hard when they disrespect her. Lupino’s singing voice is very limited in range and yet she puts over a wonderful rendering of a song early in the movie. She receives strong acting support from Cornel Wilde (yes, he is good in this) and Richard Widmark, best friends who both fall for the Lupino character. The Director, Jean Negulesco, deserves credit for drawing such performances from the stars and for the tight, pacy plot development. There’s gold to be found in Colin’s back pages!

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    • ROAD HOUSE is excellent. In an ideal world Lupino would have picked up an Oscar for that performance. But in the 40s the Academy seemed to think the Best Actress award should go to the dreariest stodgiest performance of the year.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thunderhoof sounds worth a look. One I don’t know at all. A well written story with a small cast can be really good .
    Expensive on Amazon. You’ve got me curious about the platform you don’t want to name!

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  14. Re watched NIGHT EDITOR a film I admire very much. NIGHT EDITOR like THUNDERHOOF was a Ted Richmond production on his way up after a stint with no budget PRC. Richmond made some good B’s during his stint with Columbia including a couple of early Boettichers. SOUL OF A MONSTER from the virtually unknown Will Jason is an excellent sleeper despite,unfairly getting a “Bomb” rating from Maltin. SOUL OF A MONSTER is a triumph of style over content and is strikingly shot by Burnett Guffey. Although a supernatural thriller SOUL OF A MONSTER has much to appeal to Noir addicts. SOUL OF A MONSTER was released on a very nice looking Sony MOD DVD but these things are now going for collectors prices. Ted Richmond had a very successful stint with Universal and also produced such high profile films as SOLOMON AND SHEBA and PAPILLON. The aforementioned VILLA RIDES was another Ted Richmond production.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So now we’re getting “Sneak Previews” on RTHC.

    Hopefully February’s Universal Bash will include one Western and one Noir.

    Just seen Imprint’s April output-for me the most impressive for a long long time. The Technicolor Arabian Nights type “romps” box set looks very tempting and it’s excellent that they have been able to combine Universal, Paramount and Columbia titles in one set. The packaging looks wonderful. A must.I guess for lovers of the Golden Age of Technicolor. I will most certainly go for the Vol 4 Noir set as I don’t have any of these films in high def and it’s great that APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER and THE ENFORCER are from new 4K restorations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those two Ida Lupino movies from that upcoming noir set look interesting. To be honest, I don’t think Beware, My Lovely is all that good, in spite of Ryan and Lupino, but I think it’s the first time it’s had an official release anywhere and it would be nice to see it cleaned up. Jennifer is a new one to me and intrigues me for that reason alone.

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  16. It’s a pity Imprint don’t release their box set releases as stand alone releases at a later date.,
    Long time since I’ve seen BEWARE MY LOVELY I think I admire it more than you do-I have pretty good memories of it. JENNIFER which I’ve never seen is certainly the deal maker for me regarding this set. Good to see Lupino getting continued interest which she most certainly deserves.
    Looking forward to seeing what Universal titles you choose to feature next month.

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    • Regarding Beware, My Lovely, I don’t recall it being exactly a bad movie, John. The thing is though that it’s hard not to have the other Ryan/Lupino collaboration in mind – On Dangerous Ground – and it’s just not on that level at all.

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      • You make a strong case here, Colin, as always.
        Ray’s take on ON DANGEROUS GROUND from the May 1963 edition of Movie Magazine (interview) “The film was an absolute failure although I’m still quite fond of parts of the film. The film was not realised; it’s a subject I’d like to try again sometime.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for posting that, John. I don’t see much wrong with the movie and never have, but I find it fascinating to hear filmmaker’s express criticism of their own work which seems to run contrary to what is actually up there on the screen. It’s a question of perspective of course, with the filmmaker having a certain vision or concept in mind that they feel is incomplete or insufficiently presented. As viewers, we are approaching it from an entirely different place, taking in what is presented to us and assessing the merits of what is there in front of us. It illustrates how the way one defines success is dependent on the angle one approaches it from.

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          • When Ray said that in Movie in 1963 he hadn’t seen the movie since it was made and it had been a commercial failure. He had also had only reluctant support from producer John Houseman who had fully supported him on his debut THEY LIVE BY NIGHT. Some of what he had intended had been changed, specifically in the last reel. All of this had influenced his opinion of it then.

            But I saw the film with him present at a Ray seminar (they showed a lot of his films) about 10 years later and I know he felt differently about it then and rightly seemed proud of it. He could see with the audience how it actually plays in the fullness of time. His original ending was bleaker but he seemed to come around to seeing that bringing the film to that hopeful ending of renewal was absolutely the best thing for it. It is surely one of the greatest films ever of taking a character on a journey from despair to salvation. Ray was plainly aware Robert Ryan was an ideal actor for him–Ryan can wear alienation on his face. Ray also loved Bernard Herrmann’s beautiful score (the composer himself also favored it).

            It really is just a question that a filmmaker may intend to do something and then do something else and can come around to appreciating what that is later. The subject of the inner violence within a man is also present in IN A LONELY PLACE, where the resolution is more tragic and pessimistic. Ray always liked that one, but they are both great films and need not be the same.

            I love ON DANGEROUS GROUND and have published several pieces on it. One of those films I cannot imagine my life without.

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            • I find this subject of filmmakers exploring similar themes or areas within a number of their films and going to different places with those ideas quite absorbing. I like this idea of films reaching different kinds of conclusions yet still succeeding, and it’s something that I’ve been mulling over as it pertains to a film I’ve been watching again with a view to a future write-up.

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  17. A very good B Western, THE LAST POSSE – which Colin reviewed positively on RTHC and which Blake identified as one of the most underrated Westerns – has become available in Australia as an Umbrella release at a good price. It’s a clear print with good audio and optional subtitles. There is so much to like about the film, which has a strong plot, taut, spare direction and excellent performances from its leads. The location shooting and action in Lone Pine is breathtaking at times. It’s a gem.

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  18. There’s also a German Blu Ray next month at a really good price. I fear it may just be a DVD upgrade (re sampling) I’m going for it anyway as the artwork is far superior to the Sony MOD DVD. THE LAST POSSE is a wonderful little Western. I wish Umbrella would release some of their Westerns on Blu Ray. I will post a full report on the German disc over at Toby’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Colin, hope you dont mind me asking a WordPress question here. Did you get an email from WordPress saying they intend charging VAT from Jan. 2023 at the time of annual renewal? It sounds ridiculous and I am querying it. How could an American company charge VAT. They don’t even say at what rate.
    Anyway, we’re not running a business!
    Or maybe it doesnt apply to you? I have the Personal Plan.
    Maybe it’s just another way to add to costs.

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    • No, of course I don’t mind. Was this a recent email? I did get something ages ago about some increase but I don’t recall the details now offhand. I’m on a premium plan, so perhaps that’s different?

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      • Thanks for prompt response. The email came on 30th January and said they will charge VAT ‘in accordance with the rules of the country you entered in your payment method.’ It just doesn’t make sense. As you know, VAT is collected on behalf of the government ! And we aren’t in business.
        I’m in correspondence with W/P about it and I notice on their forums, a few other folk have complained.
        I thought you were on the free plan as your posts always have ads. Surely the premium plan is supposed to be ad free?

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  20. Colin – I’m late to the party but also was unaware of Thunderhoof until I caught it on the Western Channel here in the US 2 years ago. I was on a Preston Foster kick & always liked William Bishop – didn’t know Mary Stuart – anyway your line about the movie constantly wrong footing the viewer is spot on. I found the movie to be fascinating and bought a copy to be able to enjoy it again.

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