Episode Two is now available for download. It covers the 1990 Tom-Selleck-goes-to-Australia Western Quigley Down Under. Chosen this week for the presence of the late, great Alan Rickman (who plays the villainous rancher Marston), this mostly ignored adventure yarn is considerably better than you might think. The conversation covers the squandered career potential of almost-Indiana Jones Tom Selleck, the multiple failures to simply kill the hero, a brief overview of the concept of the White Savior, the bombastic enthusiasm of Basil Poledouris’s scoring, a dingo’s insatiable hunger for baby, and more than a bit of thorny, uniformed considering of the Aboriginal genocide in Australia, a concept introduced to us both by the film’s release back in the 90s. We’ll explain how ignorant we are many times over! The film is pretty damn good, and if you’re the sort that enjoys the premise of this podcast enough to overlook the rookie mistakes we’re making, it should definitely be worth your time.

Speaking of our beginner status, I’m quite pleased with the improved tech on this one (we sound like we’re in the same room!), and also with what I perceive as an improvement when it comes to the uncharismatic muttering, run-on sentences, and general sloppiness that comes with trying something new. I mean, don’t worry, we’ve still got our share, but it’s much more under control this time, and I believe we’re also getting closer to the level of film analysis that I’m aiming for. I’m optimistic that we’ll continue to up our game, but on the whole, I think the last one taught us a lot, and this one did the same.

Next week will be The Magnificent Seven, as we had promised before. We’re locked in at this point. Dad’s already watched it again, and he says the Blu Ray is fantastic! You can expect it the second week of February.

Quigley Down Under (1990) stars Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo and Alan Rickman, and was directed by Lonesome Dove’s Simon Wincer. It’s available for rental from Amazon, or you can just buy it, because it’s good enough to own. That’s what Dad did.




This is the inaugural episode of Westerns With Dad, in which my dad and I discuss the 1965 John Wayne western, The Sons of Katie Elder. Directed by Henry Hathaway at the height of the era of studio westerns, this is a representative entry into the Wayne canon, featuring all the things one associates with the era. You’ll see gunfights, brawls, herding, showdowns, good guys versus bad guys, and at the center of it all, John Wayne playing a typical western hero, eldest of a family made up of nothing but brothers. Also featuring Dean Martin and George Kennedy in supporting roles, it’s just about the perfect introductory episode. We’ll discuss the Duke’s acting limitations versus his undeniable movie star charisma, the considerably less qualified charisma of Dean Martin, and the urgent need for more axe handle beatings in modern cinema, as well as more grim fiery demises in the films of yesteryear. Also, we touch on what may end up being one of the central questions of the podcast, which is what makes a western a Western. Is it just horses, pistols, and cowboys hats, or is genre more than just a collection of signifiers? We’ll surely figure it all out, one day!

In addition to Katie Elder, we talk a little bit about some of the current crop of oscar contenders (The Big Short, The Revenant and The Hateful Eight), as well as touch on the now-doomed Super Bowl chances for the Seattle Seahawks. At the end, we tease the next episode, which would have been The Magnificent Seven, but in light of the untimely passing of Alan Rickman, we’ve done a quick about face, and next week’s episode will in fact be the Tom Selleck vehicle in which he plays the villain, Quigley Down Under. Normally I’d be disinclined to change horses after announcing Magnificent Seven, but we haven’t built an audience yet, so it simply isn’t an issue! How about that?