After a longer than usual break, the podcast is back with a look at the 1953 “Western noir” The Naked Spur, starring Jimmy Stewart and Janet Leigh. And Robert Ryan, who we kind of shit talk a little bit here. One of Stewart’s several Western collaborations with Anthony Mann, this is a spare, exciting bounty-hunter thriller, featuring an oscar nominated screenplay and several beautiful Rocky Mountain vistas. Me and dad discuss the versatility of his generation’s Tom Hanks, the phenomena of the old timey Prospector and his furious lust for gold, the effectiveness of geography-based action sequences, and end up on a surprisingly harsh view of narrative-driven sentimentality with regards to bounty hunting. Seriously, the two things just do not belong together! There’s a few Jimmy Stewart impersonations, as you might expect, though to be honest I really would have liked more.
A brief disclaimer on this episode: First off, sorry about the sound. I know, it’s not that bad. It’s consistent, and once you plug into it, you don’t notice. We were trying to do some new stuff, and it didn’t pan out. So the levels are off!
In the end, we briefly discuss trips to Arizona, both past and present, and then I offer possibly the most disinterested review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice you could possibly imagine. I just got nothing useful to say about it. Next time, we’ll be jumping up the 1980s with the ensemble piece, Silverado. As always, you reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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This is just a quick note to say we’ll be taking a week off this month, because Dad is going on vacation for a week, an advantage of retirement. But we’ll have our episode on The Naked Spur up by the end of the month for sure. Thanks for your patience!
This episode marks the first appearance of Clint Eastwood on the podcast, and we’ve chosen his first Western directorial effort, The Outlaw Josey Wales. A pure 1970s revisionist Western, this one offers the unusual perspective of heroic Confederates and evil Northerners clashing across the unreconstructed South in the embers of the Civil War. We talk about all that, and to what extent that reflects Eastwood’s own conservative views, as well as how much any of that matters when appraising a work of art. There’s quite a bit going on beyond that in this film though, and in this podcast, which is jammed full of observations on period appropriate music, John Vernon’s inability to escape the legacy of Dean Wormer, a preponderance of messy spitting, some of the better representations of Native Americans put to film, Sondra Locke’s difficult time in Hollywood, and the delightfulness of the Snake Oil Salesman archetype. It’s a packed episode, but there’s a lot going on in this movie. Also, a bit more casual swearing than usual!
At the end, we speak a bit about some other films of note, last year’s Best Picture winner Spotlight, and next year’s presumptive Best Picture winner London Has Fallen. On the next episode, we’ll be discussing the Jimmy Stewart as antihero western The Naked Spur, which I’ve never seen and Dad can’t remember. We’re also going to start taking requests, and see how that goes. If you’ve got something you’d like hear us talk about, send it on over to email@example.com. Additionally, why not leave us a review and rate us on iTunes? It costs nothing, and you’ll probably end up more popular at work if you do. It stands to reason.
The Outlaw Josey Wales was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, and John Vernon. It was released in 1976, and is totally good, so you should see it. Or see it again, if you’re the type interested in podcasts like this.
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