RIDE LONESOME
1959, Sony Repertory, 73 min, USA, Dir: Budd Boetticher

Shot in CinemaScope, this complex, poetic revenge tragedy stars Randolph Scott as a sheriff turned bounty hunter, using a young desperado to flush out his murderous older brother. Scott’s final act of absolution at the hanging tree ranks with John Wayne’s last moments in THE SEARCHERS. With Pernell Roberts and James Coburn.


THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
1960, Park Circus/MGM, 128 min, USA, Dir: John Sturges

Excellent, Americanized version of the Akira Kurosawa classic THE SEVEN SAMURAI, helmed by noted action auteur John Sturges (THE GREAT ESCAPE, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK), with charismatic Steve McQueen making his first star turn alongside Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz as gunmen hired to safeguard a Mexican farm village from marauding bandit chieftain Eli Wallach. With an instantly memorable Elmer Bernstein score, which inspired everything from future Westerns to cigarette commercials (!) for decades to come.


MIDWAY
1976, Universal, 132 min, USA, Dir: Jack Smight

The June 1942 battle near the Pacific atoll of Midway was a decisive one in World War II, and this exciting epic faithfully recounts the gambits, mistakes and lucky breaks that tipped the war toward U.S. victory. Seemingly every star in Hollywood reported for duty on MIDWAY; Charlton Heston plays a captain whose pilot son is involved with a Japanese-American woman, while Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Glenn Ford, James Coburn, Hal Holbrook and Cliff Robertson are among the naval brass conducting the campaign. John Williams’ stirring score offers some of the epic sweep he would bring to STAR WARS a year later.


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