James Edward Grant

James Edward Grant

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McLintock! Review


OK
Mind the exclamation point in the title. There's plenty of yelling in McLintock! a much-loved yet still hokey and somewhat ill-advised western "comedy" that doesn't play very well for laughs any more. The plot basically concerns a wealthy cattleman (Wayne) who squabbles with everyone in the town he basically runs from top to bottom -- but he fights the most with his wife (Maureen O'Hara) and daughter (Stefanie Powers). Eventually this culminates in characters falling into muddy water and, in the film's most absurd moment, Wayne encouraging his daughter's boyfriend to give her a good spanking -- and even handing him some sort of implement to help him out. Made in 1963, this might have been the reason women's lib got its big start.

The Alamo (1960) Review


Weak
Director/star John Wayne spends more time at the Alamo than I did as a junior high kid in Houston. This three-plus-hour epic feels longer than the battle itself, the most infamous part of the Texas Revolution, in which Texan troops were massacred by a much larger Mexican force. Wayne (here playing a roadkill-hatted Davy Crockett) is wildly overwrought (Jim Bowie: "My wife. She's... dead!" / Crocket: "I lived through it Jim. It's hard."), clumsy, and embarassingly directed -- and it doesn't get to the actual battle until the last 45 minutes of the film. Still, it's intriguing to see him on the losing side of a gunfight for once.

Support Your Local Gunfighter Review


Good
In my world view, westerns should never be rated G, but Support Your Local Gunfighter is as good as any kid-friendly shoot-'em-up could possibly be. This sequel to Support Your Local Sheriff! sets up the congenial James Garner as a man mistaken for a vicious gunslinger (who oddly enough was an expert gunslinger in the original film) -- well, need I say that wacky hijinks ensue? It's reasonably funny as farce, forgettable as everything else.
James Edward Grant

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