A Fistful of Dollars: The Birth of an Icon

Clinton Eastwood Jr  was born on 31 May 1930, but Clint Eastwood, the cinema icon was born in 1964 with the release of A Fistful of Dollars. Sergio Leone's  seminal western launched Clint Eastwood to stardom and created a new film (sub)genre of the spaghetti western.  A Fistful of Dollars is 56 years old. It's … Continue reading A Fistful of Dollars: The Birth of an Icon

Red River: John Wayne and Montgomery Clift battle it out in Howard Hawks’ classic western

Red River(1948), starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, was the first western directed by Howard Hawks. This film was Clift's debut movie and was a major turning point in John Wayne's career.   I didn’t know the big son of a bitch could act John Ford after watching John Wayne in Red River   Director … Continue reading Red River: John Wayne and Montgomery Clift battle it out in Howard Hawks’ classic western

McLintock!: This exuberant comic Western is the ultimate John Wayne meta movie

Though John Wayne has never shied away from propagating his socio-political views through his films,  McLintock!(1963), co-starring his favorite heroine Maureen O'Hara, is perhaps his ultimate meta movie, where his reel and real life persona are so seamlessly mixed up. This is the perfect film to watch on Duke's birth anniversary which falls on May 26. … Continue reading McLintock!: This exuberant comic Western is the ultimate John Wayne meta movie

Bite the Bullet: Gene Hackman heads up an all-star cast in this underrated, highly entertaining, high-spirited Western adventure

Bite the Bullet(1975), written and directed by veteran Richard Brooks is the last of the magnificent old-fashioned westerns. It eschews traditional cowboys and Indians narrative to delve deep into the relationship between man and his horse and man and the western wilderness to create an exhilarating adventure story. "In 1906, a newspaper promotes a 700 … Continue reading Bite the Bullet: Gene Hackman heads up an all-star cast in this underrated, highly entertaining, high-spirited Western adventure

The African Queen: A titanic director brings together two great screen legends and the wild African landscape to create the ultimate romantic adventure

The African Queen(1951), starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, was director John Huston's adaption of C.S.Forester's 1935 novel of the same name. The film had one of the most difficult shoots in movie history, but it resulted in one of the most endearing romantic adventure films of all time, with Bogart winning an Oscar for … Continue reading The African Queen: A titanic director brings together two great screen legends and the wild African landscape to create the ultimate romantic adventure

Tom Horn: Steve McQueen transcends his cool persona and delivers a deeply moving performance as the legendary Western folk hero in his penultimate movie

Steve McQueen would have turned 90 on March 24. He died rather young due to Cancer, at the age of 50 on November 7 1980. Tom Horn was his penultimate movie and was released just a few months before his death, and though it's not a film that immediately comes to mind when one thinks … Continue reading Tom Horn: Steve McQueen transcends his cool persona and delivers a deeply moving performance as the legendary Western folk hero in his penultimate movie

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid: Paul Newman and Robert Redford gives timeless portrayals of the legendary outlaw duo in this quirky, delightful Western Classic

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid(1969), starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford and, Directed by George Roy Hill, is one of the most popular Westerns ever made. The film made a star out of Redford and revitalized the Western genre,but, it is writer William Goldman who leaves the strongest imprint on the film, with his … Continue reading Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid: Paul Newman and Robert Redford gives timeless portrayals of the legendary outlaw duo in this quirky, delightful Western Classic

The Getaway: Steve McQueen’s cool charisma powers this highly entertaining, two-fisted action-romance from Sam Peckinpah

The Getaway(1972) starring Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, was the most commercially successful film that revered director Sam Peckinpah ever made. Though not as personal as his other works, the film still bears his stamp, both visually and thematically. The Getaway is Sam Peckinpah's least personal work and, his biggest commercial success; he made it … Continue reading The Getaway: Steve McQueen’s cool charisma powers this highly entertaining, two-fisted action-romance from Sam Peckinpah

Major Dundee: Charlton Heston gives a towering performance in Sam Peckinpah’s flawed yet fascinating near-great Western

On great director Sam Peckinpah's birth anniversary, i thought i would write about the director's 1965 Western Major Dundee. The film, with a heavyweight cast headed by Charlton Heston, was Peckinpah's first big studio film. But he lost control of the film and it was ultimately released in a version which the director never approved … Continue reading Major Dundee: Charlton Heston gives a towering performance in Sam Peckinpah’s flawed yet fascinating near-great Western

The Man who shot Liberty Valance: John Ford dismantles the mythology of the West, the Western and John Wayne in his most melancholic, pensive and political film

The Man who shot Liberty Valance(1962) was the last western that John Ford made with John Wayne. The film, also starring James Stewart, Lee Marvin and Vera Miles, is Ford's most political film that subverts a lot of myths about the American West as well as the John Wayne persona that Ford himself created "This is … Continue reading The Man who shot Liberty Valance: John Ford dismantles the mythology of the West, the Western and John Wayne in his most melancholic, pensive and political film

Point Blank: John Boorman’s avant-garde Noir masterpiece gave Lee Marvin his most iconic role

John Boorman's Point Blank(1967) is one of the greatest and most unusual crime\noir thrillers ever made. Apart from being an extraordinary hybrid of American and European film sensibilities, the film also provided Lee Marvin with his most iconic role. 1960's was the decade of revisionism in American society and American cinema. Every movie genre was … Continue reading Point Blank: John Boorman’s avant-garde Noir masterpiece gave Lee Marvin his most iconic role

Prime Cut: Lee Marvin takes on Gene Hackman in this lurid, satirical gangster thriller that epitomizes the eccentricity of 1970’s cinema

Remembering Lee Marvin (born:February 19, 1924) on his birth anniversary; i thought i would write about one of Lee's truly weird movies, and Lee has done some of the weirdest and wildest movies of his time, but nothing comes closest to Prime Cut(1972), directed by Michael Ritchie and co-starring Gene Hackman, which on the surface … Continue reading Prime Cut: Lee Marvin takes on Gene Hackman in this lurid, satirical gangster thriller that epitomizes the eccentricity of 1970’s cinema

Murder on the Orient Express: ‘The Grand Hotel’ of murder mysteries is a grand tribute to the golden age of Hollywood

Murder on the Orient Express(1974) , based on Agatha Christie's famous novel, is a glossy, star studded murder mystery directed by Sidney Lumet. The film boasts an all-star cast consisting of Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall and others, topped off by a highly enjoyable performance by Albert Finney as detective Hercules Poirot. When the … Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express: ‘The Grand Hotel’ of murder mysteries is a grand tribute to the golden age of Hollywood

Nevada Smith: Steve McQueen’s dynamic star turn makes this a highly enjoyable Western adventure

Nevada Smith(1966), starring Steve McQueen is an episodic, Western revenge drama directed by genre veteran Henry Hathaway. It's one of McQueen's most successful outings, with the star in top form, elevating, what would have been, a very generic revenge movie with his dynamism and charisma. "I don't see nothing, except my father laying on a … Continue reading Nevada Smith: Steve McQueen’s dynamic star turn makes this a highly enjoyable Western adventure

Giant: James Dean casts a giant shadow on this sprawling Texan epic, which turned out to be his swan-song

James Dean was born on 8th February 1931 and passed away, in a car accident, at the tender age of 24, in 1955. His career as a lead actor in movies spawned just 3 films, but he managed to create a lasting impact within that brief period, and today, he is bona fide pop cultural … Continue reading Giant: James Dean casts a giant shadow on this sprawling Texan epic, which turned out to be his swan-song

Hey Ram: In Kamal Haasan’s modern Ramayana, Lord Ram turns Travis Bickle in a quixotic quest for vengeance against Gandhi

Kamal Haasan's magnum opus Hey Ram(1999) is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. Kamal wrote, produced and directed this film, apart from playing the lead role.The film is set during a tumultuous period in Indian history, starting with the communal riots of 1946 and ending with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi Maa Nishada Pratistham Tvamagamahsāsvati … Continue reading Hey Ram: In Kamal Haasan’s modern Ramayana, Lord Ram turns Travis Bickle in a quixotic quest for vengeance against Gandhi

High Noon: Gary Cooper’s Oscar winning performance towers over this seminal Western classic

High Noon(1952), written by Carl Foreman, produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by Fred Zinnemann is the first of the McCarthy era Westerns, that probed the divisions existing within the American society at the height of the red scare. The film won 4 academy Awards, including a richly deserved best actor trophy for Gary Cooper … Continue reading High Noon: Gary Cooper’s Oscar winning performance towers over this seminal Western classic

Hard Times: Charles Bronson at his very best in this hard-edged action drama from director Walter Hill

Hard Times(1975), starring Charles Bronson and James Coburn, was Director Walter Hill's debut movie. It remains a terrific exercise in gritty, genre filmmaking and boasts of a definitive Charles Bronson performance. With his  weather beaten, craggy, inscrutable features and limited dialogue delivery skills, Charles Bronson is the last person one imagine would become a movie … Continue reading Hard Times: Charles Bronson at his very best in this hard-edged action drama from director Walter Hill

The Beguiled: This overheated, Gothic melodrama is the strangest and the most ambitious Clint Eastwood film ever

Based on Thomas Cullinan’s 1966 novel, originally published as ‘A Painted Devil’,and directed by Don Siegel, The Beguiled(1971), is Clint Eastwood's strangest, boldest and most surprising film as an actor Take warning by me, don’t go for a soldier, don’t join no army For the dove she will leave you, the raven will come And … Continue reading The Beguiled: This overheated, Gothic melodrama is the strangest and the most ambitious Clint Eastwood film ever

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday in this slick, star-driven, Horse opera

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral(1957), directed by John Sturges and starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday, is perhaps the most popular and flamboyant version of the events leading up to (and occurred during) the legendary Gunfight On October 26, 1881, Dr. John “Doc” Holliday, allied with the Earp brothers … Continue reading Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday in this slick, star-driven, Horse opera