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Discussion Starter #1
The remake of "True Grit" is a good example of a new movie that actually is a more believable story than the original. I thought the dialogue was much closer to the way people spoke in the late 1800s, and the landscapes looked very autstere and closer to the area around Ft Smith, Arkansas than the Utah high country where the original was filmed. The character development was good too, but many people are offended that the work of John Wayne was messed with.

The old westerns had plenty of punchy cow people that could ride. Now most actors struggle although Robert Duvall, Matt Damon, Tom Selleck a few others are pretty good. It is distracting to see people tight rein their horses all the time with all that head throwing.

Anyone that has been around cow camps, pack strings and horses in general can always find a lot of things in movies that aren't believable. Even the old ones. One of my pet peeves is the way donkeys and especially mules are protrayed. They are only ridden by an old sidekick in a funny hat. In actuality they were highly valued on the Frontier where a mule was worth two horses.

The Coen brothers made an unusual western that was more authentic than most of what has come out of Hollywood. I still like to watch Gunsmoke because of the adult themes that were ahead of their time. It deals with moral issues and allows for grey areas. Festus was one of the great all-time characters. Lately I have found old Rawhide reruns. It was the only western on TV that was about cows. There is some great riding in that show by Favor, Yates and especially Quince. What do you think?
 

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Some of the new westerns are more on the money as to facts but the old one were made to entertain not educate , maybe they came out before movies were used to brain wash people. I like westerns and often pick at the misuse of guns etc. but still enjoy them. Alot of folks don't realize that some of the tales of the west were not so far back in time when we were young . Its hard to think there were baseball games , cars etc while the west was still wild .
 

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Shootall,
Most people mourned the passing of the Frontier (wild west) about1900. The Indian Wars were over, the buffalo were gone, etc. Cars started after that time. Baseball was incredibly popular by the late 1800s and everyone had a team. Hollywood has been stuck on the period after the Civil War 1865 until 1890. It is interesting to see westerns that took place after 1900 like Joe Kidd, the Silver Fox, etc.

I like the old radio shows like the "Texas Rangers" that were modern westerns in the 1930s and 1940s. They rode horseback a lot, but used trailers to get near the people they were chasing and had walkie-talkies. In the later episodes they had helicopters which must have really amazed people then. Here in Nevada we like to say that there are plenty of cowboys, you just can't see them from the road. Cowboy is used around here mostly as a verb. ie I cowboyed on the Spanish Ranch for 5 years.
 

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A realistic Western would show the rampant venerial disease, tuberculosis and rotted out teeth endemic to the times. It would also reflect the unbelievable stench of folks who ownly bathed once a month, if that. Let us not forget the ringworms, tape worms, hairy warts, and other common features of those folks.


So, if they made a realistic Western, we probably wouldn't want to watch it. And, fantasy aside, we surely wouldn't want to have lived there. (Each and every one of us would be "back on the bus" inside of 15 minutes!)


Cowboys were simply the ditch diggers of the day. Nothing special. And probably, nothing lower on the work or wage scale.


Mannyrock
 

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mannyrock,
Have you ever been a cowboy? A real cowboy, not the drugstore kind, if not, you don't have any idea how "special" they are. They are a breed apart and there is no comparison to ditch diggers. I've done both and I can say that.
 

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Duke0313 said:
mannyrock,
Have you ever been a cowboy? A real cowboy, not the drugstore kind, if not, you don't have any idea how "special" they are. They are a breed apart and there is no comparison to ditch diggers. I've done both and I can say that.
thank you!!
 

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you mean you don't wear your
spurs in wal-mart like a "real" cowboy? ;D
 

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I don't want to watch no Western made in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. I want mountains with snow capped peaks and pine trees, and deserts and dust in my Westerns.
 

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I cowboyed full time on one of Bunker Hunts 6 cow ranches for a year. My partner had a college degree in animal husbandry. All 9 full time hands were neat, clean and had at least a high school diploma. They knew horses, cattle, and dogs, and were good dependable folks. So were OUR families.
 

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I dug ditches while in High School , College and while owning a business . I don't see it as a bad occupation at all.
 

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Duke,


Please read my prior post. I was specifically referring to the cowboys of the 19th Century, not the cowboys of today.


Shootall, when I was 17 years old, my father got me a summer job with Chantilly Construction Co. of Northern Virginia. I spent the entire summer working on draining a swamp and turning it into a county park in Fairfax. Since it was a county job, I got to work along side of a chain gang crew from Lorton Penitentiary in Lorton, Virginia.


All summer long, digging drainage ditches with a pick and shovel, working with the chain gang. Very Very Very scary and dangerous guys.


One morning, we found a huge alligator snapper in a shallow sump. The incredibly tough hillbilly crew that drove in every day from West Virginia got in a fight with the chain gang crew over who was going to get to take the snapper, cut its legs off, and roast them over a fire at lunch. The guards broke up the fight and gave two legs to each group.


I had recently seen Cool Hand Luke at the theater, so I could relate.


So, yea, I've dug ditches.


Manny
 

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I think mannyrock has a point about the 19th century "cowboys" You know they had to stink! Now don't take offense you cowboys of this century.

No teeth or few of them, all the diseases! A cowboy movie that was really real would be nasty to see let alone smell. I've ridden horse back while hunting on a west Texas ranch and believe you me I smelt like two weeks of dirty behind after only one day in the saddle.

The Statement made about entertainment over education is good. I personally like the escapism factor I receive from a good "old" western. I like memories over documentary.

Jimmy Stuart stuff is my favorite, Winchester 73, Naked spur,

Now you want realism be sure and see The Shootist with the Duke!
 

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Just watched a great modern western, Every which way but loose.
 

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I don't think it was just cowboys who had poor hygiene practices before WW2 most of the world did. I would guess many around the world still do including some in the good old USA.
 

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A really good western, which is not that well known, is The Big Country, with Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives. Beautifully filmed, really long, and a little unusual.


Mannyrock
 

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I remember that one! had Chuck Conners in it too. it was long and unusual. Good escapism entertainment.
 

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Chuck Connor's acting in that movie was stupendous. He fully displayed the range of emotions of an abused son, who grew up to be a sadistic, cowardly bully. I never saw him act with such depth and range in anything else. His acting in the Rifleman series was always cold, flat, and monotone, except for the few times that he raised his voice. I think that maybe he was trying to emulate the cold flat emotions of Gary Cooper in most of the Cooper Westerns of the 1950s. Too bad.


Mannyrock
 

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Burl Ives was one crusty codger in The Big Country. I'll never forget his line to Gregory Peck just before the duel with Chuck Conners.[/color][/size]

"Go teach your grandmother to suck eggs! I've been handling guns like this, flintlock and caplock, since before you were born."
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