PURSUED BY A BEAR
PALS OF THE GOLDEN WEST William Witney 1951
This was Roy Rogers’s last Republic film, marking his transition to television star. The plot hinges on the Mexican border and the American border patrol. American cattle rustlers are bringing hoof and mouth disease into the United States along with their stolen steers. William Witney gets to use his standard cattle shot of the same cattle moving this way, that way, up or down that small hill which stands in for countless locations. But overall he gives us his usual outdoor shooting with a minimum of process shots.
Roy, using the backs of two hitched horses, runs across them to resume his fistfight;
Pinky Lee traps two rustlers in a cattle chute (Otherwise Lee is a true trial for the viewer as Hollywood was still using in 1942 the today-unfunny sidekick);
Dale Evans, in a sometimes unsympathetic role, exhibits some of the versatility of her earlier days before her type-casting.
“Pursued by a bear” — William Shakespeare’s best known stage direction — gets put to use here when the son of a border patrol friend gets chased by a bear of less than believable ferocity, shot through branches, in reduced light.
MOVIES ARE EVERYWHERE
. . . including South African Damon Galgut’s novel The Promise.
“In his line of work there are a lot of nasty operators, some of whom he employs. He thinks of himself as a tough guy and he’s certainly no innocent, he’s had to cauterise the sensitive side of his nature, which would otherwise let him down. He works out three times a week and has a black belt in karate and is fond of watching Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood play vigilantes.” (New York, Europa Editions, 2021.)
‘WEST SIDE STORY’ AND THE DECLINE OF THE BIJOU by Peggy Noonan, an article in the New York Times of 12//18/21. Noonan writes of seeing the film at the AMC theater in New York with a small audience. She looks tellingly at what we have lost in no longer going to the movies. Summarizing or paraphrasing could never do justice to her short essay. Please read it.
“The Judy Watch”
Rick’s Flicks will serialize The Judy Watch by Harry Richards, a study of the live concerts by film star Judy Garland.
Next FRIDAY Post April 22
Enjoy a movie,
Go safely to a movie,