The Heavy Lifting, Courtesy TCM

(TCM)

 

I was a bit under the weather yesterday, so I was offline resting my brain and had no idea Kirk Douglas had “left the building” as they say until very early this morning. Needless to say, that wasn’t a good thing to wake up to. Still, at age 103, you could safely say the man lived quite a long life and as an actor, producer and person of some talent and merit for a good deal of those years. Turner Classic Movies has posted two videos about Douglas so far today, but I bet there will be more on a few performances from his individual films at some point.

I don’t have a favorite role of his, but the first film that comes to mind is the monumental and powerful Paths of Glory, which kept an entire theater silent when I first saw in at a Stanley Kubrick retrospective a few decades ago. There are a good deal of other films and performances of his as well to consider, but I’m too weary to cover more here at the moment. I’ll bet on a blogathon of his work in the future that tosses in a few films will likely help some in discovering or recalling the man’s work, but let’s wait and see, shall we?

 

 

(TCM)

 

-GW

Random Film of the Week: The War Wagon

(thanks, captbijou!) 

The War Wagon_MPFrom the moment Dimitri Tiomkin’s bouncy western theme music kicks things off and “The Ballad of The War Wagon” plays out with its bouncier western lyrics (sing along, now!), you just KNOW you’re in for a good time. Directed by Burt Kennedy (Return of the Seven, Support Your Local Sheriff), this 1967 western paired John Wayne and Kirk Douglas as a pair of adversaries who team up to take down the titular gold-loaded, four-wheeled, well-armored horse-drawn vehicle (say that five times fast!) with the help of some friends is light and airy fun for an afternoon that’s worth a watch even if you don’t like westerns at all.

If your eyebrow is arching up a bit, fear not pardner! Just think of this gem as a variation on The Adventures of Robin Hood or a more modern heist flick with some of your favorite stars and that’s all you need to know to know you’ll come away from this one grinning. In fact, this is one of those films that works brilliantly because it’s supposed to be funny while also delivering plenty of action and dramatic moments to please genre fans… Continue reading