Saturday, August 29, 2020

Wakanda Forever

I went to bed so sad last night.  I'd pulled up Instagram while brushing my teeth before bed, and the top post was that we'd lost Chadwick Boseman.

I've been a fan of his since 2013, when I went to see 42 and was blown away by his portrayal of Jackie Robinson.  He brought the perfect mix of dignity, anger, determination, and athletic grace to the role.  When I found out he was going to be playing T'Challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War (2016), I was so excited!

And he surpassed my every expectation in his portrayal of T'Challa.  Fierce, kind, funny, strong, elegant, and powerful -- he quickly made Black Panther a favorite of mine in the MCU.  I was looking forward so much to seeing another solo film for him.  In fact, last night, I was wondering if maybe Boseman would make a western sometime, because he'd be so fantastic as a cowboy hero.

Actually, he'd been on my mind on and off for a couple of hours last night because Cowboy is reading One Bad Apple aloud to my kids at bedtime right now.  And, in my head, Chadwick Boseman plays Ness, the trail scout who first encounters the seven orphans.  So, when I was listening to my husband read the part where Ness offers to help them, that put Boseman in my head and made me think, "You know, maybe I'll get lucky and he'll make a western sometime for real."  And then Cowboy and I watched the movie The Tin Star (1957) last night.  I had listened to the soundtrack for that movie almost the entire time I wrote and rewrote One Bad Apple, so watching the movie was a little surreal because I'd hear cues and think, "Hey, this is where Ness rides into view," or "This is where Hopeful gives Levi an apple," or "This is where Ness stands up to Sanderson."  So he was in and out of my mind, by association, all evening.  And then the news hit me as I was getting ready for bed.  And I still feel off-kilter this morning, oddly bereft by the loss of this man I'd never met, but whose acting inspired me in so many ways.

Also, he was three years older than me.  That hits close to home in a whole different way.

Happily, Boseman was a church-attending, born-again Christian who continued attending church even after becoming a big Hollywood star.  He may have lost his fight with colon cancer, but we can trust that he's at peace in heaven now.

So, um, yeah.  I'm sad because I'll miss you, Chadwick Boseman.  Rest in peace.

Wakanda forever.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Winners of the LOWCW2020 Giveaway + Wrap Up

Legends of Western Cinema Week has ended.  Again.  I am SO glad that Heidi and I were able to co-host this event once more, and I hope you've all had fun!  I know I have, and will continue to have fun as I finish reading people's entries over the next few days!

Meanwhile, my giveaway has ended, so it's time to let the widget choose five happy winners.  Anybody want to give me a drumroll?  Or a little ching-a-ring on the saloon's piano?

+ Prize #1 (The Magnificent Seven CD) -- Caftan Woman

+ Prize #2 (John Wayne hot chocolate) -- Sally Silverscreen

+ Prize #3 (4 James Stewart movies) -- Charity B.

+ Prize #4 (4 MacMurray/Andrews/Murphy/Hudson movies) -- VT Dorchester

+ Prize #5 (4 Scott/Ladd/Murphy/O'Hara movies) -- MovieCritic

Congratulations to all five of you!  I will be emailing you this morning at the address you provided to the widget to ask for your mailing info, so be sure to check for that.

And to everyone who's participated in Legends of Western Cinema Week, whether by contributing posts or playing games or leaving comments, THANK YOU!  This would be no fun without you. 

I'll leave you with the master list of everyone's entries if you, like me, still have some to read!  That way you don't have to scroll all the way down to the other post.

Happy trails to you, 'til we meet again!

Answers to Name That Western Movie Game

Here are the full posters from the Name That Western Movie Game, and your scores!  

(Yes, the poster for 3:10 to Yuma is a foreign one because I thought it would work better than the US poster. And it was easier to redact.)











Caftan Woman -- 10
Elisabeth Grace Foley -- 9
Classic TV Fan -- 7
MandaJo -- 7
VT Dorchester -- 5
MovieCritic -- 3
Phyl -- 3

Answers to the Western Movies Unscramble Game

Here are all the answers to the unscramble game I posted earlier this week, along with everyone's scores below!

The Magnificent Seven
(eth giantfimnec evens)



A Fistful of Dollars
(a stifful fo rolldas)


How the West was Won
(who het stew saw now)

True Grit
(rute girt)

The Lone Ranger
(het nelo graner)

Whispering Smith
(shrewingpi thims)

My Darling Clementine
(ym glardin tilemennec)

Lonesome Dove
(sonmeelo vedo)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
(thucb daisycs nad eth candusen idk)


Dodge City
(geodd tyci)

Destry Rides Again
(styder dries niaga)

Heidi -- 15
MovieCritic -- 15
Beverly O -- 14
Olivia -- 14
Elisabeth Grace Foley -- 13
VT Dorch(ester) -- 13

Friday, August 21, 2020

My Ten Favorite Episodes of "The Magnificent Seven"

Y'all knew The Magnificent Seven (1960) was a movie.  You probably even knew they did a remake (2016).  But did you know there was also a short-lived TV series back at the end of the '90s?  Well, there was!  And it's actually really fun!  I've watched both seasons twice, and some favorite episodes a few more times than that.  Maybe some day I'll review every episode like I've done for The Mandalorian so far.  But until then, you'll just have to be content with this list of my ten favorite episodes.

1. "Inmate 78" -- Chris (Michael Biehn) is dry-gulched and sentenced to five years hard labor on trumped up charges.  Vin (Eric Close) and the others have to figure out what happened to him.  There's a two-part episode of The Big Valley ("Legend of the General") that this reminds me of SO MUCH, and I feel like bits of it might even be an intentional homage to that.

2. "The Collector" -- The Seven help out a widow (Anne Haney) and her niece (Dana Barron) who are about to lose their home to an underhanded land-grabber.  Vin develops a soft spot for the widow, who reminds him of his mother, while JD (Andrew Kavovit) takes a shine to the niece.

3. "Sins of the Past" -- Vin's past troubles catch up with him in a big way, plus Ezra (Anthony Starke) battles with his mother (Michelle Phillips) over who will have the best gambling palace in town.  Since Vin is my favorite, and this is a fairly Vin-centric ep, it's no wonder it's a big favorite for me.

4. "The Trial" -- Nathan (Rick Worthy) is reunited with his long-lost father (Carl Lumbly), a former slave who is promptly accused of murdering a white man.  The Seven protect him from vigilantes and, together with Judge Travis (Robert Vaughn), they see to it that justice prevails in the end.

5. "Love and Honor" -- Buck (Dale Midkiff) stands up for a young woman against a cruel abuser (Jesse Borrego) and ends up having to fight a duel with swords in her defense.  It sounds far-fetched, but it works really well, especially because it lets Buck's inner nobility shine.

6. "Chinatown" -- The Seven try to protect Chinese immigrants working on the railroad from a mean overseer.  Ezra ends up buying a young woman (Kathleen Luoung) to save her from being trafficked.  This ep is especially notable for two of its guest stars: John Cho (who went on to play Sulu in the new Star Trek movies) and Brad Dourif (who went on to play Grima Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings movies).

7. "Obsession" -- This is the final episode of the series, alas.  Chris reunites with an old flame and considers leaving the Seven for her.  But when he finally comes face-to-face with the person responsible for the deaths of his wife and son, his whole world changes.

8. "Serpents" -- The Seven find a satchel full of money in a dead man's hotel room, and Ezra wrestles with all his inner demons as he fights his desire to run off with it.

9. "Penance" -- Josiah (Ron Perelman) is the main suspect for a string of ritualistic killings, and the rest of the Seven have to figure out who is actually responsible.

10. "Witness" -- The young son of Mary Travis (Laurie Holden) comes to visit, bringing his terrified memories of his father's murder back into his mind.  Mary looks to Chris and the rest of the Seven to help protect him, and they expose her husband's murderer in the process.

Tell me, have you ever watched this show?  Both seasons are available for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video right now, if you're looking for some Old West fun!

I'd rate the series as a whole at PG-13 -- if you've watched Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, then you're familiar with the basic content level, though this is a little less family friendly as it focuses on a group of adult men, not a woman and her adopted children.  Only one episode ("Working Girls") is truly skippable (though I really don't like "Wagon Train" parts one and two because Vin has an out-of-character fling with a married woman and it makes me growl at the writers).  Episodes have some low-level cussing, western violence involving fists and guns and other weapons, some kissing, and the occasional implied liaison between two consenting adults.  No nudity, but a fair amount of suggestive dialog.  Also, Josiah lives in the church and supposedly was trained to be a Christian preacher, but he's all about embracing all world religious and routinely spouts some pretty heretical stuff.  I won't let my kids watch it right now (oldest is 12), but when they all get to be in their middle and upper teens, I will.

And yes, the late Robert Vaughn plays a recurring character in both seasons!  He's a circuit judge, so he's not always there, but he has some very meaty episodes.  He's the only member of the cast from the original film to appear on the show.

This is my last contribution to this year's Legends of Western Cinema Week.  If you haven't entered my giveaway or played the games I posted yet, better do so today because I'll be drawing winners for the giveaway and announcing people's game scores tomorrow!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

My Tag Answers for Legends of Western Cinema Week 2020

It's high time for me to answer our tag, don't you think?  (Find it here.)

1. What's the last western you watched?

I watched Saskatchewan (1954) earlier this week, hoping to review it for this event, though I'm not sure I'll manage it.  If not, I'll review it next week.  It's based on a real event, when Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led their Sioux warriors into Canada and tried to enlist the help of tribes up there in driving out the white people.  Part of the reason I'm probably not going to get this reviewed by the end of the party is because I want to do some research into that event and see how much of the movie was based on history.


Anyway, the movie is about a whole lot of Mounties led by Thomas O'Rourke (Alan Ladd) as they try to stop their stores of rifles and ammo from falling into Sioux hands.  And it's all complicated up by the fact that O'Rourke was raised by one of the Canadian tribes that is now considering joining the Sioux, so he's got a deep interest in all this because he's got family there still (including his adoptive father's other son, played by Jay Silverheels), and some of the other white men think maybe he's not entirely on the side of the Mounties, etc.  Plus, there's this woman (Shelley Winters) who's on the run from an American lawman (Hugh O'Brien), and yeah... it's a neat movie, quite different from the "typical" western, and not just because of the Canadian setting.  I'm eager to review it more fully.

2. A western of any stripe (happy or tragic) where you were highly satisfied by the ending?

Angel and the Badman (1947) has an ending that I just don't think could be improved on.

3. The funniest western you've seen?

Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) leaves me in stitches every time I watch it.  A random traveler (James Garner) who's basically just on his way to Australia ends up taking the job as sheriff in a lawless mining town.  He's the most unorthodox sheriff you've ever seen, as evidenced by the fact that he makes the town character (Jack Elam) his deputy!  Wonderfully funny, loving spoof that has a good plot and holds together well on its own without leaning on its spoofiness to make it work.

4. What similar elements/themes show up in your favorite westerns?

Strangers.  Found families.  Unexpected love stories.  Sacrifice.

Basically, those are all my favorite themes for ANY fiction, but when you put them in a western, they get even better.  "Someone new comes to town and everything changes" is my favorite basic plot, and western film takes that and makes it shine in a really special way.  Plus, with people moving west from all over the place, and with death and destruction being so prevalent, people had to turn to those around them for help and support and love, which makes "found families" kind of inevitable.  Same for unexpected love stories, since you can throw such disparate people together.  And sacrifice?  Everyone who went West sacrificed something at some point, even if it was only the comfort and security of their old home.

5. Favorite actress who made 1 or more westerns?

Maureen O'Hara, no contest.  She's my favorite actress overall, and I love some of her westerns so much!  Especially The Rare Breed (1966).


6. Favorite western hero/sidekick pairing?

John Reid (Armie Hammer) and Tonto (Johnny Depp) in The Lone Ranger (2013) -- I love how they kind of trade off who's the lead and who's the sidekick.  My best friend and I see a lot of ourselves in them, too, which makes them especially dear.

7. Scariest villain/antagonist in a Western?

Kind of a toss-up between Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966).  They're both sadistic, creepy, horrifyingly awful villains.  UGH.

8. Favorite romance in a western?

Cal Wayne (Bobby Darin) and Amy Martin (Emily Banks) in Gunfight in Abilene (1967).  They're childhood sweethearts reunited under difficult circumstances who eventually come to understand each other again.

9. Three of your favorite westerns?

1. The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
2. The Lone Ranger (2013)
3. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

10. Share one (or several!) of your favorite quotes from a western.

Here are a few that I quote in everyday life, since that seemed like the best way to narrow this list down :-)

"A man's life can be saved by a mere scrap of information." -- The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood), A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

"Joe, you just make me feel tired all over.  It's bad enough to have to kill a man without having to listen to a whole lot of stupid talk from him first." -- Jason McCullough (James Garner), Support Your Local Sheriff (1969)

"I am not laughing at your wound, but merely its location." -- Don Andrea Baldasar (Alain Delon), Texas Across the River (1966)

"Something very wrong with that horse." -- Tonto (Johnny Depp), The Lone Ranger (2013).

"Let's drift." -- Silas (Michael Fassbender), Slow West (2015).

That's all for today, folks!  Don't forget to check out everyone's posts in the link-up thing here.  And don't forget that my giveaway ends at the end of tomorrow, so if you haven't entered that yet, better get a move on!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Name That Western Movie Game

Time for my second game for Legends of Western Cinema Week!  Below are ten posters for ten famous western films.  Your job?  Identify them even though their titles and the names of their stars have been blacked out!  Leave your guesses in the comments here, and I'll reveal the answers at the end of the week, along with your scores.











Have fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Western Movies Unscramble Game

This year, my first game for Legends of Western Cinema Week is an unscramble.  Below are the titles of 15 famous western films.  Your job?  Unscramble them!  Put your answers in the comments, and I'll announce all the answers and your scores at the end of the week.

(I'll put my comments on full moderation so no one can see your answers and copy them.)

eth giantfimnec evens



a stifful fo rolldas


who het stew saw now

rute girt

het nelo graner

shrewingpi thims

ym glardin tilemennec

sonmeelo vedo

thucb daisycs nad eth candusen idk


geodd tyci

styder dries niaga

Good luck!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Legends of Western Cinema Week 2020

Welcome to this year's Legends of Western Cinema Week, hosted by yours truly here at Hamlette's Soliloquy and Heidi over at Along the Brandywine!

All week long, whenever you write a post for this event, come over here or to Heidi's kick-off post and put a link to your latest post in this widget:

We have that widget synced up between our blogs so you only have to enter your link in one spot for it to appear in both!!!

So, bring on the movie reviews, blog tag answers, giveaways, top ten lists -- whatever it is you're sharing this week to celebrate westerns on film!

Speaking of the tag, here it is!  Just copy these questions, paste them into your own blog post, and answer them there!  You can add any of our official buttons to your post too -- find them all here.

1. What's the last western you watched?
2. A western of any stripe (happy or tragic) where you were highly satisfied by the ending?
3. The funniest western you've seen?
4. What similar elements/themes show up in your favorite westerns?
5. Favorite actress who made 1 or more westerns?
6. Favorite western hero/sidekick pairing?
7. Scariest villain/antagonist in a Western?
8. Favorite romance in a western?
9. Three of your favorite westerns?
10. Share one (or several!) of your favorite quotes from a western.

And speaking of giveaways, here's a link to mine!

Serendipitously, today (August 17) would have been the 100th birthday of my favorite actress, Maureen O'Hara, who starred in many westerns!  Happy (heavenly) birthday to you, Ms. O'Hara!

Come back tomorrow for the first of the party games I have planned :-)  Until then, happy trails to you!

Giveaway for Legends of Western Cinema Week 2020

Howdy!  It's time to kick off my giveaway for this year's Legends of Western Cinema Week!  I am giving away FIVE prizes this year!  They are pictured above, but here's a description of them:

+ Prize #1: 1 CD of Elmer Bernstein's soundtrack for The Magnificent Seven (1960).

+ Prize #2: 1 tin of "John Wayne" dark hot chocolate mix from McStevens.  I bought one of these for myself and love it!

+ Prize #3: 1 set of 4 classic westerns on 2 DVDs starring James Stewart, which are Bend of the River (1952), The Far Country (1954), Night Passage (1957), and The Rare Breed (1966).

+ Prize #4: 1 set of 4 classic westerns on 2 DVDs starring Fred MacMurray, Dana Andrews, Audie Murphy, and Rock Hudson, which are The Texas Rangers (1936), Canyon Passage (1946), Kansas Raiders (1950), and The Lawless Breed (1952).

+ Prize #5: 1 set of 4 classic westerns on 2 DVDs starring Randolph Scott, Alan Ladd, Audie Murphy, and Maureen O'Hara, which are Albuquerque (1948), Whispering Smith (1948), The Duel at Silver Creek (1952), and War Arrow (1953).

PLEASE NOTE: The CD and all the DVDs are USED -- they play in my devices, but I cannot guarantee they will play for you.  The DVDs are all Region 1, so they aren't designed to play outside North America.

Also, I have not watched all of these movies, so I cannot guarantee the content level of all of them and whether or not they are all family friendly.  However, I can say that I would allow my own kids to watch the two I've seen most recently, The Rare Breed and Whispering Smith.

This giveaway is open to any country in the world where the USPS is currently shipping.  If you're not sure if your country is or is not currently receiving mail from the US, you can check this handy list.

Must be 18 or older to enter, or have a parent's permission.  Void where prohibited.  Not affiliated with Google, Blogger, Elmer Bernstein, John Wayne, McStevens, or any film production companies.  All prizes purchased by me and shipped by me.

Enter this giveaway using this widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends at 11:59 EST on Friday, August 21.  I will choose the winners on Saturday, August 22.  I will contact them via the email address provided to the widget AND announce them here on my blog.  If a winner does not respond to my notification by Saturday, August 29, they will be disqualified and I will choose a new winner.

Once you've entered, go check out my main Legends of Western Cinema Week post to find links to other people's posts (including other giveaways!).

"The Rare Breed" (1966)

This has been one of my favorite movies for about thirty years.  It's one of the first "grown up" feature-length westerns I can remember seeing -- my dad rented it and John Wayne's North to Alaska (1960) both one weekend for some reason, when I was ten or eleven.  And I fell in love with both of them.  This is probably the first movie I ever saw Maureen O'Hara in, so I thought it was the perfect thing to review for her birthday!

Yes!  Today would have been Maureen O'Hara's 100th birthday!  Isn't that just spectacular?  Happy birthday to my favorite actress!  ::throws confetti and hands around cake::

And now, time to talk about this movie.  It opens with a big parade/party, which a handy banner across the street tells us is the National Stockmen's Exposition of 1884.  What the banner doesn't tell us is that the balloons you see everywhere in this opening sequence, including right here, must have been imported from Europe especially for this occasion, since rubber balloons for parties weren't manufactured in the US until 1907, though in 1873, the New York Times talked about them being a fun addition at "popular gatherings," so clearly we were getting them from Europe already then.

(This digression comes to you courtesy of me seeing all the balloons and being really curious as to whether they actually were a thing in 1884. Turns out they were.)

Here we get introduced to Martha Price (Maureen O'Hara) and her daughter Hilary (Juliet Mills).  Quick digression -- Juliet Mills is Hayley Mills' older sister.  This is the only thing I've seen her in, but I love her in it.  She also did voice work for the audiobook version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schafer and Annie Barrows, and she's just wonderful as a voice artist too.

Anyway, Martha and Hilary here get their first glimpse of Sam "Bulldog" Burnett (James Stewart), as he "bulldogs" a steer to show off for the crowd.  Which means just sort of throwing himself on it and forcing its head and shoulders to the ground, which is also called "steer wrestling."  It's a thing, you can look it up.  Anyway, Sam sees these lovely ladies in the crowd and tips his hat to them.

This amuses Martha.  She and Hilary came here from Britain to sell some Hereford cattle.  Her husband died in an accident aboard ship on the way there, but she is determined to see his dream of bringing Hereford stock to America a reality.

Western cattlemen are unimpressed by the Hereford cows.

Their bull, Vindicator, gets a lot more attention.  It has no horns!  Everyone calls it "muley," which deeply offends Hilary.  She raised Vindicator from a calf and is very attached to him.  She trained him to obey her commands whenever she whistles "God Save Our Gracious Queen," which we in America rewrote to be "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

A stockman named Ellsworth (David Brian) offers to buy the bull on behalf of his Texas partner, Alexander Bowen.  Another cattleman, Taylor (Alan Caillou) is interested too, but Ellsworth outbids him.

Meanwhile, Sam Burnett meets up with his old pal (Ben Johnson) and his pal's girlfriend (Barbara Werle -- who was also in Gunfight in Abilene a year later, if you're thinking she looks familiar.)  His friend got hurt working cattle for Taylor a year ago, and Taylor gave him $40 and told him to get lost.  Sam's not happy about this.

He's also not happy with a jerk named Simons (Jack Elam) shows up and starts insulting everyone in sight.

Naturally, they get in a fight, which sparks a giant brawl.  The brawl mostly happens right inside Vindicator's pen because of reasons.

Martha is most disturbed by this and whacks miscreants with her parasol whenever she has a chance.

Anyway, after the fight, Taylor gives Sam $500 to steal Vindicator for him, basically.  He wants the bull to improve his stock, but he's convinced that Ellsworth only bought him to get close to the lovely widow.

Which is totally correct.  Ellsworth has less-than-honorable intentions toward Martha, as he quickly shows when she comes to get her money from him.

Martha is not a woman you can trifle with, though.  She gets her money, and Ellsworth gets nothing but a good tongue-lashing.

Sam slips the money Taylor paid him to his friends to help them get by since Taylor refused to help them get back on their feet, literally and metaphorically.  Then Sam loads Vindicator on the train for Texas.  To his surprise and consternation, Martha and Hilary show up too, ready to guard Vindicator all the way to his new home in Texas because Mr. Ellsworth threatened to butcher him if Martha didn't give in to his advances.

The train trip involves some thrilling heroics on the top of the train because what IS the point of having people take a train in a western if someone's not going to walk around on top of it and get involved in Almost Deadly Peril?

Everyone gets safely to Texas, where Simons and another of Taylor's men named Mabry (Harry Carey Jr.) show up to take Vindicator to Taylor.  Sam explains that's not going to work because the women came along, and they insist on taking Vindicator all the way to Bowen's ranch.

Another big brawl ensues, which Martha and Hilary watch because who doesn't enjoy watching a brawl from behind the safety of swinging saloon doors?

Sam makes a deal with Mabry to let Vindicator go sometime while they're on Taylor's land, which they have to cross to get to Bowen's ranch.  And then he and the two women and the bull set off.

Sam and Martha spend a lot of time racing around on horses and flirting while Hilary drives the wagon with their supplies.

But sometimes Hilary gets to take a nap on Vindicator, which is the cutest thing in the movie.

One night on the trail, Hilary gets fed up with Sam's flirting with her newly widowed mother and announces that she overheard him making plans with Mabry and Simons to steal Vindicator.  Sam denies it.  Martha is very upset with Hilary for making wild accusations.

The next day, Sam cuts a gap in a barbed wire fence for them to pass through.  Hilary says she assumes this means they've reached Taylor's land.  Nope, Sam says, they're leaving it.  This convinces Martha that Sam's on the level.

Also, this is my dad's favorite scene to quote when he's doing his James Stewart impression.  "Wire!  They'll wire the whole world!  Barbed wire, telegraph wire..."

Anyway, they approach a canyon.  Sam hears cattle somewhere ahead and rides out to see who it is.  Turns out, it's Jamie Bowen (Don Galloway, who was also in Gunfight in Abilene).  He's tired of his dad Alexander alternately bossing him around and ignoring him, and he's setting off on his own to start his own life.

The women keep entering the canyon from the other end.

And a lone rider appears above them.  It's Simons.  He's dead set on getting his hands on either that bull or the cash Martha was paid for it, or both.  So he causes a stampede.

The women's wagon is upset, and they and Sam take shelter under it while the cattle run right over them.  I tell you, that is one sturdy wagon!

Jamie is not so lucky.  Thrown by his horse, he tries to scale the walls before the herd gets to him.  He fails.

Simons shows up, demanding money and outing Sam for his part in Taylor's scheme.

Sam's too concerned about keeping Jamie alive to talk about it.

Martha is Very Disappointed in Sam.

When he and Simons duke it out over her money and Vindicator, she grabs a rifle and threatens to shoot them both.  Which is something I love about Martha -- she might be a little too trusting sometimes, but then, she IS a freshly widowed stranger to this wild west.  She's going to have to trust people sometimes, and if they turn out to be untrustworthy, she is not afraid of admitting she was wrong about them and calling them out for being duplicitous.  She is also not afraid to stand up for herself and her daughter, stop people from doing wrong things, and make her own decisions.  Wonderful woman.

Eventually, Sam, Martha, Hilary, and the almost-dying Jamie head to the Bowen ranch.  Vindicator too.

And we finally get to meet Alex Bowen (Brian Keith).

Um, yes, the wig and beard are pretty bad.  Keith just owns it, though, and his extreme Scottish accent distracts viewers pretty well from the fake hair.  I also get distracted by the giant haunch of beef he's eating.  With a knife.  Because why not.  Forks are for sissies.

Alex is not exactly an involved father, and he leaves Jamie's care to the newcomers.  He's got broken ribs and a broken arm and internal bleeding and who knows what else.

But he's young and handsome, so of course he recovers.

While he does, he and Hilary get to know each other.  They're one of my favorite western movie couples.  Just so you know.

Alex Bowen is convinced that Vindicator can never breed with a wild longhorn cow.  Hilary insists he can.  She ends up taking her beloved bull out onto the range and setting him free to prove him wrong.

Jame thinks that was very brave, but he knows it also means now Hilary might leave.  She and her mother have now accomplished what they came to America to do, after all.

Jamie is not okay with the idea of them leaving.

Martha happens to see Jamie and Hilary kissing, and she realizes that Texas could be a new home for both her and her daughter.  She switches her wedding ring from her left to her right hand, but clearly feels uncertain whether she's truly prepared to say goodbye to her husband's dream about raising Hereford crossbreeds.

Meanwhile, Sam Burnett has decided that Hereford-longhorn crossbreeds are the best idea he's ever heard.  When an early snowstorm hits, he asks Bowen to let him go out and find Vindicator and bring him back to shelter.  Vindicator isn't used to harsh Texas winters, and Sam is afraid he'll die without passing on his genes.

Bowen spends this entire scene drinking whisky while taking a bath in a horse trough in the middle of his house.  Once again, Brian Keith just makes it work.  Anyway, he says go ahead, Sam, waste your time and risk your life, whatever.  Bowen's happy about the snowstorm because it means Martha and Hilary can't leave, and he's got matrimonial designs on Martha himself.

Jamie offers to go with Sam.  But Sam turns him down.  This is his mission.  (This picture is just here because I like how guys look when they have their collars flipped up.  And because 11-yr-old me had a crush on Jamie.)

Alex and Jamie barely talk for most of the movie, and Jamie is quick to tell his father off for his treatment of Vindicator.

Also, that's such a good hat on him.

And then Alex Bowen invites Martha, Hilary, and Jamie to tea one day.  They are shocked to find a genuine silver tea service laid out for them.

Even more shocking?  Alex comes downstairs wearing his Highland Officer uniform and playing the bagpipes!

And he shaved!  Shock after shock!  He says this was the first time he'd shaved since he left his regiment when Jamie was a baby.  This picture is mostly here because how often do you get to see Brian Keith in a Highland uniform playing the bagpipes?  In a western?  I knew you wouldn't want to miss it.

Alex has called them all together because he has something important to ask Martha.  Everyone can see what it is, including us.

But before he can really get down to The Question of the Hour, he's interrupted by one of his ranch hands come with bad news.

This is Juan.  He's played by Perry Lopez, who pops up in SO many sixties films, and for whom I cherish a great deal of affection because he's almost always playing these sweet, sincere characters.  Not always, but usually.  And I like his voice.  He brings me much nostalgia.

Anyway, Juan announces that he and Sam got separated in a blizzard while out searching for Vindicator.  There goes the festive mood.  Alex and Jamie rush off to head up a rescue party.  Since James Stewart's name is first on the poster and there's a third of the movie left yet, we know they'll find him.

And now I'm skipping the rest of winter and heading straight to summer when Sam has built his own little home and a bunch of corrals for when Hereford-longhorn crossbred calves arrive.  Bowen told him he can have all of them, he wants nothing to do with them.  Why?  He's afraid they'll remind Martha of her old life, and he wants her to make a new life with him.

He brings her flowers and asks her to set a date, and she says okay, we can get married in September.  Which is months away, as it's only June.  He's annoyed at the delay, because he knows she's just hoping Vindicator did father some calves before winter, but he says okay, fine, September it is.

Summer drags on, and Sam about gives up hope of ever finding a calf sired by Vindicator until, one day, he spots a calf on the horizon.  And oh boy, it's a white-face!

Sam brings the calf back to the ranch.  Much excitement ensues.

Yet another fistfight also ensues because Sam shows the calf to Martha and starts talking about her pursuing that dream of raising crossbreeds with him, and Bowen gets mad and throws a punch at Sam, and yeah.  Three fistfights just wasn't enough for one film, it seems.

Martha makes her choice between the two pretty clear when she rushes to Sam's side, concerned he's been seriously injured.

Cut to a year or two later, when there are a whole lot of Hereford-longhorn crossbred cattle.  Martha and Sam, plus Hilary and Jamie, rejoice that their plans and efforts have succeeded.

Who knew that a movie about cattle breeding could be so much fun, right?

Anyway, not only is this post my celebration of what would have been Maureen O'Hara's 100th birthday, it's also my first contribution to Legends of Western Cinema Week 2020, hosted by me and Heidi at Along the BrandywineClick here for my main post, which people will be adding links to all week, and click here to check out my giveaway!

I'll leave you with this picture of Brian Keith scrubbing the bottom of his foot and laughing because I didn't really need it for the review, but it's such a funny shot, I have to share it!