To The Duke

To The Duke

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Old Western Movies

George Gabby Hayes

I've been watching old western movies on my computer while I work. I have a little picture in picture in the upper right hand corner, and I play the sound. What I've noticed lately is that I'm picking up the dialogue. Well, I didn't actually notice it myself.  It has been rudely pointed out to me over the past couple of weeks. When I'm shopping, when I'm at the bank, at the gym, a restaurant, everywhere. People have started asking me to repeat myself when I asked for the goll durned check, or when I say, by jiminy ya think it'll rain. Or like yesterday at the car wash when I told the kid to give it a good goin' over and I better not catch him puttin' a lazy hand out when he went to scrubbin' the dadburned foot pads I just put in. By jiminy. The topper was last night when I told my husband he'd goll durn better get his duds down them steps if'n he wanted 'em scrubbed by mornin'.  That's when he and my son sat me down to have a serious talk about my behavior.

But all this western dialogue has made me think about the old westerns, and the people who wrote them. Sure it might have been a little over the top, but compared to the language in today's movies, it's a blessing to listen to Gabby Hayes growl and durn his way through a sentence. I think I've mentioned this before, but a couple of years ago I printed the screenplay of The Searchers and sat with it on the table in front of me while I watched the movie. Not only is the dialogue wonderful, the movie followed the script down to the last word. I think there were two places in the whole film that veered away from what was written on the page, and both of those were mainly in the action, not in the actual dialogue.

There are still people who enjoy good language, and interesting banter between characters whether it be in a book or a movie. And I catch myself watching black and white films more and more. Not only do I think they're better movies, as a writer I find the dialogue much more interesting. And with that, I think I'll search for a good Glen Ford movie. I met his son Peter at a Western Writers of America convention in Albuquerque last June, where I was one of the publishers there to sit on a panel and take pitches. He gave an interesting presentation about growing up in Hollywood with a superstar like Glen Ford for a father. Visit Peter's website, and be sure and pick up a copy of his book.

There is one thing for sure, I wreckin' Glen Ford was one goll durned good lookin' cowpuncher, that's for dang gone sure.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Devil's Hoofprints

Brett Cogburn has hit the world of western writers like a steam engine coming down a mountain path. Brett has two other books out besides High Hill's, The Devil's Hoofprints. In September Rooster, by Kennsington, was released and it's doing well. In October, Brett's fiction novel, Panhandle, was released by Pinnacle and we just heard they've sold out of the first printing and are doing another print run. Yeah, Brett!.  Make sure to pick up a copy of one or all three of Brett's books. You won't be sorry you did. Although we're a little biased, we truly believe that Brett is going to be a huge name in western writing and we're excited that High Hill has been privileged to witness the beginning of his career. Be sure and pick up a copy of both Cactus Country Anthologies too. And Cactus Country Volume III will be out later this week. We should have the cover on here tomorrow. So see you then. Lou


Monday, December 3, 2012

John Wayne

I was piddling around on the web the other day and found out that if you google western movies you'll find a ton of them you can watch right on your computer. Many are on Youtube. Check them out. I watched an old 1933 movie featuring Sandy the Singing Cowboy. You know who that was? John Wayne. I have old vhs tapes of these early John Wayne movies, but hadn't watched one in probably 25 years. He wasn't a real good singer, but even in those old reels you can see the true cowboy lurking there. Thank God for John Wayne!
Riders of Destiny

And again I apologize for not posting more often. I pledge to do better. See you tomorrow.