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Monday’s Western Review

Movie Review: Colorado Territory

“Colorado Territory” is a 1949 movie starring Joel McCrea. I watched it recently for the first time and really enjoyed it. In candor, it’s not a great movie, but it’s fun to watch and well worth the 94 minutes. McCrea and his co-star Virginia Mayo are fun to watch. Plus, the scenery is stunning and

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Movie Review: How the West Was Won

“How the West Was Won” was originally released in 1962. It was an MGM “epic” and one of its last ones, running three hours and requiring an intermission. In the simplest of terms, the movie is spectacular. Here is a partial — and I stress partial — list of stars: Carroll Baker, Walter Brennan, Lee

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Movie Review: Broken Lance

“Broken Lance” is a 1954 film starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner and the beautiful Jean Peters. It was directed by Edward Dmytyk. Matthew Devereaux (Spencer Tracy) is an old-school Irishman who has spent a lifetime building a huge cattle ranch — 50,000 cows spread over a huge section of an unidentified state. He has three

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Movie Review: The Big Trail

“The Big Trail” is a 1930 film, and in the category of Western movies, this one would have to be considered important. It covered so much new ground, took chances previous movies never had and failed at the box office — a failure that banished a young John Wayne to almost a decade of minor

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Book Review: The Big Country

Donald Hamilton’s 1957 book, “The Big Country,” started out as short story, a four-week serial in the Saturday Evening Post, known then as “Ambush at Blanco Canyon.” It became known as “The Big Country” after the movie with the same name came out. I only recently saw the movie for the first time and was

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Movie Review: Quigley Down Under

DIRECTOR: Simon Wincer STARS: Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman and Laura San Giacomo RELEASE DATE: 1990 LENGTH: 119 minutes “Quigley Down Under” is why there is Saturday afternoon television. If you find yourself on a lazy, rainy, Saturday afternoon, planted on your most comfortable couch and flicking through the channels to see what’s on, and you

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Book Review: El Charro

Charro! is a book I normally wouldn’t have read, but it came recommended by a friend of mine Paul Bishop, who loves – and is an expert on – old pulp Westerns. Paul and I co-wrote a book 52 Weeks * 52 Western Novels where we highlighted 52 different Western, all 250 pages or less.

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Book Review: For Cause and Comrades

Today’s Monday Western Review is a little different than my normal offering, on two counts. First, it’s nonfiction, and second, it’s about the Civil War, which for reasons that escape me, is generally not considered to be “Western.” I host a monthly book club, where each month we explore a different chapter from Shelby Foote’s

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Book Review: Catlow

“Catlow” is Louis L’Amour’s 1963 novel. Two childhood friends, Bijah Catlow and Ben Cowan take different paths as they grow from boyhood to manhood. Cowan becomes a U.S. marshal. And Catlow? He becomes an outlaw. I’ve read this book three times in the past few years, each one on my hammock and with a good

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