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Monday’s Western Review

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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Movie Review: The Big Country

Allow me to say this right up front, 1958’s “The Big Country” is a fantastic movie. I hadn’t seen it before, and within 10 minutes I was hooked. The cinematography is brilliant, as is the acting and direction. Perhaps the biggest treat of all is that the director, William Wyler, treated the audience with respect,

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Movie Review: Trail End

Barry Corbin stars in this 2007 movie. In truth, Barry’s just about the only one of any consequence in this 25-minute film. In the spirit of full disclosure, Barry is a friend of mine, and I only heard of this film for the first time when he was kind enough to give it to me.

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Movie Review: Hondo

1953’s “Hondo,” directed by John Farrow, is one of those fantastic pairings where both the book (“Hondo” by Louis L’Amour) and the movie (John Wayne) are spectacular. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a treat. This one even took an interesting detour. “The Gift of Cochise” was a Louis L’Amour short story

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