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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

What with one thing and another, Ol’ Robbo had never seen “3:10 To Yuma” before last evening.  (The 1957 original, that is, not the Russell Crowe remake.)  And do you know, aside from the completely hokey theme song, I really, really liked this film.  The plot is a kind of psychological thriller of the “High Noon” school, where one honest man tries to stick to what’s Right in the face of betrayal, bribery, threat, temptation, and danger.  Van Heflin is perfect as the shlub farmer who finds himself deputized and alone.  And Glenn Ford is alarmingly scary as the murderer Heflin guards while waiting for a train to take him away, being alternately menacing, reasonable, charming, and more menacing.  But I also loved the way the whole thing was put together.  I simply don’t know the vocabulary of cinematography, but I could somehow see and understand how and why the various shots and sequences were framed the way they were and how it all built on itself.  Very well done, indeed.

The other night I also happened to watch “Broken Arrow“.  (The 1950 western, that is, not the 1996 John Travolta/Christian Slater action flick which is fun in itself.)  In this one, Juh-Juh-Jimmy Stewart is a scout on the southwest frontier in the 1870’s who finds and saves a wounded Apache boy.  This leads to a meeting with the great chief Cochise and gets Jimmuh to wondering whether a peace couldn’t be worked out between the Apaches and the whites, since they are all men in the end.  General O.O. Howard agrees with Jimmuh, so he undertakes to open negotiations.  During the course of events, Jimmy meets Sonsee-array, Cochise’s daughter.  They fall in love, but of course things aren’t going to be all that easy.  It’s an okay film, I suppose, known for being one of the first to take a far more sympathetic view of the Indians, but I think the Noble Savage bit was probably a bit overdone.

And one extremely pedantic historickal point:  The real Sonsee-array was not the daughter of Cochise, but of Mangus Colorado.  In fact, Cochise married another of Mangus’s daughters, making Sonsee-array his sister-in-law.  Just thought I’d clear that up in case you ever find yourself in a bar-bet on the matter.

UPDATE: Long-time friend of the decanter Sleepy Beth checks in with her own review of “Jupiter Ascending”, a movie Ol’ Robbo has not seen and now probably won’t.

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