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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Would those aficionados of older movies among you out there have ever guessed that Audrey Hepburn did a western? Well, she did. It’s a 1960 John Huston film called “The Unforgiven”, in which she plays a young woman settler on the frontier who suddenly learns that she really was a Kiowa baby snatched from her village during a punitive raid. Strife ensues. Burt Lancaster and Audie Murphy are her brothers who turn out not to be her brothers.

Alas, the movie’s not very good. The set-up was too long and dull, and the acting was uneven. I suppose the climactic siege and shoot-out is okay, but it’s nothing special.

Y’know, Burt Lancaster is one of those actors who Ol’ Robbo wants to like more than he can get himself to. “The Train” (1964) is one of my favorite movies, and Lancaster, a sort of diamond-in-the-rough version of Charleton Heston, really shines out in it. But I have to admit I’ve been disappointed with every other role I’ve seen him in.

As for Hepburn, Ol’ Robbo’s never been much of a fan but she holds up surprisingly well on the frontier, reminding me somewhat of Jean Simmons, another petite mouse, in “The Big Country” (1958) with Gregory Peck.

Now, Peck was an actor of whom I never saw the appeal, even where I like his movies, always playing the same stiff, stern, stand-offish fellah. The Mothe, on the other hand, was a yuge Peck fan. Whenever I asked her what the attraction was, she’d always reply, “You haven’t the genes, dear boy. You haven’t the genes.”

Ah, well.

And just to round off with a more contemporary entry, I watched “Fatman” (2020) the other evening, with Mel Gibson as Kris Kringle. Weeeellll….. It had one or two snort-worthy moments plus a couple intriguing ideas about Santa’s place between reality and myth that never went anywhere, but by the end it was just another “Lethel Weapon” installment. Glad I saw it once, I suppose, but I wouldn’t bother again.

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