Warner Archive Roundup: Smilin’ Through (1941) and Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

The Warner Archive continues to summon the ghosts of Hollywood past onto DVD, a bit of studio witchery we should all get behind. One of their most intriguing recent séance jobs is Frank Borzage’s Smilin’ Through (1941), a haunting WWI melodrama. Despite the mammoth Murnau, Borzage and Fox box set, there are still great stretches of Borzage’s career missing on home video (including essential titles like Man’s Castle (’33, hopefully a Sony MOD candidate) and Moonrise (’48), which is streaming on Netflix)). Smilin’ Through, though flawed, has moments of doomed romanticism that rival anything else in his work, with superimpositions establishing the intractable hold the past exerts on the present. A similar theme is lugubriously told in Welcome to Hard Times (’67), a Western in which old studio hand Burt Kennedy flails to channel A Fistful of Dollars on a low budget. Originally made-for-TV, MGM decided to release it into theaters before airing it on ABC, after which it disappeared. Featuring a spate of studio standbys, including Henry Fonda and Aldo Ray, it’s a fascinating failure in which MGM hires old studio craftsman to make a film that blatantly reaches for the youth market.

Frank Borzage had moved from Warner Brothers to MGM in 1937, starting with Big City, and continued there through Seven Sweethearts (’42, also on the Warner Archive), after which he became an independent contractor. The Warner Archive has released seven of these titles, all of which (excepting the well-regarded Mortal Storm (’40)) are due a second look. His stay at MGM was not a smooth one, with the usual studio interference and hijinks (producer Victor Saville famously claimed to have directed the majority of The Mortal Storm, an idea debunked by biographer Herve Dumont).  In January 1941 Borzage was removed from a re-telling of Billy the Kid after initial location shooting (he was replaced by David Miller), and was shifted to a Joan Crawford project, Bombay Nights, which never materialized. He didn’t sit idle long, with production on Smilin’ Through starting in early May.

The project was a rather moldy chestnut, based on a 1919 play by Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin, that had already been adapted twice for the screen, in 1922 (starring Norma Talmadge) and 1932 (with Norma Shearer). The scars of a 19th century love triangle are torn open on the eve of WWI, as Sir John Carteret (Brian Aherne) refuses to sanction the marriage of his adopted daughter Kathleen (Jeanette MacDonald) to Kenneth Wayne (Gene Raymond, MacDonald’s husband), whose father had destroyed Carteret’s marriage decades before. Borzage opens the film on the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, celebrating 60 years of her rule. The camera pans left to a church, with the ramrod figure of Aherne the only figure not gesticulating in a celebratory fashion. He sourly says, “I don’t like anniversaries”, the weight of the past present in each of his deliberate steps.

He is momentarily levered back into the present by the appearance of Kathleen, the niece of the woman he loved, Moonyean (also played by MacDonald). Entranced by her forthrightness (and resemblance to Moonyean), he temporarily eases his obsession with the past, which manifested in conversations with his ghostly deceased love, and embraces an attentive, active role as a father. Immediately upon making this decision, and loosing the grip of his memory, Borzage collapses time in a gorgeous, layered montage of spring flowers and children’s games. Kathleen’s childhood is compressed into thirty seconds, the narrative resuming once Carteret is once again ensnared by his loss of Moonyean.

The world of the film becomes a kind of necropolis, with Kathleen first meeting Kenneth in the abandoned mansion of his father, Jeremy. They dust off his decanter of wine, untouched since his death, and hold hands for the first time while staring up at his portrait, deeply ensconced in Carteret’s memories of his dead nemesis. Carteret is entombing his family in his obsessive memory, and can only free them by telling his story, and moving on. Borzage privileges this moment in an extended flashback of his doomed wedding day, an unburdening and a confessional, that ends with Carteret cradling Moonyean Pieta-like pose, allowing himself to mourn for the first time, instead of simply nursing his hatred. It ends on a transporting image, of a ghostly Carteret-Moonyean and a physical Kathleen-Kenneth passing in the night, going in different directions on time’s arrow, but both savoring the moment.

Please read Kent Jones’ wonderful career overview in Film Comment for a fuller view of Borzage’s career.

***

In 1967, MGM was trying to crank out genre films on a budget by making deals with television networks, while still reaping the box office rewards from theatrical release. Kerry Segrave wrote in Movies at Home that the studio had renegotiated its deal with ABC, allowing the final three of their six co-productions to be released theatrically before they hit the tube. These were Day of the Evil Gun (starring Glenn Ford and Arthur Kennedy, 1968), Hot Rods to Hell (with Dana Andrews, 1967) and Welcome to Hard Times (1967). Warner Archive has just released Hard Times in a handsomely remastered DVD, and is an artifact of a studio’s shfit to producing tele-films and catering to the burgeoning youth market. Director/writer Burt Kennedy, famous for scripting Budd Boetticher’s psychologically astute Ranown cycle of Westerns, had moved from helming TV shows to becoming a reliable worker on cheap genre films. Right before Hard Times, Kennedy cranked out Return of the Seven (1966), a sequel to The Magnificent Seven (1960), and afterward he made a couple of popular comic-Westerns with James Garner, Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) and Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971). Hard Times is the likely nadir of Kennedy’s work in this period, a slackly paced adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s first novel (Doctorow told the NY Times that the film was the “second worst movie ever made.” The worst? Swamp Fire (’46) starring Johnny Weissmuller).

The film concerns the Mayor and de facto Sheriff of the Western town of Hard Times, Will Blue (Henry Fonda), a dyed-in-the-wool cynic who only acts out of base self-interest. When a drunken hell-raiser (Aldo Ray, credited as “The Man From Bodie”), razes the town to the ground, Blue just watches from a distance, not willing to get involved. Blue and a local medicine show carny build up Hard Times again by turning it into a good-times destination for local miners. As business booms, Blue braces for the return of “The Man From Bodie”. The film opens with a bang, in a near-silent sequence that is an homage to (or straight rip of) the start of Rio Bravo. Instead of a drunken Dean Martin, it’s a buzzing Aldo Ray, who smashes a bottle in close-up, drinking from the shards that are left. Ray is framed to be a force of nature, presaged by a dramatic clap of thunder and causing  raging fires. Ray starts out as intimidating, but is reduced to cartoon villainy by this overdetermined symbolism, a hacky attempt to provide the stylish ultra-violence the young crowds desired, and were delivered in the Leone Spaghetti Westerns. Even the film’s cynicism seems half-baked, as Fonda’s brittle, passive exterior gives way to a conclusion of straining sentimentality. And opening sequence aside, the film is indifferently put together, despite the incredible rogues gallery of faces Kennedy had to work with. In addition to Fonda and Ray there is Warren Oates, Elisha Cook Jr., Lon Chaney Jr., Keenan Wynn and Royal Dano. As these weathered, instinctively expressive faces slide past the screen in this ill-conceived oater, it feels like a roll call at classical Hollywood’s funeral.

0 Response Warner Archive Roundup: Smilin’ Through (1941) and Welcome to Hard Times (1967)
Posted By swac : January 17, 2012 12:58 pm

Moonrise isn’t *technically* missing on home video, I have a VHS pre-recorded copy that I think came out via Republic Home Video, but for all intents and purposes it might as well be on the back of a milk carton.

Posted By swac : January 17, 2012 12:58 pm

Moonrise isn’t *technically* missing on home video, I have a VHS pre-recorded copy that I think came out via Republic Home Video, but for all intents and purposes it might as well be on the back of a milk carton.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 17, 2012 1:35 pm

R. Emmet Sweeney:Using the title “Hard Times” could be confusing for classic film fans, because I have seen both “Welcome to Hard Times” and “Hard Times” totally different but very powerful films. I am so pleased some one besides myself has seen this rare movie. I first saw on Henry Fonda’s 100th birthday. It scared me half to death! It is the same as when I first saw “Westworld” with Yul Brynner. These movies are just like nightmares, well mine anyway. I am completely obsessed with Westerns. I have seen all the Westerns listed in this article. I have seen “Hot Rods from Hell” with my sister yrs. ago. Thanks for discussing this movie. I do not appreciate your wording in some places though, the cast of classic character actors should not be compared to “a roll call at a classic Hollywood’s funernal”. In less you mean the directors John Ford and Sam Peckingpah. Was that what you meant? I do not think this movie was “ill-conceived”. It did feel like part “High Noon”,”Rio Bravo”(Howard Hawks’ answer to “High Noon”),the scariness of “Liberty Valance”,”Shane”,”Westworld”(Yul Brynner always looked like don’t mess with me!),the terror and helplessness that is portrayed is deep and meaningful, like a “Twilight Zone” episode. Watch it again please, not as history or a masterpiece, but as a statement on man’s fears and violence toward each other. Maybe, I am too cerebral. I guess that happens after reading a giant book on psychology in High School. Try to find the psychological meanings in Westerns, the French do. They have this great blog about westerns. I read it from time to time. It is http://www.wild-wild-western.over-blog.com.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 17, 2012 1:35 pm

R. Emmet Sweeney:Using the title “Hard Times” could be confusing for classic film fans, because I have seen both “Welcome to Hard Times” and “Hard Times” totally different but very powerful films. I am so pleased some one besides myself has seen this rare movie. I first saw on Henry Fonda’s 100th birthday. It scared me half to death! It is the same as when I first saw “Westworld” with Yul Brynner. These movies are just like nightmares, well mine anyway. I am completely obsessed with Westerns. I have seen all the Westerns listed in this article. I have seen “Hot Rods from Hell” with my sister yrs. ago. Thanks for discussing this movie. I do not appreciate your wording in some places though, the cast of classic character actors should not be compared to “a roll call at a classic Hollywood’s funernal”. In less you mean the directors John Ford and Sam Peckingpah. Was that what you meant? I do not think this movie was “ill-conceived”. It did feel like part “High Noon”,”Rio Bravo”(Howard Hawks’ answer to “High Noon”),the scariness of “Liberty Valance”,”Shane”,”Westworld”(Yul Brynner always looked like don’t mess with me!),the terror and helplessness that is portrayed is deep and meaningful, like a “Twilight Zone” episode. Watch it again please, not as history or a masterpiece, but as a statement on man’s fears and violence toward each other. Maybe, I am too cerebral. I guess that happens after reading a giant book on psychology in High School. Try to find the psychological meanings in Westerns, the French do. They have this great blog about westerns. I read it from time to time. It is http://www.wild-wild-western.over-blog.com.

Posted By Grand Old Movies : January 17, 2012 1:38 pm

I second your call for more Borzage to be released on DVD, particularly MOONRISE, a beautifully poetic noir with a lovely performance by Gail Russell. I haven’t seen SMILIN’ THROUGH, but your review makes me want to check it out. Thanks!

Posted By Grand Old Movies : January 17, 2012 1:38 pm

I second your call for more Borzage to be released on DVD, particularly MOONRISE, a beautifully poetic noir with a lovely performance by Gail Russell. I haven’t seen SMILIN’ THROUGH, but your review makes me want to check it out. Thanks!

Posted By Skooter1 : January 17, 2012 8:23 pm

Does anyone know if Borzage’s “A Man’s Castle” will ever show uncut? A restored version was scheduled for TCM’s Classic Film Festival last year, but then it was pulled off the list for whatever reason. The version shown occasionally on TCM is fairly choppy and missing a good 6 or 7 minutes. I’m a big fan of his films…thanks

Posted By Skooter1 : January 17, 2012 8:23 pm

Does anyone know if Borzage’s “A Man’s Castle” will ever show uncut? A restored version was scheduled for TCM’s Classic Film Festival last year, but then it was pulled off the list for whatever reason. The version shown occasionally on TCM is fairly choppy and missing a good 6 or 7 minutes. I’m a big fan of his films…thanks

Posted By Jenni : January 17, 2012 8:30 pm

Moonyean is a real name? I thought Blue Ivy was strange, but I think Moonyean takes the cake! How is it phonetically pronounced?

Posted By Jenni : January 17, 2012 8:30 pm

Moonyean is a real name? I thought Blue Ivy was strange, but I think Moonyean takes the cake! How is it phonetically pronounced?

Posted By dukeroberts : January 18, 2012 12:46 am

You’ve sold me on both, but especially Smilin’ Through.

Posted By dukeroberts : January 18, 2012 12:46 am

You’ve sold me on both, but especially Smilin’ Through.

Posted By Pamela Porter : January 18, 2012 11:15 am

Is it possible it’s the phonetic pronunciation of “muirnin”, which is Gaelic for “sweetheart”?

Posted By Pamela Porter : January 18, 2012 11:15 am

Is it possible it’s the phonetic pronunciation of “muirnin”, which is Gaelic for “sweetheart”?

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : January 18, 2012 11:20 am

In the film they say her name “Moonyeen”, almost exactly like it’s spelled. Not sure of the history of the name, but it was the same used in the original 1919 play.

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : January 18, 2012 11:20 am

In the film they say her name “Moonyeen”, almost exactly like it’s spelled. Not sure of the history of the name, but it was the same used in the original 1919 play.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 18, 2012 1:53 pm

Why is no one discussing “Welcome to Hard Times”? Why won’t R. Emmet Sweeny explian his comments in this article? Does he not like this movie? Then why write an article detailing it? I watch TCM frequently and that is how I came across this film to start with, since I have never seen it shown on any other network, yet.
Please reply, if you can. Gracias.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 18, 2012 1:53 pm

Why is no one discussing “Welcome to Hard Times”? Why won’t R. Emmet Sweeny explian his comments in this article? Does he not like this movie? Then why write an article detailing it? I watch TCM frequently and that is how I came across this film to start with, since I have never seen it shown on any other network, yet.
Please reply, if you can. Gracias.

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : January 18, 2012 2:02 pm

Juana, I don’t have much to add to what I already wrote. I think the film is an interesting failure, coming at a time when studios were scrambling to adapt to the market post-Paramount Decision. I think it is more interesting historically than artistically.

Rob

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : January 18, 2012 2:02 pm

Juana, I don’t have much to add to what I already wrote. I think the film is an interesting failure, coming at a time when studios were scrambling to adapt to the market post-Paramount Decision. I think it is more interesting historically than artistically.

Rob

Posted By dukeroberts : January 19, 2012 12:44 am

Rob(Hey! That’s me too!)- Is Welcome to Hard Times kind of like the Over-the-Hill Gang movies that teamed up a bunch of old timers? I think there were a couple of those that aired on TV in the late 60′s or early 70′s. Were those created in a fashion similar to the ABC deal that spawned WTHT?

Posted By dukeroberts : January 19, 2012 12:44 am

Rob(Hey! That’s me too!)- Is Welcome to Hard Times kind of like the Over-the-Hill Gang movies that teamed up a bunch of old timers? I think there were a couple of those that aired on TV in the late 60′s or early 70′s. Were those created in a fashion similar to the ABC deal that spawned WTHT?

Posted By Juana Maria : January 20, 2012 5:27 pm

You speak of “over the hill”: that reminds me of “Ride the High Country”, my favorite Peckingpah movie by far.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 20, 2012 5:27 pm

You speak of “over the hill”: that reminds me of “Ride the High Country”, my favorite Peckingpah movie by far.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 23, 2012 4:13 pm

Hola Duke Roberts, long time no read!(I can’t see you on this blog.HA HA)Any way I feel that you love Westerns just like me. Isn’t it great how TCM has been playing more Westerns, such as on Mondays and Saturday afternoons? I just love it! Gracias, TCM!
Sen~or Sweeney and I do not share the same views,I have some hurt feelings because Westerns are very dear to me. I grew up watching them with my grandparents and my parents. It’s a familiar experiece. I am not being morbid(hopefully),because I really am quite a cheerful person;I want to list my favorite funny funernal scenes in Westerns. 1.Lee Marvin’s eulogy in “Paint Your Wagon”,2.Henry Jones’ eulogy in “Support Your Local Sheriff!”and 3.John Carradine’s eulogy and following facial expressions in the “Bonanza”episode:”Dead Wrong”. Give them a watch some time. I cannot find the specific scence I want to for the “Paint Your Wagon” eulogy on YouTube.(Drat!)However, I have found many of my favorite scenes on YouTube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlT4HuIl_ao and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d55sNrGAeOk. Enjoy! Oh, and let me know what you think, please, my follow film fan who is wild about westerns. Adios.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 23, 2012 4:13 pm

Hola Duke Roberts, long time no read!(I can’t see you on this blog.HA HA)Any way I feel that you love Westerns just like me. Isn’t it great how TCM has been playing more Westerns, such as on Mondays and Saturday afternoons? I just love it! Gracias, TCM!
Sen~or Sweeney and I do not share the same views,I have some hurt feelings because Westerns are very dear to me. I grew up watching them with my grandparents and my parents. It’s a familiar experiece. I am not being morbid(hopefully),because I really am quite a cheerful person;I want to list my favorite funny funernal scenes in Westerns. 1.Lee Marvin’s eulogy in “Paint Your Wagon”,2.Henry Jones’ eulogy in “Support Your Local Sheriff!”and 3.John Carradine’s eulogy and following facial expressions in the “Bonanza”episode:”Dead Wrong”. Give them a watch some time. I cannot find the specific scence I want to for the “Paint Your Wagon” eulogy on YouTube.(Drat!)However, I have found many of my favorite scenes on YouTube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlT4HuIl_ao and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d55sNrGAeOk. Enjoy! Oh, and let me know what you think, please, my follow film fan who is wild about westerns. Adios.

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : January 23, 2012 10:21 pm

Hey Duke –

WELCOME TO HARD TIMES is not really an over-the-hill gang kind of Western, but more an attempt to create an anti-hero in the mythical Leone mode. It does have a lot of familiar Western faces, however, which is the main reason for seeing it. The ABC deal I mentioned seemed to make the strange decision of making films with older actors that aim for a younger crowd (along with Fonda in WTHT, there is Dana Andrews in HOT RODS TO HELL). These were not films stoking nostalgia for old studio Westerns (which RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY did so well).

-Rob

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : January 23, 2012 10:21 pm

Hey Duke –

WELCOME TO HARD TIMES is not really an over-the-hill gang kind of Western, but more an attempt to create an anti-hero in the mythical Leone mode. It does have a lot of familiar Western faces, however, which is the main reason for seeing it. The ABC deal I mentioned seemed to make the strange decision of making films with older actors that aim for a younger crowd (along with Fonda in WTHT, there is Dana Andrews in HOT RODS TO HELL). These were not films stoking nostalgia for old studio Westerns (which RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY did so well).

-Rob

Posted By dukeroberts : January 24, 2012 12:15 am

I wonder if Hot Rods to Hell really did appeal to anyone. I tried watching it and it was so, so bad. It was also sad to see Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews relegated to such nonsense.

And you’re right about Ride the High Country. It is fantastic. Of course, I’m a big Randolph Scott fan, so that goes without saying.

Posted By dukeroberts : January 24, 2012 12:15 am

I wonder if Hot Rods to Hell really did appeal to anyone. I tried watching it and it was so, so bad. It was also sad to see Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews relegated to such nonsense.

And you’re right about Ride the High Country. It is fantastic. Of course, I’m a big Randolph Scott fan, so that goes without saying.

Posted By dukeroberts : January 24, 2012 12:23 am

Hola Juana! I have almost completely forgoten Paint Your Wagon since I saw it about 20 years ago. And that was by choice. I think it’s the only Clint Eastwood movie, and possibly the only Lee Marvin, that I did not care for. While I have the soundtrack on LP, I do not care for the movie. Sorry about that.

Support Your Local Sheriff is pretty great though, and I catch Bonanza quite often when it comes on Me TV. In fact, my first year of college I had a break between classes three days a week which I spent watching Bonanza in the student lounge. Good times. Unfortunately, your links didn’t work for me.

Posted By dukeroberts : January 24, 2012 12:23 am

Hola Juana! I have almost completely forgoten Paint Your Wagon since I saw it about 20 years ago. And that was by choice. I think it’s the only Clint Eastwood movie, and possibly the only Lee Marvin, that I did not care for. While I have the soundtrack on LP, I do not care for the movie. Sorry about that.

Support Your Local Sheriff is pretty great though, and I catch Bonanza quite often when it comes on Me TV. In fact, my first year of college I had a break between classes three days a week which I spent watching Bonanza in the student lounge. Good times. Unfortunately, your links didn’t work for me.

Posted By Juana Maria : January 26, 2012 5:51 pm

Hola Dule Roberts, un mil pardones! I’m very sorry that the links didn’t work. You can find them on Youtube, just type in the name of the show/movie. That how I found them to start with. Which Western shows/movies do you like? I know you love “the Tall T”. It is a Budd Boetticher movie. I like a lot of his work, it reminds me a lot of the feel of the early work of Sam Peckinpah. To me any way. I love John Ford movies, I seen most of the movies he directed. Of course, I am just crazy about Sergio Leone. I like his approach to making Westerns, they fell more like classic operas than other westerns with American directors. Remember, Opera is a really important to Italians. His films touch on the religious element(Tuco’s brother is a Cathoic preist),there is even a feel of a bullring and matadors when if comes to the final showdown with “el Indio” in “Per qualche Dollaro in piu” and Blondie, Tuco & Angel Eyes in “Il Buono,Il Brutto,Il Cattivo”. Thanks for even reading anything I write. I used to want to be a writer when I was little but I felt nobody cared about what I had to say or was writing about. It really discouraged me. Thanks for taking the time amigo!

Posted By Juana Maria : January 26, 2012 5:51 pm

Hola Dule Roberts, un mil pardones! I’m very sorry that the links didn’t work. You can find them on Youtube, just type in the name of the show/movie. That how I found them to start with. Which Western shows/movies do you like? I know you love “the Tall T”. It is a Budd Boetticher movie. I like a lot of his work, it reminds me a lot of the feel of the early work of Sam Peckinpah. To me any way. I love John Ford movies, I seen most of the movies he directed. Of course, I am just crazy about Sergio Leone. I like his approach to making Westerns, they fell more like classic operas than other westerns with American directors. Remember, Opera is a really important to Italians. His films touch on the religious element(Tuco’s brother is a Cathoic preist),there is even a feel of a bullring and matadors when if comes to the final showdown with “el Indio” in “Per qualche Dollaro in piu” and Blondie, Tuco & Angel Eyes in “Il Buono,Il Brutto,Il Cattivo”. Thanks for even reading anything I write. I used to want to be a writer when I was little but I felt nobody cared about what I had to say or was writing about. It really discouraged me. Thanks for taking the time amigo!

Posted By Ro Soo Hoo : February 5, 2012 11:26 am

In “Welcome to Hard Times”, which I have seen twice as a teen ager and as an OG (Old Geezer), the turning point of the movie is when the orphaned son accidently kills his adopted mother and rape victim of the man from Brodie….by the way, Lon Chaney Jr. (aka The Wolfman) is the saloon keeper who entices the boys adopted Mom to distract the Aldo Ray character. The Henry Fonda character reminded me as a youth and as an “OG” how much it represented the Chinese men found in Pearl Bucks “The Good Earth”. Men like Blue as played by Henry Fonda are quite common in the Chinatowns of America. Just ask any Chinese American male in your community if they recognize the name “Anna May Wong”. For more, checkout the comments made by Keone Young regarding the non-Christian Chinese mind set. Young played the character named “Mr. Wu” in HBO’s Deadwood westerns.

Posted By Ro Soo Hoo : February 5, 2012 11:26 am

In “Welcome to Hard Times”, which I have seen twice as a teen ager and as an OG (Old Geezer), the turning point of the movie is when the orphaned son accidently kills his adopted mother and rape victim of the man from Brodie….by the way, Lon Chaney Jr. (aka The Wolfman) is the saloon keeper who entices the boys adopted Mom to distract the Aldo Ray character. The Henry Fonda character reminded me as a youth and as an “OG” how much it represented the Chinese men found in Pearl Bucks “The Good Earth”. Men like Blue as played by Henry Fonda are quite common in the Chinatowns of America. Just ask any Chinese American male in your community if they recognize the name “Anna May Wong”. For more, checkout the comments made by Keone Young regarding the non-Christian Chinese mind set. Young played the character named “Mr. Wu” in HBO’s Deadwood westerns.

Posted By Ro Soo Hoo : February 5, 2012 11:41 am

Hello Juana…”Welcome to Hard Times” is sort of like Humphry Bogarts “In a Lonely Place” directed by Nicholas Ray where Bogart plays a Hollywood writer with a bad attitude that causes him to lose the love of his life. Ever notice how the same movie seems different when you see it decades later??? Your own life experiences will help you see different things in the same movie that you saw years ago. With regard to Peckinpah, check out the semi-Western “Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”. When I first saw it, I didn’t notice the inter play between Gig Young and his gunman partner nor did I understand or “feel” what was happening with Warren Oates and his girlfriend.

Posted By Ro Soo Hoo : February 5, 2012 11:41 am

Hello Juana…”Welcome to Hard Times” is sort of like Humphry Bogarts “In a Lonely Place” directed by Nicholas Ray where Bogart plays a Hollywood writer with a bad attitude that causes him to lose the love of his life. Ever notice how the same movie seems different when you see it decades later??? Your own life experiences will help you see different things in the same movie that you saw years ago. With regard to Peckinpah, check out the semi-Western “Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”. When I first saw it, I didn’t notice the inter play between Gig Young and his gunman partner nor did I understand or “feel” what was happening with Warren Oates and his girlfriend.

Posted By Juana Maria : February 6, 2012 2:26 am

Ro Soo Hoo: I;m deeply honored that you have seen to write to me! Yes,I have seen the movies you have mentioned. Although,I haven’t seen all of “In a Lonely Place”,Bogart is definitely a unique character ever time he is on screem. I’ve seen a lot of is movies, which I will spare you my listing them all here. I particularly love “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. I love the Mexican bandits in that movie. For the record the phrase is:”Badges!We don’t have no badges.We don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!” I have seen “Alfredo Gracia” as I’m quite a Peckinpah fan and definitely a Warren Oates fan. I do not like the endings to most Peckinpah films except “Ride the High Country”,its ending was foreglimpse of the ending in “The Wild Bunch” if you really think about. I probably think too much. I mostly watch Westerns because I love history and character actors. Yes, I did notice Lon Chaney,Jr. in “Welcome to hard Times”. He is also in my favorite Western:”High Noon”. I love how he delivers the line:”People gotta talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it. Maybe becuae they don’t care.”

Posted By Juana Maria : February 6, 2012 2:26 am

Ro Soo Hoo: I;m deeply honored that you have seen to write to me! Yes,I have seen the movies you have mentioned. Although,I haven’t seen all of “In a Lonely Place”,Bogart is definitely a unique character ever time he is on screem. I’ve seen a lot of is movies, which I will spare you my listing them all here. I particularly love “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. I love the Mexican bandits in that movie. For the record the phrase is:”Badges!We don’t have no badges.We don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!” I have seen “Alfredo Gracia” as I’m quite a Peckinpah fan and definitely a Warren Oates fan. I do not like the endings to most Peckinpah films except “Ride the High Country”,its ending was foreglimpse of the ending in “The Wild Bunch” if you really think about. I probably think too much. I mostly watch Westerns because I love history and character actors. Yes, I did notice Lon Chaney,Jr. in “Welcome to hard Times”. He is also in my favorite Western:”High Noon”. I love how he delivers the line:”People gotta talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it. Maybe becuae they don’t care.”

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