Saturday 18 July 2015

Two Great Westerns on the ABC this week

Resuming an early Film Alert tradition...on the box two major westerns late night, ad free and hopefully in the case of the later one, the right ratio.
Shane (George Stevens, USA, 1953, 118 minutes)
“There never was a film like Shane”  said Paramount Pictures prior to the release of a movie which the scholars advise was shot in Jackson Hole Wyoming in the summer of 1951 and released in April 1953. It stars Alan Ladd, not typecasting at all, decked out in buckskin, plus Van Heflin and Jean Arthur as the farming family he defends. Jack Palance plays what David Thomson calls “the greatest mean, ornery arrogant gunfighter there ever was, or will be.” When Sergio Leone assembled his team of writers for his mythological valedictory to the American west, Once Upon a Time in the West (Italy, 1968) the brief was to cobble together and pay homage to elements of all the iconic westerns. Shane figured front and centre in the plot. ABC1 at 12.25 am on Tuesday 21 July

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, Italy, 1966, 180 minutes perhaps)
So, speaking of Leone, we get the chance for some comparison as well as a chance to check out just what version of the movie the ABC might be showing and in what ratio. Will it be the full restored epic, seemingly endless, and will it be screened in Leone’s masterful Cinemascope or will the ABC do what Foxtel does and remove the letter box and give it some strange full screen 16:9 look. Time will tell. ABC1 at 11.30 pm on Sunday 26 July

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