Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fighting insomnia with Randolph Scott

Made the mistake of falling asleep earlier on the couch.

It's just after midnight as I type this. I can't sleep.

So, I'm doing the next best thing, which is watching Randolph Scott and Lee Marvin in my all-time favorite B western, "Seven Men From Now."

They really don't make 'em like this anymore. Everything has to be politically correct.

But, beyond that, this is just a darn good movie. Taut, fine storytelling. Solid performances from Scott (in a role that was intended for John Wayne), Marvin and Gail Russell.

There's a scene between Scott and Russell, in which he's lying underneath a covered wagon in the rain talking to Russell through the floor board, that gives me chills every time I see it. Scott's final showdown with Marvin is another classic, unexpected in its shocking brevity.

As usual, Scott rides away tall in the saddle, and his parting shot with Gail Russell is enough to make the heart ache, although the final scene just before "The End" (spoiler alert) gives us a little hope that the lonesome cowboy might be getting some company sooner than he thinks.

I love this movie. I guess I've seen it 10 or 15 times and never tire of it. Scott made seven fine films with director Budd Boetticher, but none near as good as "Seven Men From Now."

Not a bad way to lose sleep.

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