The history of President Abraham Lincoln as commander-in-chief is well known, but is his legacy of leadership in the West fully understood? I believe President Lincoln’s vision of the West and Manifest Destiny is under appreciated and should be reconsidered 150 years to gain a greater understanding of what the West is today–and what it will become tomorrow.
Recently America lost a legendary hero of cinema and Western film history, Harry “Dobe” Carey, Jr. I had the pleasure of interviewing Harry for an article my father, Jeb Rosebrook, and I wrote for Arizona Highways Magazine in honor of 60 years of John Ford filmmaking in Monument Valley celebrated in 1999.
Harry Carey, Jr. was one of the classiest men in Hollywood, and next to Maureen O’Hara, really one of the last great actors of the John Ford Company that made so many American classic films. Harry was a true Westerner, raised on his parents ranch north of Los Angeles, and next to Ben Johnson and Yakima Canutt, the best horseman on all of Ford’s Western films.
As a boy, growing up in Los Angeles, with blond red hair and freckles like Dobe, and a love of the West and horses, I always felt a kinship with Dobe as the young cowboy or trooper always working hard to earn his spurs.
Since our family started roadtripping across our great country, we have traveled nearly 20,000 miles on America’s backroads and interstates. Recently, True West Magazine asked me to write about one of the trop road trips in America, roundtrip from Salt Lake to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks.
Enjoy this wonderful trip and when you pack your van, family truckster, mobile home, rv, or motorcycle, remember to stop and enjoy the little moments of your journey, not forgetting to send a postcard home, enjoy home made pie at a diner along some lost highway, and always, always, take the time to stop and enjoy the sun setting into the horizon as the moon and stars illuminate the night.
See you on down the road! And if you take this great highway adventure through Utah, Wyoming, and a slice of Idaho, don’t forget to visit Montana and stop at Bridger State Historic Park in southwestern Wyoming, one of the best little historic stops on the whole trip.
Do you love a good Western? or is Science-Fiction your ticket to cinema fun? How about a little bit of both? Hollywood loves a new twist on an old theme, and “Cowboys & Aliens” has it all for the film buff who just can’t choose between “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” or “Predator” on AMC tonight! Well, like that good Chinese-Jewish deli in Burbank, Kosherama’s, where the corned beef on rye comes with crunchy chop suey noodles and won-ton soup, “Cowboys & Aliens satisfies the movie-goers desire for smorgasbord but afterwards the appetite is not as satiated as one had imagined. Nonetheless, if you love a beautiful Lady in a Stetson that knows how to handle a Colt .45, make sure and catch Olivia Wilde in “Cowboys & Aliens” at the multiplex before it heads to Blu-Ray or if you haven’t already, by your copy of True West at your local newstand with Bob Boze Bell’s great interpretation of John Wayne from outerspace on the cover!!
This month the July issue of True West Magazine is on newstands. Read Stuart Rosebrook’s cover story on women in western movies titled “Viva Outlaw Women!” Here is the story as it reads.
VIVA OUTLAW WOMEN!
Long before Raquel Welch graced the big screen in nothing but a Mexican poncho, gun belt and Colt .45 in Hannie Caulder, America and the Westerns-loving world fell in love with the original Lady Outlaw, Jane Russell.
Ms. Russell, who changed American cinema and Western movies with her starring role as the voluptuous Rio McDonald in 1943’s The Outlaw, passed away on February 28, 2011. Russell’s role as the bodacious girlfriend of Billy the Kid redefined casting of the femme fatale in Hollywood. Before the censors allowed the release of The Outlaw in 1946, pre-WWII saloon girls like Marlene Dietrich’s outrageous Frenchy in Destry Rides Again, Claire Trevor’s prim Dallas in Stagecoach and Mae West’s comedic, pistol packin’ singer Miss Flower Belle Lee in My Little Chickadee defined the outlaw woman in Westerns. After 1946, Western cinema casting of outlaw women, singing saloon girls, soiled doves and dance hall divas have been measured against Russell’s larger-than-life figure, opening the saloon doors for future big screen outlaw ladies like Welch, Jennifer Jones, Angie Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe, Claudia Cardinale and Sharon Stone. Continue reading “Western Cinema Loves Outlaw Women!”