Friday, April 9, 2010

Ad Mats For Real Men

This '72 mob movie impressed me when I was ten. I didn't see it at Melbourne's long extinct Chelsea cinema, though; I saw it at the drive-in with my dad. He was a big fan of Bronson, McQueen, and Sean Connery

There are some glaring continuity errors in the movie, but I still appreciate Bronson's performance, and there are some brutal sequences (relatively speaking).

I recently watched this again after I'd watched Dirty Little Billy, one of my favorite American westerns.

I still like it.

Wayne, as usual, is fantastic, possessing a swaggering authority no other actor has ever possessed.

Great poster. Great movie. I saw this for the first time at the Burwood Drive-In in Burwood, Victoria. I called to my dad, held the newspaper up where this poster was ripped from, and pointed to it. He smiled and said: "Saturday night, son."

It wasn't so easy to get him to EuroTrash.

Extremely gritty, enjoyable western based on a novel by Elmore Leonard.

Lancaster is utterly wonderful in this.

I saw this at Melbourne's Metro cinema (as per above ad mat) and wasn't terribly impressed.

Since this screening to my nine year old self, I haven't seen what I'd call a good condition print on VHS or DVD. Perhaps one exists and I'm not aware of it.

What I liked most was the circus setting. Although better exploited in Vampire Circus, I never tire of anything gritty if it's married to Big top shenanigans.


  1. I recently finished Ernest Borgnine's autobiography in which he relates anecdotes about a number of these guys. He loved "Charlie Bronson" as he called him, and related an account of a terrifying 100+ mph ride with a stoned/drunk Steve McQueen at the wheel. Burt Lancaster helped his career but also robbed him blind on several pictures on which he was the producer. And years later, upon running into John Wayne in a bar, The Duke asked him why they were never in a film together, to which Borgnine replied, "Because you're afraid to work with good actors." Ba-BOOM!

  2. Elmore Leorard is from your old stomping ground and still lives in Birmingham, MI- did you know? Met him a couple times at the art house where I worked post- college. Lovely man.

  3. Mark, BOOT HILL played on SBS a number of years ago, widescreen and in Italian. The picture quality was magnificent, but STILL doesn't disguise the fact that the film's a steamer.

  4. Patrick -- amazing stories. "Charlie" is surely my favorite of these Real Men. That Borgnine retort is gold.


    Anon -- Birmingham???!!! Why didn't you...???!!! You're kidding!!!??? We were so


    Andrew -- I'd like to see this print. Yes, still a steamer, I'm sure.

  5. I remember in 'Valachi Papers' quite vividly one unlucky fellow losing his Johnson. I have never quite gotten over that. (I doubt it was Bronson; he would never have allowed such a thing to occur to his person.)

  6. mandingo -- yes, a Johnson is lost, but Charlie retained his (as is natural)