Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Drummer Billy Hart on the day

Lee Morgan died...

an evening of Anthony Mann films on TCM tonight, including a couple I haven't seen--

The Last Frontier (1955)

The emotionally jittery and sublimely scenic The Last Frontier (1955) is the old west picture I speak of here, but what is it exactly? A Cold War commentary of military belligerence? A post-war noir confronting
the emotional disorder of returning soldiers seen through the front of a rugged mountainous setting? It is all of the above, with the added effect of what appears to be handheld camera movements, and demented if
not animalistic character plots and behavior—particularly from the movie's lead actor, Victor Mature, as the highly conflicted Jed Cooper....
"He's all id," my movie mate blurted out mid-show, a keen statement about a man unshaped by manners, motivated by drink, and prone to
irrational outbursts—childlike tantrums really—by the provocations of men in authority who contradict or disapprove of his ways.
Cimarron (1960)

Mann wasn't the obvious choice to shoot an epic film in 1960, and the suits at MGM, rightfully or not, would eventually be sorry they hired him...