May 31, 2010

Having long insisted to my my son that both LOR/Peter Jackson and HARRY POTTER ripped off Westerns shamelessly, I checked on the net for the top 30 and have started watching them. THE MAN FROM LARAMIE, HIGH NOON, and RED RIVER first; I was struck first off by the men. Stewart, Cooper, and Wayne--each had a sense of heroic virtue: of what is required of men. A little WASP-ish probably, but they get the good. I mean, could you imagine Brad ("Who's your daddy?") Pitt playing any of those roles? Or to put the shoe on the other foot, imagine some super model with four inch biceps saying that to the Duke!

Our culture has no sense of what it means to be a man or a woman. Females are now ordinarily physically superior to men in action movies, infinitely brighter on tv commericals; and all sensitive men have become feminists. I saw that in grad school: the pansy patrol. One of the reasons they have men sporting events separate from women's is because men are, generally speaking, broader at the shoulder, more narrow at the hip. They run faster, jump higher.

Hollywood is pretty clearly the land of idiots, followed closely by the arts community in general. Yes, women can kick your butt, but it seldom happens in the sprints. "You said you'd do this?" Yes, I did, so now I will do it.

And who doesn't value women's opinions, sensitivities?

But men have them too. David tells Solomon to play the man. John Wayne got that. Our culture does not.

As far as cliches go, I haven't seen them yet. RED RIVER surprised throughout. Maybe I'll have to go to Roy Rogers and SKY KING re-runs.