Posts Tagged With: western Movies

My western inspiration

Growing up I was introduced to westerns on the silver screen, my late grandfather loved westerns, and would watch them regularly, which in most cases became a family night at my grandfather’s house ice cream sundae’s made by my grandmother, pop-corn or peanut brittle and good ole’ fashion horse-shit and gun smoke movie was a typical night at grandpa’s.

Purchase Today

My love for western writing didn’t really come until my mom brought home a book from a tag sale with the name Elmer Kelton on the cover, The Good Ole Boys. I was always told never judge a book by it’s cover, but when I got The Good Ole Boys, I flipped it over and read. “In Hewey Calloway’s world, his West Texas home of 1906, and the land of way of life that he loves are changing too quickly for his taste.” The way I had always felt an outsider looking in at the way life changed so rapidly around me. From then on The Good Ole Boys, became my favorite book, and Elmer Kelton my favorite author. I had to read more. Kids my age were collecting baseball cards, and comics, me I was collecting Elmer Kelton books.
Later I came to enjoy Louis L’Amour, and the Sackett’s, however, my personal favorite is Elmer Kelton. I have been told that my writing style is somewhat similar to his, although I take no credit from Mr. Kelton, as he was the greatest western author that ever lived, I do see some similarities in my western stories and that of the story of Hewey Calloway.

Advertisements
Categories: Western, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Symbol of America: The Cowboy

While in my travels of searching for western authors to assist me in celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy, I stumbled onto a gentleman that surely knows his way around a western, not only in writing them, but starring in them as well. I would like to give a good warm welcome to Ken Farmer, or “Deputy Kyle” as in the 1983 film Silverado. Welcome Ken.

Ken Farmer

The Cowboy is just as important to our nation’s heritage as the pilgrims, the revolution and the civil war.  In fact, in many parts of the world, the Old West Cowboy IS the symbol of America. Having been born in the early ‘40s, I grew up with westerns. First the Saturday double feature matinee where we waited for the Durango Kid, Red Ryder, Hoppy serials or The Three Mesquiteers, Tim Holt, Johnny Mack Brown, Gene and Roy movies. Then later on in the ‘50s, there was that little box we called the TV. Yep, grew up with the Cowboy. Didn’t realize at the time, that those movies and TV shows were actually Hollywood’s glamorized version of the Old West.

It wasn’t until I started doing research for writing screenplays that I learned about the “real” Old West—that there weren’t tied-down gun rigs or shoot-outs in the street at high noon. Oh, sure there were gunfighters, bounty hunters mostly who would just as soon shoot you in the back as not or guns for hire. Most gunfights took place at a distance. The dime novels had a great deal to do with the Old West myths, like Wyatt Earp, who, according to actual records and newspaper accounts (excluding his own versions), never killed anyone. Did a lot of pistol-whipping, though. Carried his gun in a leather-lined pocket in his coat, not in a holster. Again, so much for Hollowood.

Deputy US Marshall James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok got a lot of dime novel play that spiced up his reputation, but there was a Deputy US Marshall in the late 1800s that far out-shown Hickok as a lawman. He killed twice as many men in the line of duty as “Wild Bill”, served over 3,000 felony warrants, was never wounded even though he had his hat shot off, his reins shot in two, his gun belt shot off and a button shot off the front of his vest. He served over 32 years as a Deputy US Marshal and is still considered to this day to be the best Deputy US Marshal in the long and storied history of the Marshal’s Service. The reason he didn’t have the notoriety at the time was…he was black. He was a former slave and the first black Deputy US Marshal appointed west of the Mississippi. His name was Bass Reeves.

My writing partner, Buck Stienke and I decided that Bass would be the focus of our first deviation from our modern-day military action series novels about the Black Eagle Force we had been writing. After three Black Eagle Force novels, we decided to do an accurate historical fiction western adapted from a screen play I had written back in the ‘80s called the Tumbleweed Wagon. We elected to title the novel, The Nations.

The synopsis is as follows:

THE NATIONS also known as “Indian Territory”, “Robber’s Roost” and “No-Man’s Land”, was regarded in the latter part

The Nations

of the 19th century as the bloodiest and most dangerous place in the world.  It was a refuge for outlaws men from all over the North American continent. There were only 200 Deputy US Marshals made up of whites, blacks and Indian to police the vast area of 74,000 square miles under Federal Judge Issac C. Parker, known as the hanging judge. The Nations is based on actual cases and is crammed full of excitement, suspense and the everyday humor that develops between men as they live and fight and sometimes die together. From the action and dialogue, the guns, wardrobe and historical authenticity, The Nations paints a story of the Old West  as it really was.

It is the year 1885. A notorious band of outlaws, known as the “Larson Gang”, has been terrorizing Arkansas, Missouri and the Nations for years. When they kill five Deputy Marshals while rescuing Ben Larson, the vicious younger brother of the leader Wes Larson—it is too much for Judge Parker. He orders an all-out concerted effort to capture the Larson Gang and bring them to justice. “If  they will not respect the law; then by God we will make them fear it.”

Black Marshal Bass Reeves, the first black marshal west of the Mississippi, and white Marshals Jack McGann, Tobe Bassett and John L. Patrick recapture the youngest member of the gang, Ben Larson, a true sociopath. Along with two Indian Police, known as Lighthorse, the lawmen begin the treacherous journey to Fort Smith with their prisoners—Preacher Budlow, a gospel quoting, whiskey running and somewhat demented old scalawag, Jed Neal, a tough, but honorable black man mistakenly accused of killing a cowboy on the trail, and Ben—shackled to the bed of the Tumbleweed Wagon.

In the small town of Checotah, the Marshals encounter the Larson gang unexpectedly. A wild gun battle ensues and when the smoke clears, all of the outlaws are dead, except Ben, who does indeed get to Fort Smith to stand trial under Judge Parker.

“It is not the severity of the punishment that is the deterrent… but the certainty of it.” – Judge Issac C. Parker.

The Nations will be released 20 July, look for it. You can order signed copies from Ken & Buck for $14.95 at

http://blackeagleforce.com/buy_now/Do we believe there should be a National Day of the Cowboy? Absolutely! Nothing is more “American” than the Cowboy. ‘Nuff said.

Short Bios of Ken Farmer and Buck Stienke.

Ken Farmer, served in the Marine Corps and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University. Ken has been a professional actor/director/writer for over forty years with memorable roles in Silverado, Friday Night Lights and The Newton Boys, wrote and directed Rockabilly Baby. He was also the OC an VO spokesman for Wolf Brand Chili for over eight years and participated in the Ben Johnson Pro-Celebrity Rodeos until Ben’s death in ‘96.

            Buck Stienke is a former fighter pilot and retired captain from Delta Airlines. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he was also executive producer for the award-winning film Rockabilly Baby and co-author of five novels with Ken Farmer.

http://www.facebook.com/TheNationsNovel

http://www.blackeagleforce.com

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wyatt Earp’s Revenge VS. Laramie’s Thunder

I am glad that a friend recommended this new movie Wyatt Earp’s Revenge, if you have not seen it yet, I urge you do.

For starters, watching Revenge brought me back to “Tombstone” which also starred Val Kilmer, and had me thinking, what would be different if Kurt Russell were Doc Holliday, and Val Kilmer Wyatt? as in “Wyatt Earp’s Revenge“.

One of the reasons I liked this movie the most is, the story tells about Wyatt’s past in Dodge City, when most of the movies and books we see about Wyatt Earp concentrates on Tombstone, and the Vendetta Ride, which is what he is most famous for. However there is so much more that happened in Wyatt’s life, things that led him to Tombstone in the first place, and why he left Dodge City to begin with.

I also liked the movies twist of the young boy coming back as an inquisitive reporter to discredit Wyatt, because of his father’s death at the hand of Spike Kennedy, and blaming Wyatt for his death, although to the boy’s surprise Wyatt telling him the whole story changed his mind about the blame he placed and the how he felt about his loss.

Secondly having a movie such as this helps me with my novel Laramie’s Thunder, because I found so many similarities in my book, and in the theme of this film.

In relation to Laramie’s Thunder, this movie is rather close in the story line and themes.  My Main character Texas Ranger Laramie Taylor leaves his post in Garrett, TX to avenge his father’s death in Oak Valley, TX. Going against the law and turning renegade outlaw to bring in the outlaw, one of the many themes within my novel.

Another similarity is the friendships, other lawmen to join Wyatt’s Cause in seeking revenge, which taps in to Laramie’s Thunder with Fellow Texas Ranger John Quintin and four ruthless Cherokee Indians joining the Taylor’s in a three state manhunt for the Collins’ Crew, and always being there to aid Laramie, as Bat Masterson, Charlie Basset, and Bill Tillman do in Wyatt Earp’s Revenge.

“If you’re determined to ride into the gates of Hades itself, I’m gonna ride by your side!”

In addition to those similarities, the main themes of Wyatt Earp’s Revenge and Laramie’s Thunder are very close. Any man would do anything for someone he cares about, or Loves. Wyatt turned in his badge to hunt his beloved Dora’s killer down,  and In Laramie’s Thunder; Laramie swears vengeance on anyone involved with the Collins’ Crew, they killed his father in a bank job gone badly, and they have to hang for it. If they don’t he will kill them in retribution for his father. Against all odds Laramie Taylor and Wyatt Earp will ride to the ends of the earth for their vengeance, at no consequence to the law, they are the law, and if the law won’t make them pay, then they will.

Categories: Western, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Western Genre a New Rising.

I am a western fiction writer/author, and I spend a great deal of time just researching the western genre, and what I read about our genre is more on the dying side than on the rise. I would like to ensure that our genre has not died; in fact, I believe that it is making its new rising.

The Legend of Hell's Gate: An American Conspiracy

I read today, a blog posted last November about the western genre dying titled The Slow Death of the Western Genre (in honor of BigBlackHatMan) which you can read from the link provided. The article began to say that there were very few western genre films in the 90’s, and the western genre began to die off in the 80’s, unless it was a crossover. Disgruntled with knowing it was not very true I did some searching of my own, and in my search, I found several movies, which the blog author failed to mention, as well as the people that commented on the post as well.

I began with the big screen and yes, it starts where our blogger left off at Back to the Future III, which was a crossover western, yet many western films were not mentioned. Movies  like Dances with Wolves, Quigley Down Under, Young Guns II, The Last of the Mohicans, Unforgiven, Tombstone, Rio Diablo, Frank and Jesse, Legends of the Fall, Wyatt Earp, Desperado, Wild Bill, Riders of Purple Sage, Gunfighter, Purgatory, as well as Silverado starring actor/author, and a new found pal Ken Farmer, and this list goes on and on. Did we forget about Emilio Estevez, and his boyish looks as Billy the Kid, and certainly forgot about Kurt Russell in Tombstone, and Kevin Costner in Wyatt Earp.

Young Guns II

This is why it disgruntled me so much that so many Western films have come into the late 20th and 21st century as well and not even thought of by the author while writing this blog. Written in 2011, I was amazed that neither he nor any of the comments mentioned 3:10 to Yuma, or Jeff Bridges in an awesome performance in the remake of John Wayne’s True Grit.  Counting from 2000 to 2012, I have counted nearly a dozen westerns that were solely of the old west, which proves, the Old West is not in the grave just yet, with a new film just  released March 3oth, 2012 The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy.

As a western writer, and author I wanted to include Western Fiction books, I see countless books published in the western genre all of the time, from titles like Yuma Gold by Steven Law, and The Devil in a Bottle by Carol Buchanan, as well as so many others, I could spend days just listing them . Even coming into a digital age not long ago, I can count dozens of western books available on Kindle, the IBook store, and Nooks, which brings a completely new breed of some great western genre authors.

Also noted in the blog above was the fact that the reason not many were interested in the genre anymore was the age of space, and fantasy, and yes possibly the age of space, science fiction, and fantasy has taken us by storm. Maybe if Jeff Bridges Sparkled in True Grit, we might just get the media to agree we as a genre are still on the rise.

The Pony Express

Our history is built from the Old West, and without it, there would be no Boomtowns, which led to a railroad and later Hollywood, so why not keep it alive, has the media forgotten, that media itself originated by means of The Pony Express, which has a rich history in itself in the Old West. I think they should look our way more often than they do, and notice that we are a rising genre as like any other genre. It seems we are only in the mainstream media when it is to review us as a dying entity, yet more and more westerns have come, and are coming.

Here on Shotgun Bo Rivers Blog, the Old West will never die; at least while I am alive and kickin, here at Bo’s place there will always be a spot for a good western genre story, book, or movie.

Categories: Current Events, Western, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: