A Movie A Day #218: White Comanche (1967, directed by Jose Briz)

Johnny Moon (William Shatner) is a half-breed.  His father was white and his mother was a Comanche.  Johnny was raised Comanche but he now lives as a white man.  He is a good and law-abiding citizen but he has a problem.  Johnny has a twin brother named Notah (played, of course, by William Shatner) and, hooked on peyote, Notah keeps holding up stagecoaches, killing white men, and raping white women.  Sick and tired of people constantly trying to lynch him, Johnny contacts Notah and demands a final showdown.  At the same time, Johnny refuses to tell anyone about Notah’s existence so everyone still wants to kill Johnny.  The only person who realizes that Johnny and Notah are not the same is one of Notah’s victims, a showgirl named Kelly (Rosanna Yanni).  She sees that good Johnny has blue eyes while bad Notah has black eyes.

William Shatner has described White Comanche as being his worst film, which is saying something when you consider some of the movies that Shatner made between the cancellation of Star Trek and the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  Still: William Shatner as twins, one of whom spends the entire movie tripping on peyote.  That sounds like it should be fun and it would be except that, for the first and only time in his career, Shatner actually gives a low-key performance.  When Shatner is playing Notah, he is the Shatner that we all know and love.  But when Shatner plays Johnny Moon, he tries to give a subtle and restrained performance and, unfortunately, the movie is about 75% Johnny.  That’s not what we pay money to see when we watch a William Shatner movie!

This one is for Shatner completists only.


Rocky Mountain High: THE NAKED SPUR (MGM 1953)

cracked rear viewer

(By sheer coincidence, this post coincides with the birthday of character actor Millard Mitchell (1903-1953), who plays Tate in the film. Happy birthday, Millard! This one’s for you!)  

James Stewart and Anthony Mann  moved from Universal-International to MGM, and from black & white to Technicolor, for THE NAKED SPUR, the third of their quintet of Westerns together. The ensemble cast of five superb actors all get a chance to shine, collectively and individually, creating fully fleshed out characters against the natural beauty of the Colorado backdrop.

Bitter Howard Kemp, whose wife sold their ranch and ran off while he was serving in the war, is hunting down killer Ben Vandergroat for the $5,000 bounty in hopes of rebuilding his life. Along the trail he meets old prospector Jesse Tate and recently discharged (dishonorably) Lt. Roy Anderson. The trio manages to capture Vandergroat, but he’s not alone… he’s accompanied by pretty wildcat Lina…

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Artist Profile: Lawrence Sterne Stevens (1884 — 1960)

In 1914, 30 year-old Lawrence Sterne Stevens was serving as a cartographer in the British army when he was captured by the German army.  Accused of being a spy, Stevens was forced to dig his own grave and was mere minutes away from being executed by a firing squad when he was rescued by advancing troops.  Having narrowly survived the war, Stevens went on to study at the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts Bruxelles in Belgium and, from 1941 until his retirement in 1953, Stevens was one of the most prominent of the pulp illustrators.  At the same time that Stevens was working, his son, Peter Stevens, was also a much sought after illustrator.

Here are just a few examples of Lawrence Sterne Stevens’s work:


Music Video of the Day: Slow Acid by Calvin Harris (2014, dir by Emil Nava)

Hi, everyone!  Lisa here with today’s music video of the day!

I’ve heard a lot of different opinions as to what exactly is being portrayed in the video for Calvin Harris’s Slow Acid.  Some people think that the woman in the video has been passed out in an alley and this video is supposed to represent her dream (or nightmare, depending on how you feel about holding up convenience stores).  Some people think that the blueish tint of the woman’s skin is meant to indicate that she’s on drugs or she’s had too much to drink.  (Personally, I find the tint to be more silvery than blueish.)  There’s a lot of debate as to whether she’s dead or just asleep at the end of the video.  The first time I ever saw this video, I assumed she was supposed to be a robot.

Then again, “she was supposed to be a robot” is pretty much my automatic go-to interpretation for almost everything.  You’d be surprised how often I turn out to be right.

Anyway, I really don’t care what the exact meaning is. I just like Calvin Harris and this song.  You can dance to it.  People sometimes forget how important that is.

Anyway, this was directed by Emil Nava, who has worked on a lot of videos since 2009.