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I’ll just say it outright: After a two year battle with pancreatic cancer, my father has passed away. I don’t know what words can do it justice, but here’s quite a few anyway. I’ve recorded a final episode, the bulk of which is a conversation with my immediate family about my father’s legacy, and a lot of talk about what kind of man he was. I think…
 
On this episode, we’ll be discussing the new limited series on Netflix, Scott Frank’s Godless! The small mining town of LaBelle becomes the battleground for a conflict between two outlaws, one good, one very bad, and the population, mostly widows, find themselves in a war for their way of life. Real western stuff! Despite appearances to the contrar…
 
Finally, an episode we’ve been looking towards since the start, one of the most beloved American Westerns and a film listed on the AFI’s list of Hundred Best Films: 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, featuring the classic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the titular roles. An affable, seriocomic romp through the end of the legen…
 
Merry Christmas, everyone! On this special holiday episode of Westerns With Dad, we’re discussing the little-seen 1997 Canadian TV production, Ebenezer! Starring noted Western stars Jack Palance and Ricky Schroeder, it’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ oft-adapted classic, A Christmas Carol, reset in the Old West. Utterly inessential, clearly not…
 
On this belated episode, we are talking about both versions of the Charlie Portis novel True Grit! The original, from 1969, is famously the film that won John Wayne his Oscar, and the 2010 remake from the Coen Brothers! Both are great, as it turns out, and surprisingly similar in a number of ways (largely owing to the use of Portis’ dialogue, we as…
 
Jim Jarmusch’s utterly bizarre 1995 ‘Acid Western’ Dead Man is the subject of this episode, featuring Johnny Depp at his height as a tenderfoot traveling into the Frontier and also, potentially, the reincarnation of the poet William Blake. Shot in B&W and featuring a unique Neil Young soundtrack, Dead Man defies easy description and is a strong con…
 
We’re really trying to hammer down a proper recording schedule for you all. Thanks so much to those who have stayed with us, thanks again to Marko ?avlina for mentioning us on the HEMA International Discussion FB group and welcome to everyone who came to us from that post! While we try to figure out a schedule we can manage you can look forward to …
 
Coming from director Delmar Daves, 1956’s Jubal tells a story of sexual obsession on the open plains, highly reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Othello. Starring Glenn Ford as stoic loner Jubal Troop, it has come to more prominence lately, possibly owing to a fine Criterion restoration, and features a cast of beloved character actors sinking their teeth …
 
To finish out our October tradition of Spooky Westerns, we wanted to talk about Near Dark, the cult classic vampire western from academy award winning director Kathryn Bigelow, but due to a lack of streaming options, we were unable to easily find it and instead watched a forgotten anthology Horror film no one remembers or cares about, Grim Prairie …
 
Once again, October means that we’re talking about Horror and Horror-Adjacent movies on Westerns With Dad, and this time, it’s Clint Eastwood’s 1973 allegory about Divine Justice, High Plains Drifter! Taking the form of a more traditional yarn – a town, threatened by villains, hires a gunslinger to defend them – this film slowly reveals itself to b…
 
Arthur Penn’s rambling, whimsical approach to the Western, Little Big Man follows the long life of Dustin Hoffman’s Jack Crabb, a white man raised amongst the Cheyenne Indians, and observes the wave of Manifest Destiny rise, crest and recede in the American frontier! One of the early examples of the Revisionist Western, this film takes on the Nativ…
 
It’s been too long since we’ve talked Jimmy Stewart on Westerns With Dad, so it’s time to revisit his series of collaborations with director Anthony Mann, with The Man From Laramie! Their final film together, it tells the story of Will Lockhart, seeking justice for his dead brother in the isolated town of Coronado. Once there, he become entangled i…
 
While we haven’t been recording much, we sure have been busy. Brant and Brian became founding members of a HEMA performance and study group. Basically, we wanted to find a way to be allowed to fence inside Fort Henry and realized the best way to do so was to volunteer ourselves to perform as the “warm up act” for their sunset ceremonies. A part 2 o…
 
On this episode, one of Dad’s favorites’ the TV miniseries adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove! One of television’s most celebrated series, it tells the epic story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, taking the time to explore the details of frontier life and the the expansive branching stories of over a dozen characters. At its cente…
 
This episode features one of Dad’s favorites, The Cowboys, starring John Wayne. A classic cattle drive Western, this movie features Wayne acting as mentor to cadre of boys on the cusp of manhood, finding adventures, life lessons and tragedy on the open range. And after years of less than favorable memories of a fairly stodgy film I didn’t connect w…
 
In this episode, we’re talking about the legitimate comedy classic, Mel Brooks’s 1974 western satire, Blazing Saddles! Largely agreed upon to be the funniest western ever made, it tells the story of a black sheriff appointed to a small town full of racists to better facilitate a land grab. But the narrative is very much secondary to the comedy set …
 
In this episode, we discuss the largely uncommented-on Thunderheart, a 1992 police-on-a-reservation film inspired by the tumultuous events that took place during the 1970s. It stars Val Kilmer as a Federal Agent investigating a murder occurring amidst deep civil unrest. Featuring terrific supporting performances by Sam Shepard and Graham Greene, th…
 
This is an episode I’ve been dying to try out since we started, an in depth look at HBO’s brilliant Western TV show Deadwood. Starring Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant, it tells the story of the historic South Dakota mining camp where Will Bill Hickok was killed. This being the first episode we’ve done wherein we try to cover the entire breadth of …
 
1962’s Ride the High Country is the subject of this week’s episode. An early Sam Peckinpah and a late victory lap for golden age Western stars Joel McRea and Randolph Scott, it follows a pair of aging gunslingers as they attempt to transport gold cross country. It’s a nice adventure film about the twilight of the West, and a pair of aging gunslinge…
 
Returning to the Spaghetti Western and the films of Sergio Leone, this episode focuses on the middle entry in the Man With No Name trilogy, For a Few Dollars More. Bringing back Clint Eastwood’s iconic gunslinger and adding Lee Van Cleef’s mysterious counterpoint, it’s the most underrated of the series, and a whole hell of a lot of fun. In talking …
 
In attempting to examine the breadth of the Western genre, we want to focus on films from all eras, and that includes the modern movie landscape. So this week, we’re taking a look at The Salvation, a genre exercise from only a few years ago! Starring acclaimed actor Mads Mikkelsen, this is a modern version of the familiar revenge thriller, set in t…
 
The Searchers, 1956, is arguably the greatest Western ever made. The most acclaimed film from both John Ford and John Wayne, it tells the purely American story of a kidnapped young girl and the two men driven to recover her, amidst the bloody crucible of the American Indian Wars. Both lauded for its artistic mastery and a bit notorious for its port…
 
The TV miniseries that took 1950s American by storm, the focus of this episode is Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett franchise, starring Fess Parker as the titular frontiersman. Appearing on ABC’s Disneyland television show starting in 1954, this was the crown jewel of Walt Disney’s TV empire and the cornerstone of the beloved Frontierland in Anaheim’s Di…
 
There are two notable films entitled 3:10 To Yuma, and we’ll be taking a look at both in this episode. There’s the 1957 original, a B&W studio Western directed by Delmar Davis, and the 2007 remake from James Mangold, with a cast full of famous names. It turns out both are pretty worthwhile, and in fact, they make a very interesting point/counterpoi…
 
There’s been a lot of upheaval in our personal lives including a minor car accident the night before this very recording. As a result I’ve come to you again, hat in hand, begging forgiveness for our long absence. Recently, returning from a day of fencing to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Swordfighters’ Guild, we turned on our cel…
 
In this episode, we have a discussion about another listener request, 1959’s Last Train From Gun Hill, a John Sturges potboiler revenge yarn starring Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn. And this one is pretty damn kickass. Telling the story of Marshall Matt Morgan’s quest for justice after the rape and murder of his wife, it features a lot of familiar …
 
Far and away one of the strangest films we’ve discussed on the podcast, right up there with the cannibal movies, is My Name Is Nobody, a comedic send-up of the Spaghetti Westerns from the very people who created them. Starring the legendary Henry Fonda and a goofy blonde himbo named Terence Hill, it kind of tells the story of an aging gunslinger an…
 
In this episode, we take a good long look at last year’s Best Picture nominee, Hell of High Water, an entry into the modern Western subgenre, with elements of the Crime Thriller and a hint of Noir. It’s the socially relevant story of two brothers driven to bank robbery by a broken system that preys on the poor, and the Texas Ranger charged with hun…
 
Waaay back in August we sat down in a babyful living room and recorded an episode that never saw the light of day. Not for any good reason other than life got busy and we simply forgot. While it might not be so timely now as then we thought we’d put it out there anyway. On August 20th The Tragically Hip, a rock band formed in Kingston in the 80s pe…
 
We apologize for the audio quality on this one, this is what happens when you forget to bring your mic to a recording day… Nevertheless, we took the opportunity we had and sat down for a little chat about swords in popular media. It’s a good time to remind you all we are by no means experts and we gladly welcome differences of opinion! We also refe…
 
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