My Name is Nobody is a 1973 Tonio Valerii spaghetti western comedy starring Terence Hill and Henry Fonda telling the story of Jack Beauregard, once the greatest gunslinger of the Old West, who only wants to move to Europe and retire in peace, but a young gunfighter, known only as “Nobody,” idolizes him and wants to see him go out in a blaze of glory. Nobody arranges for Jack to face the 150-man gang known as The Wild Bunch and earn his place in history. This was the last western movie role for Henry Fonda, while Terence Hill was still ‘riding high’ at the box office coming off the recent successes of his Trinity series.
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Red River is the 1948 black & white Howard Hawkes western starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift as a father and adopted son at odds about most things, but principally, how to best devise a cattle drive from the Red River Texas ranch to Abilene, Kansas with all kinds of unpleasant surprises along the way, and thus establishing the Chisholm Trail. The film also stars Walter Brennen, Joanne Dru, Coleen Gray, Harry Carey Sr. and Jr., John Ireland and Noah Beery, Jr. This is an epic John Wayne western nominated for 2 Academy Awards.
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Rage at Dawn is a 1955 Tim Whelan western drama starring Randolph Scott, Forrest Tucker, Mala Powers and Edgar Buchanan telling the complex story of the Reno Brothers and their sister who believe they are above the law, until the Peterson Detective Agency sends a former Civil War secret agent to set up the brothers in a train robbery sting. Oh – and of course, Scott’s character, the stinging agent/detective, also wins the heart of the sister.
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One Eyed Jacks is the 1961 western drama directed by and starring Marlon Brando along with co-stars Karl Malden, Slim Pickens, Katy Jurado and Ben Johnson. After pulling a bank heist in Mexico, the outlaw Rio (Brando) and his partner, Dad Longworth (Malden), make a run for it, but Dad has bigger plans than freedom. He betrays Rio and absconds with the loot, and Rio ends up in prison. Years pass before Rio finally breaks free to enact his long-plotted revenge. Tracking Dad to California, Rio learns he’s become a sheriff — which is no deterrent — but when Rio falls for Dad’s stepdaughter, he has second thoughts. Interestingly, director Brando walked off this – his only cinematic directorial effort – after shooting over 7 hours of film which was later shortened to just 141 minutes by Paramount Pictures for its release.
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The Christmas Wife is the 1988 David Hugh Jones Holiday drama starring Jason Robards and Julie Harris where an aging widower, afraid to spend the Christmas Holiday along decides to hire himself a spouse to spend the vacation with him in his lovely mountain retreat and finds true romance in this heart-warming tale base on a story by Helen Norris. The Christmas Wife is kind-of like a Holiday-themed Pretty Woman for older people, except she’s not a hooker!
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Santa’s Surprise is the 1947 Seymore Kneitel animated Holiday comedy short starring the voices of Jack Mercer and Mae Questel and tells the story of fie children from around the world that follow Santa home on Christmas eve and decide to give him some extra help around the workshop. Little Audrey first appeared in this movie where she was the most prominent member of a multicultural child cast working to clean Santa’s workshop while he was asleep, and she was briefly seen in the January 1948 Popeye cartoon Olive Oyl for President.
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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is the 1964 Nicholas Webster Holiday sci-fi comedy starring John Call, Leonard Hicks and Bill McCutcheon with a surprise cameo by the then 8-year old Pia Zadora! And with a title like this – I don’t think I need to tell you the plot!
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A Christmas Without Snow is the 1980 Holiday drama by John Corty starring Michael Learned and John Houseman, telling the story of a recent divorcée attempting to start her life anew by moving to San Francisco and is having difficulty with the choirmaster at her new church. Faced with his unrelenting pursuit of perfectionism, she is tempted once again to run away from her problems.
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Warhead (aka – Prisoner in the Middle, Mission Overkill, Nuclear Threat, and Sabra Command) is a 1977 John O’Connor cold-war adventure starring David Janssen, Karin Dor, Christopher Stone and Art Metrano. The movie tells the story of a missing nuclear warhead in the Middle East and the bloody pursuit of the terrorists that threaten the delicate peace in the desert. Janssen’s character remains cool and composed throughout the movie – just as you remembered him playing the lead in television’s The Fugitive franchise from the same era. Late 70’s cool with rugged sex-appeal!
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Gold is a 1974 Peter R. Hunt adventure starring the suave and debonair Roger Moore, famous for the James Bond franchise. Along with Moore, Gold stars Susannah York, Ray Milland, Bradford Dillman and Sir John Gielgud and tells the story of a greedy gold miner in South Africa risking the lives of his men to feed his hunger for the precious metal. And of course there is romance –Roger Moore doesn’t make a film without a forbidden and dangerous romance! Be sure to get a load of this one!
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