Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ten Wanted Men

The best thing about this 1955 movie is the cinematography. I have developed a great appreciation for movies shot in Technicolor, as Ten Wanted Men was; the scenery here looks gorgeous.

As for the rest of the movie, well, the title doesn't make sense; the dialog is mostly melodramatic; and there are noticeable bloopers. Like, in a climactic shootout between Randolph Scott the hero and Richard Boone the bad guy, there is the sound of a gunshot but it's clear the gun in the actor's hand was never fired. It's a silly film but at only 80 minutes, it's fun to see the plethora of movie Western cliches in it.

Although there aren't any real ASJ connections in Ten Wanted Men, as I watched it I was reminded of several scenes in various episodes of the TV show. First, the name of the bad guy wasn't clear to me--it sounded like "Weed" or even "Wheat" so of course I was reminded of the scene in The Biggest Game in the West when the sheriff questions Heyes about the outlaws after the poker game has been robbed. Turns out the character's name in the movie is "Wick" but no matter. The bad guy also wears a vest with a string that ties both sides together, which resembled one of Roger Davis' Heyes' costumes. It looked silly here, too. At one point, one of the female characters says something about a man making love to her. It was same comment Louise made in Everything Else You Can Steal and clearly indicated the same thing; that phrase must have had a different meaning back then.

Besides all the beautiful saguaro--it's obvious the movie was filmed on location in Arizona--it was interesting to see close-ups of period handcuffs and leg irons. One of the characters is arrested and the sheriff puts those manacles on him. As a fanfic writer, it was useful to see how a person looked and moved when shackled like that.

For information about and pictures of saguaro:
(From the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, on the outskirts of Tucson; speaking from personal experience, a great place to gain an appreciation of the desert), and
(Saguaro National Park, near Tucson)