Vintage Westerns Wednesday
Jimmy Stewart, Dean Martin, & Raquel Welch Star in BANDOLERO!
BANDOLERO!; 1968; Studio: 20th Century Fox; Director: Andrew V. McLaglen; Cast: James Stewart, Dean Martin, Raquel Welch, George Kennedy, Will Geer, Denver Pyle, Andrew Prine.
Anchored by heartfelt performances from stars Stewart and Martin as outlaw brothers on a collision course with fate, and Raquel Welch as a strong-willed woman caught up in their struggle with the local law, Bandolero! may not be one of the most respected westerns in the genre, but it’s a well-crafted character study where almost everyone is shown to have shades of gray. The film is accompanied by a moving and quirky score from Jerry Goldsmith, with a rousing and moving finale in an abandoned town.
Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry was clearly a fan of this more intimate western examining a clash between dreams and destiny, as he wove in a number of references to the film in his novel, including the name of the sheriff and deputy (July Johnson and Roscoe), a suave rogue called Dee, and several story points. “Well, Dee, the bank was there…and I was there…and there wasn’t very much of anybody else there…and it just seemed like the thing to do.”
Movie commentary provided for our recently released 2021 Vintage Westerns Calendar seen above provided by Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg. Dr. Blumberg is an educator, publisher, author, comic book and pop culture historian, and former museum curator. He is the author or co-author of Journey of the Living Dead, Zombiemania, and Howe’s Transcendental Toybox. He was the editor of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and also writes for IGN.com and Fandom. He holds a doctorate in Communications Design from the University of Baltimore and teaches courses in everything from comics and superhero mythology to zombies to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can find him on Twitter at @DoctoroftheDead