Archive for Patrick Wayne

The People That Time Forgot

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Major Ben McBride (Patrick Wayne) organises a mission to the Antarctic wastes to search for his friend Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) who has been missing in the region for several years. A British naval survey ship takes them to Caprona. McBride’s party: the paleontologist Norfolk (Thorley Walters), gunner and mechanic Hogan (Shane Rimmer) and photographer Lady Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Cunningham (Sarah Douglas) fly over the mountain wall of Caprona in an amphibious aircraft, but are attacked by a pterodactyl and forced down. They find themselves in a world populated by primitive warriors and terrifying prehistoric creatures, all of whom they must evade in order to get back safely to their ship. They meet a cave-girl, Ajor (Dana Gillespie), who can speak English (she was taught by Tyler); she leads them to the land of a race of samurai-like warriors called the Nargas, who are keeping Tyler prisoner. When the volcano that the Nargas worship erupts, they must escape the cataclysm engulfing the land. Tyler sacrifices himself to cover their retreat.

REVIEW:

There was a time when one could go to the movies on a Saturday afternoon and enjoy a cheesy action flick. When I chose to view The People That Time Forgot this afternoon, I was hoping for that feeling. Did I get it, or was I disappointed? Let’s find out, shall we?

What is this about?

Maj. Ben McBride returns to the lost island of Caprona to rescue a fellow explorer, who’s battling brutal cavemen and prehistoric creatures.

What did I like?

Samurai. There has always been a fascination with me and samurai, especially after the animated series Samurai Jack and Afro Samurai. When I saw the samurai garb that the Naga were wearing, I was at first perplexed as to why they were wearing it, but then I came around and appreciated that they latched on to that part of culture. It definitely is a novel one to aspire to.

Adventure. A Jedi is not supposed to crave adventure. Good thing I’m not a Jedi, right? The adventurous expedition made for some interesting viewing. Who would want to watch as the plane goes down in the icy mountains, they encounter dinosaurs, fierce natives, get thrown in prison, and have their women’s lives endangered? This is the kind of stuff they used to write about. Oh wait, this is based on a book of the same name, so I guess it was written about!

Son of a Duke. Being the son of one of the biggest movie stars of all time is hard enough, but imagine if your dad is the immortal John Wayne! Patrick Wayne is not his father. If you’ve seen McLintock! you learned that, but he is a capable actor in his own right, portraying a character that would do his father proud and give him some distance and individuality. Is it me, or in some scenes does he resemble Paul Walker?

What didn’t I like?

Cavegirls know makeup? I was reading some comments about this film and someone brought up a point that I didn’t even think about. The cavegirl, Ajor, had perfect hair and makeup. Why is this a big deal? Well, let’s say you’re a prehistoric woman living on an island that, as the title says, time forgot. Are you going to look like you just walked off of a photo shoot? I doubt it! Even the penultimate movie cavegirl, Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C., at least looked a little disheveled.

Dinosaurs. When I was kid, there were these little dinosaurs that you could get cheap. Basically, they were the equivalent of those military men. The dinosaurs in this film seem to have the same texture, but they can move…barely. I will say that the pterodactyl scenes were impressive, but the rest, not so much. I know everyone that works in stop motion can’t be Ray Harryhausen, but I wonder if these dinos were nothing more than something put in to create a danger, because there is an apparent lack of care shown.

Evidence. I don’t believe this is spoiling anything, and if it is I apologize, but conveniently the paleontologist loses his notebook to the stomach of a creature they confront while escaping and the photographer has her camera thrown out of the plane so they can be lighter, leaving no evidence of this prehistoric land. Maybe I’m growing cynical in my old age, or I’ve been watching too much Cinemasins, but this just screams to me of a cop out to get rid of evidence real quick in the last few minutes of the film. Seriously, what are the chances that they both lose evidence?

Remember that Saturday afternoon fun I spoke of earlier? The People That Time Forgot doesn’t quite fit the bill. Sure, it makes an attempt, but I feel as if this film is either taking itself too seriously or trying too hard to be a fun Saturday flick. I’m not sure which it seems to be doing more of. That said, this is not a horrible film and I think anybody can enjoy it at any given time. Do I recommend it? No, but only because it just isn’t the kind of film that is worth recommending. It is the kid of picture you’ll come across and love or hate.

3 out of 5 stars

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The Searchers

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1868, Ethan Edwards (Wayne) returns from the American Civil War, in which he fought for the Confederacy, to the home of his brother Aaron (Walter Coy) in the wilderness of west Texas. Wrongdoing or legal trouble in Ethan’s past is suggested by his three-year absence, a large quantity of gold coins in his possession, a Mexican revolutionary war medal that he gives to his young niece Debbie (played as a child by Natalie Wood’s sister Lana Wood), and his refusal to take an oath of allegiance to the Texas Rangers, as well as Rev. Samuel Clayton mentioning that Ethan “fits a lot of descriptions”.

Shortly after Ethan’s arrival, cattle belonging to his neighbor Lars Jorgensen (John Qualen) are stolen, and when Captain Samuel Clayton (Ward Bond) leads Ethan and a group of Rangers to follow the trail, they discover that the theft was a ploy by Comanche to draw the men away from their families. When they return home, they find the Edwards homestead in flames; Aaron, his wife Martha (Dorothy Jordan), and their son Ben (Robert Lyden) dead, and Debbie and her older sister Lucy (Pippa Scott) abducted.

After a brief funeral, the men return to pursuing the Comanches. On the trail, they find some of the Comanches buried who apparently were shot during the raid. Ethan further mutilates one of the bodies. When they find their camp, Ethan recommends an open attack, in which the girls would be killed, but Clayton insists on sneaking in. The Rangers find the camp deserted, and when they continue their pursuit, the Indians almost catch them in a trap. The Rangers fend off the Indian attack, but with too few men to ensure victory, Clayton and the posse return home, leaving Ethan to continue his search for the girls with Lucy’s fiancé Brad Jorgensen (Harry Carey, Jr.) and Debbie’s adopted brother Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter). However, after Ethan finds Lucy brutally murdered and presumably raped in a canyon near the Comanche camp, Brad becomes enraged, rides wildly into the camp, and is killed.

Ethan and Martin search until winter, when they lose the trail. When they return to the Jorgensen ranch, Martin is enthusiastically welcomed by the Jorgensens’ daughter Laurie (Vera Miles), and Ethan finds a letter waiting for him from a man named Futterman, who has information about Debbie. Ethan, who would rather travel alone, leaves without Martin the next morning, but Laurie provides Martin with a horse to catch up. At Futterman’s (Peter Mamakos) trading post, Ethan and Martin learn that Debbie has been taken by Scar (Henry Brandon), the chief of the Nawyecka band of Comanches. A year or more later, Laurie receives a letter from Martin describing the ongoing search. In reading the letter aloud, Laurie narrates the next few scenes, in which Ethan kills Futterman for trying to steal his money, Martin accidentally buys a Comanche wife (Beulah Archuletta), and the two men find part of Scar’s tribe killed by soldiers.

After looking for Debbie at a military fort, Ethan and Martin go to New Mexico, where a Mexican man leads them to Scar. They find Debbie after five years, now an adolescent (Natalie Wood), living as one of Scar’s wives. When she meets with the men outside the camp, she says she has become a Comanche and asks them to leave without her. However, Ethan would rather see her dead than living as an Indian. He tries to shoot her, but Martin shields her with his body and a Comanche shoots Ethan with an arrow. Ethan and Martin escape to safety, where Martin saves Ethan by tending to his wound. Martin is furious at Ethan for attempting to kill Debbie and wishes him dead. “That’ll be the day,” Ethan replies. The men then return home.

Meanwhile, Charlie McCorry (Ken Curtis) has been courting Laurie in Martin’s absence. Ethan and Martin arrive home just as Charlie and Laurie’s wedding is about to begin. After a fistfight between Martin and Charlie, a nervous “Yankee” soldier, Lt. Greenhill (Patrick Wayne), arrives with news that Ethan’s half-crazy friend Mose Harper (Hank Worden) knows where Scar is. Clayton leads his men to the Comanche camp, this time for a direct attack, but Martin is allowed to sneak in and rescue Debbie, who welcomes him. During the attack, Martin kills Scar and Ethan scalps him. When Ethan sees Debbie, Martin is unable to stop him from chasing her, but instead of killing her, Ethan carries her home. Once Debbie is safely with her family, and Martin is reunited with Laurie, Ethan walks away, alone and clutching his arm, the cabin door closing on his receding image in one of the most famous and iconic closing scenes in film history.

REVIEW:

Awhile back, I think it may have been earlier this year, I was looking at a list of the top westerns. Nearing the top of just about every one of those lists was The Searchers. As you can imagine, I just have to see what all the hype was about and if all the praise was worth is, especially since this film wasn’t even nominated for any awards (not that that’s a bad thing).

What is this about?

After his entire family is viciously wiped out, hardened war veteran Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) embarks on a long journey to find his only surviving niece, Debbie (Natalie Wood), who has been captured by hostile Comanche Indians.

What did I like?

Binary sunset. I don’t know if this is the case, but very early on John Wayne’s character has his family wiped out by the Comanche Indians. As a matter of fact, they are burned to death. As I watched that scene, I was taken back to the binary sunset scene from Star Wars, where Luke returns to the charred remains of his family and the farm. Both scenes are very powerful and set up the motives for both characters.

Start the conversation. Whether you want to admit it or not, there is an underlying them of racism that the film tries its best to not get too involved with. Don’t believe me? John Wayne’s character tries to kill his niece because she has been living with the Comanche. At the beginning of the film, he creates quite the tense scene at dinner with Jeffrey Hunter’s character because he’s 1/8 Cherokee. There are a few other moments like this, I think they all involve Wayne’s character that make you think. At this point in time, talk about race wasn’t commonplace.

Cowboys and Indians. When I was a little boy, my friends and I occasionally would play cowboys and Indians. The climactic scene of this film took me back to those days. Don’t let it be said that there isn’t action in this film, because there is. It may only be a minute or so long raid that brings this film to its climax, but it is worth the wait. It should be noted that it is done effectively without the use of special effects or bloodshed, just straight up action and good direction. Do those things even exist anymore?

Scenery. I would be remise if I didn’t mention the scenery. One of the reason I love westerns so much is seeing the open range that used to be the old west. This is one of those films where you can really see part of the desert part of the US. I believe this was filmed in Texas/New Mexico and it just gorgeous. There were times I found myself drifting away from what was going on and just drooling in awe of majesty that used to be out there, but now is nothing but cityscape, except for some parks.

What didn’t I like?

Got Wood. Natalie Wood may not have been as big of a star as she would go on to be, especially after West Side Story, but one has to wonder why you use her in a film that she doesn’t really have any lines, when they could have very easily just used any run of the mill actress in her place, preferably one that was actually Native American, or at least had dark skin. On the flipside, using her younger sister (who would go on to fame as Plenty O’Toole in Diamonds are Forever) was a stroke of genius.

Race. Earlier I mentioned how Wayne’s character had a problem with the Indians (he was also a Confederate soldier, mind you). I don’t know if this was just a thing in Hollywood at the time, or if there were just no Native American actors at the time, but with as many films about cowboys and Indians as there are out there, one would think that you could find some decent ones out there to play the leading roles. I say this because the squaw wife, played by Beula Archuleta, is an actual Native American actress. She played similar characters throughout her career, but never got a major role, as those have always gone to someone who was spray tanned to look darker. I don’t know, but to me this is very similar to the blackface dilemma African-Americans faced in the 30s.

Watching The Searchers, I was taken back to those Saturday mornings when I was little and sitting on my grandfather’s lap watching the afternoon movie or Bonanza. They say that John Wayne not only felt personally connected to this film (he named one of his sons after his character, Ethan), but also considers it his best. Personally, I was blown away with how great this film turned out to be. I thought it might have ended up being another subpar western, like many that I have seen recently, but it has reaffirmed my love for the genre! Do I recommend this film? With an emphatic yes, I do. With this film you get action, drama, comedy, and tragedy. Not to mention one of the best endings ever put to film. This is a flick that not only needs to be put on your must se before you die list, but moved near the top! Watch it ASAP!!!

5 out of 5 stars

McLintock!

Posted in Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Cattle baron George Washington McLintock (John Wayne) is living the single life on his ranch. He is estranged from his wife Katherine (Maureen O’Hara), who left him two years before, suspecting him of adultery. He holds a record for throwing his hat up onto the longhorn-shaped weather vane at the top of his house every time he comes home drunk. McLintock hires beautiful widow Louise Warren (Yvonne De Carlo) as his cook and welcomes both her and her two children into his home. He also butts heads with Douglas, a sleazy bureaucrat who is looking to discredit McLintock, settle the territory, and remove the local Indians. Sparks begin to fly as an unexpected turn of events results in brawls, gunfire, an Indian attack…and the return of Mrs. McLintock, who wants custody over their daughter Becky (Stefanie Powers) (returning from college) and a divorce from G.W.

REVIEW:

It is no secret that I love westerns and comedies, so when I found out that McLintock! was a western comedy, I was super stoked to see it…not to mention it starred John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and Yvonne de Carlo.

The premise of the film is that G.W. McLintock is retired from Indian hunting, or something of the sort, and is now a rancher, but suddenly, out of the blue his estranged wife shows up and throws things out of whack. The rest of the film is spent trying to convince the audience that she doesn’t still have feelings for him, even though it is quite apparent she does.

So, that may not sound like the most interesting of plots, unless you’re into chick flicks, but it actually works, and isn’t anywhere near as sappy as it sounds.

If you’re looking for your typical shootout type western, you won’t get it with McLintock!, I’m sorry to tell you. There actually are no gunfights, cattle rustlers, or anything of the sort, but there are Indians, if that helps.

This film seems to be more focused on showing life on the homestead and proving that everything in the west wasn’t fantastic duel at high noon and such. If that was the idea, than I think it did a damn good job of it.

The cast is outstanding! Wayne and O’Hara are great together as always, but Patrick Wayne (John’s real life son) really gets a chance to shine. I personally think that Yvonne de Carlo was either over hyped or underused here, though I’m not sure which.

If there is a flaw to this film, it has to be that it never really made me laugh. Sure, there were some chuckles, but for a film that is a “western comedy”, I expected to at least guffaw a couple of times, and that just didn’t happen.

Still, this is a film worthy of the Duke’s legacy. Should you see it? Yes, it has comedy, action, romance, and hint of deception…something for everyone. I give this one a high recommendation, but be wary that this isn’t your typical western.

4 out of 5 stars

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Sinbad (Patrick Wayne), sailor and Prince of Baghdad, seeks permission from Prince Kassim to marry his sister Princess Farah (Jane Seymour). A spell is placed on Kassim by their evil stepmother Zenobia (Margaret Whiting) turning him into a baboon (one of Harryhausen’s stop-motion creations) just as he was going to be crowned caliph. Sinbad sets off with Princess Farah to find an alchemist named Melanthius (Patrick Troughton), who knows where to discover a cure to break the evil spell.

Sinbad and his crew eventually find Melanthius and his daughter Dione (Taryn Power), who agrees to help them with their quest. Melanthius tells Sinbad and his crew that they must travel to the land of Hyperboria to find an ancient pyramid where Kassim can be cured. Zenobia, her son Rafi, and the Minaton(a mechanical version of the Minotaur) secretly stalk them. On their quest, Sinbad and his crew encounter creatures such as a trio of ghouls, a killer wasp (effected by Zenobia’smagic), a giant walrus, a troglodyte (a creature that is friendly to Sinbad and his crew), and a smilodon (whose body gets possessed by Zenobia).

REVIEW:

This is the final installment of the Sinbad trilogy. I’m a little partial to it, since it was the first Sinbad film I ever saw when I was younger.

As with its predecessor, this one goes to further cement the legacy of Ray Harryhausen and his genius work with stop-motion animation (a lost art form, if you ask me).

Patrick Wayne would not have been my first choice to play Sinbad. He just doesn’t convince me that he’s the dashing sailor. To me, he seems more like some sort of villain or lackey.

A young Jane Seymour appears in this film and is smoking hot. Not to mention she gives a fine performance as Princess Farrah.

The effects in this film, are what you come to expect from films of this era. By today’s standards they are laughable, but when you consider the technology that was available at the time, it’s cutting edge.

As with the other Sinbad films, this one starts off a bit slow, but gradually picks up until the climactic final battle.  Leading up to that point are a couple of monsters thrown in to keep your interest piqued. In the case of this film, we get a giant walrus.

While Sinbad and his crew do vanquish the walrus, I was left wondering why they didn’t kill it. I’m sure they would have had plenty of food and warmth if they would have done so.

Another oddity was the fact that these people from the mid-east region actually didn’t seem affected by the cold of the Arctic. I’m from the south and can barely take the cold snaps we have, so I know it must have been an experience for them, but I guess for the film’s purposes, they didn’t need to go into all that.

Oh, how I wish they made films like this these days. The action, animation, story, and scenery all make for an epic adventure on a grand scope that no film can match these days because they try to make things too real or too serious. Only the Pirates of the Carribean trilogy comes close. If you’re into the kind of film that shows what Hollywood put out during the days when films were fun to watch, then this is one of those pictures.

4 out of 5 stars