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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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It looks like the topic has been removed or something.

Getting the official release is always a priority for me as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:34 am 
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Prince Judah
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I got the new DVD of this western recently and just started watching it; it's kind of a whacky movie - there's a lot of attempted humor and Heston has to do a lot of ear-to-ear grinning, kind of unusual for him. I'll post more about it after I finish watching the film. In the meantime, here's an ad Heston did at the same time as the film - note how he's dressed in this cigarette ad and the mention of the film: (btw, Heston was a non-smoker!)
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I already posted this ad in another thread but it fits pretty well here also, I do believe. Saddle up an' smoke 'em, pardner! :cowboy1:


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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 3:01 am 
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Prince Judah
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I finished watching Pony Express on the new DVD (I had to divide the screening into 2 parts). The first half hour did have a fairly whimsical tone, as I mentioned in my previous post, but it did get a bit more serious later. Heston's Buffalo Bill Cody did comes across as something of a stumblebum, unfortunately, in a couple of early scenes. First, since he's apparently one of the toughest dudes around, he attempts to capture a bad guy without using his gun to get some info; this fails... and he is only saved by some quick shooting from Wild Bill Hickok (Forrest Tucker). Then, Cody attempts to sneak out of a cabin at night to get past some hostile Indians; this fails - he is caught easily.

Cody does make up for these stumbles to some extent by finally killing the chief Indian who is intent on a mano-a-mano confrontation with Cody (see also Arrowhead; Heston tended to have these fights-to-the-death-with-Indians that year, for some reason). Jan Sterling plays a tomboyish cowgirl who has a big crush on Cody. Rhonda Fleming is the more mature female who gradually falls for Cody. The way Heston as Cody relates to these two - quite differently - is amusing. Also amusing are a couple of scenes which show that Cody always sleeps with one eye open or always pretends to sleep - that's the way of the mountain man, I guess (this was like a much younger version of Heston's character in The Mountain Men, in a way).

The Pony Express plot is meant to show how this then-new system of mail delivery was a big step in progress back then and even instrumental in keeping California tied to the rest of the United States. Though it seems like a very primitive system to us now, from our 2012 perspective, it really was a much faster way to deliver mail back then and therefore was progress. So, the villains of this one - those who aim to halt this new system - come across as very stupid, whatever their motivations (having to do with 19th century politics). One just can't halt progress and if you try, you are just being stupid. But then - most movie villains were stupid, weren't they? Or are they still? :cowboy1:

The big plus to this one, as mentioned at other sites, is the outdoors filming at Utah locations. It isn't quite The Big Country in terms of epic western, but it looks great on the new DVD release. It isn't just desert shots, either (The Big Country was more bleak looking in that respect); there are a lot of picturesque wilderness shots framing the action. It's not a widescreen picture, alas - but you can't have everything, not even in a Heston film. :cowboy1:


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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 2:35 am 
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Chrysagon wrote:

Cody does make up for these stumbles to some extent by finally killing the chief Indian who is intent on a mano-a-mano confrontation with Cody (see also Arrowhead; Heston tended to have these fights-to-the-death-with-Indians that year, for some reason).


I haven't seen Pony Express, my War Lord... please tell me, is the hand-to-hand fight here impressive? I read some reviews that are unkind to the fight-scene here. But critics aren't to be trusted, they said dissapointing things about the fight in Arrowhead as well, but I have found that quite breathtaking. So, your opinion, please.

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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:32 am 
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Prince Judah
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tizzyd wrote:
Chrysagon wrote:
Cody does make up for these stumbles to some extent by finally killing the chief Indian who is intent on a mano-a-mano confrontation with Cody (see also Arrowhead; Heston tended to have these fights-to-the-death-with-Indians that year, for some reason).

I haven't seen Pony Express, my War Lord... please tell me, is the hand-to-hand fight here impressive? I read some reviews that are unkind to the fight-scene here. But critics aren't to be trusted, they said dissapointing things about the fight in Arrowhead as well, but I have found that quite breathtaking. So, your opinion, please.

The fight is fairly brief but, in a way, this is realistic. Many movie fights are drawn out with all these numerous choreographed moves; in real life, most fights are short - the winner gets in a lucky strike when the loser zigged when he should have zagged and 'whack' that's it. That's about what happens here. The two fight with tomahawks. Heston's fatal strike is a bit confusing; it looks like he actually hits the ground next to his opponent's head with the tomahawk when the loser slumps to death. But then, as Heston gets up, you see a big knife in his left hand; did Heston stab the Indian in the side and this is why the Indian died suddenly? I'm really not sure; I suppose it's up to each viewer who watches the fight. There's some grim humor to it (for me); the Indian made this big deal about needing to fight Cody to the death in the first hour of the film; according to the Indian, only he could kill Cody and he made it sound like his destiny; of course, Heston/Cody makes short work of him when they finally fight, so it's kind of anti-climactic. Heston also has an amusing line just after he's captured by the Indians and just before they start to fight, sort of like "I don't suppose that offer to fight to the death is still open..?" :lol:

btw, here's a TV promo preview of the film;
maybe Thorn can add this to the 1st post, though it's not necessary:


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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Chrysagon wrote:
btw, here's a TV promo preview of the film;
maybe Thorn can add this to the 1st post, though it's not necessary:

Consider it done! :cowboy1:

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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:43 am 
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Finished watching my DVD of Pony Express just now. It almost felt like watching two different movies. Like Chrysagon said, it's more light in the beginning and gets more serious further into the movie. I must say I enjoyed the more amusing parts from the beginning and wish they could have kept it more in that tone throughout the full 100 minutes. I liked Chuck's portrayal of Buffalo Bill Cody, he was tough and loyal, but also funny with some quick remarks when needed.

Kind of felt sorry for the tomboy played by Jan Sterling. I thought she was cute and Cody didn't give her a second look no matter what she did to get his attention :lol:

The fight scene was nothing special, but I wouldn't call it bad. There wasn't really a lot of emotions leading up to it the way it was between McKay and Leech in The Big Country, so it didn't quite feel like a missed opportunity.

Despite the action being pretty decent and evened out during the movie with some nice shootouts here and there, the movie did drag a little towards the end and the final showdown could have been a bit more exciting, I suppose.

I'd say this was an OK western from Chuck.

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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:23 am 
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Prince Judah
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Here's the full PONY EXPRESS, for those who can't or won't get the DVD:
-- btw, it's called simply "Charlton Heston Western" on YouTube... :-? :cowboy1:
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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Thanks a lot , knight. And it is perfectfully Christian of you to show the same amount of mercy to 'who can't' and 'who won't'. But does it depend on the broadband speed? I don't have a broadband connection, and it takes too much time.

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 Post subject: Re: Pony Express
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Finally watched my DVD and saw this for the first time. I liked Heston in the film, especially in the lighter first half, but I was just "meh" on it as a whole. Not one of his best movies, IMO, just so-so. I also felt sorry for poor tomboy Jan Sterling; I would have given her the attention she craved! ;)

So - yeah. Not all of Hest's films can be #1 with me, right?


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