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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:06 am 
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Prince Judah
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I checked this film out again after purchasing the new Action Double Feature DVD about a month ago (it's paired with another Coburn film, Sky Riders). I know there have been complaints about how Heston's western is only available as a new DVD in this double feature, instead of a standalone DVD, and I share in this annoyance. But, I really appreciate the sharp, widescreen picture on this new DVD; the only other version I had was on a VHS tape which I recorded off the TV many years ago; there's no comparison.

So, in a sense, I finally watched this film as it was meant to be seen and it's pretty good. It takes place in that unique time era when many changes were taking place quickly, the early 20th century - year 1909 to be exact - as the new industrial era began to replace the old ways. People were just starting to use automobiles (Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch also stressed this). The two main protagonists played by Heston and Coburn had their heyday 15-20 years ago; since so many changes took place in the past couple of decades, these two are truly of another time, another century, and are rather archaic - the last of a hard, dead breed. Their sole purpose now seems to be to kill each other. Inevitable?

So is that what happens by the end? You have to watch the film to find out - that's the trajectory. Heston made this look easy by that point in his career. I remember when I first watched this on TV about 30 years ago, I was a bit surprised at his character's ruthlessness in a couple of scenes (necessary when facing outlaws). The prize for ruthlessness, though, goes to Coburn, whose character is obsessed and psychotic. The plot also follows that of several seventies westerns, like Chato's Land and The Deadly Trackers - a posse after a band of ruthless outlaws, though the posse in this one quickly leaves the story, leaving the good guy efforts to Heston and Christopher Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's son, I think).

Here's a neat alternate poster on the inside cover of the DVD:
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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:07 am 
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Prince Judah
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Actor Morgan Paull, who had a role in this western as one of the escaped convicts, died a few days ago on Tuesday. Apparently, he was a good friend of Heston's, something I was unaware of until I read his obit. I remember Paull from a few roles mostly in the seventies, but I'd guess not many do; his roles were usually brief and there weren't too many; the article below calls him a star of the film he's best known for, but his character was disposed of about 7 minutes in; he looked like a nice all-American boy but was better at villainous turns - such as the boyish outlaw in The Last Hard Men, where-in his character indulged in some bad behavior. He might have broken into the big time after his small role in the now-famous Blade Runner, but it was not to be; he was good in it, though. Here's a good write-up on the whole of it:

http://movies.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=743863


'Blade Runner' star Morgan Paull dead at 67 July 17, 2012, 9:12 PM EST

"Blade Runner" star Morgan Paull has died, aged 67. Image

The veteran actor passed away on Tuesday. Details of his death have not been released, but Paull was diagnosed with stomach cancer earlier this year.

The actor, who also appeared in film classics "Patton" and "Norma Rae," played Holden in Ridley Scott's sci-fi hit and became the director's sidekick on set after suggesting he hire Daryl Hannah to play replicant Pris in the film and fire Sean Young.

Scott agreed with Paull on the former and famously ignored him on the Young advice, casting the actress as Harrison Ford's love interest in the movie.

Paull became a serious theater actor first on Broadway and then in California, where he was spotted by Franklin J. Schaffner and cast in his 1970 epic "Patton," alongside George C. Scott.

Paull was with the movie great in Spain, where the film was shot, when Scott allegedly claimed the eye of a drunk American tourist in a bar brawl.

Paull also appeared in "Fools' Parade" and John Wayne movie "Cahill U.S. Marshal."

He also enjoyed success on TV with roles in "Gunsmoke," "The Waltons," "McCloud" and" Ironside," and he was a long-time union official in Hollywood, serving on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors and co-founding Actors Working for an Actors' Guild with close friend Charlton Heston.

He also made his mark in Hollywood as a talent agent. // :arrow: R.I.P.


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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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67 is an awfully young age to die at.

R.I.P.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Michelangelo

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R.I.P. Morgan Paull


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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:48 am 
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Prince Judah
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Detective Thorn wrote:
67 is an awfully young age to die at.


Cancer will do that. The first USA woman in space, Sally Ride, just died. She was only 61 - from pancreatic cancer.

My own mother died from stomach cancer some years ago when she was only 61. Like most sons, I expected her to live until she was about 80 so it was something of a shock. Due to advancements in medical science over the past few decades, I think most of us are now conditioned to expect almost everyone to live at least to the natural expectancy level - about 80 years - so it's always disturbing when that doesn't happen.

In fact, when it came to guys like Heston and Burt Lancaster, I expected them to live almost forever or at least to 100, due to their seeming almost superhuman life forces and vitality (Heston himself once mentioned, during a period when his wife was suffering some ailment - perhaps a migraine - that he was always disgustingly healthy or in good health). But, we all appear to be defined in part by one great equalizer - our mortality; sooner or later, the reaper gets us all and maybe the 'when' isn't as important as the 'how.' Though, most would prefer later than sooner.


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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:47 am 
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Finally got to watch this last night and was pretty surprised by how good it actually was. Surprised because it's not a movie referred to when talking about good Heston or western movies in general. I think it's good and certainly unique enough to be discussed more among movie fans. It was very brutal for the time it was made, not just the **** scene but the blood gushing out everytime someone was shot, as wrfwrf mentioned.

I really liked Heston's character in this. A good mix of a stand up guy and a badass. I suspected both him and Coburn would die at the end, and...

Spoiler:
was pretty shocked by how brutal that last scene was when he was shot, what, four times by Brovo? At least he got to kill him though. What do you guys think of the fate of Sam Burgade, did he survive those shots or passed away soon after?


A very good western, certainly better than some of his other work in the genre.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:08 pm 
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I just got the "Shout! Factory" DVD of this (double featured with SKY RIDERS) and watched the movie for my second time. I think Chuck is his usual dependable self in it, though for me it's pretty standard stuff as a Western. Great to see Coburn and Heston together.


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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:12 am 
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Joe Karlosi wrote:
Great to see Coburn and Heston together.

Yes, I think they had great chemistry together. They made a total of five movies together, along with Richard Johnson Chuck never worked with any other actor that many times. I'm sure they were comfortable with each other and that helped their on-screen chemistry.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:21 am 
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In 1993 I took my first visit to Arizona, and I went to "Old Tucson Studios", where the town shots for THE LAST HARD MEN were filmed. In 1995 most of that original studio burned down. :(


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 Post subject: Re: The Last Hard Men
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:03 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I should have posted about this a week ago and didn't think of it for some reason - director Andrew V. McLaglen passed away on August 30th, at age 94. http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries ... story.html He was best known for directing John Wayne westerns (McLintock! '63; The Undefeated '69; Chisum '70; and Cahill '73) and TV episodes of Have Gun - Will Travel. The Last Hard Men was his last western, with Heston in the lawman role instead of Wayne - maybe that's fitting in a way. McLaglen also directed the fine TV western, Shadow Riders (1982). He will now be known as one of the last directors to specialize in westerns; he also directed James Stewart (Shenandoah '65), Dean Martin (Bandolero! '68) and Robert Mitchum (The Way West '67). He was the son of actor Victor McLaglen, who is best known for several roles in John Wayne movies. R.I.P.
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