Wagons, who?

My copy of Eureka! Masters of Cinema’s JOHNNY GUITAR Blu-ray arrived yesterday, chunky and resplendent with extras, including the video essay I made with Chase Barthel and featuring Jessica Martin as Joan Crawford, Jeff Johnson as Philip Yordan, Isaac Brooks as Nicholas Ray, and my crudely-animated plasticine sculptures of same. Also an interview I conducted with Ray’s widow Susan, covering Ray’s memories of the traumatic shoot, and his lessons as teacher.

The best writing I found on the film to drawn upon was by the late James Harvey in Movie Love in the Fifties, and, especially, by V.F. Perkins, who later collaborated with Ray on an unmade feature project. Must get his book.

Furthermore, Shadowplayer Tony Williams just sent me this link to his review of Arrow Video’s MAJOR DUNDEE, for which I also did a video essay, edited by Stephen C. Horne. Many thanks! Glenn Erickson, who contributes several of the disc’s best features, also reviewed me favourably here.

And I have THREE more exciting projects at various stages of development which I can’t talk about yet. Except to emphasise how exciting they are.

12 Responses to “Wagons, who?”

  1. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Francois Truffaut called it “The ‘Beauty and the Beast’ of westerns.” Jean-Pierre Melville loathed it. Take it away Peggy!

  2. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Also be sure to read “The Closed Set” in Gavin Lambert’s The Slide Area It’s an “a clef” about the shooting of “Johnny Guitar”

  3. Stop press: one of our forthcoming projects has been announced. https://eurekavideo.co.uk/movie/the-indian-tomb-das-indische-grabmal/

  4. Can’t imagine what either of you would have to say about that one.

  5. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Very Cool Mr. Cairns!

    I wonder if Joe May is related to Karl May.

  6. Per no less a source than Wikipedia, Joe May took his surname from his wife Mia May — who was, however, born Hermine Pfleger.

  7. David Ehrenstein Says:

  8. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    I saw Johnny Guitar on 35mm at PFA three years back at a Ray retrospective. It’s a really unique and powerful movie, and holds up well.

    And congrats on the MOC for Lang’s Indian Epic (movies I am generally iffy about but it’s maybe the only way to make that kind of orientalism work, I suppose, at the least it’s appropriately weird in German and English subs). I hope that you found what you needed to finish your essays on that.

  9. Thanks! It’s the original Joe May version we’re doing, though of course we’ll drag in the Lang remake (already available on DVD from MoC) and even the Nazi one.

    Hopefully I found some new observations to make on JG, a film which has provoked many a good thought from smarter minds than mine.

  10. And he was a Mandl, originally, which is closer to May, at least somewhat… Still, I like the idea of him doing a John Ono Lennon.

  11. Nick Ray never married Susan. She is not his widow.

  12. Daniel Riccuito Says:

    In two years, disks will be landfill — ENJOY THEM WHILE YOU CAN!

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