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December 2 - 13, 2005

Ride Lonesome: The Films of Budd Boetticher

Budd Boetticher was born Oscar Boetticher Jr. in 1916 in Chicago. An avid boxer and football player, he went to Mexico in the 1930s to become a matador, which led to his being hired as a technical advisor on Rouben Mamoulian's 1941 bullfighting romance Blood and Sand. He fell in love with filmmaking and stayed in Hollywood, eventually working his way up to director. In 1956 he teamed up with actor Randolph Scott for the first time on the Western Seven Men From Now. They collaborated on six more films together, combining Boetticher's spare landscapes and moral ambiguity with Scott's visible stoicism and grace. Their seven films have since become classics of the genre, six of which are being shown in this series.

Special thanks to The Film Foundation, Gretchen Wayne and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.


December 2 (Friday) 7 pm - Director Bruce Ricker Appearing in Person

Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That

Directed by Bruce Ricker
US 2005, b/w and color, 87 min.

With footage from over eight hours of interviews with Boetticher before his death in 2001, Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That is Cambridge director Bruce Ricker's rare and candid look at a true Hollywood legend, a man who told off studio boss Harry Cohn and eventually abandoned Hollywood to make the documentary Arruza, which essentially ended his career as a filmmaker. Featuring extensive interviews with executive producer Clint Eastwood and directors Peter Bogdanovich, Taylor Hackford, and Paul Shrader, this comprehensive documentary explores how the films of Budd Boetticher have influenced future directors and why they are still so enjoyable today.

Aruzza

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1972, color, 73 min.

Arruza is a fascinating documentary about the life of legendary Mexican bullfighter Carlos Arruza. A champion fighter with a flamboyant and charming personality, Arruza was a sensation in Mexico, Europe, and America before he died tragically in a car crash in 1966. Many years in production, the film is narrated by Anthony Quinn and features footage of Arruza and his family, friends, and admirers.

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December 3 (Saturday) 7 pm

Seven Men From Now

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1956, color, 78 min.
With Randolph Scott, Lee Marvin, Gail Russell

The first of the seven films pairing actor Randolph Scott with director Budd Boetticher, Seven Men From Now stars Scott as Ben Stride, a man seeking revenge as he pursues the seven outlaws who killed his wife during a robbery of a Wells Fargo station. Burt Kennedy's script is suspenseful and humorous, and this solid Western also features an unforgettable performance by Lee Marvin as one of the bandits.

The Rifleman - "Stopover"

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1961, b/w, 30 min.
With Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix

Drawn from the HFA's vast holdings of The Rifleman television series, we present a rare screening of an episode of the popular Chuck Connors western, directed by Budd Boetticher.

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December 3 (Saturday) 9 pm

The Tall T

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1957, color, 78 min.
With Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Sullivan

Considered by many to be one of the best collaborations between Randolph Scott and Budd Boetticher, The Tall T is based on an Elmore Leonard story and was adapted for the screen by Burt Kennedy. Richard Boone's band of outlaws holds up a stagecoach, taking a copper baron's daughter (Maureen O'Sullivan) as a hostage and Scott as a prisoner. A tentative romance blossoms while Scott plans their escape, which eventually leads to a suspenseful final showdown with the villains.

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December 4 (Sunday) 9 pm

Decision at Sundown

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1957, color, 80 min.
With Randolph Scott, John Carroll, Karen Steele

In this bleak and unusual Western, Randolph Scott stars as Burt Allison, a man who obsessively rides from town to town, determined to find and seek revenge on Tate Kimbrough (Carroll), the man he believes drove his wife to suicide. When Allison finally rides into the right town he finds Kimbrough in the middle of his wedding to Lucy (Steele), but finds little support for his cause from the townsfolk or the corrupt sheriff.

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December 5 (Monday) 9 pm

Buchanan Rides Alone

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1958, color, 78 min.
With Randolph Scott, Craig Stevens, Barry Kelley

Though a lesser-known film in the Scott-Boetticher canon, Buchanan Rides Alone is a compelling Western in which Scott rides into a border town only to inadvertently become involved in a murder. Because Scott upsets the powerful and corrupt family that runs the town, he is forced to surrender his money and leave, but he soon comes back seeking revenge. Plot twists, shifting loyalties, and double-crosses build suspense as Scott attempts to seek justice for himself and the victims of the corrupt family's crimes.

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December 6 (Tuesday) 9:15 pm

Ride Lonesome

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1959, color, 73 min.
With Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, Pernell Roberts

Scott stars as Ben Brigade, an aging bounty hunter who captures outlaw Billy John (James Best) for two purposes: monetary reward and revenge-John's brother killed Brigade's wife. As Brigade and John make their way back to civilization they meet up with a beautiful widow (Karen Steele) and two outlaws hoping to receive pardons because of Best's capture. Further complicating the journey, the group faces danger from unfriendly Indians. Ride Lonesome was tightly scripted by Burt Kennedy, and the excellent supporting cast features familiar villain Lee van Cleef as well as James Coburn in his screen debut.

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December 13 (Tuesday) 9:15 pm

Comanche Station

Directed by Budd Boetticher
US 1960, color, 74 min.
With Randolph Scott, Nancy Gates, Claude Akins

Comanche Station features Scott as Jefferson Cody, a man who has spent years unsuccessfully searching for his wife, who was kidnapped by the Comanches. Cody manages to rescue a Senator's wife (also kidnapped by the Comanches), and attempts to bring her back to civilization to collect the reward. Along the way he runs into an old enemy who wants the money for himself. Burt Kennedy's script is at turns melancholy and humorous, and provides a fitting tone for this final collaboration between Scott and Boetticher.

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