It’s 3:10 to Yuma weekend and naturally all things West in the media are revolving around its screening this Friday.
■ Here’s a very thorough piece on the making of the film from the Hollywood Reporter. While we’re on the subject, The New York Times recently ran a very interesting article on Elmore Leonard’s Westerns on the screen, focused (as expected) on 3:10 to Yuma. And here’s an extensive interview with the film’s screenwriting team of Derek Haas and Michael Brandt.
■ The New York Post takes the opportunity to touch on the business (or, to be more exact, box office) side of film Westerns, focusing on how Hollywood is banking on four movie releases (two of which I wouldn’t technically consider Westerns, but what the heck) to “bridge the gap between this summer's $4 billion box office and the release of the end-of-year award contenders.”
According to the brief article, “Only three Westerns have grossed more than $100 million at the box office since 1980, and aside from ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ none of the Western-themed films released since 2000 has touched $70 million.”
■ It seems that 3:10 to Yuma has inspired everyone to make its own list of favorite Westerns. Here’s one from movie website Joblo.com, while First Showing.net enumerates its “Top Four Recommended Westerns to Watch Before Seeing 3:10 to Yuma.” Not to be one-upped, The Onion comes up with its own list of “17 Truly Grim Westerns.”
■ For Western art lovers, there’s a new magazine in town: Western Art Collector. Its voluminous first issue reads like a veritable fine art catalog with pages and pages of beautifully reproduced illustrations. You can take a sneak peek at its contents here.
■ The Spring 2007 issue of the Claremont Review of Books has an article on Larry McMurtry and the American West.
■ An excellent online resource for out-of-print fiction, Many Books.net has a vast Westerns library, including several turn-of the-century titles as well as novels and audio books from Max Brand, Bret Harte, Zane Grey, James Oliver Curwood, O. Henry, Clarence E. Mulford, Owen Wister and personal favorite Karl May (best known for his character Winnetou).
■ Ozarks Magazine recently ran a very nice profile of Dusty Richards.
■ Even if it’s not strictly Western-related, Astonishing Adventures Magazine, a new online publication dedicated to reviving pulp fiction, includes two items that might be of interest to Saddlebums readers: an interview with Texas writer Joe R. Lansdale and a very entertaining short story from newcomer Brad Reed, entitled “The Rude Tin Star.”
■ And finally, Venice’s film festival pays tribute to the "Spaghetti Western" this year by screening more than 30 Italian cowboy flicks.