Friday, October 27, 2017

"Colorado Territory" is the November Film Classic in Bigfork

This 1949 movie has all the parts a great western of the period needs and it puts them together in a classic fashion.  “Colorado Territory” has action, drama, wonderful locations, romance, a train robbery, and, a musical score to match as well.  It is actually a remake of a 1941 movie “High Sierra” based on a book of the same name.  But the “Colorado Territory” version brings true 50’s style western adventure to the levels the genre deserves. “Colorado Territory” stars Joel McCrea, and Virginia Mayo.  If you like a good Western, this is one you can see many times and enjoy it all the time.  This November Movie Classic will be shown on the big screen of the Edge Theatre in Bigfork by Jack Nachbar. It will be accompanied by Jack’s presentation providing a better understanding of the time period of the movie.  Date: Thursday, November 9th. Time: 6:30PM. Price: free of charge.

A jail break by an outlaw intending to go straight, but circumstances, double dealers and a woman get in the way. With a train robbery to help out an old friend being the path to a better life, your can guess where that can lead, but the viewer is never sure what is ahead for the stars and the action.  There are enough twists and turns to this action packed western to keep the viewers attention even with the beautiful scenery. A good old train robbery plus a double crossing gang member furthers the complications that are already mixed up. The rest of the action you need to see to appreciate it, and it will not disappoint.

Joel McCrea (1905-1990) For an actor whose career spanned almost 5 decades and 75 movies with lots of different roles, it was the Western that made him most comfortable. He once said, “I always felt so much more comfortable in the western. The minute I got on a horse and a pair of boots on, I didn’t feel like I was acting anymore.” Maybe that was because he was working in film studios long before acting holding horses for stars and doing odd jobs to be around the action.   But his career included much more from a Hitchcock spy film to comedy classics.  He once listed his occupation as a rancher and his hobby as acting. 

Virginia Mayo (1920-2005) was best known for a series of comedy films with Danny Kaye and was Warner Brothers biggest money-maker in the late 1940s. But Raoul Walsh, the director of “Colorado Territory” was one of the few directors to recognize Virginia’s potential as a dramatic actress. In this movie she was not only a good dramatic actress, but played a very hard character. Her character was capable of standing toe to toe and shotgun to shotgun with her man to prove it. Her role as a “Half-breed” saloon-singer is considered one of Virginia’s best roles of her career. 

Westerns have been basic stock for movies since movies began and continued right into the television era.  Most often you just can’t beat a good western for a chance to see lots of scenery, good and bad guys, and gals, horses and lots more.  Well, partner, saddle up and come and see this one on the big screen where it was supposed to be shown in the first place.  

You can do that by coming to Bigfork and see this great film example of a Western for yourself.  And if you might need a nudge or two a little more, you can read what a reviewer of the period, Bosley Crowther, published in June 25 1949 in the New York Times: “…And that's what it is, in essence—a hard-riding, ya-hoo Western film about a good hearted, well-intending bandit who is caught in the death-grip of fate. Sprung out of jail by his henchmen and snagged by the smile of a "decent" girl, he still can't escape the environment of crime into which he has been plunged. And so he gets into that last hold-up—a two-gunned honey on a high-balling train, secretly loaded with marshals and a pair of double-crossing scalawags—he gets shot, he discovers the "good" girl's treachery and rides off, with his ….

So come and great western thriller of a movie. Place: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday November 9th  at 6:30PM. It will be worth going to Bigfork, because Jack will provide you with background about the movie and a cartoon of the period. An appropriate snack will be served courtesy of Jack and his wife/projectionist, Lynn. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sporting Arts Show Exhibit at the Art Gallery in Bigfork

With this Sporting Arts Show at the Edge Center in Bigfork this month the gallery welcomes all Northwoods outdoor enthusiasts to its first such exhibit. The show is a celebration of how many outdoor enthusiasts in the North woods enjoy the the change of seasons from summer to winter. On display at the Edge Gallery in Bigfork until October 28, visitors at the Edge Art Gallery can see and appreciate how a number of artists put into art what this transition of seasons mean to them. The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10AM to 4PM and during other Edge Events.


“We have a rich history of woods, waters, fields, and streams,” says show director Al Gustaveson. “What I envisioned was an event where painters, photographers, and artisans could come together to honor this important part of our history, heritage, and future.”

The result is a diverse exhibit whose participating artists have been featured in places as varied as Field & Stream, the Oval Office, and the movie FargoWhile the show celebrates sporting arts in many forms, a common thread throughout the exhibit is an artistic appreciation of the natural world.

The show features work from a variety of renowned Minnesota and Wisconsin artists— painter and five-time Federal Duck Stamp Competition winner Jim Hautman, wildlife painter and 2017 Minnesota Duck Stamp and Walleye Stamp artist Tim Turenne , fishing guide and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame artist Bob White,

Also see work by landscape artist Dan Wiemer, wildlife photographer Michael Furtman, and woodcut artists John Koch and Betsy Bowen.

Of special interest for many of the visitors, will be and example of a handmade Birch bark canoe. It was made by Jim Wodahl with instructions by Bill Hafeman. With this canoe, it may take some time to study its construction and try to figure out exactly how it was made. Hafeman Canoes are a legend in this part of Minnesota, and to get a chance to see one made with his instructions is a treat. You can't miss it because it dominates the room as they usually do. Hafeman had his "Boatworks" on highway 6 north of Deer River for years and years. My wife and I had a chance to stop and see one of these being built years ago and it was one of those "chance" stops that we will always remember.    

Once again The Sporting Arts Show will be on display at the Edge Center Gallery next to the Bigfork School until October 28 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM and during Edge events. Admission is free.