Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BLOOD OF THE VINES: JOHNNY GUITAR


Blood Of The Vines

Wine Goes To The Movies With
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The western, "Johnny Guitar" is sometimes referred to as a "revisionist western" for its many departures from standard western themes.  Francois Truffaut called it a "phony western," although he was one of its big admirers.  Maybe "phony" means something else in French.

The Arizona setting looks authentic enough, although a lot of soundstage scenes were used.  Joan Crawford wouldn't allow any closeups of her to be shot for this movie unless it was in the studio, where the lighting could be better controlled.  Apparently, the sunlight made her look like she'd been whipped with a wire hanger.

Sterling Hayden said that during shooting he was battling Joan Crawford on the set during the day, and his second wife at night.  That might explain his lack of smiles in the movie.  There's no word on which battle he preferred, but at least he could leave Joan Crawford in the studio.

Hayden couldn't sing or play a note of guitar - they altered that axe he lugs around so it wouldn't make any noise - but Peggy Lee does an atmospheric turn on the Johnny Guitar theme.  She also shows what a singer is supposed to do during a slow, lengthy interlude with no words.

"Johnny Guitar" is noted for its hidden subtext concerning the McCarthy witchhunts.  Someone should have alerted Joe McCarthy to the fact that Crawford was on the set.  "Hey Joe, found your witch!"

Purple Cowboy Wines makes wine from grapes grown in the revisionist cowboy town of Paso Robles, California.  Their Tenacious Red, Night Rider Merlot and Trail Boss Cabernet might just be too good for the saloon, but perfect for the movie.  Look for it in a revisionist cowboy wine bar - or grocery store - near you.

You could also ride into the sunset with:
Saddleback Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - For 35 silver dollars, you can tell the bartender to "leave the bottle."

Saddlerock Wines - Straight outta the old west revisionist wine region of Malibu, you can saddle up for a Syrah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay or - gasp - a rosé.

A Cowboy Wine Bar - Well, it's in Arizona.  This may be where the Dancin' Kid is hiding out.

Cowboy Horse Wine Bottle Holder - This accessory has to be a revisionist cowboy horse.


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