The Ranown Cycle
Budd Boetticher was a remarkable man and remarkable movie director. Perhaps his most significant legacy to us is a series of remarkable Westerns, sometimes referred to as the Ranown Cycle.
Seven Men from Now
Location hunter The Great Silence has located the locations used in Seven Men from Now in the Alabama Hills
Seven Men From Now (1956) - Randolf Scott
Seven Men From Now (1956) - Lee Marvin
Seven Men From Now (1956) - Gail Russell
The Tall T (1957)
The Tall T (1957) - Randolph Scott
The Tall T (1957) - Richard Boone
The Tall T (1957) - Henry Silva
The Great Silence
Ride Lonesome (1959) - Randolph Scott
Ride Lonesome (1959) - Charles Bronson
Ride Lonesome (1959) - Lee Van Cleef
The Great Silence
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
The Ranoun Cycle
Compared with the giant epics of the same era, the films feel almost like short stories, even though they are fully feature length. What is remarkable about them is the density of the structure of the plot. In this respect the movies rank in the first order with superb plots such as The Maltese Falcon. What makes the series of movies remarkable is that it is rare to the point of exclusion that a series of movies is able to maintain this standard in the structure of their plots. Many Westerns ride on their Second Unit action, the fight sequences to maintain viewer interest. But Budd Boetticher's Westerns have plenty of Second Unit action, all set within a much more complex structure of greater dramatic tension. In a way, Boetticher dispenses with the extraneous components of Western movies, leaving only the plot and the Second Unit action.
The movies are not easy to find but have been released on DVD.
Many of the scenes were shot in the Alabama Hills of California at Lone Pine.
An accomplished movie location hunter going under the nome-de-plume The Great Silence has hunted down a lot of these locations and recorded them in his very interesting Weblog:
The Wikipedia page on Boetticher contains information focused on his movie work but a better article on Boetticher, a remarkable man, can be found here:
Boetticher was an accomplished athlete at college and being from a privileged background, decided to train as a Matador down in Mexico. He spent his retirement training horses for Rejoneador the Portuguese mounted bullfighters.
Rejoneo is the highest Equestrian art ranking greater in difficulty than Dressage an Dzhigitovka (sometimes spelled 'Jighitovka').
Boetticher could have played some of the characters in his own motion pictures and would likely have been better than any of them.
In the motion picture, Tequila Sunrise , Budd Boetticher makes a cameo appearance as Judge Nizetitch.
You can see his appearance at 00:50:56. Boetticher's influence is visible later in the movie during a scene on a yacht at 01:28:19 where Raul Julia, playing a Mexican cop/drug-dealer talks with Mel Gibson while the televizor behind them plays a clip of the famous Mexican bullfighter, Carlos Azzura , in action.
Raúl Juliá and Mel Gibson
John Wayne, Randolf Scott, Budd Boetticher
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