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High and Low (Brow) – Episode 2.6 – Hopping Mad

Posted on Aug 27, 2010 by | 5 comments

And we’re back! We’ve fallen a bit behind in posting episodes of High and Low (Brow) and rather than place blame (its James’ fault) I’ll just say we will try and have a quick turn around for our next episode (if James allows it).

This episode we focus on two lesser known Dennis Hopper films, The Sons of Katie Elder and Mad Dog Morgan. The Sons of Katie Elder certainly has the better pedigree, with its epic scale and big names such as director Henry Hathaway and stars John Wayne and Dean Martin, as well as a host of other well known actors from its time. And Mad Dog Morgan, a low budget Ozploitation film from Australia which has its share of heavy hitters (Frank Thring, Jack Thompson and Aussie aboriginal star David Gulpilil) but its genre conventions and micro budget certainly hindered the film from being seen by the mainstream, but does that mean it is the weaker film? Stay tuned to find out.

Be sure to stick around for the selection portion of the show, as James takes the reigns once again and the theme he chooses reveals some of the deep seeded desires and needs from his long lost childhood. It also turns out to be a doozy of a theme as our two choices for next episode should be a heck of a lot of fun.

And as always James and I tend to ramble a bit, while we try and end the episode at around the 70 minute mark, my implying James’ mom is a circus freak and inadvertently spoiling Twilight: Breaking Dawn for James cause a bit of a ruckus. And at that point, hilarity ensues.

If you have any recommendations for films we could watch for the podcast, or want to suggest a potential theme for us to use, or simply want to tell James how awesome he is, feel free to email us and tell us your ideas. If you enjoy the show make sure to subscribe through iTunes or our RSS feed so you can catch every new episode. Also, please friend James on Facebook. Because it will frighten and confuse him. And while you’re there be sure to join our relatively new Facebook group devoted to Where the Long Tail Ends.

One more thing, if you enjoy the show feel free to donate to it through PayPal in either a single installment or as a recurring donor. We’d love to upgrade some of our equipment and anything you donate will go directly towards us getting some decent mics and perhaps even pop screens that aren’t made out of cotton balls.

As always, thanks for listening!

Opening Theme – Adonai by Ennio Morricone
Closing Music – Spaceman by Harry Nilsson

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Matt Gamble
I review movies. I run a movie theatre. I annoy people. I let my dogs lick my face whenever they want. Sometimes I'm even a halfway decent human.
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  1. It feels like the return of an old friend.

    I’m definitely going to have to check out Mad Dog Morgan. The Sons of Katie Elder really seems to be part of the dying gasp of the traditional Hollywood western. John Wayne was still a star andTrue Grit was still in the future, along with a couple of others, but Hollywood really hadn’t figured out what to do with Clint Eastwood and the spaghetti western influences yet and there really wasn’t much energy left in the traditional western.

  2. For sure, Robert, Katie Elder feels like a relic when compared to Mad Dog Morgan. I think I much prefer the more realist style of western than the older, more epic style that Katie Elder represents. Of course, I discovered the western through movies like ‘The Unforgiven,’ so it’s no surprise I prefer later entries in the genre.

    Thanks for tuning in. I’m already looking forward to the next one — I’m curious to see what Matt thinks of Fulci’s ‘The Beyond.’


  3. I think you’ll enjoy Morgan quite a bit Robert. Its got a lot of flair and really has aged remarkably well.

    And I’ll echo the same sentiments about Elder. I liked it well enough but it really feels dated and from a specific time in Hollywood filmmaking, which is both good and bad. Its a nice film, but I’ll probably never watch it again.

    And the next episode should be very fun. I’ve already put the call out to have a guest star on the show which should add to the fun.

  4. I tend to think that Sons of Katie Elder was basically the 60s version of blockbuster bloat/formula. Specifically, trying to do variations on Rio Bravo. Wayne. Martin. A young star to appeal to the teens. Etc.

    Certainly the Anthony Mann westerns of the 50s were alot leaner than what Wayne was doing. Heck, most of Jimmy Stewart’s westerns didn’t have the bloat or formula. Heck, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance wasn’t much earlier.

    • Bloat is a good way to describe the film as the first hour is borderline painful to watch and almost completely unnescessary. If they had gotten to the good stuff in half that time the film would have flowed much better and I probably would have enjoyed it a heck of a lot more.

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