BACKLASH

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This is an entertaining Western from 1956, expertly directed by John Sturges. Donna Reed, who plays a tough-talking adventurer, looks hot on a horse — hotter than you might imagine, even though her horsebacking skills seem to have been somewhat limited.

I noticed something very strange while watching it, related to one of the Western paintings of Robert McGinnis, identified on some web sites by the title “Alder Point Station”:

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It duplicates, almost exactly, a shot in Backlash, although McGinnis has eliminated one figure on foot, changed the time from day to night and altered the signage on the stage station from Benton’s Trading Post to Bently’s Trading Post.  Backlash was a wide-screen film, and this painting echoes the composition of the shot with uncanny precision.

I can’t find any information online about this borrowing.  McGinnis doesn’t seemed to have contributed to the advertising art for the picture, and one is tempted to imagine that he just remembered the shot and reproduced it unconsciously, although the change to the sign suggests something more considered.

McGinnis once partially duplicated a scene from The Searchers as a tribute to John Wayne and to the film:

McGinnisEthan

This was, however, an acknowledged homage.  “Alder Point Station” seems to be an unacknowledged lift from the Sturges film.  In any case, it’s a wonderful painting.

Click on the images to enlarge.

[Update: Facebook friend Todd Fletcher recognized the rock formation in the back of the McGinnis painting as Gates Pass, which is located near the "Old Tucson" Western filming complex in Arizona:

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A quick search at the IMDB confirms that Backlash was indeed partially filmed at the Old Tucson location.]

A WESTERN CHRISTMAS STORY

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NOEL — A little pioneer girl and an old Shoshone Indian spend a strange and harrowing Christmas together in a snowbound cabin in the Tetons . . .

One of the six tales in my collection Christmas In the West, available on Amazon for the Kindle or for the free Kindle Reading Apps that work on almost all computers and portable devices.

Get the collection now at the special introductory price of $1.49!

And a merry Western Christmas to you all!

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A WESTERN CHRISTMAS STORY

FortBlissCavalrySoldiers

TWILIGHT — The last days of the horse-mounted U. S. Cavalry, and the bittersweet end of one old horse soldier’s life in it . . .

One of the six tales in my collection Christmas In the West, available on Amazon for the Kindle or for the free Kindle Reading Apps that work on almost all computers and portable devices.

Get the collection now at the special introductory price of $1.49!

And a merry Western Christmas to you all!

A WESTERN CHRISTMAS STORY

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CHRISTMAS IN DECEMBER — An alcoholic father deserted by his wife takes his 16 year-old son to modern-day Las Vegas for Christmas, where both receive gifts of the heart that just might change their lives forever . . .

One of the six tales in my collection Christmas In the West, available on Amazon for the Kindle or for the free Kindle Reading Apps that work on almost all computers and portable devices.

Get the collection now at the special introductory price of $1.49!

And a merry Western Christmas to you all!

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A NEW AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW

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. . . of my book of Western Christmas stories:

Joy to the World!

Mr Fonvielle’s Christmas stories will make you smile. In each story, an unlikely subject shows or is shown a tender generosity that will never be forgotten. Christmas is the occasion for such generosity, little gifts of grace that sometimes have the power to transform a life, or end one with unexpected sweetness. Mr Fonvielle captures the spirit that makes Christmas a universal holiday; and, as always in his writing, the heroes and heroines represent the fringe of society who are naturally drawn to the freedom of the West. These vignettes evoked some of my own Christmas memories, and served to remind me what the holiday is all about.

See the review and check out the book details here.  It’s only $1.49!

A WESTERN CHRISTMAS STORY

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THE ANGEL — Two drifting cowboys, lost souls of the range, are visited by an angel on Christmas Eve who brings glad tidings to both of them . . .

One of the six tales in my collection Christmas In the West, available on Amazon for the Kindle or for the free Kindle Reading Apps that work on almost all computers and portable devices.

Get the collection now at the special introductory price of $1.49!

And a merry Western Christmas to you all!

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A WESTERN CHRISTMAS STORY

Saloon1899

GIFTS — Six whores cook up a Christmas surprise for the patrons of the Desperate Chance saloon in Abilene, Kansas and create a delirious frontier legend . . .

One of the six tales in my collection Christmas In the West, available on Amazon for the Kindle or for the free Kindle Reading Apps that work on almost all computers and portable devices.

Get the collection now at the special introductory price of $1.49!

And a merry Western Christmas to you all!

A WESTERN CHRISTMAS STORY

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RED COLLINS — The story of a nervous killer whose heart is touched by a small boy’s Christmas dream . . .

One of the six tales in my collection Christmas In the West, available on Amazon for the Kindle or for the free Kindle Reading Apps that work on almost all computers and portable devices.

Get the collection now at the special introductory price of $1.49!

And a merry Western Christmas to you all!

Click on the image to enlarge.