Tuesday, 5 October 2010


My obit of Irving Ravetch, who along with his wife Harriet Frank, Jr. wrote a number of outstanding movies, particularly those directed by Martin Ritt, is in today's Guardian. You can link to it here. Hombre remains one of my favourite westerns, one I consider considerably underrated, and The Cowboys (directed by Mark Rydell) was probably appreciated less than it should have been because John Wayne was starring in it. Hud is one of the best of the contemporary westerns (The Misfits, Lonely Are The Brave) which were popular in the early Sixties, just as the huge western boom on TV was coming to an end.

The Long Hot Summer
is an odd mix of Faulkner and the Actor's Studio, which makes it seem very much like a Tennessee Williams play. But the Ravetches were very good with Newman (in Norma Rae Ron Liebman does a Jewish Newman, ironically, of course). In my original version of the obit I had actually assigned the Ravetches blame for creating the opportunity for Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech, but not surprisingly, that was lost along the way...

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