The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Cinema #62

(Howard Hawks; 1962)


swac said...

Speaking of The Duke, did anyone notice that box set that Warner Bros. snuck out on the sly? I hadn't heard anything about it, until I spotted it in a store on the weekend...Blood Alley, McQ, The Train Robbers, The Sea Chase and Tall in the Saddle...all for under $50 CDN (Hell, it's just over $40 at! I haven't seen any of these flicks (I've always been curious about McQ) and I figure it's worth it for the watch. Any thoughts?

Tom Sutpen said...

Sorry I didn't see this till now, Stephen. I generally like all of those films (especially "The Train Robbers", which I think is one of Wayne's best later films), and it's a box-set I'd plump down for certainly (though I think I could program a better one).

As for "McQ", so long as you realize that it's an instance of Wayne trying to force that old, brawling, James Edward Grant model into what is essentially a "Dirty Harry" knock-off (with a scene where Duke socks some Peace creeps in the puss, just to show that he hasn't left his old convictions behind, I'm guessing), it's a pretty entertaining film all in all. "Brannigan" was better, but this one is perfectly benign.

swac said...

I'd heard good things about The Train Robbers, and McQ always seemed like a Dirty Harry pastiche, but what's wrong with that?

Too bad they didn't include a special edition of The Green Berets...