A Movie A Day: Quint on THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB (1970)
I'm not opening any letter from a lawyer on an empty stomach.
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day.
[For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.]
Today we follow both Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart over from yesterday’s FIRECREEK over to the other feature on the same disc, THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB.
Let me get this out of the way up front… I was ready to cut this movie off… I’ve had a very long and busy day out here in LA, topped off with a great cherry-popper of a screening at the New Beverly (the wonderful INGLORIOUS BASTARDS). I didn’t know if I was even going to get to the movie tonight as tired as I am, but goddamnit… I’ve made it almost 2 months and I wasn’t going to at least give the movie a go before retiring.
So it’s a testament to the flick that I watched it all. It’s a fucked up movie. A very fucked up movie. You’ll see why in a second…
Jimmy Stewart is playing Jimmy Stewart… older, greyer, but same ol’ nice guy. He runs cattle in the Old West and gets a letter (some 2 years after it was originally sent) telling him that his scoundrel brother was shot and has left him his establishment in Cheyenne.
Stewart gets there and finds his brother was beloved by the townsfolk. Keep in mind this guy has never been special in his life and suddenly he has a thousand dollars in his pocket, the finest cigars shoved into his mouth and free drinks from the best saloon in town.
Of course he finds that the Cheyenne Social Club, which he now owns, is a whorehouse.
Seriously, the movie is about a nice guy who turns into a vengeance-seeking pimp… as played by Jimmy Stewart!
Now, he doesn’t go full pimp, but the movie seems to tell you that it’s bad to try to close the cathouse… the town will turn on you, the girls will feel betrayed and get sick and abused… in short, your life will turn into a sort of walking hell.
But when one of your broads is battered by the town asshole, you strap on a gunbelt and deal out some pimp justice… suddenly the girls are happy, the town is happy, you’re liked and respected…
Henry Fonda plays another cowhand, a chatty-cathy type that follows Stewart around. They are perfect companions. Stewart doesn’t say much and Fonda says more than enough for the both of ‘em, telling stories over and over again, but with the same enthusiasm as if it was his first time.
Fonda’s also a coward, running at the first sign of trouble… He’s a lot wrapped into one character. There’s a little Jiminy Cricket to him, a little Cowardly Lion and little horny toad. He fucks all the women at the brothel by the time the third act starts.
Speaking of the women, every single one of the girls at the Old West Bunny Ranch are hot, especially 1970 Shirley Jones as the Mama Bear named Jenny. Perfect age. Mature, but still youthful and beautiful.
Gene Kelly (yeah, that Gene Kelly) produced and directed the picture and made it a lot more filmic than yesterday’s Stewart/Fonda picture. I also get a feeling that Kelly’s sense of humor was a lot more randy than his image suggests. There’s a lot of innuendo here and it’s done in such a lighthearted way that I believe betrays an off-color streak in Mr. Kelly.
Final Thoughts: I know this is a short one, but I’m really damn tired… The movie isn’t perfect, it doesn’t really tell a story that demands to be seen, but just on the bizarre factor alone it’s worth catching. Stewart and Fonda are both great, the technical side of the filmmaking is leaps and bounds better than FIRECREEK and the girls are gorgeous. It’s a very light, fluffy movie that could very well be a favorite of Hugh Hefner’s. If he doesn’t see a little of himself in Stewart’s character I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Also look out for Old Man Gogan from PETE'S DRAGON as a baddie, one of the Johnsons from BLAZING SADDLES as a bank man and a great conversation on politics between Stewart and Fonda.
The schedule for the next 7 days is:
Thursday, July 31st: THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956)
Friday, August 1st: THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS (1957)
Saturday, August 2nd: VON RYAN’S EXPRESS (1965)
Sunday, August 3rd: CAN-CAN (1960)
Monday, August 4th: DESPERATE CHARACTERS (1971)
Tuesday, August 5th: THE POSSESSION OF JOEL DELANEY (1972)
Wednesday, August 6th: QUACKSER FORTUNE HAS A COUSIN IN THE BRONX (1970)
Tomorrow we get more Jimmy Stewart going with Hitchcock’s THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. See you then!
June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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July 31, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST
lawyer just ate lunch?
July 31, 2008, 8:02 a.m. CST
Sounds kinds crazy...
July 31, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST
It seems like a tremendous amount of wasted time and effort to review these old films. My sense is that few are actually reading your reviews. To be frank, I skip over them. There's too much "cool" news to catch up on than to waste time reading stuff you never saw before.
July 31, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST
I like these reviews.
July 31, 2008, 8:37 a.m. CST
I love reading these reviews. Keep up the great work!
July 31, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST
I find it interesting that Trazadone doesn't have the time to read the review, but does have time to post in the talkback.
July 31, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST
is one of the better recurring features on AICN. It's like Harry's DVD column, but with less shilling.
July 31, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST
and I really liked CHEYENNE last time I saw it, tho that was many years ago. Looking forwards to seeing what Quint makes of the Hitchcock. Hitch himself greatly preferred the remake, tho I reckon the original version's stronger.
July 31, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST
Watch a movie and write a film review every day? Given that only 7 people have posted on this so far I'd say it's not worth the time it's taking away from your life to do this. By my estimation you're spending upwards of 30 hours/week on this effort. It's not a criticism of you, it just seems like a waste.
July 31, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST
Considering that at this point, well over 50% of the "Cool News" on this site now involves remakes or sequels of existing older movies or adaptations of comic books (and that's not an exaggeration) why AIN'T IT COOL to look back and appreciate those that came before? What's cool (or apparently, according to the Trazadones and Chumkids of the world, USED TO BE cool) about being a true film geek is KNOWING YOUR SHIT. How are you supposed to appreciate modern movies...which are now packed to the gills with "homages" (aka the recycled ideas of creators who were actually creative) if you don't know the context of those rip offs? Yeah, sure, you can be a fucking lazy ass punk and go to Wikipedia to, say, find the direct references to THE SOUND OF MUSIC or the original KING KONG that have come up in two dozen lesser movies since its release, but it would be more coherent and perhaps even funny if you had the knowledge from actually watching the film. Or are you one of those people who have seen the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake without seeing the original, or are looking forward to seeing the remake of FRIDAY THE 13TH because Jason and his hockey mask are so cool even though you don't realize Jason wasn't the killer in the original and didn't pick up the hockey mask until Part 3! And here's where some might say "well, I'm not a retard, I've seen THOSE old movies," you're still missing the point. Here's the point...if you don't "get" the point of Quint's column, if you don't like being reminded of film's rich history, here's a truth you may never admit to: YOU ARE NOT A REAL MOVIE FAN. YOU DO NOT APPRECIATE FILM. You are the kind of person who puts moving pictures in front of their eyes for two hours to hold your attention and be dazzled by the loud noises and colorful pictures. There's nothing wrong with that...those kinds of people are pretty common, and hey, they may read a lot or have other interests that may or may not make them deeper individuals. But don't come here, to an unabashedly FILM GEEK site and act like you're part of the crowd when you're clearly not, and then drop criticisms or judgment on the kind of love for film that drove Harry to create this site in the first place. There's a reason the original KING KONG used to be the background of AICN...the Peter Jackson version wasn't a remake of the 1978 version, you know? There was a--get this--an OLD FILM called KING KONG. Weird huh? Who knew there was any movie made before your 6th birthday? If this sounds harsh, well...it's meant to be.
July 31, 2008, 9:23 a.m. CST
You think Q would keep doing this after 60 days if he wasn't getting a bunch of positive feedback through email or the talkbacks? You're out of your element, Donny!
July 31, 2008, 9:23 a.m. CST
These are still and always will be a waste of time. And anyone who says it isn't self-indulgent is a fool. Quint is basically entertaining himself, considering how barren these talkbacks tend to be and how, when there is activity here, it's usually devoid of any sort of relevant discussion. I do, contrary to popular belief, actually read this column every day or at least skim it. I still think this sort of content isn't appropriate on a website like this. I'm looking for "cool news" and this certainly "ain't it".
July 31, 2008, 9:35 a.m. CST
You sound like the type who gets fidgety during black & white movies. Take some ritalin, cue up your iPod full of BitTorrented movies that you didn't see on a big screen, never paid for & only downloaded because it was new and you heard Angelina Jolie showed her ass in it, and that you treat as disposable media no better or worse than an episode of Italian Spiderman or a StrongBad email cartoon...and stop commenting on something that's only a waste of time if you make it a waste of YOUR time. Quint seems to enjoy what he's doing, and obviously a lot of us enjoy reading it. AICN is free to anyone with an internet connection. Any waste of time is your own damn fault, son.
July 31, 2008, 10:04 a.m. CST
This came out when I was a kid. My parents went to see it because it was a Jimmy Stewart/Henry Fonda western. (I don't think they knew it was about whores.) It's really funny and a great snapshot of the era.
July 31, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST
by Ninja Nerd
I, for one, am digging the hell outta this series. I don't post something every day, but the FIRST thing I click on AICN now is your AMAD review. BTW, after gushing about Robinson Crusoe On Mars to my wife...who'd never heard of it, much less seen it...I got an early birthday present of the DVD. As for Cheyenne Social Club, I love this movie. For me, the conversations between Fonda and Stewart are outstanding examples of movie dialogue done right. Ignore the idiot trolls who don't know jackshit about cinema and apparently, are too lazy and stupid to learn. I thank you for the hard work and time you're putting in on this.
July 31, 2008, 10:26 a.m. CST
a blast. I've made an effort to catch some of them on the strength of the write ups and in particular Papillion, Klute and D.O.A have been very memorable so thanks bud. <p> This flick sounds right up my alley too, so game on.
July 31, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST
July 31, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST
Quint, let's get back to teenage sex comedies. Have you seen Fraternity Vacation? How about Sorority Babes in the Simeball Bowl-O-Rama?
July 31, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST
Amen, brother. I agree with every word. I love this column BECAUSE it celebrates old movies, and movies in general, all types, not just the narrow definition of what's popular and being hyped now to hyper kiddies like Trazadone and Chumkid. AND...it just so happens, I love this movie too. It's a lot of fun, plain and simple. Shirley Jones was one hot mama back in the day! There was something about her that just exuded good clean dirty sex.
July 31, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST
by Twilight Zone Prisoner
I agree with several of the previous remarks Quint (especially MCVamp). As a fan of old movies this is the first column I read to make sure I don't fall behind or miss a commentary on a film that shouldn't be overlooked or would be a worthy addition to an actor's body of work. Conversely, if it turns out to be a dud, I'd like to know the reasons also and maybe save some time. <p> I'm also not a frequent poster but if you have watched and written about a movie a day, I figured I could at least dash off a line or two telling you your effort is appreciated. I re-iterate my suggestion from a previous column where I mentioned you could pass the column for a couple of weeks or a month to one of the other contributors if you're pressed for time off. That way we'd see what's missing from other writer's film viewing libraries and you'd get a break as well.
July 31, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST
not important, but just a tasty little treat, and yes, Shirley Jones was very sexy in this, one of Fonda's goofiest characters, a silly cowhand...keep up the good work
July 31, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST
These columns are great. Many I have seen, and getting the perspective of a fresh set of eyes is fun and enlightning. Quint freaking out over Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda playing a pimp and his enforcer, in an "old school studio system" movie directed by Gene Kelly, and Shirly Jones is the madame?? Too Cool!<p>I think Peter Fonda said this is one of his favorites because his dad and Stewart, real-life best friends, "are playing each other." In real life Jimmy was the one who would talk your ear off.-----later-----m
July 31, 2008, 1:49 p.m. CST
Shirley was quite the fetching woman, and surprise! (she still kinda is)<p> and Tradazone has been reading all these movie-a-day talkbacks and realized that the best way to get a whole bunch of people to talk about you is to be the first dumbass that says, "dur i don git da poynt of itall" - he's trying (hard!) to be a troll, but he's just a gimped mongo - he is to be pitied and then immediately forgotten.
July 31, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST
by Harry Weinstein
Hang in there, Quint.
July 31, 2008, 3:40 p.m. CST
absolutely best column on AICN. I would not check in daily if it wasn't for your contribution. Love the eclectic mix of semi-obscure films... Netflix has you to thank for my ever-lengthening queue!
July 31, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST
by Mavra Chang
As an admitted classic movie junkie, I have absolute admiration and appreciation for Quint's columns. Reading his reviews has become one of the high points of my day. Let the haters slink back into the slime while the rest of us have a good time learning about film history.
July 31, 2008, 6:48 p.m. CST
I enjoyed this movie as a kid and haven't seen it in many years, but I remember it being good. If you are looking for a movie you might have missed in the 80's check out 'Dead End Drive-In'...it's a low budget flick similar to repo-man in style about a new government policy to help clean up poverty by incarcerating the poor. People going to the drive-in are given a choice to pay the normal price, or get in free if they can't afford it. with two different entrances. The free entrance has no exit. It's no masterpiece, but it's always stuck in my mind so it's got that going for it.
July 31, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST
Best of luck with the The Home, it sounds cool.
July 31, 2008, 7:18 p.m. CST
This is probably the only column on AICN that is actually about film, not just hype. Good stuff, Quint. <p> The Possession of Joel Delaney. Fuck, man, that is some scary shit. Really menacing and disturbing.
July 31, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST
Sure there are better movies I could be watching. Saw The French Connection last night; Klute and Dog Day Afternoon just came in the mail. But I was in the mood for something light and mindless. <p>Thanks Quint. I'm really digging these reviews. Some I've seen, some I'll never watch, some I've always intended to see but haven't found the time, and some I've never heard of but, from reading your review, think "I'd like to see that". And sometimes I'm reminded of a classic I have yet to see (like Straw Dogs or Falling Down).
July 31, 2008, 10:36 p.m. CST
Outside of Vertigo, that's my favorite Stewart flick.
Aug. 3, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST
He gushes abuot the hooker chicks so much in his review...actually the only thing I remember about this movie is how smoking hot the partridge family chick was in it. I'm sure the others were sweet too.
Nov. 8, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST
Regarding randiness: Debbie Reynolds claims he slipped her the tongue during the final kiss in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN...
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