Movies to Set the Cowboy Mood by Charlene Sands

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The other night I was in the mood for something “country” and it was too late to pick up a book, so I found “Pure Country” on television and got cozy in my bed to watch it.  I mean, if you can’t take watching a young George Strait at 10 PM, then what good are you anyway, right?   Though, his acting isn’t up to par with his beautiful voice, I enjoyed seeing this movie again.  I like the old fashioned ideals of being true to yourself, no matter the cost.  And I liked the love story, but when it was over, I realized that dear George didn’t kiss the heroine once.  Not even at the end, which I replayed to make sure.

Don’t you wish there were more good romantic movies with a western theme on the horizon?

I mean no one loves a present day cowboy fantasy more than we do, right?913feoxm+CL._SL1500_



Here’s the synopsis for Pure Country:    One of the biggest stars in country music, Dusty Wyatt Chandler (George Strait) grows disillusioned with the hollow performances and overly produced arena shows he’s contractually obligated to play. In an effort to become grounded, Chandler walks away from the spotlight and goes back to the country town of his youth. After finding work at a ranch, he falls for the owner’s daughter, Lula Rogers (Lesley Ann Warren). However, his manager (Isabel Glasser) is determined to keep the show going.

Last month, I saw “The Longest Ride,” starring Scott Eastwood, Clint’s very handsome son who looks very much like his father did in the olden days, only more muscled, more broad.   (Am I painting an appealing picture?)   As my friend and I were driving out of town to catch the one cinema still playing the movie (I did need to see this for my rodeo story research) she turned to me to say, “You know, this only got a 2 star rating.”

Okay, I don’t bank much on movie ratings by highly cynical reviewers, so I went in with an open mind.  And I laughed a little, and cried a lot, and came away feeling emotionally satisfied with the story.  “And that only got 2 stars,” my friend said after the ending credits.  We both loved that story which was really a story within a story.   Two for the price of one!  You have to go see it to find out what I mean.  I actually want to read the book to see how author Nicholas Sparks, managed to do it in print.  Sometimes, I think it’s easier to SHOW the story than TELL the story, but that may only be me talking with my writer hat on.

Here’s the synopsis for The Longest Ride:The Longest Ride

Former bull-riding champion Luke (Scott Eastwood) and college student Sophia (Britt Robertson) are in love, but conflicting paths and ideals threaten to tear them apart: Luke hopes to make a comeback on the rodeo circuit, and Sophia is about to embark on her dream job in New York’s art world. As the couple ponder their romantic future, they find inspiration in Ira (Alan Alda), an elderly man whose decades-long romance with his beloved wife withstood the test of time.

I’m in need of inspiration and love a good cowboy who gets the girl story.  So tell me, are there any really good present-day western themed romance stories out there that you’ve seen lately in the movies or on TV?bookmark

To celebrate the release of my 2nd Moonlight Beach Bachelors series, The Billionaire’s Daddy Test, I have a special prize today, one of these beautiful Brighton Bookmarks along with a copy of one of my backlist books goes to one blogger today.   

Also starting on June 14th and June 16th respectively check out The Billionaire’s Daddy Test as a Goodreads Giveaway and the .99 cent sale of The Secret Heir of Sunset Ranch!

Goodreads Giveaway


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Western Movies for 2011–Old, New and Alien

Which TV westerns would you like to see made into movies?  There’s one in the works that I just found out about. I saved that info for last, because this blog started out on movie westerns for 2011, a mix of cross-genre and traditional approaches that says a lot about the changes in our culture.

To me, the most interesting mash-up is Cowboy’s and Aliens, maybe because my husband is a big Sci-Fi fan.  The bigger the monster, the better.  You can’t have too many giant ants crawling toward your hometown. Neither can you have too many zombies threatening to take over every person on Planet Earth.  I thought of him when I was googling stuff for a recent blog. A movie poster came up for Cowboys and Aliens.  I thought it was hilarious.  Surely someone was joking . . .


The movie comes out in July 2011 and it stars Daniel Craig, my favorite James Bond by far. It also stars Olivia Wilde and Harrison Ford, who is forever etched in my mind as Han Solo, space cowboy extraordinaire. The idea originated as a 2006 graphic novel. Created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Voley, Cowboys and Aliens mixes the western and science fiction genres.          

 Here’s the write up from IMDB:  “A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.” I love this!  My husband won’t be able to resist the alien spaceship, and I’m on board with the cowboys.

Cowboys and Aliens isn’t the only cross-genre western to be in the movie theaters.  Has anyone seen Rango?  It’s out now, and I confess I haven’t seen it. Johnny Depp is the voice of Rango, a chameleon who ends up in the town of Dirt.  There he meets a community of desert creatures in need of a sheriff. The story is full of classic western-isms.  A bank gets robbed. Someone cuts off the water to the town.  A grizzled old cowboy gives Rango much needed advice and wisdom. And, for course, there’s a duel.

Rango is a western . . . it’s also a cartoon and an alternative reality story.  What an interesting mix!

I’m pretty much a purist when it comes to western movies.  True Grit (both the old and the new) is more my style, but I’m excited about these cross-genre movies. Not only are they crossing lines in terms of “story,” they’re crossing into places where westerns will find new  fans.  Both movies will have video games, and Rango is bound to make a splash with children.

It all bodes well for the western genre.  But I’m most curious to see is what it does to western traditions.  I can’t help but think of Gene Autry’s “Cowboy’s Code.”  I hope the new movies reflect those values, because that’s what makes the western genre great.

I just did some more googling and found something else.  It looks like The Big Valley is coming to the big screen with a story about Heath, the Barkley son played by Lee Majors. Filming is on hiatus, but it’s supposed to be finished this year. With Lee Majors (as Tom Barkley, the father) and  Aidan Quinn (not as Heath, but he’s the lead), I’m all for it!

 Has anyone seen Rango?  Who else is eager to see Cowboys and Aliens? Any thoughts on The Big Valley?  All this movie talk, and now I’m in the mood for popcorn!