Weird History
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11 Fun Facts We Just Learned About Classic Westerns That Got Us A-Hootin' And A-Hollerin'

January 22, 2021 9k votes 1.7k voters 72.2k views11 items

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The Hollywood western was, for a long time, the most popular genre of entertainment in America. Serialized stories and stand-alone tales graced the TV and radio airwaves, filled the pages of dimestore novels and comic books, and danced across cinema screens. The basic elements have always been the same, but the meaning and morality in the stories and their characters have found ways to reinvent themselves for new audiences and cultural norms.

From classics of the genre all the way to modern-day masterpieces, these are the films that we want to revisit over and over - and will once again, with these small details and fascinating trivia in mind.

  • 1

    In 'Tombstone,' When Drunk Doc Demonstrates His Dexterity, He Spins His Guns In Opposite Directions

    Anyone that remembers the classic 1993 film Tombstone fondly will recall the scene where Doc Holiday, played by Val Kilmer, meets the red-sash-wearing Cowboys. Someone says Doc is "so drunk, you're probably seeing double." To which Doc famously replies, "I have two guns, one for each of you." He then spins his pistols on his fingers to demonstrate his dexterity even in his drunken state. What many of us may not have noticed however, is that he spins his guns in opposite directions.

  • 2

    Kurt Russell Ghost-Directed 'Tombstone' When The Original Director Was Fired

    The western classic Tombstone was a troubled production behind the scenes, to say the least. Early on, screenwriter and director Kevin Jarre was fired from the production. Kurt Russell said “I’ll do it, but I don’t want to put my name on it. I don’t want to be the guy.” Russell got the name of director George Cosmatos from friend Sylvestor Stallone, who had worked with him in a similar arrangement on Rambo: First Blood Part II. Cosmatos and Russell came to an understanding whereby they would go over shot lists at the hotel the night before, with Russell approving everything before the next day's shoot.

  • 3

    In 'The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly', It's A Real Skeleton In Arch Stanton’s Grave

    According to Carlo Verdone's Italian-language Verdone Racconta Leone documentary, a woman in Madrid, near where the film was shooting, was renting out her mother's skeleton. Her mom had been an actress in life and had apparently wanted to find a way to continue afterwards as well.

  • 4

    Neil Young Lent Two Of His Buffalo To 'Dances With Wolves'

    Kevin Costner's sprawling epic Dances With Wolves features scenes with 3,500 stampeding buffalo. The production found a privately-owned herd to film in South Dakota. For violent death scenes, mechanical buffalo were used. But for some of the close-ups the crew used a pair of domesticated buffalo named Mammoth and Cody, owned by rocker Neil Young.