I had some fun recently on a long drive fantasizing about what our upcoming release Blood Country would look like if it was a 1950s Western film instead of a modern day movie. Of course, I love the classics of this genre, especially the ones directed by John Ford, Howard Hawks, Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher.
So for the hell of it, I did a side by side comparison of how I would have cast the movie in the 1950s (this is a fantasy after all).
Sheriff Dan Lee
Ward Bond for Cotton Yancey
I have actually told Cotton a few times that he’s my Ward Bond. The latter actor appeared in many of my favorite John Ford films, along with some Hawks pictures, and could play everything from a bit character role to a lead, a quiet man to a boisterous one. Mr. Yancey has the same range.
Victor Mature for Chris Bosarge
Vic Mature is a sadly underrated actor. Just watch his performance as Doc Holliday in My Darling Clementine by John Ford, which is the least accurate but still best Wyatt Earp movie. He possesses the same qualities I saw in Chris Bosarge: charming with a slight sense of being deviant.
John Ireland for Jeremy London
Ireland was always good and he mostly played the heavy (a term used more in the old days meaning the bad guy). However I’d like to see him in the role Jeremy London played for our film: a quiet, intense deputy.
Lucille Ball for Marlene Cupit
I got to thinking that no one could play this role as well as Marlene Cupit did other than Lucille Ball. Yes, the “I Love Lucy” cast in a Western! She could play serious roles and I think she’d be perfect for this tough but spunky sheriff’s wife.
Jack Elam for Creek Wilson
Character actors populated the Western as much or more than any genre. One legend is Jack Elam. Though he lacks the physical dominance that Creek Wilson brings to the character of John T., I would love to have worked with him in this fun character role as the Texas lawman.
I could go on like this all day, about Blood Country or classic Hollywood dreaming for any of our films).