Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ring of Fire (1961): This Movie Is So Bloody Awesome That I Don't Even Have a Fake Alternate Post Title


Ring of Fire is a '60s film. It stars David Janssen. It has an epic theme song. It has sullen, punk gangster teenagers (led by Frank Gorshin...which is just weird). IT TAKES PLACE AND WAS FILMED IN WASHINGTON. GLORIOUS WASHINGTON.

If there was the presence of tofu and/or a cameo of Annette fake surfing -- I would know for certain this film was created specifically for me.

It was utterly perfect. (In fact it received 6/5 stars. ;-D)

A huge, huge thank you goes to Auntie Casey for taping and sending this film to me. THANKS AUNTIE CASEY!

{So, first of all, you need to go watch this movie. It is not available on DVD or VHS, but it IS going to be playing on TCM June 18th!}

I'm a big fan of Pacific Northwest cinema -- specifically centered in Glorious Washington (Oregon is not NEARLY as cool ;-D). This movie just made me happy.

It starts out and we find that a gas station in Tacoma has been robbed (Tacoma. MY TACOMA. The City of Destiny). The sullen, punk gangster teenagers who robbed the Tacoma gas station are now in Shelton -- where this film takes place (Shelton is about an hour or so south of my house...not far at all).

Every review, EVERY REVIEW -- whether by bloggers, on IMDb, or what -- has falsely stated that Ring of Fire takes place in Oregon (Oregonians are always trying to latch onto Washington's coolness. ;-D). A portion of the movie WAS filmed in Oregon: the town and burning sawmill (they needed a sawmill to burn and couldn't burn down the still-functioning Shelton mill). However, the film takes place IN Washington and the rest of the movie was filmed in Washington... and the cinematography is GORGEOUS.

There are lengthy sections that take place in the forest and its all so utterly wunderbar. Although, there are also lengthy sections that depict a forest fire...not wunderbar (I actually get really stressed out because I'm a tree dork...haha).

ANYWAY, I thoroughly enjoyed Ring of Fire. David Janssen was so utterly brilliant. He really had the least interesting character type: the noble sheriff. But, he made the character so interesting. The viewer sees a whole character, with an actual personality. And I was definitely wondering about his past (so many random mentions THAT WERE UNRESOLVED FOR ME. This is unacceptable -- even for Mind-Smushing Entertainment. ;-D).

 ^Beware! He's giving the classic Janssen stare...who knows what will happen next!

And although I've seen Joyce Taylor in random television shows, I had never seen her in such a large part before. SHE WAS AWESOME. She automatically made me think of a '60s Paulette Goddard (her voice especially was crazily similar).


And everyone else was cool and good and all that (everytime I see Frank Gorshin in ANYTHING, I automatically go, "Money! Money! Money!"). I just really liked the movie. The first hour was definitely the strongest. The last thirty minutes were taken up by the forest fire and became less about the story and characterizations. But, the forest fire stuff was definitely impressive.

Anyway. I'd totally recommend this movie. Because one, you have David Janssen playing a sheriff going after some fugitives (oh yes!). Two, you have great supporting acting. Three, you have the impressive effects. Four, YOU HAVE THAT COOL THEME SONG. Five, you have dialogue that is just deliciously '60s. And six, you have stunning cinematography of my homeland: Glorious Washington. Washington is always a good reason to watch a movie (except for a certain film series about a sparkly vampire and his underage girlfriend. THAT is where I draw the line. ;-D).

Sorry that this post makes no sense. My Washington adoration/David Janssen fan-girlism is hard to explain sometimes. haha
Oh, and if you'd like to be even MORE confused: watch a scene in French!


Thanks again, Casey!


Niamhy said...

How very cool that it was filmed in Washington (and Your Washington, not the Other Washington ;-P)! Nothing was ever filmed in my city...sigh...and very rarely in my country, for that matter! Shame... ;-P

And the funny (okay, so it's not really funny, but what the hey!) thing is, I have actually seen this difficult-to-find piece of genius! Once many many moons ago! ;-P

Anonymous said...

I NEED TO SEE THIS. But so many David Janssen movies are just beyond my grasp. It's excruiating.

As I was reading the poster, where it says "An Andrew and Virginia Stone Production", in my mind I clearly heard the guy who does The Fugitive voiceovers reading it.

I'm so weird.


Audrey said...

This sounds interesting! Though I'm not sure I could handle the forest fire. Still scarred for life from "Bambi". Trees getting burned just makes me sad. LOL. ;)

Millie said...

NIAHMY: YOU HAVE SEEN DAVID JANSSEN AND DIDN'T START FANGIRLING?! Emm, there is no hope for hope at all! ;-D

Have you ever seen The Luck of the takes place in Ireland (and I'm almost certain it was filmed there). It also has a leprechaun in it...AND TYRONE POWER. So yeah. ;-D

Emm: Hahahhahahahahah. William Conrad's voice easily becomes stuck in your head!

I know! There are so many David's I want to see! "Generation" most of all...BECAUSE IT ALSO CONTAINS PETE DUEL!

Audrey: I have never and will never watch Bambi. ;-D

It makes me sad too. But, thankfully, because of the not TOO realistic special effects we know that the trees weren't REALLY being burned! ;-D

Anonymous said...

Hi, Millie! Just saw this article about Ring of Fire after I posted in the other thread. Really want to see this. Googling on the Internet right now. Also want to see Generation.

Millie said...

I'm not sure where to find Ring of Fire, but Generation IS online (I just found it a couple of weeks ago...SO EXCITING)!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Millie! Thanks so much for the YT link to Generation. Now if I could just get Ring of Fire. Looks like I waited a bit too long to find this. Everywhere that had it before now says no longer available. However, WB gave me some encouraging news about Harry O. When I asked them about releasing it on DVD, they said "We hope to have more Harry O news for you in the future." Not sure what that means, but have my fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

This movie was mostly filmed around Vernonia, Oregon with the exception of the (spoiler) train crash on burning tressel. That's in Washington. You can get a copy of the movie on DVD from the Vernonia Sentry Market or could a couple of years ago. I was in there somewhere as a toddler.

Anonymous said...

I am a Shelton native born and raised there. Graduated from HS there in '67. Many of the extras used in the film were my classmates. The burning train was an old train and tressel owned by Simpson Timber Company. My dad helped set up the scene where the tressel burns and the train crashes into a burning ravine. The train is still there to this day.

Jamie Brand said...

Thank you for your review of this movie. We are showing it Jan 25 at the 7th St Theatre in Hoquiam. I needed help to describe this one since I had never seen it.

iain said...

Saw this as a kid on its FIRST RELEASE (yes I'm that old) and a) fell in love with it and b) could not, simply could NOT get Duane Eddy's awesome theme song out of my head. Bought the record (vinyl of course) and played and played it 'til it wore out. It's as good as Eddy's other great movie theme Because They're Young. Thank god for TCM, which gives us the opportunity to revisit such gems (Andrew and Virginia Stone's The Last Voyage is on TCM as I write! Dorothy Malone looks about to go down with the ship... )
Great blog, many thanks!

annonomys said...

First watched part of this movie on you tube but wasn't able to finish due to a snafu. I saw that TCM was airing it. I recorded it due to having to leave for work. Great restoration by TCM compared to YouTube. Excellent movie, great scenery and being a fan of David Jansen and Frank Gorshin I am glad I happened upon it, a must see movie.


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