Tuesday, 21 October 2014

"A somewhat unconventional unit"

Finally caught up with Rough Riders..

In the dark days before HBO....John Milius, half mad writer of Apocalypse Now and first two Dirty Harry films (and dir of The Big Wednesday) 

ends his directing career making a way over budget 4 hour mini-series for Ted Turner's TNT

 about the insanity of the first American invasion of Cuba - where over-keen future president Theodore Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) leads an army of cowboys and boater wearing gentleman volunteers to save Cuba from the dastardly Spanish

its up here

you'll be surprised how good this is. A strange hybrid western/period war film with enough crazy detail about this era to make it quite believable. Starts with a well written but typically Reaganist tone, ending would be almost within eyeshot of Peter Richardson's classic Charge of The Light Brigade (in that both cover totally amateurish 19thc military fiascoes) if it wasn't a ringside seat to the birth of American imperialism 

Gary Busey as a sozzled ex-confederate cavalry general is a highlight

"We got them damn yankees on the run!"
"The Spanish sir - we've got the Spanish on the run"

The excellent Hardcore History podcast of the same historical insanity is up here

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