Follow by email

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Sad news that Jane Russel passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Ms. Russell, famous for her roles in the 1940's and 1950's in classics such as The Outlaw (1941) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), was discovered by Howard Hughes at the age of 19.

Russell's first film, Hughes' The Outlaw, took years to achieve a wide release. It was filmed in 1941 and took ages to get past the censors, due mostly to the manner in which Jane Russell was filmed. With FIlmChat in 2009, when asked about how this affected her, as a young girl, a new actress, and a devout Christian, Ms. Russell said that, "It was a big fuss! But it was all about some cleavage. Today they are doing cleavage in the back!" She also said that the early controversy got her accustomed to being assertive with the press.

Russell had a great film career that spanned decades and included parts portraying famous cowgirls Calamity Jane (Paleface) and Belle Starr (Montana Belle), and playing opposite such greats as Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, and Roy Rogers. While her career died out a bit in the 1960's, it was revitalized in the 1970's when she became a spokesperson for Playtex. She appeared on television throughout the 1980s and in later years, became an outspoken proponent of her faith in various interviews.She published an autobiography in 1985 called, "Jane Russell: My Paths and My Detours: An Autobiography."

 THE OUTLAW (colourised version)

It may be the Plan 9 From Outer Space of westerns but it's great fun and it's now available in a colourised version - just think a chance to marvel at Jane Russel's breasts in full true to life colour. And it is a good colourisation job too with skin tones looking natural but it can't stop the film from being bad - so bad it's good. The DVD also contains a beautifully restored version of the original black and white cut.

I couldn't believe it when I saw this film on the shelves - I've already got two DVD versions of it but I had to have this one. Not only is there a colour version of the film alongside the black and white, but there's also a pretty insightful commentary from Jane Russel and Terry Moore.

If you don't mind a barking plot that combines Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday and Pat Garret all topped off with lingering shots of Jane Russel wearing a specially designed uplifting bra then this will be your thing. Howard Hawks actually directed some scenes before an argument with Howard Hughes resulted in him leaving the production. And with Howard Hughes running the show the lunatics really had taken over the asylum.

Still every western fans need to see this one - it may be silly but it's fun and the new DVD is astoundingly good.

No comments: