KATY JURADO, 1924 - 2002
Katy Jurado, an Oscar nominee and major actress in Westerns, died July 5th at the age of 78. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on January 16th 1924 as Maria Cristina Estella Marcela Jurado Garcia, daughter of a cattle rancher and an opera singer. Jurado started to appear in Mexican films in 1943. After 15 films in her native country, director Budd Boetticher saw Jurado attending a bullfight (Jurado wrote about the subject for Mexican newspapers) and cast her in his Bullfighter and the Lady (1952), her Hollywood debut. For much of her career Jurado alternated between the two film industries. In the US, she was memorable for the sensual energy she brought to roles in High Noon (1952), One-Eyed Jacks (1961) which was directed by Marlon Brando, Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and John Huston's Under the Volcano (1984). She was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Broken Lance (1954). Jurado's Mexican films were in a broader range of genres and included Luis Bunuel's El Bruto (1952), Ismael Rodriguez's We the Poor and Miguel Littin's The Widow Montiel (1979). She won three Ariel Awards (Mexican equivalent to the Oscars) and one special award. She was married to Ernest Borgnine from the end of 1959 to summer 1963. One of her final films was The Hi-Lo Country (1998), a contemporary Western directed by Stephen Frears and co-starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup and Penelope Cruz.
by Lang Thompson
DOLORES GRAY, 1924 - 2002
Broadway and nightclub star Dolores Gray died June 26th at the age of 78. Her movie career was brief but consisted of high-profile MGM musicals which guaranteed her a place in film history. Gray was born in Chicago on June 7th, 1924 (and where, according to a common story, she was accidentally shot by a gangster as a child and had a bullet in her lung her entire life). As a teenager she began singing in California until Rudy Vallee featured her on his radio show. Gray moved to Broadway in 1944 and then to the London stage in 1947, solidifying her reputation as a singer/actress while constantly giving the gossip columnists plenty to write about. She had two small singing roles in Lady for a Night (1941) and Mr. Skeffington (1944) but didn't really light up the big screen until It's Always Fair Weather (1955) even though Gray reportedly didn't much care for the role. Her rendition of "Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks," which has her gunning down a slew of male dancers on-stage and kicking them through trap doors, is a genuine showstopper. Three more unforgettable musical roles quickly followed: Kismet (1955), The Opposite Sex (1956, which Gray turned down Funny Face to do) and Designing Women (1957). That was it for Gray's film career. She kept busy with TV appearances (mostly singing though she did one 1988 episode of the cult show Dr. Who) and a busy recording and nightclub schedule. In 1987, she appeared in a British production of Follies at Stephen Sondheim's request.
by Lang Thompson
ROD STEIGER, 1925 - 2002
From the docks of New York to the rural back roads of Mississippi to the war torn Russian steppes, Rod Steiger reveled in creating some of the most overpowering and difficult men on the screen. He could be a total scoundrel, embodying Machiavelli's idiom that "it's better to be feared than loved" in the movies. But as an actor he refused to be typecast and his wide range included characters who were secretly tormented (The Pawnbroker, 1965) or loners (Run of the Arrow, 1965) or eccentrics (The Loved One, 1965).
Along with Marlon Brando, Steiger helped bring the 'Method School' from the Group Theater and Actors Studio in New York to the screens of Hollywood. The Method technique, taught by Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, insisted on complete immersion into the character's psyche and resulted in intense, dramatic performances and performers. Steiger made his first significant screen appearance as Brando's older brother in On the Waterfront (1954). Their climatic scene together in a taxicab is one of the great moments in American cinema.
It was a short leap from playing a crooked lawyer in On the Waterfront to playing the shady boxing promoter in The Harder They Fall (1956). Based on the tragic tale of true-life fighter Primo Carnera, The Harder They Fall details the corruption behind the scenes of professional boxing bouts. Steiger is a fight manager named Nick Benko who enlists newspaperman Eddie Willis (Humphrey Bogart in his final screen appearance) to drum up publicity for a fixed prizefight. While the boxing scenes were often brutally realistic, the most powerful dramatic moments took place between Steiger and Bogart on the sidelines.
As mob boss Al Capone (1959), Steiger got to play another man you loved to hate. He vividly depicted the criminal from his swaggering early days to his pathetic demise from syphilis. In Doctor Zhivago (1965), Steiger was the only American in the international cast, playing the hateful and perverse Komarovsky. During the production of Dr. Zhivago, Steiger often found himself at odds with director David Lean. Schooled in the British tradition, Lean valued the integrity of the script and demanded that actors remain faithful to the script. Steiger, on the other hand, relied on improvisation and spontaneity. When kissing the lovely Lara (played by Julie Christie), Steiger jammed his tongue into Christie's mouth to produce the desired reaction - disgust. It worked! While it might not have been Lean's approach, it brought a grittier edge to the prestige production and made Komarovsky is a detestable but truly memorable figure.
Steiger dared audiences to dislike him. As the smalltown southern Sheriff Gillespie in In The Heat of the Night (1967), Steiger embodied all the prejudices and suspicions of a racist. When a black northern lawyer, played by Sidney Poitier, arrives on the crime scene, Gillespie is forced to recognize his fellow man as an equal despite skin color. Here, Steiger's character started as a bigot and developed into a better man. He finally claimed a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Sheriff Gillespie.
Steiger was an actor's actor. A chameleon who didn't think twice about diving into challenging roles that others would shy away from. In the Private Screenings interview he did with host Robert Osborne he admitted that Paul Muni was one of his idols because of his total immersion into his roles. Steiger said, "I believe actors are supposed to create different human beings." And Steiger showed us a rich and diverse cross section of them.
by Jeremy Geltzer & Jeff Stafford
Cast & Crew
In 1861, Lt. Brian Culver, newly commissioned in the Confederate army, rides to the Allerby plantation near San Antonio, Texas, to propose marriage to Julia Allerby. Julia accepts, but when she spots Chino Figueroa approaching, runs off to meet him secretly. Chino, whose family once owned the land surrounding the plantation, but now works for the Allerbys, informs Julia that he and his family are leaving for Mexico to fight with Benito Juarez. Determined to keep the Figueroas as her servants, Julia seductively provokes Chino to kiss her and then claims that he attacked her. A lynch mob forms rapidly, despite the efforts of Col. Allerby, Julia's father, to intervene. Before the lynching can be carried out, however, wealthy cattleman Carl Miller stops the mob at gunpoint. Carl, who is Chino's best friend, left the area three years earlier as a poor man and has returned to deliver orders to Culver. Although Carl does not believe in the war, he has agreed to carry out a cattle drive on behalf of the Confederacy. Anxious for battle, Culver is outraged to learn that he has been assigned to lead a squadron in support of the drive. To make matters worse, Carl, although a civilian, will be the man in charge. Later, when Carl criticizes Julia for her actions toward Chino, she tries to seduce him and he slaps her. She then vows to have Culver kill him. Carl pays a visit to the Figueroas before they leave for Mexico, and he and Chino's sister Mistania affirm their love for each other. Afterward, Carl learns that his father, a German immigrant, will be in Germantown for the duration of the war. From the beginning of the cattle drive, Culver and Carl are in conflict with each other because Culver resents the fact that he is not in the midst of a battle. Three weeks after the beginning of the drive, Carl leads the men and the cattle through a pass. Expecting the pass to be ambushed by Union soldiers, he directs the men to travel at night, and as soon as the men come under gunfire, Culver deserts. Outmanned, Carl's troops are captured by Union soldiers, and because he is leading them, Carl is taken prisoner, even though he is a civilian. After the war ends, a group of former Confederate soldiers under the leadership of Gen. Shelby decide to offer their services to the French in their fight against Juarez. When Carl returns to San Antonio, he meets Bob, Dobe and Jim, three of the men who accompanied him on the cattle drive, and they sign on with John Chisum to round up wild cattle and deliver them to market. Carl then sets out to look for his father, and at his father's cabin, finds Mistania waiting for him. She informs him that Chino has captured a group of marauders led by Culver and is holding them for ransom. Later, Carl learns from Julia that Culver killed his father during a raid on Germantown. Determined that Culver will pay for his father's murder, Carl decides to ransom the men whom Chino is holding. Julia begs Carl to take her with him, but he refuses, knowing how much Chino hates her. Along with Bob, Dobe, Jim and Mistania, Carl rounds up the cattle necessary to ransom the Americans and heads into Mexico. Julia manages to cross the border, and when Carl and Mistania encounter her in a cantina, Carl agrees to take her only as far as Monterrey, where she may be able to find an escort back to the States. His plans change, however, when he learns that Monterrey has fallen to the French. To bypass the city, the herd must go through hostile Apache territory. Hoping to avoid contact with the Indians, Mistania leads the group through waterless territory. Julia continues to behave seductively with Carl, and although her wiles have no effect on him, she rouses Mistania's jealousy. When they finally reach the waterhole, they discover that it has been poisoned and head farther into Apache territory. That night, they successfully fight off a raiding party. Knowing that the Apaches will return, Julia professes her love for Carl and suggests that they desert the others and save themselves. Again rejecting Julia, Carl prepares for battle. In the morning a war party arrives and a fierce battle ensues. The group is saved by the arrival of some of Chino's men, who have discovered the cattle. At Chino's encampment, Carl fights Culver, but decides not to kill him. Learning that the French have refused Shelby's offer of military help, he sends Culver back across the border with Julia, sure that the two will punish each other. Finally free to be together, Carl and Mistania embrace.
Harry Carey Jr.
Michael L. Allman
R. Dale Butts
Earl Crain Sr.
John Mccarthy Jr.
TCM Remembers - Katy Jurado
KATY JURADO, 1924 - 2002
TCM Remembers - Katy Jurado
The film's working titles were South of San Antone and Women of Destiny. Joseph Kane's onscreen credit reads "Associate Producer-Director." The melody from the traditional song "Shenandoah" was used as the music for the song "South of San Antone."