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30 Segments




Ritchie Valens Becomes a Human Cuisinart

Lou Diamond Philips had his breakout role in the film La Bamba. Now he gets to stretch his acting chops as a knife-wielding, peyote-eating cowboy in Young Guns. He says he chooses his roles carefully to avoid being typecast as an "ethnic" actor.


Charles Grodin Discusses his Hollywood Journey.

Actor Charles Grodin. Unlike his contemporaries - and friends - like Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford, Grodin achieved the great success that every actor strives for only recently. He starred with Robert De Niro in last year's "Midnight Run," his first major success in a long, twisted journey through the acting profession. Grodin has written a memoir about his passage; it's titled It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here.


Writer Thomas McGuane Discusses His Work.

Writer Thomas McGuane. McGuane's been called "Ernest Hemingway with a sense of humor ... (and) ... Franz Kafka journeying through Montana. He's the author of the acclaimed novels The Sporting Club, Ninety-Two In The Shade, and To Skin A Cat. McGuane's new novel is called Keep The Change. It follows a self-despising artist as he travels to Montana to try to make a new life for himself. McGuane himself runs a ranch in Montana.


Film Director Walter Hill.

Film director Walter Hill. His newest film, which he produced and directed is "Geronimo: An American Legend." He's best known for action-oriented films which include, "Hard Times," "The Long Riders," "48 HRS," "Streets of Fire," and others.


Cult Film Director Sam Raimi

Raimi is best known for 1982's cult classic "The Evil Dead," which Steven King called "the most ferociously original horror film of the year." He has just directed his first big budget film, "The Quick and The Dead," starring Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman. It's a western with a touch of humor. He also directed 1990's hit "Darkman."


Black Singing Cowboy Herb Jeffries.

Singer/Actor Herb Jeffries. In the late 1930's he became the first and only black singing cowboy on the silver screen. Then in the late 1940's he sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. At 83, Jeffries has recently recorded his western songs for the first time on an album - "The Bronze Buckaroo (Rides Again)" (Warner). Included on this album are highlights from his work with Earl Hines (who discovered him) and Ellington, including "Flamingo" and the original version of "You, You Darlin."


Appreciating Ennio Morricone.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new box-set of film music by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, "A Fistful of Film Music" (Rhino).


West to 'Yuma' Again, By Way of Hollywood

Fresh Air's film critic reviews 3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.

It's a remake of the 1957 movie of the same title — which was in turn based on an Elmore Leonard short story.


When Aliens 'Attack' And Fight 'Cowboys.'

The sci-fi Western Cowboys & Aliens and the low-budget British film Attack the Block both open this weekend. Critic David Edelstein says both movies bring people together from different walks of life — but only one is really worth seeing.


John Wayne: Icon Of America's Booming Confidence.

It's been more than 30 years since the rugged film star's death, yet he still looms large in the national psyche. Critic John Powers was surprised to find that the indomitable American fighting man was actually a hard-earned act of self-invention.


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