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.
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. 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. 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.
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."
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."
Joel and Ethan Coen's latest film is an adaptation of the Charles Portis western novel True Grit. The filmmakers and writers discuss the making of the film and the difficulties of working with both child actors and horses.
Michelle Williams plays settler Emily Tetherow in Kelly Reichardt's frontier drama Meek's Cutoff. Both Williams and Reichardt join Fresh Air's Terry Gross for a discussion about the film, which was shot with exquisite landscapes and virtually no dialogue.
The Singing Cowboy was one of the country's most popular and prolific film stars during his career; he also gained fame as a radio star, producer and TV personality. Biographer Holly George-Warren traces Autry's lengthy career in Public Cowboy No. 1.
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.
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.