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The Annals of Rock Snobbery

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A couple of weeks ago, we received this e-query from a reader named Kathy Carter: “I bought and love both books: Rock Snob and Film Snob. Question for you: Today Wolcott posted about Seven Men from Now and calls it a ‘Batjac’ Western. What is Batjac? It is not in the Film Snob book and I searched on your site and got no match. Illuminate, please. You are the only one I trust on such a question.”

We don’t usually do make-a-wish service work for our readers, but even we were stumped by this; our friend Jim Wolcott doesn’t normally speak in Snob code. So we got in touch with the man himself. “Batjac was the name of John Wayne’s production company,” Jim says, “and it was Wayne’s idea to cast Randolph Scott because, as Wayne put it, ‘He’s through,’ i.e., we can get him cheap. The movie revived Scott’s career, and he went off to make a batch of Westerns with Budd Boetticher, which came to be known as the ‘Ranown’ cycle. Anyway, the other Batjac Westerns from Wayne’s company include Hondo and Track of the Cat.”

Thanks Jim, and thanks for writing, Kathy.

September 03, 2006 More Film Snobbery »

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