Forbidden Friday: Wrath

Mary
filed under: , History, alcohol, Movies
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What?! You haven't been reading my Forbidden Friday posts all day? How could you?! Oh, you're gonna regret this, mister, 'cause I'm so angry I could scream! I'm gonna hurt you! Just as soon as you finish reading about:

Historical Bar Brawls

TruckeeA882c201.jpgTruckee, California: One of the best barroom brawl scenes isn't plucked from an old classic or Western, but rather from a real-life saloon in Truckee, California. In 1891, Jacob Teeter was the constable and James Reed the sometimes deputy of Truckee. But over the years, their friendly rivalry (they always ran against each other for constable) escalated, and the constable-deputy feud finally exploded on November 6. That's the day James Reed and a couple of his pals happened upon Teeter in the local bar. A fight ensued and Reed grabbed Teeter's gun. Embarrassed, Teeter left the bar only to return later on a mission. As Reed walked by, the constable shot point-blank at his deputy. The problem was, he missed. He did, however, succeed in shooting a hole through the hat of a man sitting at the next table. Anyway, the stir set patrons diving in all directions, and Reed pulled his gun (actually the one he'd taken from Teeter) and shot him four times. Teeter died and Reed turned himself in to the law. Instead of being arrested, though, Reed was released and at the coroner's inquest the next day was found innocent by reason of self-defense. However, it appears that Teeter got the best of old Reed in the end. His oversized gravestone lies prominently in the Truckee cemetery, while Reed lies quietly in the same cemetary, condemned to an unmarked grave.
Editor's note: The brawl at Truckee was bad, but not nearly as bad as the pic implies -- the photo is of the Truckee nuclear-bomb test that took place in 1962 on Christmas Island in the Pacific.

Two more raging fights after the jump.

John Wayne v. Randolph Scott: Car chases and bar brawls are staples of certain genres and the viewing public plays an important role in what survives the director's cutting room. And while a real-life bar brawl might take just minutes to complete, picture-perfect re-creations take a little longer. The movie The Spoilers, for instance, was rereleased five times with different leading casts, the 1942 version starring John Wayne and Randolph Scott. In fact, the flick is well known for having the longest and most complex bar brawl in cinema history. The six-minute fight scene involved over 30 experienced stuntmen and acrobats, and the bar (understandably) was completely trashed by the end of it. And to get the scene just right, the actors went through their paces breaking everything in their paths: from fake breakaway furniture to mirrors and doors, and just for good measure (and cinematography) they slammed each other against walls, too. The scene actually took 10 days to wrap up, much to the satisfaction of John Wayne, who was quite happy to perform some of the stunts himself.

The Ugly American in Paris: Following World War I, French-American relations weren't exactly improved by the racist behavior of white American tourists. So in 1923, in a desperate effort to appease wealthy white American tourists, a number of French bars and dance hall owners defied national laws and refused admittance to blacks, including French blacks. Despite government warnings, a group of white Americans drinking one night in a bar in Montmartre demanded that two black men who had entered the bar be removed. When the men refused, the ignorant Americans responded by physically throwing them out. The next day the French press announced that Kojo Tovalou Houenou, a prominent leader of the Pan-African movement in Paris and a renowned philosopher, was one of the victims. Outraged and disgusted, President Raymond Poincare denounced the scandal and ordered the bar closed -- a warning that any French bar trying to exclude blacks, French or otherwise, would be immediately shut down.

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July 28, 2006 - 11:32am
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