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Thursday 15 February 2018

Living In Harmony

    I enjoy watching American westerns, ‘Gun Fight At The Ok Corral,’ ‘High Noon,’ ‘Buchannan Rides Alone,’ ‘The Tall T,’ ‘Seven Men From Now,’ ‘Ride Lonesome,’ ‘The Desperados,’ ‘Decision At Noon,’ ‘3:10 To Yuma,’ ‘Warlock,’ ‘Stagecoach,’ ‘The Outlaw,’ The Way The West Was Won,’ ‘Eldorado,’ ‘She Wore A Yellow ribbon,’ ‘Fort Apache,’ Rio Grande,’ ‘Winchester 73,’ ‘Bend of The River,’ ‘Destry Rides Again,’ I could list plenty more, but I think you get the general idea. So one should think that ‘Living In Harmony’ would be pretty high on my list of favourite episodes, but it isn’t. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, a bad Judge who owns the town, surrounds himself with hired hands. The Kid, the fastest on the draw the Judge has ever seen, and who is dressed in the clothes of his victims! The Kid never utters one single word, perhaps he’s undergone some trauma in his past. His family murdered by renegades, his mother, his sister both raped by a gang of desperados, then brutally murdered, and the Kid witnessed it all. Harmony is just like The Village, toe the line and both will take good care of you. Step out of line, and there’s bully boys on the one hand and gunslingers on the other to get in your way, to make sure you do toe the line! I like Cathy, she always gives regulars the first one on the house, whisky that is. But The Man with No Name isn’t regular, and the dollar piece he tosses onto the bar to pay for his drink, sounds more like a wooden nickel!  Horse flesh is expensive, and like The Village there is no escape, as Gunslingers guard the only road out of town! Why did the Sheriff hand in both his badge and gun? Perhaps he was fed up putting his life on the line for $10 a month. Having to face up to every two-bit gunslinger riding into town looking to make himself a reputation, and take on outlaws like Jesse James, the Dalton gang, and the Younger gang, for example. One day the Sheriff would come up against someone who was faster on the draw than he was, and that would only be a question of time. And all that killing would have taken its toll on the man. Better to get out while the going was good.
   So why isn’t ‘Living In Harmony’ high on my list of favourite episodes? Simply because it does not appeal to me as a western for some reason, in the way that not all American western films do. Perhaps that’s the reason, it’s a British made western, but so is the film ‘Carry On Cowboy’ and I thoroughly enjoy watching that. It probably has something to do with the British actors trying to sound American in ‘Living In Harmony’ apart from the Judge. But does that make the American accent in American Westerns wrong? It would all depend on when the American people began to lose the British dialects to what became the American accent.

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