The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2748  Wednesday, 5 December 2001

From:           John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Dec 2001 12:54:49 -0500
Subject: 12.2713 Re: Ghost Dad-French
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2713 Re: Ghost Dad-French

> >There is even a bit of Country and Western. All this made
> >the phrase "...are you packing..."(3.5.82{Arden})leap out. I recall this
> >as an obligatory interrogation by the Sheriff of the Gunslinger in
> >countless Westerns. My wife insists that I am confused by the context in
> >which I have just heard it and that the phrase was obligatory in
> >Gangster movies.  Make your play, pardners! Who's right?

'Country and Western' is that twanging, 'Your Cheatin' Heart' music.
Must get confused in Britain with movie 'Westerns' because of similar

Gangsta movies aka 'film noir' used the term 'heater' for handgun and
the phrase 'packing heat' for carrying a concealed weapon.

The western movies did, in a way, compete with the gangster ones in
inventing terms for a handgun.

Western: 6-shooter, peacemaker, iron.

Gangster: rod, gat, piece.

Graham's 'Make your play pardners' is western movie language. In the
western movie there was always a fair gunfight at the climax. In the
gangster movie, the bad guy usually tries to make it an unfair one but
the good guy triumphs anyway.

An interesting mixture of the western and gangster gunfight is the
climax of 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'.

It's also a reversal of the swordfight in Hamlet. The good guy has the
loaded gun instead of the bad guy having the unbated sword.

Which is why Clint Eastwood became a big movie star in both western and
gangster films, went on to become mayor of Carmel, and why Carmel now
has a resident Shakespeare company -:)

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