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Western Challenge; Official, May 2016
Topic Started: Apr 28 2016, 10:50:12 AM (3,413 Views)
Kasparius
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Goal: Watch as many Western movies as you can. Only films from the Western genre are allowed. If you are unsure, just ask.

Rules:


- Any Western counts (Traditional, Spaghetti, Ostern, etc...)
- Feature film (over 40 minutes) counts as one entry.
- 60 minutes of short films count as one entry.
- The miniseries rule applies.
- Rewatches are allowed.

Useful Links:


Official ICM Lists:

100 Essential Westerns
Top Westerns IMDB
Top 50 Spaghetti Westerns
501 Movies You Must See: Western Sublist

All Westerns on ICM ranked by number of offcial lists

Link to many more lists on the OP of the Ongoing Western Challenge

Participants:

PUNQ 96
flavo5000 82
klaus78 29
frbrown 18
Kasparius 10
blocho 9
cinephage 7
sheikhofhyrule 7
ChrisReynolds 6
Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi 6
VincentPrice 6
3eyes 4
Burneyfan 4
Lammetje 4
Lonewolf2003 4
Cippenham 3
funkybusiness 2
Hunziker 2
afirm 1
Allisoncm 1
connordenney 1
Knaldskalle 1
Melvelet 1
ororama 1
Edited by Kasparius, May 30 2016, 03:43:35 PM.
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Kasparius
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I'll be traveling until May 2nd, so might not be on for a couple of days. I'll update participants then.
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Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi
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I'm in for a few, at least. :cowboy:
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Cippenham
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I will saddle up and try to shoot a few down
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PUNQ
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Oh, I'm winning this one.... would be my response had it not been for May being the first month where I have to juggle my movie habits and TWO kids. We'll see how it goes. Got a bunch lined up, including many Hopalong Cassidy's and low budget westerns from the early 1940s.
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Hunziker
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I've got a few Argentinian westerns on my watchlist... Count me in, we'll see how many movies I manage to squeeze in both challenges.
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De Limgralois
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Some podcasts in French:

Western anatomie d'un genre :
http://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/la-fabrique-de-lhistoire/western-anatomie-dun-genre-13

Rencontre avec Bertrand Tavernier (l'Ouest, le vrai) :
http://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/mauvais-genres/louest-le-vrai-rencontre-western-avec-bertrand-tavernier

Projection privée (Michel Ciment) Spécial western :
http://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/projection-privee/special-western
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monty
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De Limgralois
Apr 29 2016, 05:34:10 PM
Some podcasts in French:

Not much help to me as I don't speak French. Anyhow, welcome, De Limgralois, are you by any chance from Djibouti? Please introduce yourself HERE
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3eyes
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I have a little list.
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afirm
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I'll do some. :guns:
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Hunziker
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De Limgralois
Apr 29 2016, 05:34:10 PM
Great recommendations. I listen regularly to Projection privée and Mauvais Genre. I think I may have also listened to the WWI special of La Fabrique de l'Histoire. Thanks and welcome!
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VincentPrice
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klaus78
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I'm in...
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monty
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As a counterweight to all the cowboy glorification, I think a challenge focusing on the Native American experience would be rather fitting next. How about "The Native Narratives Challenge"?
Edited by monty, May 1 2016, 12:47:27 AM.
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Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi
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monty
May 1 2016, 12:43:53 AM
As a counterweight to all the cowboy glorification, I think a challenge focusing on the Native American experience would be rather fitting next. How about "The Native Narratives Challenge"?
Heh heh. I just watched The Mended Lute and Mass for the Dakota Sioux in the past few days, so at least I have the polar ends of the spectrum covered on that front.
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monty
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Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi
May 1 2016, 01:01:01 AM
monty
May 1 2016, 12:43:53 AM
As a counterweight to all the cowboy glorification, I think a challenge focusing on the Native American experience would be rather fitting next. How about "The Native Narratives Challenge"?
Heh heh. I just watched The Mended Lute and Mass for the Dakota Sioux in the past few days, so at least I have the polar ends of the spectrum covered on that front.
Heh, seriously? You mean to say that watching two shorts, none of which bear any testimony to the Native American experience of genocide and cultural annihilation, take care of the indigenous end of the spectrum? That kind of behaviour is symptomatic of the marginalization that Native Americans experience in American culture to this day. Then again, it's always been most convenient to sweep that disgraceful part of American history under the rug and pretend it never happened - let's praise the brave cowboy instead.
Edited by monty, May 1 2016, 01:17:41 AM.
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blocho
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monty
May 1 2016, 12:43:53 AM
As a counterweight to all the cowboy glorification, I think a challenge focusing on the Native American experience would be rather fitting next. How about "The Native Narratives Challenge"?
I watched Jimmy P a couple of months ago. I didn't think it was good, but the lead performances from Mathieu Amalric and Benicio Del Toro were very strong.

A couple of days ago, after reading an article about poverty in the newspaper, I happened to be looking up info on the poorest communities in the United States. I ended up reading about the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Eighty percent unemployment, life expectancy of about 50, a quarter of children born with fetal alcohol syndrome (all stats from wikipedia, so who knows?). I knew that the problems on reservations were very serious, but I was floored by those numbers.

I don't know how we tolerate this as a society. I'm not naive at all about the problems of human development or restorative justice. They are immense and seemingly intractable. And I remember how Vine Deloria wrote that the best outsiders could do for Indians was to leave them alone. I don't know how to fix any of this, but it astonishes me that these problems rarely appear in the national conversation or major sources of news. Yes, Indians are a minority, but that doesn't explain why they are so ignored (other minorities have a much bigger profile).
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Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi
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monty
May 1 2016, 01:16:01 AM
Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi
May 1 2016, 01:01:01 AM
monty
May 1 2016, 12:43:53 AM
As a counterweight to all the cowboy glorification, I think a challenge focusing on the Native American experience would be rather fitting next. How about "The Native Narratives Challenge"?
Heh heh. I just watched The Mended Lute and Mass for the Dakota Sioux in the past few days, so at least I have the polar ends of the spectrum covered on that front.
Heh, seriously? You mean to say that watching two shorts, none of which bear any testimony to the Native American experience of genocide and cultural annihilation, take care of the indigenous end of the spectrum? That kind of behaviour is symptomatic of the marginalization that Native Americans experience in American culture to this day. Then again, it's always been most convenient to sweep that disgraceful part of American history under the rug and pretend it never happened - let's praise the brave cowboy instead.
Yes, yes, you've divined my thoughts with amazing precision, and that didn't sound like tongue-in-cheek baiting at all.

Actually, The Mended Lute and Mass for the Dakota Sioux are intriguing bookends. The former is Griffith at his most offensive -- at best an extremely patronizing view of Indians and at worst a racist grotesque; the latter is a caustic collage of images indicting white America for its treatment of Indians.

In between, I watched Ella Cinders, a silent that has a random scene in which a white woman, the film's namesake protagonist, wakes up in a 1920s traincar filled with Native Americans and she's terrified of being scalped for the rest of the ride. However, in this film, the Indians are on their way to Hollywood, and the joke can be said to be one meant to reveal the heroine's own ignorance.

For an unusual film in this regard, I'd recommend White Fawn's Devotion, if you haven't already seen it.
Edited by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi, May 1 2016, 01:54:20 AM.
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flavo5000
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I'm in.
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sheikofhyrule
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Westerns definitely are not my favorite genre but I have seven recent films, so hopefully I will complete at least that many.
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Kasparius
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De Limgralois
Apr 29 2016, 05:34:10 PM
Thanks, Lim, I'll listen to those.
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3eyes
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Kas, you mention Easterns - how about Northerns, such as the films of Nils Gaup? - which tend to be historical with a focus on Lapps / Sami.
Edited by 3eyes, May 1 2016, 07:35:48 PM.
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monty
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3eyes
May 1 2016, 07:34:53 PM
Kas, you mention Easterns - how about Northerns, such as the films of Nils Gaup? - which tend to be historical with a focus on Lapps / Sami.
Guess you'll have to wait for The Native Narratives Challenge for that.
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frbrown
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1. Four of the Apocalypse (1975)
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Cippenham
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1. The Grey Fox 1982


Simply brilliant and looks great too, how come it is only really known in the forum?

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Melvelet
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Cippenham
May 2 2016, 09:24:06 AM
1. The Grey Fox 1982


Simply brilliant and looks great too, how come it is only really known in the forum?

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No DVD release and not from the US

I'll be preoccupied with Raul Ruiz and Latin America this month but maybe I manage to watch a western or two from 500<400.
Is any of them (seen the Grey Fox and Ride the Whirlwind) visually beautiful or at least slow and dark?
Edited by Melvelet, May 2 2016, 10:41:58 AM.
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PUNQ
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Good first day of the western challenge. Not exactly by quality of the films, but of quantity, getting 8 of those poverty row'ers out of the way. Won't be that many the next few days, but I have the weekend all to myself, so that'll give me some quality western time!


1. Rough Riding Rhythm (1937, J.P. McGowan)
--- "There ain't a canned cow in the house!" (aka milk)

J.P. McGowan was among the absolute worst western directors of the 1930s, but here there are hints of shots where they'd put some thought into! Actually a half-decent job by him (or probable his cinematographer). Don't go expecting miracles. Rough Riding Rhythm (1937) is your standard poverty row release from the short-lived Conn Pictures Corporation (1934-1938).

Stars Ken Maynard's uglier brother Kermit Maynard along with his sidekick Ralph Peters, who takes care of the singing as the singing cowboy crazy was well in effect in 1937, getting into a little more trouble then hoped. They have to take care of a orphan baby! They still have a notorious bad guy and his gang to worry about, along with a couple of clumsy detectives. Oh, and a wimmin' folk! But once the first bit of ugliness is over and done with, this is a fairly light hearted little western that gets that smile warmed up!
3/10



2. Roll Wagons Roll (1940, Al Herman)
--- I absolutely adore Tex Ritter! But the guy never got to make a good picture. Only desperate patch works for small studios. Brilliant voice though, and his songs were the clear highlights in Roll Wagons Roll (1940).

The story is the trusted old plot of wagon trains and people trying to stop them using the Indian attacks as their main distraction. What kind of kills the film is that for the action Monogram decided to use stock footage from 3-4 other films making the big climax feel like you're zapping through different western flicks, none of them having anything to do with the other.

PS: This was also Muriel Evans final film. She'd been a regular in comedy shorts and westerns since 1927.
3/10



3. The Cowboy from Sundown (1940, Spencer Gordon Bennet)
--- Felt Tex Ritter put on as strong a performance as he could with this material, but when the ones in charge do so little to put life into this dreary production and don't give Tex any good songs to sing, this one falls below par for a cheap Monogram'er. Liked the judge though.
2/10



4. Take Me Back to Oklahoma (1940, Al Herman)
--- Thankfully they let the music take center stage in this cheap western. The special attraction, besides Tex Ritter of course, was a rare film appearance of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys! You kinda get disappointed every time the music get interrupted by the usual western stuff....
3/10



5. Trapped in Tia Juana (1932, Wallace Fox)
--- Duncan Renaldo pretty much mimics Warner Baxter's Cisco Kid persona in this low budget rip-off of the gentleman bandit. Coincidentally in the 1940s Renaldo would take over the lead in the real Cisco Kid franchise. I doubt heavily he got the gig based on his poor performance in Trapped in Tia Juana (1932)! This one ends up being a drowsy and unconvincing melodrama with very little action helping us through the sleep.
2/10



6. Trails of the Wild (1935, Sam Newfield)
--- Good old Kermit Maynard makes at least some of it pleasant in his easy going ways, but the writing piss poor in trying to come up with a new way of an old plot. Plus it was directed by notorious hack director Sam Newfield making sure it was never going to be anything essential.
2/10



7. The Singing Buckaroo (1937, Tom Gibson)
--- If there ever was a Hollywood mismatch, there's Fred Scott. A squeaky clean opera singer turned gritty motion picture cowboy. He was handsome and all... but that kind of voice for a cowhand?! Plus he might be a skilled opera singer, but he fights like he's doing ballet. I've seen Scott do passable westerns, but with no good sidekick, a poor script, The Singing Buckaroo (1937) is just about the worst film he ever did.
1/10



8. The Roaming Cowboy (1937, Robert Hill)
--- The Roaming Cowboy (1937) becomes bearable because of the Fred Scott & Al St. John dynamic. One fresh faced and refined. The other with a face not even a mother would love and as unrefined a man can be. A true odd couple. This western however isn't anything out of the ordinary. Another one without much of a budget, where the action is generic, and only some of the comic moments helps you get through it.
2/10




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sortile9io
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Now you deserve a treat.
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Kasparius
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3eyes
May 1 2016, 07:34:53 PM
Kas, you mention Easterns - how about Northerns, such as the films of Nils Gaup? - which tend to be historical with a focus on Lapps / Sami.
The Osterns (Red Westerns) are an Eastern take on the Western genre. I'm not familiar with Nils Gaup, but if his films are Westerns in disguise then sure you can count them.
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blocho
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Any ideas for movies that would satisfy both western and Latin American challenges. I've seen El Topo and I suspect Jauja would work. Any other ideas?

Oh, by the way ...
1. The Raid (1954)

Kas, I'm expecting something special for western of the month. Perhaps a double feature?
Edited by blocho, May 2 2016, 12:43:33 PM.
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Kasparius
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blocho
May 2 2016, 12:41:44 PM
Any ideas for movies that would satisfy both western and Latin American challenges. I've seen El Topo and I suspect Jauja would work. Any other ideas?

Oh, by the way ...
1. The Raid (1954)

Kas, I'm expecting something special for western of the month. Perhaps a double feature?
I got home last night, so I'll be picking a Western of the Month today. Double bill might be a good idea.

As far as Latin American challenge, I can think of a few:

Arturo Ripstein has one, Tiemp de Morir. And Hugo Fregonese made Pampa Barbara in Argentina.

Not sure how strict the rules are, but Way of a Gaucho was shot and takes place in Argentina.

If setting counts, then I can think of a few more.
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flavo5000
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Here's a couple to start things off:

1. The Daughter of Dawn (1920) 5/10
2. Woman They Almost Lynched (1953) 6/10

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Kasparius
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Where did you find The Daughter of Dawn?

Also Doña Bárbara (1943) on Film An Odyssey list is a Mexican Western and La guerra gaucha (1942) is an Argentinian one.
Edited by Kasparius, May 2 2016, 05:07:54 PM.
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flavo5000
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Kasparius
May 2 2016, 05:03:25 PM
Where did you find The Daughter of Dawn?

Also Doña Bárbara (1943) on Film An Odyssey list is a Mexican Western and La guerra gaucha (1942) is an Argentinian one.
It's on Netflix US, oddly enough.
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Melvelet
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blocho
May 2 2016, 12:41:44 PM
Any ideas for movies that would satisfy both western and Latin American challenges. I've seen El Topo and I suspect Jauja would work. Any other ideas?
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/vamonos+con+pancho+villaexclamation/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/o+cangaceiro-1953-1/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/o+dragao+da+maldade+contra+o+santo+guerreiro/

would count imo :)
Edited by Melvelet, May 2 2016, 06:01:14 PM.
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Kasparius
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flavo5000
May 2 2016, 05:50:26 PM
Kasparius
May 2 2016, 05:03:25 PM
Where did you find The Daughter of Dawn?

Also Doña Bárbara (1943) on Film An Odyssey list is a Mexican Western and La guerra gaucha (1942) is an Argentinian one.
It's on Netflix US, oddly enough.
Thanks!
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blocho
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Thanks for suggestions.
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Kasparius
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New Western of the Month
Edited by Kasparius, May 2 2016, 08:15:13 PM.
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frbrown
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2. Face To Face (1967)

Excellent


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PUNQ
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sortile9io
May 2 2016, 12:04:03 PM
Now you deserve a treat.
I awarded myself with taco pizza :thumbsup:


Only had time for two westerns today. Started on the Hopalong Cassidy episodes I'd yet to see. That'll keep me busy the next couple of days.


9. Bar 20 Justice (1938, Lesley Selander)
--- The 18th film in the Hopalong Cassidy series and this time the boys go mining! Someone is screwing over some dame's gold veins and it's Hoppy's job to uncover the scam. This one's got plenty of humor with George 'Gabby' Hayes having hard of hearing and Russell Hayden keeping himself clean. William Boyd takes care of the serious side with a lot of suspenseful moments. While the climax wasn't of the most original after that solid build-up, Bar 20 Justice (1938) is yet another damn fun entry into the best B-western series made in the 1930s.
5/10



10. Pride of the West (1938, Lesley Selander)
--- The 19th film in the Hopalong Cassidy series is more a straight western investigation as Hoppy and his gang go searching for bank robbers. Felt like a lesser episode all the way through, but you can't really go wrong with the William Boyd, George 'Gabby' Hayes & Russell Hayden dynamic. They can make any ordinary scenario fun!
4/10



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