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Archive for the ‘John Ford’ Category

hank worden

Let’s remember my favorite Western character actor, Hank Worden, on his birthday. He’s seen here with Ward Bond in John Ford’s Three Godfathers (1949).

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jaws_pier

Spent the evening with two of my favorite things — my daughter Presley and Jaws (1975). It was one of those TCM 40th anniversary screenings.

The scene with the two guys fishing with some chain, a big hook and a roast always makes me smile. As they wait for a bite (which they certainly get), they both whistle “Shall We Gather At The River,” the hymn John Ford loved and used in many of his Westerns: Stagecoach (1939), Three Godfathers (1948), The Searchers (1956) and more. I’ll bet you anything it’s a tribute to Ford — and if I ever bump into Steven Spielberg somewhere, I’m gonna ask him.

The 4K restoration of Jaws is beautiful on the big screen, but I really hate the stereo mix (and did they remove the wire from the buoy in the opening scene?). I wanted to slap the fat guy who decided to go to the bathroom during Robert Shaw’s Indianapolis speech.

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mighty-joe-young

Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack
Technical Creator: Willis O’Brien
Starring Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong, Frank McHugh, Nestor Paiva, Regis Toomey, Mr. Joseph Young

There’s nothing about Mighty Joe Young (1949) that isn’t wonderful. I can’t recommend it enough. And with it making it debut on Blu-ray in October, there is much to be happy about. (It’s also part of a four-title Special Effects Collection).

With this one, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Wagon Master (1950), John Ford put Ben Johnson on the cinematic map — and let us all see what a natural, amiable actor he was. Of course, Mr. Joseph Young’s pretty amiable, too.

Thanks to Paula and John for bringing this to my attention.

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Horse Soldiers JW sized

Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison)
May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979

This is one of those days that oughta be a national holiday. It’s John Wayne’s birthday. The fact that you’re looking at this, on a blog dedicated to Western movies of the 1950s, means I probably don’t need to try to explain how significant Wayne, and his body of work, are.

You’re looking at Wayne in The Horse Soldiers (1959), the John Ford Civil War picture sometimes referred to as “minor Ford.” As I see it, it’s a great movie, you need to get the Blu-ray so you can really appreciate it — and there’s no such thing as “minor Ford.” I think John Wayne would agree with me on that.

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Play Ball!

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This is one of my favorite photos to ever appear on this blog. And I look forward to the beginning of baseball season — not just because baseball’s back, but because I get another chance to post this image of John Ford, his Dodgers cap and Monument Valley.

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1 Liberty Ford

My wife and I watched John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) on our honeymoon. So as our anniversary rolls around, it usually comes to mind. And this seems like a good excuse to highlight yet another Ford masterpiece.

Liberty Valance Wayne hat

Here’s Wayne’s hat from the film. In black and white, it seems so much lighter.

Liberty Valance Marvin vest

Lee Marvin’s vest. After his years doing M Squad on TV, Liberty Valance helped Marvin transition from heavy to leading roles as he returned to features.

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One of Edith Head’s sketches for Vera Miles’ costumes.

LIBERTY CAST tea cropped

John Ford and his terrific cast break for tea. Judging from who’s present and how they’re dressed, they must’ve been shooting the dinner scene where Marvin makes Stewart drop Wayne’s steak — and Strother Martin gets kicked in the face.

Valance BTS punch

Jimmy Stewart punches John Wayne — with Ford and crew very very close.

Liberty Valance Marvin Martin Van Cleef

Jennifer and I often celebrate our anniversary by going out for steaks. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

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Directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway and George Marshall
Starring Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Eli Wallach, John Wayne and Richard Widmark. Walter Brennan, Andy Devine, Agnes Moorehead, Russ Tamblyn, Lee Van Cleef. Narrated by Spencer Tracy.

How The West Was Won (1962), the star-studded three-strip Cinerama blockbuster, is scheduled for the Century 16 Suncoast Theater in Las Vegas, January 25 and 28. Check for other theaters in the Cinemark chain. The screen won’t be curved, but at least it’ll be bigger than your television.

Of the epic’s many segments, I’ve always felt Ford’s Civil War segment was the best thing in the picture.

MBDHOTH EC006

Thanks to Noel for the tip.

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