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Archive for the ‘John Ford’ Category

Bogdanovich Ford 450px

Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
Starring John Ford, John Wayne, James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Harry Carey, Jr. Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles (narrator)

Some of my all-time favorite movie dialogue comes from this documentary.

Peter Bogdanovich: Mr. Ford, you made a picture called Three Bad Men which is a large scale western. You had a – quite elaborate land-rush in it.
John Ford: Mmm hmm.
Bogdanovich: How did you shoot that?
Ford: With a camera.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 12.50.00 PM

That pretty much sums up Directed By John Ford (1971). It’s a wonderful film, though I always come away from it glad that I’m not Peter Bogdanovich. It’s coming to DVD from Warner Archive. And if you don’t have it, you need it. (This would make a great pairing with the upcoming Blu-ray of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.)

Love that Dodgers cap! Hope they make it to the Series this year.

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Directed by John Ford
Starring John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O’Brien, Andy Devine, Woody Strode

One of the greatest Westerns of them all — and in my opinion, one of the finest American films ever made — is coming to Blu-ray in October. From the performances to the stunning black-and-white cinematography to the direction, John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) comes as close to perfection as any film I can think of. Every time I see it, I find something new to marvel at, from the huge steaks hanging of the sides of giant plates to a particular shot (like the one below) to John Wayne kicking Strother Martin in the face. The last time, it was the grace Woody Strode brought to his part as Pompey, Wayne’s ranch hand.

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I can’t think of a film I’d rather see make the move to Blu-ray.

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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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