Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘John Ford’ Category

I don’t read near as much fiction as I used to. Of late, my reading’s become largely focused on research for my own books. So when I was offered a copy of Robert Dwyer and Austin Wright’s The Sheriff, I was happy to have a reason to read a novel again.

Austin Wright proudly admitted to me that The Sheriff was influenced by a handful of key Western movies — one is Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962), pictures he’s loved since childhood. That alone got me interested.

The Sheriff is centered around Sheriff John Donovan, who founded the Texas panhandle town of Three Chop. He’s run the place for a good 20 years. But the times, they are a-changing, a sad fact that Donovan has to wrap his head around, fast. With a new century on the way, Sheriff Donovan’s community (along with the West as a whole) in a state of flux and his health failing him, some bad men make their way to Three Chop.

Over the years, the end of the Old West has proven rich for storytellers, both in print and on film. And as we’ve seen in many terrific Westerns (especially those from the 50s), you can use the Western as a framework for all sorts of commentary on all sorts of issues. (Quick example: the ton of McCarthy/HUAC allegory packed into 50s Westerns.) This end-of-the-West story has plenty to say — about everything from religion to mortality to progress to big business, and it does it without sacrificing action, pacing or authenticity. 

It’s so easy to recommend The Sheriff. It’s a big story about some big issues — leading to the big showdown. Click on the cover to buy one.

One more thing: being that Wright is an admitted John Wayne nut, does his sheriff’s name come from Wayne and Donovan’s Reef (1963)? 

Read Full Post »

Few movies cover the honor and traditions of our military as well as John Ford’s She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949). So it makes a fitting image for Memorial Day.

“Lest we forget.”

Read Full Post »

Play Ball!

I’m digging out the John Ford Dodger cap photo. That means baseball’s here — and the Dodgers have their Dodger Stadium opener today.

Ford was sporting the cap in Monument Valley while shooting Peter Bogdanovich’s terrific documentary on him. It’s one of my all-time favorite images.

So glad we’re getting more games this season — and I’d love another World Series! Go Dodgers!

Read Full Post »

As we close the door on 2020, I’m not sorry to see it go. This has not been the best year for any of us.

But in 2020, as it’s been from year to year since the beginning, this blog and the folks who read it (and comment on it) have been a blessing — “just as sure as the turning of the earth.”

Thanks to you all.

Read Full Post »

One of my favorite images in all of Cinema — John Wayne in John Ford’s 3 Godfathers (1948), shot by Winton C. Koch. He’s holding a baby (Robert William Pedro Hightower) and keeping the sun out of a dying friend’s eyes.

To me, this is a Christmas movie. To some, it just happens to take place around the holiday. There’s no snow, no Christmas trees, but the drunks in New Jerusalem sing “Silent Night.”

What do you think? Is 3 Godfathers a Christmas movie?

Read Full Post »

Way To Go, Dodgers!

I’ve been sitting on this photo forever, and I’m so happy to be able to put it out there tonight. After beginning this crazy season with a still of John Ford wearing a Dodgers cap in Monument Valley, this seems like the perfect way to end it.

In an incredible Game 6 (Blake Snell had a one-hitter in the sixth inning), the Los Angeles Dodgers have defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 2020 World Series. This was a terrific series — both teams were outstanding and each game was a blast.

Read Full Post »

Directed by John Ford
Starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Ben Johnson, Claude Jarman Jr. , Harry Carey Jr., Chill Wills, J. Carrol Naish, Victor McLaglen, Grant Withers, The Sons Of The Pioneers

Olive Films is adding Rio Grande (1950), the third of John Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy,” to its Signature Edition series. (The first two were Fort Apache and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon.) The release date is listed as November 17.

John Ford did Rio Grande for Republic to get the opportunity to do The Quiet Man (1952), but such dealmaking does not take away from this brilliant movie. The cinematography from Bert Glennon alone is worth the upgrade to Blu-Ray. Essential.

Read Full Post »

Play Ball — Take Two!

Today, the LA Dodgers play their first home game of the virus-infected 60-game 2020 season (against the Giants). I won’t be there. Neither will anybody else.

Here’s a photo of John Ford sporting a Dodgers cap (in Monument Valley) to commemorate what’s left of season. Posting this picture, one of my favorites, has been a tradition here, and this year I got to do it twice — when the season was supposed to start, and today. Go Dodgers!

Read Full Post »

Directed by John Ford
Starring Harry Carey, Duke Lee, Neva Gerber, Vester Pegg

Kino Lorber is bringing a John Ford/Harry Carey silent picture, 1918’s Hell Bent, to Blu-Ray in August — from a 4K restoration. I’m sure I’m not the only one excited about this.

The extras sound terrific on this one. They include an archival 1970 audio interview with Ford by Joseph McBride, author of Searching For John Ford, along with a commentary by McBride. Other supplement round out the package. Can’t wait.

Read Full Post »

Play Ball!

Today, the LA Dodgers were to play their first home game of the 2020 season (against the Giants). Of course, it’s not happening.

Here’s a photo of John Ford sporting a Dodgers cap (in Monument Valley) to commemorate the occasion that should’ve been. Posting this picture, one of my favorites, has been a tradition here, and this year I’ll get to do it twice — when the season finally starts, if we get around to baseball at all. Go Dodgers!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »