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Archive for the ‘John Ford’ Category

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.

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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.

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Thanks to Noel for the tip.

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Marvin Donovans Reef

“And from the East came three wise men, three kings bearing gifts, to gaze upon the child and to kneel before him in adoration… the king of Polynesia… the emperor of China… the king of, the king of the Unites States Of America.”

That’s Lee Marvin as “Boats” Gilhooley in John Ford’s Donovan’s Reef (1963). John Wayne’s the guy watching over his shoulder. It’s a picture that if people’d quit complaining about how it’s not The Grapes Of Wrath (1940) or The Searchers (1956), they’d realize just how wonderful it is.

Here’s wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays.

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Here’s wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween. And while you’re here, I want to show off my daughter’s costume.

Her all-time favorite movie is Peter Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? (1972). A great choice (where’d she get her exquisite taste in movies?). Anyway, for Halloween, she decided to be Madeline Kahn as Eunice Burns (Presley above, Madeline below). And yes, the plaid bag has igneous rocks in it.

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To tie this to 50s Westerns, let’s see — ever read Bogdanovich’s terrific books on John Ford and Allan Dwan?

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The Cary, a newly-renovated theater in downtown Cary (naturally), North Carolina, has put together a weekend of John Wayne pictures, which includes many of his best. If anybody’s planning on going to some of these, let me know.

All of a sudden, I’m kinda glad I live here.

The Searchers (1956)
Thursday, November 6, 7 PM

Donovan’s Reef (1963)
Thursday, November 6, 9:30 PM

Rio Bravo (1959)
Friday, November 7, 7 PM

Stagecoach (1939)
Friday, November 7, 9:30 PM

Red River (1948)
Saturday, November 8, 7 PM

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Saturday, November 8, 9:30 PM

The Alamo (1960)
Sunday, November 9, 2 PM

The Cary outside view

The Cary
122 E. Chatham Street
Cary, NC 27511
(919) 462-2051

Thanks for the tip, Jennifer.

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