In 1825 an English aristocrat is captured by Indians. He lives with them and begins to understand/accept their lifestyles. Eventually he is accepted as part of the tribe and becomes their ... See full summary »
When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his ... See full summary »
Epic story about two former Texas rangers who decide to move cattle from the south to Montana. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call run into many problems on the way, and the journey doesn't ... See full summary »
Tommy Lee Jones,
Ethan Edwards, returned from the Civil War to the Texas ranch of his brother, hopes to find a home with his family and to be near the woman he obviously but secretly loves. But a Comanche raid destroys these plans, and Ethan sets out, along with his 1/8 Indian nephew Martin, on a years-long journey to find the niece kidnapped by the Indians under Chief Scar. But as the quest goes on, Martin begins to realize that his uncle's hatred for the Indians is beginning to spill over onto his now-assimilated niece. Martin becomes uncertain whether Ethan plans to rescue Debbie...or kill her. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Western star Harry Carey died in 1947. Director John Ford cast Carey's wife (Olive Carey) as Mrs. Jorgensen (the mother) and Carey's son (Harry Carey Jr.) as one of the sons (Brad) as a tribute to Carey. In the closing scene with John Wayne framed in the doorway, Wayne holds his right elbow with his left hand in a pose that Carey fans would recognize as one that he often used. Wayne later stated he did it as a tribute to Carey. Off-camera, Olive watched. See more »
During the shootout with the Indians at the river, Rev. Capt. Clayton's gun is emptied and Ethan throws him a loaded gun; Clayton throws his hat and hits Ethan. Ethan is moving his lips and saying something but, there is no sound. See more »
For all this film's reputation, what is apt to strike a modern viewer for the first time is the strange disconnect between the truly horrific subject matter and its sometimes light-hearted even jokey tone. No doubt this was an attempt to make its grim subject matter more accessible to the audience of the time, but IMO it is borderline bad taste. For example the massacre of an Indian village near the end is rather undermined by the following comical scene of some old guy having shot extracted from his behind. This is inappropriate in my opinion, and similar examples abound throughout the film.
I suppose this must be judged within its time and its subject matter: brutal murder, abduction, gang rape and a man consumed with vengeance would have been considered too shocking to be shown without lightening the mood.
Some of the problem is down to the stereotypes who, apart from the main few characters, seem to lack any depth of feeling in the face of this horror. A Swedish farmer who seems unmoved by the death of his son; a 'comedy' madman; a plain Indian squaw who is accidentally bought by Jeffrey Hunter and her subsequent convenient death; a naive young cavalry man who arrives near the end. That's to say nothing of the motiveless malice of the Comanche.
This is not to make the dreary charge of 'racism' for anything which does not conform to the dogmas of political correctness, but merely to say the film does succeed in its own terms.
Despite having no time to explore the deeper side of racial tension or families afflicted with horrific suffering, there is plenty of time for embarrassing slap-stick, not helped by the overly homespun stock characters and the wooden performances. Jeffrey Hunter acts like a child at some points, and one can only imagine that in the book he was considerably younger.
He's not the only one. There is a long sequence involving a letter written to his beau by Hunter. Despite being the only one in five years, this grown woman stamps her foot and throws the letter on the fire unconvincingly at one point. And again, a long comedy fist fight occurs between the returning Hunter and the man that his girl is to marry.
It is through dated and inappropriate sequences like this rather than good characterisation that the film is developed. The cinematic artistry is second to none with the motif of the open door being used to magnificent effect through out.
Worth watching as an historical curio, but the 12th greatest film ever made? There are many more less dated films to watch from this period and earlier.
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