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Distant Drums (1951)
First viewed this film when it came out. This is an excellent film for the amount of excitement it brings to the viewer. Sure, there are some mistakes in it, such as the weapons used, but that should not detract from the overall excellent story line (which is much like "Objective Burma", another excellent film). I believe that it was one of Gary Cooper's finest roles. Fit right in with his overall "homespun" personality. Like all films from this era (1950s) it portrayed the American Indian as the villain. History of the Seminole Wars shows just the opposite. But, if one can put that aside, then this is a highly enjoyable movie.
The Searchers (1956)
Great Performances in the Searchers
The Searchers was easily the best of the John Wayne movies. His performance was more than deserving of an Academy Award. He didn't get it, but he should have. Wayne was probably the most under rated actor in film history. Also, Ward Bond was deserving of an award as Best Supporting Actor. This is one of the few movies that I have viewed that kept my interest from start to finish. Well written and well acted. Not a flawed performance in the whole movie. They just don't make them like this anymore. This is one of those films that should not be remade, because a remake would not do it justice. As a western drama, it rates right up there with Shane, The Gunfighter, High Noon, and Stagecoach. This movie is a must see for all true fans of western dramas.