DMMW #1 - The Big Trail

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    There are 15 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rooster52.

    • Well got finished watching this film. That was my first time seeing it. A few reflections...
      The one quality about this film that REALLY stands out the grand staging of it. The production values are exceptionally high here. It almost looks like a film made ahead of it's day, but sadly with a lead that isn't quite ready to carry it.

      John Wayne offers what amounts to a rookie performance as an actor. I don't say that to admonish him as if I expected better from a young 23 year old man who had just adopted the Hollywood moniker of John Wayne. But it was crystal clear he was put into a film that was much too big to carry on his young shoulders.

      I admired the confidence he emoted and his incredible gift for speaking a large section of dialogue in single shots. The man clearly shows the gift early to absorb the material. What he doesn't have yet though is the ability to converse comfortably with other actors. He's very mechanical. When he says his lines he tends to look to the next actor like he's handing off the hot potato to their lines in the script. So there's no noted chemistry between him and really anyone.

      You can definitely see the seeds that are planted from where he will grow and become what he does much later. I think time, experience, and actually just getting older serves him well much later. He's almost too young to be talking so tough. So maybe there's a bit of that in the final examination here.

      But I'm glad I watched this movie because it definitely gives me context. You really see the origins of his craft and honestly how far he has to go. It's also another testament to how hard he worked to be as good as he became. That's why I always disliked critics who felt he was just "being himself" in his films. Wow. How naive that is. His delivery and chemistry with most of the legendary icons in the industry is more than testament to how hard he honed and perfected his craft. That doesn't come from hanging loose and "being yourself". But I digress.

      Fascinating film though. Allot of forward thinking in this movie. Some very strong ideas in play here. Great first recommendations guys! I have some new perspectives as a result.