Hondo (1954)

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    There are 178 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • Hondo (1954)



      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas


      Plot Summary
      Hondo Lane, a despatch rider for the cavalry, encounters Angie Lowe,
      a woman living alone with her young son in the midst of hostile Apache territory.
      She presumes she is safe because the Apaches, under their chief Vittorio,
      have always left them alone.
      Later Lane has a run-in with Angie's reprobate husband and is forced to kill him,
      not knowing who he is.
      Vittorio captures Lane and to save his life, Angie tells the Apache chief
      that Lane is her husband,
      unaware that Lane has killed her real husband. In order to protect her
      from a forced marriage with one of the Apache,
      Lane reluctantly goes along with the lie, though he knows the truth
      must eventually come out, to Vittorio and to Angie, both.
      Summary written by Jim Beaver

      Full Cast
      John Wayne .... Hondo Lane
      Geraldine Page .... Angie Lowe
      Ward Bond .... Buffalo Baker, Army Indian Scout
      Michael Pate .... Vittorio, Chiricahua Apache Chief
      James Arness .... Lennie, Army Indian Scout
      Rodolfo Acosta .... Silva
      Leo Gordon .... Ed Lowe
      Tom Irish .... Lieutenant McKay
      Lee Aaker .... Johnny 'Small Warrior' Lowe
      Paul Fix .... Major Sherry
      Rayford Barnes .... Pete
      Frank McGrath .... Lowe's partner (uncredited)
      Morry Ogden .... Horse Rider-Opening Scene (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson .... Otawanga/Cavalry sergeant killed in Indian attack
      Sam ... Hondo's dog (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Louis L'Amour (story The Gift of Cochise)
      James Edward Grant screenplay

      Original Music
      Hugo Friedhofer
      Emil Newman

      Robert Burks
      Archie Stout

      Production Management
      Nate H. Edwards .... production manager
      Andrew V. McLaglen .... unit production manager

      Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
      Nathan Barrager .... assistant director (as Nate R. Barragar)
      John Ford .... second unit director (uncredited)
      Cliff Lyons .... second unit director (uncredited)

      X Brands .... stunts (uncredited)
      Chuck Hayward .... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)
      Fred Kennedy .... stunts (uncredited)
      Fred Krone .... stunts (uncredited)
      Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
      Frank McGrath .... stunts (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
      Bob Rose .... stunts (uncredited)
      Bobby Somers .... stunts (uncredited)
      Terry Wilson .... stunts (uncredited)
      Jack N. Young .... stunts (uncredited)

      Originally filmed in 3-D.

      Katharine Hepburn was originally sought for the role of Mrs. Lowe, but turned it down due to her outrage at John Wayne's activities as President of the far-right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, which endorsed, among other things, the blacklisting of "Commies, pinkos and fellow travelers" in the motion picture business. Ironically, more than 20 years later Hepburn did act with Wayne in Rooster Cogburn ... and the Lady (1975).

      Geraldine Page, a left wing liberal actress from Broadway, was horrified by the right-wing views of John Wayne, Ward Bond, James Arness and John Farrow.

      According to TCM, John Wayne won the well-trained dog Sam from his owner/trainer in a poker game after the movie wrapped.

      John Wayne was originally to be only the producer for his Batjac company, and wanted Glenn Ford for the title role. But Ford had such an unpleasant working experience with director John Farrow on their previous collaboration, Plunder of the Sun (1953), that he turned down the offer. Wayne then took on the role himself.

      In the "Married with Children" (1987) episode "Assault and Batteries," Al Bundy says that Hondo is his favorite movie of all time, and he spends the entire episode trying to watch it in peace.

      John Wayne attributed the film's moderate performance at the box office to its similarity with Shane (1953).

      Film debut of Geraldine Page.

      Pal, the dog that played Sam, was the son of Lassie. In the movie, he is supposed to be vicious and ill-tempered, but the temperatures during filming were so hot, he simply panted instead of snarling when on camera. In order to overcome this, he was kept in a special air-conditioned crate while on set and was only brought out for his shots.

      Katharine Hepburn was originally planned to have been cast as the female lead, with the idea being that her part and Wayne's would be roughly equal. However, the female lead role grew less prominent as the script was developed, until it was clearly subservient to Wayne's. Therefore, producer Bob Fellows sent a letter to Hepburn's agent expressing his belief that such a role was beneath a star of Hepburn's stature, and explaining that rather than embarrass her by offering her a part she would be forced to turn down, he decided not to offer it to her at all. The role went to Broadway actress Geraldine Page, instead, while Hepburn and Wayne finally teamed more than twenty years later in Rooster Cogburn.

      After viewing the finished film at a private screening, John Wayne jokingly said, "I'll be damned if I'm not the stuff men are made of!"

      * Crew or equipment visible: When Hondo runs up a small rise to jump on a horse, the white shirt of the person holding the horse can be seen briefly at the left.

      * Miscellaneous: The brim on Hondo's hat changes how it is bent, up or down, from one shot to the next.

      * Continuity: The Apaches throw Hondo down in the mud when they return him to Mrs. Lowe's ranch. Mrs. Lowe takes Hondo inside and seats him in a chair. The back of the chair is already wet and mud-stained before Hondo sits down in it.

      * Boom mic visible: When Hondo first encounters Ed Lowe, the shadow of a boom mic is visible in the tent.

      * Continuity: In the final battle scene at the end of the movie, the wagon being driven by Buffalo Baker has one of its lead horses go down. John Wayne cuts the animal loose and the wagon takes off with three horses pulling it. In the final scene of the movie, after the battle has concluded, the wagon rides off with a full compliment of four horses.

      * Audio/visual unsynchronized: The sound of sharpening continues after Hondo has lifted the ax from the grind stone.

      * Continuity: (At 25:00) When the Apache first appear (when Mrs. Lowe meets Vittorio for the first time), Johnny comes out to defend his mother. Silva goes to confront the boy and Johnny first tries to shoot Silva and then troughs the pistol at him. The pistol lands to the right on the ground by the pole (porch post), but then after a short scuffle, when Vittorio tells Silva to bring the boy, the pistol is laying on the porch next to where Johnny was.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico
      Chihuahua, Mexico
      Delle, Utah, USA
      Lonerock, Utah, USA
      Skull Valley, Utah, USA
      Snow Canyon State Park - 1002 Snow Canyon Drive, Ivins, Utah, USA
      Tooele County, Utah, USA
      Utah, USA

      Watch the Trailer:-

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 11 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Hondo is a Warnercolor 3D Western film made in 1953,
      starring John Wayne, directed by John Farrow.
      The screenplay is based on the July 5, 1952 Colliers short story
      "The Gift of Cochise" by Louis L'Amour.
      The book Hondo was a novelization of the film also written by L'Amour,
      and published by Bantam Books in 1953.

      This is a brilliant film, and right up there with the great ones,
      not quite a classic, but nearly, or maybe it is, what do you think?
      Duke is right at home in this role,slightly reminiscent of his first appearance
      in The Searchers and come to think of it, Angel and the Badman.

      Although John Farrow, was directing,

      Chuck Roberson noted,

      Duke's word was Law

      In fact he relied heavily on Actors and craftsmen he knew from the Ford days,
      using people like Andrew McLaglen, Archie Stout, Cliff Lyons,
      basically now becoming The John Wayne Stock Company!
      Ford turned up on the set, but Duke dispatched him off, for some menial 2nd. unit task,
      although he did direct the final battle scene.
      Ward Bond, and James Arness, were both solid in their roles.
      The strangest casting, was that of Geraldine Page, who had recently come to
      Hollywood, from Broadway.

      She said of Duke,

      "He loved to swear.....He had the warmest, most spontaneous, most wonderful laugh...
      Everybody just adored him, in the most hysterical way

      Duke and his pals considered her a peculiar eccentric!
      Duke complained of her whiny voice, and inexperience in front of the camera.

      Duke Said,

      "She may have been great on Broadway, but she didn't know a thing about making movies

      Duke was amazed, when she had been nominated for an Academy Award, for her
      However, Duke maintained, that the popularity of the very similar film
      Shane(also 1953) took the edge off Hondo.
      The movie opened to favorable reviews, and did well, making enormous profits
      across Europe and Japan.

      Michel Wayne said of his father in 1991

      Hondo holds up after all these years... I think my father, looked his best and was at his best, at the time.
      In a way that film set some of the characters he played later.It wasn't his best film,
      by a long shot, but it set his character.

      Well that sums it up nicely,

      User Review
      This film is the most faithful to the book of any I have ever seen.
      27 September 2003 | by gsmith404 (gsmith404@cox.net) (Lubbock, TX)

      This film was the most faithful, to the book, of any I have ever seen. It is based on one of Louis L'amour's early western novels, and the first to be made into a film. Aside from Vittorio wearing war paint all the time, the only part which was not really faithful to the book was the final battle where the stereotypical Hollywood Indian battle was substituted for the manner in which Apaches actually fought.

      Louis L'amour was the most successful western novelist in history, having sold more than a quarter of a billion books before his death in 1988. Reading the book, Hondo, I often suspected it had been written with John Wayne in mind as Hondo Lane. I cannot picture Glenn Ford as Hondo, as was originally planed.

      Much of the dialog was taken directly from the book although much was omitted, and every significant character made it from the book to the film. The only significant negatives were: 1) the fact that the story was condensed into 83 minutes instead of the 100 to 120 minutes, which would have permitted development of some of the minor characters; and 2) the apparent absence of a competent director. Think how much better it might have been if John Ford had directed it. Actually, both my complaints probably boil down to the same thing.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 6 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Hi,
      I have been researching all the threads, back to the start of the JWMB,
      looking for previous discussion, relating to the movies.
      I have found the following, comments, and have copied them here,
      so that they are now under one forum:-

      If anyone is interested, please click on:-

      Hondo vs. Shane, Similarity vs. Difference

      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • We enjoyed Hondo, though have not watched it nearly as much as some other movies, but I think that is because we didn't own until it came it out last year.

      It is easy to see which scenes were originally meant for the 3D glasses in original release. They do literally jump out at you! :o

      Deep Discount DVD has the Paramount release of this title, for under $10.

      Amazon has the Paramount DVD, the book by Louis L'Amour (you can get it used, starting at $0.01, plus $3.49 shipping), and of course VHS.

      Chester :newyear:
    • </span></span></span> is my all-time most favorite Western. Everything about that movie--cast, story, scenery and all; is just so classic. I remember the first time I ever saw this movie was back about 1980 or so. HBO, played it dozens of times on their station over the period of about 3 months. I watched this movie as many times as I could get away with it. The only other movie that comes as close to this one that I then never tired of is: The Big Red One. BRO, was played hundreds of times on HBO, TMC & Cinemax; in the period of about a year. Hondo was also played on Cinemax and HBO dozens more times that year.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Robbie,

      As I understand it, most 3D films were generally pretty short. The reason being because the audience had to sit during the film holding a pair of 3D glasses and looking through them. After a while, people's arms and eyes started getting tired!

      Plus with the added cost of shooting in 3D, you can be sure that they weren't going to shoot anything more then was absolutely necessary.


      "I am not intoxicated - yet." McLintock!

    • Originally posted by ethanedwards@Feb 5 2006, 04:53 AM
      This is a brilliant film, and right up there with the great ones,
      not quite a classic, but nearly, or maybe it is, what do you think?

      Couldn't agree with you more. A film I could just watch again and again. Brilliant direction and photography, a great cast of actors, and a fantastic story all add up to a solid 9/10 in my book. And Paramount did a great job of transferring the film to DVD last year.
    • FINALLY! I located the collectors' edition of "Hondo" at our local H-E-B store yesterday evening and picked it up :lol: . Haven't had a chance to watch it (the wife went into the hospital the other day and, needless to say, things have been rather hectic.). But will as soon as possible.
      Cheers - Jay :D
      Cheers - Jay:beer:
      "Not hardly!!!"
    • Originally posted by Jay J. Foraker@Jun 9 2006, 10:00 AM
      FINALLY!  I located the collectors' edition of "Hondo" at our local H-E-B store yesterday evening and picked it up :lol: .  Haven't had a chance to watch it (the wife went into the hospital the other day and, needless to say, things have been rather hectic.).  But will as soon as possible.
      Cheers - Jay :D

      Hi Jay, please relay my best wishes to your wife for a full and speedy recovery. Also, the brief moment I got to chat w/ her by phone was a nice time.

      Take care and best regards--C. :)
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Originally posted by The Ringo Kid@Jun 10 2006, 02:52 PM
      Hi Jay, please relay my best wishes to your wife for a full and speedy recovery. Also, the brief moment I got to chat w/ her by phone was a nice time.

      Take care and best regards--C.  :)

      Ditto from me as well Jay, hope your wife is feeling better.

      Oh, and you will enjoy all the extras as well as the movie!!!
      Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
      -John Wayne

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