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Thanks for that, Mark! While often the book is better, it seems that artistic license played a valuable role in this case. I appreciated the sub-plots, of the chase through the desert and the baby being related to the sheriff, made it interesting.
I am pleased that Todd picked this virtually forgotten John Wayne gem to review as it represents a terrific collaboration between John Ford and the Duke.
The movie focuses on three outlaws whom rob a bank in the town of Welcome and make their getaway across the desert being closely pursued by the towns sheriff and a posse of deputies. In the middle of the desert the three outlaws come across a heavily pregnant woman who dies giving birth to her son. The remainder of the movie focuses on the three outlaws attempting to get the baby to safety and in their efforts expose their redeeming qualities ultimately allowing them to gain redemption.
The movie is rich in visual imagery and symbolism and this combined with a funny yet sentimental storyline gives the viewer something to really get their teeth into giving and overly fulfilling movie.
The acting is good particularly from Ward Bond as the persistent pursuer and Harry Carey Jnr as the kid outlaw. However it is John Wayne who dominates the movie playing the troubled man who operates on the wrong side of the law, playing Bob Hightower Duke allows us to warm to his character who has questionable values yet when pushed to the brink demonstrates his true character. Duke is equally pleasing to watch whether it be in humorous scenes or in the more dramatic ones and in his movies he was beginning to consistently demonstrate what a great actor he had become.
Overall this western is somewhat off beat which adds to its overall appeal, it features a great storyline, strong acting and is virtually flawless and for this it rates a very admirable 9/10 for this viewer.
I just thought I would give this a shot. I didn't get a chance to watch the movie in the last 2 weeks so this is coming straight from memory. And remember, I'm not very good with words, but let's see what happens.
You knew this was gonna be a special movie with the salute to Harry Carey at the beginning. As everyone here knows, Harry Carey and John Ford were very good friends, so I guess Harry Carey, Jr. (as the Abilene Kid) being cast in the movie is a given.
As with any Duke and Ward Bond movie, there are going to be comedic elements and the first is the scene where Duke first meets B Sweet. Of course we all find out later that his real name is Buck Sweet and he is the town Marshal and a fatal flaw of the movie is when Bond says "I'll be seeing you boys." You knew that he'd be seeing him later.
Another comedic element of the movie is when the judge asks Duke to give his full name and when Bond hears his middle name he just erupts in laughter, One of the funniest scenes in a John Wayne movie I have ever seen. And of course, the scenes with Hank Worden attempting to escort Duke to jail are a hoot as well.
Now onto the more serious parts of the movie. To me, there a lot of Christmas elements here as well as a lot of religious themes as well. Out of the blue he finds a bible while seeking shelter. The verse he reads is from Matthew and it reads...And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, then sent Jesus two disciples saying unto them, go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find a donkey tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. I'll give it to John Ford, several of his movies have religious elements to them. Yes, I did pop in the DVD to get that verse.
Overall, just like Robbie, I'll give this one a 9 out of 10. This was kind of fun and I hope everyone enjoys my thoughts on this movie. Now onto the next one.
Sorry to have missed this review, I was out of town for the end day.
Like the rest of you, I enjoyed the Christmas elements and the story about how a baby and a bible could change the ways of a gang of outlaws. And the 1 remaing outlaw was broken down so far at the end that he was showed what was important in his life. There ian't really more that I can say since most of you have said the things that I am already thinking. Good work!!
Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!! -John Wayne
I persuaded a friend of mine to watch this movie. I didn't tell him it was a western or that it had John Wayne in it. He emailed me his views on the movie which I think were rather interesting even if I don't agree with all of them, below is what he wrote. I was expecting a black and white gangster film. BUT OOOHHH NOOOOOO it was another bloody western. But I watched it from start to finish. I'm not sure what I think I about it. Yea that film.... three guys, a baby and the Arizona desert.... hmmm perfect plot.
As I said I'm not sure what I think about it. Its a western with JW, so in my mind it similar to all his others. NO I DID'NT SAY IT WAS THE SAME.
It was good however, more story telling than modern films. But slower than
the films I'm used to. I noticed something strange. When the film ended
and I switched back to normal TV, there was a modern American trash. I
don't know if it was a film or what. But I had a wonderful repulsion
for it, after the gritty sandy Arizona.
Another thing I actually loved about the film. REAL SAND AND A REAL
TRAIN!!! No glitzing over with silly CGI. Those actors were riding
the horses and where getting sand in their teeth.
I didn't like the music in places.... the acting was great. But there are
some strange and silly bits... the younger fella with the glowing holy
light over him in the trailer... ?????? Some parts were a bit drawn
out and ever so slightly overacted. But that's probably over critical.
I don't mind you asking questions, Sue. They are called by their names and by "Bad men". The part that Duke played is the worst Badman, Tom Gibbons . Pedro Armendariz's part is the wounded Badman, Bill Kearny and Harry Carey Jr.'s part is the youngest Badman, Bob Sangster. The movie plays close to the book with variations in the story line. Ward Bond's part isn't in the book. The Badmen (4 of them) ride in, rob the bank and shoot their way out of town, with one getting killed and three escaping with one injured. Some of the treck accross the desert is almost true to the book (some of the diologue exactly the same), except that the youngest Badman is the only one to survive with the baby. The book ends when he barely reaches New Jeruselem alive. The baby is still named after the badmen. The mother named him Robert William Thomas Sangster. It is not a very long story, but I enjoyed it alot. I enjoyed the movie more, because of the added story of Buck Sweet and the chase.
"I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
H.sanada, thank you for sharing your collection with us! How long have you been collecting?
I am a baby boom generation born Dec.1946.
As i already mentioned in other threads,The revival(re-release)boom of western films
occurred in Japan at the beginning of 60's.
Therefore,I fortunately the majority of the masterpieces of the western were able to
be seen in the thetre. Ofcource almost of them was JW movies.
My collection started in those days about 50 years ago. Oh,Time flies.
Hello H Sanada time indeed waits for none of us. how ofton are westerns played on tv in Japan these days?
In these days,i had seen many western films in the theater.
and on TV,theater films are relleased not often,but, TV western dorama were
broadcasted everyday. Rawhide,Gunsmoke,Cheynne,Bonanza,Have gun will travel,
Wanted dead or alive.....etc.