The Black Watch (1929)

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  • THE BLACK WATCH


    DIRECTED BY JOHN FORD
    PRODUCED BY WILLIAM R. SHEEHAN
    FOX FILM CORPORATION



    Screenshots Courtesy of Elly, Duke is just visible on the very far right.


    Information From IMDb


    Plot Summary
    Just as World War I breaks out, Captain Donald King of the British Army
    goes to India, and convinces his comrades that he is a coward.
    However in reality, he is on a secret mission to rescue
    British soldiers held prisoner there.
    Written by ethanedwards


    Full Cast
    Victor McLaglen ... Capt. Donald Gordon King
    Myrna Loy ... Yasmani
    David Rollins ... Lt. Malcolm King
    Lumsden Hare ... Colonel of the Black Watch
    Roy D'Arcy ... Rewa Ghunga
    Mitchell Lewis ... Mohammed Khan
    Cyril Chadwick ... Maj. Twynes
    Claude King ... General in India
    Francis Ford ... Maj. MacGregor
    Walter Long ... Harrim Bey
    David Torrence ... Field Marshal
    Frederick Sullivan ... General's Aide
    Richard Travers ... Adjutant
    Pat Somerset ... O'Connor, Black Watch Officer
    David Percy ... Soloist, Black Watch Oofficer
    Joseph Diskay ... Muezzin
    Joyzelle Joyner ... Dancer (as Joyzelle)
    Harry Allen ... Sandy (uncredited)
    Frank Baker ... 42nd Highlander (uncredited)
    Arthur Clayton ... 42nd Highlander (uncredited)
    Gregory Gaye ... Bit Part (uncredited)
    Mary Gordon ... Sandy's Wife (uncredited)
    Bob Kortman ... Bit Part (uncredited)
    Tom London ... 42nd Highlander (uncredited)
    Arthur Metcalfe ... 42nd Highlander (uncredited)
    Jack Pennick ... Bit Part (uncredited)
    Randolph Scott ... Bit Part (uncredited)
    Phillips Smalley ... Doctor (uncredited)
    Lupita Tovar ... Bit Part (uncredited)
    Duke Morrison ... Extra (uncredited)


    Writing Credits
    James Kevin McGuinness writer
    Talbot Mundy novel "King of the Khyber Rifles"
    John Stone writer


    Cinematography
    Joseph H. August


    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
    Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director


    Art Department
    Duke Morrison .... props


    Trivia
    * This was the first sound feature that John Ford directed. Unable to shout orders to the actors, he had his brother, First Assistant Edward O'Fearna dress up as a rifleman and mingle with the crowd whispering Ford's instructions to the principal actors.


    John Ford had notched up almost 50 films in the director's chair when he took on this project in the late 20's coinciding with the advent of sound.


    Far less well known than its 1953 re-make (known AS KING OF THE KHYBER RIFLES) with Tyrone Power in the Victor McLlaglen role, the story is that of British Army Officer Captain King, who encounters way more than he expected when he is asked to put down an Indian rebellion up around the Khyber Pass.


    Very dated now and without the benefit of wide screen color which so enhances desert dramas especially, BLACK WATCH is still an interesting time-capsule.
    Compare this with the later version, to see how John Ford's direction held up in 1929. On both counts, the film scored well!

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    Edited 9 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Black Watch is a 1929 American adventure epic film directed by John Ford and
    starring Victor McLaglen, Myrna Loy, and David Torrence.
    Written by James Kevin McGuinness based on the novel King of the Khyber Rifles by Talbot Mundy,
    the film is about a captain in the British Army's Black Watch regiment assigned
    to a secret mission in India just as his company is called to France at the outbreak of war.
    His covert assignment results in his being considered a coward by his fellows,
    a suspicion confirmed when he becomes involved in a drunken brawl in India
    that results in the death of another officer.
    The film features an uncredited 21-year-old John Wayne working as an extra;
    he also worked in the arts and costume department for the film.


    How ironical it is, that this movie,
    John Ford's first sound film,
    should star Victor MacLaglen,
    with Duke as a minor extra.


    Who would have guessed at the time,
    that later, the then young Morrison,
    would be the world's biggest movie star,
    and Victor ending up supporting him in his films!!


    Many familiar name crop up in this movie,
    notably Jack Pennick, Randolph Scott,
    and a co-star role for John Ford's brother Francis


    User Review

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    Edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • How ironical it is, that this movie,
    John Ford's first sound film, should star Victor MacLaglen,
    with Duke as a minor extra.
    Who would have guessed at the time, that later, the then young Morrison,
    would be the world's biggest movie star, and Victor ending up supporting him in his films!!


    What a juxtaposition!


    Thanks, Keith, for sharing all the information on these earlier, uncredited roles of Duke. That story about Noah's Ark, which could have been John Wayne's last movie, was especially interesting.


    Chester :newyear:


  • This rare gem is a screenshot researched and found by Elly,
    many thanks for this, and I have also posted it on our opening review.
    It's difficult to spot Duke in his, extra/walk on roles in these rare movies,
    and this one is no exception!!


    Quote

    Elly:
    Take a look bottom right this is JW in a scene from Black watch.
    All through it his head remains down maybe he was told not
    to move as his head was obscuring the guy next to him who was needed in shot!

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Here are 2 new frame captures from The Black Watch, showing what might be a partial view of John Wayne on the far right. Hopefully these clips are a bit more clearer. Notice also that Victor McLaglen is sitting directly across from Wayne, and would appear in some of Wayne's films some twenty years later.

  • I didn't notice one familiar-looking individual at the other end of the table that John Wayne was at in "The Black Watch" until after the fact. Doesn't this guy look like Spencer Tracy? Tracy did his first feature film at Fox and under John Ford, though not until 1930. I wonder if this is an extra job for Tracy that is unknown or overlooked.