The Black Watch (1929)

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.
       

    There are 5 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by JamesMace.

    • The Black Watch (1929)

      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

      The post was edited 9 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: The Black Watch (1929)

      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
      Yasmani, That's My Baby
      21 November 2007 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)
      Most of the time criticism about film remakes will usually run to 'not as good as the original' and most time it isn't. In this case the 1953 remake of this story that Henry King did starring Tyrone Power was miles superior to this early sound feature.
      Later on Victor McLaglen got back to colonial India in better features like Gunga Din and Wee Willie Winkie also for John Ford. The only distinction this film has is it is John Ford's first talkie and it's a good thing someone decided to give him another chance.
      Neither film is true to the original novel by Talbot Mundy. This version takes place on the eve of World War I as the famed Scottish Black Watch Regiment is in their mess having a last blowout before leaving for the front. During the course of the good times, Captain Victor McLaglen is sent for.
      He's been brought up in India, knows Hindustani, Pushtu, and all the languages of that key area of the Khyber Pass. They've got an assignment for him. He's to let it get around that he used some pull to get that transfer to India so that folks will think him a coward. Then when he gets to India with the rumors flying, he's to desert and infiltrate the camp of a nasty group of rebels who are being led by a white Princess Yasmani, played by Myrna Loy.
      So with trusty Moslem aide Mitchell Lewis, McLaglen does just that and of course Loy falls for him in just about the same way that Madeline Kahn fell for Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles. In fact this film didn't need John Ford, it could have been a Mel Brooks triumph if it had been worked right.
      But it wasn't a comedy, or at least an intentional one. By the way Loy is a descendant of Alexander the Great and because she was white it would be OK for McLaglen and her to do some kanoodling. Got to think of that southern market. She's also got Roy D'Arcy and Walter Long in her camp panting good and hard after her also, but when she sees McLaglen, it's just like Little and Kahn.
      By the way, I couldn't quite figure out what these rebels were. They seemed to have aspects of both the Moslem and Hindu religion there. Certainly in Islam you wouldn't have a woman at the head of things in what is a traditional Islam movement. I attribute that to incredibly sloppy research.
      John Ford gets his innings in during the Scottish Mess Hall scenes at the beginning and end of the film. Otherwise you'd hardly know it was a film of his.
      And the biggest story of the film is the early sound recording picked up McLaglen saying Loy's character name of Yasmani as Yes, Minnie. Purportedly they edited it out because of the hoots it got during the premiere. I did hear one Yasmani come out of McLaglen and it could have been a Yes, Minnie. Myrna and her friends thought it was hilarious for the next 64 years of her life, her good friends called her Minnie.
      John Wayne and Randolph Scott are supposed to be extras in this and they could have been. But I searched in vain for them.
      Better their names not be attached to this one.
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: The Black Watch (1929)

      ethanedwards wrote:

      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:
    • Re: The Black Watch (1929)



      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!!

      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

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: The Black Watch (1929)

      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.
      Files
    • Re: The Black Watch (1929)

      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.
      Files