Posts by ohbyron

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    Just finished watching this one for the umpteenth time on the Encore Westerns channel. I really don't understand the negative or so-so reviews the film received. True, this isn't Fort Apache or The Searchers but it's a damn good movie. The characters are easy to get involved with and the pacing is fine. The Mississippi and Louisiana locations are great background for the story and I'm glad Ford decided to go on location for this one. The only grating thing to me was Constance Towers southern belle accent early on. Way overdone but perhaps that was intentional as she was trying to dupe and betray Col. Marlowe. Later on, after her duplicity is discovered and revealed by Maj. Kendall, she seems to thankfully lose much of the overdone southern belle accent once she gets caught up in Marlowe's mission. I have no quarrel with the ending, either. It's perfect, when you think about it. A grand entrance into Baton Rouge would have been anti-climactic, if you ask me. The ending, as filmed, leaves it up to the viewer to imagine what happened after. Too many movies nowadays seek to overwhelm the senses when a subtle nudge is all that's required. It's like when Rhett scoops up Scarlett and carries her up the stairs into the dark. I don't need to see what happened next. That's what my imagination is for.

    Leonard Maltin, on another site, states that Holden and John Ford "fought incessantly". If they did, they certainly didn't let it spill over into the finished product. Holden's performance is top-notch, as is Wayne's and all the major characters. It's easy to see why Ford had his "stock company" of favored actors to work with. All the familiar faces did good in this one. Bing Russell's Dunker is an under-appreciated performance.

    One question for someone who knows; when was the movie actually filmed? From the scenery and sunlight I'm guessing fall of 1958 but that may be way off.

    It's hard for me to see at what point in the story Ford loses interest due to Fred Kennedy's tragic death. There is no point where the movie bogs down or begins to drag. There is no noticeable point where there is a change in tone and if the ending was, indeed, cut short it worked to the movie's advantage.

    Maybe the expectations of a movie pairing Wayne and Holden were too high. I don't know but the movie should have made money upon it's release. I don't understand why the reaction and receipts were mediocre, but that's just me. All in all, it's a fine film with a good story and it is still a wonderful movie to watch on a cold, rainy afternoon.

    I watched the remake yesterday. I agree with many who say Jeff Bridges' Rooster is a darker, moodier character. Wayne gave Rooster a joy of life that Bridges' character just doesn't have. I enjoyed the gospel oriented soundtrack of the remake but it does seem to add to the overall somber mood of the film. The original was a more fun movie to watch--brighter and with a sense of humor to counter the violence. That said, I enjoyed the remake and will watch it again. It stands on its own as a good western.