Sept. 21, 2008, 1:35 a.m. CST
I perfer The Coyboys, but then again that was the first real western I watched as a kid.
My favorite John Wayne movie is The Searchers, where you also see some of the dark side exhibited here in Red River. Red River would be my second favorite, Stagecoach close behind, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon coming next. I once read something to the effect (correct me if you know the exact quote) that Stagecoach made the Duke a leading man, but Red River made him a star. The Duke's westerns from about 1939 to around 1954 are his best--I come back to them over and over. Oh, and Noah Berry, Jr. is also in Red River. He was Rockford's Dad in the Rockford Files, but I remember him from the late fifties Sat. morning show: Circus Boy. You go, Quint!!
Sept. 21, 2008, 3:19 a.m. CST
Luckily I grew up in a John Wayne/Clint Eastwood/Sean Connery household (plus my dad loved Burt Lancaster, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum and Gene Hackman) I have been fortunate enough to see all the great Wayne westerns already. I agree with Clio that this and the Searcher's are Wayne's best performances. I am reminded of the story of John Ford, who directed Wayne already in several films already such as "Stage Coach" and "The Long Voyage Home", when he saw John Wayne in this film: "I didn't know the son of a bitch could act".
Sept. 21, 2008, 3:56 a.m. CST
by Dr Eric Vornoff
Not much more to say. Hawks would be my choice for greatest American director ever. If there's ANY of his movies you've yet to see then make sure they're on your list. My favourites: Rio Bravo (which I know you've already done), The Big Sleep, Bringing Up Baby and Only Angels Have Wings. It don't get any better than those
Sept. 21, 2008, 4:38 a.m. CST
...John Wayne's three best film, in no particular order are... Red River, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and The Searchers.
Sept. 21, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST
...for another classic anti-hero role. If gave me new-found respect for an actor I thought only played the "good guy in white."
Sept. 21, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST
deconstruction of the westerner through Wayne's films from The Searchers through to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Red River has atmosphere to burn.
Sept. 21, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST
by Tycho Anomaly
Also gets a nice shout out in The Last Picture Show, which shows the "Take 'em to Missouri" scene.
Sept. 21, 2008, 12:30 p.m. CST
Unbelievable to see John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Lee Marvin in the same movie. Just fantastic. Other good Wayne movies, The Searchers, Stage Coach, Rio Bravo, etc etc. I'm also partial to True Grit.
Sept. 21, 2008, 1:33 p.m. CST
The problem is that his "Good guy roles" were shown more on TV than his more subtle Anti-Hero roles or downright villain roles. A lot of us "youngsters" don't realize that during the Golden Age of hollywood, there were many films that looked to the dark side, had dark plots. Actors that took the risky roles such as Wayne. Television only plays "the best of" movies...which were normally lighter and more family friendly fare.<P> Wayne was one of my dad's favorite movie stars. He loved Waynes westerns, but he ADORED Waynes War movies. There is an excellent John Wayne and John Ford collection of movies out there.They had a stormy relationship-They put out some EXCELLENT movies together. Most particularly For Apache. There he cast the liberal Henry Fonda as the conservative hard ass commander, and John Wayne as a the liberal rebellious soldier.<p> John Ford thought Wayne was a coward for not joining the military in WWII. Ford himself was a spy for the Navy. Ford was also an FDR man who chided Wayne for his conservatism.<p>
Sept. 21, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST
by Mr Gorilla
Sorry to disagree but I just saw this again a week ago. The camerawork IS breathtaking. Me and my missus kept on remarking on it.
Sept. 21, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST
by Gungan Slayer
Certainly one of Wayne's best performances, and in many ways his character has many similarities with the one in "The Searchers," which to me is Wayne's best film.
Sept. 21, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST
... I simply refuse to believe that there is no longer a market for this kind of movie. These days we are so flooded with effects-driven blockbusters (some great, some shite) that it almost seems as if this kind of film/story can't find an audience anymore. It's a sad thought. Luckily, every now and then, something great like There Will Be Blood shows up and restores my faith. Still, I miss having "epic" films that consist of more than just a sea of CG soldiers.
Sept. 21, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST
Thanks for the review. One of my favourites. I'll be interested to see how you get on with Stazione Termini. I'm not a great fan. Still worth seeing for the old station and Monty in full heart throb mode. A better film is The Search which is fantastic - a tear jerker. Great watching Clift, all bright eyed and bushy tailed before the guilt and drugs took him, creating something new and fresh before Brando. I would recommend The Heiress, I Confess (just for the confessional scene), A Place in the Sun (just to gawp at Monty and Elizabeth Taylor and From Here to Eternity (Playing Taps).
Sept. 21, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST
Funny how you mentioned your dad enjoyed the Duke's war movies, my father hated them. He was a vet (which I imagine your dad was as well), having served in Korea with the 1st cav. He loved Wayne on a horse, but could never buy him as a soldier (most likely because he could never stay low or crawl in the dirt like a real grunt). I do agree with you about how much darker the Golden Age of film is than people realize. I mean, look at Ace in the Hole, The Naked Spur, The Fury, The Ox-Bow Incident, or the upcoming Act of Violence.
Sept. 21, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST
by Liberty Valance
Masterful fuckin movie. What more needs to be said?
Sept. 21, 2008, 7:56 p.m. CST
For me it somewhat negated the great film that came before it. It made it seem as if the rift between Wayne & Clift wasn't as serious as I had thought. But other than that, a great film.
Sept. 21, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST
This is my favorite John Wayne western, and that's coming from a guy who worships the near perfect masterpiece that is The Searchers. (I say John Wayne western because I have a big soft spot for The Quiet Man.) That said, the movie has two big flaws. 1) The ending is fluff. Yeah I know in the '40s a movie can't end with your lead killing his son (or vice versa), but by the time Tom Dunson catches Matt Garth I'm expecting the apocalypse. 2) Joanne Dru. This chick played it like she was in a noir detective movie rather than a western. In the middle of an indian attack she gets shot in the shoulder with an arrow and stays so cool that she keeps casually flirting?!? But like I said, all in all an amazing flick. Isn't it cool when gunman Cherry Valance brings in those two theiving cow pokes and Dunson, sitting there like some kind of insane unholy king (because the "amount of sleep he's had in the last four days wouldn't fill a mouse's ear"), looks up at 'em and says "I'm gunna hang ya." Awesome.
Sept. 23, 2008, 7:09 a.m. CST
by Red Dawn Don
John Wayne Ducked Out Of Military Service In World War II. He claimed the family man exemption. Jimmy Stewart and many others had families but they served and fought. World War II was an absolute righteous cause. That being said, I still like Wayne movies, although Green Berets is a bit too patriotic by a non-server actor. IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER. IF YOU CAN READ THIS IN ENGLISH, THANK A MILITARY VETERAN.