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John Ford

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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moira finnie
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Re: John Ford

Postby moira finnie » March 9th, 2012, 8:03 pm

RedRiver wrote:I've seen several parts of Flesh and liked what I saw

Does that sound odd, or is it just you?

No, it's you! :wink:
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Re: John Ford

Postby MissGoddess » March 10th, 2012, 12:11 pm

I've formed kind of my own ideas (probably off base) about Drums...to me it's Lana's story, the settling of the country in those times seen through the eyes of a young "townie" woman. This is why Fonda is not more elevated, it's not a star vehicle for him to me. The focus seems most Fordian in that it is mainly on the daily life and customs of a new community and a young family. The couple adjusting not just to their new home but to each other. I find the loveliest scenes are those that contrast Lana's dramatic but hopeful beginning in her new home with the devastation after they lose it. Edna Mae is crucial to Lana's development into a frontierswoman. With Edna's guidance, she becomes more self reliant, capable and practical. What was once barren and unbelievably crude to her at first, later becomes filled with possibilities. As Fonda stumbles or gets hurt, she is tested. Ford doesn't go for big black-and-white changes, Lana remains who she is, an emotional and feeling woman, but she gathers strength and relies on her faith.

Blue Back's taking down Caldwell in the pulpit has always seemed to me one of Ford's most audacious moves. Stealing the hero's thunder and handing the defeat of the principal villain to a Native American in such a simple, quiet but humorous way is so implicit to his darkly humorous, foxy style. I'm sure the front office hated it and so would some in the audience if they knew the trick that had been pulled on them. It's marvelous.

I too would have preferred someone other than Claudette, but Fox probably wanted someone box office. As for Nancy Kelly, no one cries more than her!
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: John Ford

Postby moira finnie » March 10th, 2012, 1:33 pm

Great insights, Miss G. Thanks for your thoughtful remarks.

I see what you mean about Colbert becoming a bit more independent as she learned from Edna May Oliver's example, though I don't feel that is as strongly delineated in the story as it ought to have been. Oliver's outstanding humor and pure courage as Mrs. McKlennar made her far more vivid than Lana for me--but perhaps because of my own limited sympathy for the Colbert character's whining tendencies.

You're right about Nancy Kelly--at least in The Bad Seed--what a five hankie weeper. Perhaps the front office (meaning Zanuck, of course) did not care for the Blue Back action. I liked him, but wished the character had more of an inner spark of his own. Some of his scenes make me cringe.

____________
On another Fordian note, did you know that a slew of John Ford and many John Wayne items of equal interest are on the block over at Heritage Auctions this month?

Wayne's bib-front shirt from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, some very rare John Ford posters and even a beautifully preserved Fox exhibitor book from the '20s is set to be sold. You can see more here. Below is a thumbnail glimpse of one part of this advertisement, which you can expand. What amount of effort went into this!:
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Re: John Ford

Postby MissGoddess » March 10th, 2012, 2:13 pm

Edna Mae steals the show, for sure, she's a real Yankee pioneer woman if ever there was one. I love her scenes with Bond and the cartoon spoof made of her, I think in Looney Tunes. Ford wanted to revisit the period very much, but again, he'd probably have emphasized daily community life, what it was like back then, rather than elevate any single performance. As for Blue Back, it's interesting that Chief Big Tree may have been originally from the area not far from where the story is supposed to take place. I wonder what he thought of all that movie nonsense. :D
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Re: John Ford

Postby Lzcutter » March 10th, 2012, 4:35 pm

Chief Big Tree also appears as Pony That Walks in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
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Re: John Ford

Postby RedRiver » March 11th, 2012, 2:49 pm

I love Pony That Walks!

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Re: John Ford

Postby JackFavell » March 11th, 2012, 4:14 pm

Chief Big Tree goes all the way back to 1919 with John Ford and Harry Carey, and even a little before that. He was one of three men who posed for the model of the Indian head nickel, the other two being Chief Iron Tail and Chief Two Moons.

He appeared in John Ford's 1919 film A Fight for Love... he also appeared in The Iron Horse, Harry Carey's version of The Last of the Mohicans (1932), Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail, Lost Horizon (!), Stagecoach, Girl of the Golden West, Susannah of the Mounties, Destry Rides Again and many other films in between. His last appearance was as Thundercloud in Devil's Doorway. Most of his appearances were uncredited.

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Re: John Ford

Postby MissGoddess » March 11th, 2012, 4:48 pm

Wow, Lost Horizon. Don't tell me he's a Sherpa! :D
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Re: John Ford

Postby JackFavell » March 11th, 2012, 5:39 pm

I'm not sure. He's listed as Porter at IMDB, but it's capitalized. Either he was a porter, and it's a mistake on IMDB's part, or there is a character named Porter who I can't remember, because it's been a long time since I've seen the film. :roll:

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Re: John Ford

Postby RedRiver » March 12th, 2012, 10:45 am

That's fascinating about the nickel!

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Re: John Ford

Postby JackFavell » March 12th, 2012, 12:43 pm

Isn't it? I thought it was most interesting.


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Chief Big Tree


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Chief Iron Tail


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Chief Two Moons

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Re: John Ford

Postby RedRiver » March 12th, 2012, 1:12 pm

And there's the one who appeared on BATMAN. Chief O'Hara!

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Re: John Ford

Postby Rita Hayworth » March 12th, 2012, 3:10 pm

RedRiver wrote:And there's the one who appeared on BATMAN. Chief O'Hara!


I'm familiar with BATMAN TV SHOW, and I just don't follow you at all Red River? ... I'm puzzled/perplexed about what you've posted here?

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Re: John Ford

Postby RedRiver » March 12th, 2012, 3:17 pm

I was kidding. Chief O'Hara was the police chief, working with Commissioner Gordon!

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Re: John Ford

Postby movieman1957 » March 12th, 2012, 5:12 pm

The Bride kids about stuff like that as well. The end credits always have a "Chief Something" and she always says that there were no Indians in that movie. I tell her it's not funny anymore.
Chris

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