Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The John Ford Film Collection |
The Informer / Mary of Scotland / The Lost Patrol / Cheyenne Autumn / Sergeant Rutledge
Actors: Jeffrey Hunter, Woody Strode, Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, Katharine Hepburn
Directors: John Ford, Leslie Goodwins
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
WHV celebrates on of the true masters of American cinema with the release of The John Ford Collection. Four-time Academy Award?-Winning director John Ford is perhaps best known for his Westerns and collaborations with John... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
AMERICA'S GREATEST DIRECTOR!
Kenneth Kapel | Chicago,Il, USA | 06/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The John Ford collection is a set of vintage Ford films,without John Wayne while and I would NOT have included Mary of Scotland,and would have preferred either The Plough and the Stars,or The Fugitive (Henry Fonda)or the underrated Two Rode Together,this is still a very good film set.There is a separate Ford-Wayne collection,which I will review latter.The five films,in this collection are: The Lost Patrol;The Informer;Cheyenne Autumn:Mary of Scotland:Sergeant Rutledge: The following are my reviews of each individul film.
1.THE LOST PATROL-TENSE ANTI-WAR CLASSIC!*****
A British army Patrol,during the time of WW1, in the Mesopotamian desert gets lost,after their commander is killed,and he has left no notes or orders,in regard to their mission or exact location.With
their leader dead the small group's command falls to Sergeant Victor McLaglen.After a journey of unknown length,the patrol finds an oasis,and it is here where most of the action takes place as they are pinned down by (mostly unseen) Arab fighters.It is here where we really get to meet the men and get to know their hopes and fears.The other men include J.M.Kerrigan(as Quincannn-probably the most frequently used name in a Ford film!),Reginald Denny (Brown),Wallace Ford( excellent as Moretti),Boris Karloff,(,outstanding as Sanders-a religious fanatic),and Douglas Walton,as callow youth,who when he leaves for the service he relates that that was the ONLY time he saw his mother cry.This is (to me) one of the dramtic highlight so the film,when we see 19 year old Walton(about 25,in real life) pours his heart out to McLaglen.This scene,even more so than others shows the futility of war. Great direction,a great screenplay(Dudley Nichols,Ford's favorote writer,at the time-THE INFORMER-STAGECOACH),a fine Max Steiner score,and an excellent DVD transfer. A GREAT ANTI-WAR AND(mildly) ANTI-IMPERIALIST FILM,AND A MUST SEE!
MARY OF SCOTLAND:KATHERINE HEPBURN-FREDRIC MARCH **1/2
Katherine Hepburn,in her only Ford film,is Mary, Queens of Scots.This motion picture is derived from a Maxwell Anderson Play,and a screenplay by Dudley Nichols.To me of what I've seen of Ford's thirties films,"Mary of Scotland" it is Ford's least-good films of the period.Watchable,but forgettable.Two and one half stars.
THE INFORMER:VICTOR MCLAGLEN'S FINEST HOUR *****
The story of "the troubles",in Ireland, in told in a very somber way in the John Ford classic "The Informer",with Victor McLaglen(a Ford regular)giving an AA winning performance in the title role.McLaglen plays Gypo Nolan,a down and out Dubliner,who is without money,and because of this and having been recently "dismissed" from the IRA(Irish Republican Army'freedom fighters,hoping to obtain a united and totally free Ireland,with no British ties whatsoever) and because he is also in jeopardy of losing his girlfried Margot Grahame,(outstanding)as he is in a greatly strained emotional state,and when wondering the streets comes upon a reward poster for "IRA murderer"Frankie McPhillip(Wallace Ford-no relation to the director).The reward is worth enough so that both Gypo and his girl can get passage to America.A short while latter Gypo accidentally runs into Frankie,an old friend,and they have a short conversion about Frankie being on the run,how Frankes's mother is,and the reasons why Gypo was "sacked" from the(in this coversion a "Quincannon" is mentioned) IRA,after the conversion ends the wheels start to turn in Gypo's head and he wonders over to the "Black and Tans"station(the Black and Tans,so-called becuse of their uniforms,are special British militiary(police)men assigned to Ireland when "the troubles" are at their height,""Up the Irish" or in this film,"Up the Rebels" types may look at the B&T's as THE REAL TERRORISTS,but that's for another discussion)and reluctanly tells the "Brits" that Frankie will be at his mother's.After Frankie is killed in a shoot-out,Gypo is given disdainfully(even the B&T's don"t like Informers) his money and goes.Drinking,fighting,and partying are on the night's program for Gypo,but his drining is only a mask,to hide his emotional breakdown from his wicked deed.The IRA figures out what went on,in regard to Frankie's death, and Gypo is a doomed man!
Other supporting members of the cast are very good to excellent,J.M.Kerrigan,Preston Foster,Donald Meek,Joseph (then Sauers)Sawyer,and Una'Connor as Frankie's mother who is a bite "over the top" early in the film,but comes through poignanly at the coclusion.From a LiamO'Flaherty story,an excellent Dudley Nichols screenplay,with a haunting Max Steiner musical score,and a very crisp and clear DVD transfer.The ONLY MINUS NO DVD COMMETARY-A MUST SEE!!
CHEYENNE AUTUMN-DESPITE FLAWS ALMOST A CLASSIC ****
Ignoring "Fort Apache",and the anti-racism of "The Searchers",many critics (falsely) claim that John Ford set an anti-Native American(Indian) tone in films that increased racism in America.Well, whatever truth there is to either side of the argument is,in this film John Ford,in his last Western,is FIRMLY on the Indians side.But is was still (somewhat justified)critised fom casting,in VERY IMPORTANT roles none-Idians,especially The Victor Jory,Gilbert Roland,Richardo Montalban,Dolores Del Reo,and Sal Mineo(!)roles.
This motion picture tells the true story of the Cheyenne's plight at the hand of "THE GREAT FATHER" and their trek,and persuit(by U.S.troops) back to their Yellowstone homeland.
On the minus side is the appearrance of Carroll Baker(miscast) as a Quaker school marm) and Karl Malden,with an"over the top performance" as a muderous,racist American(German born) General.The screenplay by James Webb(Pork Chop Hill,The Big Country,Cape Fear) is lacklustre,and the comic interlude of Jimmy Stewart(as Wyatt Earp) with Arthur KennedyI"Doc" Holliday) and John Carradine(a dishonest gambler) and a bunch of hooligian ,led by Ken Curtis is out of place,and NOT VERY FUNNYI did lke Elizebeth Allen,was a damsel of ill-repute.This is a heart-felt film by John Ford with good performances by Richard Widmark as a "liberal" U.S. "horse soldier",and LaBaker's love interest,and in a cameo Edward G.Robinson.The musical score by Alex North is OK,but I would have preferred Elmer Bernstein.An An excellent DVD transfer.Despite my misgivings,4 stars.
SERGEANT RUTLEDGE-ANTI RACIST CLASSIC WESTERN *****
In this unheralded John Ford anti-racist Western, set in 1881,Sergeant Braxton Rutledge(Woody Stode) is accussed of rape and murder,and mostly in flashbacks the events of his accusation,his fleeing,and trial are told.The pace is perfect and acting and direction excellent.In his third Ford film Jeffery Hunter proves again that he was a very underrated actor.His performance is excellent,also good are Constance Towers,as Hunter's love interest and Braxton sympathizer,Willis Bouchey(a Ford grouchy regular),Juano Hernandez,Routledge's fellow "Buffalo Soldier",and sort of "father figure".for the rest of the black soldier's,and Charleton Young(another Ford regular) as the intentially racist prosecutor.But it is Strode(a Ford regular,in support roles) who carries the film.His pride and dignity are evident, in every scene in which he appears.There re two ways to look at this film,or more properly to look at Hollywood,either this film was way ahead of its time or Hollywood took to long to look at U.S. race relations,in any meaning manner.The anti-racists films,of Hollywood, did not really start to make an appearance until the late 1940's,with films such as "PINKY" and the 1950 film debut of Sidney Poitier in "NO WAY OUT"(see my review)My opinion is "so-called liberal Hollywood"(remember the blacklist) was and is always interested IN PROFITS,and NOT PREACHING!.
A GREAT FILM by "AMERICA'S GREATEST DIRECTOR!!
Excellent DVD transfer,but no commetary.5-stars!!
Pappy gets a nod
D. James | Melbourne, Australia | 04/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For fans of John Ford this will be a long-awaited set of previously unreleased films made by the great between spanning a period between the 30's till the 60's. Titles included are a great choice, personally I would have liked to see 'The Hurricane' in this one or another title starring Dorothy Lamour with whom he worked on several films, but that's just my opinion!
As usual, the price for the whole collection is reasonable, much more so than just buying the individual titles."
Five from Mr. Fenny aka John Ford
James J. Cremin | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with one reviewer that "The Hurricane" should have been included. Also, "Three Bad Man" and "The Iron Horse" need to be accessed but they very likely still belong to Fox. My take on the films here:
"The Lost Patrol" Victor McLaglen and Boris Karloff made an odd team indeed. McLaglen has led this patrol to somewhere in North Africa and he has to thankless job to hold his men together to maintain his own sense of sanity. Karloff already lost his and there's really not much anyone can do until the rest of the troops find them. Almost ten years later, Bogart would star with an all male cast in "Sahara", but the outcome would be different. Kurasawa may have been influeneced with the simple graves at the end as he used graves to an even more haunting ending in the "Seven Samurai".
"The Informer" As mentioned in the extras, Ford was very influenced with German Impressionism and loved "Sunrise" that starred George O'Brien, Ford's early star in the above mentioned silent westerns. So, it could be said that this Irish tale is actually a film noir, years before its name was ever invoked. Very sad to watch as the viewer clearly sees that poor Gypo doesn't know what he's doing. This is clearing the best film of this lot and stands as one of the best films Ford has ever done. Very catholic, too, as the poor lad dies forgiven. Kudos to the rest of the cast as well.
"Mary of Scotland" There is actually to lot to like about this movie. After all, this stars Katherine Hepburn who gives great a regal performance not too different from all the other roles she's done. This also costars Fredrick March, who appeared in many high brow movies in this time period. The language is rich but is guilty of being too wordy. It's interesting to compare this to other costume drams that starred actresses of this time period, such as Marlene Dietrich "The Scarlett Empress", (my favorite), Greta Garbo "Queen Christina" (a masterpiece, but it bombed at the time), Norma Shearer "Marie Antoninette" and Bette Davis who got away with several, including two in which she played Elizabeth I.
"Sergeant Rutledge" This is intentionally an umcomfortable film to watch and the same theme was much more sucessful in "To Kill A Mockingbird", made just a year later. It must be said that Woody Strode was a very stiff actor. He was such a demanding presense that he usually was given little or no lines in the movies he appeared. Here, he's the title character, a black man accursed of raping and strangling a white woman. After different viewpoints are shown in flashback, he's called upon to give a speech in which he does say the n word. I actually don't have much problem with Jeffrey Hunter. The guy did what he's supposed to do, but Montgomery Cliff he wasn't. He suffered the same kind of blandness John Agar had. It was the Perry Mason type ending, which was a hit show back then, that I have a problem with. The guilty party confesses only because his conscious bothers him. It's simply not believable.
"Cheyenne Authumn" I actually like this film. True, Gilbert Roland, Ricardo Montaban, Sal Mineo and Dolores del Rio weren't actually native Americans but they wouldn't weren't bad at playing them. Ricard Widmark is between a rock and a hard place when he reluntuntly leads the natives. There's also the Quaker love interest played by Carole Baker. There's tension in every meeting they have. I must commend Ford for having the "got to kill me an Indian" scene. Natives ride up to whites begging for food and one gets murdered and scalped in the process. This is quickly followed with Ford satirizng himself. The killer gets accidently shot, then relunctantly treated by a poker playing Wyatt Earp, played by James Stewart. Then we get the Indians trapped by Karl Marden, who claims he knows all about Indians due to all the books he got about them, most in German. Widmark sneaks off to get Edward G. Robinson and they both get to save the Indians from slaughter for the time being. This is a sad movie to watch but there is much to appreciate here. It was a brave film to make in 1964."
A little of Everything
Dasher | Houston, Texas | 06/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Any collection that has The Lost Patrol has got to be worth the 40 bucks. That movie and Boris Karloff alone is something to behold. But this collection also contains Sgt Rutlidge which a movie way before its time. Mary Queen of Scots, I wasn't even aware was a John Ford Movie. The Informer another great and Cheyene Autumn. I think this set has a little bit of something for everyone. I just wish that we knew if this was the 66 minute watered down version of Lost Patrol or the original uncut version."