What "Grandpa Movie" did you just watch?


Which one? Omnibus?


No, The Devils on FilmStruck. All the other imdb links up there are things I really like.


It’s been a bs-filled week, filled with minor catastrophes and medical ankle-biting. I have decided that some self-cheering up is in order. My cure? John Ford.

Thanks to @ddtibbs, @DantesWitness, @divedivedive and @MrTibbs for subliminally planting this notion in my head.

First up? Faith and Begorrah!!!


Whenever anyone asks me who my first celebrity crush was, I tell them Maureen O’Hara. They always look at me a bid oddly as I’m a child of the 80s, but, really, how could you not watch movies like The Quiet Man and not be smitten by her?


She needs to be a playable character in The Quiet Man: Return to Inisfree.


Oh I think it was me that planted that – good god --Maureen Ohara is still alive. The Quiet Man is still one of John Waynes best movies. So many character actors.


And yes I watched that movie three weeks ago.


She died a few years ago at 95, unfortunately. More unfortunately is that she retired fairly young, and we got very little output from her as she aged.


How Green was my Valley is on my list this week too.


As a recommendation of hers that usually almost no one seems to have seen, see if you can find Against All Flags. Maureen O’Hara holding her own as a pirate captain alongside Errol Flynn and Anthony Quinn is an interesting dynamic. I haven’t seen this in 25 years, so don’t hate me if it turns out to have aged very poorly (or if I have).


Interesting, but the particular Tonic I am taking this week is named “John Ford”. :)


Since we’re coming up on Thanksgiving, it doesn’t get any warmer and comfier for Maureen O’Hara fans than this:


Great cast. Including a young Roddy McDowall.


Horse Soldiers atm. Still a good one.


As a kid, I always remembered Horse Soldiers as the one where the soldiers attack, and everyone time the guy carrying the flag is shot, someone else picks it up. Something about that scene always stuck with very young me.


Next up on my FordFest:

I have seen Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon in the last month, so this completes the Cavalry Trilogy.


Some of these are a bit hard to watch with the way the Indians are portrayed.


We’ll see on Rio Grande,I haven’t seen it in 30 years or so. Fort Apache is very nuanced in its view of the issues and quandary of the Apache, quite sympathetic. So is She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, though the nature of the plot doesn’t get you as close to US-Native American Affairs as does Fort Apache. It’s an overgeneralization to lump John Ford in with the mostly poor/insulting/racist portrayals of Native Americans in Westerns during that era (though I think two of his earlier works, Stagecoach and Drums Along the Mohawk are poor in that regard)… Overall though, he is quite the exception compared to other filmmakers of that time, and he really stands out, almost alone in the '40s and '50s in that regard. Have you seen any of the Cavalry Trilogy recently Mark?

In 1948, John Ford made a movie called Fort Apache . It was to be the first in the “Calvary Trilogy”, followed by She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950). In Fort Apache John Ford presents a much more balanced portrayal of the Indian. In the movie Col. Thursday, played by Henry Fonda, doesn’t think much of the Indians that are in this part of the country. Captain York, played by John Wayne disagrees.

Col. Thursday : "We here have little chance for glory or advancement. While some of our brother officers are leading their well publicized campaigns against the great Indian nations, the Sioux and the Cheyennes, we are asked to ward off the gnat stings and flea bites of a few cowardly digger Indians.
Captain York : “You would hardly call Apaches digger Indians, sir.”
Col. Thursday : “You’d scarcely compare then with the Sioux, Captain.”
Captain York : “No I don’t. The Sioux once raided into Apache territory. Old Timers told me you could follow the lines of their retreated by the bones of their dead.”
Col. Thursday : “I would suggest that the Apache has deteriorated since then, judging by a few of the specimens I’ve seen on my way out here”.

The movie is one of the first to give a positive portrayal to Native Americans. Cochise is portrayed as a proud, intelligent and merciful leader. He clearly outclasses the arrogrant, ignorant Col. Thursday in all areas.



Even though the movie is about Custer and, ultimately, the Last Stand, Raoul Walsh’s They Died with Their Boots On is also remarkably sensitive to Sioux’s point of view for a 1941 film. It shows the white men conniving to steal the Black Hills from the tribes.


I think people inadvertently broad brush the greats like Ford, Walsh &etc. , (even Boetticher) in with the endless parade of A and B westerns and TV westerns that portray Native Americans abominably. Collective memory.