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JohnnyLancer

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Apr 29, 2021
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Kevin Taffe
boy does McClure do a good job of just listening

so true.
I'm sure old Andy Jimmy and McClure felt damn good about that day of shooting. Way back fin the day when movie acting was all about listening, processing and responding to other human beings about human truths.
It's a shame that the " skill of listening " is lost now as a whole in society not just film.
 

Reed Grele

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Saw this at the tender age of 9 before I knew the difference between "coifed" and "quaffed". Saturday matinee. Local Strand theater. So it has a somewhat sentimental value to me. Happy to hear that the transfer is adequate. Will probably watch it tonight.

BTW, Ed McMahon evidently quaffed a few beakers, but was always perfectly coifed. ;)
 

jim_falconer

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937
Allow me to jump on the dog-pile of dissent over the criticism of this movie. I think it holds up extremely well and is one of Stewart’s best films.
I think most of us really enjoy the film. It’s the fact that Andy made no effort production-wise, to make the film anything more than glorified TV of its time. But as RAH mentions, he was a workman like director, and definitely cut his teeth on TV westerns of the 50s and early 60s
 

lark144

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mark gross
I'll go along with Mr. Harris on this one. Never liked it, never will. And that's what makes horse racing. As to being better than Bandolero and The Rare Breed - high praise indeed :)
OK. I'll go along with that. It's definitely better than "The Rare Breed", but I'm on the fence about "Bandolero".
 

Jack P

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I saw this film once at my summer camp in 1983 on "film night" and haven't seen it since and would like to revisit it. Of course it also was the basis for a very successful Broadway musical a decade later starring John Cullum so the property clearly had some basic appeal to audiences.
 

JohnnyLancer

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Kevin Taffe
The emotion in Shenandoah bites the dramatic side of many features of that day. Funny though I could have seen this movie as a TV series with Stewart as the lead.
 

mskaye

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Of course. Ford’s composition of shots was second to none. I think back to the image of the nurses in They Were Expendable, leaving the operating room while striking matches for their cigarettes. The lighting and camera work was incredible , and still awes to this very day.
John Ford at his best - and there was a shit ton of best - was in a class by himself. A visual poet and a director of such vision and complexity that it's almost silly to bring him up here. I don't think I've seen a McLaglen film that is anything above competent. He's like Guy Hamilton level of hack in everything but Goldfinger. He isn't even at a J. Lee Thompson level of style let alone Anthony Mann, John Sturges, Boetticher and a few others too (see below.) Sam Peckinpah is at a different level of artistry entirely (and not a Ford clone at all - a more modern filmmaker in terms of camera technique - The Wild Bunch operates at a Seven Samurai level of visual and emotional mastery.) Hawks' westerns don't define him but were also among the best. Ditto w Leone, Altman, Ray, Eastwood, King, Brando, Siegel, Fuller, Daves, Walter Hill - all these directors mentioned above are artists that have more to say emotionally in one frame of their works than in the entirety of McLaglen's oeuvre (maybe a little harsh.)
 
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Gerani53

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Wow. With all due respect, this film's detractors are sadly missing the bigger picture here. SHENANDOAH stands tall as a rather remarkable achievement within the studio-system universe that Universal clung to during this era. Big U under Wasserman/Sheinberg/Frank Price provided a fascinating dichotomy in the mid-to-late '60s, and into the early '70s, with movies that resembled television production and television production that resembled movies (the latter launching the big screen careers of Steven Spielberg and John Badham, among others). SHENANDOAH validates the Universal approach in every way. In addition to a plethora of fine supporting performances, it gives James Stewart one of the best and meatiest roles of his career, with a solid emotional core that hits audiences like a sledgehammer with his final, choked speech by his wife's grave. Mid-'60s Stewart hitting a high mark like this? Kudos, sir. And let's take a moment to consider the danger of superficial 'first-level response' (It's Doug McClure... reminds me of THE VIRGINIAN) and the pure staring bliss of looking a little deeper into a film's cinematic soul, particularly in the little, quiet, personal moments.
In a later scene where Stewart's character has to explain to his daughter-in-law the sudden, terrible killing of her husband,
our wonderful director has the camera placed at a distance away from them in the church... allowing the two of them their privacy, and conveying that sensitivity to their anguish subtly to the movie viewing audience. That's filmmaking, folks... every bit as compelling as a deft Billy Wilder comedy set-up or an Orson Welles camera angle.
 
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mskaye

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John Ford at his best - and there was a shit ton of best - was in a class by himself. A visual poet and a director of such vision and complexity that it's almost silly to bring him up here. I don't think I've seen a McLaglen film that is anything above competent. He's like Guy Hamilton level of hack in anything but Goldfinger. He isn't even at a J. Lee Thompson level of style let alone Anthony Mann, John Sturges, Boetticher and a few others too (see below.) Sam Peckinpah is at a different level of artistry entirely (and not a Ford clone at all - a more modern filmmaker in terms of camera technique - The Wild Bunch operates at a Seven Samurai level of visual and emotional mastery.) Hawks' westerns don't define him but were also among the best. Ditto w Leone, Altman, Ray, Eastwood, King, Brando, Siegel, Fuller, Daves, Walter Hill - all these directors mentioned above are artists that had more to say emotionally in one frame of their works than in the entirety of McLaglen's oeuvre (maybe a little harsh.)
and I forgot Aldrich.
 

mskaye

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Wow. With all due respect, this film's detractors are sadly missing the bigger picture here. SHENANDOAH stands tall as a rather remarkable achievement within the studio-system universe that Universal clung to during this era. Big U under Wasserman/Sheinberg/Frank Price provided a fascinating dichotomy in the mid-to-late '60s, and into the early '70s, with movies that resembled television production and television production that resembled movies (the latter launching the big screen careers of Steven Spielberg and John Badham, among others). SHENANDOAH validates the Universal approach in every way. In addition to a plethora of fine supporting performances, it gives James Stewart one of the best and meatiest roles of his career, with a solid emotional core that hits audiences like a sledgehammer with his final, choked speech by his wife's grave. Mid-'60s Stewart hitting a high mark like this? Kudos, sir. And let's take a moment to consider the danger of superficial 'first-level response' (It's Doug McClure... reminds me of THE VIRGINIAN) and the pure staring bliss of looking a little deeper into a film's cinematic soul, particularly in the little, quiet, personal moments. In a later scene where Stewart's character has
to explain to his daughter-in-law the sudden, terrible killing of her husband, our wonderful director has the camera placed at a distance away from them in the church...
allowing the two of them their privacy, and conveying that sensitivity to their anguish subtly to the movie viewing audience. That's filmmaking, folks... every bit as compelling as a deft Billy Wilder comedy set-up or an Orson Welles camera angle.
I definitely said it was a little harsh. I'm sure it has its moments.
 
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smithbrad

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Wow. With all due respect, this film's detractors are sadly missing the bigger picture here. SHENANDOAH stands tall as a rather remarkable achievement within the studio-system universe that Universal clung to during this era. Big U under Wasserman/Sheinberg/Frank Price provided a fascinating dichotomy in the mid-to-late '60s, and into the early '70s, with movies that resembled television production and television production that resembled movies (the latter launching the big screen careers of Steven Spielberg and John Badham, among others). SHENANDOAH validates the Universal approach in every way. In addition to a plethora of fine supporting performances, it gives James Stewart one of the best and meatiest roles of his career, with a solid emotional core that hits audiences like a sledgehammer with his final, choked speech by his wife's grave. Mid-'60s Stewart hitting a high mark like this? Kudos, sir. And let's take a moment to consider the danger of superficial 'first-level response' (It's Doug McClure... reminds me of THE VIRGINIAN) and the pure staring bliss of looking a little deeper into a film's cinematic soul, particularly in the little, quiet, personal moments. In a later scene where Stewart's character has to explain to his daughter-in-law the sudden, terrible killing of her husband, our wonderful director has the camera placed at a distance away from them in the church... allowing the two of them their privacy, and conveying that sensitivity to their anguish subtly to the movie viewing audience. That's filmmaking, folks... every bit as compelling as a deft Billy Wilder comedy set-up or an Orson Welles camera angle.
Very eloquently stated. However, ultimately it comes down to whether a film hits the right marks with the individual viewer. I am very much a Stewart fan, as well as a fan of westerns. I was very much into this film until the ending. The ending just hit the wrong mark for me. As a result, while I can appreciate it as a film and it was worth a viewing, it was a one time viewing for me and nothing more.
 

Virgoan

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A rare miss by Mr. Harris for me. “Shenandoah” is a movie-movie with a groping story, very good performances and a wonderful underscore.
 

Robert Crawford

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A rare miss by Mr. Harris for me. “Shenandoah” is a movie-movie with a groping story, very good performances and a wonderful underscore.
As much as I disagree with RAH about “Shenandoah”, I would definitely not call his film opinion a “rare miss”. I think it’s not right to label a contrary opinion as a “rare miss”. Film appreciation is subjective and we should respect contrary opinions that differs from our own.
 

Gerani53

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Neither did TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE, with its Conrad Hall photography. Joseph Sargent's COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT, which started life as a TV-movie, looks nice and cinematic with its well-filled anamorphic frame, as does THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. Both FAHRENHEIT 451 and SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE are practically art films in terms of their visual style. It may have taken big-screen Universal a little longer than the other majors to embrace late 1960s social changes, but they eventually did, and their TV side aggressively pushed small screen filmmaking to its creative limits during the same period (an era and sensibility that eventually opened the door for Spielberg's DUEL).
 

mskaye

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As much as I disagree with RAH about “Shenandoah”, I would definitely not call his film opinion a “rare miss”. I think it’s not right to label a contrary opinion as a “rare miss”. Film appreciation is subjective and we should respect contrary opinions that differs from our own.
Agree 1000%.
 

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