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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, May 22, 2014.
Im a fan of Big Jake too. The stuff with the motorcycle is pretty funny.
My favorite John Wayne Western, hands down, is The Searchers. It has gorgeous VistaVision photography, light comedic relief deftly balanced with very dark, serious issues, and a brilliant performance by Wayne as a flawed hero.
It's tough to pick just one, but for me my favorite western with the Duke is True Grit - it was the first one of his I ever saw. Plus, you add a bevy of great character actors - Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Corey, Strother Martin, and John Fiedler to name a few - and an exciting final half-hour climaxing with one of the best shootouts in any of his westerns, it's easy to see why the Duke got an Oscar for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn.
For me, my favorite Wayne film is "The Searchers." It is a masterwork not only for John Ford, but for Mr. Wayne himself. The darkness he was able to show in the character of Ethan Edwards was the finest bit of acting he ever did. Wayne displays such a range of emotion in that movie that made me exclaim, to use the words of John Ford, "I didn't know the son of a bitch could act!" Of course, the film itself is visually stunning: its VistaVision cinematography by Winton Hoch is about the finest ever put to celluloid. Remember that David Lean screened the film with Freddie Young while deciding on the look of "Lawrence of Arabia." The final shot of Wayne paying homage to Harry Caray leaves a lasting impression on anyone who's ever seen the film.
The Alamo! Despite its many flaws, it is incredibly well-photographed!
I hate to have to pick just one.
I'll pick Rio Bravo, since it is a film I can watch over and over again and not get tired of it. I totally agree with Quentin Tarantino, where he states the film is like hanging out with an old friend.
The Searchers, Liberty Valance, Shepard of The Hills, Rio Bravo, Comancheros
My favorite John Wayne western is Stagecoach because John Wayne only uses a gun to hold up justice!
The Searchers. John Ford and John Wayne. A layered and troubling story. The best Wayne performance I've seen. Monument Valley. Ward Bond bending over. The only part I don't like is when Natalie Wood shows up looking like Princess Tiger Lily from Peter Pan.
Fort Apache - Henry Fonda comes in and takes over the command from John Wayne and tries to make a name for himself?
Your post is confusing to me so what was your point about Wayne and his acting since Wayne was no where near 60 in Fort Apache?
It does seem like he confused the character of Nathan Brittles from She Wore a Yellow Ribbon with the plot of Fort Apache.
sentimental favorite The Three Godfathers,
John and the boys find redemption, and a baby, glorious color, great cast
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon is my favorite. Winton Hoch won an Academy Award for his cinematography, which I would love to see in blu-ray. This is a wistful and yet feel-good movie, and has one of Wayne's greatest performances. The portrayal of the Indians is sensitive for 1948. It's not just my favorite film starring Wayne, it's also my favorite film directed by John Ford.
My favorite John Wayne movie is The Searchers. I love the way he uses his hands when he talks in various scenes. For me, it's his best acting role. It's a beautiful movie to look at, a good story and great supporting characters. I watch it at least once a year, usually with friends who have never seen it before.
I have to go with Rooster Cogburn because it's the first John Wayne movie I saw. I grew up in a small town and I still have vivid memories of seeing this several times in our town's one and only movie theater.
My favorite Western with Wayne is "Red River". He's given a great character and he runs with it, the cinematography is gorgeous and the character relationships facsinating and fun.
It's a testament to Wayne's career that He made so many great films. I could agree with several of the choices I've seen on this thread. My pick is The Searchers. It is such a rich film. Not only do we have Wayne playing a hero that becomes the villain (as in Red River), but it skillfully blends moments of tragedy with high comedy. The cast is uniformly brilliant. Wayne has great moments throughout. While not often regarded as a 'great' actor, he can do subtle things other actors can't. I can't really describe it, but he has a way of sort of making a shadow fall over his face at certain time, such as when he says 'this is a murder raid'. In Big Jake you see it in the scene with Richard Boone. They're very jocular up to a point when Boone turns the conversation deadly. You see that 'shadow' fall over Wayne's face as he says he'll comply with Boone's wishes, and you can just see that he is thinking 'I'm going to kill you and enjoy doing it'. I also like how in the course of 'The Search', Wayne and Hunter become semi-legendary figures in the eyes of the Indians they are tracking. Scar tells Ethan they are known as 'Big Shoulders' and 'One Who Follows'. I always find it interesting to not only see a legend, but to see a legend in the making.Two of the choices in the thread have piqued my interest: Tall in the Saddle and Shepherd of the Hills. I know I must have seen them, probably decades ago on late shows, but I don't remember them. Both sound like must-sees.
I'm gonna pull one for HONDO. This may actually have been the first John Wayne western I ever saw. Wayne made this, according to legend, because he didn't get to do Shane. I think this may be the better film. Hondo Lane is a more complex character than he appears to be--conflicted over his love for a woman whose husband he ends up killing and equally conflicted over his loyalty to the Calvary and his genuine respect for the Apache. In fact, one of the surprising things about the movie is just how forward thinking it is towards the Indians and our treatment of them. Yes, Rudolf Acosta's Silva is a villain, but Michael Pate's Vittorio is an excellent counterbalance. Funny thing is, just ten or so years earlier and Native Americans were still being portrayed just as wild savages. On top of all that, the 3D photography in Mexico is stunning. I got to see this in 3D at the World 3D Film Expo last year and it was one of the top ten 3D experiences of my life. Truth to tell, Hondo desperately needs a 3D Blu Ray released.
The Alamo, hands down. I was 11 years old when I saw it at first release and it forever supplanted Fess Parker's Davy in my mind. I was traumatized by the ending, even though I knew already that Crockett would die. Just a wonderful kid's and adult's movie.