All you need to know of this one is the beginning.
A woman and her son are sitting there on a ranch, and a stranger starts walking up, right before you can see his face, we jump cut to his face and its JOHN WAYNE with a bit of dirt on his face and looking tired- in that John Waynzian look of being tired.
The action is pretty standard John Wayne non-John Ford movie. This was actually done in 3D and while I have not seen the 3D version, you can kind of see where they added bits to the 3D much like Friday the 13th and Jaws 3D version of those franchises, at times its annoying, but again, it’s not Jaws 3D level annoying, but if you are not used to it, it can be a bit off-putting.
The scenery here is secondary to the theme’s running through this film.
1) John Wayne is a grown ass MAN and there is nothing you can do about it.
2) The White Man vs Indian conflicts. At times it comes off stilted, at times heavy-handed and sometimes you almost think that Wayne is going from apologist to racist It does pull up the funniest part in the movie, where thanks to iMDB, I can reprint for you here.
Angie Lowe: Anyway, I don’t believe a dog can smell Indians. I mean, as different from anyone else. You and me, for instance.
Hondo Lane: Well they can. As a matter of fact, Indians can smell white people.
Angie Lowe: I don’t believe it.
Hondo Lane: Well it’s true. I’m part Indian and I can smell you when I’m downwind of you.
Angie Lowe: That’s impossible.
Hondo Lane: No, it isn’t impossible, Mrs. Lowe. You baked today. I can smell fresh bread on you. Sometime today, you cooked with salt pork. Smell that on you, too. You smell all over like soap: you took a bath. And, on top of that, you smell all over like a woman. I could find you in the dark, Mrs. Lowe, and I’m only part Indian.
I just thought that was funny as hell. If you didn’t think it was funny, you don’t have the John Wayne voice in your head.
3) The Calvary almost come across as idiots, then come across as heroic, well its more the scouts are smarter than the officers, and I wonder if West Point is so rigid in everything in 1869, since he is in the first cadet class to enter post-Civil War. I would think too many of the officers teaching there are doing the whole English Army stiff upper-lip routine.
4) The Love Story does NOT work. In reading about the movie, the Left Wing actress and the Right wing John Wayne didn’t exactly see eye to eye. You can tell. This was supposed to be Kathrine Hepburn, by the way. Let’s just say that it doesn’t work and move on. (and no, that’s not a spoiler, as its a JOHN WAYNE MOVIE. John Wayne is the Pimp that James Bond wishes he could be when he grows up.)
All in All, if you like Westerns, his one isn’t bad. if you like john Wayne, this might be considered second-tier in my eyes. on both counts. It’s not a bad time waster, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek it out. The preachy parts can drag down the story, but the action keeps it up more than might think it does. Solid 5.
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