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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: cigar joe on August 27, 2006, 09:12:46 PM



Title: Hondo (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on August 27, 2006, 09:12:46 PM
Watched this on TCM today its an ok to good Western for its subgenre (Cowboy/Indian), but it has some of the old cliches and it has some flaws.

Dir. John Farrow, John Wayne, Ward Bond, Geraldine Page, James Arness, Michael Pate

A lot of great attention to details on the homestead with Geraldine Page, its nice to see a film showing the day to day chores,  horseshoeing, blacksmithing, edgeing tools, etc., etc.

This is one area that AW's did very well at,  you usually learned something about the West, a bit of lore so to speak, you know,  like if you are caught out in the desert without water and there are barrel cactus you can cut them open and get some nourishment (whether this is true or not we'd have to ask Arizonan Cusser. Or another example like in Nevada Smith where you learn to pick up your brass. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre has a lot of this for another example.

The Apache Indians look as they should (compare this to the dopey leather outfit that Burt Reynolds wears in Navajo Joe, lol).

Spoilers:

Anyway the only flaw I see is during the contrived cavalry-settler-indian battle at the conclusion. The Apaches chase the wagons, the wagons form a circle, then a wagon breaks off loaded with riflemen (sort of a battle wagon)  and scatters the natives, then the whole wagon train takes off again and repeat. Come on how stupid do you think the natives are, any native with a brain would shoot a horse or two on the wagons and that would be it. 

oh well its watchable entertainment. I've been on a regular Western spree this rainy weekend, lol


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: The Peacemaker on August 27, 2006, 09:21:53 PM
Come on how stupid do you think the natives are, any native with a brain would shoot a horse or two on the wagons and that would be it. 

The same thing happens in Stagecoach. When John Ford was asked why didn't the indians just shoot the horses he responded " Because that would be the end of the picture. "  ;D


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on August 27, 2006, 09:30:05 PM
Quote
" Because that would be the end of the picture. " 


Yea no kidding, lol.
Note to future film makers shoot the horses!


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: The Peacemaker on August 27, 2006, 09:33:40 PM

Note to future film makers shoot the horses!

I'll keep that in mind.  ;)


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: boardwalk_angel on August 27, 2006, 09:42:21 PM
It actually challenged some of the old cliches that were rampant in many Westerns of that era.. The Indians were presented as humans...not savages...acknowledged as victims of broken treaties & slaughtered families..and as honorable people. ("A word for "lie" doesn't exist in their language").

Now..for some reason I can't recall if they had rifles or not...I know that they used arrows...& I know that at least 1 horse did bite the dust.

There was 1 particular Indian whose death I was waiting for..and absolutely relished because of something he did earlier..which i won't spoil & mention..that had me hurling expletives at the screen.  :'(


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on August 27, 2006, 10:00:17 PM
Quote
It actually challenged some of the old cliches that were rampant in many Westerns of that era.. The Indians were presented as humans...not savages...acknowledged as victims of broken treaties & slaughtered families..and as honorable people. ("A word for "lie" doesn't exist in their language").

I'll agree with that it did challenge some,  but retained some others (wagons circled) its a good watch. The interaction between Wayne and Page was done well and very refreshing also.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on August 27, 2006, 10:04:20 PM
Quote
Now..for some reason I can't recall if they had rifles or not...I know that they used arrows...& I know that at least 1 horse did bite the dust.

Yea they did, here is a pic of "T" shirt with an original photo

(http://img140.exs.cx/img140/8706/homelandsecurity0mt.jpg)


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: titoli on August 28, 2006, 01:44:57 AM
Where can I buy it, CJ?


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on August 28, 2006, 04:58:57 AM
The "T" shirt or "Hondo"?  ;D

http://www.westwindworld.com/


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: titoli on August 28, 2006, 05:54:41 AM
Thank you man!

(Hondo was released here on dvd last year).


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: tucumcari bound on September 10, 2008, 01:23:47 PM

You ever notice that cigar just gives sub-par reviews of American Westerns, no matter what it may be? ???


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on September 10, 2008, 07:17:26 PM
You ever notice you don't know WTF you are talking about?

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=6756.msg110117#msg110117

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=3958.msg105501#msg105501

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=6040.msg85525#msg85525

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2143.msg19077#msg19077

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=4789.msg61050#msg61050

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1635.msg117536#msg117536

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=4744.msg60512#msg60512


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: Silenzio on September 10, 2008, 07:45:45 PM
You ever notice you don't know WTF you are talking about?


Seconded.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: tucumcari bound on September 12, 2008, 10:15:33 AM
Seconded.

To hell with you Silenzio. Keep out of it.

Anyway, CJ, you need to take an anger management class or something. I can never joke around with you. Come on now, relax.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: Silenzio on September 13, 2008, 08:22:28 AM
To hell with you Silenzio. Keep out of it.



Seconded.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: tucumcari bound on September 13, 2008, 01:01:30 PM
Seconded.

Yeah yeah.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: Groggy on May 28, 2010, 01:41:04 PM
Groggy's insightful review:  :D

Quote
In celebration of the Duke's Birthday, I will review Hondo (1953). Entertaining if flawed, it's not one of Wayne's better films, but it does perfectly embody what Duke fans love about him.

Indian scout/gunfighter Hondo Lane (John Wayne) and his dog Sam turn up at the homestead of widow Angie Lowe (Geraldine Page), and the two strike up a flirtation. Apache war chief Vittorio (Michael Pate) is on the warpath, but he spares Angie, adopting her son Johnny (Lee Aaker) as an honorary Apache. Things grow more complicated when Hondo unknowingly kills Angie's husband (Leo Gordon). The two fake a marriage when Vittorio tries to marry Angie to one of his braves, with Hondo agonizing over how to break the news to her and Johnny.

For better and worse, Hondo is as typically "John Wayne" as a John Wayne Western can get. The Duke, of course, is the primary reason to see the film, and Hondo is a fitting summation of Wayne's persona: tough, two-fisted, independent, and naturally good, he's the prototype of the rugged, virtuous frontiersman. Added here, however, is a welcome touch of tolerance and sensitivity, absent from many of his later films. Hondo is no Ethan Edwards (or even Rooster Cogburn), but he's a fine, likeable protagonist, and certainly preferable to the boorish caricature of Andy McLaglen slop like McLintock!

Based on an early work by Louis L'Amour, Hondo is a pretty conventional genre piece with a few frills. James Edward Grant's script is well-written, with lots of funny dialogue (any scene with Hondo and Ward Bond's grizzled scout is a winner), but the film often drags (despite its 83-minute length), and its central romance never really catches fire. The movie tries to be fair in its portrayal of the Apache, but falls back on cowboys-and-injuns cliches towards the end. The well-realized Vittorio character is short-changed with an off-screen death. There's nothing terribly original here, though in such an archetypical genre as the Western, cliches aren't inherently bad.

Journeyman director John Farrow (Wake Island) does a fine job helming the picture, with beautiful location photography and well-staged action scenes. The film was originally shot in 3-D, but it isn't particularly intrusive, aside from an occasional "gimmick shot" (watch John Wayne sock the camera!). Hugo Friedhoffer and Emil Newman's score is pretty unremarkable.

John Wayne is at or near his best, playing his usual tough guy with unusual sensitivity. Geraldine Page is, unfortunately, a rather weak female lead. She's convincing enough as a self-sufficient frontier gal, but she has little chemistry with the Duke, a handicap when they spend half the film together. The ubiquitous Ward Bond (The Searchers) almost steals the show; his scenes with Wayne are undoubtedly the best in the film. Michael Pate (Major Dundee) makes Vittorio more than a typical "Redskin" caricature. A pre-Gunsmoke James Arness has a nice supporting role.

Hondo is a decent enough oater, but it's not one of the genre's best films. Still, you could do worse for an 83-minute John Wayne movie.

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2010/05/hondo.html (http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2010/05/hondo.html)


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: Groggy on May 28, 2010, 01:48:10 PM
if you are caught out in the desert without water and there are barrel cactus you can cut them open and get some nourishment (whether this is true or not we'd have to ask Arizonan Cusser.

Actually I read not long ago that this is a good way to poison yourself. There's too much alkali and other chemicals in a cactus for the "water" to be palatable.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 08, 2012, 11:27:59 AM
Blu in June: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006YZOXDK/ref=nosim?


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 24, 2012, 09:38:38 AM
Blu reviews:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreviews18/hondo_dvd_review.htm
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Hondo-Blu-ray/37009/#Review


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 19, 2013, 12:24:06 AM
anyone have an opinion on the aspect ratio of this movie? (I apologize if that has already been discussed; I specifically did not read through this thread cuz I have not yet seen this movie and didn't want to have it spoiled for me).

I just rented the dvd off Netflix, and I see it is in 4:3. I know it was made in 1953, which is right around the beginning of the widescreen era, so I check imdb, which says the movie as 1.85:1. I know the blu ray is in widescreen, but from the couple of screencaps I saw on Beaver's page, it looks like the widescreen has no more information on the sides, it is just missing info on top and bottom. Beaver presents an opinion that since the movie was made right around the beginning of the widescreen era, it was made for 1.85:1, but preserved for 4:3.

And when I say it's missing info on top and bottom, I don't mean like just sky or grass, which wouldn't matter as much. I mean, it's chopping off parts of people's heads and bodies. So I am actually very happy that I got this dvd in 4:3, rather than having the top and bottom chopped.

I'm gonna watch this now and then share my opinion of the movie, but I'm wondering what y'all think about the aspect ratio?


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: stanton on May 19, 2013, 03:59:14 AM
The DVD was in 1,33:1. And I assume this is correct.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 19, 2013, 04:38:25 AM
The DVD was in 1,33:1. And I assume this is correct.

the blu ray is widescreen


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 19, 2013, 04:38:49 AM
just saw the movie... it gets a 7/10


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: stanton on May 19, 2013, 04:48:33 AM
anyone have an opinion on the aspect ratio of this movie? (I apologize if that has already been discussed; I specifically did not read through this thread cuz I have not yet seen this movie and didn't want to have it spoiled for me).

I just rented the dvd off Netflix, and I see it is in 4:3. I know it was made in 1953, which is right around the beginning of the widescreen era, so I check imdb, which says the movie as 1.85:1. I know the blu ray is in widescreen, but from the couple of screencaps I saw on Beaver's page, it looks like the widescreen has no more information on the sides, it is just missing info on top and bottom. Beaver presents an opinion that since the movie was made right around the beginning of the widescreen era, it was made for 1.85:1, but preserved for 4:3.

And when I say it's missing info on top and bottom, I don't mean like just sky or grass, which wouldn't matter as much. I mean, it's chopping off parts of people's heads and bodies. So I am actually very happy that I got this dvd in 4:3, rather than having the top and bottom chopped.



To say this again: Unless it is an anamorphic format like VistaVision (The Searchers as a prominent example) all 1,85:1 aspect ratios offer less on top and bottom compared to their open matte full screen versions. means the sides are always the same.

Question is only was Hondo photographed to be shown in 1,85:1 or not. As it is a film which was shot in summer 1953 or maybe earlier it is very likely that it was made for 1,73:1. Especially as you say that the widescreen version looks sometimes strange.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: stanton on May 19, 2013, 04:58:45 AM
Just checked the Beaver site.

Judging form the screen shots taken form the widescreen version I can't say that there is anything wrong with them. And there is a comment from someone who claims that Hondo was already shot for 1,85:1. But comparing the shots from DVD and Blu, I would say that 1,33:1 is probably the better choice.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 19, 2013, 04:28:38 PM
Just checked the Beaver site.

Judging form the screen shots taken form the widescreen version I can't say that there is anything wrong with them. And there is a comment from someone who claims that Hondo was already shot for 1,85:1. But comparing the shots from DVD and Blu, I would say that 1,33:1 is probably the better choice.

yeah, I don't doubt that the movie could have been shot so that it could be seen in both 1.33:1 and 1.85:1. But after seeing those screencap comparisons, I am happy I saw the 1.33:1 version


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on May 19, 2013, 05:00:30 PM
Wasn't it also screened in 3D originally.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 19, 2013, 09:01:18 PM
Wasn't it also screened in 3D originally.

for a week. Then it was pulled, and 2D prints were struck; it's never been shown in 3D since. They talked about it on the bonus features. So all the work and difficulties involved in making it in 3D, were all wasted but for the opening week.

You do see some shots of knives being thrust and rifles being shot right at the screen  ;)


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: Groggy on May 26, 2013, 02:27:58 PM
John Wayne socks the camera at some point too, doesn't he?


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 26, 2013, 04:52:31 PM
John Wayne socks the camera at some point too, doesn't he?

I don't recall.

As is discussed in the dvd's bonus features, this movie wasn't made with a ton of the 3D shtick of stuff being thrown at cameras; it was mostly simply for the depth of field. There were basically two fight scenes where the "in your face 3D" was utilized: the first is the scene when Wayne scuffles with an Indian, with knives and fists being thrust at the camera; and the second is the big shootout between the whites and the Indians toward the end, when there are guns shot at the camera. Other than those two scenes, there isn't much of the "in your face" 3D used; rather, the 3D was just used for the depth of field. So aside from those 2 scenes, you don't really think much about the 3D.


Title: Re: Hondo (1953)
Post by: Spikeopath on May 03, 2017, 06:00:16 AM
Adding my review.

A man oughta do what he thinks is right.

Leonard Maltin proudly does the intro for the DVD special edition of Hondo, his regard for the film is obvious. Maltin, who also provides a commentary track for the film, muses on the importance of Hondo in light of the 50s tonal shift in the Western genre. A time when the Western cast off its one dimensional approach of cowboy/cavalry heroes slaughtering the enemy (Indians) purely as an entertainment medium. But is Hondo any good? And is it also worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Delmer Daves'-Broken Arrow (Maltin again) which ushered in the 50s with a bold and poignant crack of the whip? The answer to both questions possibly depends on how much you enjoy John Wayne movies in the first place. Here The Duke, playing a half bred Indian it should be noted, is wonderfully framed amongst the Camargo, Chihuahua (Mexico) location. The plot (starting off like Shane, released the same year) follows an interesting course, requiring Hondo to ultimately protect those he has fell in for, while simultaneously understanding his enemy since his blood contains the very same. Also of interest is that Hondo has very much become a solitary man of the wilderness, so when his emotions lean towards love and fatherly instincts, it makes for a nice bit of in character confliction. Something that Wayne delivers with much conviction.

Geraldine Page was Oscar nominated for her role as Angie, and rightly so as well. Strong-willed and waiting out of loyalty for her thuggish husband Ed (Leo Gordon) to return to the family home. Angie herself is conflicted by her regard for the Apache and the stirrings brought about by Hondo's considerable masculine presence. Especially when a revelation later in the piece calls for her to decide her life course. All of which gives Page the license to feed off Wayne's presence, to which it provides great interplay that makes the film a potent and intriguing character piece. Stock players such as Ward Bond and James Arness aren't given much to do, and due to the film having originally being shot in 3D, the thrusts at the screen by various weapons are more quirky than impacting. But still, backed up by a fine score from Hugo Friedhofer and containing a rousing battle laden finale (apparently filmed by John Ford as director John Farrow had been called elsewhere), Hondo is a cinematic treat for like minded individuals. It's not as important as Maltin and many others would have us believe, but that doesn't stop it being an essential watch for fans of Wayne, Page and particularly those into Westerns in general. 7/10