Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: dave jenkins on April 04, 2009, 03:45:33 PM



Title: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 04, 2009, 03:45:33 PM
Screen caps from the new R1 Warner Archive release:

It begins with a lynching . . .
(http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/1316/cap196.png)
The guest of honor: none other than the Prince of Darkness himself.
(http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/339/cap197.png)
These are all honorable men: "Hang 'em high!"
(http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/5392/cap199.png)
The great Mo Ankrum (right), years before his Perry Mason gig, here already laying down the law.
(http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/2231/cap198.png)
The smirking underling . . .
(http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/1499/cap200.png)
See ya next picture, Walter!
(http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/220/cap202.png)
Hold it right there, hemp breath!
(http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/8311/cap203.png)
Yeah!
(http://img115.imageshack.us/img115/1429/cap204.png)
Yeah!!
(http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/1750/cap207.png)
You can't just hang that man. There's still 85 minutes left in the picture!
(http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/4566/cap208.png)
The name's Merrick . . .
(http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/2799/cap209.png)
. . . And I'm yer huckleberry.
(http://img239.imageshack.us/img239/3007/cap215.png)
What now, Lieutenant?
(http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/5645/cap221.png)
Hold the Mayo! Yes, Virginia's in the film (again??? What WAS her arrangement with Raoul Walsh, anyway?)
(http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/661/cap222.png)
All tommied up, she's the love interest, natch. Oh well, at least she's also a killer.
(http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/1323/cap216.png)
Lone Pine! Let's get all set up before the Boetticher crew arrives and steals our location.
(http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/2015/cap224.png)
Hmmm, looks like a good spot for an ambush.
(http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/161/cap223.png)
(http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/5427/cap225.png)
(http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/9646/cap227.png)
(http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/7683/cap228.png)
Don't worry, I won't be shooting you in the back . . . anyway, at least not yet.
(http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/6940/cap230.png)
Did I mention that there's a desert-crossing sequence in the picture?
(http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/3284/cap229.png)
(http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/5766/cap231.png)
(http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/5918/cap232.png)
Sand storm!!! Man, things just keep getting better and better . . . .


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 11, 2011, 12:47:09 PM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043276/

just saw Along the Great Divide on TCM. Very good movie. Good performances by the leads (Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan), as well as the supporting cast.

and btw,

SPOILER ALERT for the rest of this post

a pocketwatch at the end comes into play to reveal a plot element. Sound familiar?  ;)

It is possible that the pocketwatch in FAFDM could have been a reference to/inspired by  The Bravados and/or Along the Great Divide.
Which is the more likely reference? I can think of two reasons why TB was the more likely, and one reason why ATGD was the more likely one:
It is more likely that TB was the reference since
 A) TB is with Lee van Cleef; and
B) the watch in TB has a picture of the victim of a crime whose relative's attempt at revenge drives the story (whereas the watch in Along the Great Divide uses the name on the watch to solve a murder mystery).

However, the one way in which the watch in FAFDM is closer to the one in ATGD than to the one in TB is that in ATGD, as in FAFDM, though we see the watch early in the movie, it is only at the very end of the movie that it is revealed to hold the key to the story; whereas the one in TB is displayed all throughout the movie.

Frayling has mentioned TB as a reference to the FAFDM pocketwatch, but has never mentioned ATGD (the latter does not even appear anywhere in STDWD). I think TB is the more likely reference. Of course, it can be both (or neither!), and since I don't know of any statement by Leone about it, I guess it's one of the many things Leone fans can speculate on but never know for sure  ;)


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: cigar joe on April 12, 2011, 05:11:54 AM
It was on TCM, from the brief segments I caught it looked like it would be worth a close look.  O0


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: titoli on September 06, 2011, 10:09:59 AM
I'm sure I saw this many years ago and liked it. But the finale (and the watch ruse) it is as cheesy as can be and the trial it only has the advantage of being get rid of in 5 minutes: they're still too many but Ford made entire movies out of it. Of course you can tell the culprit after the watch comes into play, still the movie is good for 3\4 time. Mayo is pretty (even after a desert crossing she can sport a perfect hair-do), Douglas as good as he can be; Brennan, I can't stand him, sorry. 6\10


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 21, 2012, 03:27:13 PM
I'm sure I saw this many years ago and liked it. But the finale (and the watch ruse) it is as cheesy as can be and the trial it only has the advantage of being get rid of in 5 minutes: they're still too many but Ford made entire movies out of it. Of course you can tell the culprit after the watch comes into play, still the movie is good for 3\4 time. Mayo is pretty (even after a desert crossing she can sport a perfect hair-do), Douglas as good as he can be; Brennan, I can't stand him, sorry. 6\10

Why do so many people consider it an instant negative anytime a movie has a trial scene? Is there no place where a trial scene is appropriate, if done well? (Since so many Westerns involve crime-fighting, it's inevitable that -- as with other films involving crime-fighting -- some Westerns will have trial scenes). Trial scenes are far from my favorite element of a movie, and are often done poorly. But I don't consider a trial scene to be an automatic criticism on a movie; I think it has to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Yes, all too often, trail scenes are dumb (being a lawyer, I am probably more sensitive to that). But when a Western has a trial scene that is brief, appropriate, and done well, I think that's fine.

 My point is not to argue for or against the specific trial scene in Along the Great Divide; I am just saying that in general, I disagree when people use the automatic implication that that is a negative, like the words "trial scene" are synonymous with words "crappy scene."


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: titoli on May 23, 2012, 01:23:37 AM
Why do so many people consider it an instant negative anytime a movie has a trial scene? Is there no place where a trial scene is appropriate, if done well? (Since so many Westerns involve crime-fighting, it's inevitable that -- as with other films involving crime-fighting -- some Westerns will have trial scenes). Trial scenes are far from my favorite element of a movie, and are often done poorly. But I don't consider a trial scene to be an automatic criticism on a movie; I think it has to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Yes, all too often, trail scenes are dumb (being a lawyer, I am probably more sensitive to that). But when a Western has a trial scene that is brief, appropriate, and done well, I think that's fine.

 My point is not to argue for or against the specific trial scene in Along the Great Divide; I am just saying that in general, I disagree when people use the automatic implication that that is a negative, like the words "trial scene" are synonymous with words "crappy scene."


Where did my words imply that I was not referring only to this movie but to all movies featuring a trial scene (apart from the aside on  Ford's movies with long and boring trial scenes)?


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 23, 2012, 07:39:33 AM
Where did my words imply that I was not referring only to this movie but to all movies featuring a trial scene (apart from the aside on  Ford's movies with long and boring trial scenes)?

"and the trial it only has the advantage of being get rid of in 5 minutes"

and which John Ford movie has long trial scenes besides Sergeant Rutledge?


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 23, 2012, 07:46:02 AM
I was just looking through the screen caps that dj posted, check out the third-to-last one, doesn't that shot look just like a similar one in GBU?


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: Groggy on May 23, 2012, 07:53:34 AM
"and the trial it only has the advantage of being get rid of in 5 minutes"

and which John Ford movie has long trial scenes besides Sergeant Rutledge?

Judge Priest and Young Mr. Lincoln come to mind.


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: titoli on May 23, 2012, 01:25:54 PM
"and the trial it only has the advantage of being get rid of in 5 minutes"


How could it be inferred that I was referring to all the movie trials? I said a line before that the watch ruse was too weak to make a case (and a trial) out of it. And that Ford trials in westerns suck. But I like many forensic movies and CJ can testify my love for Perry Mason.


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: cigar joe on July 05, 2013, 07:54:47 PM
Caught this again today 6-7/10


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: Spikeopath on February 09, 2017, 03:16:33 PM
My name's Merrick. I'm United States Marshal here.

Along the Great Divide is directed by Raoul Walsh and written by Walter Doniger and Lewis Meltzer. It stars Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar, Walter Brennan, Ray Teal, James Anderson and Morris Ankrum. Music is by David Buttolph and cinematography by Sidney Hickox.

U.S. Marshall Len Merrick (Douglas) and two deputies rescue suspected murderer Tim Keith (Brennan) from a lynch mob led by a local cattle baron who is convinced that Keith killed his son. The lawmen embark on a hazardous journey across the rugged terrains, determined to get Keith to Santa Loma for a fair trial...

Kirk Douglas' first Western is something of an undervalued treat. It was a film he didn't enjoy making, where working out in the desert with Raoul Walsh proved something of a cross to bear. Yet the director got a very good turn out of Douglas, allowing the actor to put down a marker in the genre that would serve him well throughout his career.

It sits very much in the psychological Western realm, a fact that some critics of the time failed to grasp - since complaints about not being a standard Oater were floated about! It really shouldn't have surprised anyone given that Douglas had already made a handful of superb film noir pictures, he was surely cast for this pic on the strength of his noir characters.

There's big father issues abound in the whole film, the various strands keeping the narrative edgy. Merrick is a damaged man, and his companions that make up the group will all test his metal to the max. Not just for father issues, and a lack of water, but also via the presence of Keith's daughter, Ann (Mayo), who mercifully isn't just a token female dressage character (she's feisty with believable emotional outpourings). It's a fraught journey for many reasons and Walsh, notwithstanding cheesing Douglas off, keeps it deftly wound tight.

The surroundings offer more troublesome discord to envelope the characters. Shot in gorgeous black and white by Hickox, the Alabama Hills and Mojave Desert locales provide barren landscapes that are juxtaposed with threatening looking rock formations. This often at times feels like an Anthony Mann/James Stewart landscape, which is high praise indeed. While the cast can't be faulted as they bring the drama to life, benefiting from the fine research of writers Doniger and Meltzer.

Undeniably the film's major drawback is the lack of whodunit worth. The pic unfortunately plays its hand far too early in this respect, meaning we know who the killer is. This could have lessened the excitement at story end, damagingly so, but we are never sure if we are going to be party to an Ox-Bow Incident or otherwise. This is well worth seeking out for fans of psychological Westerns, the many Oedipal themes and the scorching landscapes ensure it's a tasty little number. 8/10


Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 12, 2017, 10:53:35 PM
Nice review  O0

I'm not so into the whole Daddy-issues stuff, but this is a decent movie. I saw it once, six years ago; then saw parts of it again on TCM mot long ago. From what I recall my enjoyment level being, my rating is around 7/10



Title: Re: Along the Great Divide (1951)
Post by: stanton on February 13, 2017, 01:59:00 AM
This is a good western, I would like to rewatch it. It was Walsh's last western for Warner, and after one more good western, a western remake of one of his Warner war films, he sank into mediocrity for most of the rest of his western output. 7/10