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Author Topic: Fort Apache (1948)  (Read 14344 times)
Groggy
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« on: January 05, 2006, 05:58:50 PM »

I was able to watch, for the first time in years, John Ford's "Fort Apache", generally accepted to be Henry Fonda's "rehearsal" of sorts for his role as Frank in OUATITW.

First off, if you don't like Ford, you're not going to like this film.  It's got a lot of his trademark burlesque humor, and all of his typical stock actors (Victor McLaglen, Jack Pennick, Hank Worden, etc.) are all in attendence.  Just as a warning to those who haven't seen it.

That being said, Ford is (as most of you know) one of my favorite directors and I thought this was an excellent movie.  It isn't on a level with "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (my favorite of his works) but it has an interestingly done plot and characterization.  Wayne was good despite having a smaller part than usual, and the whole supporting cast - yes, even Shirley Temple - was fun to watch.  Now, on to Fonda.

I don't honestly see a lot of Frank in Colonel Thursday.  Thursday is an obnoxious, egotistical, glory-seeking prick who reminded me more of Charlton Heston in "Major Dundee" than of Frank.  His character is not a villain in the traditional sense, he is a conflicted man who does have some good qualities but overall his overinflated sense of self does him in.  He did redeem himself by refusing to stay with Captain York after being rescued and returning to die with his men, and he does care about his men, even if he does look down them.

Still, Fonda gave a fabulous performance, and I do see how Leone could've used Thursday as an influence for Frank - I just don't think he was the basis for him.  It's also a very good movie, and the best of the Cavalry Trilogy (though "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" is a close second). 

Any other thoughts?

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Tim
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2006, 11:40:58 PM »

  I like your comparison with Fonda's Thursday and Heston's Major Dundee.  I never thought of it that way, but it fits really well.

  She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is my favorite of the Ford cavalry trilogy, followed closely by Fort Apache.  I've never been a huge fan of Rio Grande although I love Ben Johnson as Tyree.

  I've been waiting for Fort Apache to come out on DVD because its one movie I'd definitely like to add to my collection.  That and Wagon Master, which I've never seen but it sounds good.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2006, 11:45:08 PM by Tim » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2006, 05:58:20 AM »

Rio Grande is a good film but not as good as the other two films in the unplanned trilogy.

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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2006, 07:52:37 AM »

I'm not overly fond of "Rio Grande" either.  I liked Maureen O'Hara in it, and the Duke, Victor McLaglen, and Ben Johnson are always fun to watch, but otherwise it's rather blah and contrived.

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Tim
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2006, 07:36:19 PM »

  Ben Johnson and Harry Carey JR are the main reasons I can watch this movie.  The two of them are great together.  John Ford seemed to bring out the best in Johnson as he gives amazing performances in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, another favorite of mine, and Rio Grande.

  I've yet to see Wagon Master, but it's one I'd be interested in picking up.  Johnson, Carey, and Ward Bond headlining a film with John Ford at the helm, how can you go wrong?

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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 07:28:19 AM »

Watched the dvd:




after having watched it dubbed (and probably cut) a couple of times. It has only a great weakness, the missing colours. It is very fair towards indians (not the paternalism of Cheyenne Autumn), it is choral (Wayne and Fonda are primi inter pares, rather than protagonists) and the usual Ford irksome ceremonies (dances, drinkings, comedy: Bond and McLaglen are tolerable) are kept under control, as it is all the movie. The score is not its greater asset, as it is the photography (but the scene of the restitution of the regiment flag is memorable).

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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 04:26:56 PM »

This is a great movie; if I ever actualy decided to sit down and write a list of my favorite movies, Fort Apache would probably be one of my Top 10 AW's

One of the great things I live about Ford's cavalry trilogy is all the wonderful military music. (I am not sure how much of it are authentic military marches and how much, if any, was composed for the films). I can enjoy even bad movies that constantly play the military marches.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 11:41:51 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 12:21:45 PM »

On Blu, 21 Feb.: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0067YF0BM/ref=nosim?

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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 01:00:08 PM »

One of Ford's best, together with My Darling Clementine and Wagonmaster. All 9/10

Somehow I prefer these 3 to the Searchers

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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 03:30:00 PM »

Somehow I prefer these 3 to the Searchers
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 03:52:00 PM »

I never liked The Searchers much; Fort Apache is one of my all-time favorite AW's. 9/10

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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 05:32:36 PM »

Beaver: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_reviews56/fort_apache_blu-ray.htm

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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 11:12:23 AM »

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Fort-Apache-Blu-ray/33581/#Review

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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2012, 07:53:35 PM »

Savant weighs in:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3809apac.html

Two issues: a) he refers to Fonda's character as Thursby instead of Thursday; b) he seems to have misunderstood one scene towards the end. I sent him an e-mail picking said nits.

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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2012, 11:20:18 PM »

Savant weighs in:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3809apac.html

Two issues: a) he refers to Fonda's character as Thursby instead of Thursday; b) he seems to have misunderstood one scene towards the end. I sent him an e-mail picking said nits.

haha I love how when Savant refers to The Grapes of Wrath, he says "some say Leftist." As is there was any other interpretation of that movie  Grin

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