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Author Topic: Hondo (1953)  (Read 9058 times)
Tucumcari Bound
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2008, 01:01:30 PM »

Seconded.

Yeah yeah.

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Groggy
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2010, 01:41:04 PM »

Groggy's insightful review:  Cheesy

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

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« Reply #17 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.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2012, 11:27:59 AM »

Blu in June: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006YZOXDK/ref=nosim?

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« Reply #19 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

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« Reply #20 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?

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« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2013, 03:59:14 AM »

The DVD was in 1,33:1. And I assume this is correct.

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« Reply #22 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

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« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2013, 04:38:49 AM »

just saw the movie... it gets a 7/10

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« Reply #24 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.

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« Reply #25 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.

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« Reply #26 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

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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2013, 05:00:30 PM »

Wasn't it also screened in 3D originally.

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« Reply #28 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  Wink

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« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2013, 02:27:58 PM »

John Wayne socks the camera at some point too, doesn't he?

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