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Author Topic: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)  (Read 5884 times)
titoli
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« on: November 28, 2008, 11:09:17 AM »

I don't know if the original colours are those of the dvd release, but they make you wonder why movies are not shot nowadays with such a flamboyant photography, steering generally instead toward monochromy. This is almost perfect, were it not for the parts involving the minor characters (sorry, but I can't put up with Carey jr, Ugly Natwick and the cheap love story plot). McLaglen is better than usual, still I'd prefer he weren't there. Unrivalled (maybe by Ford himself: I should watch it back to back with The Searchers) in locations and shots. And even concentrating not so much on violent action is an asset. Score embarassing (except for the title song). To be seen in a theatre. 8\10

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 03:33:12 PM »

I don't know if the original colours are those of the dvd release, but they make you wonder why movies are not shot nowadays with such a flamboyant photography, steering generally instead toward monochromy.
The short answer is that 3-strip Technicolor is a lost process. Eastmancolor, which replaced it, is more monochromatic. Of course, with computers you can probably generate any colors you want, so the true answer to your question may be money.

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titoli
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2008, 04:42:28 PM »

I think it is rather a matter of style. There was a first veering toward monochromaticism in the '70's, and it suited many of the movies made at the time, expecially those dealing with urban realities. In the '90's that became the rule, with movies though that didn't warrant such an option. Probably somebody thought that that could be the only concession hollywood could make to realism.


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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 08:58:28 AM »

I remember liking this though it's been many years since I've seen it. Fort Apache is the best of the cavalry trilogy with maturity, intelligence and a great Frank-esque performance by Henry Fonda, this movie slightly less good (the John Agar-Joanne Dru subplot is silly) but still entertaining, Rio Grande a complete mediocrity.

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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 06:37:53 PM »

I stick roughly by my comments above.

I wrote a double-barrelled review of this and Sergeant Rutledge, so either bear with me or skip over these threads.

Quote
Ford's follow-up to Fort Apache (1948) lacks that work's thematic depth and complexity, but is a wortwhile picture in its own right. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a fine hymn to the US military and one of the most visually-spectacular Westerns ever. Its minor faults do not seriously harm a mostly enjoyable film.

Captain Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) is a few days away from retirement, but events elsewhere throw a spanner in the works. Custer's 7th Cavalry has recently been massacred, and Indians all over the West are uniting in preparation for all-out war. Brittles leads a patrol to try and avert war, being forced to accomodate the wife (Mildred Natwick) of his commanding officer (George O'Brien) and pretty young Olivia (Joanne Dru), who finds herself romantically pursued by Lieutenants Cohill (John Agar) and Pennell (Harry Carey Jr.). Brittles reaches his retirement, but unofficially tags along on one last mission.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is perhaps best-viewed as a visual experience. Cinematographer Winton C. Hoch won an Oscar for his beautiful Technicolor photography, and it's extremely well-deserved. Monument Valley has never looked lovier, and at times the film bears comparison to Lawrence of Arabia and 2001: A Space Odyssey in its visual grandeur. Ford and Hoch's visual storytelling is without peer, with the beautiful crags, mesas, buttes and red dust of Monument Valley making an incredible impression. Every shot is beautifully composed, with cavalry crossing the desert, herds of buffalo and chases and skirmishes providing a rich visual treat. The final raid on an Indian camp provides an exciting climax.

As in Fort Apache, Yellow Ribbon is primarily a celebration of military life. The film has a sparse, episodic narrative, focusing on a "day in the life" of the US Cavalry, on a routine patrol through the desert that's ultimately a failure. Bad guys - not only the Indians but sleazy gun-runners - are almost inconsequential. As before, the Army is presented as a family where differences of class, race and so on are put aside for a greater good: most poignantly, a brief subplot features ex-Confederate Sergeant Tyreen (Ben Johnson) burying a former colleague (Rudy Bowman) with full Confederate honors. Dubious though it may be, this picture of military life is at least artfully expressed.

The film does have its share of faults. The story is sparse and oft-non-existent, but this is of minimal importance. The awkward love triangle is badly handled and comes off as a distraction. Most unfortunate of all, Victor McLaglen is on-hand to provide his trademark drunk Irishman schtick, and the movie features an obnoxious brawl towards the end that seems jarringly out of place. The final scene, with Brittles returning to military life, seems equally odd and somewhat unsatisfying: it has a curious (if wholly unintentional) resonnance with The Hurt Locker, of a soldier who's happy only in uniform. That film's protagonist comes back because he's off his nut; Brittles stays because, well, who'd want to leave such a perfect family?

John Wayne gives one of his best performances as Captain Brittles. As in Red River, Wayne convincingly plays a much older character and fills it with the right mixture of pride and weariness. Wayne surprisingly comes off best in the quiet moments, particularly his visits to his wife's grave and his farewell to the troopers. It's well that Wayne is so good, as the supporting cast is mostly unremarkable - even the pretty Joanne Dru doesn't come off well - but who really can complain?

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2010/07/she-wore-yellow-ribbon-and-sergeant.html

« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 06:41:18 PM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 11:26:45 PM »

Could it be that I'm her secret lover and she wore that yellow ribbon 'round her neck just for me...

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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 07:37:11 AM »

"She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" is a very good movie (as far as its place in Ford's Cavalry Trilogy: it is not as good as Fort Apache, but better than Rio Grande).

titoli and Groggy: what's with all the hostility toward Victor McLaglen? I think he was a hilarious and wonderful actor. I love watching him!

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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 10:02:47 AM »

titoli and Groggy: what's with all the hostility toward Victor McLaglen?

I'm sure it has to do something with Andrew V. McLaglen.

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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 08:37:09 PM »

I'm sure it has to do something with Andrew V. McLaglen.

No, it has to do with John Ford.

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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2011, 10:08:57 PM »

No, it has to do with John Ford.

That's it.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2014, 11:47:56 PM »

I don't follow Twitter feeds (twits?) but I just happened to come across this:
https://twitter.com/terryteachout/status/546451532842283009/photo/1

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2014, 12:15:55 AM »

This movie needs a BRD release already

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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2016, 03:51:22 PM »

BRD to be available on Amazon on June 7 http://goo.gl/PBv1ph

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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2016, 06:18:56 PM »

BRD to be available on Amazon on June 7 http://goo.gl/PBv1ph
Yeah. They Were Expendable comes out the same day.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 04:12:03 PM »

BRD to be available on Amazon on June 7 http://goo.gl/PBv1ph
Amazon didn't ship! Their page reads: Temporarily Out of Stock. My ass!

Somebody in the supply chain fell down on the job. Meanwhile, I'm not waiting for those clowns to get their act together. DeepDiscount appears to have the disc in stock--and cheaper. Yeah, I'll go with them (and I just renewed my Prime membership at amazon. Bathtubs!)

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