John Ford

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Rayon Vert
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Re: John Ford

#251 Post by Rayon Vert » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:25 pm

JohnShade wrote:I couldn't find a thread for the Criterion release of Young Mr. Lincoln. A blu ray version was released in Spain recently; I'm wondering if anyone has info on it at all.

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Young-Mr- ... /#Overview" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Found some comments in Spanish from a forum, including this one (using Google Translate):
First of all to say that the film is contained in a BD25. The authorship seems very good, using the features of BD -J, which gives it a plus of professionalism. Of course 1080 / 24p , AVC codec , with a total duration of 01:39:45 .

It contains audio in Spanish, and if the original track is selected in English, the subtitles are forced in yellow and black border, which is a great way to follow them (who needs them) in contrast to the B / N of the film. I have also observed, that hymns and songs have been subtitled in Castilian.

The image is superb. It is a real restoration, and this is something we have to celebrate. We must be proud that La Aventura , has brought us this jewel in the first place! That in the USA they drool for once, to know we have a cinematographic jewel and its history before anyone else! The edition is blocked to B , that is to Europe, and totally thought for and by the Spanish spectator. Marvelous definition, conservation of grain, some vertical lines in the frame (1:33), vestige of the passage of time; Very much in the path of the Master of Touch of Evil (Universal), to give an approximate idea.

This issue is a must have . The materials are first class. The carton, the libretto, the blades, the certificate of limited edition, etc. They follow the pattern of Heaven's Gate . But above all it is a masterpiece of Ford , unknown and overlooked in some minor circles.

Thank you The Adventure . Such things only once a year know little; More please, more. I buy. Now you just need to find the proper gap, dim the lights, enjoy the film and its more than six hours of bonus features, while the post feasted on the words of Quim Casas, Carlos Losilla, and Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein
http://www.mundodvd.com/blu-ray-el-jove ... -133100/2/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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hearthesilence
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Re: John Ford

#252 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:41 am

Has anyone seen (or will see) the new 4K restoration of Pilgrimage that's showing at MoMA? I missed it today and unfortunately the next and only other screening is on a weekday before 5pm. It's reportedly done from original nitrate elements in MoMA's archive, and I'm curious if it's an upgrade. The DVD release was a digital restoration (albeit done around 2007), was it not?

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Re: John Ford

#253 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:05 am

hearthesilence wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:41 am
Has anyone seen (or will see) the new 4K restoration of Pilgrimage that's showing at MoMA? I missed it today and unfortunately the next and only other screening is on a weekday before 5pm. It's reportedly done from original nitrate elements in MoMA's archive, and I'm curious if it's an upgrade. The DVD release was a digital restoration (albeit done around 2007), was it not?
Wow, a 4k restoration. I don't think they were doing 4k restorations in 2007. This is most definitely new. Thanks for the heads up on that. I will make every attempt to go see it. It's showing a week from tomorrow. It's one of my favorite Fords.

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Re: John Ford

#254 Post by Never Cursed » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:20 am

Sony's been doing 4K restorations since at least 2004 - that's when they did Dr. Strangelove

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John Ford

#255 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:34 am

That was Sony’s first 4k restoration. As per Grover Crisp from a screening at the Film Forum. I think Sony was ahead of the curve at the time.

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Re: John Ford

#256 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:56 pm

I just got back from a screening at Moma of the 4k restoration of Pilgrimage. It looks absolutely beautiful. Great detail and depth. There's some softness in a few scenes that are inherent to the elements, but nothing distracting. I wonder if this and other Ford at Fox restorations will see the light of day on bluray.

I haven't seen all the Ford films. Is there any other Ford film that has a woman as the central character? I couldn't think of any that I've seen. BTW... Henrietta Crosman was brilliant. Didn't realize that Hedda Hopper was in this.

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Re: John Ford

#257 Post by domino harvey » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:02 pm

7 Women has, well, guess how many

EDIT: And I haven’t seen it, but my understanding is the Brat does as well

DOUBLE EDIT: And Mary of Scotland, where Hepburn caused poor Ford to fall fruitlessly in love with her

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Re: John Ford

#258 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:06 am

Define 'central' character? There's a number of Ford films that have women as a central character, but not necessarily the only central character.

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Re: John Ford

#259 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:56 am

Central Character = main character or the focal character, the story told through her eyes. In almost every scene from beginning to end of film. Not main female character but main character overall.

A film like How Green Was My Valley I think of more of an ensemble, but in The Quiet Man John Wayne is the focal point and main character.

The films Domino mentioned I have not seen.
HinkydinkyTruesmith, have you seen Pilgrimage?

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Re: John Ford

#260 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:03 am

I have. Certainly Mrs. Jessop is central in that. I don't think speaking of "central" characters in relation to Ford is particularly effective, because Ford tends to be so vast in his narratives. Dallas in STAGECOACH, for example, I don't think anyone would suggest is the "central character," but for me she is an example of Ford aligning audience sympathies with a complex female character in a way that prioritizes her romantic feelings rather than Wayne's (which is, of course, the major tension of THE QUIET MAN). But the film is such a vast ecosystem that she could never become central.

SERGEANT RUTLEDGE has a significant female character, although I'm a bit hazy on how much she gets left out as the film goes on. THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS has a central female character although not quite as strictly as your definition implies (and the film is rather lackluster).

I think that the way Ford depicts and uses women in his films belies your identification of John Wayne as the focal point of THE QUIET MAN. He's certainly the main character, but I think that the film is about the ways in which women work within patriarchy to obtain their own agency, wealth, possessions, and significance. The scene where Wayne drags O'Hara five miles to her brother is superficially about Wayne dominating the woman, but it becomes clear that she's playing into it, and allowing it to happen, and is in control of the situation, when she proudly walks away home after getting what she wants.

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Re: John Ford

#261 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:18 pm

And of course both of us forgot to mention Wee Willie Winkie! I agree though, it’s a bit of an odd question. True, he didn’t have another movie starring a cantankerous old lady as the primary lead, but he’s not exactly filming an Elks Club every picture either. At minimum Ford is as capable of delivering a compelling female character as any of his contemporaries at the studio, though I def wouldn’t single him out as particularly gifted at it. Still, to throw in another example, though Gable is the protagonist, does anyone actually remember anything about Mogambo that isn’t Ava Gardner or Grace Kelly?

Also, I think this forum’s continued love of Pilgrimage is approaching Michael Mann-levels of “I don’t get it” for me

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Re: John Ford

#262 Post by Calvin » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:52 pm

Fox have also given the 4K restoration treatment to Straight Shooting, Kentucky Pride, The Shamrock Handicap, Hangman's House, and 3 Bad Men. Goodness knows who is going to release them though. It's incredible that we have 4K restorations of these early works without even a DVD release of 7 Women from Warner Archive.

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Re: John Ford

#263 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:29 pm

I think you folks are missing my point a little. I'm defintely not questioning Ford not having strong, complex women in his films because lord knows he does and there are many. What I'm saying with this particular film is mother Jessup is the dominant character (not meaning domineering) in this film. Everything revolves around her in the narrative. No one in this film is her equal. Being that I haven't seen all his films, especially his early ones, I was curious if there was other films in his cannon where one character was the driving force throughout the narrative as other characters come and go, especially a woman character.

Domino, why didn't this work for you?
Last edited by FrauBlucher on Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: John Ford

#264 Post by Rayon Vert » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:04 pm

Searching on the web for this topic, I notice a very apropos book was published just a few years ago: Women in the Films of John Ford.

Here's a review (Pilgrimage is the topic of the first chapter).

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Re: John Ford

#265 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:45 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:29 pm

Domino, why didn't this work for you?
Com-dram Ford is my least favorite Ford, and beyond the uneven narrative tone, the central performance is the most grating and obnoxious thing seen in Ford’s oeuvre outside of Tobacco Road. This is simply not a rope I can give to the film and any defender of it, even speculatively, and as your own earlier question indicates, the film is centered on her and she’s inescapable for the length of the film. If you enjoy this performance, I don’t get why and I will never get why, and so there’s unfortunately not much debate or discussion to be had on my part to engage with fans, which greatly outnumber me-s

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Re: John Ford

#266 Post by Shrew » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:56 am

I watched Pilgrimage and Renoir's The Southerner around the same time during the list project, and Beulah Bondi's ignorant southern granny is so awful that any cranky old lady performance looks good in comparison.

That said, I think it's unfair to categorize the film as one of Ford's com-drams (a la the Will Rogers films or Wee Willie Winkie). It's a straight drama throughout. There's some fish-out-of-water comedy in the gaggle of mothers dealing with Europe and each other's class expectations, but even that's underpinned by the sense of loss they all share. If Ol' Mose doesn't make The Searchers a comedy, neither is this. I suppose if you think that Jessup's cutting everyone down is supposed to funny, akin to Will Rogers's outsider-common sense aphorisms, it'd be particularly insufferable. But I read her character as tragically alienated, and her constant retorts not as witty but as symptoms of her stubbornness and isolation. Compare that to Bondi in The Southerner, whose character is just the sum of every trope about southern ignorance and has no arc.

I really liked the film because I thought the tone was much more controlled and consistent than in the Rogers films. Or, for a more direct comparison to another more female-focused film about WWI, than in Four Sons, which goes off the rails in the last act. Maybe part of the reason that you hated it so much, domino, was that you brought an expectation about the tone of the film, based off Ford's other work of the time, that colored your interpretation of the central performance? But then, if you just hate a performance, you hate a performance, and there's not much you can argue with.

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Re: John Ford

#267 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:33 pm

Shrew, I completely agree. I wouldn't classify Piligramage as part comedy. It's a full fledge drama. While there are some humorous scenes (and some poor attempts), the majority of this is a dark, sad, portrayal of a woman who confuses love for control that cost the life of her son. Any humor that comes out of this is mostly from within the characters, their personalities, their daily lives and routines. There are times when I find Ford's humor too farcical and it takes me out of his films. But not with this one.

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Re: John Ford

#268 Post by Stefan Andersson » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:17 pm

"Hell Bent" (1917), restored, plays at the 2019 San Francisco Silent Film Festival:

https://prod3.agileticketing.net/websal ... 16bcbe6fc6&

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Re: John Ford

#269 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:00 pm

I just watched Ford's The Wings of Eagles, which I know is one of his lesser-regarded films on here (some of you hate it I believe?) but I'm at the point with Ford, especially after so many rewatches in the last few months, that every viewing of a new work of his charges me with intense intellectual activity. I frankly loved this film, and I just spewed a lot of thoughts about it on Letterboxd, and wanted to post them here to, to see if anyone had any responses ideas. Spoilers for Gentleman Jim as well (although that film is, like this one, historical and not particularly spoilable).

This is one of Ford's craziest films––and crazy is perhaps the most perfect word for it. It cycles through the war genre, the domestic drama, comedy, tragedy, backstage story, all within the biopic: it resembles, at times, the Shakespearean comedy and problem play, and the existentialist drama of the midcentury. Its tonal changes are as abrupt as any in Shakespeare, and as clearly demarcated. It features a John Ford stand-in, and makes frequent use of archival footage (both narrative and non-narrative). During one battle scene, I believe entirely reliant on archival footage, any narrative purpose is discarded and it becomes, more than anything else, watching the abstract shape of artillery fire cut across black, blue, sky and ocean backdrops.

It's perhaps Ford's messiest mature film, oftentimes slapdash; this is evidently due to Ford's trying to squeeze in several decades of a man's life into a two hour picture, as the following year's THE LAST HURRAH takes the exact opposite approach, settling on the last few days of a man whose life was evidently not free of interest. That film takes a half hour for its denouement, and it's profoundly touching. Here, the ultimate retirement is shoved into the last few minutes, and it doesn't quite come off. But the rest of the film is so rich in material that it doesn't matter. Just yesterday I remarked that GENTLEMAN JIM ('42) by Raoul Walsh is the quintessential film of this sort of midcentury brawling brothers filmmaking that Ford, Hawks, and Walsh all engage in––men fighting each other. It's clear here as well as in Ford's McLaglen fight off in both SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON and THE QUIET MAN, as well as in the final fight in RED RIVER, and in just about every fight Walsh ever filmed (especially when Alan Hale was presiding) that the fighting was a thin veneer under which a deep brotherly love existed. The men fight to earn each other's respect (John Huston and Errol Flynn's real life battle ended the same way, as well as Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway's) and they garner each other's love. This prime example is, when the Army and the Navy begin brawling, two soldiers and sailors sitting outside begin fighting: one of each get knocked out, and the other two make peace over beers, since the score is "even." In GENTLEMAN JIM, Jim Corbett defeating John L. Sullivan gains his respect and admiration, and the two's concluding address is as tender as the close of a romance.

If that film, GENTLEMAN JIM, is the quintessential film about this fighting amongst men, this film is the final word to that. It depicts this brawling for the first half hour, during which we see all the conventions of this tradition: the sort of consequence-free violence that enables the men to fight without any worrying about suffering long lasting pain. Here, however, this loving violence that characterizes the first quarter of the film comes to a sudden halt when John Wayne tumbles down the stairs in a moment that is characterized not unlike the rest of the slapstick. Yet instead of his getting right back up, he breaks his neck and suffers total bodily paralysis. It is a shocking twist that resets the emotional tenor of the film (which has already suffered from child mortality). We then see John Wayne, one of the most physically noticeable actors of all-time, confined to his bed, unable to move at all. The struggle takes on more than just bodily consequences, as his shame over his impotency casts a shadow over his relationship with his family, not allowing them to see him. He becomes, in this way, not unlike one of Ford's fellow Irish artist Beckett's physically lame characters. Like Lorraine Hansberry, Ford seems to reject Beckett's potential pessimism while internalizing the reality of it: it's clear throughout that Wayne will never walk easily again, and right up until the end his physical impediments impede him, but there's an optimism to it all that urges him forward in his path of recovery. The most telling moment is, after rejecting help from a variety of people, Wayne initially rejects even his estranged but tender wife's assistance, before recognizing his knee-jerk (no pun intended) reaction, and allowing her to help. In Beckett, it's unlikely any help would've come in the first place.

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Re: John Ford

#270 Post by swo17 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:06 pm

I voted for it during out Ford list, but it looks like I was the only one

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Re: John Ford

#271 Post by Rayon Vert » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:18 pm

The opening airplane-about-to-crash sequence is as entertaining and impressive as anything in Scorsese’s The Aviator.

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Re: John Ford

#272 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:18 am

I just watched THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, and I found it good, but it lacked many of the things about Ford that I love, that most seem to dislike about him––his tonal shifts, and his overt pictorialism. I'm willing to give it another shot––the Warner DVD is rather weak, I think––but I have to agree with Ford that it's one of his weaker efforts.

The opening plane sequence is quite something! I don't know that it'd make my top ten for Ford––it's a pretty competitive club––but I did enjoy it tremendously.

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