Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Apr 2016)
Brief Synopsis – Two men are sent on a mission to an Indian camp to try and negotiate the release of as many kidnapped white children as possible.
My Take on it – I’ve always been a fan of some of John Ford’s directorial work and was really looking forward to seeing what he could do with te likes of Jimmy Stewart and Richard Widmark because I’m a fan of their work too.
Unfortunately, despite a very interesting plot, this movie falls short mainly due to the casting of these two legends.
The characters they play are much much younger than the actors themselves were and instead of seeing younger actors take on their roles, it felt like they were cast because of their desire to work with Ford than their appropriateness as the characters.
This movies does a nice job of bringing up some really important issues about perception of characters kidnapped and “converted” along with the whole idea of nature vs nurture.
Can a child who grows up among the Indians maintain their identity and cultural upbringing after so many years among the “savages”?
Stewart’s character was pretty good, but I wasn’t used to seeing him play someone not as wholesome as some of his most familiar and famous characters of the past.
Widmark plays the ever loyal soldier willing to do his duty at all costs.
Bottom Line – Not one of Ford’s best movies. As great as Widmark and Stewart are, they feel very miscast in their roles mainly due to their ages. Brings up some very interesting questions about perception and mature vs. nurture, but overall falls short of its intended goal.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to Peter Bogdanovich in “Pieces of Time” Richard Widmark stated he had more fun on this film than any other. “I’m a little deaf in this ear . . . and [John Ford]’s a little deaf in the other, and [James Stewart’s hard of hearing in both! . . . So all through the picture, all three of us were goin’, “What? What? What?” (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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