Genre Guesstimation – Fort Apache (1948)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Catherine of Thoughts All Sorts. We will be reviewing our favorite Westerns set in the “old West” – so, that excludes Contemporary Westerns i.e. No Country for Old Men, Hud, Desperado, Junior Bonner etc.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Jan by sending them to oldwesterncat@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Catherine!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Western Movies…

fort-apache“Gentlemen, I did not seek this command, but since it’s been assigned me, I intend to make this regiment the finest on the frontier. I fully realize that prolonged duty in a small outpost can lead to carelessness… and inefficiency and laxity in dress and deportment. I call it to your attention that only one of you has reported here this morning properly dressed. The uniform, gentlemen, is not a subject for individual, whimsical expression. We’re not cowboys at this post… or freighters with a load of alfalfa. ” – Lt. Col Owen Thursday

Number of Times Seen – 2 (22 Apr 2008 and 22 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – When a new commander is stationed at a Frontier outpost, his way of command conflicts with the way the rest of his troops are used to.

My Take on it – I saw this film a few years back and was amazed by the performances of Henry Fond and John Wayne.  Both were great actors and they do a wonderful job portraying two sides of the ongoing argument about war and peace that still rages today.

They give us the opportunity to understand the different ways that they handle their men and the way that they hold command.

John Ford does a wonderful job filming the action sequences and makes them feel even more realistic, especially due to his decision to film this in Black and White instead of color.

Despite it’s very poignant story, something still feels missing here that would have elevated this film to even greater heights.

Bottom Line – Fonda and Wayne work great together as opposites here.  We get to understand the way each of them handles themselves with their men and with their methods of command.  The action scenes feel quite realistic and Ford was definitely an expert at filming things like this. The choice to film this in Black and White was a great one because it adds to the realistic feeling of it all.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Although John Ford would not allow wives and girlfriends onto his locations, John Wayne was allowed to bring his son Michael Wayne with him to Monument Valley. He later described the rugged conditions and the long, six-days-per-week working hours: “The only thing people could do in Monument Valley was work; there was no other diversion. But the rougher it was, the more Ford seemed to like it. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Comes really close because the film is shot beautifully, but something feels missing to make it even more poignant!

Rating – Globe Worthy

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One thought on “Genre Guesstimation – Fort Apache (1948)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur January Finale – Once Upon A Time in the West (1968) – Thoughts All Sorts |

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