Hondo (1953)


“Everybody gets dead. It was his turn. ” – Hondo

Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 Apr 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A tough cowboy stays on the ranch of a widow and orphan in order to protect them from the tribe of Apache Indians living nearby.

My Take on it – As a fan of John Wayne films, especially his westerns, I was interested in seeing what this one was all about.

Unfortunately, they give us a very mediocre Western that fails to bring anything new to the genre.

They tell the story in a nice way, yet there isn’t anything unique added to things that would help this film stand out from the hundreds of other Westerns made up until that time.

Wayne does a nice job in the lead and has a passable kind of chemistry with Geraldine Page, but things never go beyond that.

They do a nice job showing the confrontations with the Apache Indians which helps us get a slightly better understanding of their culture and way of life, but it would have been nicer to see that developed even more.

It’s possible that this film was perceived when it came out as being much better, but in retrospect, it just doesn’t work very well overall.

This is by far not among Wayne’s best films.

Bottom Line – Mediocre western that doesn’t really bring anything new to the forefront. The story is told well yet there isn’t any unique aspect brought forth which doesn’t let it stick out at all. Wayne is fine in the lead and his chemistry with Page is sufficient for this kind of film but doesn’t go beyond that at all. The confrontations with the Apache’s give us an interesting perspective on their way of life and it’s possible that this was more interesting when it came out than the way it is perceived now. Not among Wayne’s best films at all.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Katharine Hepburn was originally planned to have been cast as the female lead, with the idea being that her part and John Wayne’s would be roughly equal. However, the female lead role grew less prominent as the script was developed, until it was clearly subservient to Wayne’s. Therefore, Producer Robert Fellows sent a letter to Hepburn’s agent expressing his belief that such a role was beneath a star of Hepburn’s stature, and explaining that rather than embarrass her by offering her a part she would be forced to turn down, he decided not to offer it to her at all. The role went to Geraldine Page, instead, while Hepburn and Wayne finally teamed up more than twenty years later in Rooster Cogburn (1975). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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2 thoughts on “Hondo (1953)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1953 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1953 | MovieRob

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