March 1948: Fort Apache

Johns Ford and Wayne! Is this the first John Wayne movie I’ve seen in this blog series? Hm…

Oh, Shirley Temple and Henry Fonda, too…

This is sweet. I thought this was going to be one of those serious and relevant westerns (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but instead it’s pretty funny.

Not that there isn’t some drama, but this is mostly very light-hearted and amusing. Until it suddenly turns quite serious.

The mix of slapstick humour and more earnest action doesn’t always work: The horse-riding skit seemed to last forever while we were perhaps more interested in what was going on with the Cochise situation.

But it’s an interesting movie. It’s somewhere half-way between the older western movies where the Native Americans are the enemy and the later revisionist westerns where the US Army are unambiguous villains.

The final scene with the journalists, creating the myth of The Great General and the Savage (Befeathered) Indians, is a very thoughtful touch.

Fort Apache. John Ford. 1948.

Popular movies in March 1948 according to IMDB:

40388.3I Remember Mama
29617.9The Search
90677.7The Naked City
58887.7The Big Clock
14867.6Sitting Pretty
130447.6Fort Apache
11867.4All My Sons
82847.3Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
3337.2The Mating of Millie
3196.9So Evil My Love

This blog post is part of the Decade series.

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