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:

Poster Votes Rating Movie
4038 8.3 I Remember Mama
2961 7.9 The Search
9067 7.7 The Naked City
5888 7.7 The Big Clock
1486 7.6 Sitting Pretty
13044 7.6 Fort Apache
1186 7.4 All My Sons
8284 7.3 Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
333 7.2 The Mating of Millie
319 6.9 So Evil My Love

This blog post is part of the Decade series.

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