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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 1949

After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard...

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Imdb rating: 7.4

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and a splendid little documentary called Lift.
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Well let's start with Double Life then.

First of all there's the torching orange-yellow color. A really powerful and capturing device, but also suffocating in the sense that it limits the expression and perception quite strongly. That combined with the camera that always seems to be one step too close, and the corners too dark, to get a clear general view. And the couple of scenes where they used like a twisting lense or something. And then there's the music, the song, which controls a lot of the atmosphere.

That's all I've got so far. My reviews evolve in time. This one is just a baby.

I think it needs a sister, so I'll start with Rebecca too.

The interesting thing in Rebecca, is that it's well over the half-way mark before the Hitchcock-factor actually kicks in, and the film comes to life. Before that it's just a long tedious build-up, b-class melodrama. A lot of it has to do with the characters, who(at least in the first half) are incredibly, incredibly flawed and unappealing. Mr. de Winter is an asshole, a control freak who seems to have mental issues that are completely out of proportion. The girl on the other hand is a wimpish thing, unbearably insecure and frightened, and with no mental qualities or interesting characteristics to speak of. The only thing she seems to be capable of is being 'in love'. A kind of a hollywood cliche, usually backed up by circumstances where no other personal qualities are required, but here intentionally placed in an unfitting environment. Their relationship, and especially the building of that relationship, isn't given much focus. Which really causes the film to lack in the quality melodrama department. Actually now that I think about it, what it could use is some good humoristic dialogue, to add some depth. Maybe if Billy Wilder had written the first part...oh well, just speculating. So anyhow, the cheap shots keep flowing in, expected and obvious, as we watch the girl fall deeper and deeper in uncomfort. So much even that by the time of the incident with the dress, you find yourself wondering if maybe what you're actually watching is a Lars Von Trier film. But eventually salvation does come. The relieve and satisfaction you feel when the plot finally takes a turn, is substantial. And I have to mention here the great scene where the camera follows Rebecca, who is not there, rise from the bed and walk across the room according to Mr. de Winter's description. That's classic Hitchcock. Anyway, the rest of the film flows through really well, as our perception of de Winter has completely changed, and the girl's role in the film has significantly reduced in favor of other things. One last complaint I have to make: the character of Mrs. Danvers lacks all dimension and believability. It's usually not good film-making to have a character who's only function is to be crazy and unpleasant. Visually the film is gorgeous all the way through.
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Also, I have to put it here so I don't forget, another interesting film I watched last night is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1920).
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You could say I have no business saying anything about I Am Dina since I only watched the first thirty minutes of it. But then again that was all I could bear, and I shouldn't be discriminated for being weak in that way. Anyway, what I saw of the film was outrageously crappy. Crappy in every conceivable sense of the word. And that's all the thought I want to give to it.

Lo and behold, for another thought has risen in my tiny head about Double Life of Veronique. Goes like this: Sometimes the film-maker seemed a little puzzled of what to do with all the time in his hands. It's not like there was many plot shifts to make or anything. Also, the intimate scenes didn't feel at all intimate, because the people were strangers to me. And altogether the main characters remained quite distant and un-life-like.

I'm not what you would very easily call a larger-than-life fan of the western. Is that good or bad? I don't know. Nobody knows. It's a mystery. But I definitely enjoyed with lovingly feelings John Ford's She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. Even the title tune was catchy. I can hear it right now swinging in my head, almost makes me ask out of common curiosity how to make it stop, but I'd rather not risk it while it's still benign. Seasonal extra points I want to give this film for the best supporting performance I've seen all year, to the old indian guy in the one scene. His work was so fresh and out-of-the-norm that it was downright groundbreaking.
The Calvary Just Keeps Going!!
Here's another film rating.
Great movie but there is a problem here but there is nothing new. A second rate Fort Apache with less content. This movie survives as a further treat to true fans of this genre and nothing else. Also, you can tell that John Wayne was not yet a master of the acting craft at this stage. He never was yet during the 40's and it shows here as he reles heavily on his incredible charm and grit. The direction and cinematography was good as well as the actors performances but problem here was script and screenplay. The story was average. A good western but not a classic in my book. I love the scene with Wayne by his wife's gravesite though.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

This is probably my least favorite John Wayne movie that I've seen, although it's among my his most highly regarded. I just felt their wasn't enough action and John Wayne wasn't typical John Wayne in this movie.
For the most part he was a nice guy. I also felt it seemed more like a TV show than a movie with the unnecessary narrations. The one thing this movie does have going for it is it's excellent cinematography. It has to be among the best of any John Wayne movie I've seen.
***1/2 (out of four)

Classic John Wayne western about a Calvalry Man who is assigned one week before is retirement to accompany a commander's wife and niece to a fort.

Beautifully shot and acted. One of the Duke's best films.
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