|Title:||Directed by John Ford|
|01.23.07||Internet|| I want to take this opportunity to thank the Internet, more specifically the bit torrent technology, more specifically karagarga, more specifically the 6 guys seeding this movie. Without you, I'd be cursing TCM's lack of repeat showings and filing this one away, yet again, in the dusty text file of movies I've long wanted to see. But thanks to those mentioned above, I have now seen this Peter Bogdanovich-made doc on John Ford, notable for it's early 70s thriving interview footage with Duke Wayne, Hank Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, and John Ford himself (shot in Monument Valley no less) and narrated by Orson Welles.|
I think I first learned of this film while reading Bogdanovich's Who The Devil Made It where he may have off-handedly remarked that he made a documentary film about the guy for AFI (just as he habitually makes off-hand remarks about writing books about all his famous friends like Ford, Welles, Fritz Lang, etc.), then tracked down some random interview transcript on the Internet where Bogdanovich said that AFI never cleared the rights to all the film clips and music so it was stuck in their vault and couldn't be shown. So I guess thanks to TCM, they ponied up and brought Bogdanovish in to update it, adding 10 minutes of interview footage with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Walter Hill, and Harry Carey Jr. So After all this work, TCM plays it twice last November. Gee, thanks.
Anyway, all history aside, I wasn't dissapointed with the caliber of interviews presented here. Especially John Wayne and Henry Fonda. I've never really seen too much interview footage with those guys, especially not when they were still young and healthy enough to resemble their on-screen likenesses. ALl of Duke's stories were classics and hearing about how Ford directed Fonda into the little thing he does in My Darling Clementine with his feet up on the veranda post was great. Similarly, Jimmy Stewart's recounting of the river scene in Two Rode Together intercut with Scorsese talking about it in full-on "these are my inspirations" mode and the scene itself is a big reminder of just how geeky I am about this stuff. I'm just eating it up... Meanwhile the state of the union address is going on that I couldn't give two craps about... nah, I'm enthralled by the story of how one shot in a movie I haven't even seen came about.
Yeah, I haven't actually seen that many John Ford movies. My mom was a huge fan of both Ford and John Wayne so I grew up thinking they were pretty sappy... I'm still not 100% sure I honestly enjoy a lot of what's considered all-time classic, but I like to think that I'm slowly coming around. I'm definitely in the mood to watch one now.
As a movie, I'm not sure how great this would be to someone as a John Ford primer. It kind of skips all over the place movie-wise and doesn't cover his whole filmography or anything like that. But if you're already a fan or at least familiar with his movies, this works great like a movie-geek discussion, where it starts with one person on one thing and then someone else says "yeah, like in this other movie when that happens" and it goes from there. For me it was great and I'm very happy to finally see it. It's nice to check this one off the list for sure.