Few directors have a feature debut as promising as John Ford’s. While the story isn’t much to write home about, Straight Shooting has gorgeous cinematography, good acting and a showdown that remains one of the best in the history of westerns.
It’s ranchers vs. farmers when the local water rights are up for grabs. John Ford’s first feature film stars Harry Carey as a Good Bad Man and Hoot Gibson as his ally.
John Ford’s final western comes to Bluray and we’re going to be taking a look at it! Saddle up, pardners.
John Ford was in his first year as director when he made this picture, his third feature film. The plot is simple: Harry Carey loses his fiancee to a city slicker but when she calls for help, he goes racing to New York to bring her home. An understated performance from Carey and some truly stunning scene composition make this film memorable.
Love, jealousy and humor blend in this forgotten film set in a boarding house that caters to actors– a rather threadbare collection at that. This makeshift family of hoofers, chanteuses, aging hams and knife-throwers is put in disarray when one if their own hits the big time. It’s a trifle but a very pleasant one. This ensemble film was directed by some guy named John Ford.
(You can read my full-length review here.)
[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Success goes to our boy’s head but the boarding house crew has the last laugh. When he comes to show off, they toss him out on his ear.[/toggler]
If it were a dessert it would be:
Peanut Candy Popcorn Balls. Not a cohesive whole but a mixture of multiple elements. Still quite tasty.
Availability: Thought lost for years, Upstream was discovered in New Zealand and released on DVD as part of the Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive set. The whole disc is crammed with rare goodies and is highly recommended. (The disc was released by the National Film preservation Foundation, which means your purchase will also help support the restoration and release of more silent films.)
The story is as old as the hills: Country boy loses girl to city slicker but then gets a chance to win her back. Speaking of being lost and found, this film was once thought lost before turning up in France. A good thing too as it is the second-earliest John Ford-directed film to survive. Harry Carey plays the unfortunate Wyoming beau.
Continue reading “Bucking Broadway (1917) A Silent Film Review”
Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware that the “always get their man” slogan is more Hollywood than reality but I beg the indulgence of my Canadian readers in this instance.
Upstream is one of the lost movies that was recovered during a 2010 expedition to the New Zealand film archive. It was directed by none other than John Ford, who was known for westerns even then but would sometimes branch out to other genres. In this case, a backstage dramedy and a rather good one too. Nancy Nash has won over Grant Withers or is it the other way round? In any case, he sealed the deal with a ring.
I thought Nancy Nash was charming in the film but her Hollywood career seemed to fizzle.
(You can read my review of Upstream here.)
A terrible actor with a famous name… I can’t imagine anyone hiring someone like that in this day and age.
What am I talking about? Of course they would get hired! (Not naming any names but I am sure that you, dear readers, can think of at least a few.)
Another barbed intertitle from John Ford’s adorable comedy, Upstream.
This long-lost John Ford film centers on a boarding house that is home to assorted stage actors, comedians and stuntmen. When one of their own gets asked to perform Hamlet in London, the boarding house gang is thrilled and sends him off joyously. But how will they react when success goes to his head?
Here is one of the cuter intertitles from the recently-rediscovered John Ford film, Upstream. An American actor delivers a smashing bit of Hamlet, much to the delight of the London audience.
Of course, your interpretation of the joke depends on whether you consider the speaker of this title card to be American or English. Either way, though, it’s pretty funny.