John Ford, 1964
USA | Format: 70mm | 154 minutes
Archival 70mm print!
John Ford’s epic was meant as a final statement of solidarity with American Indians, by turns sympathetic and villainous figures in his earlier movies. Although the studio imposed a questionable cast of non–native American stars in key roles (including Sal Mineo, Ricardo Montalban, and Gilbert Roland) and forced Ford to use some ugly studio interiors, this is a deeply felt valedictory work from one of America’s greatest artists. Widmark is the cavalry captain charged with the sorry task of forcing the fleeing Cheyenne nation back to their barren reservation territory, selected for them by a duplicitous American government. With Carroll Baker as a Quaker teacher sympathetic to the Cheyennes, the beautiful Dolores del Rio as a Spanish woman, and James Stewart and Arthur Kennedy in cameo roles as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Print courtesy of Swedish Film Archive. In English with Swedish subtitles.
“On a huge screen (Super-Panavision 70) and in color that does full justice to the awesome beauty of Monument Valley and other desert and hill country of the southwest, Mr. Ford has spread a rumbling, throbbing drama of the stoicism and self-sufficiency of the Indian who is an alien in his own country, of the meanness and perfidy of the whites and of the compassion and heroism of some good people who try to see that justice is done.”
—Bosley Crowther, The New York Times