Hondo

Hondo

Hondo

Hondo:at our store, we stock over 2000 models, so if you see the manufacturer, but not the model, don't be shy - give us a call and we will be happy to check! After a time—in my case, sixty-plus years—of watching them, most westerns blur together. "Hondo" stands out.That's nearly a pun, because Warner Bros. shot the film in 3-D. This proved to be a royal pain in the gluteus for the company, with New Mexico's sandstorms gumming up not one but two cameras and throwing production way over schedule. To top it off, all that money was wasted, since most of the film's release in 1953 was in regular presentation.But back to the show: John Farrow and an uncredited John Ford (who, as a favor to the star, directed the movie's climax) do a fine job of staging the action, which is well edited. The actors, including old-standbys (Ward Bond, Paul Fix), newcomers (Geraldine Page, Michael Pate), and a very young James Arness, turn in convincing performances. Cinematography, chiefly by old pro Robert Burks, is exceptional: really to appreciate this movie it should be seen on the widest screen available. One warning: in high-definition, even with the camera pulled back, it's very easy to tell that a stand-in for the star is doing the real brawling and bronco-busting.For me, the movie just misses five-star status. In part that's because screenwriter James Edward Grant overloaded Louis L'Amour's story, "The Gift of Cochise," with too many subplots lacking satisfying resolutions. The plots of most classic westerns have a straight through-line; I can't find one in "Hondo," which is more a series of episodes stitched together. Another problem is the movie's almost complete lack of humor. The best westerns—"Red River," "The Searchers," "Rio Bravo," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"—leaven the drama with some breathing space to get to know the characters' quirks. And the throwaway line at the film's end—that the Apache way of life was a good one, soon to be exterminated—is painful to hear seventy years later.Still, this movie has a lot going for it. Unlike most cavalry-versus-natives epics, there's complexity in this one. The white men are a mix of good and bad, and so are the natives. From the start it's made clear that the Apaches have no word for "lie," and the U.S. government has repeatedly broken the treaties. Hondo is himself part-Indian and spends portions of the movie explaining to each side the other's point of view. A six-year old white settler faces down an Apache sub-chief, whose superior makes of the child his blood-brother. In 1952 the western is maturing.Of course, this is a John Wayne movie, and it rides on his broad shoulders, which are more than a little bruised. In this film the hero's wrist is tortured by scalding and he's stabbed in the chest, northeast of the heart. Beyond being tough as rawhide, the character of Hondo has considerable complexity, and Wayne is more than equal to it. He always claimed, as did other stars of that era (Spencer Tracy, James Stewart) that he wasn't an actor but a re-actor: the key to honest performance was listening to and watching what others were saying and doing, then responding with honesty, sometimes with the eyes only. "Hondo" is a fine example of Wayne's re-acting. He never shows off. He plays it straight and calm. When aggressive, there's good reason for his agitation.A near-classic western, "Hondo" remains well worth 84 minutes of your time. Why the producers thought a movie so short needed an Intermission mystifies me. Maybe they thought people would need a break from all those paper-and-plastic 3-D eyewear that nobody ended up wearing.detroit mall,half,nashville-davidson mallHondo
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Editorial Reviews

Based on the Louis L'Amour story "The Gift of Cochise," this sparkling western has Wayne as a half-Indian Cavalry scout who, with his feral dog companion, finds a young woman and her son living on a isolated ranch in unfriendly Apache country. A poetic and exciting script, outstanding performances, and breathtaking scenery make this an indisputable classic. Page's debut.

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Hondo

Hondo:at our store, we stock over 2000 models, so if you see the manufacturer, but not the model, don't be shy - give us a call and we will be happy to check! After a time—in my case, sixty-plus years—of watching them, most westerns blur together. "Hondo" stands out.That's nearly a pun, because Warner Bros. shot the film in 3-D. This proved to be a royal pain in the gluteus for the company, with New Mexico's sandstorms gumming up not one but two cameras and throwing production way over schedule. To top it off, all that money was wasted, since most of the film's release in 1953 was in regular presentation.But back to the show: John Farrow and an uncredited John Ford (who, as a favor to the star, directed the movie's climax) do a fine job of staging the action, which is well edited. The actors, including old-standbys (Ward Bond, Paul Fix), newcomers (Geraldine Page, Michael Pate), and a very young James Arness, turn in convincing performances. Cinematography, chiefly by old pro Robert Burks, is exceptional: really to appreciate this movie it should be seen on the widest screen available. One warning: in high-definition, even with the camera pulled back, it's very easy to tell that a stand-in for the star is doing the real brawling and bronco-busting.For me, the movie just misses five-star status. In part that's because screenwriter James Edward Grant overloaded Louis L'Amour's story, "The Gift of Cochise," with too many subplots lacking satisfying resolutions. The plots of most classic westerns have a straight through-line; I can't find one in "Hondo," which is more a series of episodes stitched together. Another problem is the movie's almost complete lack of humor. The best westerns—"Red River," "The Searchers," "Rio Bravo," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"—leaven the drama with some breathing space to get to know the characters' quirks. And the throwaway line at the film's end—that the Apache way of life was a good one, soon to be exterminated—is painful to hear seventy years later.Still, this movie has a lot going for it. Unlike most cavalry-versus-natives epics, there's complexity in this one. The white men are a mix of good and bad, and so are the natives. From the start it's made clear that the Apaches have no word for "lie," and the U.S. government has repeatedly broken the treaties. Hondo is himself part-Indian and spends portions of the movie explaining to each side the other's point of view. A six-year old white settler faces down an Apache sub-chief, whose superior makes of the child his blood-brother. In 1952 the western is maturing.Of course, this is a John Wayne movie, and it rides on his broad shoulders, which are more than a little bruised. In this film the hero's wrist is tortured by scalding and he's stabbed in the chest, northeast of the heart. Beyond being tough as rawhide, the character of Hondo has considerable complexity, and Wayne is more than equal to it. He always claimed, as did other stars of that era (Spencer Tracy, James Stewart) that he wasn't an actor but a re-actor: the key to honest performance was listening to and watching what others were saying and doing, then responding with honesty, sometimes with the eyes only. "Hondo" is a fine example of Wayne's re-acting. He never shows off. He plays it straight and calm. When aggressive, there's good reason for his agitation.A near-classic western, "Hondo" remains well worth 84 minutes of your time. Why the producers thought a movie so short needed an Intermission mystifies me. Maybe they thought people would need a break from all those paper-and-plastic 3-D eyewear that nobody ended up wearing.detroit mall,half,nashville-davidson mallHondo