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    New on Video: ‘Red River’

    If it were only for Wayne’s performance, which is excellent, Red River would be a vital entry into the Western genre. But there is more to this extraordinary picture. That’s why it’s not only one of the greatest Westerns ever made, it’s an American classic. More

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    New on Video: ‘The Hidden Fortress’

    Everything about “The Hidden Fortress” clicks and falls into place: Kurosawa’s mastery of the widescreen, the amusing characters, the action, the set design, the riveting yet lighthearted plot … This is the sort of movie a natural born filmmaker can make and make look so easy, so instinctive. More

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    Gender Roles in John Ford’s ‘The Quiet Man’

    John Ford’s The Quiet Man is unquestionably one of Ireland’s most well-known films. It remains, to this day, a popular Hollywood love story as well as one of the most dominant representations of Ireland in film. A worldwide success, it won audiences over with its majestic landscapes, lighthearted dialogue, and beautiful cast. Despite its enduring […] More

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    New on Video: ‘El Dorado’

    “El Dorado” is a refreshing genre classic, at once suggesting topical concerns while conserving an enduring arena for its Hollywood icons to do what they do best. It incorporates much of what distinguished Howard Hawks’ cinema: his uniform themes, style, and tone. More

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    Attack of the Trilogies

    E. B. White once wrote, “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” Analyzing trilogies seems to the same. The entire point is to enjoy them. Still, given the many sins to be found in film, there are worse things than movie trilogies but few have […] More

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    Iconography in Scoring: The Music of the Western

    From its very beginnings as a genre, Western film has trafficked in the iconic, in the larger-than-life imagery of the tall tale and the never-ending, expansive wilderness that forms the crucial backbone to these stories. More than perhaps any other genre, Westerns deal in types, with their characters standing in for the Other, the Immigrant, […] More

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    ‘Steamboat Round the Bend’

    There are few things in this world more warm and cozy than digging into a humanistic John Ford picture. Few things more downright entertaining. I’m inclined to call Ford my favorite filmmaker of all time, if I felt it necessary to make such distinctions. Steamboat Round the Bend was to be, for all intents and […] More

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