1,500 miles of heroism and incredible adventure!
A reluctant cavalry Captain must track a defiant tribe of migrating Cheyennes.
A reluctant cavalry Captain must track a defiant tribe of migrating Cheyennes.
Richard Widmark Carroll Baker Karl Malden Sal Mineo Dolores del Río Ricardo Montalban Gilbert Roland Arthur Kennedy Patrick Wayne Elizabeth Allen John Carradine Victor Jory Mike Mazurki George O’Brien Sean McClory Judson Pratt Carmen D'Antonio Ken Curtis James Stewart Edward G. Robinson Harry Carey, Jr. Ben Johnson Mae Marsh Denver Pyle Danny Borzage James Flavin Sam Harris Bert Stevens
Crepúsculo de Uma Raça, Il grande sentiero (1964), Cheyenne
Late-Ford Western composed as a rambling, off kilter 70mm epic without any semblance of focus. Truly startling in its beauty and closure, Cheyenne Autumn is a curtain call for the Monument Valley as told by the cinema; a mythical dreamworld built through larger canvases and even more ambitious artists.
"We're going to grieve for the noble red man. We'll sell more papers that way."
A properly epic & mythic portrait of the Great American West but with its perspective inverted, reframing the central antagonism from cowboys vs. indians to indians vs cowboys, from the the struggle of vulnerable civilization to settle the savage frontier to the struggle of the vulnerable frontier to survive the savagery of civilization, from Native Americans as enemy to Native Americans as victim—and at the same time a deep cynicism about this very reframing, a pessimism that maybe it's too late, maybe this message can never really reach its audience, maybe they’re just trying to sell more papers.
The Cheyenne were promised…
John Ford's "It's still flawed, but..."
Cheyenne Autumn is usually referred to as John Ford's elegy for Native Americans, or an apologia for his own role in mistreating Native Americans on screen. It is this, certainly, but it is also other things. It isn't as sympathetic as you expect going in, not having seen it before, but perhaps fairer. It doesn't dispense with all the John Ford tropes, nor is it as much a revisionist Western as his own The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. Yet, it is a serious reflection, arguably a dour reflection (barring one sequence - more of which later) on quite how awful the the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878–79 was. However, the striking aspect of the first hour of the film,…
Ford closes the book on Monument Valley by giving it back to the Indians, framing them in such breathtakingly epic shots that suddenly all the white stars similarly framed against MV's vistas look so very small in comparison. Impositions of studio shoots and non-native actors hamper Ford's quest for atonement somewhat, but that, as well as a weird, pre-intermission interlude with a goofy version of Wyatt Earp, fits within the broader arc of Ford's late work and his open dismantling of the West he'd erected earlier. Undoubtedly lugubrious (despite ranking with THE INFORMER and GRAPES OF WRATH as one of the director's most plot-focused features), it is nevertheless a fitting end for Ford's Westerns.
Good god, this is a strange, bleak, and beautiful film. It's melodrama taken to a kabuki-like formal extreme. My favorite moment is a shot of Carroll Baker staring off into the distance, exhausted and traumatized by the first half of the journey, which recalls a similar shot of Henry Fonda sitting on a porch at night, recounting the terrors of battle in Drums Along the Mohawk.
John Ford's late-career western is a visual feast. Shot in Super Panavision 70 (the same format used two years earlier in "Lawrence of Arabia"), it is beautifully photographed and grand in scope. The screenplay (sourced from Mari Sandoz's novel of the same name), bends the truth here and there but the main theme in which a group of Cheyenne attempt to return to their northern home in Wyoming after nearly starving to death on an Oklahoma reservation is Ford's attempt to recount the events of the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878-79. While not a revisionist western in the traditional sense, Ford does foreshadow the genre by inverting some of the views and values expressed in his earlier classics.
there is a very rich movie under here about the point at which capital and media and government find it mutually advantageous to exploit an "other". that may not really have been what the unfussy Ford was after, but despite incredible 70mm photography and his obvious, sincere empathy this is dry, didactic and spends way too much of a whopping 2:40 away from the Cheyenne (although Ford may well have decided against presuming their point of view). this may be close to how a lot of folks feel about LINCOLN.
Humanity of the Other
In the harsh wasteland of America.
A man with sentiment toward all.
mediocre late-period john ford epic, which means it still has plenty to offer (super panavision monument valley cinematography porn, for starters). a bit on the nose plot-wise but at least ford made some effort to rectify previous problematic portrayals. the acting varies wildly, but my main complaint is that there was no cleavage sewn into ricardo montalban's outfit to show off his physique. patrick wayne...uhhh, nah. karl malden does some great scenery chewing post-intermission
as for the much maligned second act, where the movie randomly detours to dodge city and becomes a g-rated deadwood episode? at least we definitively know jimmy stewart shot first.
Wild West Summer Challenge 2019
Task #11: Watch a Western with a natural phenomenon in the title (e.g. river, mountain, hill, cave, canyon, cloud, wind, sky...)
This was the last Western made by director John Ford, one of the true giants of the genre. It was "suggested by" the 1953 Mari Sandoz novel of the same name. Epic in scale with a star-studded cast, this is the saga of 286 Oklahoma Cheyenne, the last of the tribe, making an exodus to their Yellowstone homeland, 1,500 miles away.
The story opens on the Cheyenne reservation on September 7th, 1878, the day a delegation of lawmakers from Washington are supposed to meet with Major Braden (George O'Brien) in charge of…
"Now we are the Cossacks"
Hit America where it hurts, Johnnie!
I was gonna go on a big rant about how people call this movie didactic and rambling, but really if it was subdued and lean, it would fail. This movie gives us everything to explain how the terrible events happened, from congressmen making decisions from two thousand miles away, to "just following orders" mid-range officers, to the average person in the small town, stupidly believing everything they read about "the enemy" in the newspapers. For that last one, Jimmy Stewart as a skeptical Wyatt Earp is an equally effective heart-changer/woke-maker as the line I began this review with.
But then the last couple scenes happen and it leaves my head scratching. Alright, it's a bit messy. And Ford's visual poetry takes a backseat to message-picture ~production value~. I spent a lot of my time with this movie agreeing rather than feeling. Still definitely worth a look though.
Il Ford forse più malinconico
John Ford must have been inspired by his work on How the West Was Won and decided to do his own Super Panavision 70 epic remake of it, just as disjointed and half-baked as the original, this time focusing on an apology-to-the-Indians story--but the Indians are still one-dimensional and pretty uninteresting.
The most amazing part is a semi-comic interlude in Dodge City with John Carradine, George Kennedy as Doc Holliday, and James Stewart as an eccentric, gambling-obsessed Wyatt Earp worthy of Marlon Brando, if Brando was playing Stewart playing Earp.
Great cast and some great photography, but honestly, I was getting pretty bored by the last thirty minutes. I'm being generous in giving it three stars, but, you know, it's John Ford's final western.
One of the few Westerns that really unpacks the fact that the US Army during and after the Civil War was to a large extent run by European exiles from the failed Revolutions of 1848.
One interesting tidbit about this film is that the Cheyenne were played by Navajo who spoke their native language for a few scenes. But instead of saying “their lines” as per the intention of the scene, they simply cracked jokes and no one was the wiser. Epic stuff.
As for the film itself, well, I have been hesitant to always get into Ford. He has such a bad history portraying Native Americans that it’s been a turnoff. But he is one of the founders of the western and his filmmaking is of quality.
For Cheyenne Autumn, he is trying to right some of the wrongs of his previous films and shine a light on the Cheyenne and their way of…
Ford’s last Western is certainly not his best. Imagined as an apology to the American Indian, it tries to tell the story of the Cheyenne’s journey back to their homeland after the American government broke their promises to them. It definitely had Ford’s beautiful cinematography, and the message, heavy handed at times, was definitely there.
The problem was that it was just overblown with story ideas that added nothing to the message, primarily the Battle of Dodge City. Don’t get me wrong - the “intermission” story was the best part of the movie, but it tremendously undermined any honest effort to make Cheyenne Autumn a movie worthy of redeeming America’s treatment of the American Indians.
Back to Dodge City -…
My Unwritten Essay Title:
“Crossing (B)Orders: I Know Why the Caged Eagle Sings (About, Among Other Things, the Colonel’s Penis)”
The Dodge City detour kind of kills the movie’s momentum and it never fully recovers. Exquisite 70mm photography though.
I liked this, but the absence of John Wayne just, downgrades it for me
I'll give it basically the same review I did How the West Was Won.
"There was never a point where I was bored, but it also wasn’t consistently fantastic. There are some great scenes scattered throughout though"
If this is what's considered John Ford's worst film though I'm happy to say he's one of the greatest directors ever. From a cinematography standpoint, this film looks amazing and is never boring solely off of the beauty of each shot.
It's also very neat seeing a movie from Indian perspective. A remake today would be a great idea...just don't have Mexicans in the lead role playing Cheyenne.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
John Ford's final western is a bit of a disappointment. Ford clearly intended Cheyenne Autumn to show reverence to the Native Americans whose stories made up such a huge part of his movies throughout the years, but I think it misses the mark. As is the case with many others, the Natives seem to be the side characters in the story, we get a semblance of their views, but the story is mainly told from the white man's perspective. This includes casting non-indigenous actors to play the roles of the Cheyenne tribe leaders. The movie is shot extremely well, and Ford does a good job showing the desperation and brutality of the arduous trek to Wyoming, as well as the…
Cody’s Westerns for Joseph #12/100
To the casting director of this film: every time Sal Mineo showed up on screen as “Red Shirt,” a member of the Cheyenne tribe, I wanted to laugh my ass off.
A noble if flawed social problem film from the man who has famously grappled with Native American representation in his formidable oeuvre of Westerns. Here Ford goes for broke highlighting the abject oppression of Native Americans in the 19th century; any heavy-handedness here can be chalked up to the wellspring of feeling that such a project must have commanded. The front half is excellent Ford, an incisive analysis of military hubris and racism à la Fort Apache. The back half (particularly following an episode in Dodge City that I find incredibly entertaining, if at first glance, superfluous in this already over 150-minute film), is much more sanguine and ill-paced. Still, this is a powerful last word on the Western from its most skilled practitioner.
Exquisitely shot film about an interesting subject (especially for the time). Probably needed to be about 30-45 minutes shorter and the Jimmy Stewart section is incredibly bizarre and out of place.
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