> He regularly portrayed Native Americans in most of his Western films as bloodthirsty savages.
>it also marks a different Ford film, one which not only looks at the past but examines the false narratives that have hidden the truth.
Wonder if he's seen Fort Apache, among other films?
Actually, although I do agree with the "wooden Indians criticism," most of his post-war westerns show more nuance in their handling of Indians. Sgt. Rutledge is in fact one of the few that doesn't.
> . On top of that, in the early 1930s, Ford also made several films with long-lambasted black character actor Stepin Fetchit, like "Judge Priest" and "Steamboat Round the Bend," in which he, in all his films, played degrading and embarrassing roles as a slow-witted, lazy buffoon.
I really doubt that Ford felt bad about his movies with Fetchit.
Fetchit's character in Steamboat Round the Bend does come off as genuinely lazy and stupid, but in Judge Priest he's clearly a sly character who pretends to be alot dumber than he is, which I gather is a good characterization of his career in general. I know he's divisive and I'd be careful who I recommend those movies to, but I like him and the films are two of Ford's better pre-Stagecoach movies.
The black characters in The Prisoner of Shark Island are genuinely cringy though. Arrowsmith had an educated black doctor all the way back in 1931, but that movie is boring and deservedly forgotten (although it was nominated for best picture).
> However, by the mid-'50s, when Ford was nearing the twilight of his long career, the director seemed to have mellowed with age, discovering and exploring a more humanist side to himself.
And remaking Judge Priest, with Stepin Fetchit playing the same character, when nobody else would touch him with a ten foot pole. Look at his post-1939 filmography
That's J-Ro's favorite John Ford movie, btw (spoilers in the review, if anybody cares)
> Ford, who was usually straightforward when it came to the visual aspects of his films, shows some real cinematic and dramatic creativity.
Oh for ####s sake. We're talking about the man who made the film Orson Welles screened 40 times when he was making Citizen Kane, with all of his technical people, who that they could study Fords techniques. Sgt. Rutledge is good filmmaking, but alot of the stuff things talking about were more like old-fashioned throwbacks to his early movies.
If anyone thinks that his landscape cinematography was so spectacular because he chose great locations and all he had to do was point the camera at them and capture pretty scenery, they should watch Fort Dobbs, a movie shot in monument valley by director Gordon Douglas and cinematographer William H. Clothier, who worked with Ford in Monument Valley both before and after that movie. Douglas' Monument Valley is visually effective and works for his movie, but it looks nothing like Ford's and is nowhere near as distinctive. Also look at Ford's movies shot in Moab, Wagon Master and Rio Grande. He makes Moab look like Monument Valley, I don't know how many times I've read people claiming that those movies were shot in MV. There are a million other movies shot in Moab if you want to compare it. Douglas shot there too, in Rio Conchos (probably my favorite of his movies). Geronimo: An American Legend is another one you can look at.
> Though his past is never revealed, he is, as were almost all Black men who served in the Army during that second half of the 19th century, an ex-slave who had run away to join the Union Army during the Civil War and continued serving in the Army.
Huh? I'm positive that his manumission papers are introduced as evidence during the trial.
And then there's
> "Cheyenne Autumn" told the true story of the Trail of Tears, and focused on the Cheyenne tribe who travelled by foot across 1,500 miles back to their ancestral hunting grounds.
Wow, somebody needs to repeat 5th grade history.
The Trail of Tears was part of a series of forced displacements of approximately 60,000 Native Americans between 1830 and 1850 by the United States government known as the Indian removal. Members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations (including thousands of their black slaves) were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to areas to the west of the Mississippi River that had been designated 'Indian Territory'. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Cherokee removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush.
The historical events that Cheyenne Autumn are based on are
On 9 September 1878, a portion of the Northern Cheyenne, led by Little Wolf and Dull Knife started their trek back to the north. On reaching the northern area, they split into two bands. That led by Dull Knife (mostly women, children and elders) surrendered and were taken to Fort Robinson, where subsequent events became known as the Fort Robinson tragedy. Dull Knife's group was first offered food and firewood and then, after a week and a half, they were told to go back to Indian territory. When they said no, they were then locked in the wooden barracks with no food, water or firewood for heat for four days. Most escaped in an estimated forty degrees below zero on January 9, 1879, but all were recaptured or killed.
I agree that Sgt. Rutledge is a more successful movie that Cheyenne Autumn, despite the later being more famous.