Push the button, Max.
This big-budget, globe-trotting comedy is almost exactly as old as I am and I’ve always held a warm place in my affections for it. It’s not quiet or subtle, but it is spirited, like a Clydesdale that thinks it’s a quarter horse.
John Ford’s The Searchers is a movie in desperate search for an identity. For every aspect that is excellent, two more make you want to cringe. The film seems to have feet in two eras. Its ambivalent attitude toward the stereotypical treatment of Native Americans seems slightly ahead of its time, although Hollywood would do much better later. Balancing against this are characters and storylines that would have seemed dated when Ford and John Wayne were first working together back in the thirties.
Day One of my own little Robert Wise Film Festival
It was just a coincidence that I had West Side Story in my DVD player the day that director Robert Wise passed away, but as long as I did, I thought it would be a good time to go through his films and include him in this diary. In the next few days, I’ll do The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Haunting, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Run Silent Run Deep, The Sand Pebbles, The Hindenburg, Citizen Kane and an update to my earlier review of The Andromeda Strain.
On with the review:
While I’m anything but a scholar on film musicals, it was instructive for me to watch West Side Story right after viewing Singin’ in the Rain earlier in the week. This wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. I use a computer program to track my DVD collection and it has the ability to spit out randomly picked titles that I haven’t watched recently. So, purely by coincidence, I watched the two most famous musicals in American movie history back to back (except for a few episodes of Lost in between).