In 1876, an old man finds gold in the Sioux lands, provoking a gold and land rush from immigrants to Dakota. On the way to Custer, the lonely cowboy Dan O’Malley helps to fix the wheel of Mr. Carlton’s wagon and flirts with his daughter Lee Carlton. Later, Lee and her father are attacked by horse thieves and Mr. Carlton is murdered; however, the outlaws “Bull” Stanley, Mike Costigan and “Spade” Allen save her from the criminals and head with her to the camp where the pioneers are waiting for President Grant proclamation to explore the lands. In the site, the corrupt Sheriff Layne Hunter rules with his henchmen with horror and injustice. The trio of outlaws decides that Lee needs to get married and select Dan to be her husband. When Bull’s sister Millie Stanley is murdered by Hunter’s right arm Nat Lucas, “Bull” organizes the men to chase Hunter. But it is 1877 and the gold and land race of wagons is ready to start. –IMDb
Maine-born John Ford (born Sean Aloysius O’Fearna) originally went to Hollywood in the shadow of his older brother, Francis, an actor/writer/director who had worked on Broadway. Originally a laborer, propman’s assistant, and occasional stuntman for his brother, he rose to became an assistant director and supporting actor before turning to directing in 1917. Ford became best known for his Westerns, of which he made dozens through the 1920s, but he didn’t achieve status as a major director until the mid-‘30s, when his films for RKO (The Lost Patrol 1934, The Informer 1935), 20th Century Fox (Young Mr. Lincoln 1939, The Grapes of Wrath 1940), and Walter Wanger (Stagecoach 1939), won over the public, the critics, and earned various Oscars and Academy nominations. His 1940s films included one military-produced documentary co-directed by Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland, December 7th (1943), which creaks badly today (especially compared with… read more
I expected another 3 Godfathers story after they found the girl but film mostly focuses on the gold rush in the middle section. final still contains similarity.
Universal and transcendental poetry of the landscape, and of the people that lived while the dream was being built upon. Raw and unpolished; an economy of deliciously light story telling in the immense space of a brand new and exciting land. The west feels operatic and the atmosphere carries that same sweet brand of patriotism found in Walt Whitman in this great early work by Ford. A great hidden treasure.
A film that has mantained itself exquisitely over its 86 years of existence, it is without a doubt one of the very best silent westerns made by Ford, a deeply humane, affecting tale about the many apparent and unapparent faces of evil lurking around the coveted lands of Dakota in the late XIX century. This is a must see.
A beautiful, unnappriciated masterpiece. Ford had already proved himself with “Straight Shooting” and “The Iron Horse” but this is his first true masterpiece. There is none of the histronics of the… read review