I haven’t seen Fort Apache so can’t comment on that.
But in the Ford films I have seen, violence and manliness are treated as inseparable.
I wouldn’t necessarily say Leone’s films are nihilistic. Not in the way you could say the Coens are. The Coens express a nihilistic philosophy, Leone’s are aphilosophical. They’re all about the characters, and like in Tarantino films we experience everything on the characters’ terms.
“But in the Ford films I have seen, violence and manliness are treated as inseparable”
The problem with analysing Ford is that his perspective changed as he got older. The emphasis began to shift over time, not that he ever acknowledged it much. Since Ford was incredibly evasive, it’s difficult to know exactly, but there is no doubt a huge difference between his older and later Westerns, both in tone and perspective. Just compare Stagecoath to The Man Who Shot Liberty Vance, for example.
Sure, and bear in mind also that Ford didn’t make Stagecoach until 1939, by which time he already had nearly 100 films to his credit, among which, based on those which I’ve been able to see, there is more diversity of ideas that the impression of Ford one might get from only the “major phase” Westerns.
Those 2 films are really different, which one do you guys like better? i’m going with Stagecoach and it’s not even close, maybe will explain why later on.
I’m surprised Jerry has never posted in this topic. I’ve seen him both separately crap all over Leone and practically deify Ford.
Yeah, I though Jerry was like the Ford genie who appeared whenever someone rubbed that particular lamp.
Actually, I’m more like a Ford buddha- you have to rub my belly.
Steamboat Around the Bend
Young Mr. Lincoln
Drums Along the Mohawk
The Long Voyage Home
How Green Was My Valley
They Were Expendable
When Willie Comes Marching Home
The Quiet Man
The Sun Shines Bright
The Long Gray Line
All masterpieces and none of them westerns. With Ford’s westerns, they form an American moral vision that is irreducible in its complexity, scope, and ambiguity. Some in this thread have stated that Ford is simple and “easy-to-get.” All this proves is that they haven’t seen many of his films and that the ones they have seen went over their heads.
Leone made “westerns”; Ford made Americana, a minority of which have cowboys and indians. That’s why comparing the two is meaningless. It would be much more fruitful to compare Leone to Boetticher or Mann or de Toth. Don’t compare Leone to Tourneur or Hawks, though. They’re too big for him, too.
The only one of those I’ve seen is Quiet Man, where all interpersonal problems are solved by beating the crap out of each other then sharing a beer.
I’ve found Ford’s American moral vision to be more the aesthetic of his films than the commentary. They serve as a cultural backdrop for the emotional stories of the characters.
Funny thing is, for all his style and even being “twice removed” (westerns based on western films, as opposed to whatever Ford based his on), I feel like Leone struck a chord that more honestly captured the spirit of “the west”; in a classic “got there through the back door”, double-negative arrival at truth through the lie kind of way. Isn’t this principle strange, how you can turn on the news and it all seems so unreal and far away, then you watch a movie and you believe it with every ounce of your being? Maybe that last part is just me ;)
His films have these ridiculous soundtracks, these insane aspect ratios mashed up against brutally honest, grey and amoral characters clashing against each other in equal power, quite a thrilling combination. He’s not trying to convey a moral lesson or make a political point, it’s just about the characters. And I think people and moods are a lot more timeless than most other elements, especially in a “quickly dated” type genre like a western.
Maybe it’s true, whoever was saying that spaghetti westerns are for people who don’t like westerns. Seems to be the case for me anyway!
Is it me or Ford fanboys are getting too naive?
This also happens in Donovan’s Reef. It happens in no other Ford film. So what connects The Quiet Man to Donovan’s Reef? Foreign utopian ideals of the other. And the only way Ford can approach them is by drunk Americans punching each other out. They are Ford on vacation from Americana.
Both great but I prefer Leone.
Is it me, or did you make a best of Bunuel list without having seen over half of his films? The same way you judge Ford having seen less than 10% of his films?
@Jerry: You’re the best!
How do you know how much Ford films i have seen?
That’s what i’m talking about, you guys take it too seriously, we, like Leone, just don’t care.
@Jack- no, you’re the best. I’m the rear guard- you’re the avant-garde.
No, truth is Rossellini and he feels good.
I’m perfectly fine with some people liking Leone better than Ford, though I would likely rank the latter as the greatest director of all time. Leone certainly had more skill/ambition/fun with splicing striking, iconic images and music together into thrilling sequences, and I will stick up for the complexity and profundity of Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America any day.
What I don’t get is people saying they prefer Leone to Ford because Leone is more nihilistic. How in the world is that a positive? (And no, Scorsese and Kubrick aren’t really nihilists, though a few of their deal with/flirt with it.)
We enter a non-cinema chat with that subject, Stephen. I do not think it’s positive or negative.
My Favorite Westerns:
The Great SilenceMcCabe & Mrs. Miller