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The best Western movie ever made!
Cheyenne Autumn is a strong film, grandly directed and expertly played by a large cast. Over-long, often clichéd and uneven (there are comic interludes complete with cameo performances) Flawed on several levels, Ford's perception of a proud people seen through a white man's eyes is ultimately a highly compelling and deeply personal apologia.
Initially a very loose and at times unfocused adaptation of the true story from 1878 of Cheyenne escaping the Reno Agency to return to homelands.This was John Ford's final film and he sort of tries to tell the story with greater compassion for Native Americans plight, but with mixed results and several very odd decisions (casting of leads, goofy Wyatt Earp scene that has nothing to do with story, stilted narration, romantic subplot, too much focus on cavalry characters, etc.) . Very flawed, but amazing landscape and certainly a shift from the wooden stereotyped portrayals of previous films.
As out of place in the desert as an eagle in a cage.
The Cheyenne's reserve is in the middle of the desert where they can barely survive. The United States as part of their treaty with the Cheyenne are supposed to deliver supplies. When the supplies fail to show, the Cheyenne begin dying off. They begin a March back to their homeland where they plan to settle since the white man broke their treaty. A military sergeant initially assigned to contact the Cheyenne decides to help them on their conquest.
"The trick to being brave is not to be too brave."
John Ford, director of Grapes of Wrath, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, Stagecoach, The Searchers, The Last Hurrah, Mogambo, The Wings of Eagles, and Rio Grande, delivers Cheyenne Autumn. The storyline for this picture is very well done, well written, and worth following. The cast delivers awesome performances and includes James Stewart, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden, Arthur Kennedy, Richard Widmark, and Sal Mineo.
"From now on you don't scratch till I itch."
This was recommended to me by Fios so I DVR'd this western classic. This storyline is very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, bar scenes, script, and sub plots. This isn't an all time great western, but it is worth a viewing for fans of the genre.
"White man's words are lies."
Curiously uneven John Ford epic about the Cheyenne's struggles to return to the land they were displaced from. The central plot is interesting, but some casting choices (Sal Mineo and Ricardo Montelban as indians!), just totally needless scenes (yes I'm referring to you Jimmy Stewart) and other curious trivia (it looks like Edward G Robinson refused to do location shots, so we get really bad process shots instead) make this one only slightly passable.
When I was a kid and bought Mad Magazine, they did one of their great satires about this movie, naming it "Cheyenne Awful." Sums it up. Nice cinematography, but just a mea culpa for John Ford, trying to make amends for his previous portrayals of Indians as brutal savages. Sad swan song for the great director.
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
A heartbreaking movie with the excellent Widmark.
Good movie, but too long for nowadays.
A good western with an all-star cast