Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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A film worth a complicated reaction. On the one hand, there are the many racial stereotypes that are eye-opening in how starkly misguided and bigoted the film is. On the other hand, there is Ford's humanism in other passages, none more so than in the justifiably famous funeral procession.
Intriguing and eccentric film from John Ford. It's more of a loosely woven together set of stories than a conventional narrative. It's perhaps the first film where you see Ford straining to arrive at more complex representations of African Americans and a serious acknowledgment of racism and lynching. The final funeral procession is quite amazing.
One of the most egregious forms of bigotry is bigotry under the guise of liberalism. Ford wants us to treat blacks as equals, but paints them in ugly stereotypes, ridiculous caricatures who have no ambition but servitude to their white superiors. I kept waiting for one of them to blurt out "I sho do love me some white folk!". The courtroom scene is almost as offensive as anything from Birth of a Nation. The white characters aren't much better, and tend towards either "annoying" or "bland". And then there's the usual sentimental hooey about God and country, and a disturbingly affectionate stance towards the Confederacy. Plus, alcoholism is portrayed as a charming character trait. There's a few good scenes, but Ford's predilection for myth-making taints even those. Thankfully not as awful as Tobacco Road, but definitely not my sort of thing.
A latter day western which concerns itself with parables surrounding 'Judge Priest'. Charles Winninger puts in a nice performance as the honorable and moralistic lead, but his character is a little too glossy and idealistic on the whole. It's identifiably a John Ford film through the direction and he produces another solid piece of cinema here.
wow umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie....i think that arleen whelan, charles winninger, john russell, russell simpson, stepin fetchit play good roles/parts throughout this movie...i think that the director of this drama/action/adventure/classics movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie....i think that charles winniger is great as judge william priest throughout this movie....i think that this is a great movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie n its enjoyable 2 watch
Probably my favorite Ford film. I loved Judge Priest, which Ford made 20 years earlier with Will Rogers, but the formal control Ford exercises in this film is outstanding even by his standards. The film includes what to my mind is the greatest sequence in any Ford film, a funeral procession that proceeds largely without dialogue for several minutes, ending with a sermon at the church. The poetry of Ford's cinema is never clearer than in this scene. Beautiful and humane.
This John Ford movie has an abundance of great characters and good comically charged scenes, but it fails in an attempt to deliver a meaningful dramatic backdrop for the players. Also suffers from a bit of over-sentimentality at the end. Other than that it's a a great and jolly film.