Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hondo (1953)


Through the magic of Netflix.com, I just watched Hondo (1953), a film I am surprised does not make it on any of the lists linked to on these posts of mine — Westerns and Top Five Westerns. (This story of "a woman and her son living in the midst of warring Apaches" is thematically similar to White Material (2009), reviewed below.)

A commenter explains the neglect, "Hondo should be considered one of Wayne's classic westerns, but has languished because it was not available for years because of copyright issues, and (perhaps) because it was eclipsed three years later by The Searchers." Of course, that dark film is his best, but this one is almost as good, and should be required viewing for any fools too stupid to understand that Wayne was the bad guy in The Searchers (1956) and still buying the idiotic "John Wayne Was a Nazi" canard.

This six-decade-old film, which sympathetically portrays the real-life historcal Victorio, stars the Duke as "an antisocial half-breed who splits his time between the white man and the Apache," who, when learning that the cavalry is coming for the Apache, laments: "The end of a way of life. Too bad. It's a good way." Far more nuanced and thus ultimately progressive than the simplistic revisionist Dances with Wolves (1990).

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