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This review is from: Hondo (DVD)I am a John Wayne fan to the point I wrote a paper in University for my History of Film class featuring the movies of John Ford and Howard Hawks featuring John Wayne. While this is directed by John Farrow it follow's closely Ford's style. It is the first of his movies to show the Apache as a community with cultural differences, not as the 'bad guys'. The Apache are different from the caucasion interloper, but still of value as shown in the end when the ever-popular Ward Bond who Wayne used as a support actor in many of his movies, says: "There goes the Apache way of life". To which Wayne responds in his less-is-better way of speacking, "Too bad. Good way."
There is also romance. The scene when Wayne tell Geraldine Page "I can smell you when I'm down wind of you and I'm only half Indian" is well-written and moving. This movie is the quinessential gunfighter coming to the end of his way of life and settling down.
It follows the format of Shane in many ways as the gunfigher walks alone out of the desert into the world of the homesteader and tries to change his wandering way of life to fit into the settled way of life. Shane rides away alone having failed, but Hondo rides away with 'the girl'integrated into the settled way of life. It has all the western ingredients: a fight scene, a battle with the Apache, romance, and John's Wayne's honest, forthright style as a hero.
In Hondo he's a little like Ringo in Stagecoach, the film that made his career. This is my favourite John Wayne movie and I reccommend it for all generations. I bought it for my granddaughter who thinks of John Wayne as the perfect father-figure and my daughter who assures John Wayne is HOT in this movie. If your a fan of GOOD westerns this one is a gem! You'll want it for your collection.