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Based On The Louis L'Amour Story "The Gift Of Cochise," This Sparkling Western Has Wayne As A Half-Indian Cavalry Scout Who, With His Feral Dog Companion, Finds A Young Woman And Her Son Living On A Isolated Ranch In Unfriendly Apache Country. A Poetic And Exciting Script, Outstanding Performances, And Breathtaking Scenery Make This An Indisputable Classic. Page'S Debut.
Although scarcely seen in its original 3-D, and entirely out of sight for a decade and a half after its producer-star died, Hondo has maintained a high rep among John Wayne fans--and it wasn't even directed by Howard Hawks or John Ford. (Actually, Ford did shoot some second-unit stuff while visiting Wayne on location.) Half-breed Hondo, companioned only by an antisocial dog, tends to be more sympathetic toward the Apaches than toward the white society he occasionally scouts for. He falls into uneasy friendship with a New Mexico farmwoman (Geraldine Page) whose husband deserts her for long stretches, and whose son (Lee Aaker) is blood brother to the local Apache chieftain. A good, spare frontier tale--Louis L'Amour via James Edward (Angel and the Badman) Grant--in which danger and solace come in unexpected ways. John Farrow, who did direct, brings it in at a lean 84 minutes. Page was Oscar®-nominated for this first film role. --Richard T. Jameson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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.
I'm not sure why people complain about "realism" in these old movies - the Duke shoes his own horses right on film, no detail missed, as if he'd been doing it for years. You'd never see that from an actor today! The Apache indians are all played by Apache indians (including the leading roles) and their characters are all faithful to history. Perhaps our modern "notion" of realism has changed. The film has that washed-out nostalgic look in its coloring, but that was due to the technology of the time. Of course, bad actors from the 1950's all seem to perform with the same annoying pace and vocal style, but I'm sure our modern equivallents will become apparent in 50 years, too. A fine Wayne film.
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I think I have read all of Mr. L'Amour's westerns and loved them all. This is the first film adaptation I have seen that does one of his books justice. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Bruce Banks
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