Tag: John Ford

THE SEARCHERS


THE SEARCHERS …. 1956
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(Martin Pawley)  Jeff has his best role of the decade in John Ford's classic western. With a Confederate veteran (John Wayne), he embarks on a five-year search for Wayne's niece (Natalie Wood), who had been abducted by Comanche Indians. Also starring Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Harry Carey Jr., and Patrick Wayne, John Wayne's son.

SERGEANT RUTLEDGE


SERGEANT RUTLEDGE …. 1960
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(Lt. Tom Cantrell, counsel for the defense)  In his last film for director John Ford, Jeff is stalwart and sincere as a U.S. Cavalry legal officer defending a black sergeant wrongly accused of the rape and murder of a white girl. Woody Strode gives a strong performance as the accused in this ground-breaking Western focused on the (at the time) rarely-touched subject of racism. Also with Constance Towers, Juano Hernandez, Willis Bouchey, and Billie Burke.

THE LAST HURRAH


THE LAST HURRAH …. 1958
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Al Hirschfeld illustration of cast members of "The Last Hurrah".
Al Hirschfeld illustration. L to R: Basil Rathbone, Pat O’Brien, Dianne Foster, James Gleason, Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Edward Brophy

(Adam Caulfield)  Jeff is a likeable, sympathetic newspaper reporter invited by his uncle, an old-time Irish politician, to enjoy a ringside seat during the man’s last campaign, for mayor of an unnamed New England City. (Frank Skeffington, the politician, is played superbly as both generous man and rogue by Spencer Tracy). A fine John Ford comedy-drama based on Edwin O’Connor’s best-selling novel about the passing of old New England politics. Besides newcomer Dianne Foster as Jeff’s bride, the cast includes some of the screen’s greatest character actors and actresses in what for many of them was their swan song:  Basil Rathbone, Pat O’Brien, John Carradine, James Gleason, Donald Crisp, Frank McHugh, Edward Brophy, Edmund Lowe, Wallace Ford, Ricardo Cortez, Anna Lee, and Jane Darwell, many of whom had been John Ford Stock Company players for decades.