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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Rode Together (1961)

A sheriff (James Stewart) and an Army Major (Richard Widmark) are sent by the U.S. Army to retrieve the surviving white captives held by a Comanche chief (Henry Brandon) for the past nine years. But it's not an easy task as some of the survivors, perhaps sensing the hostilities of the white community, refuse to return. Directed by John Ford, the specter of his classic THE SEARCHERS hovers over the film. Granted, it had been only five years since THE SEARCHERS had been released but the film had not yet (at least in this country) been acknowledged as one of great American films. If THE SEARCHERS had not existed then perhaps this effort would have fared better but honestly, it's just not as good. Stewart's character is a pale imitation of Wayne's Ethan Edwards but the film does paint a darker picture of white captives being accepted back into the fold. While there's a happy ending for THE SEARCHER's Debbie, the fate of the white boy (David Kent) here is much grimmer. Still, an essential film for the Fordians. Based on the novel COMANCHE CAPTIVES by Will Cook. With Shirley Jones, Linda Cristal (THE ALAMO), John McIntire, Jeanette Nolan, Andy Devine, Paul Birch, Mae Clarke and the usual Ford stock company: Andy Devine, Woody Strode, Anna Lee, Olive Carey, John Qualen, Ken Curtis and Harry Carey Jr.

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