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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Books & Movies (Moderator: Marshal Halloway)  |  Topic: The Searchers (the one weird thing in the movie) 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Searchers (the one weird thing in the movie)  (Read 2240 times)
Doug.38PR
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« on: November 20, 2016, 11:48:29 pm »


I've seen the movie probably a dozen times.  One of my favorite westerns and one of John Wayne's best.  However...everytime I watch it I roll my eyes whenever they get to the New Mexico trading post and they meet with the Mexican trader (that looks like Sean Connery with a Mexican accent) and John Wayne is wearing that stupid looking outfit.  Who in the world thought to dress him that way?   A plad shirt untucked that looks like a table cloth with a gunbelt wrapped around him and a flimsy big hat that flops in the wind and blue jeans rolled up from the bottom.   It looks like something a little boy would wear playing Cowboys and Indians. 
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 08:01:37 am »

It's understandable "if"  you realize what effect Ford was after.

Time passage ,  in film to show passage of years , Montage Shots and a Series of Shots  are used

an example in the Ghost & Mrs. Muir, the tide rolling in on an old driftwood post with "Anna Muir" carved on it  as it weathered away over the years... Classic & fine film BTW

Since John Ford used the grand outdoors of Monument Valley, Aspen & the Gunnison he needed an additional Que ...the out of character , seemingly store bought duds fit the bill.... It helps inforce the lines in the letters , and the seasonal changes.
It all works , within the running time of a film , to show years passing....

Another example , is a Train entering a tunnel .... and it in fact has classic overtones to  Shocked  woopie
see Hitchcock's North by Northwest
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Will Ketchum
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 01:39:21 pm »

Not one of my favorites. Even as a young man I knew that a Colt SAA and a Winchester 92 had no business in that film.

Will Ketchum
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2016, 08:20:05 pm »

Not one of my favorites. Even as a young man I knew that a Colt SAA and a Winchester 92 had no business in that film.

Will Ketchum

That doesn't bother me so much since so many westerns do it.  Some are more ridiculous about it than others (like The Comancheros in 1845 with everybody using Winchesters and SAAs).   But at least in The Searchers, 1) the Colt SAA is plausible by the end of the movie since so many years have passed since it began in 1868 and the SAA came out in 1873 and 2) the Winchester 92 looks enough like a Winchester 1873 to make it believable.  (btw, did anybody notice, as I did for the first time last night, that when Edwards and Pauly approached the buffalo herd they were using some kind of .45 or .50 caliber single shot rifles to take out some meat before Ethan grabs Winchesters and unload on the herd)
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2016, 08:21:44 pm »

It's understandable "if"  you realize what effect Ford was after.

Time passage ,  in film to show passage of years , Montage Shots and a Series of Shots  are used

an example in the Ghost & Mrs. Muir, the tide rolling in on an old driftwood post with "Anna Muir" carved on it  as it weathered away over the years... Classic & fine film BTW

Since John Ford used the grand outdoors of Monument Valley, Aspen & the Gunnison he needed an additional Que ...the out of character , seemingly store bought duds fit the bill.... It helps inforce the lines in the letters , and the seasonal changes.
It all works , within the running time of a film , to show years passing....

Another example , is a Train entering a tunnel .... and it in fact has classic overtones to  Shocked  woopie
see Hitchcock's North by Northwest


hmmm...I still don't buy it.  I expect better from Ford.  I get wanting to show the passage of time with different clothes...but it almost looks like Doc Dressing Marty McFly for going back in time to the Old West.  "Clint Eastwood never wore anything like this?"

Even my dad, who saw it in the theater originally, cringes when he sees The Duke dressed like some little boy at dude ranch in the 1950s. 
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St. George
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2016, 11:47:07 pm »

The Duke never dressed in period clothing once he started headlining.

As an example, he didn't like the look of suspenders on him, so he insisted on trouser belts decades before they came into general use for men, while John Ford put his Cavalry Troopers in cute little fireman-shirted, white-hatted, bandanna-wearing photogenic outfits, rather than campaign clothing, and put Officer's epaulets on shirts, where they were never worn - because they looked good on film.

God alone knows what the Sioux were doing, chasing 'The Duke' around the Comancheria and Apacheria, too...

If you're looking at the 'John Ford Reference Library' for historical accuracy - you picked the wrong place.

Plus - it's only a movie - someplace to forget about the day's events with mindless, air-conditioned, popcorn-fuelled entertainment.

Scouts Out!
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 12:49:28 am »

When shooting at the Indians in the river scene, his rifle switches from a carbine to a short rifle then back to a carbine.
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2016, 04:43:16 pm »

We're all a lot more gun savvy now than when we went to the movies for escape and entertainment.

A saddle maker I knew told me he gets bent out of shape over incorrect tact for a region or era. Most of us wouldn't notice and couldn't  care less.
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2016, 01:04:28 am »

I figured for that scene, the months and years in the saddle had worn out Ethan's outfit and he had to buy all new clothes at some remote trading post and this was all that was available in his size. Couldn't be picky on the frontier. In "Pat Garret and Billy the Kid," the passage of time is depicted in the changing size and shape of James Coburn's mustache. Sometimes it's close-clipped military style, sometimes almost walrus, sometimes handlebar.  And it gets grayer.
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2016, 11:40:23 pm »

I figured for that scene, the months and years in the saddle had worn out Ethan's outfit and he had to buy all new clothes at some remote trading post and this was all that was available in his size. Couldn't be picky on the frontier. In "Pat Garret and Billy the Kid," the passage of time is depicted in the changing size and shape of James Coburn's mustache. Sometimes it's close-clipped military style, sometimes almost walrus, sometimes handlebar.  And it gets grayer.

Who at the trading post ordered that outfit for a man to wear?  Wink 
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St. George
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2016, 02:09:22 am »

Back then, men were more secure in their masculinity than some are, today - it wasn't a concern, and the term 'gay' meant 'happy'...

Besides, the American Cowboy wasn't afraid of color or patterns - a close look at the actual clothing worn by drovers and cowhands will show stripes, plaids, polka-dots and everything one could think of.

The point was - it was clean - it fit - it replaced the worn-out one - and that was that.

The hat was straw - was lightweight - kept off the sun and protected the face, eyes and neck - all desirable in the heat of the Southwest.

The old Time-Life series titled 'The Old West' is an eye-opener - try reading them all, and you get a much better idea of what the 'rea' Old West was about, instead of the 'reel' version.

Scouts Out!
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2016, 08:20:09 pm »

Back then, men were more secure in their masculinity than some are, today - it wasn't a concern, and the term 'gay' meant 'happy'...

Besides, the American Cowboy wasn't afraid of color or patterns - a close look at the actual clothing worn by drovers and cowhands will show stripes, plaids, polka-dots and everything one could think of.

The point was - it was clean - it fit - it replaced the worn-out one - and that was that.

The hat was straw - was lightweight - kept off the sun and protected the face, eyes and neck - all desirable in the heat of the Southwest.

The old Time-Life series titled 'The Old West' is an eye-opener - try reading them all, and you get a much better idea of what the 'rea' Old West was about, instead of the 'reel' version.

Scouts Out!

Agreed.  But it's not that the outfit looked gay.  It's just that it looked like something a little boy in the 1950s would wear playing cowboys and Indians or a guy on a modern dude ranch.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Books & Movies (Moderator: Marshal Halloway)  |  Topic: The Searchers (the one weird thing in the movie) « previous next »
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