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MissGoddess
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*what one quality do you think all your quiet characters share in common?*

 

my quiet/reserved characters all DO share something in common, especially my male characters. they all are very shy in their own ways of doing things in life. htye are very much in their own worlds surrounded by their thinking. sometimes they arent the most perceptive men in the world, but their women always bring them out of their shells. making them understand more so what the world is about. yes, they are all smart and intelligent in acting about as they do, but their women character they end up with, seem to teach them about opening up and being mkore perceptive in especially how women work. heehee!

 

for example, in Madam curie, Pierre was a "woman hater" - as Eve described him in the book she wrote about her parents - before he met marie. he thought a woman's place should be in the home and shouldnt intergfere with science especially, yet when he met marie, his views completely changed about not only her, but women in general. she was confined in her own world too and just as reserved as her was, yet she still managed to open him up to new and interesting things in the world other than of science.

 

as for my reserved women characters, they all have a little something in common as well. they share gentleness as yours do, and are intelligent as well, such as elizabeth bennett or erica in Fraulein. i wouldnt say elizabeth was the shy type, but she certainly knew how to hold her words even when the most hatred came from lady catherine or caroline bingley. she firugred that arguing wouldnt have done any good, unless it was with mr, darcy himself apparently. heehee! mr. darcy said himself, that the most accomplished of women attained a sense of reading and learning, and way of carrying themselves in front of other people. elizabeth was the very essence of accompliced eomanhood, even in her reserved ways.

 

i think my female outgoing characters are sort of similar to your female outgoing characters. they feel more comfortable around men then with women.

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I enjoyed reading your description of your characters, Theresa. :) I especially thought the example of Madame Curie and Louis Pasture was most interesting.

 

I would say that Maria Schell in The Hanging Tree forged a similar relationship with Gary Cooper's "Doc" Frail. He was very unwilling to let anyone get close to him emotionally and she, even though she wasn't exactly assertive, forced him to open up.

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thanks dahlink!! i enjoyed your desciptions too! i guess we sorta think a like huh? heehee!

 

i didnt talk about louis pasture silly. i talked about marie skladovska(marie curie's maiden name) and pierre curie. ;)

 

yes i agree with you on Doc Frail's relationship with maria schell in the Hanging Tree. he was so closed up in his own world trying to get away from his past, that he couldnt really pay full attention to what was right in front of him at the present time. he couldnt get his first wife out of his mind, so he closed his mind when it came to maria schell. thats what i became most emotional with during the movie.....at the end of the movie i became emotional with an entirely different matter. heehee! its like he was in lvoe with her, but never showed it so she could see it. he did pay for her gold digging supplies though and i think that might have been one way to show that he actually cared about her even though he pushed her away every time she tried to make a move on him.

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Sorry, I get those inventors all mixed up. :P Are you sure it wasn't Thomas Edison?

 

The boy also helped Doc Frail, too, in a way. He was rather distrustful of people, as Doc was, but he became a little bit attached to the Doc after he healed him, in spite of Doc tricking him into believing he was his bond servant. I think the young man was beginning to feel like he, Doc and Maria were a "family", the family he lost. It's a very interesting movie and really, really needs to be viewed by more people. I wish whatever rights issues are holding things up would get resolved, it's a _shame_ it doesn't have a wider audience. I know people would respond to it if they could just see it.

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i really looooved the scene where his patient was the little girl and her parents didnt have the money to pay doc, so he said for her to give him a kiss on the cheek as the pay and she did. that has the be the sweetest scene in the movie. you also see doc's softie side, which you dont get to see very often in the movie, b/c he is so reserved and uptight to himself most of the time. but when he saved the boy's life, the boy still took a hating toward's doc. it had to be a little while before the boy would actually get used to him. i think you are right about them being a family to doc. he didnt have any others around for his family, but when the boy came and actually started to understand him and was there with him all the time, and then maria came as an innocent battered up girl, who he healed and became close to, things were different for him. he didnt realize it at the time, but he did later.

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Lafitte: (Disclosure-I had to google to see what he looked like. Another one of those nameless character actors but with an unforgettable face. 'Course I should probably be whipped for not recognizing this one but such as it is with us, meaning me, amateurs)."

 

You will be whipped with a wet film strip for not recognizing classic fussbudgets! And we don't want to make up lists just for the sake of creating a list.

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*...can you tell me about Where the angels Fear to Tread? it has my helen mirren in it,...*

 

Bonjour Mademoiselle!

 

Probably a minor spoiler but you should know that Helen does not have a real big part in this movie. What we see of her is certainly very fine, though.

 

*is it extraordinarily great enough for me to see?*

 

 

If you saw Room with a View and liked it, you may like this one. It's in the same vein. Angels was aired once on Masterpiece Theatre, so that's another clue. However, I wouldn't call this movie a stuffy old English drama. It's a very good story.

 

CAUTION: My enthusiasm for this movie does not seem to be shared by a whole lot of people. It has a relatively low rating on Netflix. The reviews are lukewarm if not downright bad in some cases. This is not good because I rate this movie within the top 5 favorite movies all time. Go figure. ('Course what kind of taste can a silly old pirate have ;) ). Maybe *MissG*, who I believe has seen this film, can give you a second opinion. If she does, I know she will be perfectly honest with you and not worry about hurting the feelings of some old pirate around here who has no taste anyway. ;)

 

*Cinemaven* admonishes:

 

*You will be whipped with a wet film strip for not recognizing classic fussbudgets!*

 

I should probably be caned. But, uh, the wet film strip will do. :D

 

*And we don't want to make up lists just for the sake of creating a list.*

 

I do?because I?m so bad at it. If I can make up list that makes even the slightest sense, I go with it. I'm so bad with lists that if I depended on my grocery list, I?d starve!

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Maybe MissG, who I believe has seen this film, can give you a second opinion. If she does, I know she will be perfectly honest with you and not worry about hurting the feelings of some old pirate around here who has no taste anyway.

 

I never hurt handsome pirate's feelings! :)

 

I don't remember details from the movie---but I thought Helen was the star...you say she doesn't really have a big part? She's not the main actress? That tells you how much I remember. I mainly recall the Italian scenes, the lovely lighting and soft, umber tint to the rooms and poured in from the windows. I think these scenes were filmed in Tuscany? Anyway, though her husband was childish I did think she was better off than in dreary England where everyone sat on her. I'll have to rent it again for a refresher.

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*I never hurt handsome pirate's feelings! :)*

 

That's what worries me. I'm no Errol Flynn or Johnny Depp. ;)

 

*I don't remember details from the movie---but I thought Helen was the star...you say she doesn't really have a big part? She's not the main actress?*

 

Well, let's put it this way. She gets _fifth billing,_ not because she is a lesser actress than the rest but because... well, I don't want to give anything away now, do I. :) But when she is in the story, then yes, she is the main one. Confused? Good ;)

 

*...mainly recall the Italian scenes, the lovely lighting and soft, umber tint to the rooms and poured in from the windows. I think these scenes were filmed in Tuscany?*

 

Yep, that's the one. Tuscany, I'm not sure, but on location in Italy somewhere. Very beautiful.

 

*Anyway, though her husband was childish I did think she was better off than in dreary England where everyone sat on her*

 

The juxtaposition of the English and Italian ways are in play. As one character says, "(Babies) in Italy will be loved but brought up badly while in England they will _not_ be loved but brought up well." These are probably E.M Forster's words, whose novel that movie is based. There are a few other zingers like this in the movie that help illuminate the story.

 

Here I am, MissG, trying to put you on the spot and you slide free with such ease. I was hoping that if *ButterscotchG* sees the film and doesn't like it, we could blame you. ;)

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Hola, Invisible Woman -- oh my goodness frankie!!! what a list you just shoveled out there!! i rather like it, and i thought i would hate it t first. heehee!

 

You have such wonderful faith in me, Sweet T. Did you think my list would be full of psychotic serial killers like "Smithy"?

 

what is it with you and Forty Guns? i never saw what was so good about that movie. i mean its got a good plot, but too much violence for my innocent little self. heehee!

 

I love Forty Guns! There are so many highpoints in the film and they happen so very fast. Barbara Stanwyck is terrific and I really like Barry Sullivan's coolness. Heck, I even like the song a lot. Sam Fuller!

 

i noticed angela lansbury's role in anchurian Candidate made your list...barely. well at least you thought of her, but come on, didnt you think it was mean of them to do that to sweet angela? they made her so mean in that movie! although she did a bang up job playing it i must admit.

 

Mean Angela is the best. She's terrifyingly brilliant as "Mrs. Iselin." I couldn't put her in the "loud" group because she talks in a soft tone. And I couldn't put her in the "quiet" group because she's always talking and in control. She's loud in a quiet way.

 

i rather liked your female lists to! well it seems i cant complain too much then.

 

I can feel your great disappointment. Do you wish for me to come up with a psychos list for you?

 

some of it wonderfully wasteful. yougot that right...wasteful is the key word right there! especially with your Forty Guns character. honestly!

 

Hey! The mix of a "quiet" man and a "loud" woman usually works for me.

 

i didnt especially like spencer tracy's character in Inherit the Wind either. okay im done analyzing your list now!

 

I like "Henry Drummond." He's very human. He doesn't wish to quiet anyone. He can have great respect for those who he disagrees with and he has the capability to show disdain for those he agrees with. He's not just one color, he's many. That's how I fancy myself.

 

One of my favorite scenes in Inherit the Wind is when Henry and Sarah Brady (Florence Eldridge) chat at dinner while Matt Brady (Fredric March) "holds court." Henry is ecstatic to see Sarah when she shows up. He loves her as a friend. You see, Henry doesn't paint everything that he's going up against with one big evil brush. He's not that simplistic about people and life. I believe too many people wish to simplify things with one big ol' brush. I'm just not that way.

 

I greatly enjoyed reading the qualities of your "quiet" characters, T. That was very good.

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Lafitte: "I should probably be caned. But, uh, the wet film strip will do."

 

We'd better stay away from caning. Remember the international incident a few years ago when that American kid broke the law a few years ago somewhere in Asia?

 

A wet film strip will do. Or maybe writing on the cyberspace blackboard 100 times.

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*We'd better stay away from caning. Remember the international incident a few years ago when that American kid broke the law a few years ago somewhere in Asia?*

 

Right. Caning is not a happy thing. It was Singapore.

 

*A wet film strip will do.*

 

Okay, but you gotta wear the boots. ;)

 

*Or maybe writing on the cyberspace blackboard 100 times.*

 

Can I just write it once and then cut and paste?

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Cinemaven: "We'd better stay away from caning. Remember the international incident a few years ago when that American kid broke the law a few years ago somewhere in Asia?"

 

Lafitte: "Right. Caning is not a happy thing. It was Singapore."

 

Cinemaven: Aaaah, Singapore. Yes.

--

Cinemaven: "A wet film strip will do."

 

Lafitte: Okay, but you gotta wear the boots."

 

Cinemaven: Thigh high baby. I'll look like Maureen O'Hara. Or maybe Mrs. Peel.

 

Cinemaven: "Or maybe writing on the cyberspace blackboard 100 times."

 

Lafitte: "Can I just write it once and then cut and

paste?"

 

C'mon man, no cheating or we'll go back to the caning.

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*Thigh high baby. I'll look like Maureen O'Hara. Or maybe Mrs. Peel.*

 

Fine, but no Beatrix Kiddo, thank you very much. ;)

 

What movie of Miss Maureen are you referring to? You see how little I know. No wonder I'm being whipped.

 

*C'mon man, no cheating or we'll go back to the caning.*

 

Egad! How many times did you say I had to write that...100 times? Got it.

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*just wanted to tell you that I liked your "Fussbudgets" list. I'll have to see if I can come up with some of my favorites. My problem is that the films I watch usually don't contain fussbudgets.*

 

Hi Frank.

 

Thank you. :) It may be the only list you see from me, I'm so bad at them. That list took me forever and it's not even very long. I don't think fussbudgets are very common in movies. Good ones, anyway. But if you come up with any please post them. I kind of like them, especially funny ones.

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Finally this board is back to (ab)normal

 

Bonjour, mon pirate pr?f?r?!

 

That's what worries me. I'm no Errol Flynn or Johnny Depp.

 

No Errol? :( No Johnny? :D I can't stand Depp's looks so you are doing just fine.

 

The juxtaposition of the English and Italian ways are in play. As one character says, "(Babies) in Italy will be loved but brought up badly while in England they will not be loved but brought up well." These are probably E.M Forster's words, whose novel that movie is based. There are a few other zingers like this in the movie that help illuminate the story.

 

I love English sense of humor and that is a great (and true) line.

 

Here I am, MissG, trying to put you on the spot and you slide free with such ease. I was hoping that if ButterscotchG sees the film and doesn't like it, we could blame you.

 

I think Miss T will surprise you. And I don't mind being on the spot so long as I don't have to swab any decks. I don't do decks or windows. :P

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I found this article on the internet, and wanted to share it because it makes so much sense (to me) and touches on a number of my favorite movies (especially those with Gary and directed by Ford):

 

 

Hollywood?s Hero Deficit

By James Bowman

From the July/August 2008 Issue

 

 

The movie industry no longer aspires to portray genuine heroism?even though that?s precisely what audiences want to see.

 

A spate of movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terror came out last year, all of them hostile to U.S. involvement and all of them box-office flops. At the time there was a certain amount of soul-searching in the media as to why, when most Americans told pollsters they thought the Iraq war, at least, had been a mistake, they didn?t seem to want to go and see movies that sought to show them just how great a mistake it had been. The New York Times critic A.O. Scott cited what he called ?the economically convenient idea that people go to the movies to escape the problems of the world rather than to confront them,? but acknowledged the possibility that America?s opposition to the war ?finds its truest expression in the wish that the whole thing would just go away, rather than in an appetite for critical films.?

 

Without denying that insight, I would like to propose another explanation: American movies have forgotten how to portray heroism, while a large part of their disappearing audience still wants to see celluloid heroes. I mean real heroes, unqualified heroes, not those who have dominated American cinema over the past 30 years and who can be classified as one of three types: the whistle-blower hero, the victim hero, and the cartoon or superhero. The heroes of most of last year?s flopperoos belonged to one of the first two types, although, according to Scott, the only one that made any money, ?The Kingdom,? starred ?a team of superheroes? on the loose in Saudi Arabia. What kind of box office might have been done by a movie that offered up a real hero?

 

Government, corporate, and civic leaders are bad guys while heroism, now the province of lawyers or journalists rather than soldiers or cowboys, can only hope to unmask them.There?s no way of telling, because there haven?t been any real movie heroes for a generation. This fact has been disguised from us partly because of the popularity of the superhero but also because Hollywood has continued to make war movies and Westerns, the biggest generators of movie heroism, that are superficially similar to those of the past but different in ways that are undetectable to their mostly young audiences, who have no memory of anything else. In an otherwise excellent article in Vanity Fair about ?chick-flicks,? James Wolcott recently wrote that, like the chick-flick, ?the Western is also a genre that?s often pronounced dead and buried only to be dug up again and propped against the barn door?witness 2007?s ?3:10 to Yuma,? ?The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,? and ?No Country for Old Men.??

 

Wolcott is far from being the first to express such an opinion, but neither he nor anyone else appears to have noticed the principal way in which the movies he mentions differ from those of 50 years ago. None of them has anything like a real hero, though all three have charismatic villains, played by Russell Crowe, Brad Pitt, and Javier Bardem, respectively. The title tells us what to think of the would-be hero of ?The Assassination of Jesse James,? played by Casey Affleck. He?s a creep, a stalker, and a traitor, as well as a coward. ?No Country? has one really sympathetic character, the aging sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones, who is as helpless against the bad guy as everyone else is. Next to the sexy and invincible serial killer, a kind of inverted superhero played by Bardem, he is reduced to being just another victim hero, maundering on about what a nasty old world it is.

 

During and after World War II, real-life heroes often looked to the likes of John Wayne to see what a hero was supposed to look and act like. Such men hardly exist now.But it is ?3:10 to Yuma? that offers the most interesting contrast between the old-fashioned sort of Western and the new breed. It was a remake of a movie first made in 1957, directed by Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. Like so many other Westerns of the period, it was a parable of the heroism of the ordinary people who brought civilization, peace, and prosperity to the Wild West. Heflin?s character, Dan Evans, is a simple farmer in danger of losing his farm to drought who, for the $200 it would take to pay the mortgage, accepts the task of escorting Ford?s Ben Wade, a dangerous killer, to catch the eponymous train to trial. At a moment when it looks as if he is sure to die in the attempt, Evans explains to his wife that he is no longer escorting the prisoner for the money but as a civic duty. ?The town drunk gave his life because he thought people should be able to live in peace and decency together,? he said. ?Can I do less??

 

Needless to say, there is no comparable line in the remake. The Dan Evans of 2007, played by Christian Bale, is an almost helpless victim, a Civil War veteran who lost his leg in a friendly-fire incident and whose motivation would remain merely mercenary but for the fact that, like us, he is meant to become rather fond of Crowe?s fascinating Wade?and vice versa. James Mangold, the director of the remake, has turned it into a meet-cute buddy picture. In the original, Evans stands four-square for due process and saves Wade from a vigilante. Ford?s Wade, having the rough sense of frontier honor of old-fashioned Western villains, repays the favor, even at the cost of having to make the train. He doesn?t like owing anything to anyone, he says. The remake ends with a general shootout in which it is unclear why anyone, especially Wade, does what he does. Poor Evans remains only a victim.

 

Both films are typical of their times. The 1957 version shows moral earnestness, an optimistic belief in civilized standards, and an unabashed portrayal of heroism. These things are lacking in its 2007 counterpart. In this it is like the other two new Westerns, or the HBO series ?Deadwood.? Its moral landscape is the war of each against all that we see on the lawless and violent streets of ?American Gangster? or other films with a contemporary setting. The Wild West has been resurrected not as a story of taming the wilderness, both external and internal, on behalf of decency and civilization, but as a convenient synecdoche for that dark, amoral, and timelessly violent world that all art worthy of the name today must presuppose. Where there is no hope of a better world, there can be little to distinguish heroes from villains.

 

That?s why the American movie hero?who once so impressed the world that he personified heroism for people far beyond our borders?has been missing in action for decades. From the days of Tom Mix and other silent-screen cowboys up until the 1970s, America?s heroes were the world?s heroes. During and after World War II, real-life heroes themselves often looked to the likes of John Wayne or Gary Cooper to see what a hero was supposed to look and act like. Such men hardly exist anymore, except in old movies. In the early 1970s, there were many paranoiac films influenced by the popular take on Vietnam and Watergate. In Alan J. Pakula?s ?The Parallax View? (1974), Sydney Pollack?s ?Three Days of the Condor? (1975), or Peter Hyams?s ?Capricorn One? (1978), not to mention Pakula?s ?All the President?s Men? (1976), government, corporate, and civic leaders are bad guys, while heroism, now the province of lawyers or journalists rather than soldiers or cowboys, can only hope to unmask them.

 

The point of the heroes Hollywood has specialized in over the last 35 years has been to make sure that heroism can exist only on a plane far from the daily lives of the audience.Here was the origin of the whistle-blower hero who, however noble in other ways, can?t help being a rat, a betrayers of friends and colleagues, and self-righteous in proportion, which would seem to limit his appeal. Yet down the years from ?Norma Rae? (1979) through ?The Insider? (1999), ?Erin Brockovich? (2000), the ?Bourne? trilogy, and last year?s ?Michael Clayton,? behind every whistle-blower hero has been the assumption that the public realm is inescapably corrupt. Once populated by heroes whose job it was to tangle with and triumph over the villains, the institutions that support the community have now been abandoned to the villains. The hero stands alone against corruption so massive that he cannot hope to do anything more than expose it, not end it. This makes him, also, a victim hero. He may also, like Jason Bourne, morph into a superhero and so hit the post-heroic heroism trifecta.

 

The vogue of the superhero dates to the late ?70s and early ?80s when, in the ?Star Wars? and ?Indiana Jones? movies?the latest of which, starring a geriatric Harrison Ford, came out this spring?the movie hero paid the price of his continued existence in Hollywood by living out his cinematic existence in a galaxy far, far away. Like Superman, whose first feature-film incarnation was in 1978, these heroes were unashamed of their cartoon origins and, therefore, their detachment from reality. Often muscle-men, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone, they even looked unreal. Wayne and Cooper had, of course, been imposing physical presences on and off screen, but no one would have mistaken either of them for bulgy, oiled-up Mr. Americas. Nowadays, even so traditional a heroic story as that of Thermopylae finds its translation (in ?300?) into contemporary terms as beefcake.

 

The doomed Spartans were also examples of the victim hero who was the staple of the Vietnam War films, beginning with ?Coming Home? and ?The Deer Hunter? and continuing through ?Apocalypse Now,? ?Platoon,? ?Full Metal Jacket,? ?Hamburger Hill,? ?Born on the Fourth of July,? and others. Like the superhero, the victim hero did not invite emulation?though hints of some nameless hidden trauma, sometimes self-inflicted like drug or alcohol addiction, were among the hallmarks of ?cool? masculinity. Thus he might also overlap with the whistle-blower hero who, like Warren Beatty?s character in ?The Parallax View,? was caught and destroyed by the forces of evil, or with the cartoon hero who suffered childhood trauma, as in ?Batman Begins,? or undergoes torture, as in ?Braveheart.?

 

The point of all three of the kinds of hero in which Hollywood has specialized over the last 35 years has been to make sure that heroism can continue to exist only on a plane far removed from the daily lives of the audience. It is hard not to speculate that this is because of a quasi-political aversion on the part of filmmakers to suggesting to the audience that real-life heroism was something to which it, too, could aspire. The subtext of films featuring the whistle-blower hero, the cartoon hero, and the victim hero is that heroism?heroism of the, say, Gary Cooper type?belongs to the public and communal sphere, now universally supposed to be cruel and corrupt, and therefore is really no longer possible or even, perhaps, desirable.

 

That seems to have been the point of the great John Ford film of 1962 called ?The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.? In it, John Wayne plays rancher Tom Doniphon in the Wild West town of Shinbone, which is still part of a territory not admitted to statehood and has only a comically feckless Andy Devine resembling anything like a duly constituted authority. Shinbone is terrorized by an outlaw named Liberty Valance, played by the great Lee Marvin. An idealistic lawyer named Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) comes to town to practice his profession only to find that there is no law there. In fact, he himself is robbed by Liberty on his way into town, yet he can find no one there who thinks that this is any of his business, or that it is even possible for this outlaw to be brought to justice. The law is helpless where there is no law enforcement. As Doniphon advises the newcomer, ?Out here men take care of their own problems.?

 

Where there is no hope of a better world, there can be little to distinguish heroes from villains.Doniphon is the only man in town capable of standing up to Liberty, but as he himself hasn?t been robbed he doesn?t quite see why anyone else being robbed, let alone this geeky stranger, should be any business of his. Eventually, the idea of a larger civic responsibility begins to sink in?and, with it, a sense that it has become incumbent on him to do what no one else can do. Yet it can only be done outside the law, which remains powerless. This puts Doniphon and Liberty (the name is of course significant) on the same side. Both are outlaws whose would-be heroic struggle has no place in a civilized community. When Wayne triumphs, a way must be found for the townspeople to pretend that it is the law which has rid them of the depredations of Liberty and his gang, and a way duly is found. Stoddard is hailed as a hero and Doniphon, the real hero, is forgotten.

 

Ford?s film was a parable less of the coming of civilization to the West than of the cultural transformation that was taking place in the postwar period in America and elsewhere?a transformation which resulted in an early but unmistakable foreshadowing of the death of the hero in the 1970s. The heroes who had won the Second World War commonly didn?t want to be heroes. They wanted to believe that they had been fighting for ?a better world? (as it was so often formulated), by which they meant, among other things, a world that would have no need of heroes. The idea went back to Woodrow Wilson?s characterization of World War I as ?a war to end all wars,? and this became the enduring dream behind the League of Nations and, after the setback of World War II, its successor body, the United Nations. War had become a shameful thing simply as such and irrespective of the justice of the cause in which it was waged or the net humanitarian good it might accomplish.

 

?3:10 to Yuma? offers the most interesting contrast between the old-fashioned sort of Western and the new breed.As a result of this increasingly influential cultural attitude, the movie hero was already beginning to become a more and more ambiguous figure in the immediate postwar period. The kind of clean-living, pious hero portrayed by Cooper in the pre-war ?Sergeant York? (1941)?which celebrated an American hero of the First World War?gave way to the isolated and magnificent but dubious postwar figure of Cooper?s Marshal Will Kane in ?High Noon.? The heroics of Sergeant York were seen as having been performed on behalf of a community and a nation?two-thirds of the film is spent introducing us to his hometown of Pall Mall, Tennessee?which are as properly grateful to him as he is devoted to them. Kane?s deeds are performed in spite of and in opposition to the will of the community he serves and more to satisfy a personal standard of honor than a sense of duty to such a pack of ingrates. The film ends with his dropping his badge in the dust and leaving town for good.

 

Similarly, John Wayne?s Ringo Kid in Ford?s ?Stagecoach? of 1939 may be a convict, but he wins our hearts not only by being handy with a gun but also by his willingness to form an ad hoc community with his fellow passengers when they are attacked by Indians and by his broad-mindedness and chivalry toward a ?fallen? woman. But in such postwar roles as Tom Dunson in ?Red River? (1948), Sergeant John Stryker in ?The Sands of Iwo Jima? (1949), or Ethan Edwards in ?The Searchers? (1956), Wayne was portrayed as a lonely and isolated figure, living by a personal code, like Kane, but also like him in being more or less mistrusted and excluded from the community of those on whose behalf his heroic deeds are performed. In ?The Sands of Iwo Jima,? Wayne?s attachment to a pre-war idea of what it meant to be a U.S. Marine even suggested that, in spite of the film?s admiration for his heroism and leadership, it finally saw him as a throwback who could have no place in the postwar world.

 

The greatest of the postwar contributions to the eventual decline and fall of the American movie hero came from what the French called the films noirs of the 1940s and 1950s. The noir hero was a prototype for all three of the heroes who have dominated American movies since the 1970s. Alone and without roots in any community, he lived in an urban twilight where few if any people could be trusted. Often a criminal himself, his real job was to expose a larger corruption and criminality than his own, and to suffer from it. In his most perfect incarnation, a private eye such as Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe?both played by Humphrey Bogart in ?The Maltese Falcon? (1941) and ?The Big Sleep? (1946)?he even had something like super-heroic powers. The noir film didn?t survive its period, however, and to my eye the many attempts to revive it since ?Chinatown? (1974) have all failed.

 

The reason, I think, was that in the noir pictures there was always a sense?enforced to some extent by the Hays Code that aimed to uphold high moral standards and was still in force at the time?that however hated and resented the moral order enforced by the social and political powers-that-be, it was still a genuine moral order and not just the greed, viciousness, and violence of those who happened to hold power. Though the antihero whose flowering we have seen in our own time was there in embryo, it still left open the possibility of goodness and decency, not just on the part of individuals but of a community. That?s what it took for Dan Evans in the 1957 version of ?3:10 to Yuma? to be a hero: the idea that his courage was for the sake of a belief that ?people should be able to live in peace and decency together.? Without this belief in a community where power is not antithetical to the good and the decent but the means of its advancement, neither the war films nor the Westerns of our own time will ever be able to give us any but a debased sort of heroism.

 

James Bowman, who has been reviewing movies for almost 20 years, is the author of ?Honor: A History? (Encounter).

 

Images from The Kobal Collection/ Stanley Kramer/ United Artists.

 

http://www.american.com/archive/2008/july-august-magazine-contents/hollywood2019s-hero-deficit

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*Bonjour Mademoiselle!*

 

bonjour mon pirate fabuleux!!!

 

*Probably a minor spoiler but you should know that Helen does not have a real big part in this movie. What we see of her is certainly very fine, though.*

 

i know!! i read all about it. i cant believe they made her....well you know what as i cant spoil it for other views...i just cant believe it! i need to see this though, i have screen caps from a friend and she looks gorgeous in it...dont you think so laffite?

 

*If you saw Room with a View and liked it, you may like this one. It's in the same vein. Angels was aired once on Masterpiece Theatre, so that's another clue. However, I wouldn't call this movie a stuffy old English drama. It's a very good story.*

 

yes i have seen a Room with a View. it is a very nice movie and i dont mind master piece movies. i have seen qwuite a few of them.....it seems you grow more towrds the old english movies set in victorian times or at least in a historical sense. of course with you loving classical music, that makes sense....i loooove old english movies like that too. my sunt got my hooked on them and has made me copies of so many of those kind. i wish she had Where Angels Fear to Tread though. it looks so good!

 

*CAUTION: My enthusiasm for this movie does not seem to be shared by a whole lot of people. It has a relatively low rating on Netflix. The reviews are lukewarm if not downright bad in some cases. This is not good because I rate this movie within the top 5 favorite movies all time. Go figure. ('Course what kind of taste can a silly old pirate have ). Maybe MissG, who I believe has seen this film, can give you a second opinion. If she does, I know she will be perfectly honest with you and not worry about hurting the feelings of some old pirate around here who has no taste anyway.*

 

yes, it has sort of a middle rating on IMDB too, and i read up on lots of comments other people made about it. there are very mixed views on what different people see about this movie. i dont know weather to expect one thing or the other just reading all of them. heehee! i talked to april on the phone about it and she was honest about it, but she doesnt remember a whole lot about it. maybe we will both get to see it and share views on it together. :)

 

*not worry about hurting the feelings of some old pirate around here who has no taste anyway.*

 

i wouldnt say that laffite! you have excellent and very refined tastes, especially in movies. i love reading your take on everything!....remember, you are a fancy free swashbuckler now!

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Goddess: Thanks for posting great article. I took a film class "The Western Hero" had a couple of fine Ford films in it. He was a remarkable director, more than 100 films. My favorites are The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, Rio Grande, The Searchers and The Quiet Man.

 

We could really use some heroes in cinema today. I saw Hospital for the second time, 70s movie with gritty issues, has a flawed hero. The riveting performance by George C. Scott is just exceptional when compared with the big "stars" of today. And the screenplay by Paddy C. is first rate. If I had to put it in as few words as possible, is a _depth_ of feeling lacking today, a raw passion. I see new "blockbusters" some are compelling, but they fail to capture my imagination and attention the way the classics and their heroes do.

 

Actors like Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, George C. Scott, Errol Flynn, John Barrymore, Sr., Richard Burton, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Peter O'Toole, Robert Taylor, Dana Andrews, Spencer Tracey and so many more.

I laughed when I read the Depp comment. My teenager thinks he is hot, I don't share her enthusiasm...maybe it is the heavy black eye liner when he is pirate mode, bit much : )

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bonjour mr henry drummond!

 

*You have such wonderful faith in me, Sweet T. Did you think my list would be full of psychotic serial killers like "Smithy"?*

 

well you know me. heehee! im always a sucker for such faithfulness in you. i excpected your list to be just as it was...unfortunately. heehee!

 

*I love Forty Guns! There are so many highpoints in the film and they happen so very fast. Barbara Stanwyck is terrific and I really like Barry Sullivan's coolness. Heck, I even like the song a lot. Sam Fuller!*

 

i have to confess that i rather liked barry sullivan's and barbara stanwyk's performances in it. they were brilliant! but the story wasnt my type. it didnt click with me. sorry. ;) although you got me on the song, i love it too!

 

*Mean Angela is the best. She's terrifyingly brilliant as "Mrs. Iselin." I couldn't put her in the "loud" group because she talks in a soft tone. And I couldn't put her in the "quiet" group because she's always talking and in control. She's loud in a quiet way.*

 

oh no!!!!!! you just ruined angela! i hope she never reads this or you will be in deep trouble mister! what do you mean, angela is best when being mean?! honestly! mrs. potts wouldnever approve of such foolish behavior, she would help me and april spill boiling tea down your back. heehee!

 

i dont mind The Manchurian Candidate, but i just hate that they made her so brainwashingly mean! yucky!....although she did a great job, but that isnt the point here! heehee! everytime i look into her eyes in that movie i can actually feel the meanness in her! but i suppose thats how great she is at acting, one of the best.

 

*I can feel your great disappointment. Do you wish for me to come up with a psychos list for you?*

 

now why would i wish such a thing? although i would like to see that list please...just curious. but smithy better not be on it....or else out come the long black gloves!

 

*Hey! The mix of a "quiet" man and a "loud" woman usually works for me.*

 

gee, its no wonder why you like the relationship between mr. and mrs. bennett. heehee!

 

*I like "Henry Drummond." He's very human. He doesn't wish to quiet anyone. He can have great respect for those who he disagrees with and he has the capability to show disdain for those he agrees with. He's not just one color, he's many. That's how I fancy myself.*

 

oh yes, i see. i actually respect his character very much in that movie, although it jumps from gene kelly's character to spence's. the first time i watched it, i got confused. actually the first time i saw it was in the paramount theater on the big screen right before To Kill a Mockingbird, and i got so confused with everything that was going on between those two characters. i had to watch it a second time before i got more of it....and my opinion still jumps from character to character in that movie, although i do appreciate the views of henry drummond more so than gene kelly's character msot times.

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I love TCM message boards. Where else can you find caning, fussbudgets, and the word "Egad" tossed off in a witty and engaging manner?

 

Well, I tried posting something yesterday amid all the turmoil and it didn't take. Now most of my draft has disappeared and it is probably a good thing because everyone has moved on to a new topic now, anyway. My list of fussbudgets will have to wait.

 

That was a great article, MissG. I am very pleased with James Bowman, and liked his take on the evolution of the hero. His analyses of TMWSLV, Stagecoach and Film Noir were right on, I think. I especially liked the line about Liberty and Tom being on the same side- their heroic battle having no place in a "civilized" community. I am not sure why I was thinking about it, I know it is tied in somehow, but Stalag 17 is another precursor to the antihero movies.

 

I actually prefer 70's antihero movies to today's fare, in which we get really lame stories playing both sides- I am thinking of the new Angelina Jolie/James McAvoy movie *Wanted*. While well directed and acted, the whole idea of it is pretty idiotic- it is one of those trick movies that are enjoyable for a moment, as long as you don't look too deep, then you forget all about them. It also uses many plot devices to make you sympathetic to McAvoy's character that are so blatant I almost laughed out loud. Wait, I DID laugh out loud.....

 

"Depth" is right, AnnieLaurie. The real problem in Hollywood is that while some well-intentioned writers are trying to make "complex" characters, their writing skills are sorely lacking nowadays. We just don't have anyone like James Warner Bellah/Willis Goldbeck (who wrote TMWSLV) or a Halsted Welles (3:10 to Yuma) or a John Huston (Maltese Falcon). Writing is not valued in our society, nor in Hollywood, as we have seen lately. Ingenuity, imagination, and high standards are going by the wayside everywhere- On Broadway we get remakes of TV shows and musical revues based on hit songs. Now I am sounding very much like a fussbudget myself! But really, in order to produce movies about courage someone in Hollywood has to recognize it when they see it, and maybe show some themselves......

 

Message was edited by: JackFavell

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