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Western Movie Rambles


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How do, Fordy Floo -- Oh my gosh, there's a dissertation in that statement... you could write oodles on it....I hope you do.

 

Me write a dissertation? That's unpossible! You know I only hack and slash the wonderful words of others. :)

 

If anyone could write such a dissertation, it would be you, because I think you "get" Tom Joad and you understand Thursday.

 

You know, I was thinking, I wonder if Jane Fonda would say that Thursday and Tom Joad are actually quite representative of her father.

 

Howdy, Fran -- Now that I can understand. It can get more involving when the villain is someone easily defined and individual. It creates another source of tension.

 

Right. It becomes more personal. And I think this is why I don't find Wagon Master all that emotional, because it's not personal. It's about the Mormons, who are us. When you are fighting the indians (Apache), it becomes just a group. Again, they are pretty much "faceless." When you are fighting Scar, it's personal. This is why I said Wagon Master is a film I watch from a distant hill. I feel like I'm off in the distance.

 

Ford really is not all that big on villains. In fact, you can almost always say that when he does show a "villain" that man can be viewed as the other personality of the hero. I mean, like Liberty Valance and Tom Doniphon are two sides of the same archetypal westerner.

 

Yes, two condescending jerks! :P I know what you mean. But I've sensed a mix with Ford. 3 Bad Men has me as the villain. Although, I still contend I'm just misunderstood. :P You've got Liberty Valance, the Cleggs, the Clantons, Scar, and, eventually, Luke Plummer. But, you are right, many times, the villain within a Ford film is the lead character's own issues or society. This is why I like Ford. He's complex. It's hardly ever a straightforward "white hat, black hat." The white hat can be just as messed up (or more so) as the black hat.

 

Anthony Mann often deals with the lead character's issues. Ford takes it one step further, making a statement about society. So Ford's westerns are the most involved of all.

 

Yet, I know you may not agree, in spite of his obsessive behavior, I cannot say that I think Thursday an utter fool. There is something in his myopia that is almost admirable. Not quite, but almost. This I think is the genius of the film and Fonda's performance, that I cannot just write him off as a complete idiot.

 

I believe Thursday is a brilliant man. He's no dummy. He's just too full of himself and how it should be done. He has a picture in his mind how everything ought to be and the rest is discounted. It's a rigid way of thinking. He's following the "book." It disallows the slightest thought or belief of another to matter, for it's one way and only one way. This is why I always find this kind of thinking to be dangerous, as you aptly put it. Another "Thursday" character for Ford is Sister Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton) in 7 Women.

 

Good call. Joad was a rebel against exactly the kind of unreasoning authority Thursday represented. He'd have fought with him within five minutes of meeting him, I think.

 

Right. Joad is a hot head. He would have fought Thursday in a blink. Joad isn't going to just swallow what is being shoved down his throat. He's one of the greatest rebels in film... and his hands are not clean. But he's not going to follow the "book," for he believes the book is wrong.

 

I think it's important to keep in mind Thursday's feeling disrespected. His assignment to Fort Apache is a demotion to him. A serious slap in the face. He'd rather be in Europe than the States. He had great disdain and contempt for the dirty towns he's been sent to. The men of Fort Apache come to represent these dirty towns. He finds them disgusting and beneath a man of his great stature. So he's taking out his misery on others. His arrogance and selfishness is what is truly driving him. He needs to show everyone he's the one in charge and that only he truly knows how the military operates. He knows how to defeat the Apache... and only he. Of course, Yorke and others embarrass him and his "book," in time. But he just shrugs it off and powers on. It's stunning to watch.

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No dissertation here..... I'm plum wore out!

 

I think Peter Fonda is quoted as saying that to take a look at Fort Apache is to see the real Henry Fonda....

 

You two are cracking me up!

 

Look what I wrote at a "shall remain unnamed" website on Saturday, in answer to who the best Ford bad guy is:

 

>Though I've got to go with Lee Marvin as Liberty Valance, runner up would be Henry Fonda's Thursday in Fort Apache. I'd say Mike Mazurski as Tunga Khan in Seven Women is pretty awful too.

 

>I'm fascinated with Ford's view of evil - in *Fort Apache* and *The Informer*, the characters who do the most evil things are the protagonists. In the latter, Gypo is somewhat sympathetic, as if the evil he does is somehow outside of who he is, it can be traced directly to the social situation he finds himself in. In Thursday, he is not evil, but the things he does are - because he cannot see what is right there before him, and cannot admit that others might know better.

 

>Most of the time, Ford sees evil as something within us or within the institutions we create, not as a "bad guy out there" - though he went that route in *Lost Patrol*. The bigger evil in that film is the fear within the men. In *The Searchers*, Scar and Ethan are almost the same character. Scar is no worse than Ethan, at any rate. Some of the bigger evils in Ford films are fear, rigidness, intolerance, an almost fanatical devotion to the pope (that's a joke, too much Monty Python) - poverty, martinetism, emotional coldness, racism, slavish adherence to almost anything - like authority or traditions (all the while upholding certain traditions with one hand, Ford tears some of them down with the other), and ignorance or destruction of the land or native folkways.

 

>I like the gradations of bad or evil characters in *The Grapes of Wrath*. For instance, the big cat driver turns out to be just an ordinary neighbor who needs a job, or the men who try to bust up the dance, who are somewhat faceless and seem deluded by prejudice, or the man who hits Casey, or the owners of the first picker's compound. They always have an excuse for what they are doing, and a buck to pass when it comes to responsibility.

 

>As for women villains, I can only think of one - Agatha Andrews in *Seven Women*, played by Margaret Leighton. Even she is out of control of herself, and so not so evil as the things she does. Deluded and repressed, she ends up paying for her "evil" actions by losing her mind.

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> Right. It becomes more personal. And I think this is why I don't find Wagon Master all that emotional, because it's not personal. It's about the Mormons, who are us. When you are fighting the indians (Apache), it becomes just a group. Again, they are pretty much "faceless." When you are fighting Scar, it's personal. This is why I said Wagon Master is a film I watch from a distant hill. I feel like I'm off in the distance.

>

 

I can't find anything to disagree with, there. Except that I find the little wagon train's journey a rather personal one in my own way. But personal in terms of any conflicts depicted? No.

 

> Yes, two condescending jerks! :P

 

You are cruising for a bruising...

 

> I know what you mean. But I've sensed a mix with Ford. 3 Bad Men has me as the villain. Although, I still contend I'm just misunderstood. :P You've got Liberty Valance, the Cleggs, the Clantons, Scar, and, eventually, Luke Plummer. But, you are right, many times, the villain within a Ford film is the lead character's own issues or society. This is why I like Ford. He's complex. It's hardly ever a straightforward "white hat, black hat." The white hat can be just as messed up (or more so) as the black hat.

>

 

I agree 3 Bad Men definitely has a clear cut villain who we can't seem to get rid of. But usually in Ford it's the selfish business types that come off as the worst. Like Ryker, in Shane...vested interest. Businessmen and power brokers, are the worst villains. The Plummers in Stagecoach don't even seem to be as denigrated as Gatewood, the dishonest banker. The faceless businessmen who run the Oakies off their land...even Liberty Valance hires out to the big cattlemen, the big operatives, he's not really an individualist, either when you come right down to it, though he has little thought to the future, just who's paying him the most. By contrast, the true Fordian "hero" rarely cares about cash. Even Ethan Edwards, he tossed the money his brother Aaron asked for, carelessly. What does Aaron do with it? He carefully stores it away, like it is something precious. Little things like that. I know I'm veering off from villains here, but Ethan is not hero or villain and his attitude toward money is part of the complexity of Ford.

 

> Anthony Mann often deals with the lead character's issues. Ford takes it one step further, making a statement about society. So Ford's westerns are the most involved of all.

>

 

Very interesting! Though I feel like Man of the West did seem to resonate on a larger scale, as well as the personal. Both Link and Dock Tobin could also seem two sides of the same coin, and both living past their time.

 

> I believe Thursday is a brilliant man. He's no dummy. He's just too full of himself and how it should be done. He has a picture in his mind how everything ought to be and the rest is discounted. It's a rigid way of thinking. He's following the "book." It disallows the slightest thought or belief of another to matter, for it's one way and only one way. This is why I always find this kind of thinking to be dangerous, as you aptly put it. Another "Thursday" character for Ford is Sister Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton) in 7 Women.

>

 

Now that was terrific! And so true about Agatha being "Thursday"---she is exactly his mirror image in that world. They are totally myopic. So was Spig Weade. So was Ethan. But Thursday and Agatha had a total blindness about themselves.

 

>

> Right. Joad is a hot head. He would have fought Thursday in a blink. Joad isn't going to just swallow what is being shoved down his throat. He's one of the greatest rebels in film... and his hands are not clean. But he's not going to follow the "book," for he believes the book is wrong.

>

 

His hands are not clean. This probably makes him fit for what he seems ultimately destined to do. He has no problem taking the kind of risks his life on the lam will entail, he's made of the earth and stern stuff and can survive a long time. But I feel he was ultimately defeated, if you think about his future. He was fighting against a rising tide of selfishness in society, in people's hearts, and that no one man can successfully fight forever.

 

> I think it's important to keep in mind Thursday's feeling disrespected. His assignment to Fort Apache is a demotion to him. A serious slap in the face. He'd rather be in Europe than the States. He had great disdain and contempt for the dirty towns he's been sent to. The men of Fort Apache come to represent these dirty towns. He finds them disgusting and beneath a man of his great stature. So he's taking about his misery on others. His arrogance and selfishness is what is truly driving him. He needs to show everyone he's the one in charge and that only he truly knows how the military operates. He knows how to defeat the Apache. Of course, Yorke and others embarrass him and his "book," in time. But he just shrugs it off and powers on. It's stunning to watch.

 

That's the best thing I've read on the picture! It's so true that there is a constant burr under his saddle about this slap in the face. That he, Owen Thursday The Great, should be sent out to a hick post in the middle of obscurity is more than his pride can bear. He'll get out of it and up to glory no matter what it costs...but he'll do it his way, which is by the book. Interestingly, he will do NOT anything illegal or tries to use influence or political maneuvering to get out of that assignment...which is another reason you can't hate him altogether. He is wrong as wrong can be but he's not venal, he won't stoop. He believes he DESERVES and earns the glory he seeks, and would never consider bartering for it.

 

sorry if this post was wandering a bit.

 

Edited by: MissGoddess on Mar 1, 2010 1:35 PM

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Jackie that was brilliant...I want to comment more in detail to your stunning words later. I hope others will, too. you said it all, you said it brilliantly. i was wandering all over the place. just delete my post and read Jackie's! :D

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Why must you toss this on my lap just as my time is running out?! You're awful!

 

What you wrote was phenomenal. It's brilliant. It's perfect.

 

How can we go from disagreeing on a Ford film to agreeing so much?

 

Shall I fetch you a pail of Mormon water, Denver?

 

I'm fascinated with Ford's view of evil - in Fort Apache and The Informer, the characters who do the most evil things are the protagonists. In the latter, Gypo is somewhat sympathetic, as if the evil he does is somehow outside of who he is, it can be traced directly to the social situation he finds himself in.

 

I'm with ya. Gypo (Victor McLaglen in The Informer) sells his soul. His primary reason for doing so is that he wants to make his girl happy. That's something to be admired. But then he gets caught up in all the trappings of being "king," and he even loses sight of why he sold his soul. It's a fascinating look at man and his pressures. And I actually don't view Gypo as a "villain." He's basically a "Harry Fabian" (Richard Widmark in Night and the City), just his initial reason for doing what he did was more unselfish.

 

In Thursday, he is not evil, but the things he does are - because he cannot see what is right there before him, and cannot admit that others might know better.

 

Yup. Stubborn to the end. Don't you look at me like that!

 

Most of the time, Ford sees evil as something within us or within the institutions we create, not as a "bad guy out there" - though he went that route in Lost Patrol. The bigger evil in that film is the fear within the men. In The Searchers, Scar and Ethan are almost the same character. Scar is no worse than Ethan, at any rate. Some of the bigger evils in Ford films are fear, rigidness, intolerance, an almost fanatical devotion to the pope (that's a joke, too much Monty Python) - poverty, martinetism, emotional coldness, racism, slavish adherence to almost anything - like authority or traditions (all the while upholding certain traditions with one hand, Ford tears some of them down with the other), and ignorance or destruction of the land or native folkways.

 

Awesome, awesome, awesome! And this is what I like the MOST about Ford. He has an amazing way of smacking you with a smile. And I happen to agree with this approach. There's a need for respect, honor, and tradition in life, but to let it override compassion for your fellow human being -- different as they may be or appear to be -- and common sense, is wrong and sometimes dangerously wrong. I believe most every Ford film that I have seen has featured something along these lines.

 

I like the gradations of bad or evil characters in The Grapes of Wrath. For instance, the big cat driver turns out to be just an ordinary neighbor who needs a job, or the men who try to bust up the dance, who are somewhat faceless and seem deluded by prejudice, or the man who hits Casey, or the owners of the first picker's compound. They always have an excuse for what they are doing, and a buck to pass when it comes to responsibility.

 

Excellent point... and one I never thought of. "I'm only doing it because... "

 

As for women villains, I can only think of one - Agatha Andrews in Seven Women, played by Margaret Leighton. Even she is out of control of herself, and so not so evil as the things she does. Deluded and repressed, she ends up paying for her "evil" actions by losing her mind.

 

Like Thursday, she is obsessed with one way, HER way. She is following the "book," but to what end? We're all human beings, so we're all making decisions and judgments with our own mind, no matter how else we'd like to believe it different.

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> I think Peter Fonda is quoted as saying that to take a look at Fort Apache is to see the real Henry Fonda....

>

 

What a loaded statement! Wow, if that's true of Fonda, then I'm amazed he and Ford never came to blows all those years before Mister Roberts. :0

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What a loaded statement! Wow, if that's true of Fonda, then I'm amazed he and Ford never came to blows all those years before Mister Roberts.

 

I believe "Thursday" is the "family" Fonda, not the "professional" Fonda or the "friends" Fonda.

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

> What a loaded statement! Wow, if that's true of Fonda, then I'm amazed he and Ford never came to blows all those years before Mister Roberts.

>

> I believe "Thursday" is the "family" Fonda, not the "professional" Fonda or the "friends" Fonda.

 

Men really can compartmentalize their behavior/personality like that, can't they? I mean I believe you, I have seen it many times.

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I have Fonda's biography that he was much involved in, almost like an interview with a narrative. He quite agrees he was not a great father.

 

I do like the short feature that Jane and Peter do about him. It seems they are past some of that history.

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I have Fonda's biography that he was much involved in, almost like an interview with a narrative. He quite agrees he was not a great father.

 

That's a hard thing to admit to; very difficult.

 

I do like the short feature that Jane and Peter do about him. It seems they are past some of that history.

 

It's my favorite of them all, with the Grace Kelly and Nicholas Ray ones being close behind. I don't think there is a more emotional one than the Fonda children talking about their dad. Jane really speaks with honesty and true emotion. It actually makes me tear up.

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no no no! Don't skip Goddess's post! you two and your thoughts on the movie just made me laugh, because we are all basically on the same page....

 

MissG - I especially liked that part you wrote about the money - the way Ford heroes like Ethan throw it away. It shows a focus on the important things in life, a deeper more spiritual focus, I would say. Aaron glues himself to that money.... for all the good it will do him.... I find that I have never likes Aaron, and I could never figure out why.... that is a part of it.

 

I also just love what you said earlier about Thursday not being an entire fool, or a totally evil man - I never really thought about the fact that he doesn't actually do anything illegal - that was a great point.

 

I have to agree as well with Frank about big picture/small picture, and how they affect me in different ways. I cannot for the life of me understand She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, because my reaction to it is just like Frank's to Fort Apache or Wagon Master....so when he says he is bored by the cavalry and military daily life, I do know what he means. Now why i like it in Fort Apache and don't in SWAYR I don't know.

 

And Frank that was brilliant your contrast of Tom Joad and Thursday, and everything you wrote about the character of Thursday... I agree, he has an "I'll show you all, all you dirty lazy good-for-nothings".... kind of attitude, but somehow, because he has been hurt, by his superiors placing him here, he is not altogether evil....

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Most of the time, Ford sees evil as something within us or within the institutions we create, not as a "bad guy out there"

 

Wow, Ms Favell... nice job in breaking down the Ford villians like that. I really enjoyed your entire post. And have to say that you have got a really sound perspective on what makes all those "baddies" (ha) tick. Well thought out, young'un.

 

In fact... you alll are giving me some good insight into the deeper recesses of Fordian villainy. Thanks folks.

 

PS: Mr. Grey...

 

But, you are right, many times, the villain within a Ford film is the lead character's own issues or society. This is why I like Ford. He's complex. It's hardly ever a straightforward "white hat, black hat." The white hat can be just as messed up (or more so) as the black hat

 

Oh golly... this is an interesting and fascinating development. (ha) For all my black and white ways.. I have to agree with you. It does seem to be a prevalent theme in a lot of his films.. (gulp.. NOW what am I going to do... I have no mud to throw this time...)

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>

> >I like the gradations of bad or evil characters in *The Grapes of Wrath*. For instance, the big cat driver turns out to be just an ordinary neighbor who needs a job, or the men who try to bust up the dance, who are somewhat faceless and seem deluded by prejudice, or the man who hits Casey, or the owners of the first picker's compound. They always have an excuse for what they are doing, and a buck to pass when it comes to responsibility.

>

 

You really uncovered a lot I had not thought about before with this. I remember when I first saw the big cat tractors coming and how with the goggles on the driver seemed one with the machine, and it was like a science fiction monster coming at the poor Oakies. It was terrifying to me (so is the world of the mine shafts in How Green Was My Valley...like the pit of hell with a great, gaping machine on top that seemed to consume the men).

 

But what a great point you make about how we then find out it's one of their own people driving the tractor; he needs work to feed his family and this is what it's come down to. Who doesn't understand that? it's an old, old story. You end up working for the oppressor (Angharad marries him, or rather his heir). It comes to home even more forcefully when you realize who the people were that financed 20th Century Fox's pictures....the same bankers being depicted as the evil doers in a film, themselves got dressed up to go to the premiere and actually made profits when the film went into release. Irony of ironies.

 

 

> >As for women villains, I can only think of one - Agatha Andrews in *Seven Women*, played by Margaret Leighton. Even she is out of control of herself, and so not so evil as the things she does. Deluded and repressed, she ends up paying for her "evil" actions by losing her mind.

 

Have you seen Pilgrimage? Not a villain, but her own worst enemy was Henrietta Crosman's brilliant characterization. In her was both the incredible strength and destructiveness of motherhood.

 

Lots of dualities in the "good/bad" characters of Ford. Not leaving out the "animal" or mindless aspects, as represented by Cleggs, Clantons...or within themselves, such as in Vic and Mrs Nordley in Mogambo and in men of impassioned violence, like Liberty Valance and even Doc Holiday. So much complexity.

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>

> MissG - I especially liked that part you wrote about the money - the way Ford heroes like Ethan throw it away. It shows a focus on the important things in life, a deeper more spiritual focus, I would say. Aaron glues himself to that money.... for all the good it will do him.... I find that I have never likes Aaron, and I could never figure out why.... that is a part of it.

>

 

I'm starting to look at the other supporting characters more closely and Aaron always puzzled me a bit. The money scene always struck me as being significant, but I was never clear on what. We have discussed here before where Ethan may have gotten the money and how, but have not really looked at why Aaron seemed to expect the money or want it. It was not enough that his brother was alive and back in the fold, he had to have that money, too. Something about that is rather cold. Aaron is not a bad man, definitely not, but nevertheless he seems to have no identity outside of being master of the Edwards homestead. Ethan, a drifter and vagabond, has no valuables, no place to lay his head. Even the locket he gave Debbie "turned her neck green". He has nothing to give except of what he can do. The children are drawn to him and know this. "I wish Uncle Ethan were here."

 

In these respects, you can see Marty really is more like Ethan than the others. He doesn't care about valuables or things and when Ethan finally has something of material value (the Edwards' land), he immediately sets about willing it away to Martin. Not so different from Mr. Gruffydd in How Green Was My Valley, you see. A man without even a home of his own, who only had to offer what he could do for those in his care. And he gave of his knowledge and strength to a young man, Huw, as Ethan does to Marty. How did I end up in Wales? :)

 

Oh, and Doc Holiday. Doc tosses the money around like it is meaningless. Wyatt, by contrast, carefully stows it in his hat. Doc's a vagabond, too, really. Wyatt will put down roots, he's the transition, the good/bad man becoming civilized. Doc could never be that, he evidently tried but couldn't be bound by the East's ways and knew he was living out of his time and seemed to long for death. It makes him reckless and easily provoked, all emotions. Wyatt is so calm in comparison, nothing provokes him, nothing at all. He feels, but his feelings are transformed instantly into an implacable will to work through them either justice or vengeance. His methodical personality is more suited to the civilized fabric that will come. Unlike Ethan or Doc or even Mr Gruffydd, he can conform, he can groom himself and learn to dance. Is he the only Fordian hero that becomes part of the community he helps establish? Of course, he does ride off at the end, he has to go to Pa first...

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

 

> You really uncovered a lot I had not thought about before with this. I remember when I first saw the big cat tractors coming and how with the goggles on the driver seemed one with the machine, and it was like a science fiction monster coming at the poor Oakies. It was terrifying to me (so is the world of the mine shafts in How Green Was My Valley...like the pit of hell with a great, gaping machine on top that seemed to consume the men).

 

I took caps of that scene some time ago, your description is perfect:

 

Photobucket

 

> But what a great point you make about how we then find out it's one of their own people driving the tractor; he needs work to feed his family and this is what it's come down to. Who doesn't understand that? it's an old, old story. You end up working for the oppressor (Angharad marries him, or rather his heir). It comes to home even more forcefully when you realize who the people were that financed 20th Century Fox's pictures....the same bankers being depicted as the evil doers in a film, themselves got dressed up to go to the premiere and actually made profits when the film went into release. Irony of ironies.

 

Yikes! That is kind of frightening to think about, and I admit I never have - I bet they sat there and never thought they were the ones being depicted... or if they did have a twinge... they forgot it right after. Ford took a big chance though, by depicting those folks in such a way. Imagine if he had never been able to make another film!

 

> > >As for women villains, I can only think of one - Agatha Andrews in *Seven Women*, played by Margaret Leighton. Even she is out of control of herself, and so not so evil as the things she does. Deluded and repressed, she ends up paying for her "evil" actions by losing her mind.

>

> Have you seen Pilgrimage? Not a villain, but her own worst enemy was Henrietta Crosman's brilliant characterization. In her was both the incredible strength and destructiveness of motherhood.

 

I haven't seen it yet. I thought Frank would be the one to bring it up - he's always jibing at me about it...

 

> Lots of dualities in the "good/bad" characters of Ford. Not leaving out the "animal" or mindless aspects, as represented by Cleggs, Clantons...or within themselves, such as in Vic and Mrs Nordley in Mogambo and in men of impassioned violence, like Liberty Valance and even Doc Holiday. So much complexity.

 

I like that - "men of impassioned violence". And I liked how you picked one from each side of the "fence" so to speak. You're good. Real good.

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

 

> I'm starting to look at the other supporting characters more closely and Aaron always puzzled me a bit. The money scene always struck me as being significant, but I was never clear on what. We have discussed here before where Ethan may have gotten the money and how, but have not really looked at why Aaron seemed to expect the money or want it. It was not enough that his brother was alive and back in the fold, he had to have that money, too. Something about that is rather cold. Aaron is not a bad man, definitely not, but nevertheless he seems to have no identity outside of being master of the Edwards homestead. Ethan, a drifter and vagabond, has no valuables, no place to lay his head. Even the locket he gave Debbie "turned her neck green". He has nothing to give except of what he can do. The children are drawn to him and know this. "I wish Uncle Ethan were here."

>

> In these respects, you can see Marty really is more like Ethan than the others. He doesn't care about valuables or things and when Ethan finally has something of material value (the Edwards' land), he immediately sets about willing it away to Martin. Not so different from Mr. Gruffydd in How Green Was My Valley, you see. A man without even a home of his own, who only had to offer what he could do for those in his care. And he gave of his knowledge and strength to a young man, Huw, as Ethan does to Marty. How did I end up in Wales? :)

>

> Oh, and Doc Holiday. Doc tosses the money around like it is meaningless. Wyatt, by contrast, carefully stows it in his hat. Doc's a vagabond, too, really. Wyatt will put down roots, he's the transition, the good/bad man becoming civilized. Doc could never be that, he evidently tried but couldn't be bound by the East's ways and knew he was living out of his time and seemed to long for death. It makes him reckless and easily provoked, all emotions. Wyatt is so calm in comparison, nothing provokes him, nothing at all. He feels, but his feelings are transformed instantly into an implacable will to work through them either justice or vengeance. His methodical personality is more suited to the civilized fabric that will come. Unlike Ethan or Doc or even Mr Gruffydd, he can conform, he can groom himself and learn to dance. Is he the only Fordian hero that becomes part of the community he helps establish? Of course, he does ride off at the end, he has to go to Pa first...

 

Glup! I have no words...... I am thunderstruck. The way you pull all these heroes together and analyze and figure out connections and put it into beautiful words is truly amazing. Anything I reply would be like chicken scratching compared to that!

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

> Money is much harder to come by for Aaron because he's an honest man. Ethan doesn't care about money because he figures "there's more where that came from."

 

That could be. Aaron undeniably is honest and honorable. I never thought of Ethan being unscrupulous about money, perhaps he was when it came to "spoils of war". But I don't think he cared about money, or did the things he did in his past for the money. Aaron asking and behaving as if entitled to the money, that's another thing. Just a fascinating little character touch that is so ambiguous. Maybe the whole exchange is to illustrate that Aaron still considers Ethan a part of the family, contributing as he should, as the men who drop their days wages into Beth Morgan's apron...I don't know.

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Oh, Jackie, pshaw! I'm scratching in your dust, honey! You've been sensational and inspired me to want to write a little more, but I'm just meandering off the topic. Your words made a huge impact, my dear. :) I look forward to more of that coming up. ;)

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Aaron has a family to provide for. The work is hard and the pay is light. Ethan steals money from Yanks.

 

searchers1-1.jpg

 

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Do I think Ethan cares about money? Not really. But he's smart enough to take it when it's there for the taking. Ethan is irresponsible and driven by his selfish desires. He's a lost wanderer.

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

> Aaron has a family to provide for. The work is hard and the pay is light. Ethan steals money from Yanks.

>

>

> Do I think Ethan cares about money? Not really. But he's smart enough to take it when it's there for the taking. Ethan is irresponsible and driven by his selfish desires. He's a lost wanderer.

 

 

I don't know that I can disagree about the facts as you state them, but I nevertheless think there is more to it than that. More to Ethan and his wandering. It just feels that way, to me. Or maybe what it is is that in spite of these failings in Ethan, I still warm to him as I do not warm to the more honorable Aaron. I find that in many scenarios, many movies. Isn't Ashley more noble and responsible and worthy than Rhett? Why do I nevertheless like the scalawag more than the good family man? I'm crazy, I guess. :D

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