10:14 PM, 12th May, 2006
On a shepherding job on an isolated mountain in Wyoming in 1963, two male ranch hands find a sudden, physical, overwhelming love - one that they agree cant continue once they leave the mountain. But, while they go on to live their own lives, with wives and children, they find themselves coming back to the mountain time and again, reconnecting in the same way.Ang Lee's shown a special skill in repressed love stories (Sense and Sensibility and large chunks of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon both deal with characters who hide their passions due to social conventions). This, combined with a script co-written by a master of the modern western, Larry "Lonesome Dove" McMurtry, and with career-best performances from all the leads, gives you a film that critics are falling over themselves to place on their "year's best" lists.
10:36 PM, 12th May, 2006
John Fords landmark western created many of the genre's clich((eacute))s and was the film that launched John Wayne to stardom. Wayne plays the Ringo Kid, who escapes from gaol to avenge the murder of his father and brother. But he doesn't appear until partway into the film, as Ford introduces a diverse group of characters on a stage journey through Apache territory: Dallas (Trevor), the "bad" girl who is driven out of town by puritanical ladies, the alcoholic Doc Boone (Mitchell), a timid whiskey salesman, a southern gambler, a banker embezzling assets and Mrs Malloy (Platt), the pregnant wife of a cavalry officer, who gives birth en route. The climactic Apache attack features superlative stunt work by Yakima Canutt (who later coordinated the chariot race in Ben-Hur). Playing one of the Apache attackers, he leaps onto one of the stage's horses, is shot and falls between the horse's hooves and under the wheels (Spielberg paid homage to this scene in the first Indiana Jones movie). The movie won Oscars for Max Steiner's music score and Mitchell's performance, and was the first of Ford's westerns to be filmed in the spectacular Monument Valley. Although dated, it is essential viewing for those who take an interest in the history of cinema.