John Wayne's favourite John Wayne movie. Louis L'Amour's source novel is a variation on Shane, with Wayne as the eponymous stranger, a cavalry scout, whose manly ways recommend him to a homesteader (Page) and her boy, though here her husband's a ne'er-do-well the Duke kills in self-defence. The film extends liberal respect to the Indians, and even implicitly endorses a romance between a white woman and the half-breed Hondo. Page won an Oscar nomination for this, her first film role, but Wayne's guileless performance is even better: gently self-mocking, while still every inch the embodiment of the conviction that 'a man ought to do what he thinks is best'. Robert Burks' cinematography is a major plus (the film was originally released in 3-D, but there's precious little gimmickry). A rarity until restored by the John Wayne Society for re-release in 1995.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||James Edward Grant|