John Ford didn't just direct westerns, apparently he also made some veritable dramas. Judging by The Quiet Man, he favored the type of drama that was about as subtle as your average western. I'm not really sure how Ford envisioned this romance to turn out, but if he purposely wanted to spend two hours with a dreadful couple, then this film was a big success.
Thornton returns to his home village after a long stay in the US. There he runs into Mary Kate, a fierce and headstrong woman who puts Thornton to work when he tries to court her. Thornton carries a dark secret with him though, a past he has been outrunning without too much success.
The performances are laughable. Wayne's contorted face is a hoot, Maureen O'Hara acts as if she was cast for a silent film. The plot is utterly simple, neither the drama, romance nor the comedy ever hit home and the runtime is ridiculous. The Quiet Man is a hopelessly outdated film, best to forget this one as quickly as possible.
I don't care much for the work of John Ford, I don't care much for westerns. No surprise then that Stagecoach really didn't do much for me. There are some decent moments when the action dies down a little, but the typical cowboys and Indians nonsense is something I just can't get myself to like.
A Ford western that tries to break out of its typical genre mold. Instead of focusing on tough guys, gun fights and robberies, Ford adds a more historical/political angle to the film. At least that's what he tries to do, because many of the typical western elements are still present, and they don't mix very well with the more serious subject.
Everyone is a walking cliché, down to the most insignificant character. From the upright, studious and stiff James Stewart and boorish, macho John Wayne, to the villainous and crude Lee Marvin, none of them manage to bring any kind of humanity to their performance. The whole cast is just terrible across the board.
The first hour it's almost like watching a farce, with simplistic comedy and crummy banter. The second hour tries to squeeze in the shift from the Wild West to a more democratic society, but everything is so unsubtle and on the nose that you have to wonder why Ford even bothered. Hopelessly outdated.
The most remarkable thing about My Darling Clementine is how unremarkable a film it is, especially considering its stellar reputation. It's little more than a simple genre flick, a western with all the usual ingredients (though a bit low on action and tilting more to the drama side) that simply goes through the motions.
I'm not a fan of westerns, so I didn't get much out of it, not in the least because Ford takes it very slow and spends oodles of time on uninteresting characters and a tepid plot. That did give me some more time to look for other elements that might've set this one apart from its peers, but I found nothing.
Performances are pretty over-the-top, the cinematography is drab (the framing in particular felt very cramped) and the music sounded horrible. At the very end we get a shoot-out, but even that felt basic. I'm sure it's a solid film for fans of the genre, but apart from the US' cultural dominance over the film business I can see no reason why people make such a big deal of this film.