Tag: Western

Revisiting TRUE GRIT (2010)

By John H. Foote (****) The American western was a rarity in the New Millennium, but those made tended to be created with care and absolute love and respect for the genre. Thought to be extinct after the debacle that was Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (1980) the genre bounced back with two Academy Award winning Best Pictures. The…

Review: THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (***)

By John H. Foote The Coen Brothers are without question national treasures to the cinema. Since their explosion into the art form with Blood Simple (1987), they have dazzled audiences and critics with their wildly quirky and original works. Even their weaker films and there are few of these, are much more interesting than what…

The Ten Best Films of John Ford

By John H. Foote “My name is John Ford, I make westerns,” he said at one of the most infamous meetings of the Directors Guild of America. Humbly, but always with undeniable force, Ford defended his friends William Wyler and Billy Wilder, whose patriotism was under attack by Cecil B. Demille, a director Ford did…

Revisiting DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)

By John H. Foote Dances with Wolves (1990) (****) The American western had been all but dead when the superb mini-series Lonesome Dove was broadcast on network television in 1988. Based on Larry McMurtry’s sprawling cattle drive novel, the film was made with major actors such as Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, each in…

OSCAR RETRO: Heaven’s Gate (1980)

HEAVEN’S GATE – A LOOK BACK; A LOOK TODAY By John H. Foote  It was never as bad as the critics made it out to be. They were out for blood, after being lied too and betrayed by director-writer Michael Cimino and blood they got. Cimino made it easy for them given his irresponsible behaviour…

OSCAR RETRO: OPEN RANGE (2003) (****)

By John H. Foote SNUBBED ENTIRELY, BUT MASTERFUL NONETHELESS… Kevin Costner won an Academy Award for Best Director for his western epic Dances with Wolves (1990), which won six other Oscars including Best Picture, and saw the likable star nominated for Best Actor. This was very near the beginning of his career, when his baseball…