Movie Diary 10/4/2017

Escape from Fort Bravo (John Sturges, 1953). Bill Holden as a nasty-tempered Union soldier in Arizona, Eleanor Parker as the Southern sympathizer who romances him in order to get Reb lover John Forsythe out of the brig. Some great locations, and the thing gets bleaker as it goes along, especially when the main party gets pinned down by Indians. Not a fast-moving film, but then it’s Sturges.

Rocky Mountain (William Keighley, 1950). Did somebody want to slip an existential thread in this B&W Warners Errol Flynn vehicle? Because the opening scene is straight out of Samuel Beckett, and the static story is truly doomy. Toward the end leading lady Patrice Wymore (soon to be Mrs. Flynn in real life) apologizes to Flynn’s Southern soldier for leading his crew into certain death by saying, “I never thought it would end this way,” to which Flynn replies, “There never was any other way. We just put it off for a while.” Thank you, Albert Camus. Strange movie, pretty nicely done. First credited role for Slim Pickens, who rides a horse superbly.

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