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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic Duke film
This was one of the first ever John Wayne films i saw, and from the first scene in which you find him walking over the desert alone, carrying his saddle in his arms and his dog running along beside him, he became my all time favourite movie star. This action packed, yet at times moving western finds a widow and her young boy living in a lonely farm house constantly...
Published on 20 Oct 2003

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A good script, but not necessarily a good movie
Filmed in 3D Warnercolor, the script alone presents a story of an inter-racial relationship. However, I didn't believe John Wayne as a half-Indian who looks the same and talks the same as any other movie he's in. He plays the part well, but he's just not believable as a half-Indian. It's an example of how a good script can be turned into a mediocre movie.
Published 2 months ago by Samuel Barber


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4.0 out of 5 stars I first saw this, when it first came out ..., 13 July 2014
By 
Robert G. Beechey "Bob Beechey" (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hondo (2012 re-pack) [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this, when it first came out, in 3D. I was just a kid back then and apart from involuntary ducking I remember very little and was eager to catch up. The idea of John Wayne as a half breed was interesting and the relationship between John's character and that of Geraldine Page was very well done. The relationship between that family and the Indian chief Vittorio was also interesting. A pity then that these unusual and well-crafted stories disappeared I the 3rd act to become a standard Indians circling the wagons actioner. However, overall, as a thoughtful, colour, 3D movie of the time it really stands out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Hondo [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
One of my favourite John Wayne films after the Searchers of course!
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2.0 out of 5 stars A good script, but not necessarily a good movie, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Hondo [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
Filmed in 3D Warnercolor, the script alone presents a story of an inter-racial relationship. However, I didn't believe John Wayne as a half-Indian who looks the same and talks the same as any other movie he's in. He plays the part well, but he's just not believable as a half-Indian. It's an example of how a good script can be turned into a mediocre movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Hondo [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
I knew both films from the cimema so knew what to expect and was not disappointed with the reproduction on the DVD. Amazons prompt service was very satisfactory thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wayne never better, the West never more haunting, 7 Jun 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hondo [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
1953 was the year the latest techniques in 3-D were tried out, Hondo being one of the guinea pigs. You`d hardly know it, since the facility is used sparingly, and the film is already vivid and beautifully photographed, mostly by Robert Burks, until John Ford took over for the final scenes when main director John Farrow had to honour another contract.
I`ve never seen Wayne quite so tender or so restrained as here. Those who still maintain he wasn`t much of an actor should watch this, Red River and Rio Bravo, then get back to the rest of us who know he was one of the finest film actors who ever drew breath or a gun.
He plays a cavalry rider in the South-West named Hondo Lane, who is first seen exhaustedly walking towards us out of the plains, his eccentric dog in tow, into the life and solitary shack of Angie Lowe, mother of son Johnny, and lonely wife to a ne`er-do-well who hasn`t been seen for days. She`s played, in her feature debut, by Geraldine Page - later virtually an American institution renowned for her intense stage roles - and she makes a change from the usual 'Wayne-bait', being both quietly tough and genteely dignified. It`s a good match, and is surely one of the reasons why this was in fact Wayne`s favourite among his own films.
Johnny is acted well by Lee Aaker, while the errant husband is played by Leo Gordon, with the young James Arness as a cavalry officer.
They are both caught between the cavalry and the Apaches, who are portrayed and treated more sensitively here than in most westerns of the period. The Apache chief is played brilliantly, and with some subtlety, by Australian actor Michael Pate.
That ornery old stalwart Ward Bond plays to the hilt a rugged, rowdy old pal of Hondo`s, whose reply when asked if he`s ready is: "I was born ready!"
The screenplay is by Wayne`s writer of choice, the pithy James Edward Grant, and Farrow (and Ford too) direct with a masterly eye for landscape and composition. Some shots, and entire scenes, take your breath away.
It`s an unusually thoughtful western, with a slightly abrupt denouement, though that simply leaves you wanting more, as well as wondering how they`re all going to fare, as they ride off...
The extra features are exceptiinal for an old 80-minute western: a 'Making of' featurette, a short affectionate profile of Ward Bond, and a fascinating one of writer Grant, plus a commentary and a short but welcome outline of the history of the Apache tribe. There are interviews with the grown-up Aaker, remembering fondly being chucked into a river by Wayne in the 'unorthodox swimming-teaching' scene, as well as the likeable Pate recalling his role as the Apache chief.
"A man oughta do what he thinks is right" says Hondo/Wayne some way into the film, and I`m very glad he thought it right to make this beautiful yet strangely modest film. It`s one of the highlights of his saddle-sore career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great western, 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Hondo [Blu-ray] [1953] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
One of the best John Wayne films ever made great to have it on Blu ray..great delivery great price..more region 2 or region free please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Duke in a fast-moving classic, 21 Sep 2013
This review is from: Hondo [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
Another great one with The Duke.He plays a cavalry scout with Native American heritage.It's similar to Shane (coincidentally made the same year)but I prefer this myself.It's a short film at just over 80 minutes but don't be fooled,it has just as many epic camera shots as the likes of The Searchers,especially during the action scenes.The DVD picture and sound quality is fantastic throughout.There's a couple of short scenes where the print looks blunt and very much like a 50's western.Maybe the print was so old that some of it was damaged.But the majority of the film looks remastered and in top condition.This classic film also has some additional featurettes as well as an audio commentary by a couple of film hisorians.Halfway through the film an intermission comes up on the screen which completely baffled me at first.But the film was shot in 3-D in 1953 and in order to change the projector halfway through this needed to happen.I don't understand why it wasn't removed for the DVD transfer though.But apart from that a great DVD treatment of a classic western.
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5.0 out of 5 stars first class 10-10, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Hondo [Blu-ray] [1953] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
the film is top quality and you can really see the quality and how it is cleaned up I would recommend this for AL j/w fans and sound is really good this film is so clear and they is a documentary on the film
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5.0 out of 5 stars "You smell all over like a woman. I could find you in the dark, Mrs. Lowe", 25 Oct 2012
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hondo [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
How can anybody resist a western in which John Wayne's character says such a thing to a lady (and, even more important, a married one)? I certainly couldn't. I liked almost everything in this great western, which, all John Wayne's big fan as I am, I discovered only recently.

The story happens in the time of Apache Wars, but history is very much mistreated in this film, so it is not possible to say anything more precise. A half-Indian civilian scout (and a renowned gunfighter) working for US Cavalry, Hondo Lane (John Wayne) is dispatched with a message and after losing his horse is forced to travel alone on foot through Indian territory. There, to his surprise, he discovers an isolated little farm, in which lives a woman, Mrs Angie Lowe (Geraldine Page) and her six years old son, who seem to be left alone by the overwise extremely aggressive and cruel Apaches commanded by Vittorio. This film describes a surprisingly complex romance which will ultimately develop between Hondo Lane and this mysterious married woman, when in the same time all around rages a murderous, merciless war...

The dialogs are the greatest treasure of this film. John Wayne's rough and tough as nails character delivers pearl after pearl, in principle very seriously but in fact with tons of humour. Geraldine Page plays magistrally a very civilised and gentle woman suffering in an extremely unhappy marriage and inexorably attracted by the forbidden fruit personalized by the taciturn and straight speaking "barbarian" who used to live long years amongst "savages" and even was married to an Indian woman - and who is widely known for having killed many men in gunfights (and knifefights)...

Dialogs between John Wayne and his best friend, another civilian scout named Buffalo, are also great. Even better are exchanges between Mrs Lane and Indian chief Vittorio, who tries to marry her to one of his braves, as he hates to see a "good woman wasted" by living without a man...

The weaker thing in this film is the portraying of the Apache and the violence made to history.

This film being an adaptation of a bestselling western novel, the Apache are portrayed here with all the cliches necesseary to this kind of works - they always capture alive people who killed many of them and then they always give them a chance to fight for their lives, and therefore a chance to kill even more of them... Although being essentially warlike early neolithic farmers in transition from nomadic paleolithic hunters-gatherers (and therefore very behind their times), the XIX century Apache were certainly not stupid - in fact they were very pragmatic people and in time of war any captured white settler or soldier would never receive any second chance, but would be slowly tortured to death, for the amusement of braves... And a single white woman found on their territory would be simply gang raped and then tortured to death, or, if she was really lucky, taken away as slave/concubine - but certainly never left in peace...

It is also good to remind that the real famous Chiricauha Apache chief was called Victorio (and not Vittorio) and his real fate was to die in a fight against Mexican Army (very different from what happens in the film). Also, general Crook cited all the time in this film was in reality nowhere near Apache territory in times of Victorio War (1879-80) - in real history American commander who fought Victorio was general Sheridan. Finally, the character of Vittorio in the film is almost a kind of a white knight - when in reality he ruthlessly slaughtered dozens of American and Mexican civilians and he earned a particularly nightmarish reputation with the infamous Alma massacre...

But those weaker points notwithstanding, watching this film and especially the wonderful interactions between John Wayne's and Geraldine Page's characters was such a pleasure, that I simply can not give to this western less than five stars. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hondo, 26 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Hondo [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
Fantastic movie. The Duke gives an excellent performance as Hondo Lane in a movie that is seldom aired on TV, but in my view ranks as one of his all time best.
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Hondo [Blu-ray] [1953] [Region Free]
Hondo [Blu-ray] [1953] [Region Free] by John Farrow (Blu-ray - 2013)
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