19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Fort Apache [VHS] (VHS Tape)
To be totally honest, this is the only western I like. Now I know what my grandparents mean when they exclaim nostalgically when watching an old movie on their favorite movie channel, AMC, "They don't make 'em like they used to!" This film has made me a loyal AMC fan, and it's the only channel I tune into nowadays. Believe me, if you're looking for good old-fashioned entertainment, this one is the ideal choice. It has everything to offer: great comic relief, romance, tragedy, adventure and keeps you on the edge of your sofa throughout the whole show. By the way, if you're interested, it features an all-star cast that consists of the Duke of Western classics, John Wayne, Henry Fonda,Shirley Temple,John Agar and Ward Bond, and is directed by the movie mastermind, John Ford. All the ingredients for a true Western classic!
First of all, Henry Fonda excels in his role as the domineering, 'martinet' type Colonel Owen Thursday. Sure, I learned to scorn him in the duration of the show,but I realized that it was clearly what the character demanded. At the beginning I was already thinking to myself, ' Sheesh, where the heck did that Thursday guy get his inflated ego! What a rat!'I'd give him a big thumbs up for pulling off a real stupid role and making it the best he possibly could. But, I have to admit, in the scene where he's leading a charge at the Apaches ( the 'bad guys') in an airhead procedure, I found myself rooting for the 'savage' Indians. Oh, well . . .
John Wayne was good in his unimportant role of Kirby York, who constantly clashes with the stupidly unreasonable and egotistical Colonel Thursday. I could really sympathize with the Duke there. I mean, who wants to work with a ... mad-man like Thursday? He was always putting his men at risk in the battlefield in thrown together strategies that were given no time or thought. It made me sick. And such a big shot! It was so obvious that he considered himself hot stuff, which is totally bogus! I kinda pitied the Duke; not just because he was put under the order of Thursday, but because he was constantly in Fonda's shadow throughout the film. But, I give him a high five for playing the sensible, practical, gritty and honest 'tough-guy' hero, his trademark role.
And last, but not least, a standing ovation to Shirley and John Agar! Those two were just so unbelievably sweet and compelling as the lovers. By today's cruddy standards, where ... flicks are the general 'romance thrillers', their romance would be considered real 'cute'. But, personally, I thought they were thrilling - truly thrilling, especially during their two kiss scenes. True, they weren't extremely passionate, considering they shared their first kiss after they became engaged. But still, their delicate, gentle love scenes stole the show! Not only were they adoreable, they made the perfect couple. Gosh, Agar's good looks and debonair, yet still boyish and innocent manner made my heart stand still, and Shirley's darling smiles and simpers were real scene stealers! She looked prettier in this film than in any other I've seen her. The rest of this film could be a little lackluster, but I never failed to be spellbound during the Shirley/John scenes. What an angelic pair! They brought an innocense and sweet magic to the screen, something that's not seen often today in our jaded world. Their youth and vigor and vitality certainly won my heart. You cannot imagine how disgusted I was with that Colonel Thursday, who was Shirley's father in the movie, when he forbade the two to wed after John Agar ( Lt. Michael Shannon O'Rourke) asked him for his daughter's hand in marriage. I thought I'd blow when Colonel Thursday explained, in his cold, stern tones, " I'm afraid I must deny you my daughter's hand in marriage due to the apparent barriers between your class and mine." Shut up, Thursday! Have a little compassion here, please. Also, he was a real control ... regarding his daughter, too, beautiful and vivacious 16-year old Philadelphia Thursday, who was head over heels in love with her Lt. O'Rourke. He had a strict curfew and wouldn't let her talk or look at her rejected suitor. He even considered sending her away from the fort to an academy ' where she'd have two years to forget about Michael.' When Thursday was killed during the battle scene at the end, I felt a wave of relief flow over me. Yes, now Michael and Phil could get married. They did, and had a little boy in the last scene of the approx. two hour film. He was a real cutie, too! What a fabulous ending to a true classic! Though I'm only twelve years old and this movie would be snubbed as 'corny old junk' by my peers, I must say I sincerely enjoyed watching 'Fort Apache' and wish my age group would grow up and realize just how special and priceless this classic is, even if it is old. Entertainment, like fine wine, improves with age. I strongly recommend this movie to anyone interested in history, cowboy and indian entertainment,or Henry Fonda, John Wayne , Shirley Temple , John Agar fans, or to whomever wants a taste of some real good old-fashioned entertainment! This movie has charm and taste, and is a real pleasure to see in our now classless, charmless and tastless society. Please take the time to check it out at the nearest video arcade or store and I know you'll fall in love with it! And fasten your seatbelts for a rip-roaring good time - Yahoo!!