HONDO (1953)

Dir. John Farrow

John Wayne's favorite role, cavalry rider Hondo Lane, was hard to find for years in any form, much less the original widescreen 3-D version shown here. The tough but noble Westerner provided the pattern for most of the Duke's later Westerns while also giving him a rare opportunity to act in what was primarily an action genre. This was just the second Western adapted from a Louis L'Amour story and was the first major film role for stage actress Geraldine Page. Page's role had been planned for Katharine Hepburn, but when re-writes diminished Angie Lowe to a supporting role, Wayne decided to go for an unknown. Her presence is vital to the success of a film whose first act is primarily about the relationship that develops when Wayne takes refuge on Page's farm during an Apache uprising. The 3-D cameras made for a protracted shoot on rugged locations in Mexico and Utah, but director John Farrow used the format to emphasize the openness of the West. The result was the decade's second highest-grossing 3-D movie.

HONDO
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