Fifth about The Seventh

Fort Apache (1948)

Fort Apache: John Ford’s western classic wonderfully mixes a chronicle of life in the frontier with a critical look of what happens when command falls into the laps of an incompetent. The story mixes tones very organically, and both the levity and the tension work quite well by themselves; more importantly, the film has a very balanced and humane view of all sides. The cast is in very fine shape: Henry Fonda is convincing as the glory-seeking, publicity-loving martinet (in spite of his protests to the contrary); Shirley Temple is endearing as his young, flirty daughter; Victor McLaglen is in great comedic shape; John Wayne generally played this straight-arrow hero with great efficacy, and it’s no different here. Richard Hageman’s musical score contributes a lot to the tonal changes, as it uses fine Americana themes and songs. The magnificent expanses of Monument Valley are beautifully captured by director of photography Archie Stout.


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