The Searchers (1956)

Director: John Ford Screenwriter: Frank Nugent By Roderick Heath John Ford was hardly lacking in fame and acclaim when he released The Searchers. He’d already captured four Oscars as Best Director, proof he stood for his peers as the most admired of American filmmaking talents. Given how rarely Westerns were given such awards and serious …

Continue reading The Searchers (1956)

Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

Director: Sydney Pollack Screenwriters: Edward Anhalt, John Milius (uncredited: David Rayfiel) By Roderick Heath John Jeremiah Garrison “Liver-Eating” Johnson was one of those authentic characters of the American West’s history who nonetheless occupies a blurred zone between fact and legend. Born in 1824, Johnson became one of the strange breed of wandering trappers and traders …

Continue reading Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

Man in the Wilderness (1971) / The Revenant (2015)

Directors: Richard C. Sarafian / Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu By Roderick Heath The story of Hugh Glass contains the essence of American frontier mythology—the cruelty of nature met with the indomitable grit and resolve of the frontiersman. It’s the sort of story breathlessly reported in pulp novellas and pseudohistories, and more recently, of course, movies. Glass, …

Continue reading Man in the Wilderness (1971) / The Revenant (2015)