Archive for July, 2010

With Peg O’ My Heart (1922), the director’s first film for Metro Pictures (soon to be engulfed by a Metro-Goldwyn Merger), we are introduced to a crucial element of King Vidor’s cinema–the underdog female. The film’s eponymous protagonist (played by Broadway star Laurette Taylor) is a clear forerunner of Rose Maurrant (Street Scene), Doris Emily Lea (Cynara), Manya Novak (The Wedding Night), Stella Dallas, Peal Chavez (Duel in the Sun), Rosa Moline (Beyond the Forest) and Ruby Gentry (to name only the characters who come immediately to my mind!) Of course, last time out, we met Colleen Moore as Gwen–a very interesting female character whose spiritual struggle ambushes center stage during the last third of The Sky Pilot; but Gwen is the daughter of a wealthy rancher–more in the tradition of Valette Bedford (So Red The Rose)… So, yeah, in my opinion, the long, fascinating march to Ruby Gentry (my personal favourite) begins here!

Not that we’re anywhere near those exalted heights in Peg O’ My Heart. One of the great things about going through an “auteur’s” entire oeuvre is watching as the director gains the confidence (and stature within the industry) to steer material in the direction of his/her presumed thematic bent… TANGENT ALERT: I say “presumed”,  of course, to distinguish my project from the old naive auteurism–which laboured under the delusion that critics could use films to learn the “truth” about an individual artist… I’m not watching these films in order to “get to know” King Vidor… “King Vidor”, for me, is an organizing principle–a regal rope that cordons off a huge chunk of Hollywood material (made during a crucial period in American cultural history) and gives me (and you, and every cineaste we know) an opportunity to hitch my interpretive wagon to the stars! (I’d say END OF TANGENT, but let’s face it–I’m pretty much ALL tangent)

Where were we? Oh…yes… the tale of a 28-year old director, a largish Hollywood studio that’s about to go nova, and a very well established stage property. When a major Broadway moneymaker comes West, complete with star, no one short of (in 1922) D.W. Griffith is going to stand much of a chance of getting their “auteur” on…  Still, Peg O’ My Heart does present us with a lot of Vidorian elements–it just doesn’t put them together in a way that hits home (and that’s a pretty major point–because using modernist techniques to maximize the emotional impact of 19th century melodrama tropes is the absolute heart of King Vidor’s cinema).

Right then–to the elements!

As I mentioned earlier, the most important one is “Peg” herself–real name Margaret O’Connell (“Peg” is her Irish rebel father’s term of affection)

There she is, with dear ol’ Da’ himself, going over a rabble-rousing speech… They do make an endearing pair, traveling over hill and dale, regaling their fellow citizens with tales of English oppression (“life was happy for those two wandering patriots”–an intertitle tells us). They give their speeches out of the back of a covered wagon–and they know just what to do when the authorities come a knockin’ (they order the flock to scatter; he plays a harmless drunk-; she plays with her dog Michael and looks coy):

They come by their radicalism through heart-wrenching personal experience, having watched Peg’s mother die of societal neglect (regular Irish folk, the film tells us, have no hope of paying for medical treatment–and this fact is exacerbated by the knowledge that Mrs. O’Connell’s English family COULD have sent the money to save her–if only they hadn’t written her off for marrying a Catholic). Their embattled idyll (a very Vidorian idea) comes to an abrupt close when one of those same English relatives repents on his deathbed, setting money aside for young Margaret’s education, IF she will go to England and learn some manners from her “better” relatives. Of course she refuses–but her father has not forgotten the painful sight of his beautiful wife dying in squalor (the carefree life of a “wandering patriot” is liable to be tripped up by the slightest viral infection)–and he orders her to accept the Chichester family’s offer.

So it’s off to England! (With canine companion Michael in tow.) Naturally, upon reaching her destination in the upper crust of the abyss, she is mistaken for a servant and sent to sulk in the scullery. There, we get a fine comedic sequence in which Peg endeavors to fit everything in the room into her hungry mutt’s mouth:

Laurette Taylor is fantastic here–demonstrating why Broadway loved her; and why Hollywood asked the director to let her loose. (Michael is great too–and, at several points, this pair looks ahead to the quintessential girl and her dog moment in American cinema: the “Over the Rainbow” scene–directed by King Vidor–in The Wizard of Oz.) Taylor is an extraordinary light comedian. The problem with the rest of the film is that it asks us to take Peg/Margaret’s ordeal seriously. It’s not that the actress lacks emotional range. It’s just that everything falls into place so schematically (and the camera generally adopts such a respectfully objective perspective upon the events), that a favourable outcome is never in doubt. That’s not a problem in the bravura set-up that Vidor gives us within the main hall of the mansion on a stormy night:

Nor do we notice the film’s deficiencies while it gambols through the apple orchard next door (owned by “farmer” Jerry–who, of course, turns out to be an English Lord with a heart of gold–to make up for the terrible Chichesters, who lord it over our Peg like a pack of wicked Cinderella cast members):

Every time the director gives us Peg (and Michael) shooting toward the camera out of a sublime natural background, we are back in prime Vidor territory. The problem is that these are undercut by the “stagier” (not a term I generally bother with, but in this case it actually insists upon itself) “plot point” moments:

The story of King Vidor’s oeuvre will be a gradual movement toward the complete eradication of scenes like the one above (do you care what’s happening in it? Of course you don’t)–a process that will disclose the startling fact that the 19th century melodrama of coincidence and external vicissitude can provide a magnificent vehicle for dramatizing the confused journey of the modern subject through the deceptively bright murk of  “participatory” democracy.

But all of that’s still to come! For now, I’ll content myself with pointing out a very characteristic Vidor gambit which livens up the intertitles at the eleventh hour. As I hinted earlier, good ol’ Lord Jerry eventually comes through and professes his undying love for Margaret (whom HE also takes to calling “Peg O’ My Heart”). This is how melodrama always deals with politics/class oppression (i.e. by resolving conflict through a fantasy relationship):

The interesting thing, however, is that Vidor tacks on one last axiom (uttered by the ol’ rebel himself–Jim O’Connell) which superheats the sentimentality of the above words :

Same surface meaning–but what a difference! These words could easily serve as the interpretive key to the director’s entire filmography. For King Vidor, love can, indeed, affect the world. However, very soon now, the gloves will be off, and the effects won’t always be so pretty. In fact, more often than not, they’ll be as twisted as life itself.

good night friends!


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King Vidor’s The Sky Pilot (1921) finds the director coming into his own as Hollywood’s primary exponent of an “open-air religion” in the Emersonian tradition. The interpretive key to the film is contained within the title. “Sky pilot”, it seems, is western roughneck slang for “preacher”–and the narrative constitutes a sustained investigation of the proper role for (and identity of) a “person of faith” in the modern world.

As the introductory title card above makes clear, the minister from Montreal (protagonist Arthur Wellington Moore) goes West (to the Canadian Rocky mountain town of “Swan Creek”) on your basic “civilizing mission”. Of course, Arthur is no fire-and-brimstone type that Walter Huston might play. He’s clearly an Anglican (that’s Episcopalian in American)–and he’s enough of a man of the world to march straight into the settlement’s main “watering hole” (although he’s not enough of one to drink anything there but water).

We begin with some beautiful outdoor camerawork:

That figure on horseback is our dear Sky Pilot, whose arrival anticipates Jimmy Stewart’s famous 1939 ride into Destry:

He’s a gentle guy. A friend to animals. And he carries an umbrella at all times. He’s a rational believer in Christian virtue and “civilized” foresight.

This is a King Vidor character?

Well… not really.

I mean… yes…  he’s got “eponymity”  goin’ for him–but the director actually cares a lot more about this guy:

[That’s cowboy Bill Hendricks, played by future director David Butler, interrupting a sermon on the loaves and the fishes to ask whether the Savior might be inclined to get the entire congregation lit, for free–on the (meeting)house]

And this woman:

[That’s cowgirl Gwen–played by the amazing Colleen Moore, just a little before she flappered her wings to stardom]

By bringing these three characters into collision, Vidor is able to restage the Transcendentalist manifesto of the 1830s within the already-familiar confines of an emergent popular genre of the 20th century–the Western. What is the Transcendentalist thesis? Well, for the long answer to that question, in all of its splendid complexity, I’ll refer you to Emerson’s Nature. The short answer is this: at some point, not too many decades after the American Revolution (basically THE single most successful political fruit of Enlightenment rationalism… you could argue that the French Revolution is more important–and I’d agree that it IS, but I’d also argue that it is better understood as a product of Romanticism), there weren’t ANY first-rate intellectuals of the Old Predestinarian Calvinist school left (in contrast, the greatest American thinker of the 18th century had been the ol’ Neo-Puritan himself–Jonathan Edwards). So hellfire was passe–but the new, mild humanism of liberal theologians had little in it to stir the blood of a passionate (Emerson called it “the corpse cold Unitarianism of Brattle Street). What was a literary and philosophical radical to do? Well, they (Emerson, Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker–and even, in their less optimistic ways, Melville, Dickinson and Hawthorne) came up with some pretty interesting answers to that question, in the vicinity of Concord, Massachusetts, circa 1830-1855 (F.O. Mathiessen’s “American Renaissance”). Most of them involved the rejection of ALL doctrine (and all external moral authority), the sloughing off of supernatural claptrap, and the exaltation of human potential (both individual and, in some cases, collective) to hitherto undreamed-of heights.

How does all of that apply to The Sky Pilot?

Well, what we have, to start with, are a group of people whose capacity for spiritual greatness is seriously impaired by a pernicious metaphysical binary: the idea that humans must choose to be either mild or wild. The Eastern preacher believes that a month of Sundays’ worth of parables will settle his flock down, and reconcile them to the modern status quo. The Westerners (Bill and Gwen) are equally committed to an ethic of strenuous libertinism that aspires, at least, to complete amorality. For these characters, life is a test of strength, pure and simple, and a “Sky Pilot” can’t do anything but cloud the issue. Both Bill and Gwen respond warmly to him at first (Bill helps him to arrange a meeting at the saloon; and Gwen makes silent movie eyes at him–after rescuing him from a near-drowning experience); but each one reacts violently, in his or her own way, to Arthur’s “corpse cold” qualities. Bill starts at a fight at the very meeting he helped to set up (which he loses, by the way… however, characteristically of Vidor, mere physical prowess has nothing to do with spiritual greatness… so the preacher can box? So what? He’s still not worth listening to, if he’s just gonna stand up there and spout parables) ; Gwen banishes Arthur from her ranch, as soon as she learns his true vocation.

The (sledgehammer) irony of this narrative is that Arthur Wellington Moore does manage to affect his new congregation–whenever he steps down from the pulpit (or, cockpit?) It does achieve its ultimate effect in an interesting way though. The first half of the film plays out like a “straight” (pun intended) “buddy film”. Arthur and Bill seem to be falling in love–in that patriarchal opposites attract kind of way that homosocial action directors have been shoving down our throats for the past 90 years. However, as things move along, Colleen Moore’s spiritual crisis takes center stage.

When we first meet her, riding in to save Arthur’s day, she gives every appearance of being the first in a long line of Vidorian powerhouse females:

And she IS that, in a way. However, Vidor’s plot forces her to take two steps back  (she loses the use of her legs and becomes an infantilized invalid–cradling dolls and looking simperingly at the camera after being trampled in a stampede engineered by evil rustlers–whom we really don’t need to talk about… but one of them is actually called “The Duke”), before she takes a transcendental leap forward beyond her body’s limitations in the finale… By “standing up for her man” (who is once again about to become–literally–“corpse cold”), Gwen enters a state of grace and emerges as the true protagonist of The Sky Pilot.

Again–this takes us by surprise–because Vidor leads us to believe that Bill’s behind-the-scenes plan to build a real church for his beloved pal Arthur is driving the narrative. Suitably impressed by the preacher’s man’s man skills around the ranch, Bill and all of the other guys relent and decide that, just as Paris was worth a mass to Henry IV, Arthur is worth a sermon. But Vidor’s handy “evil rustlers” once again intervene to save the film from its superficial tendencies–taking us from THIS scene:

Yay! Let's humour the Sky Pilot by building him a church!

To this one:

Oh no! Sky Pilot crashes and burns on the runway to Christ!

And opening the way for THIS transformation:

From soft-focus victim (a Griffithian tableau).

To paragon of heroism–powered not by “wild” faith in one’s own physical prowess, nor by a “mild” faith in rational progress, but by an influx of a purely human “Holy Spirit” born of concern for another being–and belief in the individual’s ability to overcome all merely contingent realities (without any supernatural intervention):

ONLY King Vidor, in Hollywood 1921, would have chosen to make a film about a woman’s accession to a state of grace (not through suffering, but through transcendent moral agency). And even Vidor couldn’t sell that idea without couching it in the buddy drama/civilizing mission narrative that I described earlier. However, I think it’s wonderfully significant that the “Sky Pilot” never does get to preach a sermon–and that Colleen Moore’s Gwen emerges as the true protagonist of the movie from the ashes of the newly-built church that seemed to provide a natural terminus for both of its “false plots”.

see you soon friends!


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With The Jack-Knife Man (1920), the Vidor oeuvre proper commences. The recruiting poster poseur of Bud’s Recruit is out. The Backyard Expressionist is IN. For the next four decades, before his creativity finally jack-knifed on the highway to Monism, Vidor managed to keep his camera trained on the crossroads between Mid-Victorian Melodrama and Modernist Mindfuck. It’s a rich symbiosis of incident and interiority; surface and surfeit subjectivity. You’re never lost in a Vidor film–but you never know quite where you stand, either. If you’re looking for the missing link between D.W. Griffith and David Lynch–you’ve come to the right place!

Like all of the director’s films, The Jack-Knife Man places the ideal and the quotidian worlds side by side, and then steps back to see (and show) how things’ll play out this time. Nothing is predetermined in these movies. And there’s never anything so simple as a mere clash between the subjective and objective realms. Vidor understands that these terms have no meaning without each other. We get “dreamers”. We get “reality”. What we don’t get is a Capraesque war to the knife between the two. Don’t get me wrong–I love Frank Capra. In the ol’ university days, I wrote reams of papers about his place within the “American Jeremiad” tradition discussed by Perry Miller, Sacvan Bercovitch and others. It’s just that, these days, I’m more interested in exploring the messy ways people have of transplanting their hopes directly out of (and then back into) the plots that they’re born into. Capra gives us too much metaphysical hierarchy–too little insight. His prophets simply wander into town from Mandrake Falls and outlast the cynics (all audience surrogates). Their ideas are never tested–only their ability to preach is. It’s interesting stuff, and I’m always gonna love it–but I think it rests upon shaky (or, rather, far too secure!) foundations. The imagination, or the human spirit, or the visionary impulse, or whatever you wanna call it, just isn’t that autonomous. I’m not saying that the mind isn’t its own place–it most definitely IS! But there ARE ways to get to it (like those secret passages in Clue) from the material and social world. And no one can get you from the Kitchen to the Study (and back and forth and back again) like King Vidor.

Case in point, our “jack-knife man” himself, Peter Lane (beautifully played by old pro F.A. Turner):

When we first meet him, he’s not a jack-knife man at all! He’s an old codger who lives in a “shanty-boat”, keeps to himself, makes lots of coffee (man do I ever love filmed scenes of people making coffee! Kings Row is the best for that) and busies himself by fidgeting with clocks …. “a tin clock is just like a baby,” he tells a rebuffed boat-buyer, “she don’t do a thing you’d expect all day long!”

Really Pete?

In Capra, this would be presented as wisdom. A simple insulating mechanism that would help to keep the protagonist “pure”–like Longfellow Deeds’ tuba or Long John Willoughby’s “doohickey”. In Vidor, it is purely and simply naivety–the kind that has to be dispensed with. It’s not the world that needs Peter (like NYC needs Deeds)–it’s the other way around. This guy, basically, needs a life. It’s not that he must abandon his inner being for the inauthentic hustle of the metropolis (that’s a false, Capraesque distinction)–it’s that he needs to put his imagination into Port Real for badly needed repairs.

And that’s precisely what happens. Peter Lane–shanty-boat recluse–is laid low, not by the Holy Spirit, but by the irruption of a badly broken family into his home. In good epiphanic fashion, the big change is highlighted by a burst of light:

Said light is generated by a particularly vicious storm–which drives Lize Merdin and her young charge “Buddy” into Peter’s cubbyhole universe. The woman is near death–and the boy is starved (but quite affable). The old man does what he can to comfort them, settling Lize on a cot and heading out into the rain to trade his beloved clock for some crucial victuals!

At this point, we are introduced to the Widow Potter–who starts out seeming like Aunt March in Little Women, but is very quickly revealed to be more of a Marilla Cuthbert (that’s Anne of Green Gables, young adult fiction fans!) type. Gruff with a heart of gold. Even more intriguing–she’s kind of in love with our Peter (and wishes he’d grow up)…  When the middle-aged lady retires to her rocker and her knitting, Vidor hits us with a virtuoso move that takes us from “naturalism” to “lyricism” in the blink of an eye–as an image of Peter as domestic companion appears facing her:

Embodied goodwill has a way of  “rolling through all things” in The Jack-Knife Man–and this scene clues us in to the fact that the visionary world presented by the film emanates from more than one source. From here on out, it will be a (growing) team effort–with dreams folding into dreams in a snowballing avalanche of tender misprision.

Along the way, we meet another (far more extroverted) artist figure. The singing vagabond–“Booge”–who delights Buddy with his music and his footloose noncomformity:

This happy wanderer will be back–after a little jaunt to the hoosegow.

But first–to the Jack-Knife!

Our friend Peter takes up this charming habit as a direct result of being shaken out of his comfort zone by dire necessity… Lize dies the next morning–and young Buddy must be consoled! And so he gets a “veritable Noah’s Ark” of jack-knife carved animals to play with:

These creatures are not pure natives of Peter’s mind–they are NOT his gift to the world (as I have said, left to his own devices, Peter’s preference is for rusty old clocks–in Vidor, the hermit is not a “sage”, he is a robot). Rather, the animals are the issue of this man’s long-delayed plunge into the inter-subjective world. They do not represent a “going-forth” of the spirit. They are the emblems of a soul’s expansion. This point is definitely established later on, when “New York Clubwoman Marcia Montgomery” comes to town (dazzled by tales of the toys). She, of course, assumes that he was moved to create them by some inner artistic impulse–and Peter sets her straight: “I did them to please Buddy.” They had no prior existence in his mind. They were called forth by a particular person, in a particular situation.

Well, she responds, there are thousands of Buddys out there, each of whom might be comforted by his unique gifts (and again the friendly wraiths appear):

And, with that, we are off to the races!

–After a harrowing interlude caused by the malicious interference of the Dickensian bureaucrat Rasmer Briggles–who rounds up orphans at $20 a head and places them in the most uncongenial homes possible, the Widow Potter finds Buddy and adopts him (along with his long-lost sister Susie!)

–The Jack-Knife Man achieves a measure of celebrity (and makes enough money to shave and buy his OWN bread, every once in a while)–thanks in large part to the kind influence of Marcia Montgomery, played by the lustrous Florence Vidor (then married to the director):

–On a work camp, “Booge” learns that Buddy and Susie are actually HIS children (he had been married, unhappily, to Lize Merdin–in another life)

–A grown-up Peter Lane returns to the sticks in a marryin’ mood–much to the delight of the Widow Potter:

–and, in a boldly Victorian gambit of coincidence, “Booge” wanders back onto the scene just in time to witness the genesis of the happy home he himself was never able to provide for his children, or for Lizzie. Of course he leaps clear of this “happy ending juggernaut”–adding one more layer of visionary subjectivity wrapped in the prosaic trappings of the “real” (and stunningly anticipating a similar–even more potent–moment from Vidor’s 1937 film Stella Dallas):

Whose dream IS THIS, anyway?

I’ll leave you with that!

Next time: The Sky Pilot (1921)

Good night friends!


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Fantasia Island

Yes, Fantasia is now in full swing–and Anagramsci friend David Bradford will be covering a movie a day at Press Pass and Hegemony!

Find out just how close a man and his cinephilia can get to world domination.

And stay tuned for more King Vidor posts from me later this week!


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Made in 1917–the year the U.S. plunged into “The Great War”–Bud’s Recruit gives us the King at his callowest. Financed and written by “Boy City” impresario Judge Willis Brown (sort of the poor man’s Father Flanagan),  and certainly circumscribed by that stodgy gavel-wielder’s point of view, this flag-waving short nevertheless manages to ring up the curtain on its 23-year old director’s master subject in a very interesting way. For Hollywood’s premiere Transcendentalist, the eternal conflict (and the strange interdependence) between individual will and collective action is the source of ALL drama. Bud’s Recruit reduces the paradox-ridden drive to simultaneously make and break society’s rules to its purest (and most naive) terms.

A very precisely structured two-reeler, the film begins by introducing us to Bud at play with his disturbingly well-equipped little pals:

While performing mock-maneuvers in the idyllic countryside, the youngest member of the group falls behind and pretty much gives up:

That pup is sympathetic, but the tyke’s human comrades are less forgiving.

“What’s the penalty for desertion?” Bud asks.

Why, “Death!” of course…

And so:

Fortunately, this particular slacker’s mom happens onto the scene just as the mob closes in upon him with their toy bayonets. In another director’s film, this little vignette might serve as an indictment of the untrammeled will.

Not here.

Mom doesn’t stoop to moral suasion. She pumps her fists until they run away, then smacks the hell out of a scarecrow/tackling dummy version of the Kaiser–just to drive home the point that violence, when directed against the proper target, is as American as apple pie.

High spirited kids (and kids at heart), playing deadly serious games–that’s what King Vidor’s all about.

Thwarted in the attempt to bring his battlefield of dreams to life, Bud Gilbert heads home for dinner. There, we meet Mom (a leading light in the pacifist movement), the family’s  Black butler, and effete brother “Reggie”–a real lawn-chair lizard:

We are quickly informed that Reggie has drawn a lucky number in the draft lottery, and can look forward to at least two more years of the free and easy civilian life. This pleases Reggie, who has a lot of tennis-playing and cardigan-wearing that he needs to do. Mrs. Gilbert is, of course, equally pleased–her motto is “Peace at any Price”. Reggie’s girlfriend Eliza is torn. She wants him to be safe, but she doesn’t like thinking about the “yellower” implications of his behaviour. Bud–like all good Vidor protagonists–has no doubts at all: Reggie is the scum of the earth. When he realizes that the dinner is to be “meatless” (thanks to rationing demands) as well as spineless, he goes up to his room doubly disgusted.

We catch a glimpse of Vidor’s progressive (by 1917/1918 standards) racial attitudes in the relationships he establishes between the respective bothers and their butler. Reggie takes the manservant completely for granted, never looking him in the eye or engaging him in unnecessary conversation. Bud, on the other hand, enjoys a fun, bantering camaraderie with the distinguished older man, who takes pity on his young charge and sneaks a steak up to him:

By George Washington, he's got it!

The remainder of the plot is quite bizarre, but has a beautifully mechanistic logic to it.

The “pacifists” are exposed as small-minded–even querulous–old biddies:

Reggie’s despicable nature reaches its apotheosis in this mocking salute to all that is foppish and ungallant:

Eliza sprouts a conspicuously star spangled appendage:

And Bud decides to save the family honour by stealing his brother’s draft card, donning a fake moustache and reporting (as Reggie) as a voluntary recruit:

When the local paper lists Reggie on its “Honor Roll” of boys who’ve done the right thing by their country, the real elder Gilbert has a big decision to make. Bud, never doubting his brother’s incapacity to be a mensch, lays it all out for us: “you’ll have to leave town immediately!”

But then the movie throws us kind of a curve, via an expertly Griffithian cross-cut sequence that alternates between a dejected Reggie (surrounded by train station propaganda posters) and an exultant Bud (preparing to become the army’s first felt-moustached doughboy). Finally, Reggie mans up and cries “Uncle Sam”:

Look at 'im go!!!

The really amazing thing about all of this is that Bud’s Recruit is NOT about Reggie’s gradual progression from hopelessly self-centered wuss to champion of the democratic freedoms. If it was, would our last shot of “Bud’s Recruit” (i.e. Reggie) look like this?

I think not.

The film’s true subject is Bud’s quest to become (in Shelleyan terms) the unacknowledged legislator of his little world. Vidor is Hollywood’s supreme poet of the Will–with all of the exciting and disturbing implications that come along with that title. In later years, the director’s protagonists will generally have far more complex aims–and more nebulous foes than “The Kaiser” (culminating in a series of extraordinary melodramas that stage and re-stage the battle between One Strong Woman and Patriarchy Itself–but those are a long way off). For now though, we have a young man and his (technically not) technicolor dreams:

I’ll close with the movie’s moving final image–and its dialect-diminished final tribute to…whom?

An astonishing statement to be attributed to a person living under the Apartheid conditions of the 1910s–but then, King Vidor’s America has never been any more grounded in reality than Bud’s. However–also like Bud–this director is destined to become a master of marshaling the trappings and surfaces of the social and material worlds into the cinematic service of the Emersonian Self.

See you soon friends!


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So where was I?

Oh yes! King Vidor!


Here’s the program (a discussion of every Vidor film I was able to get my hands on):

Bud’s Recruit (1918) The Jack-Knife Man (1920) The Sky Pilot (1921) Peg o’ My Heart (1922) Wild Oranges (1924) Wine of Youth (1924) The Big Parade (1925) La Bohème (1926) Bardelys the Magnificent (1926) The Crowd (1928) The Patsy, also known as The Politic Flapper (1928) Show People (1928) Hallelujah! (1929) Not So Dumb (1930) Billy the Kid, US TV title The Highwayman Rides (1930) Street Scene (1931) The Champ (1931) Cynara, US reissue title I Was Faithful (1932) Bird of Paradise (1932 Film) (1932) The Stranger’s Return (1933) Our Daily Bread (1934) So Red the Rose (1935) The Wedding Night (1935) The Texas Rangers (1936) Stella Dallas (1937) The Citadel (1938) The Wizard of Oz (1939) (Kansas scenes only) (uncredited) Northwest Passage (1940) Comrade X (1940) H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941) An American Romance (1944) Duel in the Sun (1946) On Our Merry Way, also known as A Miracle Can Happen (1948) Beyond the Forest (1949) The Fountainhead (1949) Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) Ruby Gentry (1952) Man Without a Star (1955) War and Peace (1956) Solomon and Sheba (1959)

More soon!

In the meantime–check out this awesome post on the Moench/Sienkiewicz Fantastic Four. (By Plok, of course!)

Bonne soiree!


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