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 Posted: Wed Nov 8th, 2006 10:55 am
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Widow
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Joined: Tue Sep 19th, 2006
Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
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Howdy from NoVa, Basecat,

You're absolutely right that Ken Curtis sang lead with the Sons of the Pioneers.  In "Rio Grande," they were the regimental singers.  He had a nice voice.  He was in "Rio Grande" and "The Horse Soldiers," both were Ford/Wayne movies.  Many years later, he played an elderly rancher in "Connagher," a Sam Elliott western.  I didn't watch "Gunsmoke" enough to know about Festus.

"Rio Grande" was filmed in Monmument Valley near Moab, Utah, and the river was actually the Colorado.  Monument Valley sprawls across Utah and Arizona, where it lies in the Navajo Reservation.  In the reservation, there were no towns and hardly any roads, so Moab was John Ford's base whenever he filmed in the valley.

"The Searchers" was the darkest of Ford's westerns.  The only part of it I liked was the magnificent scenery.  I saw it several times when in came out in 1956, but I didn't like it.  Fifty years later, I bought the DVD, hoping that maybe my perspective had changed and that I would see it differently, but alas, no.  There's something about it that just sets my teeth on edge.

It has to do with snatching the kidnapped white girl (Natalie Wood) away from the only life she has known among the Comanches and shoving her into the alien and hostile society of the whites.  Her uncle Ethan never asked her what she wanted, he just did what he wanted.  That's the best I can explain my dislike of "The Searchers."

Patty

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