Irene Rich, Anna Lee, and Shirley Temple in Fort Apache, directed by John Ford, 1948.
Sometimes exposure to the stupid and hateful can guide one to the great and true. For some reason the phrase "heroic cowboy past" stuck out of a particularly pig-ignorant piece of prose by Andrew Klavan that I had the misfortune to read last week (and no, I ain't linking to that mess again), and it for some reason inspired me to look at this picture, not a cowboy film by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly one about the past, and about heroism, or how we come to define heroism. In any event a great film, and true, and one always worth revisiting. I was particularly struck by the Eisensteinean, shall we say, quality of the shot above, of three army wives watching their mates go off to war and probably death. It's always bracing, to say the least, to see imagery or cutting that we associate with silent cinema turn up so vividly in relatively recent "old" movies (I also think of the tree-felling scene early in George Stevens' Shane, made less than a half a decade after this film).