“What are you squeezin’ that watch for?
Squeezin’ that watch ain’t gonna stop time.” Glenn Ford as Ben Wade / 3:10 to Yuma
Quiet on the set! Master at Work …
One critic has noted the likely influences of German Expressionist film makers in 3:10 to Yuma. Such insight is beyond my ken – so it’s much appreciated. Other, closer to home influences, are more obvious, as from Fred Zinnemann’sHigh Noon and John Ford’s Classics Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine … others.
No color? No Computer Generated Effects?
All the unique virtues of Black and Film making are in evidence. Plus more:
high angle … low angle … wide angle … echo shots … close ups … lighting … shot framing … scene composition … dramatic use of Light/Dark/Shadow … Direction …
Nearly every shot in 310 to Yuma is crafted … seamlessly and unpretentiously integrated.
Director Sergio Leone didn’t invent Close-Up shots, but he certainly was influential in their use.This is partly why The Appaloosa is often referred to as the “American Spaghetti Western” – as Director Sidney J. Furie uses close-ups extensively. The movie was also made during the height of Spaghetti Western popularity (1966) and has more than it’s share of Mexican banditos.
Leone’s Eyes … guess who ?
Leone’s Eyes …
Eastwood, Van Cleef, Wallach, Bronson
Furie’s Eyes … In your face Amigo
The Appaloosa – Screen shots – uncropped
“The truth is, whether your film is about the great mythological character you have to do right, or it’s a little movie that nobody ever heard of, you still approach it like it’s the most important thing in the world. But failing goes with the territory. Filmmakers are like gunslingers, and you don’t win every duel.”
“I haven’t lived a perfect life. I have regrets. But that’s from a lifetime of taking chances, making decisions, and trying not to be frozen. The only thing that I can do with my regrets is understand them.”
– Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner Western Filmography
Silverado (1985) / Dances With Wolves (1990) / Wyatt Earp (1994) /
Open Range (2003)
When you attend Art College, the first thing they do is take your colors away and lock ’em up. Then they hand you a black crayon and a piece of white paper and say: “Shut up and Draw, pardner.”
And draw you do.
In 1917 John Ford was handed a black crayon and a camera – and between 1917 and 1927 he drew 62 black and white ‘moving pictures’. ‘Silent films’ they called ’em.
Some 40 of these ‘pictures’ were lost – basically thrown away. But in the process Ford learned the Mastery of composition, framing and direction.
Then, about 1928, somebody said: “Hey … maybe this guy can help us figure out how to use this thing called ‘Sound’.”
Wikipedia: “Stagecoach (1939) was Ford’s first western since 3 Bad Men in 1926, and it was his first with sound. Reputedly Orson Welles watched Stagecoachforty times in preparation for making Citizen Kane. It remains one of the most admired and imitated of all Hollywood movies, not least for its climactic stagecoach chase and the hair-raising horse-jumping scene, performed by the stuntman Yakima Canutt.”
Ultimately, in 1939, Ford finally got his colors:
Wikipedia: “Drums along the Mohawk (1939) was a lavish frontier drama co-starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert it was also Ford’s first movie in colorand included uncredited script contributions by William Faulkner. It was a big box-office success, grossing $1.25 million in its first year in the US and earning Edna May Oliver a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.”
But Ford had learned something about Black and White – it could say things in dramatic ways that color often distracted from. So on occasion he went back to his black crayon and white slate, as in“The Man who shot Liberty Valence”.