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Pilgrimage (1933); John Ford
Topic Started: Dec 25 2007, 09:42 PM (323 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Pilgrimage (1933)
Fox Film Corporation
96 min. / B&W / 1.37:1

John Ford's Theatre #09

First, here's what I wrote about the film more than 10 years ago:

Well, I officially dedicated that colossal John Ford boxed (vaulted) Fox set today, and opted to begin with Pilgrimage, 'cause Paul Panzer said to (or at least was quoted that way).

It's a great movie -- that I'd never even heard of. Which I guess a lot of people are discovering.

I'm gonna try to avoid spoilers, but I still suggest you go watch it and let it be a total surprise, as it was for me.

Norman Foster is a young, poor farmboy in Arkansas who's madly in love with the girl next door, Marian Nixon, but his mother, Henrietta Crosman, is dead-set against it. She does what she can to impede the romance, and then when extracts a bitter revenge when her son chooses the girl over his mother.

At the beginning, I was sure this movie was going to be about the son; then, I thought it was going to be about the girl. To my shock, it ends up being about the mother. A wonderful pre-code film with shocks and surprises, beautiful sets and cinematography, and a wonderful, wonderful performance by Miss Crosman. Highly recommended. Terrific movie!


2018 update:

Yep, I still love the movie. Bristles with heart and if you don't get choked up at the end, well, what th' heck's wrong with you?

Million-dollar Dialog:
Ma: "Keep away from my boy!"
Girl: "But we LOVE each other!"
Ma: "Love ain't what *I* call it!"

Gorgeous sets, beautiful cinematography by George Schneiderman, a socko script, and a great performance by Henrietta Crosman. This is truly one of Mr. Ford's finest, most heartfelt works.
Edited by Laughing Gravy, Jan 8 2018, 06:35 PM.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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panzer the great & terrible
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Mouth Breather
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Yeah, I think it's Ford's best picture. I've had a grey market copy for years, but the quality of the DVD in the Fox set blows it away.
Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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Laughing Gravy
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Watched this again. Loved it. Ford's return to Fox (with a large salary cut) after being on the outs with studio brass.
Edited by Laughing Gravy, Jan 8 2018, 06:37 PM.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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