Saturday, July 12, 2014

John Ford Blogathon: Donovan's Reef

Here's a first for Dammaged Goods, a multi-site blogathon!  The topic?  The films of John Ford.  Co-hosted by Krell Laboratories and Bemused and Non-Plussed, which is run by an old college chum of mine who will forever be in my heart for her love of John Carpenter and buying me Wendy's with her leftover meal stipend.  I've seen a lot of Jack/Coach/Pop Ford's work but I can't say he's one of my favorite directors a la The Great Escape's John Sturges.  But this near week long event seemed like fun and something different than my usual 80's and 90's awesome bullshit.  Perusing through Ford's filmography, obvious titles like My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Quiet Man, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Searchers all jumped out at me but were already taken.  Then I realized that his 1963 "WWII buddies who brawl in Hawaii" effort Donovan's Reef was still up for grabs. I didn't realize the flick was one of Ford's last directorial efforts and that the production faced a multitude of issues from the start.  But we'll get into that...

Within the opening minutes of Donovan's Reef we meet Haleakaloha (actually Kauai, Hawaii).  A Navy veteran, Boats has been shanghai'd by the turtleneck clad, blackjack toting captain who gets a mop handle to the face as Boats makes his escape and swims to shore.  Then we meet

Away from the sun and surf in snowy Boston, we're introduced to Doc's estranged daughter; the upright, high nosed, bespectacled

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