Thursday, June 19, 2008

Making Yer Bones

John Wayne made his bones as a leading man in The Big Trail (1930, Fox, $20.00, 158 minutes) Raoul Walsh’s western epic, a bust-out Hollywood cornfest, yet at the same time one of the great ambitious early westerns. The acting is stilted, just this side of the silent screen, but the stunts and extras employed will tickle yer eyes, as will director Walsh’s big screen vision. For Western buffs, viewing (or buying ) this DVD is a no-brainer, for students of Hollywood, almost as essential. For those drawn into the magic (and mystery) of big screen acting it will be a joy to witness Wayne‘s magical big screen qualities emerging; hidden behind a youthful countenance, a big-boned stance and a transparent swagger, and American icon coiled and ready to burst into cinematic flames.

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