EAN-130096898107334   EAN-13 barcode 0096898107334
UPC-A096898107334   UPC-A barcode 096898107334
Product NameThe Shepherd Of The Hills
CategoryElectronics / Photography: A/V Media: Music
Short DescriptionVhs
Amazon.comA Buy on Amazon ~ 078321541X
Long DescriptionDirector Henry Hathaway never hesitated to return to a picturesque location that had served him well. There's no more striking example than his sequel-in-spirit to the enchanting early-Technicolor Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936). This time, the enchantment is darker, just as Charles Lang Jr.'s stunning cinematography represents a quantum leap in sophistication over Trail's pleasant pictorialism. The long-running Appalachian feud of the earlier film is replaced by a spooky familial curse that has almost literally poisoned one Ozark household and could perpetuate a tragic cycle of violence and vengeance in another.

John Wayne would win an Oscar under Hathaway's direction three decades later (for True Grit), so it's all the more noteworthy that his performance in this singular yet neglected film--as a son sworn to kill the father he has never met--was his most complex to date. Perhaps Wayne was challenged by the company he was keeping, including New York stage veterans Betty Field (as his tomboy love), James Barton, and Marc Lawrence (cast against type as the mute, lightning-struck cousin who dotes on Wayne's every move). Or maybe it was the prospect of sharing the screen with that old lion and premier Western role model, Harry Carey. There's also powerful work by Beulah Bondi, who as a matriarch from hell all but gives off sulfur fumes, and by the amazing Marjorie Main, playing a blind woman who sees for the first time on a mountaintop above the clouds. Get ahold of this movie, and it will get a hold on you. --Richard T. Jameson

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