“ What Al wouldn't have given for today's current DVD from Paramount, featuring a stunning print and over an hour's worth of fascinating extras!
“ But still, backed up by a fine score from Hugo Friedhofer and containing a rousing battle laden finale (apparently filmed by John Ford as director John Farrow had been called elsewhere), Hondo is a cinematic treat for like minded individuals.
“ Very enjoyable western based on a Louis L'Amour story that features Wayne as the title character.
“ This is a colorful and exciting John Wayne Western in which the Duke plays an archetype that he made his own.
“ For one thing, it is a film of great visual beauty; the desert terrain outside Ciudad Camargo (Chihuahua State, Mexico), where the movie was largely shot, is often breathtaking, and just about every outdoor scene seems to be adorned by stunning cloud formations.
“ However, in today's Hollywood, that type of empty moralizing is inexcusable.
“ The film is a well-made Western with a fine result, a colorful photograph and an enjoyable love story .
“Exciting and beautifully photographed film has a good cast and story, which is not as much of a soap opera as my summary may indicate!
“ As a Whole and Scene for Scene it is a Better Movie than Shane and is Richer and has a Broader Scope, is More Violent and Action Packed and is just More Entertaining.
“as for the the story,it's typical of most westerns,but it is action packed,and the dialogue is well written.
“ This exciting Western was released in three dimensional (3-D with some gimmickry) in the 50's, a highly topical exhibition mean , nowadays being successfully going back and including polarized glasses.
“ It deals with Hondo Lane (John Wayne) , a scout for the US cavalry, he meets Angie Lowe (Geraldine Page)and falls in love with her , in this typical and entertaining western of the the 50's .
“ And, we get these suspenseful moments where Wayne's Hondo comes in contact with the Apache and we see how his life with them as a youth honed his incredible skills at sensing the presence of possible danger from men hiding in the bushes or background.
“ What a rousing finale as Wayne must "circle the wagons" as the calvary and Apache engage in combat, except, in this movie's case, we see soldiers and warriors both die during this battle, not just the customary "savages" being wiped out(although Wayne, a scout, gets to lead the charge in grand style).
“ The first concerns the war between the Apaches and the US Army, culminating in that grand old Western cliché, the shootout as the Indians attack a wagon train.
“ The film also boasts several wonderful sequences, including Hondo fleeing from the Apaches on horseback, Hondo engaging in a knife fight with an Apache on top of a mesa, and, most memorably, Hondo "teaching" Johnny how to swim.
“ This exciting and colorful 3D film was released 50 years ago this week and remains an enjoyable action adventure today.
“ All of which gives Page the license to feed off Wayne's presence, to which it provides great interplay that makes the film a potent and intriguing character piece.
“ enjoyable ,action packed western .
“ The battle scenes are exciting, a series of hit-and-run cavalry-Indian fighting under bright blue skies and thick, fluffy clouds.
“ An epic intro but also sort of a slow burn into something that was just okay.
“ His height and size is jarringly obvious in a few scenes such as the horse breaking sequence and the stunning chase scene.
“ Unfortunately, the film goes downhill from there, focusing on an uninteresting conflict between the Cavalry and Indians.
“ Ward Bond is entertaining as always, while James Arness impresses as a more dubious character with whom Hondo must tangle.
“ They took Louis L'Amour's best novel and turned it into a quite good, enjoyable Western .
“ But while Stevens' film moves at a slow, deliberate pace, meticulously creating a near mythic vision, "Hondo" director John Farrow, working from a script by longtime Wayne scribe James Edward Grant (from Louis L'Amour story), cuts the exposition down to basics, giving the film a much leaner 'look', with a climax (actually directed by John Ford, as Farrow had scheduling problems with another film) that is so fast-paced that it can leave a viewer in 'midair', expecting more.
“ All in all, the movie's a first-rate oater, managing to combine poignant moments, personal honor, and grand-scale action into a highly entertaining package.
“ HONDO is a good entertaining western.
“No real plot holes, nice themes surrounding honor and the trade off between personal independence and family.
“ All in all, Hondo is an impressive oater starring one of the genre's greats at the top of his game - well worth watching.
“ Personally I felt the way the final battle scene was rather confusing.
“ In spite of a hackneyed script,John Farrow managed to make a very interesting film ,transcending all the clichés and telling us an absorbing story.
“ Page, a New York stage actress in her first film is very impressive and her early scenes with Wayne are engaging and pleasing.
“ The photography and location shooting are above par, stunning really.
“ They got bored and wandered off.
“The plot is contrived in multiple instances and pretty much forces our characters to behave as they do towards the latter stages of proceedings as every other bridge that could have been crossed has been usefully burned away by a methodical screenplay.
“ The actor carries the self- assurance well, but still the constancy does get tiresome.
“ The bottom line is that while "Hondo" may not be the Wayne masterpiece that "Stagecoach," "Red River" and "The Searchers" are, it yet remains a very solid, artfully made and highly entertaining picture.
“"Hondo" is really an enjoyable western where the Indians are not demeaned in the wake of "Broken arrow".
“ It stays like that for the rest of the picture, Wayne giving us a layered, tactile performance both enjoyable and deep.
“ Originally released in 3-D (which explains a few of the contrived action sequences).
“ Much better than a slow movie that drags.
“ As a result, "Hondo" isn't held in as high esteem as "Shane", but is certainly a rewarding, entertaining experience, with one of Wayne's best pre-"Searchers" performances, and Geraldine Page earning an Oscar nomination in her film debut.
“ Still, reasonably entertaining.