7 December 2007 | boblipton
John Ford at Fox
John Ford -- still credited as 'Jack' Ford -- moved from Universal to Fox and directed this Buck Jones comedy-drama as his first effort. He directed it competently for the era, without much in the way of flair, but it is interesting in that he would return to this theme of the ne'er-do-well who turns out to be a pretty nice guy throughout his career -- his best handling of the theme would probably be with the series of comedies he directed Will Rogers in a decade and a half later.
In the meantime, though, Ford was still finding his way, constrained by the fact that he was working with Buck Jones, a competent but not extraordinary actor, instead of Harry Carey; his mise-en-scene is constricted by the town setting of most of the show, although there are some nice shots about two-thirds of the way through when the robbery is being planned out of town by the bandits; and the lack of the extraordinary stock company of actors he would accumulate over the next forty years, The result is pleasant enough, although if it weren't for the fact this were a John Ford picture we wouldn't think it worthy of much commentary. Nonetheless, given that Ford is arguably the greatest director in the history of cinema, this movie is worth seeing, and our thanks are due to the people at Fox for making a beautiful DVD edition available in their amazing FORD AT FOX set.