Silent Saturday: 3 Bad Men
Plot: Three bad men with three great hats become attached to a woman after her father is killed and try to help her find a worthy husband during a late-70's Dakota gold rush.
I'm trying to have as much variety as possible to these 50+ silent movies I'll be watching this year. And I hadn't seen a Western yet (or at all that I can recall unless you'd count The General as a Western) and thought I'd mix one in here. What better place to start than John Ford?
But if you've seen this movie and you know me well enough, you know exactly what I'm going to focus on--the ridiculous hats of the title characters. I mean, just check these sons of bitches out:
Although there are some comedic elements in this story, it's very much a melodrama and romance. You'd be fooled into thinking it's a full-fledged comedy though by looking at these hats. I never bothered figuring out the characters' names. I just knew them as Top Hat Guy, Scarecrow Hat Guy, and Wacky Train Conductor Guy.
The guy who played the corrupt sheriff in this looked a lot like Gene Wilder from certain angles. He had a white cowboy hat, another accessory I obsessed over. A white hat in a the Wild West? Wouldn't it get extremely filthy? I wanted to buy a pair of white pants the other night when I was out and about with my wife, and she wouldn't let me because she said I'd ruin them the first time I ate while wearing them. The Wild West, as I've learned from countless Westerns, is not a clean place. So is a white hat really the best idea?
I enjoyed this story of the titular bad men's redemption. Ford's visual gifts are on display with some of the landscapes shown off here, and there's an interesting use of sun rays in a lot of the shots. Either that or I was watching a print of this that was jacked up and made it look like there were sun rays in a bunch of shots. Either way, I thought it was kind of cool. I also enjoyed a hectic "rush" sequence that looked genuinely dangerous, especially for a baby used as a prop. There were some terrific stunts, some right up there with the stuff we're seeing 90 years later in Magnificent Seven remakes, and a ton of stuff to see.
The female love interest is played by Olive Borden who I thought was stunning. Why were women in these 1920's movies so beautiful?
Man, oh man. There's a great scene where she's taking a bath in a barrel, and although you don't get to see anything but her arm, shoulders, and head, that scene really did it for me. It's likely because I haven't had sex in months because my wife doesn't want to have intercourse with a man who wants to buy a pair of white pants.