John Ford doing remakes: wtf? The Lost Patrol is now the earliest film I’ve seen from the man’s filmography (increasing my total to a whole 7 out of over 100 films) and though not my favorite I can honestly say that I can’t find a bad thing to say about it.
Clocking in at a brisk 73 minutes it sort of feels like one of those books that are a collection of various samples of an author’s works, The Essential Poe, A Bukowski Read, inside there might be some fantastic stuff, like Karloff’s performance & lite surface deep meditations on both the existential dilemma of choice and living with the consequences & the madness that overcomes an individual when searching for a meaning & purpose with too much fervor.
Eventually these dilemmas lead to basically every man in the company to some degree or another of madness as seen most blatantly in Karloff’s character, who in the end marches to his death, in christ like garments carrying a giant makeshift cross. implying that if there is a god he doesn’t care about the activities of man.
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962, John Ford) 9.25/10
- キッズ・リターン [Kids Return] (1996, Takeshi Kitano) 8.75/10
- the Lost Patrol (1934, John Ford) 9.25/10
Ball of Fire (1941, Howard Hawks) 10/10
Pickup on South Street (1953, Samuel Fuller) 9/10
トウキョウソナタ [Tokyo Sonata] (2008, Kiyoshi Kurosawa) 8.75/10
Les statues meurent aussi (1953, Chris Marker & Alain Resnais) 9.5/10
Ici et ailleurs (1976, Godard, Gorin & Miéville) 9.25/10
Westworld (1973, Michael Crichton) 7.25/10
Seconds (1966, John Frankenheimer) 10/10
Mr. Arkadin (1955, Orson Welles) 9.5/10
Monkey Business (1952, Howard Hawks) 8.75/10
the Steel Helmet (1951, Samuel Fuller) 10/10
監督ばんざい! [Glory to the Filmmaker!] (2007, Takeshi Kitano)9.25/10
Takeshis’ (2005, Takeshi Kitano) 10/10
Alice in den Städten [Alice in the Cities] (1974, Wim Wenders) 10/10
Falsche Bewegung [the Wrong Movement] (1975, Wim Wenders)9.25/10
Mirrors (2008, Alexander Aja) 7.5/10
30 Days of Night (2007, David Slade) 4/10
A City of Sadness (1989, Hou Hsiao-Hsien) 10/10
Teeth (2007, Mitchell Lichtenstein) 3/10
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989, Hayao Miyazaki)8.5/10
Bronson (2008, Nicholas Winding Refn) 8/10
La Planète Sauvage [Fantastic Planet] (1973, René Laloux) 10/10
“Dead man’s nothin’ but a corpse. No one cares what he is now.”
This, among a few others, is one of the standout lines of dialogue in Fuller’s 1951 film about a group of soldiers fighting in the Korean war. You’d find yourself fairly hard pressed to find a film that better proves that Sam Fuller was ahead of his time; in 1951, 6 years after the end of world war II, nobody wanted to talk about the fact that Japanese American citizens were locked up in camps during the war (let alone the fact that the most honored group of American soldiers were Japanese men who were taken out of the camps & fought in Italy), then there’s the other elephant in the room; blacks are fine if they’re serving their country, but they’re shit out of luck if they want equal rights in ’51. Nobody else in American cinema would dare to have mentioned these things in their films, and Fuller handles it with such a blunt and sincere truth that there isn’t a hint of pretense or self-importance. I could play the jaded ass and say that the film is stating obvious things: war doesn’t care about children, religion is a pointless charade, war never ends (as is suggested by the title at the end declaring “There Is No End To This Story.”) but this isn’t the case, because these are truths that will never fade and I hope that, finally, one day this film finds its way into world wide acclaim and a place alongside the regularly cited greatest war films of all time.