Tuesday, May 29, 2007

remember the red river valley, or dogs in the ox-bow incident

the opening and closing shot of william wellman's the oxbow-incident, 1942, each with trotting dog and the song red river valley.
riders are henry fonda and harry morgan.
a nice structural touch to have the 2 riders going into town (at the beginning of the film), and leaving town (at the end of the film), with the same melody from red river valley, but the dog added a strange element. reminiscent of the paintings of pieter bruegel, where dogs play such an important role. and also the films of bela tarr, where dogs add an element of the absurd.

opening sequence:






harry morgan with eyes on the dog


closing sequence:






film includes francis ford (john ford's brother), marc lawrence (who plays cobby in john huston's asphalt jungle), dana andrews, jane darwell (from the john ford stock company), cinematography by the great arthur c. miller, written and produced by lamar trotti and adapted from the wonderful book by walter van tilburg clark.

2 comments:

kclare said...

So unrelated, but you've reminded me of how beautifully Tarkovsky uses dogs in his films...

the art of memory said...

yes yes, i think i have an image here somewhere.
t. had the idea of dogs in westerns, which sounds like alot of work, but a darn good post.
maybe dogs in art cinema as well......