, 87min, Omd/fU
John Ford's final film is set in China in 1935, where a group of American women, led by Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton), work as missionaries. One of the women, Florrie (Betty Field), is pregnant and accompanied by her husband, Charles (Eddie Albert), while the others are single and on their own. The mission has become crowded after a cholera epidemic forced several outsiders to flee a nearby British mission and seek shelter with the American group, while a Mongol warrior, Tunga Khan (Mike Mazurki), has assembled troops who are sacking the area. When a female doctor, Dr. D.L. Cartwright (Anne Bancroft), enters the picture, she attempts to bring humor and civility to the group, but her tough yet compassionate nature clashes with Agatha's by-the-book approach, and when Cartwright is willing to put her own safety at risk to gain the attentions of Tunga Khan and slow his onslaught, the group is strongly divided -- most of the women admire the doctor's bravery, but Agatha (who seems to have a non-professional interest in Cartwright herself) considers her foolish and reckless. (Mark Deming)
Of course there are films which I prefere. All of the films in which my friend John Wayne played the main character. That way I had a nice safety margin! And, </i>Fort Apache,<i> where there is action and humor and where, for the first time, my brothers of the Indian race are heroes presented in a positive light. And finally, the last of my feature length films for the moment, </i>7 Women,<i> a western that takes place in China, and in which all the cowboys are women!
I dont go to cinema anymore. I dont see why humanity likes that which stresses stupidity and lowliness. Sex, obscenity, violence, ugliness, decadence, degeneration dont interest me. Excesses disgust me. What I like is effort, the will to go beyond oneself. For me, life is to be oneself in the face of friends who you punch in the nose, and then you drink and sing together. It is the attraction to real women, and not the Miss
Bovarys. Its the fresh air, the great outdoors, the great hopes.
I am a pioneer, proud to be one. I warn you, despite the love I have for my profession, I hate to analyze it. To talk about it would give me the impression never to have done anything.</i><i>
</i>John Ford talking with Eric Leguèbe, 1965