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cheyenne autumn (1964) – a review

Cheyenne Autumn was made in 1964. John Ford directed the movie and we are looking at two interchanges between actors James Stewart and Elizabeth Allen. This will only take about 15 minutes.

Stewart plays Wyatt Earp – LAWMAN, and Allen plays  Guinevere Plantangenet – possible prostitute

Here’s Elizabeth.

This is the basic framework of their relationship, but lets not step forward too soon.

We’re in the bar, it’s busy.

Guinevere is watching Wyatt playing cards with Doc Holliday – and she knows him but he, Earp, doesn’t know her. From Wichita. That’s where she knows him from.


Remember the OK Corral?

Earp was The Lawman there too, and like all upright men with government issued side-arms he would have had some spare time to play stud, drink a little whisky and pay polite attention to the working ladies about town.

This is part of a 15 minute comic scene that Warner Bros chopped from the first release of the  movie. Not being proper authentic enough. Not good box office, and it’s not my intention to draw attention to possible and inappropriate linking of ‘ box office ‘ and the common vernacular here. Though there is irony.

Guinevere gets histrionic when The Lawman doesn’t acknowledge a relationship, he would rather see his hand through. The lady is a stand-out  with her range of Dior outfits and $3,500 hair, everyday.  Earp himself is dapper little serial killer in a sharp seersucker outfit, white hat and queen high straight and he really does try hard to remember her face – those long intense gazes at her while she vents. All to no avail, he does not remember the face. We are almost at the Clinton Lewinsky stage of denial here. James bets two silver stacks.

One thing about James Stewart though, actor or not, when he says no everyone should walk away. Truth.

The plot thickens  – the US army leaves town, the Cheyenne mass on the horizon – everyone panics.

The definitive linking scene that follows is only about 30 seconds long.

~ ~

Earp and some other fellow are in a horse drawn carriage and are scarpering hard down the dusty roads, away from / or towards something violent – and there’s the hysterical Ms. Plantangenet reeling around on the dusty plain, on foot. Just over there. Maybe she took a cab.

– and she’s gone over.

We see long legs and knickers, white ones

– because she’s ripped her dress. Wild Indians !!!

How’s that for plot development, and just when you thought you had it all covered.

Read on.

Earp stops the carriage, somebody not a wild indian helps the stricken lady into the carriage. This is a small two-man carriage and here’s me thinking  that Wyatt was a onboard stallion character.

Then everything goes pear-shaped.

You have to give it to John Ford when it comes to Hollywood plot research – In fact he wrote the manual.

” Quote ” { Two (2) carriage horse ‘~’ drawn conveyance. Dodge City. Cheyenne attack. 3rd party female emergency accommodation method. ~ (Upend and insert.)}

So she’s in, upside down. Both her feet up on Wyatt Earp’s chest. Giddyap.

Despite the mayhem, he {Earp}, cannot but help to look down upon the comely damsel so hurriedly crammed at his feet – and who must have suffered a loss of intimate white apparel because it is only now, amidst the retributive carnage of the displaced Cheyenne Nation who are fighting their way back to their ancestral homelands, that he finally raises his head to his companion and says –

‘ Y’know, I think I do remember her now. ‘


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. joe green #

    all men like a good beaver

    June 12, 2012
  2. Ben #

    Nasty rough man. I mean Wyatt not Joe…obviously.

    June 15, 2012
  3. sjh #

    rough hand rubs his chin yep well ya know i always wondered what she looked like front on

    June 22, 2012

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