Skip to content

The Shepherd of the Hills (1941)

If one didn’t know better you’d think that you were watching a John Ford film here as many of the cast members are from Ford’s stock company. Not to worry as everything is handled quite professionally by that other old time veteran Henry Hathaway.

shepherd

The film is reminiscent of Hathaway’s earlier film Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Both were done in glorious technicolor and involved poor mountain folk.

This time out we get Harry Carey turning up in the Ozark Mountains looking to buy some property. As a stranger to the mountain clans, he is taken under the wing of young and beautiful Betty Field.

shepherd of the seven hills john wayne PDVD_005

She guides him though the mountains to meet up with Beulah Bondi. It is a parcel of land that she possesses which Carey is interested in. For the price of a thousand dollars she sells him the land.

This doesn’t sit well with the young man in Field’s life. John Wayne claims the land is his. It was his Mothers land and he has sworn vengeance on his father who deserted her while she was pregnant with the Duke.

duke shepherd

Carey is wonderful in this role and carries the film. It’s his character that has the past that will slowly come out as the film moves along. He’s educated and refined compared to the mountain people and his gentleness shines through as he wants nothing more than to settle down and help wherever he can. This includes doctoring and arranging for an elderly blind woman played by Marjorie Main to receive the gift of sight through modern medical procedures. The scene is both emotional and at the same time damning for Carey.

main and field

Long before the fade out we know that Carey is the Duke’s father but it’s the mystery of the circumstances that need to be played out and just how Duke will handle it.

While I am not overly fond of the superstitions played out by Beulah’s character and the wrap it up finale, there is much to appreciate here. Like many Duke films, Ward Bond’s in here but alas is underused this time out. We also get that other John Ford regular, John Qualen turning up.

The photography is beautiful as it was in the Lonesome Pine film. John Wayne is always worth watching in anything and with Stagecoach under his belt, he was well on his way by the time this film went before the cameras. He would of course work repeatedly with Hathaway on films including True Grit and The Sons of Katie Elder among others.

Betty Field is a joy to watch here as the young girl who’s wild, barefooted and waiting to be swept up by the Duke. The scene where Carey explains what a bank check is with her is a delight as is the follow through where he claims real money with it.

harry carey

Lastly I can’t say enough here about Harry Carey. A wonderful performance that isn’t really a performance at all. He brings that Spencer Tracy naturalness to the screen that it is impossible not to like.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

An Irreverent Blog of Old Movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

movies galore

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

An Irreverent Blog of Old Movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

movies galore

%d bloggers like this: