Saturday, May 13, 2017

20 Images : 18. Siege At Red River


Of course, Indians go with cowboys like Sepia goes with Saturday. So following yesterday's wonderful studio portrait of a Native American, we seamlessly move on to a cinema still photograph from the 1954 movie "Siege At Red River".  I went through a phase recently of buying random movie stills - the kind that were displayed outside cinemas to tempt people to come and see the film they were advertising. The quality of the original photograph is usually good enough to produce an excellent scan and the images themselves are normally well out of copyright.

This particular image shows a trio of Hollywood stars - Van Johnson, Joanne Dru and Richard Boone - who are all involved in efforts to make sure that a Civil War Gatling Gun doesn't fall into the hands of Chief Yellow Hawk of the Sioux Nation (the philosophical and moral rationale for their actions is another question, but let us for the moment limit ourselves to the image).

The image does not only fit in with my convoluted passage through the twenty images I am featuring on News From Nowhere at the moment, it also - by a spoonful of design and a shovelful of happenstance - fits in with this week's Sepia Saturday theme image, which is a cinema still featuring an earlier generation of Hollywood talent.

You can see more variations of this Sepia theme by visiting the Sepia Saturday Blog and following the links. You can see where this convoluted journey on mine finishes by returning to News From Nowhere over the next couple of days.


  1. I'm picturing the director giving Van Johnson tips on punching that brow. Poor Joanne Dru having to wear a smudge in that scene.

  2. Ah they dont make ’em like that anymore - the movies or the stars! When I was young, there always seemed to be ‘Cowboys and Indians’ films on TV, those and Hollywood Musicals!

  3. I've always made it a kind of game to try to see - in the movie - the scene from which the box office 'come hither' poster still is taken. It's not as easy as you'd think because the scenes go by so fast, but I sometimes luck out!

  4. Gail, you reminded me of how many movie trailers have scores of music behind them, often the same exciting cuts from familiar classics, only to not have anything like that in the actual films. I wonder how they avoid having the same background music in previews of different movies in theaters at the same time. Carl Orf's Carmina Burana for instance!

  5. The movie's title and even the image mimic the recent headlines of protest by native Americans over the Canadian Keystone Pipeline project. But now it is Indians under siege.


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...