Friday, October 15, 2021

My Ten Favorite Glenn Ford Movies

Glenn Ford is one of my top five favorite actors.  It took me about twenty years to realize he ranked that highly on my list, but he truly does deserve that spot.  I have never seen him turn in a performance I did not enjoy, and some of his movies are incredibly dear to my heart.  So here are my ten favorite films of his!

1. Blackboard Jungle (1955) A WWII-vet (Glenn Ford) becomes a teacher at an inner-city NYC high school where the other teachers have given up trying to educate the hoodlums in their classrooms.  Though he tangles with one particularly vicious student (Vic Morrow), this new teacher manages to get through to most of the students, including one bright kid (Sidney Poitier) with a big chip on his shoulder.

2. 3:10 to Yuma (1957) A down-on-his-luck rancher (Van Heflin) takes a job transporting a wily outlaw (Glenn Ford) to the train that will take him to the state penitentiary in Yuma, Arizona.  The outlaw does everything in his considerable powers to convince the rancher to let him go, resulting in a simmering suspense story that eventually boils over in a surprisingly upbeat climax.

3. The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) An unassuming shopkeeper (Glenn Ford) is secretly also the fastest draw in the west.  His reputation keeps drawing bad men to him, eager to see if they're faster than he is, which causes a lot of trouble for him, his wife, and the town they moved to recently.

4. Texas (1941) Two young Civil War veterans (Glenn Ford and William Holden) have a series of adventures in Texas as they try to make their way in the world, one of them on the right side of the law and one on the wrong. 

5. Imitation General (1958) A non-com (Glenn Ford) pretends to be a general to boost morale of a group of American soldiers cut off from their own lines during WWII in France, with humorous results.  Red Buttons and a very young Dean Jones both add so much to the fun.

6. The Big Heat (1953) A widowed policeman (Glenn Ford) tracks down the criminals who murdered his wife (including a vicious one played by Lee Marvin) with help from a former pal of theirs (Gloria Grahame).

7. The Sheepman (1958) A sheep rancher (Glenn Ford) insists on raising his sheep in an area dominated by cattle ranchers, no matter how much they pressure or cajole him to be rid of the wooly beasts.  The presence of a stubborn and sassy woman (Shirley MacLaine) elevates this above turning into yet another range war picture.

8. The Violent Men (1955) A small rancher (Glenn Ford) is pressured by a big rancher (Edward G. Robinson) with a nasty wife (Barbara Stanwyck) to sell his land to them, but he gets all stubborn and refuses, and then things get violent, as you might expect from the title. 

9. The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) A bunch of escaped convicts (led by one played by Glenn Ford) hide out in a snowbound farm town inhabited mostly by women (particularly one played by Gene Tierney) left behind by the men who are part of a posse chasing the convicts.

10. The Gazebo (1959) A playwright (Glenn Ford) gets blackmailed over some scandalous old photos of his actress wife (Debbie Reynolds) and decides to kill the blackmailer rather than keep paying him.  Which leads to very dark comedy that has me in absolute stitches, though my husband didn't find it nearly so funny because he said that Glenn Ford was too good at communicating fear and worry, and so my husband just kept feeling afraid and worried for him.  So YMMV.

This has been my first contribution for the Glenn Ford Blogathon that I am co-hosting with Coffee, Classics, and Craziness this weekend!  Check this post for the list of contributions.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, I didn't expect there to be so many movies on your list I've never seen of his! I'd watched so many during my GF phase, but apparently not. LOL! Never even heard of The Gazebo!

    Great list! It says a lot for how many movies he's made that only 3 of yours would be on my own list. Maybe 4... would have to re-see some movies. :-D

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    1. DKoren, that's so interesting! Especially since we both gravitate toward westerns in general, so you'd think we'd share more of these. I have NO idea if you would think The Gazebo is funny or not -- but since you love the dark humor of We're No Angels, I think you might? It's one of those movies where everything just goes wrong constantly, but it's so ridiculously funny (and GF just does the best double takes and reaction shots ever) that I cannot take it seriously. My mom and I laughed so hard over it one night, we woke my kids up.

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    2. I've never seen the Sheepman or the Convict Lake one. Well, I've started the Convict lake one a couple different times, but I just couldn't stick with it either time.

      For the Gazebo, I don't know... if too many thing go wrong, it stresses me out and I can't watch. Like some Laurel & Hardy shorts. I adore L&H to pieces but every now and then, I cannot watch one of their shorts because too many things go wrong (my mom, M, and sister are laughing like crazy, but I have to look away). So... I'll just have to find The Gazebo sometime and find out!

      The Redhead and the Cowboy would be a Western of his that makes my favorite list that I'm not sure you've seen. And non-Western, but Plunder of the Sun is very near the top of my list. I'm overdue to re-watch that one!

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    3. I realized I've never actually reviewed Plunder of the Sun on my blog, so if I finish edits and have time, I might try and squeak a review in before the blogathon wraps up. :-)

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    4. I've seen both Sheepman and Convict Lake twice, and it galls me that Convict Lake isn't available on DVD, so I had to watch it on YouTube. It's a slower burn, definitely. Sheepman makes me chuckle a lot, as Glenn Ford and Shirley MacLaine seem to be sharing some private joke in all their scenes together, which cracks me up.

      I have several of his westerns on my TBW piles, but not The Redhead and the Cowboy. Definitely have not seen it, so I really should, since you love it!

      Plunder of the Sun almost made it onto this list. I could swap it out for Convict Lake, probably, and still be happy with this list.

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  2. No mention of his portrayal of Admiral Spruance in "Midway?" Actually, that's why this a a tremendous list!

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    1. J-Dub, um, so, yeah... I absolutely and wholeheartedly adore the 2019 movie about Midway... but the old one is... boring :-o Yes, I said it ;-)

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  3. My, my, I have only seen three from your awesome list which means I have a lot of Glenn Ford goodness ahead! Not a bad thing, right? ;)

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    1. Muse, I'm glad I can point you to some new Glenn Ford titles to enjoy!!!

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  4. Okay, I NEED to watch Imitation General and The Big Heat. Pretty much right away. =) Great list!!

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    1. Eva, uh, yes, you do. Especially Imitation General. He's really wonderful in The Big Heat too, but you will like IG better.

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