(On Cable TV, June 2019) I was fully prepared to, well, maybe not dislike She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, but at least not quite care for it. The topline description of the movie had nearly everything I don’t care about in a western: John Wayne, frontier fetishism, natives portrayed as bloodthirsty savages… But She Wore a Yellow Ribbon eventually gets better. For one thing, it’s in glorious Technicolor, with director John Ford showcasing Monument Valley at its best. For another, John Wayne isn’t playing the obnoxious creepy uncle characters he so often does, but a grizzled veteran about to retire and trying his best not to cause a war with the natives. (The similarities with Fort Apache are there—same director, star and setting, after all.) The film adds in a little bit of more evenly gendered content with a female character tagging along the expedition, and after a few bloody confrontations throughout the film, the climax actually avoids wide-scale bloodshed through clever tricks. I still don’t quite like She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, but I can respect it, and was frequently amazed at the truly exceptional cinematography featured throughout the film.