I could sniff the Preston Sturges influence before I read that he produced. The Lady Eve poured through a Looney Tunes sieve and all under 90 minutes with Veronica Lake in Edith Head outfits. The jokes aren't first rate but everything else is.
Of course I love the darkness of The Searchers, and its gorgeous cinematography even more. I dutifully watched Red River and Rio Bravo with the requisite reverence. The Quiet Man is fun and the fighting climax is rightly celebrated as a total blast. When I watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, I was mostly watching Jimmy Stewart. But having at last seen Stagecoach I now, finally, have learned to stop worrying and love John Wayne.
Wayne shares the throne…
My dad taped this when it originally aired stateside on PBS. When Mickey's Christmas Carol aired one of these tapes was used to record it for my sister and I who were both single-digit young.
Not much later my sister and I were both allowed to stay home sick from school alone. We put on MIckey's Christmas Carol which, with its grave opening into flaming Hell, was already at the limits of what induced fear in us.
The Christmas special…
I loved this movie as an 11 year old and rewatched it out of curiosity. This is a film about a very, very angry man and I was struck by how much it seems to *know* it. It's to the credit of the script that Pierce Brosnan is not a villain. It would have been easy to have him be conniving against the children, Parent Trap-style, and it absolutely does not do so. He's a perfectly fine guy.