Review: Two Rode Together
Blu-ray & DVD: Two Rode Together (1961)
“A John Ford western”. Those words alone are always enough for me to settle down in front of the screen in the knowledge that I’m going to have a great time, and Two Rode Together does nothing to dissuade me from that. Add into the mix a screenplay by Frank Nugent (The Searchers, Fort Apache), cinematography by Charles Lawton Jr (3:10 to Yuma, Ride Lonesome), and 2 actors in James Stewart and Richard Widmark who are at the top of their game and no stranger to the western genre, and you have a cinematic cocktail that’s very tasty indeed.
Marshal Guthrie McCabe (James Stewart) is a grumpy and cynical U.S.Marshal who is persuaded on the promise of a large reward by his old friend Lieutenant Jim Gary (Richard Widmark) into trading guns with the Comanches in exchange for their white captives. All does not go as planned and lives are put in danger as well as new love being discovered.
While not possessing the amount of action in previous John Ford westerns, Two Rode Together is a sublime character piece in which the relationship between McCabe and Gary is performed with empathy and zeal by the 2 main actors. None more so than in an early scene where they are sat besides a stream and engage in a witty and heartfelt verbal exchange that perfectly sets the tone for the relationship between them. It is this strength that is also the movies weakness for me too, as I would have liked to have seen more scenes with these 2 characters together (as alluded to in the title) at the expense of other less engaging set pieces, such as a camp fire dance and a comedic fight scene.
The film looks stunning in both its picture quality and cinematography, as you would surely expect from Charles Lawton, and the uncompressed monaural soundtrack is crisp and clear.
While not John Ford’s best (Ford himself apparently disliked it), Two Rode Together is well worth watching not only for fans of the western genre, but also anyone who loves a good story being told by fantastic actors.
Saddle up and buy this whenever you get the chance.
- Stunning High-Definition Presentation
- Uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Isolated music and effects track
- Rebirth – A new and exclusive video essay on the film by Ford expert and scholar Tag Gallagher
- PLUS: A BOOKLET featuring a new essay on the film by critic and author Richard Combs
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Eureka Entertainment.