Bucking Broadway ★★★★

Released the same year as Straight Shooting, Bucking Broadway nevertheless feels like the work of a much stronger and accomplished filmmaker. The story is just as simple (and a good deal sillier, given that the third act of this film dissolves into comedy), but it's told with a much stronger hand. The editing and scripting are much sharper. It's hard to judge the cinematography against Straight Shooting, since Bucking Broadway has been properly restored (available on the Criterion Blu-ray of Stagecoach). It is a gorgeous restoration, though, and Ford's magnificent outdoor vistas look fantastic. His sparing close-ups are likewise beautiful, and there are any number of sequences where the frame is filled with action on multiple planes. The story is pretty simple and silly, as mentioned, but it's told so much better than Straight Shooting. It's hard to fathom that these were made by the same director in the same year, but as prolific as Ford was in those days, I suppose it makes sense that he'd learn quickly.

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