Letter: Why Ford made the better films

From Mr Alan Pavelin

Sir: The point at issue (Another View: "Witty film, nutty editorial", 22 February) is not whether films should be about, in Michael Winner's words, "nice people doing nice things". It is whether or not a film is enhanced by showing the nasty things in explicit detail. With rare exceptions, I believe it is not.

John Ford's The Searchers is widely regarded as the finest Western ever made. It includes the rape and murder of a mother and daughter, along with sundry other killings, massacres, scalpings etc. Yet it has a "U" certificate because hardly any of this is shown: either it happens off screen, or we find out after the event through the dialogue. ("What'ya want me to do, draw y'a picture?" drawls John Wayne.)

Does Michael Winner seriously suggest that The Searchers would be anything like as great a movie if John Ford had done a Stone or a Tarantino on it?

Yours faithfully,


Chislehurst, Kent