One of the most disturbing and arresting characterizations of the American movie business, Speed-the-Plow is, at heart, a whimsical satire or, as Jack Kroll of Newsweek characterized it, “another tone poem by our nation’s foremost master of the language of moral epilepsy.”
The first nutrients of commerce
Agreements & machines
Sit on a high shelf
Above faith and photosynthesis
Once upon a time we told stories. Those stories revealed things. They told us about ourselves. They put us in union with humanity. They helped us understand our strange and sometimes disconnected lives. We don’t tell too many stories these days. We’re about content and branding. But stories unite us. They lift us up. They compel us to (as Spike Lee once observed) “Do The Right Thing.” Now what that right thing may be is, of course, different for everybody. Why else would Mr. Lee name his production company 40 Acres and a Mule? Think about it.
John Ford was thirty one years old and already a veteran of thirty five features and dozens more two-reelers, many of them westerns, when he lobbied William Fox to helm The Iron Horse (1924). The story of the construction of the transcontinental railway was mounted by Fox in response to Paramount’s hit film The Covered Wagon (1923), a sweeping western drama of the hardships of the pioneers in the early wagon trains.