Morocco. Pictorial beauty: fractured and refracted light upon an ornament-filled composition. A powerful, ridiculous (in a rationalist sense) ending whose power comes from the fact that Sternberg empties out all semblance of verisimilitude in the final windswept moments. (Can we pin it down to a single character's fantasy? Which one's?)
"There's a foreign legion of women, too..." Where do the characters come from? We only know they've come to Morocco, even Menjou's upstanding citizen--they all have secrets which will never been known. Morocco, the film-place, is comprised of the shadows & etchings of buried pasts.
The Marrying Kind. It starts off on autopilot but soon starts making leaps into tragedy and unbearable (intentional) awkwardness. Domestic comedy-dramas of the postwar era really were sharp & incisive in the right hands (cf. McCarey's Good Sam; Sirk's No Room for the Groom), just blatantly so, it's amazing that any of these ever needed to be "unpacked" by critics & others later--maybe they were just presumed to be needed to be unpacked. This one gets its hands dirty with a lot of different tones.
"Of note: El Dorado, the best D.W. Griffith film of 1967. Of course it's a very Hawks, but it's strange to think that it's contemporaneous with Week-End and Point Blank, among others." -- from Patrick Ciccone
El Dorado. A film for old friends. Hawks is a good filmmaker for establishing some of the things a person is or is not interested in when it comes to cinema. Of course there's a lot of adolescent generic "stuff" up on the screen in this and his other drama, adventure, Western films. This ethos, it's the 'Hawks fiction,' in part propelled by his own fairly adventurous can-do life, but in every film the unthinking, unflagging "professionalism" is always met, even undercut with criticism of that very same thing. Only Angels Have Wings--that's not about "Who's Joe?", mind you, it's about the lunacy of letting "Who's Joe" pragmatism build up out of all proportion. Hawks the thematic moralist is always a bit more complex than he's given credit for on this count. One could, rightly, say that this--more than tough-men-and-women professionalism--is in fact the object of Hawks' ethos. It's not about professionalism as an end but rather the getting of wisdom about professionalism's places and uses. (Hawks' films, his dramas & adventures that is, may still be "adolescent" in a sense, but adolescent because they are about maturation, not adolescent because they are willfully infantile.) On first blush El Dorado strikes me as the Hawks film most outrightly concerned with theme, with problems of ethical behavior ... anyone agree/disagree?
Raymond Durgnat, from the 1970s: "But there are four or five Hawks movies that stand re-seeing. Otherwise, if I weren’t on duty as a culturologist, I’d walk out of most Hawks movies fairly early on, feeling that I’d missed nothing, that here was a safe little machine functioning without major surprises or many new insights. But The Big Sleep  has a certain quality, Scarface , Gentlemen Prefer Blondes , The Big Sky . Not Rio Bravo , that’s kitsch." Burned! Wonder what he thought of El Dorado then?
Roger Ebert, meat-and-potatoes auteurist?: "A footnote: Pauline Kael, the New Republic's film critic, claims El Dorado has the second worst lighting she's seen in a movie. That's not bad lighting, that's good old Howard Hawks with all of his shadows and kerosene lamps and murky atmosphere and dark alleys (remember The Big Sleep?). Miss Kael needs her glasses scrubbed."
Edward Yang, RIP. I still haven't seen Yi Yi (I know, how could I not?) but I've seen A Brighter Summer Day, and even more important to me personally, The Terrorizer. He was a crucial talent.