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Drama Movies

March 10 2018 Drama Movies Newsletter

"Cows run away from the storm while the buffalo charges toward it - and gets through it quicker. Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment, I become the buffalo." Wilma Mankiller

At one point, Wilma Mankiller was a single mother living out of her car. Within a few years, she became the first woman to lead the Cherokee Nation. She endured threatening phone calls, had her car tires slashed but was never deterred. After a successful first term as Cherokee Nation Chief, she ran for re-election and won. Health issues eventually forced her to retire from public service, but she left an extraordinary legacy.

Wilma Mankiller is profiled in Valerie Red-Horse Mohl's inspiring documentary, "Mankiller". It is screening on PBS this month. I happened to catch it after the Academy Awards on Sunday. In her acceptance speech, actress Frances McDormand stressed the importance of telling women's stories and I would love to see a biopic produced about Mankiller. She had a quiet dignity and was committed to working with people from all sectors of the political spectrum. A Democrat, she was first appointed Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation by a Republican. Mankiller once stated that she encountered more discrimination as a woman than as a Indian,but she never lost faith in people or herself. The doc is streaming online at www.pbs.org/show/mankiller.

Barbara Bel Geddes plays a woman of steely determination in "Blood on the Moon", which I chose to write about in this week's review. I counted the number of times she says "no" to a man in the film (six), but the phrase "I won't do it" is also uttered multiple times. I was not at all surprised to learn that a female, Lillie Hayward, wrote the screenplay. Robert Wise, the director, had an obvious affection for the film and its crew when interviewed by Lee Server. (You can read Wise's comments in Server's biography of Robert Mitchum.)Wise went on to direct the big-budget films "Sound of Music" and "Star Trek", but I prefer this little film that only gets better with time.

Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.

Blood on the Moon (1948) Film Review
An atmospheric Western filmed in the noir style, "Blood on the Moon" showcases the talent of cinematographer Nick Musuraca. Lillie Hayward's screenplay pairs Robert Mitchum with a strong-minded heroine, played with spirit by Barbara Bel Geddes.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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