Closing down our cinematographic extravaganza of a holiday week, this evening we watched Jeremiah Johnson. I first saw this (strangely) obscure film in 1976, four years after its release, at the Ultimate Picture Palace, and then only thanks to my contemporary, Gerald W., who raved about it (and to whom I am eternally grateful). He was quite right to insist. You have to look hard on the internet for detailed reviews of this film but it surely deserves to be better known. It is a beautiful allegory of the American dream: advance, stand up for yourself, survive, and people will respect you. Robert Redford clearly warms to his role as Johnson, and the backdrop – the savage beauty of the Rockies – is brilliantly captured. The film is also objective in terms of clashing moralities and cultures. The Crow Indians never kill gratuitously. Even as Johnson loses his adoptive family, in a mist of grief, he understands that a price had necessarily to be paid for trespass on a Crow burial ground. Redford, as Johnson, is at the forefront of a human tide that will inexorably wash ever further westwards. The indigeneous Indians, faced by a mutual enemy in the form of the mountains and the elements, understand respectfully the fact that Johnson would prefer to deal with them on their terms in their world, rather than the world that he has fled. But a cameo appearance of the US Army signifies the beginning of the end of the world in which Johnson and the Crow would prefer to struggle. The film ends with Johnson and the Crow making peace – but the audience knows that they will be over-run and will disappear. Brilliant, poignant.