William Witney is a director whose films have given me hours of uncomplicated pleasure. I've always been a great defender of his directorship, especially in movie serials he made in collaboration with John English, among which Adventures of Captain Marvel, probably their most famous work, is a cinematic prelude to all Indiana Jones actioners and even late Fritz Lang adventure films. That's why I encouraged the editor of the first encyclopedia of film directors in Farsi/Persian to include Witney/English among his 1000 chosen names for the book. Convinced by my arguments about the importance of this duo in establishing high standards for low-budget action films, the editor asked me to write the entry myself which I immediately accepted.
|William Witney [source: Vimeo]|
During the process of researching and writing I learned that Witney is a favorite of Quentin Tarantino and it didn't surprise me. On the contrary, I saw that the exploitative, fast-paced and one-dimensional films of two directors can correspond very well. But recently, after watching Django Unchained, which I loathed, I read Kent Jones' response to a Tarantino interview which showed to me the superstar director of Django has been carried away by his assessment of Witney as the most democratic Western maker, inasmuch as to bash John Ford as someone very un-Witney.