John Ford (Film Director)

Ford, John (American film director)

John Ford, 1895–1973, American film director, b. Cape Elizabeth, Maine, as John Martin Feeney. Ford began directing in 1917 after an apprenticeship with his brother Francis. Over the next 50 years, he brought a painterly eye, an appreciation of his actors' strengths, and a deep love of Americana to over 200 feature films. Although Ford set films in other parts of the country or world, including several in Ireland, he returned to the Western repeatedly throughout his career. These films merge a beautiful pictorial style, using the buttes and mesas almost as architectural features, with stories that frequently deal with the nature of military command. Among his films are The Iron Horse (1924), The Informer (1935), Stagecoach (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), Fort Apache (1947), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1957), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). Ford won six Academy Awards. During World War II he served in the U.S. navy and made the acclaimed documentary June 7th (1944).

See biographies by A. Sinclair (1979), S. Eyman (1999), and J. McBride (2001); studies by P. Bogdanovich (1968), J. McBride and M. Wilmington (1974), and T. Gallagher (1986).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

John Ford
Andrew Sinclair.
Dial Press/J. Wade, 1979
John Ford's Stagecoach
Barry Keith Grant.
Cambridge University Press, 2003
John Ford: A Bio-Bibliography
Bill Levy.
Greenwood Press, 1998
The American West in Film: Critical Approaches to the Western
Jon Tuska.
Greenwood Press, 1985
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "John Ford"
Politics and Politicians in American Film
Phillip L. Gianos.
Praeger Publishers, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Ford" begins on p. 11
A History of Narrative Film
David A. Cook.
W.W. Norton, 1996 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "John Ford" begins on p. 312
You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet: The American Talking Film: History & Memory, 1927-1949
Andrew Sarris.
Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "John Ford (1895-1973)" begins on p. 166
The Oxford History of World Cinema
Geoffrey Nowell-Smith.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "John Ford" begins on p. 288
The Cinema and Ireland
Anthony Slide.
McFarland, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "The Irishman in Hollywood"
The Western, from Silents to Cinerama
George N. Fenin; William K. Everson.
Bonanza Books, 1962
The Western as Male Soap Opera: John Ford's 'Rio Grande.'
Leighninger, Robert D., Jr.
The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2, Winter 1998
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