Fresh perspectives on some of the most influential films of John Ford.
The Western is arguably the most popular and enduring form in cinematic history, and the acknowledged master of that genre was John Ford. His Westerns, including The Searchers, Stagecoach, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, have had an enormous influence on contemporary U.S. films, from Star Wars to Taxi Driver.
In John Ford Made Westerns, nine major essays by prominent scholars of Hollywood film situate the sound-era Westerns of John Ford within contemporary critical contexts and regard them from fresh perspectives. These range from examining Ford’s relation to other art forms (most notably literature, painting, and music) to exploring the development of the director’s reputation as a director of Westerns. While giving attention to film style and structure, the volume also treats the ways in which these much-loved films engage with notions of masculinity and gender roles, capitalism and community, as well as racial, sexual, and national identity.
Contributors include Charles Ramirez Berg, Matthew Bernstein, Edward Buscombe, Joan Dagle, Barry Keith Grant, Kathryn Kalinak, Peter Lehman, Charles J. Maland, Gaylyn Studlar, and Robin Wood.
Introduction, Gaylyn Studlar & Matthew Bernstein
"‘Shall We Gather at the River?’: The Late Films of John Ford," Robin Wood
"Sacred Duties, Poetic Passions: John Ford and Issue of Femininity in the Western," Gaylyn Studlar
"The Margin as Center: The Multicultural Dynamics of John Ford’s Westerns," Charles Ramirez Berg
"Linear Patterns and Ethnic Encounters in the Ford Western," Joan Dagle
"How the West Wasn't Won: the Repression of Capitalism in John Ford's Westerns," Peter Lehman
"Painting the Legend: Frederic Remington and the Western," Edward Buscombe
"‘The Sound of Many Voices’: Music in John Ford’s Westerns," Kathryn Kalinak
"John Ford and James Fenimore Cooper: Two Ro
“Nine major essays by prominent scholars of Hollywood film cast new light on the sound-era Westerns of John Ford. They place the films within contemporary critical contexts and regard them from fresh perspectives. While giving attention to style and structure, the volume also treats the ways in which these much-loved films engage with notions of masculinity and gender roles, capitalism and community, as well as racial, sexual, and national identity.
"John Ford was the Compleat Director, . . . undoubtedly the mightiest and most versatile in films. A megaphone was to John ford what the chisel was to Michelangelo: his life, his passion, his cross.
"Ford cannot be pinned down and analyzed. He was pure Ford—-which means pure great. John was half-tyrant, half revolutionary; half-saint, half-satan; half-possible, half-impossible; half-genius, half-Irish—-but all director, and for all time." —Frank Capra
"What I like most in John Ford is the artist in a state of purity, unaware and raw, deprived of sterile and farfetched cultural intermediations, immune from intellectualistic contaminations. I like his strength and his disarming simplicity.
. . . a man who liked motion picture, who lived for the cinema, who has made out of motion picture a fairy tale to be told to everyone. . .
"For all this I esteem him, I admire him and I love him." —Frederico Fellini
"A John Ford picture was a visual gratification?—his method of shooting, eloquent in its clarity and apparent simplicity. . . .His scripts had a beginning, a middle and an end. They are understood all the world over and [stand] as a monument to part of the land he loved: Monument Valley." —Alfred Hitchcock
"Before a film is screened at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, the director is asked to comment about his film. Any comment is, of course, gratuitous. The film speaks for itself.
"That's what we face in discussing John Ford. There is nothing to be said—-his films roar through our times."—Stanley Kramer”
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Table of Contents
Gaylyn Studlar & Matthew Bernstein
1. "'Shall We Gather at the River?': The Late Films of John Ford," Robin Wood
2. "Sacred Duties, Poetic Passions: John Ford and Issue of Femininity in the Western" Gaylyn Studlar
3. "The Margin as Center: The Multicultural Dynamics of John Ford's Westerns" Charles Ramirez Berg
4. "Linear Patterns and Ethnic Encounters in the Ford Western" Joan Dagle
5. "How the West Wasn't Won: the Repression of Capitalism in John Ford's Westerns" Peter Lehman
6. "Painting the Legend: Frederic Remington and the Western" Edward Buscombe
7. "'The Sound of Many Voices': Music in John Ford's Westerns" Kathryn Kalinak
8. "John Ford and James Fenimore Cooper: Two Rode Together" Barry Keith Grant
9. "From Aesthete to Pappy: The Evolution of John Ford's Public Reputation" Charles J. Maland
Emanuel Eisenberg, "John Ford: Fighting Irish," New Theater, April 1936
Frank S. Nugent, "Hollywood's Favorite Rebel," Saturday Evening Post, July 23, 1949
John Ford, "John Wayne??My Pal," Hollywood, no. 237 (March 17, 1951), translated from the Italian by Gloria Monti
Bill Libby, "The Old Wrangler Rides Again," Cosmopolitan, March 1964
"About John Ford," Action 8.8 (Nov.?Dec. 1973)