John Ford – Stagecoach [+Extras] (1939)

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A Ford-Powered ‘Stagecoach’ Opens at Music Hall; Mickey Rooney Plays Huck Finn at the Capitol
In one superbly expansive gesture, which we (and the Music Hall) can call “Stagecoach,” John Ford has swept aside ten years of artifice and talkie compromise and has made a motion picture that sings a song of camera. It moves, and how beautifully it moves, across the plains of Arizona, skirting the sky-reaching mesas of Monument Valley, beneath the piled-up cloud banks which every photographer dreams about, and through all the old-fashioned, but never really outdated, periods of prairie travel in the scalp-raising Seventies, when Geronimo’s Apaches were on the warpath. Here, in a sentence, is a movie of the grand old school, a genuine rib-thumper and a beautiful sight to see. Continue reading

John Ford – Men Without Women (1930)

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PLOT SUMMARY
An important John Ford film from the early talkie period (much of the film is silent with sound effects). After an alcohol-feuled shore leave in Singapore, the crew of an American submarine find themselve sinking after running headlong into a ship. Very tense and terse, with John Wayne in a small role as a radio operator. These early Fox talkies are very hard to come by and this title is particularly difficult to run down. Continue reading

John Ford – This Is Korea! (1951)

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Although it’s not even mentioned in Joseph McBride’s massive John Ford biography, this rare 1951 film is probably the best of Ford’s war documentaries. “This Is Korea!” was commissioned by the Navy to explain an unpopular war to the American public, but Ford, always a poet first and a propagandist second, chooses to depict, not a heroic battle against godless Communism, but the toll war takes on its participants. Continue reading

John Ford – The Iron Horse [US Version] (1924)

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allmovie wrote:
David Brandon (James Gordon) is a surveyor in the Old West who dreams that one day the entire North American continent will be linked by railroads. However, to make this dream a reality, a clear trail must be found through the Rocky Mountains. With his boy Davy (Winston Miller), David sets out to find such a path, but he’s ambushed by a tribe of Indians led by a white savage, Peter Jesson (Cyril Chadwick); while the boy manages to escape, David is killed. Years later, the adult Davy Brandon (George O’Brien) still believes in his father’s dream of a transcontinental railroad, and legislation signed by President Abraham Lincoln has made it an official mandate. Davy is hired on as a railroad surveyor by Thomas Marsh (Will R. Walling), the father of his childhood sweetheart Miriam (Madge Bellamy). While Davy hopes to win Miriam’s heart as he helps to find the trail that led to his father’s death years ago, he’s disappointed to discover that Miriam is already married — and shocked to discover her husband is Peter Jesson, now working with the railroad as a civil engineer. As the Union Pacific crew presses on to their historic meeting at Promitory Point, Davy must find a way to earn Miriam’s love and uncover Peter’s murderous past. Continue reading

John Ford – My Darling Clementine (1946)

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‘Darling Clementine,’ With Henry Fonda as Marshal of Tombstone, a Stirring Film of West
Let’s be specific about this: The eminent director, John Ford, is a man who has a way with a Western like nobody in the picture trade. Seven years ago his classic “Stagecoach” snuggled very close to fine art in this genre. And now, by George, he’s almost matched it with “My Darling Clementine.”

Not quite, it is true—for this picture, which came to the Rivoli yesterday, is a little too burdened with conventions of Western fiction to place it on a par. Too obvious a definition of heroes and villains is observed, and the standardized aspect of romance is too neatly and respectably entwined. But a dynamic composition of Western legend and scenery is still achieved. And the rich flavor of frontiering wafts in overpowering redolence from the screen. Continue reading

John Ford – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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Review:
There are arguably no bigger cinematic icons of America than John Wayne – the right wing side of America steeped in violence and guns, and James Stewart – the left wing side of America rooted in humanity, understanding and intelligence. And there is arguably no finer chronicler of America’s mythology and past than John Ford. Put them together and you get one of the finest westerns ever made.

When high ranking senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart)returns to the town of Shinbone after many years away in Washington, it is with a great deal of surprise. After being put under pressure by the local newspaper he reveals that he is there for the funeral of an old friend, Tom Doniphon (John Wayne), and he begins to tell the story of how their lives intertwined when Ransom first came to town. Continue reading

John Ford & Otto Brower – Sex Hygiene (1941)

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Searching for John Ford by Joseph McBride wrote:
Shot quickly at Fox and ready for use by March 1941, the black and white Sex Hygiene is suitably horrifying but also somewhat tongue in cheek. Coing directly from making Tobacco Road, Ford was in a bawdy mood when he filmed the scenes of the soldiers (including George Reeves, later known as TV’s Superman) playing pool in an army canteen before one young man makes the mistake of slipping off to a brothel. The results of his and others’ sexual follies are displayed in a graphic illustrated lecture by a medical officer intoned in stentorian fashion by Charles Trowbridge, who later was promoted by Ford to admiral and/or general in They Were Expendable, When Willie Comes Marching Home and The Wings of Eagles. Perhaps it is fitting that the one Ford film dealing explicitly with sexual themes makes the subject seem so thoroughly revolting. Continue reading