John Ford

John Ford – The Whole Town’s Talking (1935)

Synopsis:
Ordinary man-in-the-street Arthur Ferguson Jones leads a very straightforward life. He’s never late for work and nothing interesting ever happens to him. One day everything changes: he oversleeps and is fired as an example, he’s then mistaken for evil criminal killer Mannion and is arrested. The resemblance is so striking that the police give him a special pass to avoid a similar mistake. The real Mannion sees the opportunity to steal the pass and move around freely and chaos results. Read More »

John Ford – Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Synopsis:
Few historical figures are as revered as Abraham Lincoln, and few director-star pairings embody classic American cinema as perfectly as do John Ford and Henry Fonda. In Young Mr. Lincoln, their first collaboration, Fonda gives one of the finest performances of his career as the young president-to-be struggling with an incendiary murder case as a novice lawyer. Compassionate and assured, this indelible piece of Americana marks the beginning of Ford and Fonda’s ascent to legendary status. Read More »

Elia Kazan & John Ford – Pinky (1949)

Synopsis:
Pinky, a light skinned black woman, returns to her grandmother’s house in the South after graduating from a Northern nursing school. Pinky tells her grandmother that she has been “passing” for white while at school in the North. In addition, Pinky has fallen in love with a young white doctor, Dr. Thomas Adams, who knows nothing about her black heritage. Pinky says that she will return to the North, but Granny Johnson convinces her to stay and treat an ailing white woman, Miss Em. Meanwhile, Dr. Canady, a black physician from another part of the state, visits Pinky and asks her to train some African American students, but she declines. Read More »

John Ford – Four Men and a Prayer (1938)

Synopsis:
Colonel Loring Leigh, British Indian Army, appears to have issued an order that cost 90 lives. Cashiered, he returns home, tells his sons of a conspiracy by an arms syndicate to supply the rebels…then is found dead, an apparent suicide. To clear their father, the four sons must globetrot in a hazardous search for evidence, closely followed by Geoffrey’s sweetheart Lynn Cherrington. Read More »

John Ford – The Brat (1931)

A society novelist brings a brash young chorus girl home in order to study her for inspiration for his new novel. His family is distraught, but soon her behavior has forever altered their snobbish ways. Read More »

John Ford – Mister Roberts (1955)

Plot:
The film represents Henry Fonda’s return to the screen after an absence of seven years, part of which was spent playing the eponymous officer in the immensely successful stage version of Thomas Heggen’s novel. As cargo officer and second in command on a supply ship during World War II, the easygoing Lt. Doug Roberts is excluded from a much desired combat role while playing whipping boy to dyspeptic tyrant Captain Morion (James Cagney). Ensign Frank Pulver (Jack Lemmon), a brash yet cowardly wheeler-dealer, entertains Roberts with his elaborate pranks while the fatherly Doc (William Powell in his last screen appearance) offers advice. The young crew tries every available means of killing boredom, including eyeballing the nurses on a nearby island through a telescope, and Roberts does what he can to get them the R and R they badly need. Read More »

John Ford – Pilgrimage (1933)


Synopsis:
The story of an Arkansas farm woman and her son. When the son expresses his desire to marry a girl who comes from a family that the mother thinks is trash, she enrolls him in the army.

Review:
In this sentimental film directed by John Ford a mother disapproves of her son’s marriage and gets him drafted; he is killed in the war, and she comes to realize her error.

In Three Cedars, Arkansas Hannah Jessop (Henrietta Crosman) works in the field with her son Jim (Norman Foster). She reads to him from the Bible about the dangers of an evil woman, and he says he wants to enlist. Jim meets Mary Saunders (Marian Nixon) at night, putting her drunk father to bed and hiding his jug in the hayloft. Mary asks Jim not to enlist. Jim tells his mother he wants to earn wages so that he can marry. Hannah tells Mary to stay away from Jim and gets Jim put in the army. Jim gets off a troop train and kisses Mary, who tells him she is going to have a baby. He tries to stay to marry her, but he is forced back on the train. Jim fights in the trenches. In a rain storm Mary’s father asks Hannah to help deliver Mary’s baby. A telegram to Hannah reports that Jim was killed. She pieces together a torn photo of him. Read More »