Tag Archives: Henry Fonda

John Ford – The Battle of Midway (1942)

The Battle of Midway
John Ford is widely regarded as one of America’s greatest film directors, a myth-maker who put his distinctive stamp on the Western genre, and whose films memorably portray key moments in American history. Although known primarily as the director of classic Hollywood movies like Stagecoach (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and The Searchers (1956), there’s more to Ford than his impressive feature film career. Many people may not know that Ford served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and worked for the O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) as Chief of the Field and Photographic Branch. During this time, he undertook various missions for the Navy, and was involved in the production of training films and war documentaries, one of which was The Battle of Midway. The battle itself took place in the Central Pacific from June 4 to June 6 1942, and Ford was present as the Japanese attacked the American outpost on Midway Island. How did such a noted Hollywood feature film director, a man who Tag Gallagher calls “… the great poetic chronicler of American history”, approach documentary filmmaking, and more specifically, how did he chronicle the events at Midway? Read More »

John Ford – My Darling Clementine (1946)

Quote:
Wyatt Earp and his brothers Morgan and Virgil ride into Tombstone and leave brother James in charge of their cattle herd. On their return they find their cattle stolen and James dead. Wyatt takes on the job of town marshal, making his brothers deputies, and vows to stay in Tombstone until James’ killers are found. He soon runs into the brooding, coughing, hard-drinking Doc Holliday as well as the sullen and vicious Clanton clan. Wyatt discovers the owner of a trinket stolen from James’ dead body and the stage is set for the Earps’ long-awaited revenge. Read More »

Preston Sturges – The Lady Eve [+Extras] (1941)

Criterion wrote:
Barbara Stanwyck sizzles, Henry Fonda bumbles, and Preston Sturges runs riot in one of the all-time great screwballs, a pitch-perfect blend of comic zing and swoonworthy romance. Aboard a cruise liner sailing up the coast of South America, Stanwyck’s conniving card sharp sets her sights on Fonda’s nerdy snake researcher, who happens to be the heir to a brewery fortune. But when the con artist falls for her mark, her grift becomes a game of hearts—and she is determined to win it all. One in a string of matchless comedic marvels that Sturges wrote, directed, and produced as part of a dazzling 1940s run, this gender-flipped battle-of-wits farce is perhaps his most emotionally satisfying work, tempering its sparkling wit with a streak of tender poignancy supplied by the sensational Stanwyck at her peak. Read More »

Delmer Daves – Spencer’s Mountain (1963)

SYNOPSIS:
Clay Spencer is a hard-working man who loves his wife and large family. He is respected by his neighbors and always ready to give them a helping hand. Although not a churchgoer, he even helps a newly arrived local minister regain his flock after he and Clay get into a bit of trouble. If he has one dream in life it’s to build his wife Olivia a beautiful house on a piece of land he inherited on Spencer’s mountain. When his eldest son, Clayboy, graduates at the top of his high school class and has the opportunity to go to college, Clay has only one option left to him. Read More »

John Ford – The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Synopsis:
The Joad clan, introduced to the world in John Steinbeck’s iconic novel, is looking for a better life in California. After their drought-ridden farm is seized by the bank, the family — led by just-paroled son Tom — loads up a truck and heads West. On the road, beset by hardships, the Joads meet dozens of other families making the same trek and holding onto the same dream. Once in California, however, the Joads soon realize that the promised land isn’t quite what they hoped. Read More »

Otto Preminger – Advise & Consent (1962)

Synopsis
The setting is familiar. A Senate subcommittee meets to confirm the President’s controversial nominee for Secretary of State. A TV camera rolls. And the wolf is at the door… Read More »

Ken Annakin – Battle of the Bulge (1965)

Synopsis:
American Lt. Col. Dan Kiley (Henry Fonda), a military intelligence whiz, discovers that the Nazis are planning to attack Allied forces near Belgium. Certain that the exhausted enemy can’t muster much force, Gen. Joe Grey (Robert Ryan) isn’t convinced by Kiley’s findings, and his men pay the price when the German tanks begin their offensive. In the heat of this key World War II battle, Kiley must come up with a plan when it becomes clear that the Nazis are trying to steal fuel from the Allies. Read More »