John Ford: Hollywood’s Old Master (The Oklahoma Western Biographies)

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9780806129167: John Ford: Hollywood’s Old Master (The Oklahoma Western Biographies)
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John Ford remains the most honored director in Hollywood history, having won six Academy Awards and four New York Film Critics Awards. Drawing upon extensive written and oral history, Ronald L. David explores Ford’s career from his silent classic, The Iron Horse, through the transition to sound, and then into the pioneer years of location filming, the golden years of Hollywood, and the movement toward television. During his career, Ford made such classics as Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, and The Searchers-136 pictures in all, 54 of them Westerns. The complexity of his personality comes alive here through the eyes of his colleagues, friends, relatives, film critics, and the actors he worked with, including John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, and Katharine Hepburn.

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John Ford remains the most honored director in Hollywood history, having won six Academy Awards and four New York Film Critics Awards. Drawing upon extensive written and oral history, Ronald L. Davis provides a biography of Ford that is far-reaching in its scope. Davis sketches Ford's life from his childhood in Maine through the many stages of his long and illustrious career. From his silent classic, The Iron Horse, through the transition to sound, and then into the pioneer years in location filming, the golden years of Hollywood, and the movement toward television, Ford made enormous contributions to the film industry - but suffered great personal turmoil. The complexity of his personality comes alive here through the eyes of his colleagues, friends, relatives, and film critics. Actors with whom Ford worked, among them John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, and Katharine Hepburn, comment on his skill as a director. His family and friends tell of his navy years, troubled domestic life, political involvements, and battles with alcoholism. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of a man impossible to categorize, an enigma. The ultimate windows into Ford's soul may be the films themselves. During his career, Ford made such classics as Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, and The Searchers - 136 pictures in all, 54 of them Westerns. He is now recognized as a genius with the camera who knew how to tell his stories visually, keeping dialogue to a minimum. His characters, especially the memorable "strong, silent" heroes that figure so prominently in the films, have achieved mythic dimensions. The director himself, however, once claimed, "The real star of my Westerns hasalways been the land". Indeed, it is Ford's ability to capture the magnificence and poetry of Western landscape that has earned him the highest respect.

About the Author:

Ronald L. Davis is Emeritus Professor of History at Southern Methodist University, where he was Director of both the Oral History Program on the Performing Arts and the De Golyer Institute for American Studies. He has written many books in the performing arts in America, including the best-seller Hollywood Anecdotes.


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9780806127088: John Ford: Hollywood's Old Master (Oklahoma Western Biographies)

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ISBN 10:  0806127082 ISBN 13:  9780806127088
Publisher: Univ of Oklahoma Pr, 1995
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