John Ford is a monumental figure in Hollywood and world cinema. Throughout his long and varied career spanning the silent and sound era, he produced nearly 150 films of which Iron Horse (1924), Stagecoach (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Searchers (1956) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) are classics of cinema. Ford was also an influential figure in developing, and extending Hollywood's traditions. Stylistically Ford was instrumental in developing new camera techniques, atmospheric lighting and diverse narrative devices. Thematically, long before it became conventional wisdom, Ford was exploring issues that concern us today, such as gender, race, the treatment of ethnic minorities and social outcasts, the nature of history and the relationship of myth and reality. For all these reasons, John Ford the man and his films reward thought and study, both for the general reader and the academic student. Ford's pictures express the world in which they were made, and have contributed to making what Hollywood is today. This book illustrates the excitement, importance, influence, creativity, deviousness and complexity of the man and his films.
1. Ford's Film Family 2. Ford as Auteur 3. Generically Challenged 4. The Greatest Storyteller 5. Conservative or Subversive 6. Entertainer or Ideologue 7. Unconscious Racist 8. Patriarchy or Matriarchy Further Reading Bibliography Index