John Ford in Focus

Essays on the Filmmaker’s Life and Work


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SKU: 9780786432158 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Best known for his enduring westerns (Stagecoach, The Searchers) and classic films (The Grapes of Wrath, The Quiet Man) American film director John Ford received an unprecedented four Academy Awards for Best Director over his lifetime. This collection of essays offers a comprehensive examination of Ford’s life and career, revealing the frequent intersections between Ford’s personal life and artistic vision. Part one provides an overview of Ford’s importance in the early development of cinema. Part two focuses on selected aspects of Ford’s personal life, specifically his genealogy, Irish heritage, and roots in the coastal community of Portland, Maine. Part three situates Ford’s films within a broader cultural and intellectual context, exploring theories that explain why Ford’s movies have sparked such interest, debate, and enjoyment among Hollywood film critics and the general cinema community.

About the Author(s)

Kevin L. Stoehr is associate professor of humanities at Boston University and lives in Wells, Massachusetts.
Michael C. Connolly is associate professor of history at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kevin L. Stoehr and Michael C. Connolly
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3215-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1862-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

General Introduction

Michael C. Connolly and Kevin L. Stoehr      1

Part One: Ford’s Vision and Importance

Introduction to Part One

Kevin L. Stoehr      5

A Tribute to John Ford

Peter Bogdanovich      7

John Ford in the Twenty-First Century: Why He Still Matters

Scott Eyman      14

Ford and the Romantic Tradition

Charles Silver      17

Part Two: Life in Maine, Ireland, and Beyond

Introduction to Part Two

Michael C. Connolly      35

A Bull Is Reared on Munjoy Hill: John Ford’s Irish Upbringing in Portland, Maine

Michael C. Connolly      42

John Ford: A Memorial

Maidhc P. Ó Conaola (Mike P. Connolly), translated by Kenneth E. Nilsen      68

John Ford and the Feeney Family of Galway and Portland

Matthew Jude Barker      75

The John Ford Tour

Margaret Feeney LaCombe      82

John Ford’s Arrival in Hollywood

Dan Ford      93

Reflections on the Battle of Midway: An Interview with John Ford (August 17, 1943)      102

We Shot D-Day on Omaha Beach: An Interview with John Ford

Peter Martin      111

John Ford’s Use of Gaelic in The Quiet Man: An Interview with Nora Folan

Kenneth E. Nilsen      122

Part Three: Ford’s Films

Introduction to Part Three

Kevin L. Stoehr      129

“If You Can Call It an Art…”: Pictorial Style in John Ford’s Universal Westerns (1917–1918)

Tom Paulus      131

Beyond the Blessings of Civilization: John Ford’s Stagecoach and the Myth of the Western Frontier

Robert C. Sickels      142

John Ford’s Festive Comedy: Ireland Imagined in The Quiet Man

William C. Dowling      153

The Quiet Man and the Boxing Film: Allusions and Influences

Leger Grindon      169

Ways of Knowing: Peter Lehman and The Searchers

Tom Paulus      176

Populist Motifs in John Ford’s Films

Roy Grundmann      187

Heroism, Faith, and Idealism in 7 Women and Other Films by John Ford

Kevin L. Stoehr      205

About the Contributors      223

Works Cited      225

Index      231

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating…very welcome…sharp, clear, informative…most highly recommended”—Rogue Cinema.