John Ford is somewhat of a historian in his western films. Most of his material is set between the period of 1857 to 1876 when the Union had 36 stars. He's not an accurate historian, but by and large he happens to be the best of the western genre directors. I'm not too sure what it is that he brings to a film, but he certainly seems to get the best out of his actors and the story. It was probably in this film that he grasped the concept of treating the camera as a character. He learned that the camera should not be just a passive observer watching what's going on without intervention or having any opinion to penetrate the situation, but should be probing the action that is taking place in order to get behind the story.
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