Directed by John Ford (1971)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, Biography  |  6 October 1971 (USA)
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A documentary on the life and films of director John Ford.


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Complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
(archive footage)
(archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
(archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
(archive footage)


In 1971, Peter Bogdanovich was, perhaps, America's most promising young filmmaker, having directed the remarkable "Targets" (1968) and "The Last Picture Show" (1971) earning him an Academy Award nomination for the latter. At this point, he chose to make a documentary about legendary film director John Ford. The result was a documentary that drew excellent reviews, following a screening at the 1971 New York Film Festival and a television broadcast. It was later withdrawn from circulation because of legal rights. It was only in early 2006 that Bogdanovich - who was reportedly never totally happy with the 1971 version - went back and revamped the documentary to his satisfaction. He recorded totally new interviews with Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg and incorporated a rare audio recording of Ford and his rumored 'significant other' Katharine Hepburn. He has integrated these new elements alongside the strongest sections from the first version - including extended ... Written by alfiehitchie

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Release Date:

6 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Director: John Ford  »

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| (restored longer 2006)

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| (Technicolor)
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8 August 1999 | by (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) – See all my reviews

While print quality of the films it shows excerpts from, and some of the interviews is poor, the quality of the documentary itself still shines. It shows us how Ford got started in film, and what films made him a star. It also gives enough of an overview of the man, and enough complete scenes from his films, that a person like me who's only seen a handful of Ford's many many films, can respect the man and know he was one of the best. You also get to know what kind of a man he was through stories told by such Ford film regulars as John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. Some are truly funny and let you know what a character the man himself was. There are also a few spots of interviews with Ford himself behind his famous backdrop of Monument Valley. They tool show you what a unique man Ford was. I was lucky enough to see this on AMC, if you have a chance of seeing it anywhere, I recommend it.

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