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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 It was later withdrawn from circulation because of legal rights.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
Peter Bogdanovich directs this documentary on the life and career of the legendary director. Vintage interviews with John Wayne, Henry Fonda and James Stewart are mixed with newer interviews with Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood (among others). The doc does a great job at showing what made Ford some a great director and I really enjoyed the scenes where they'd show clips from countless films in a row, showing you how Ford liked certain themes in his films. There's one section where they cover 180 years of history shown through Ford's films. I do wish the documentary had spent more time with Ford's career in the late 1910s. There's also another segment, which I felt shouldn't have been included. There's a recorded conversation between Ford and Katharine Hepburn, which was great to hear but the recorder was left on when the two didn't know it was running. This audio recording might show Ford at a softer moment but I really didn't feel comfortable listening to it.
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