John Ford (TV Movie 1993) Poster

(1993 TV Movie)

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh15 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . back in the 1900s were not so innocent as they are Today (viewers can see in the 7-minute piece--JOHN FORD HOME MOVIES--narrated by director John Ford's grandson Dan Ford, included on Disc 2 of the 2010 Criterion STAGECOACH release, and hidden from public view--who knows why?--making this the next best page to review it). In our Enlightened 21st Century, when a Ballyhooed Entertainer wants to play Fuehrer-for-the-Day (or Eight More Years!), he does not need to sentence himself to a stint in California's Gubernator office, as did Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, JOHN FORD HOME MOVIES documents the Dark Ages of the mid-1900s, when the Rumpsters of Yesteryear had to content themselves with boozing it up on their private yachts off tropical coasts, while drunkenly scribbling out hit lists for U.S. Black Ops Squads to assassinate their film industry betters who could actually act circles around them (in M. Mitch "John Wayne" Morrison's case: the slaughtered John Garfield and Errol Flynn come to mind), or (in Mr. Ford's instance) tell much more compelling stories, A La Dalton Trumbo.
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John Ford, written by Lindsay Andersen, directed by Andrew Eaton, 1992.
jdeureka20 June 2012
This is very good. And considering Lindsay Andersen's general anti-establishment tone & character makes this documentary all the more interesting.

Lindsay makes a strong argument for the sentiment & character cinema of John Ford as "popular art -- not 'arty' ". He interviews key, surviving members of Ford's production team in order to figure out how & why Ford made movies, to figure this out from Ford's own viewpoint and also why historical figures brought out the best in him. Lindsay does a neat trace on Ford's "righteous man" figure from Will Rogers onward, plus on how and why he collaborated with certain writers like Dudley Nichols (1895-1960) and Nunnally Johnson (1897-1977). This documentary is rich with pertinent visuals which illustrate the special nature of Ford's cinema, and with equally relevant anecdotes from those who knew him. (NB: though IMBDb gives this documentary's date as 1993 -- the film itself provides 1992 for its date.)

In the end, the puckish Andersen leaves it in the audience's lap to decide if John Ford is still a great artist for today's audience & for all ages -- or if Ford is merely of great historical relevance.

Frankly, I think John Ford's best work remains as great as it ever was. Now, if you haven't seen this documentary or much of John Ford's best work, well, it's for you to decide.

Thank you.
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