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Overview for John Ford
John Ford

John Ford


TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (14)

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Also Known As: Ford (Pappy),Jack Ford,Sean O'Feeney,Sean Aloysius O'Fearna,Sean Aloysius O'Feeney,Jack Ford Died: August 31, 1973
Born: February 1, 1894 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA Profession: Director ... director producer extra double set laborer assistant propman assistant cameraman actor assistant director stuntman


As one of the most influential directors in Hollywood history, John Ford was as famous for defining the Western genre as he was for his collaborations with screen icon John Wayne. Having started his career in the silent era, Ford honed his craft making scores of short films before become one of Hollywood's most decorated directors, winning a total of four Best Director Academy Awards. His first came with "The Informer" (1935), but it was his second for the seminal "Stagecoach" (1939) that cemented his place in cinema history. The film marked the true beginning of his collaboration with Wayne, even though the actor had appeared in uncredited roles in a number of his silent movies. By this time, Ford had developed a reputation as being harsh with his actors and was once accused of being "the only person who could make Wayne cry." But his ability to blend art and commerce in films like "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), "How Green Was My Valley" (1941), "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949) and "The Quiet Man" (1952) assured performers of a platform for displaying their finest work. Ford was also a pioneer of location shooting and often shot in Utah's Monument Valley, a virtually prehistoric landscape that he helped make famous in "The Searchers" (1956), widely considered the best Western ever made. With "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962), his last great film, Ford capped a career that influenced generations of directors while offering audiences some of cinema's most important films.

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