Essay on John Ford

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John Ford

John Ford was an American motion-picture director. Winner of four Academy Awards, and is known as one of America’s great film directors. He began his career in the film industry around 1913. According to Ellis, Ford’s style is evident in both the themes he is drawn toward and the visual treatment of those themes, in his direction of the camera and in what’s in front of it. Although he began his career in the silent film area and continued to work fruitfully for decades after the thirties, Ford reached creative maturity in the thirties. Ford, unlike other directors continued to do some of his finest work after the nineteen thirties. Nevertheless, he shaped his art into personal and full expression during those
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However, by 1917, he was working almost entirely as a director.

According to MacIntyre, the first studio John directed for was Universal Studios. During his early days in cinema, many of his films were short Westerns. His first film with Universal in 1917 was, The Soul Herder starring Harry Carey Sr. Carey would become a lifelong friend of Ford. Most of his early films were short Westerns, many of them starring Carey and occasionally Hoot Gibson. During the next couple of years 1917-1921, Ford would direct a number of Westerns for Universal Studios. In addition, he wrote, directed, and starred in at least three of the films The Trail of Hate (1917), The Tornado (1917), and The Scrapper (1917). However, the majority of his time with Universal was spent directing. (Pg. 1 of web pg.)

In 1921, John moved to Fox Film Corporation and directed such stars as John Gilbert, Tom Mix, Madge Bellamy, Henry B. Walthall, Janet Gaynor, and George O’Brien. In addition, Ford discovered O’Brien. Through the 1920’s, he began assembling such talent as John Wayne, Fred Kohler, Victor McLaglen, and J. Farrell MacDonald. According to Sklar, the turning point in Ford’s career occurred when he directed his first historical epic, The Iron Horse (1924). A brilliant storyteller, Ford soon developed a distinctive style as a director, displaying not only a consistent point of view but also

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