Appreciating all that makes America special

John Ford, Director

John Ford directs Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne,

John Ford had favorite actors to work with, and Jimmy Stewart and especially John Wayne were in that group. Uploaded by

He developed a brand: “A John Ford Western.” Not all of his films fell into this genre, but a lot of them did. John Wayne, Henry Fonda, or another heroic figure outlined in a long shot against a rugged land. That was Ford’s signature shot, but his directing accomplishments are unsurpassed: He holds the record for most Best Director Oscars.

Director John Ford,

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Ford learned his craft in the days of silent films, cranking out more than 40 pictures between 1917 and 1922. He reached the ranks of Hollywood’s top directors with The Informer (1935). Here’s a list of his most famous films:

  • The Informer (1935 – Best Director)
  • Stagecoach (1939 – Nomination)
  • Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (1940 – Best Director)
  • How Green Was My Valley (1941 – Best Director, Best Picture)
  • Tobacco Road (1941)
  • They Were Expendable (1945)
  • My Darling Clementine (1946)
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
  • The Quiet Man (1952 – Best Director)
  • Mister Roberts (1955)
  • The Searchers (1956)
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

The Film Encyclopedia says in his entry, “Of all American directors, Ford probably had the clearest personal vision and the most consistent visual style. His ideas and his characters are, like many things branded ‘American’, deceptively simple.” Ford was the first recipient of the AFI’s Life Achievement Award, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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