John Ford and the American West

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Overview

Legendary filmmaker John Ford made some 50 Westerns in a career that spanned more than half a century. From the silent classic Straight Shooting in 1917 to 1964's Cheyenne Autumn-and including such cinematic gems as Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, and The Searchers-Ford's Westerns have entered movie history as imperishable examples of the human spirit. This groundbreaking book is the first to take a visual approach to these films, relating them to the paintings and sculptures of Albert Bierstadt, ...
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Overview

Legendary filmmaker John Ford made some 50 Westerns in a career that spanned more than half a century. From the silent classic Straight Shooting in 1917 to 1964's Cheyenne Autumn-and including such cinematic gems as Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, and The Searchers-Ford's Westerns have entered movie history as imperishable examples of the human spirit. This groundbreaking book is the first to take a visual approach to these films, relating them to the paintings and sculptures of Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and other artists.

Ford also drew inspiration from the primal beauty of the American landscape; so many of his films, such as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Wagon Master, are set against the untamed wilderness of the Southwest's Monument Valley that the area came to be known as "Ford country." Author Peter Cowie shows how this master filmmaker used a variety of visual sources to create his idealized view of frontier life, crafting films that capture the enduring essence of the national character and epitomize the mythology of the American West.

Author Bio: Peter Cowie has written more than 20 books on the cinema, among them The Cinema of Orson Welles and biographies of Ingmar Bergman and Francis Ford Coppola. He is the founder of the International Film Guide, which he edited for 40 years. Cowie is sometime Regents Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810949768
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/26/2004
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.37 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The myth of the West 10
2 History transfigured 36
3 The U.S. Cavalry and the scars of war 72
4 Ford and the Native American 120
5 Monument Valley and Ford's expansive vision of the West 158
6 The telltale signature 196
John Ford's westerns : a checklist 217
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    A CELEBRATION OF WESTERN MOVIES

    Western movie fans, here's the book for you. And, it's a beauty with some 125 illustrations from John Ford's greatest films. Characteristically modest, the legendary film director once introduced himself by saying, 'My name is John Ford. I make Westerns.' What an understatement. He is arguably the best and most prolific director of Western films in the history of Hollywood. Who can forget 'Stagecoach,' 'Drums Along the Mohawk,' 'Fort Apache,' 'She Wore A Yellow Ribbon' to mention only a few? He was and is the quintessential director in this genre, working with such film greats as John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Henry Fonda. He drew inspiration from a variety of sources, the pulp fiction of the 19th century as well as the stunning paintings by Remington and Russell. As is noted regarding the jacket front, 'Ford's use of pale sunshine yellow and sunset red in 'The Searchers' (1956) recalls the paintings of Frederic Remington.' Generations of us were enthralled by his films at Saturday matinees; today legions discover him on DVDs. Whatever the case, his legacy is unquestionable. Chapter headings include: The Myth of the West History Transfigured The U.S. Cavalry and the Scars of War Ford and the Native American Monument Valley and Ford's Expansive Vision of the West The Telltale Signature Author Peter Cowie is the former international publishing director of Variety, and has penned over 20 cinema focused books, including 'The Cinema of Orson Welles' plus bios of Ingmar Bergman and Francis Ford Coppola. - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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