John Ford

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John Ford is renowned for his superb work as a director of Western movies. On February 1st, 1894, John was born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine (John Ford In early 1930, he also began directing movies. For directing the Irish play The Informer, he received an Academy Award (John Ford The goal of this study is to examine the distinctive John Ford filmmaking characteristics. Additionally, it examines Ford's use of audiovisuals.

John created images in his head (Spicer). Additionally, producing a script was extremely difficult, but once it had been approved, it was rarely revised. Also, John encouraged his screenwriters and actors to formulate a fullback narrative for their cast. Further, he disliked long descriptive and he was known to tear pages out of a writing to shorten the conversion. For instance, during the filming of Mogambo, he, he was three days behind the intended timetable, Sam Zimbalist who was one of the producers raised the concern of them being late.John answered him by tearing out 3 pages of writing informing him they were on schedule. Consequently, he never captured the pages. Also, while filming Drums along the Mohawk, John and Henry Fonda overcame the threat of filming an extensive and costly action scene by improvising a monologue while asking queries from the background about the development of the attack, an area Fonda was well informed. Afterwards, they edited the queries.


Ford carefully made use of the close-ups and camera movements (Spicer). He preferred fixed intermediate and lengthy shots, with his cast enclosed against melodramatic interiors illuminated in an expressionistic design. However, he mostly valued scanning shots, though at times he used theatrical dolls. For instance, in John’s debut in the Stagecoach. Also, Ford is well known for his eye-catching track-down shots, evident in the Apache quest in Stagecoach.

Visual motifs

Ford used harking back visual motifs that comprised caravans and a result, majority of his films begun and ended with a connecting addition, he engaged gesture motifs in a majority of his films. For instance, object throwing and illumination of lamps, contests, and cigarettes. Notably, he used this in Tom Tyler, the gunman in Stagecoach. On the other hand, his sound films were accompanied with transcription of his cherished oratorio, Shall We Gather at the River? For instance, he used it comically to accentuate the starting arena of Stagecoach, where Dallas, the prostitute is chased out of township the matrons. Also, character signatures reappear in John’s films. For instance, Quinacannon appears in many films like The Lost Patrol and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon.


Ford gave his players limited clear-cut direction (Thompson and Bordwell). In addition, he would occasionally walk casually through the scenery himself. Consequently, it was anticipated that the players were to observe the profound eccentricity and behavior. On the contrary, failure to observe these John made them go through the scenery they till observed it, For instance, on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, John went through the scenery together with O’Brien Edmond by descending his hand on the rails. As a result, Edmond observed this but intentionally scorned. On the contrary, he also descended his hand on the rail. Additionally, Ford did not correct Edmond rather Edmond repeated the show in 42 turns till he gave in to John’s idea.

Shooting Location

John had a favorite locality for most of his films (Thompson and Bordwell). He preferred Utah’s Monument Valley (Spicer). Consequently, this area enabled him to characterize images of Western America with the greatest exquisite and authoritative cinematography shot. In addition, the area offered the best visual effect. For instance, this is witnessed in Fort Apache, Stagecoach, and The searchers. More importantly, the well-known scenery where the cavalry contingent was filmed against an onrushing storm in the film, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.


John Ford had unique cinematic and audio-visual styles. He used his mind to compose pictures, also he utilized camera movements which ensured that is films were above the rest in quality. Additionally, Ford directed his actors with a limited clear-cut direction which ensured, they always observed Ford’s way. Furthermore, he wanted to create films of best visual effects opting to Utah’s Mountain Valley to achieve this.

Annotated Bibliography

John Ford 2 April 2014. Inc. 27 October 2017.

The site highlights the most engrossing, astonishing and interesting autobiographies about preeminent individuals. The website is an electronic data source with over seven thousand autobiographies. The site has regular countenance that focuses on the meaningful, captivating and astonishing views.

Spicer, Jeffrey. The changing Face of Western Analysis of Hollywood Western Films from Dierctor Ford and Others. masters Thesis. Ohio: Cleveland State University, 2010. print. 27 October 2017.

The author of this report investigates Ford's works since 1939 to1964.Also it focuses on top films by other Western directors so as to reveal the common directions in the Western category that were common to the Western directors. Additionally, it highlights the various cinematic styles used by the directors over the years.

Thompson, Kristin and David Bordwell. 28 June 2010. Inc. 27 October 2017. is an online digital source that posts articles, books and blogs about various film works. It analyzes the various cinematic and audio visual styles used by various film directors since the 19th century.

April 13, 2023


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