Legendary director John Ford’s final film involving seven dedicated missionary women in China circa 1935 trying to protect themselves from the advances of a Mongolian barbaric warlord and his cut-throat gang of warriors. —IMDb
Maine-born John Ford (born Sean Aloysius O’Fearna) originally went to Hollywood in the shadow of his older brother, Francis, an actor/writer/director who had worked on Broadway. Originally a laborer, propman’s assistant, and occasional stuntman for his brother, he rose to became an assistant director and supporting actor before turning to directing in 1917. Ford became best known for his Westerns, of which he made dozens through the 1920s, but he didn’t achieve status as a major director until the mid-‘30s, when his films for RKO (The Lost Patrol 1934, The Informer 1935), 20th Century Fox (Young Mr. Lincoln 1939, The Grapes of Wrath 1940), and Walter Wanger (Stagecoach 1939), won over the public, the critics, and earned various Oscars and Academy nominations. His 1940s films included one military-produced documentary co-directed by Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland, December 7th (1943), which creaks badly today (especially compared with… read more
I suppose whether this is Ford's greatest or not is ultimately up to the viewer (though I've just reconfirmed for maybe the 20th time that at the very least this is Ford's 'heaviest' film) but moreover this film should be what is considered "textbook" for film schools. Not a single frame, gesture, movement, word or even line reading is wasted.
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