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
According to Tag Gallagher, not a single line of O'Neill's dialogue makes it into Ford's final vision. Balls, baby, balls!
I would never relate this to any of those movies from the noughts being referred. It is only the greatest director who ever lived, filming, with a magnificent black and white director of photography, a story of men in the sea, those who never get old because land - and its issues - passes them by. Strong team work they do, while the mermaids sing. I won't forget this experience soon.
Ford had a sentimental streak a mile wide but his films could also be extremely poetic and no more so than in this visually arresting and quite beautiful adaptation of four of Eugene O'Neill's one-act plays. The story of the crew of the ship Glencairn at the start of World War II is a triumph of teamwork as Ford had such great collaborators on the project like Toland, Nichols and the superb ensemble cast of actors...