I just finished watching ‘Young Mr. Lincoln’ (Brilliant, by the way) and was wondering if anyone else agrees that Criterion should have many more John Ford films in their collection. He’s arguably one of, if not the best American filmmaker ever, and a few of his works could benefit from new transfers. Most notably, ‘The Quiet Man’. I long to see this film as it was photographed originally. With the lush and vibrant Irish countryside.
The Searchers and My Darling Clementine would be excellent additions as well.
Lovely film called ‘The Long Voyage Home’….. some O’Neil short stories, so double good. I only have a crappy old VHS of it, so Criterion would be ideal!
and yes, Ford is at least the greatest American director, even if he tried to con everyone he was Irish…
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is probably my second favorite western ever. How Green Was My Valley is a pretty untouchable movie as well. I’m not entirely sure that John Ford would make my top 5 best American directors, but he’s definitely one of the top 5 most important American directors.
I’d like someone to do a box of Ford’s (maybe) three best movies, none of which has been issued on dvd: Wagon Master; 7 Women; The Sun Shines Bright.
Agreed on Wagonmaster….. an absolute gem, a subtle and understated Ford.
The Warners dvd of The Long Voyage Home is a gorgeous restoration of the movie. The disc also contains a really really good documentary about Ford and his ketch, “Araner.” The film is also out in Germany (with an extra by me).
not available here in Oz…. D’oh! another import needed……. I’ll order it now, thanks. And congrats on the German title… I read the McBride last year… your thoughts?
There already are passable versions of my favorite Fords: The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath and Stagecoach, but I certainly wouldn’t be averse to better DVD presentations of many of his films.
I think the color looks a little murky on the Warners DVD of “The Searchers.”
The Searchers looks pretty good in HD. My Favorite Ford’s are probably that one, My Darling Clementine and The Grapes of Wrath. I’ve always wanted to Like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence better but have a hard time getting past Jimmy Stewart being at least 30 years too old for the role. Ford’s continuous usage of bad or corny actors like Ward Bond also flaws some of his movies.
I’m sure it is a rights issue of some kind that is keeping them from being Criterion releases.
I love STAGECOACH, one of the few perfect films. I hate every single minute of that YOUNG MR. LINCOLN thing, dreadful sentimental crap, with Fonda’s Uber-Folksy performance and that dreadful fake nose.
I love Stagecoach, too, Tom. John Wayne arguably has the greatest screen entrance ever, rivaled only (or if it all) by Harry Lime’s or Indiana Jones’.
Well Tom, it could be said that sentimentality can have it’s place in a story about one of the United States’ most revered heroes. And Ford does it so well. I think it’s even there a little bit in Stagecoach?
Yes, Bill, it could be said, but not by me. I can see why YOUNG MR. LINCOLN is what it is, it certainly fulfills a need to make one of the United States more revered heroes even more revered, I guess, but I don’t have to like it. I don’t see anything in STAGECOACH to match the (to me) really revolting folksy syrup of YOUNG MR. LINCOLN.
i know it is not exactly on topic, but raymond massey and “abe lincoln in illinois” kicks ford and fonda’s take in the ass. and i love ford.
I’d like to see The Fugitive again to see what I missed the first time around….. now that I’ve developed a taste for Antonioni paced films!
Also I liked his Young Mr Lincoln, but it does have it’s flaws (and that nose)…. but I really liked The Prisoner Of Shark Island. Anyone who sees the trial and doesn’t think of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Graib hasn’t been paying attention.
He is definitely one of the greatest directors in American history. Young Mr. Lincoln, How Green Was My Valley, The Searchers, The Grapes Of Wrath are all great films. I’d love to see more of his films in the Criterion Collection. There is a big box set out called “Ford At Fox” with a ton of his movies, but it’s very expensive.
Wagon Master and 7 Women definately need to be on Criterion! This guy’s probably the greatest American director ever yet he’s only got one film in the collection. His earlier talkies, namely Pilgrimage or Judge Priest would make excellent additions as well. I’d love to see some of the Harry Carey films on DVD as well. I just got a copy of Ford’s first film, Straight Shooting, with Carey, and its suprisingly powerful and espicially interesting because it points to the themes in later Ford films, namely The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
Good news….The Man who Shot Liberty Valance is being released in a two disc Special Edition through Paramounts Centennial Collection in May…..not quite Criterion but a vast improvement over the other editions
almost all the major Ford pictures already have excellent dvd issues out there, and at much lower prices than criterion would offer.
Of course, if you only buy movies because they’re in the criterion collection, i see how this can be a problem.
Ford is a cash cow for the studios. I doubt there is any way Criterion could get distribution rights.
>>Lovely film called ‘The Long Voyage Home’….. some O’Neil short stories<<
Actually one-act plays (I am such a nit-picker!).
And with John Wayne (not universally recognized for his acting ability) doing a very credible Swedish accent!
How Green Was My Valley should have gotten the treatment a loooong time ago. Guess it’s a matter of getting the rights. A perfect film!
Greg Tolland’s superb work on The Long Voyage Home is another reason it is a must see.
Since Bill H started this Forum talking about Young Mr. Lincoln, I thought I’d copy & paste my comments on that film made on the related Forum, Films of 1939:
An interesting tidbit about Young Mr. Lincoln: The concluding scene in the courtroom in which Abe Lincoln finds the guilty party and gets him to confess in open court by quoting the Farmer’s Almanac did not really happen in Abe’s actual legal career. Instead, the incident came from a trial that screenwriter Lamar Trotti attended when he was a Georgia reporter.
Also, the Cahiers du Cinema Marxist critics wrote a collective analysis of Young Mr. Lincoln back in 1972 that alleged that Darryl Zanuck and Twentieth Century-Fox made Young Mr. Lincoln in 1939 in order to promote the election chances of FDR’s Republican opponent in that year’s presidential election. The supposed logic was that since Lincoln was the first Republican president of the U.S., a film that glorified him would help the 1939 Republican candidate. However, I see the final moments of the film, with the Old Abe walking into the face of the growing storm as actually EQUATING Lincoln with FDR, who was at the time facing storm clouds over Europe and a continuing Depression.
The rest of the essay is actually rather interesting, once the authors get around to analyzing the film scene-by-scene, but they are WAY off on this political interpretation. After all, Darryl Zanuck made The Grapes of Wrath (also directed by Ford) for Fox the very next year.
“How Green Was My Valley” definitely. One of my all-time favorites. Absolutely beautiful film!