Birth of a nation : Fonda and Colbert are the Adam and Eve of this new world in Technicolor. Ford pictures a dreamlike America, before the men, before the wars. A world full of recollections for the irish : the fields, the feasts and the dances, the church. As always, the accuracy to details and the attention to secondary characters make the finest work you will find. Minor Ford ? Instant classic !
Probably the weakest Ford I have seen so far. His first and possibly most beautiful colour film, but the characters and plot are unfortunately dull and seems too studio/costume-drama like for me, not personal or experimental enough in the way it handles Fords usual themes. At its worse it feels like an extended war scene, with the Indians and English enemies given no motivation or consideration.
All of Ford's vices, and scant few of his virtues. You get a good action finale plus his way with landscapes, but you have to take his most boring characters and sloppy construction. Fonda is a stiff, and Claudette Colbert, a lively comedienne, is forced to alternate between dutiful sorrow and hysterical fainting. What's most fascinating about Ford's take on US history are all of the wishful, willful blind spots.
John Ford takes the western into the Revolutionary War era in this magnificent drama about a young farmer and his new wife whose efforts to build a new home are thwarted by indian attacks led by British soldiers trying to open up a new front of the war. Gorgeous Technicolor palate (a first for Ford), with striking use of light and shadow, the film memorably examines frontier life in breathtaking detail.