John Ford (1894-1973) is universally ackwledged as one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema. He is the only person to win four Academy Awards for Direction, for The Informer (1935), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), and The Quiet Man (1952). This reference book is a comprehensive guide to his career. The volume begins with a biography that looks at Ford as a person, a director, and a cinematic legend and influence. Ford's life is discussed chrologically, but the biography repeatedly considers how his early experiences shaped his creative vision and attempts to explain why he was so self-destructive and unhappy throughout his career. In addition, the biography carefully scrutinizes his methods, styles, techniques, and secrets of direction. A chrology presents his achievements in capsule form. The rest of the book provides detailed information about his many productions and about the response to his works. The heart of the volume is a filmography, which includes individual entries for 184 films with which Ford was involved, as either an actor, a director, a producer, a writer, an advisor, or an assistant. These entries include cast and credit information, a plot sypsis, critical commentary, and excerpts from reviews. The book also includes the most extensive antated bibliography on Ford ever published, with more than 1000 entries for books, articles, dissertations, documentaries, and even four works of fiction concerning Ford. Additional sections of the book provide information about his unrealized projects; his radio, television, and theater work; his awards and hors; and special collections and archives.
BILL LEVY is a Western New Jersey freelance writer focusing on twentieth-century American culture. He contributes regularly to Movie Collector's World, and is the author of the humorous newspaper column, Levy's Wry.