The Western is arguably the most popular and longlived form in cinematic history, and the ackwledged master of that genre was John Ford. His Westerns, including The Searchers, Stagecoach, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, have had an ermous influence on contemporary U.S. filmmakers, and on everything from Star Wars to Taxi Driver. In nine majors essays from some of the most prominent scholars of Hollywood film, John Ford Made Westerns: Filming The Legend in The Sound Era situates the sound era westerns of John Ford within contemporary critical contexts and regards them from fresh perspectives. These range from examining Ford's relation to other art forms (most tably literature, painting and music) to exploring the development of the director's public reputation as a director of Westerns. Articles also address the intricacies of Ford's shifting approach to storytelling and the subtle techniques whereby Ford's films guide spectator interpretation and emotional engagement.While giving attention to film style and structure, the volume also explores the ways in which these much loved films engage with tions of masculinity and gender roles, capitalism and community, as well as racial and sexual identity. Authors also examine how Ford's sound-era Westerns create a complex relationship to the genre's traditional project of defining an American nation and how they uphold up but also question popular culture depictions of history and nationhood, to offer a commentary that engages with both the past, the present and the future. In addition to new scholarship, the volume also offers a dossier section of out of the way magazine articles that illuminate the issues raised by essays, including the director's tribute to John Wayne as well as a moving posthumous appraisal of the director published by the Director's Guild of America.
Gaylyn Studlar is Director and Professor of Film Studies and English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has published widely on issues of gender in Hollywood cinema.Matthew Bernstein is the author of Walter Wanger, Hollywood Independent, editor of Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era, and co-editor (with Gaylyn Studlar) of Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film. He is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Emory University.