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Searching for John Ford

4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  82 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
John Ford’s classic films---such as Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, The Quiet Man, and The Searchers---earned him worldwide admiration as America’s foremost filmmaker, a director whose rich visual imagination conjured up indelible, deeply moving images of our collective past.

Joseph McBride’s Searching for John Ford surpasses all previous biographi
Paperback, 880 pages
Published April 5th 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2001)
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Sep 10, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jim by: Tristram
It's a good thing I'm writing a review of the book and not an assessment of the subject of the book - Mr FORD was not a very pleasant person at the best of times, and often he went way past unpleasant behaviour and was guilty of conduct that was downright despicable. Mr McBride has gone to a lot of trouble to attempt to open Ford up so the reader can see what makes him tick. The result is this book, a large volume that I wasn't sure I would be able to finish this year.

Ford was a very strange man
Dec 31, 2014 Tristram rated it it was amazing
“What made Ford a great popular artist is that he reflected so many facets of the people he addressed.

He was able to do so because he had so many warring factions within himself. […] What made him such a flawed human being was also what made him such a great artist. Those who expect artists to be ideal human beings fail to understand the nature of art. Often the greatest art comes out of torment, and some of the most important artists, such as Mozart and Tolstoy and Ford, lived in a riot of comp
Feb 25, 2008 Rob rated it it was amazing
This is the third biography of John Ford that I have read and easily the best. McBride is one of the premier historians of American film, with an earlier book that contains some of the best analyses of Ford's work ever written. I found the early chapters of Searching slow going, in part because I never enjoy that section of a biography, but as soon as Ford arrived in Hollywood and especially after he became renowned in the 1930s the book was riveting. McBride deftly approaches Ford's complex pol ...more
Dermott Hayes
Mar 20, 2014 Dermott Hayes rated it really liked it
McBride's biography of John Ford is exhaustive. It covers every stage of Ford's career and life in meticulous detail, even examine his Irish roots, school and college days as an Irish Yankee in Portland, Maine. As a fan of Ford's contribution to cinematic history, I've always wondered about this man who is one of American cinema's great pioneers yet one who managed to live and work within the studio system, without much creative conflict. The trick, of course, lay in Ford's background, first, as ...more
Peter Burton
Feb 03, 2016 Peter Burton rated it really liked it
Very good,detailed biography by a true lover of his movies.It makes you want to see them again to fully understand the author's analysis and comments.It turns out that Ford was a very unpleasant man,cruel ,rude but sometimes kind and thoughtful.An enigma.
Paul Bauer
Oct 18, 2011 Paul Bauer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The biggest surprise is that Ford bullied John Wayne, sometimes to tears. It's a reminder that being a great artist is completely unrelated to being a good person. I call that the Picasso rule.
Jun 02, 2008 Padraic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: irish-diaspora
What a pain in the tucas. And he made great films. Irish America meets the American West, and blinks, but not before signing off on The Searchers.
Sep 07, 2015 Clint rated it really liked it
An excellent, thorough, and as close to authoritative biography of the great filmmaker as is ever likely to be written.
Aug 21, 2013 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at my favorite director. Loved it.
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