Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Essential John Ford

July 3–August 2, 2015

Despite his gruff, laconic manner, John Ford made some of Hollywood’s most lyrical, poetic films, in which the conflict between good and evil was never simply resolved. In a career spanning 1917 to 1965, he directed more than 150 films, and was a consummate filmmaker who comfortably alternated between dramatic scenes and moments of quiet reflection. This series is a selection of 20 of his greatest works, all shown on film.

Though Ford made his reputation on westerns, he worked in many genres, creating films of depth, beauty, and ambiguity. The eternal conflicts between order and chaos, nature and civilization, the law and the hero’s code of ethics, and the disparity between fact and legend are explored with nostalgia and cynicism in such masterworks as My Darling Clementine, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The Searchers is a study of obsession and alienation that has greatly influenced contemporary cinema. Orson Welles, when asked what directors he most admired, replied “the old masters…by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.”