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: John Ford  ( 9464 )
drinkanddestroy
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« #45 : December 03, 2017, 02:45:38 PM »

Ford made a crapload of movies. Some are garbage. Even among the great ones, there are flaws. So what? OUATIA is also a great film, and it has a helluvalotta flaws.

Ford was a great filmmaker, the king of the American Western, and I don't know how anyone can say his stock is dropping anywhere. Read any book, any article, about classic American Westerns, and his name is mentioned most prominently. When the revisionists made their revisionist Westerns, they were making revisions to John Ford - because he was synonymous with the American Western. And they spoke of him with reverence. Leone's films were very different from Ford's, but Leone's favorite AW filmmaker was John Ford. The quote is in Frayling's books. And Leone cherished an autographed photo sent to him by Ford. And in Frayling's book Once Upon a Time in Italy: The Westerns of Sergio Leone, there is an essay Leone wrote about Ford.

Ask any classic movie fan - whether he/she is American or foreign - to name their 5 or 10 favorite filmmakers of all time, and John Ford will almost inevitably be on the list. His stock isn't falling anywhere that I'm aware of  :)

What about your average fan?

I just checked out his most famous Westerns on IMDB. Here are the ratings.

TMWS Liberty Valance 8.1
The Searchers 8.0
Stagecoach 7.9
My Darling Clementine 7.8
Fort Apache 7.6
Sergeant Rutledge 7.5
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 7.4
The Horse Soldiers 7.2
Rio Grande 7.2
Wagon Master 7.2

7 Westerns rated 7.4 or above  And thus far I have discussed only the Westerns! (more specifically, only the sound Westerns).

During his lifetime, as is well known, the Academy honored him for his non-Westerns but not his Westerns. 4 Best Director Oscars for non-Westerns, in addition to the two best Documentary Oscars for two wartime documentaries he made.

Here are some of the ratings on his most famous non-Westerns:

The Grapes of Wrath 8.1
The Quiet Man 7.9
How Green Was My Valley 7.8
Mister Roberts 7.8 (he directed before dropping out; movie was finished by Mervyn LeRoy and Josh Logan)
Young Mr. Lincoln 7.6
The Informer 7.5
The Last Hurrah 7.4
Drums Along the Mohawk 7.1


I don't agree with all these ratings. But these are not ratings of a filmmaker whose stock is falling  :)

« : December 03, 2017, 05:49:11 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #46 : December 03, 2017, 05:01:58 PM »

Quote
From what I've read, Ford was considered as way too popular ad not edgy enough by everybody until the 60's, when he was suddenly acclaimed by the intelligencia (starting from the Cahiers du Cinema crowd).

Noodles, that's interesting. I haven't done any extensive research on this at all, but the few things I read seemed to consider him behind the times in the second half of the 20th century. I'll try to find the Cahiers du Cinema article.


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« #47 : December 04, 2017, 02:36:23 AM »



For example, our Friend Mr Siegel here doesn't care about the flaws you're talking about.

More likely he does not see them as flaws, or only as minor important things.

But so far we have not specified what are the flaws ...



GRAPES OF WRATH is my favorite film made in the 30s :).


Not bad for a film of the 40s ...

(I know it was shot in 1939, and some might say that a decade starts with the year with the 1, but it was always a film of the 40s for me )

« : December 04, 2017, 02:42:25 AM stanton »

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« #48 : December 04, 2017, 04:02:10 AM »

Exactly. How do you guys define " flaws " ?
I can't work with that expression anyway.
NOTHING is "flawless". Maybe certain flowers, sunsets, animals, skylines...

Anyway, I can't take people serious who downtick the great artists & masters.
If one can't stand Hitchcock's themes - that's fine. But to claim "he is overrated blabla..."
is just that, blabla... If you're an architect and can't appreciate F. L. Wright, then
something is wrong with you :).

Among the great masters who developed the art of film making, Ford will always
be Top 5. He made masterpieces in every decade. His career was quite complicated
and the films he did just "to do something" are sometimes just mediocre. But I don't
celebrate Leone because of COLOSSUS OF RHODES, as much as I don't celebrate
Ford for THE LONG GRAY LINE or Hawks for RED LINE 700.


GRAPES OF WRATH is the essential 30s film :).
The book deals with the 30's, it was written in the 30's, the film was made in the 30's,
30's all over the place :).  Same with SILENZIO, WILD BUNCH, EASY RIDER. Of
course it is technically right to label them with "1969", but "68" is all over them...



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« #49 : December 04, 2017, 05:55:35 AM »

I don't think there's a notable difference between 1968 and 1969 (and Silence is btw doubtless 1968, shot and released that year, Corbucci even shot and released another great film that year, after Silence).

Still I view Grapes of Wrath as a 40s film (actually I thought is was a film from 1941). ;)

Flaws are things which feel wrong in a film, and Ford's films are filled with such things (especially sentimentality, naivety and his rather primitive "humour").

I think there are flawless films, but a flawed film might be better then a flawless one. But remember what one thinks is a flaw, that is as subjective as what one considers as a masterpiece and what as a boring film. But the flaws in Ford's films are often a bit too massive for my taste.












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« #50 : December 04, 2017, 06:06:57 AM »



Anyway, I can't take people serious who downtick the great artists & masters.
If one can't stand Hitchcock's themes - that's fine. But to claim "he is overrated blabla..."
is just that, blabla... If you're an architect and can't appreciate F. L. Wright, then
something is wrong with you :).


Mike, I think this is very problematic.
That'a way to create a uniformed taste, which defines what is good and not. Which wants to create objective criteria for art (and for anything else), but for me everything is subjective, and if I'm bored by an artist (whatever his reputation might be), I see no reason to dislike his work. And if a majority says that an artist is fantastic, than it is everybody's right who disagrees to call such an artist "overrated".
And it works also the other way round, with films which don't get enough recognition (imo). Like Quantum of Solace, which is an incredible rich and beautiful work.

And then, over the decades it often enough changes who a great master is and who not anymore.

Well, for me none of Ford's films is on the level of OUTW, TWB, 2001, Eight and a Half, The Hour of the Wolf or Mulholland Drive. Not even close. Same goes for Hawks, whose films I enjoy though very much. But Hitchcock has made a few films coming close or reaching that level.

« : December 04, 2017, 06:12:03 AM stanton »

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« #51 : December 04, 2017, 07:07:33 AM »

Whats with the obsession of distinguishing 30s and 40s, an arnitrary line? Maybe the line, if there has to be a line, should be 1935-1945, or 1933-1943. Or 1939-1944. Who cares.

In my opinion - considering that many of the early sound films or crabby as they were rather static, and the dialogue was spoken in a very weird way -  The first full decade of great sound films was the 1940s. But there were definitely great films already in the late 30s. So to me, if we are grouping eras, 1939 has much more similarity to the early 40s than the early 30s  :)




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« #52 : December 04, 2017, 08:36:45 AM »

I think you can appreciate the artistry in something and as a result respect it without actually enjoying it that much beyond the pleasure of seeing something masterful (however boring it might otherwise be to you)

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« #53 : December 04, 2017, 08:59:48 AM »

It is not about "uniformed taste", rather learning about the trade & respect.
Only critics bash everything in sight.
And they don't count much to me, neither does the majority of the audience.

When you study an art form and you have good teacher, they'd never downtalk
the big great masters. One doesn't have to love their work - of course - but
one has to respect and acknowledge it. And s(sooner or later) realize WHY the
work (or some of it anyway) is great. Critics don't know that really - only people
who create themselves. That's why Leone was a Fordian and why Tarantino
is a Leone geek. To say that Ford didn't make film as "good" as OUATITW is
a bold statement, but I'm sure out there one can also find people who truly
think that a Tarantino western is better than a Leone western... :).

Back to work, I just finished 70 minutes of supplements for the upcoming FOD US Blu-ray :).



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« #54 : December 04, 2017, 09:29:41 AM »

Whats with the obsession of distinguishing 30s and 40s, an arnitrary line?

No obsession, just a few remarks not to be taken too serious.


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« #55 : December 04, 2017, 09:38:03 AM »

It is not about "uniformed taste", rather learning about the trade & respect.
Only critics bash everything in sight.
And they don't count much to me, neither does the majority of the audience.

When you study an art form and you have good teacher, they'd never downtalk
the big great masters. One doesn't have to love their work - of course - but
one has to respect and acknowledge it. And s(sooner or later) realize WHY the
work (or some of it anyway) is great. Critics don't know that really - only people
who create themselves. That's why Leone was a Fordian and why Tarantino
is a Leone geek. To say that Ford didn't make film as "good" as OUATITW is
a bold statement, but I'm sure out there one can also find people who truly
think that a Tarantino western is better than a Leone western... :).


I disagree with most of that.
It's all a matter of taste. There is no truth about art, only opinions.

I do respect some films I don't really like, but there are others where I simply don't see anything in them. Of course some times I begin to understand after many years why certain films were praised by others, but for some "classics" this will never happen.

And I think in former years people might have said ironically about Leone's westerns: "I'm sure out there one can also find people who truly think that a Leone western is better than a Ford/Hawks/Mann western".


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« #56 : December 04, 2017, 09:42:04 AM »

It is not about "uniformed taste", rather learning about the trade & respect.
Only critics bash everything in sight.
And they don't count much to me, neither does the majority of the audience.

When you study an art form and you have good teacher, they'd never downtalk
the big great masters. One doesn't have to love their work - of course - but
one has to respect and acknowledge it. And s(sooner or later) realize WHY the
work (or some of it anyway) is great. Critics don't know that really - only people
who create themselves.

But those who "create themselves" were also often enough keen on bashing the works of other directors, or not "understanding" them. I see there no real difference between critics and directors if it comes to the bashing aspect.


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« #57 : December 04, 2017, 12:55:58 PM »

The Searchers is the only highly rated movie of John Ford that i think is a horrible movie.  I liked nothing about it at all...

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« #58 : December 04, 2017, 01:02:18 PM »

I don't like The Searchers much. But I wouldn't say I don't like "anything about it at all." It has great cinematography, great acting by Wayne, great "framing" shots to open and close the movie. The last shot, Wayne walking away, with that song, so fitting ... a great ending shot to a very overrated movie.


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« #59 : December 04, 2017, 01:16:54 PM »

I don't like The Searchers much. But I wouldn't say I don't like "anything about it at all." It has great cinematography, great acting by Wayne, great "framing" shots to open and close the movie. The last shot, Wayne walking away, with that song, so fitting ... a great ending shot to a very overrated movie.

A lot of people agree that its overrated. I personally didn't think nothing of the cinematography.  I might have to watch it again.

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