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The Essential John Ford Collection [6 Discs] [DVD]

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$39.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Drums Along the Mohawk: Audio commentary by film historian Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman, adverstising gallery, still galleries
  • The Grapes of Wrath: audio commentary by film historian Joseph McBride and Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw, U.K. prologue, Darryl F. Zanuck: 20th century filmmaker as seen on Biography on the A&E Network, Fox movietonews, restoration comparison, original theatrical trailer, still gallery
  • How Green Was My Valley: audio commentary by actor Anna Lee Nathan and film historian Joseph McBride, AMC backstory, original theatrical trailer, still gallery
  • My Darling Clementine: alternate pre-release version, "What is Pre-Release Version?" documentary, audio commentary by author Scott Eyman and Wyatt Earp III, original theatrical trailer, still gallery
  • Becoming John Ford: WWII documentary short subjects directed by John Ford, interactive pressbook galleries, vintage program galleries, the Ford at Fox advertising and still gallery archives
  • Frontier Marshall: original theatrical trailer, still gallery

Synopsis

Frontier Marshal
The second of three films based on the Wyatt Earp biography by Stuart N. Lake, Frontier Marshal stars Randolph Scott as Marshal Earp of Tombstone. Earp and his brothers enforce the law as much by reputation as by gunplay. Occasionally the marshal's efforts are complicated by his "friendly enemy" Doc Halliday (based on Doc Holliday and played by Cesar Romero), a consumptive gunslinger who runs the gambling activities in town. When a murderous outlaw (Joe Sawyer) invades Tombstone and kills Halliday, Earp is moved to action -- and the result is the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. A remake of the 1934 film of the same name, Frontier Marshal was itself remade by John Ford as My Darling Clementine (1946), with Henry Fonda as Earp and Victor Mature as Doc Holliday. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

How Green Was My Valley
Spanning 50 years, director John Ford's How Green Was My Valley revolves around the life of the Morgans, a Welsh mining family, as told through the eyes of its youngest child Huw (Roddy McDowall). Over the years, the family struggles to survive through unionization, strikes, and child abuse. As they do so, their hometown and its culture begins to slowly decline. Donald Crisp portrays Gwilym, the patriarch of the Morgan household, who dreams of a better life for young Huw. Based on the novel of the same name by Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Crisp), Best Art Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Picture (beating Citizen Kane). The book was later adapted into a 1975 BBC miniseries. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

My Darling Clementine
One of the greatest movie Westerns, John Ford's My Darling Clementine is hardly the most accurate film version of the Wyatt Earp legend, but it is still one of the most entertaining. Henry Fonda stars as former lawman Wyatt Earp, who, after cleaning up Dodge City, arrives in the outskirts of Tombstone with his brothers Morgan (Ward Bond), Virgil (Tim Holt), and James (Don Garner), planning to sell their cattle and settle down as gentlemen farmers. Yet Wyatt, disgusted by crime and cattle rustling, eventually agrees to take the marshalling job until he can gather enough evidence to bring to justice the scurrilous Clanton clan, headed by smooth-talking but shifty-eyed Old Man Clanton (Walter Brennan). Almost immediately, Wyatt runs afoul of consumptive, self-hating gambling boss Doc Holliday (Victor Mature, in perhaps his best performance). When Doc's erstwhile sweetheart, Clementine (Cathy Downs) comes to town, Earp is immediately smitten. However, Doc himself is now involved with saloon gal Chihauhua (Linda Darnell). The tensions among Wyatt, Doc, Clementine, and Chihauhua wax and wane throughout most of the film, leading to the legendary gunfight at the OK Corral, with Wyatt and Doc fighting side-by-side against the despicable Clantons. Its powerful storyline and full-blooded characterizations aside, My Darling Clementine is most entertaining during those little "humanizing" moments common to Ford's films, notably Wyatt's impromptu "balancing act" while seated on the porch of the Tombstone hotel, and Wyatt's and Clementine's dance on the occasion of the town's church-raising. Based on Stuart N. Lake's novel Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshall (previously filmed twice by Fox), the screenplay is full of wonderful dialogue, the best of which is the brief, philosophical exchange about women between Earp and Mac the bartender (J. Farrell MacDonald). The movie also features crisp, evocative black-and-white photography by Joseph MacDonald. Producer (Daryl F. Zanuck) was displeased with Ford's original cut and the film went through several re-shoots and re-edits before its general release in November of 1946. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Becoming John Ford
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Nick Redman details director John Ford's remarkable stint at Twentieth Century Fox in an intimately detailed documentary that pays special attention to the relationship between the famed Grapes of Wrath director and studio head Darryl F. Zanuck. A master of the silent film who would go on to become a true legend of American cinema, Ford was just twenty-six years old when he took the helm for Just Pals (1920). Later, when Fox merged with 20th Century in 1935, Ford went to work with the notoriously strong-willed Zanuck. If there was any filmmaker who could give Zanuck a run for his money it was Ford, and it wasn't long before the director made history by earning back-to-back Oscars. Additional input from Ford biographer Joseph McBride, film historian Rudy Behlmer, and screen legend Peter Fonda (whose father Henry had a long-running professional relationship with the filmmaker) ensure that this is one of the most painstakingly assembled profiles of Ford ever committed to film. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

The Grapes of Wrath
The adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of dirt-poor Dust Bowl migrants by 4-time Oscar-winning director John Ford starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, who opens the movie returning to his Oklahoma home after serving jail time for manslaughter. En route, Tom meets family friend Casey (John Carradine), a former preacher who warns Tom that dust storms, crop failures, and new agricultural methods have financially decimated the once prosperous Oklahoma farmland. Upon returning to his family farm, Tom is greeted by his mother (Oscar-winner Jane Darwell), who tells him that the family is packing up for the "promised land" of California. Warned that they shouldn't expect a warm welcome in California--they've already seen the caravan of dispirited farmers, heading back home after striking out at finding work--the Joads push on all the same. Their first stop is a wretched migrant camp, full of starving children and surrounded by armed guards. Further down the road, the Joads drive into an idyllic government camp, with clean lodging, indoor plumbing, and a self-governing clientele. When Tom ultimately bids goodbye to his mother, who asks him where he'll go, he delivers the film's most famous speech: "I'll be all around...Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat...Whenever there's a cop beating a guy, I'll be there...And when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build. I'll be there too." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Drums Along the Mohawk
John Ford directed this outdoor adventure set in the American Colonial period. Gilbert and Lana Martin (Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert) are a young couple trying to make a home in New York State's Mohawk Valley, but repeated attacks by Indians drive them, along with other settlers in the valley, into a nearby fort, where they watch helplessly as the natives lay waste to their farms and cabins. A spinster with a large farm, Sarah McKlennar (Edna May Oliver), comes to their rescue when she hires Gilbert to work as a field hand and gives the Martins a place to stay. The rugged life of the farm and frontier doesn't always sit well with Lana, who was raised in wealthy and comfortable circumstances; in time she develops a thicker skin and learns to love their new life in the Mohawk Valley, especially after giving birth to their first son. Gilbert joins the militia, who must do battle both with the local Indian tribes and the British soldiers who are provoking them to battle. Gilbert returns wounded, and as he recuperates, a healthy crop rises in the fields, but their satisfaction is short lived when the Indians once again hit the warpath. 1939 was a stellar year for John Ford; along with this highly successful adventure tale, which was nominated for three Academy Awards, Ford also released the ground-breaking western Stagecoach. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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