Searching for John Ford

Front Cover
University Press of Mississippi, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 838 pages

John Ford's classic films--such as Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, The Quiet Man, and The Searchers--have earned him worldwide admiration as America's foremost filmmaker, a director whose rich visual imagination conjures up indelible, deeply moving images of our collective past.

Joseph McBride's Searching for John Ford, described as definitive by both the New York Times and the Irish Times, surpasses all other biographies of the filmmaker in its depth, originality, and insight. Encompassing and illuminating Ford's myriad complexities and contradictions, McBride traces the trajectory of Ford's life from his beginnings as "Bull" Feeney, the nearsighted, football-playing son of Irish immigrants in Portland, Maine, to his recognition, after a long, controversial, and much-honored career, as America's national mythmaker. Blending lively and penetrating analyses of Ford's films with an impeccably documented narrative of the historical and psychological contexts in which those films were created, McBride has at long last given John Ford the biography his stature demands.

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Kirkus

A fine but overlong biography of the brilliant, cantankerous director who fashioned such movie classics as The Grapes of Wrath, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Quiet Man, and The Searchers.Born ... Read full review

Searching for John Ford: a life

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"My name's John Ford. I make Westerns." Ford preferred to let his work speak for itself, and his abrasive encounters with film scholars have become legendary. In fact, "Pappy" Ford, who fancied ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Joseph McBride, Berkeley, California, is a film historian and associate professor in the cinema department at San Francisco State University. His many books also include Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success; Hawks on Hawks; and What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? A Portrait of an Independent Career.

Bibliographic information