John Ford And Chesty: A Winning Western Legend

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He was the academy winning Western legend, recognized as one of the best filmmakers of all time, his name was John Ford. He started out his career in film in July 1914 as an assistant, labourman and actor for his brother, Francis Ford. It was not until 1917 where he made his debut as a director with The Tornado and ended his career in the early 1970s with his last film, Chesty: A Tribute to a Legend as a result of his death in 1973. He started out making films in California, where he later went to become a Hollywood actor-writer-director. He started out with silent films during his first decade of his directing career from 1917 to 1928. He later followed the trend of talkies, movies with synchronized sounds, as one of its pioneer directors.…show more content…
All members of the film’s productions were workers under contract, each with their own specialty of work separated into distinguished departments. For example, directors were not usually the ones who would have a say to final cut, as that was reserved for the editor of the film as its job dictated. To overcome that obstacle, John Ford resorted to cutting in camera where he would shoot scenes in sequence, avoid repeated takes and reduced the shooting of scenes from different angles as he believed this would ensure that his vision would not be compromised by the executives. In addition, the Classic Studio System also started the trend of films carrying elements of different genres. This resulted in films being seen as hybrids of two or more genres. This included John Ford’s work. One of those examples was Stagecoach where he added elements of road movies such as having the characters going on a long journey that lasted throughout the movie, which in this case was travelling from Tonto, Arizona Territory to Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory and those of disaster movies such as having characters that had different backgrounds and had their different reasons for…show more content…
However, John Ford was best known for his Westerns and played a huge role in increasing their popularity. Some of the characteristics that were common in his films were his stationary shots combined with deliberate and slow-paced editing. His use of the cavalry in his Westerns, the Navajo tribe and having long shots of the protagonists set in natural, rocky topographies to bring out more of the Old West environment. Most famously was the Monument Valley as it was featured in so many of his films to the point where a lookout point was named after him, so-named John Ford’s Point. He was also notable for emphasizing on character development back when one-dimension characters were the norm and focused on the everyday people as much as he did with the heroes of the movie. One film that displayed those elements famously was Stagecoach, you have the cowboy protagonist, the antagonistic outlaw, the fallen lady with a heart of gold and the courageous yet vulnerable wife as well as featuring a climax that involved a close save by the cavalry. Another example of films that dealt with character development was The Searchers. This film explored the darker themes of loneliness with its main character, Ethan Edwards, being a loner who lost his humanity

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