The Great Western Directors

John Ford

“I am… a mushroom; On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then.” – John Ford

John Ford

Documentary Biography: Directed by John Ford (1971)

“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” / John Ford

John Ford Western Filmography (partial)

Information edited from Screen Junkies: John Ford Western Movies – Jackie Barlow /

  • “Rider of the Law” – 1919, black and white silent movie – Told of the adventures of  the Texas Rangers.
  • “3 Bad Men” – 1926, Ford’s last silent western. Filmed in the Mojave Desert and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
  • Stagecoach” – 1939, Ford’s first western with sound. Starring the unknown John Wayne, along with Claire Trevor, this movie is still the most admired and the most imitated of all the Hollywood movies.
  • “MoDrums Along the hawk” – 1939, Ford’s first Technicolor movie.  It co-starred Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.
  • “My Darling Clementine” – 1946, romanticized version of the legend of Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Film’s starred Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp, Victor Mature as Doc Holliday, and Linda Darnell.
  • “Fort Apache” – 1948, The first of Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy”.  John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and also Shirley Temple in one of her last movie appearances. It was one of the first movies to present a sympathetic and authentic view of Native Americans.
  • “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” – 1949, second of the “Cavalry Trilogy”.  In Technicolor.
  • “Rio Grande” – 1950, Third part of the “Cavalry Trilogy” starred John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and screen debut of Wayne’s son Patrick Wayne.
  • “The Searchers” – 1956, The only western Ford made in the 1950’s besides “Rio Grande”, this  movie was named “the greatest western of all time” by the American Film Institute in 2008. Featured the rising star Natalie Wood as well as Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, and others.
  • “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” – 1962, said to be Ford’s last great movie.  It starred John Wayne, Vera Miles, James Stewart, Edmund O’Brien, Andy Devine, Lee Marvin, Denver Pyle, and John Carradine.


John Sturges

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Howard Hawkes … bio forthcoming

Sergio Leone … bio forthcoming

Kris Kristofferson on Sam Peckinpah: “One of the best descriptions i ever read of Sam, some guy said that ‘he looked like a man that was stalking an animal much larger than himself’. That’s the way Sam appeared to me. And I think that animal was violence.”

Sam Peckinpah – Man of Iron:
Kris Kristofferson Interview

Warren Oates on Sam Peckinpah: “Sam has always believed, and I believe rightly, that he is there to make the film and that anyone who stands in his way is dead. They’re in deep, deep trouble. And anyone who doesn’t come up to snuff and do their job absolutely perfectly is in deep trouble with Sam.”
“I don’t think he’s (Sam Peckinpah) a horrible maniac; it’s just that he injures your innocence, and you get pissed off about it.”

 Kevin Costner - Open Range
Kevin Costner – Open Range

4 thoughts on “The Great Western Directors”

  1. I never knew anything about directors until Garry came along and enlightened me. I was surprised at how many of my favorite movies were made by John Ford. He made an awful lot of movies. No surprise one got away.

    1. Most of his early work was lost. Silent Westerns. They just threw them away, not thinking how valuable they would be now. And I think the fact that they were silent was what taught him to frame and compose his scenes so brilliantly.

Leave a Reply