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Searching for John Ford

Searching for John Ford

By Joseph McBride
Paperback : 9781604734676, 848 pages, February 2011

The definitive biography of one of Hollywood's master directors


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.


"Joseph McBride's book has the sweep, passion, complexity, and tragic grandeur of a great John Ford film. "--Martin Scorsese

"McBride has produced a fine, long-needed biography of a pivotal American artist. "--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Searching for John Ford is a treasure, both for the Ford expert and for someone set to enjoy The Searchers for the first time. " --Premiere