Essential John Ford

by dla_one | created - 10 Apr 2017 | updated - 20 Apr 2017 | Public

Here's another director with a ridiculously long career where a more manageable list of highlights would be useful. These are his highest rated (over 7/10) most viewed films (over 1000 votes) on IMDb.

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1. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 81,878 | Gross: $0.06M

2. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Western

94 Metascore

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin

Votes: 63,534

3. The Searchers (1956)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

94 Metascore

An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond

Votes: 74,145

4. The Quiet Man (1952)

Passed | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond

Votes: 32,237 | Gross: $10.55M

5. Stagecoach (1939)

Passed | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

93 Metascore

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 38,885

6. My Darling Clementine (1946)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Western

The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs

Votes: 19,714

7. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp

Votes: 19,445

8. Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan | Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon

Votes: 14,455 | Gross: $21.20M

9. Fort Apache (1948)

Not Rated | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Pedro Armendáriz

Votes: 15,136

10. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Passed | 100 min | Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, Arleen Whelan

Votes: 6,811

11. The Informer (1935)

Approved | 91 min | Crime, Drama

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster, Margot Grahame

Votes: 5,236

12. Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | 111 min | Crime, Western

Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Woody Strode, Constance Towers, Billie Burke

Votes: 3,583

13. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Passed | 104 min | Western

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson

Votes: 14,470

14. The Last Hurrah (1958)

Approved | 121 min | Comedy, Drama

Frank Skeffington is an old Irish-American political boss, running for re-election as mayor of a U.S. town for the last time.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster, Pat O'Brien

Votes: 2,677

15. The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)

Approved | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater, Arthur Byron

Votes: 1,805

16. The Whole Town's Talking (1935)

Approved | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A meek milquetoast of a clerk is mistaken for Public Enemy #1, and the notorious killer takes advantage of the situation.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur, Arthur Hohl, James Donlan

Votes: 1,921

17. They Were Expendable (1945)

Approved | 135 min | Drama, War

The PT boat unit Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three defends the Philippines from Japanese invasion during World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jack Holt

Votes: 7,036

18. The Hurricane (1937)

Approved | 110 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A Polynesian sailor -- unjustly imprisoned after defending himself against a colonial bully -- is relentlessly persecuted by his island's martinet French governor.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Mary Astor, C. Aubrey Smith

Votes: 2,148

19. The Long Gray Line (1955)

Approved | 138 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

In 1898, Irish immigrant Martin Maher is hired as a civilian employee at West Point where, during a 50-year career, he rises to the rank of NCO and instructor.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Robert Francis, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,197

20. The Iron Horse (1924)

Passed | 150 min | History, Romance, Western

After witnessing the murder of his father by a renegade as a boy, the grown-up Brandon helps to realize his father's dream of a transcontinental railway.

Director: John Ford | Stars: George O'Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull, Cyril Chadwick

Votes: 1,779 | Gross: $2.06M

21. The Horse Soldiers (1959)

Approved | 120 min | Adventure, Romance, War

In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt

Votes: 8,559

22. Rio Grande (1950)

Passed | 105 min | Romance, Western

A cavalry officer posted on the Rio Grande must deal with murderous raiding Apaches, his son who's a risk-taking recruit and his wife from whom he has been separated for many years.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson, Claude Jarman Jr.

Votes: 12,881

23. Pinky (1949)

Approved | 102 min | Drama

A light-skinned black woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors: Elia Kazan, John Ford | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters, William Lundigan

Votes: 2,439 | Gross: $4.20M

24. 3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Western

Three outlaws on the run find a dying woman in the desert who gives birth to a baby. The mother entrusts the care of the child to the three men.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Votes: 7,590

25. Wagon Master (1950)

Approved | 86 min | Adventure, Western

Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Votes: 3,791

26. The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, War

In 1940, the motley crew of the British tramp steamer SS Glencairn prepares the ship for its perilous voyage from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Ward Bond

Votes: 3,482

27. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, History, Romance

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins

Votes: 5,146 | Gross: $1.00M



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