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Watch: 50-Minute 1971 Doc 'The American West Of John Ford' Tracks The Career Of The Legendary Director

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 24, 2014 at 12:08PM

There are few filmmakers who have done as much to define the cinematic western as John Ford. The director's collaborations with John Wayne in the genre speak for themselves—"The Searchers," "Stagecoach," "Fort Apache," etc.—and his influence as a filmmaker, storyteller and American cinema in general is huge. So how to do you sum up his career in 50 minutes?
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John Ford

There are few filmmakers who have done as much to define the cinematic western as John Ford. The director's collaborations with John Wayne in the genre speak for themselves—"The Searchers," "Stagecoach," "Fort Apache," etc.—and his influence as a filmmaker, storyteller and American cinema in general is huge. So how to do you sum up his career in 50 minutes? 

Well, the 1971 CBS TV documentary "The American West Of John Word" attempts to do just that, though mostly by going through the lens of his westerns. Featuring participation of Ford himself, with narration by Wayne, James Stewart and Henry Fonda, the doc chronicles the director's western, his use of music, and the role of women in his films, along with memories of moviemaking in general. It's well worth some of your time given the heavy hitters involved.

Check it out below and let us know your favorite Ford film in the comments section. [via Larry Wright]

This article is related to: John Ford


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