John Wayne & John Ford
A Pairing that Made Western Movie Magic
Food and wine lovers are always looking for good pairings. They know that if you match the right type of wine with the right food that the flavors of both will be enhanced. This is because the right pairing of food with wine brings out the best in each of them, thereby making the combination immensely better.
The same can be said about actor and director pairings for movies. If you pair the right actor with the right director, the best will be brought out of both of them, resulting in movie magic. One such magical pairing was western actor John Wayne with director John Ford.
John Wayne and John Ford were friends, but their initial friendship did not immediately lead to movie greatness. John Ford was an up-and-coming director at Fox when he first met John Wayne, who was a young prop assistant at the studio. Ford hired Wayne to work on his films, first to handle props and then occasionally for minor stunt work. Their friendship grew, and John Ford even recommended John Wayne to director Raoul Walsh for a starring role in the western “The Big Trail” in 1930, but it would be many more years before Wayne would star in a Ford-directed film.
The time finally came nine years later when John Ford cast John Wayne to star in the western movie “Stagecoach.” It was not an easy starring role for John Wayne, as people on the set said that John Ford was extremely harsh on the actor. This actor/director tension, though, brought out John Wayne’s acting skill and made the movie even better. “Stagecoach” was a huge box office success and John Wayne became a movie star.
The success of “Stagecoach” led to more John Ford and John Wayne western movies. Ford directed a series of westerns that were set on a cavalry fort and these films have become known as the John Ford Cavalry Trilogy. John Wayne starred in all of three of these westerns – “Fort Apache”, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” and “Rio Grande.”
In 1956 John Ford and John Wayne made one of the greatest classic western films ever, “The Searchers” which has since been added to the U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry for its cultural and historical importance to American film heritage.
Another one of their legendary movie collaborations, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” is also in the U.S. National Film Registry and it won the Western Heritage Bronze Wrangler Award for Best Motion Picture in 1963.
Although John Wayne and John Ford are best known for their western movies, they did make five non-western films together. “The Quiet Man” was a comedy romance movie that starred John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. John Ford won the Best Director Academy Award for his direction of this classic film.
Together, John Wayne and John Ford made fourteen major films. Of them, nine were westerns. These western movies have become influential classics of the genre and are still being enjoyed by audiences around the world.
John Wayne and John Ford Western Movies
John Wayne and John Ford Non-Western Movies Together
John Wayne John Ford Film Collection DVD Set
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
The Wings of Eagles
They Were Expendable
The Long Voyage Home
This special DVD collection contains seven movies that John Wayne and John Ford made together. It includes four westerns and three war/adventure films.