Friday, August 25, 2006

TCM Premieres Updated “Directed by John Ford”

Enhanced Version of 1971 Documentary Includes Newly Remastered Clips and New Interviews with Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorcese, Steven Spielberg, Peter Bogdanovich
Month-Long Movie Tribute to John Ford to Air in November

Turner Classic Movies will premiere a new version of “Directed by John Ford”, written and directed by Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, What's Up, Doc?, Paper Moon and Mask) profiling the life and works of the acclaimed director, on Tuesday, November 7, 2006, at 8 p.m. ET. Throughout November, TCM also will pay tribute to Ford, one of the greatest directors of all time, with a month-long film festival.

Entertainment Weekly has ranked Ford No. 3 among Hollywood’s greatest directors behind Orson Welles, who also contributed narration to the original documentary. Of Ford, Welles once said he learned filmmaking from “the old masters, by which I mean John Ford, John Ford and John Ford.” Best known for such classic favorites as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, The Grapes of Wrath (image, left), The Quiet Man, Stagecoach and, widely regarded by critics as the greatest Western ever made, The Searchers, he earned six Oscars®, including four for Best Director – a feat still unmatched. Ford’s vision of the American West established the way this country would view itself for decades to come.

New material assembled for “Directed by John Ford” includes two major elements:

· Newly shot interviews with Harry Carey, Jr. (a Ford regular), Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Walter Hill, all of whom have been influenced by Ford; as well as Bogdanovich, who wrote and directed not only the original but also this updated version.

· New sequences featuring clips and interviews outlining Ford’s vision of the family, his use of rituals and the sense of spirituality as portrayed in his work, including scenes from such pictures not previously mentioned such as The Wings of Eagles and How Green Was My Valley (image, right), as well as the impact on Ford and his work of his complicated relationship with Katharine Hepburn, using clips from Mary of Scotland and audio recordings.

This restructured version of “Directed by John Ford” should be considered an entirely new work. Bogdanovich has said this updated version is more personal than the original. Both the original Orson Welles narration and the interviews with John Ford, John Wayne, James Stewart and Henry Fonda have been kept intact but somewhat re-edited and rearranged to give a new sense of understanding to John Ford as a person and director.

“When speaking of John Ford, the question to ask is not who he influenced but, rather, who he didn’t influence. Whether on the work of a Spielberg or a Scorcese, his legacy undeniably still has impact today,” said Karsch. “Turner Classic Movies is honored to give new treatment to this definitive documentary on John Ford’s life and career.”