Only John Ford won four Oscars for best director (and two more for documentaries), and he helped invent the Western movie genre. Yet while revered by Spielberg, Scorsese and Lucas, he is largely overlooked by a new generation with no affinity for John Wayne or cowboy and Indian movies.
Joseph Malham’s John Ford: Poet in the Desert seeks to remedy this with an intimate, passionate portrait of a troubled cinematic genius. While he breaks no new ground and relies heavily on secondary sources, Malham re-tells the story of our American Shakespeare, a superb visual storyteller and mythmaker. A Catholic like Ford, he is especially good at delineating the role of Ford’s faith and Irish roots in the director’s classic portrayals of families, communities and history.
– Glenn Frankel, author of The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend