Tuesday, April 7, 2009

John Ford Country

My earlier reference to spaghetti Westerns reminded me of Buzz Bissinger's piece in the March 2009 Vanity Fair about how Arizona and Utah's Monument Valley influenced the career of Maine-bred film director John Ford:
Nobody used Monument Valley like Ford did, so much
so that the valley became known simply as John Ford Country. There was a little
bit of irony in that perhaps, given that Ford wasn’t of the West at all but a
native of southern Maine from the environs of Portland. He was born John Feeney,
in 1894, his father an Irish saloonkeeper and his mother a woman of rigid
emotional demand. They had 11 children, 5 of whom died in infancy, leaving John
the youngest. He had diphtheria as a child and, due to being quarantined, missed
an entire year of school. But at Portland High School, he played football tough
enough to earn him the nickname “Bull.”
- John C.L. Morgan

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