Turner Classic Movies has released a two-disc, four-movie collection of John Ford films.
The collection features 1949’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, 1948’s 3 Godfathers, 1950’s Wagon Master and 1964’s Cheyenne Autumn.
While all four are strong pictures, I’m particularly happy to see Wagon Master make the cut, since it only became available as a DVD in 2009.
Each movie has something unique to say about Ford and about Westerns. 3 Godfathers, starring John Wayne and Harry Carey Jr., is a story about three outlaws-turned-good that Ford had tackled before in 1919, with Carey’s father in the lead. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is the second of Ford’s three cavalry Westerns, again starring Wayne. Wagon Master was the inspiration behind the NBC series Wagon Train. Cheyenne Autumn is thought of as Ford’s epic acknowledgement of the history and tragedy of American Indians, specifically the Cheyenne, in the 1870s. As the movie was made late in his career, some believe it was Ford’s way of making amends for the many Indian attacks scattered throughout his Westerns.
The collection comes with a load of extras and commentaries carried over from other editions. Considering what one might pay individually for these films, this set is a great bargain.