Film

Colonel Bellah and Admiral Ford

The forgotten man in commentary on John Ford in the 1960s was James Warner Bellah. A new generation of critics, determined to establish the respectability of film as an art form, would outline the themes and visual motifs of a particular Ford film, then treat the work as almost entirely the creation of the director. He was an auteur—an author—an artist whose films reflected the unfolding of a personal vision. The fact that Fort Apache was based on a Saturday Evening Post story by James Warner Bellah may have been mentioned occasionally but that was it. Partly this was tactics.…

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