If AMC’s Christmas Day broadcasts of How the
West Was Won (8:15 a.m. EST) and The Searchers (11 p.m.) inspire you to seek out other John Ford films, consider the new
21-disk box set "Ford at Fox: The Collection." In Ford’s 32 years at Twentieth Century Fox,
he made more than 50 films. Twenty-four
of them are represented here, along with Becoming
John Ford, a new documentary by Nick Redman, plus a hardcover book filled
with rare photographs, production stills, and lobby cards.
Ford won the Academy Award for Best Director four times
(more than any other filmmaker), and two of those films—The Grapes of Wrath and How
Green Was My Valley—are included here, along with other greats like Young Mr. Lincoln and Drums Along the Mohawk. There are also five silent films from 1928,
three mid-1930s collaborations with Will Rogers, and curiosities like Up the
River (1930), which starred a young Spencer Tracy and featured Humphrey
Bogart in his first credited onscreen appearance.
All this doesn’t come cheap. "Ford at Fox" has a list price of
nearly $300, although it’s available online for less. Still, is that too much to
pay for the man Orson Welles called the greatest poet cinema has given us?