How the West Was Sung Music in the Westerns of John Ford
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James Stewart once said, "For John Ford, there was no need for dialogue. The music said it all." This lively, accessible study is the first comprehensive analysis of Ford's use of music in his iconic westerns. Encompassing a variety of critical approaches and incorporating original archival research, Kathryn Kalinak explores the director's oft-noted predilection for American folk song, hymnody, and period music. What she finds is that Ford used music as more than a stylistic gesture. Historically and culturally informed, Ford exploited music, and especially song, in defining the geographical and ideological space of the American West. In fascinating discussions of Ford's westerns--from silent-era features such asStraight ShootingandThe Iron Horseto classics of the sound era such asMy Darling ClementineandThe Searchers--Kalinak traces the ways Ford used music to subtly highlight conflict and contrast between Native Americans and settlers, immigrants and native-born, Anglos and Hispanics, and men and women. We come to see how issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and national identity are clearly brought into play in these films. Along the way, the book illuminates a powerful system of cultural transmission circulating through westerns, one clearly recognized, and, to an amazing degree controlled, by John Ford.
List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 9/17/2007
Size: 5.50" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
|How the West Was Sung: Music in the Life and Films of John Ford|
|Hearing the Music in John Ford's Silents: The Iron Horse and 3 Bad Men|
|"Based on American Folk Songs": Scoring the West in Stagecoach|
|Two Fordian Film Scores: My Darling Clementine and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance|
|"Western as Hell": 3 Godfathers and Wagon Master|
|"The Girl I Left Behind Me": Men, Women, and Ireland in the Cavalry Trilogy|
|"What Makes a Man to Wander": The Searchers|
|In the Shadow of The Searchers: Two Rode Together and Sergeant Rutledge|
|Cheyenne Autumn: A Conclusion|