In 1971, Peter Bogdanovich was, perhaps, America's most promising young filmmaker, having directed the remarkable ‘Targets’ (1968) and ‘The Last Picture Show’ (1971), earning an Academy Award nomination for the latter. At this point, he chose to make a documentary about legendary film director John Ford. The result was a documentary that drew excellent reviews.
It was only in early 2006 that Bogdanovich - who was reportedly never totally happy with the 1971 version - went back and revamped the documentary to his satisfaction. He recorded totally new interviews with Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg and incorporated a rare audio recording of Ford and his rumoured 'significant other' Katharine Hepburn. He has integrated these new elements alongside the strongest sections from the first version - including extended interviews with Ford and collaborators such as John Wayne, Richard Widmark, James Stewart and Henry Fonda.
The result is an entertaining, comprehensive and loving tribute to the man long regarded as one of America's greatest film directors. ‘Directed By John Ford’ reminds the viewer that Peter Bogdanovich, along with Martin Scorsese and other directors, is one of our most prominent and respected film historians to whom we all owe a great deal of gratitude. Narrated by Orson Welles.