John Martin Feeney was born in Cape Elizabeth Main in 1895 to Irish Immigrant parents. John Ford began directing in 1917. Over the next 50 years he directed over 200 feature films. Toward the end of the silent era Ford became acquainted with a former University of Southern California football player -- now a prop boy at Fox named Marion Michael Morrison. The two struck it off and Ford put Morrison in several of his films. After sound came in, John Ford introduced Morrison to director Raoul Walsh. Morrison was just the fellow to play the role of the wagon master in Walsh’s new super western, “The Big Trail”. For that film, Morrison’s name was changed to John Wayne.
John was famous for his ruthless harassment of his actors; it was well known that he could be very cruel to even John Wayne. In fact, he treated many of his actors this way. “If he liked you,” Dobie Cary said, “he mistreated you. If he ignored you, then you’d probably never work with him again.
Many in the movie industry called John Ford cruel, and refused to have anything to do with him. Even though this was the case, no one could deny the fact that he was a fine filmmaker. Not only this, but they couldn’t deny that numerous actors and directors would have been out of work if not for John Ford.
John’s final movie was ‘7 Women’. Even during his last years it was obvious to most that he was a very complex man, sometimes like a grandfather, sometimes the raging director, but always very successful.
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