Tuesday, January 05, 2010

John Ford - caricaturist - who knew?


John Ford's caricatures of Ward Bond (as a gorilla). It looks very much like an animation model sheet from the golden age. Bond was a regular player in Ford's group and one of my all-time favorites. Ford is maybe my all-time favorite director. The drawings of Bond are mine and I couldn't resist doing a caricature (at right) of Ford's caricature. Ford drew these sometime in the 30's and I was astounded to see them in a biography of Ford (the name of which now escapes me), having no idea that he drew, though many directors are also artists. John Huston is another great director who also painted very well.

13 comments:

Jorge Garrido said...

Holy shit! Those are incredible drawings! I had no idea John Ford could draw like that! I wonder if he storyboarded his own movies?

John Ford is DEFINITELY my favourite director from the classic era.

Ward Bond is also my all-time favourite character actor. Ever seen Three Godfathers? Ward Bond gives a tremendous performance as a likable, intelligent sheriff named Pearly Sweet, but he's the antagonist! Great film! I also like him in Rio Bravo, It's a Wonderful life, The Maltese Falcon, The Oklahoma Kid, They Were Expendable, My Darling Clementine, Grapes of Wrath, and his greatest role: The Searchers.

I like the idea of Ward and John battling it out on the set.

Jim Smith said...

From reading all the books on Ford, it seems very little storyboarding was done on his movies. He was famous for cutting the whole thing in the script and in his head. He had the knack for finding great camera angles after doing plenty of location scouting.
Ward Bond was great in the Quiet Man and The Long Voyage Home, both beautifully photographed movies. I never get tired of the Searchers.

Eric Noble said...

Holy crap!!! These were done by John Ford!? These are absolutely incredible. These drawings put me to shame. I don't think I can ever be as good as the masters.

I wonder if he had any interest in animation or cartooning in general. I know Orson Welles had an interest in animation, since he was working on a live-action/animation picture with Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising.

The only John Ford I've ever really seen is The Three Godfathers, and I thought ti was good. It was a bit cheesy, but entertaining.

Jorge Garrido said...

I love how Ford keeps focusing on The Three Godfather's feet during that picture to emphasize how much they've walked and how tough their journey is.

I noticed that famous shot of John Wayne framed in the doorway at the start and end of The Searchers was also used in Three Godfathers when they're entering the wagon where the woman is about to give birth. That confirmed in my mind that it's supposed to represent a feminine civilization that John Wayne can't enter since it looks like a vagina. There's a lot of shots of people framed through doorways, caves, and other vertical "openings" in The Searchers.

His films are so bittersweet. They're so much more than any other westerns of that period, even Anthony Mann westerns don't hold a candle to Ford's.

Jim Smith said...

Great vagina analogy Jorge. I am always looking for such visual symbols and such for research purposes only of course.

Jorge Garrido said...

My hands are always in my pockets at Georgia O'Keefe retrospectives.

Frank Forte said...

real nice drawings!!!

Jim Smith said...

Thanks Frank. Small world, one of my good friends has the same name.

Jim Smith said...

Vaginas are the flowers of life and the penis is the the garden hose. Yuk.

Chip Butty said...

These are fantastic! Who knew indeed??

brian smith said...

Jim, hey man, . . it's Brian Smith from the Hyaena show. I found your blog here and just wanted to say hi and it was great talkin' to you last night. OK, . . take it easy and here's my email address:

moldybrz@hotmail.com

Brian

Jim Smith said...

Thanks and good show Brian. I hope you all get to see Brian's work. He's got style.

ryan said...

Your drawings are SO solid.