John Ford Movies

John Ford won a record 4 Best Director Oscars®

John Ford won a record 4 Best Director Oscars®

Want to know the best John Ford movies?  How about the worst John Ford movies?  Curious about John Ford box office grosses or which John Ford movie picked up the most Oscar nominations? Need to know which John Ford movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

This John Ford (1894-1973) movie page comes from a request by Chris.  Ford was an American film director, writer, producer and occasional actor.  His career spanned more than 50 years.  Ford’s films and personality were held in high regard by his colleagues, who have named him as one of the greatest directors of all time. When looking at adjusted domestic box office grosses, Ford’s movies, grossed almost $5 billion in box office dollars.  His movies received 75 Oscar® nominations and won 20 Oscars®….including 1942’s How Green Was My Valley which won the Best Picture Oscar®.

His IMDb page shows 145 acting credits f rom 1917-1976. This page will rank 57 John Ford movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  Shorts, documentaries and almost all of his silent films are not included in the rankings.  We have ranked every John Ford movie from 1932 to 1966 as well as a few that we could find box office information from 1924-1931.  Sadly reporting box office information back then was not a priority for movie studios ….and even sadder is that nearly all of his silent films, like the box office information, are lost forever.

John Ford directed James Stewart 4 times and John Wayne 14 times

John Ford directed James Stewart 4 times and John Wayne 14 times

John Ford Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort John Ford movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort John Ford movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort John Ford movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort John Ford movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and many Oscar® wins each John Ford movie received and
  • Sort John Ford movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort button to make this page very interactive. For example type “Wayne” in the search box and up pop the 14 movies that John Wayne made with Ford.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above John Ford Table

  1. Twenty-seven John Ford movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 47.36% of his movies listed. How the West Was Won (1963) was his biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average John Ford movie grosses $118.90 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  49 of John Ford’ movies are rated as good movies…or 85.64% of their movies. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) is his highest rated movie while Up the River (1930) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twenty John Ford movie received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 35.08% of his movies.
  5. Eight John Ford movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 14.03% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking  (UMR) Score is 39.86.  45 John Ford movies scored higher than that average….or 78.94% of his movies. How Green Was My Valley (1941) got the the highest UMR Score while Up the River (1930) got the lowest UMR Score.
John Ford directed Henry Fonda in 7 movies...their most famous movie...1940's The Grapes of Wrath

John Ford directed Henry Fonda in 7 movies…their most famous movie…1940’s The Grapes of Wrath

Possibly Interesting Facts About John Ford

1. John Martin “Jack” Feeney was born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine on February 1st, 1894.  Ford followed his older brother, Francis, to Hollywood and adopted Jack Ford as his professional name.

2. In 1915, John Ford appeared uncredited in D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation He appeared as a Klansman who lifts up one side of his hood so he can see clearly.  The Birth of a Nation was the first ever blockbuster movie.

3.  John Ford directed 62 shorts and silent movies from 1917 to 1929.   He became one of the first pioneer directors of sound films.  He shot Fox Studio’s first song sung on screen.  He directed Fox’s first “talkie” short. His first full length talkie was 1929’s Black Watch.

4.  In 1928 John Ford started using an unknown extra in his films.  That unknown extra was John Wayne.  Ford and Wayne would make movies together for the next 35 years.  Their movies together earned over $1.4 billion in adjusted box office grosses and received 24 Oscar® nominations.  That is one of the best actor/director combos of all-time.

5. John Ford received 5 Best Director Oscar® nominations.  He won a record 4 times…..1935’s The Informer, 1940’s The Grapes of Wrath, 1941’s How Green Was My Valley and 1952’s The Quiet Man.  The only time he was nominated but did win was for 1939’s Stagecoach.  Ford also two more Oscars® for his war time documentaries.

6.  John Ford directed 10 different actors in Oscar®-nominated performances: Victor McLaglen, Thomas Mitchell, Edna May Oliver, Jane Darwell, Henry Fonda, Donald Crisp, Sara Allgood, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly and Jack Lemmon. McLaglen, Mitchell, Darwell, Crisp and Lemmon won a Oscar® for one of their roles in one of Fords movies.

7.  Entertainment Weekly named John Ford as the third greatest director of all-time.  Alfred Hitchcock was first and Orson Welles was second.  Welles considered Ford to be the best director of all time.

8.  John Ford was married one time.   He married Mary Ford in 1920 and they stayed married until his death in 1973.  They had two children.

9.  John Ford cast the great character actor, Ward Bond, in 26 movies that Ford directed.

10.  “So long, ya bastard” was the last line of 1966’s 7 Women.  7 Women was the last movie Ford directed… that is how John Ford’s incredible career ended.

Check out John Ford’s movie career compared to current and classic stars on our Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time page.  Another great read on John Ford is Print The Legend: The Life of John Ford by Scott Eyman.  When I got stuck finding box office information on Ford’s films…this was an excellent resource to get outstuck….highly recommend it.

My latest You Tube video has nothing to do with John Ford other than it is about another famous movie Ford…..but I am still miffed that he got ignored yet again.


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