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Understanding John Ford's Politics

July 08, 2001

The confusion over John Ford's political paradox (" 'Fellow Traveler' or Redbaiter?" by Joseph McBride, June 3) is understandable if you don't understand the essence of Ford's uniqueness. Ford was a patriot. He felt a sincere obligation to the United States--to do what was best for it, regardless of the label attached. When he discovered that his belief system was incorrect or that the philosophy he followed was misleading or had shifted, he moved to what he felt was best for the country at the time.

As a director, Ford was famous for not moving his camera. He let the scenes and the characters tell the story in magnificent frames. His politics were the same. When they became fuzzy or incomprehensible, they were left on the "cutting room floor."

Tom Justin

Canoga Park

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