The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse
John Ford, 1924, 150’

“John Ford? It will surprise some aficionados of this director (especially in America) to learn, from Hasumi, that ‘Ford’s mise en scène does not resort to a psychological and narrative logic, but to a succession of isolated gestures’; just as the comedy mechanisms in Hawks’ movies are ‘essentially formalist … the real issue with Hawks is not the results of his inversions and exchanges but the process itself’.”

Adrian Martin1


“The important thing is that Ford has no style. What is there in common between Three Bad Men (1926) and the Will Rogers films, especially my favourite, the magnificent Dr Bull which sums up the entirety of neo-realism? When you look at the way the film establishes a little provincial town – the arriving train, the bag of letters on the platform, the girl who comes for the post – it’s only an hour later that you understand why. The entire establishing section is completely documentary.”

Jean-Marie Straub2

UPDATED ON 11.10.2017