John Ford – Common theme in The Long Gray Line (1955), 3 Godfathers (1948), How Green Was My Valley (1941)

A dramatic common theme -Master director John Ford emotionally depicts the passing of generations by contrasting a happy birth with a tragic death. In The Long Gray Line (1955) –father West Point star James “Red” Sundstrom (William Leslie) dies in WW I while his wife played by Betsy Palmer gives birth to James, Jr. who grows up to be WW II hero played by Robert Francis; In 3 Godfathers (1948)-on TCM 10/27/16- Mildred Natwick plays a dying mother who gives birth to a healthy son rescued by outlaws on the run John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, and Harry Carey, Jr.; and in How Green Was My Valley (1941) Bronwyn (Anna Lee) gives birth while her husband (Patric Knowles) dies in a coal mine accident.  A theme to look for in all John Ford movies!



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