Over 20 years ago, Anderson, fresh from the Oxford U. Film Society and also a budding director, wrote a never-finished, never-published monograph on one of his idols--John Ford. Here he presents the original essay, revised and updated, along with his several Ford interviews through the decades (plus words from some Ford colleagues)--as ""the record of an enthusiasm, an obsession, that has lasted for over thirty years."" First Anderson traces Ford's career in detail, with illuminating focus on his little-known silent work--and ending up with The Long Gray Line, a ""vulgarization of Ford's own ideals."" Then several of Ford's films are examined with more critical/thematic vigor: Anderson finds the symbolic, pictorially experimental landmarks (The Informer, The Fugitive) finally disappointing, with ""a lack of consistency and intensity in their conception""; the great, genuinely poetic work begins, for Anderson, with Young Mr. Lincoln--as Ford, now a master of technique, found his theme in ""the heroism of common humanity."" And Anderson continues to be impressed by the unaffected poetry in almost all of the work that followed--in Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (dedicated to a military tradition, yet not militaristic), even in the ""consistently uneven"" late films. . . especially The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Next comes a consideration of Ford's reputation and his handling by film critics: Anderson is repelled by much academic and auteur-ist criticism, which obscures Ford's feeling, ""apologizing for it or rationalizing it out of existence."" And finally there are recollections by Henry Fonda, screenwriter Dudley Nichols, and other collaborators. Comprehensively, if not lavishly, illustrated: a solid, humanistic addition to Ford criticism.