Sunday, July 23, 2023

FRANCIS FORD, Not John Ford: The Forgotten Older Ford Brother

FRANCIS FORD would portray 495-motion picture roles, he would write 31-screenplays, direct 180-films, and produce 12-movies, but it is his younger brother John that is remembered, not Francis. 

I stopped counting books about John at 17, but could have kept counting. I found only one about Francis, published on October 12, 2021, more on that work later. Also, look-up Francis Ford on-line and the amazing internet will keep correcting your inquiry by taking you to Francis Ford Coppola, or use Coppola's photo for Francis Ford.

This is a very small look at the work of "THE FORGOTTEN FORD!" 


The story of Francis and John Ford starts in Spiddal, a village on the shore of Galway Bay, County Galway, Ireland, when their father, John Augustine Feeney, was born on June 15, 1854. While, in the Aran Islands, located in Galway Bay, on the land of Inishmore, in the town of Kilronan, their mother Barbara "Abbey" Curan, was born on February 1, 1856

In May 1872, John Augustine Feeney arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, while in June 1872, Barbara Curan arrived in Portland, Maine. Apparently, John moved to Portland, because in 1878, he opened a saloon at 42 Center Street with a fake grocery store front to hide his real business. This would be the first of four saloons. How John and Barbara met, I could not locate, but on July 31, 1875, they filed their intentions to be married. The couple resided on Sheridan Street, in the Irish neighborhood of Munjoy Hill, Portland. Later, on September 11, 1880, the couple became United States citizens. By that year they had two of their eleven children, Mary Agnes (Mamie) in 1876, and Edith (Delia) in 1878.

On August 14, 1881, John and Barbara's fourth child, Francis Joseph Feeney was born in Portland. Earlier in 1881, his brother Patrick Feeney had been born.

According to John Ford's grandson, Dan Ford, in "Pappy: The Life of John Ford", Francis started to serve in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War, but:
The Army soon discovered that he was only fifteen and sent him home.

My problem with this quote is that Francis would have been 15-years of age in 1896, but the Spanish-America War didn't start until April 21, 1898. The reasons for the war itself and how "Hollywood" looked at it will be found in my article, "Hearst, Pulitzer, Theodore Roosevelt, Hollywood, and the Spanish American War", at:

When Francis returned from his short stint in the Army, all his brothers and sisters had been born, but that was not without tragedy. Brigette had been born in 1883, but died one-year later in 1884, Barbara was both born and passed away in 1888, Edward was born in 1889, Josephine was born in 1891, Hannah (Joanna) was born in 1892, John Martin in 1894, and Daniel was born and died in the same year, either 1896, or 1898.

Francis Feeney was in New York looking for any kind of work and apparently found acting on the legitimate stage. On the stage he met actress Elsie Jane Van Name, and on August 14. 1909, the two were married. She would later become a motion picture screenplay writer. As Elsie Van Name, between 1917 and 1922, she would write 7-screenplays, and have minor roles in four films.

According to Joseph McBride, in his April 5, 2003, "Searching for John Ford: A Life", Elsie was Francis's second wife. However, if this was true, I could not locate, and he does not state, who was Francis's first wife, and when they would have married and what happened to her? 

While, other writings and biographical sketches, just list Elsie Jane Van Name as Francis's only wife. Stating that the two, had been married from August 14, 1909, until Elsie's death on November 4, 1934. 

Whichever version you take, the one by McBride and some others, or the idea that their was no first wife. They all agree that the couple had two-children, one of them is Philip, and I will mention him later.

However, adding to the confusion, or perhaps solving the mystery of two wives. Several biographers of John Ford, imply that Francis Ford and Elsie divorced for a short time over actress Grace Cunard, and then the two-remarried in Los Angeles, California, in 1916. 

The Grace Cunard story can be found in Scott Eyman's, May 29, 2012, "Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford", and I will also address that later in this article.

The French illusionist and film maker, George Méliès established the "Manufacture de films pour cinematographes", trademarking it in December 1896, as the "Star Film Company". George's older brother, Gaston, in 1902, set up the American branch in New York City.

Above George, below Gaston Méliès.

During 1909, Francis Feeney met Gaston Méliès and entered the motion picture business.

THE STOLEN WIRELESS released October 13, 1909, was made in Fort Lee, New Jersey

This was a ten-minute short, directed by Wallace McCutcheon, who started out as a cinematographer in 1897. In 1905, McCutcheon wrote, produced, and filmed an 18-minute short based upon French author Jules Verne's, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". 

The only cast member for "The Stolen Wireless", I could find mentioned, was now, Francis Ford. Francis Feeney had changed his last name to "Ford", because he liked the automobiles built by Henry Ford, and didn't think a last name of Feeney fit his new career

However, there had to be two other actors, because the story was about two men in love with the same woman.

"The Stolen Wireless" is recognized as the first film for the American Méliès Company. Gaston Méliès would set-up later production companies in San Antonio, Texas, and Santa Paula, California.



Three shorts followed "The Stolen Wireless", and Francis Ford found himself in a fantasy drama:

FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE released on December 1, 1909 

The short was directed by George Méliès, who also acted with Ford, and Melies' eight-year-old son. 

A poor boy seeks a fabled treasure guarded by dragons and other mythical animals. He is guided by a genie and finds the treasure and returns with it to make his poor family "happy forever".

For his first motion picture during 1910, Francis Ford made a motion picture for the "Edison Manufacturing Company", owned by Thomas Edison.

PARDNERS released on January 4, 1910

The story was based upon 1905's, "Pardners", by Rex Beach, that was actually a collection of ten-short-stories. Author Beach's most successful novel, and his most filmed, was 1906's, "The Spoilers". Both are set during the Alaska Gold Rush that Rex Beach had participated in, dreaming of getting rich quick. 

Ford was third billed in "Pardners", and first billing went to actor Charles Ogle, best remembered for portraying the monster in Thomas Edison's, 1910, version of authoress Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's, "Frankenstein", and as "Long John Silver", in "Paramount Pictures", 1920, excellent version of Robert Lewis Stevenson's, "Treasure Island", starring Lon Chaney, Sr. For my pirate loving readers, that production is part of my article, "Pirate's of the Motion Picture Screen: A Sampling!", sailing after Davy Jones' treasure at: 

Gaston Méliès now moved the "Star Film Company" to San Antonio, Texas, and Francis Ford appeared in the first motion picture shot in that city by Méliès. 

CYCLONE PETE'S MATRIMONY released on April 7, 1910

Francis Ford
portrayed "Cyclone Pete", Edith Storey, portrayed "His wife". Storey had started acting in 1908, and when she retired in 1921, had been seen in 185-roles. 

"Cyclone Pete's Matrimony" was the first of 20-western-shorts that Ford and Storey made together for Gaston Méliès just in 1910, this western duo would continue through 1911. 

For Francis Ford's twenty-fifth movie short in 1910, out of thirty-eight, that included the westerns with Edith Storey, he appeared in:

UNDER THE STARS AND BARS released on October 27, 1910


Above Francis Ford, portraying a young Confederate Officer returning home without his arm. This was a 13-minute short directed by Gaston Méliès. I could not locate who portrayed his wife.

On December 1, 1910, Francis Ford portrayed "Denton", a easterner who comes out west to the gold fields of California, meets a man named "Harper", portrayed by William Clifford, and the two become "PALS", the title of this 10-minute short. Later, they have a falling out, when "Denton" suddenly leaves without telling "Harper" he received a letter from his wife that his mother is very ill. A Mexican steal's their gold and "Harper" believes it was "Denton" and the reason he left. The two come back together at the end, after he Mexican confesses all.

Above, Francis Ford on the far right, William Clifford, in the center to the woman's left. At the end of his film career in 1929, Clifford appeared in 216-roles.

Below is a still of Ford and Storey in the western, "The Owner of L.L. Ranch", released on January 11, 1911.

Below is Francis Ford without his hat in the film.

Later, speaking about this period of her career, Edith mentions acquiring the nickname of "Billy", that would stick with her. 
I am a thorough outdoor girl. For several years, my engagement with the Méliès Company demanded long daily rides in a stock saddle - sometimes bareback - swimming and shooting, roping, and nearly all the qualifications of a cowpuncher - except swearing, which the boys on our ranch never did, in my presence anyway. Such good fellows! A happy mixture of fun, business, kindness, bravery, and deviltry. They used to call me "Billy". It was a token of comradeship. Then I was called back East to the Vitagraph Company. You see, they had merely loaned me to their friend, Mister Gaston Méliès ---

Her nickname came from co-starring with Francis Ford in:

BILLY AND HIS PAL released on February 16, 1911 with a running time of 15-minutes

Above, Edith Storey is portraying the young boy, "Billy" and Francis Ford is his "Pal", "Jim - the Cowpuncher". Below, Ford in another scene from the film.

Below, "Billy" believes he is losing his "Pal" to the young woman in the following photo. I attempted to find out the actress's name and role, but could not locate that information. The motion picture was believed to be lost, but a copy was discovered in 2010, in New Zealand.  Edith Storey appeared on stage in both New Zealand and Australia many times.

Moving ahead in Francis Ford's career to 1912, finds the actor starring and directing his first short.

THE POST TELEGRAPHER released on October 4, 1912 with a running time of 30-minutes

Above, an ad for two motion pictures distributed by the "New York Motion Picture Co.", owned by Carl Laemmle. Who on April 30, 1912, had co-founded the "Universal Film Manufacturing Company" to make movies. Then, on March 15, 1915, would move that movie making business across the United States and open a studio in North Hollywood, California, eventually to be called "Universal Pictures". My history of that studio is part of my article, "HOLLYWOOD: Segregated Housing, Motion Picture Studios and Movie Palaces", at:

There were two directors on "The Post Telegrapher", Francis Ford was actually the assistant director. The main director was Thomas H. Ince.

Ince would create the first major "Hollywood" movie studio, "Bison Productions". located in Santa Ynez Canyon, between the communities of Malibu Beach and Santa Monica. His location was known as either "Triangle Ranch", or "Inceville". What happened to "Triangle", seen below, is part of my above article on "Hollywood".

Below is a pictures of Thomas H. Ince's, "101 Ranch Players
" in 1913, but it is possible that Francis Ford is not in that group as my reader will learn.

In the picture, Francis Ford portrayed "Bob Evans - the Post Telegrapher". 

Ann Little,
billed as Anna Little, portrayed "Eva Reynolds - the Colonel's Daughter".
Between, 1911 and 1925, she appeared in 157-roles. Little was born near the town of Mount Shasta, in northern California and was known for portraying Native American young women in her films.

The story became very typical in cavalry westerns, as a wagon train must be protected from Indians on the warpath. 

The following is from the summary on IMDb:
The approach of the soldiers is reported by means of smoke signals by Indians hidden on hilltops, and the savages lay a clever ambush into which the soldiers fall. At the first volley Evans is tumbled from his saddle. The soldiers wheel round and dash back, but they are surrounded by "the circle of death," which narrows down like the coil of a python, until the few survivors, making the last desperate stand, are dispatched. Meantime, Evans has regained consciousness. He makes for the telegraph line, and stumbling and falling, reaches his goal. Racked with pain, and weak from loss of blood, he manages to reach the top of the pole, and taps the wire, connecting his pocket instrument. His sweetheart, Eva Reynolds, the daughter of an officer is talking to the fort operator when this message clicks in: "Ambushed in Rocky Gulch. Many killed. Cannot bold out longer. Rush help. Evans."

Above, Francis Ford survives an Indian attack. Below, Ann Little helps Ford.

Unfortunately, most of the titles are in German, but the following link will take you to this exciting silent film starring Francis Ford and Ann Little:

Francis Ford
would follow "The Post Telegrapher" with 27-acting roles, and the directing of 10-short-films. Which brings my reader to:

CUSTER'S LAST FIGHT released on October 4, 1912 with a 30-minute running time

Produced by Thomas H. Ince and directed by Francis Ford, who portrayed George Armstrong Custer, would make this motion picture have historical film interest. However, added was the actress portraying "Mrs. Custer", who would change the direction that Ford was heading in. Her name was Grace Cunard, seen below with Francis Ford.

So, who was Grace Cunard, that was alleged to have caused Francis and Elsie Ford's marriage break-up, if that actually took place, as I mentioned above? 

Speaking about the actress, William M. Henry, in his April 1916, article, "Her Grace and Francis I", in "Photoplay", linked below, stated that:
She had a French father, an American mother, was born in Paris, and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. 

Reality check, Grace Cunard was born Harriet Mildred (Milfred) Jeffries, in Columbus, Ohio, on April 8, 1893, to grocery clerk, Washington Jeffries, and Lola Longshore Jeffries. Her younger sister, Armina "Mina" Jeffries, would use the stage name of Mina Cunard, and appear in 47-films between 1915 and 1958.

However, William M. Henry's, Paris, France, birth story became fact in most stories about the actress.

We know as factual, is that Harriet Jeffries, age 13-years, was appearing in local stage productions in Columbus, Ohio. At some point, the young stage actress moved to New York City, and made her first film short, 1908's, "College Days", for the "Kalem Studios", one of the American subsidiaries of the French film corporation, "Pathe". 

What we do not know, is if Harriet Jeffries was now Grace Cunard? 

Film historians only have the short film title, "College Days", the year it was made, but not the month and day of release. They also do not have any lists of who was in the short. Additionally, in Grace's case, not all lists of her films include the title at all. Most of them start with her unconfirmed role and name, in "The Duke's Plan", released by the "Biograph Company", on February 10, 1910, written and directed by David Wark "D.W." Griffith. Some sources state that Grace also worked for "Edison", and "Lubin", which implies she worked on many lost and forgotten short films.

We do know that Grace Cunard, under that name, came to California to work in the film industry and was hired by Thomas H. Ince for his "Bison Productions" at the start of 1912. 

She probably went unnoticed by Francis Ford in an uncredited role in "The Heart of an Indian", released on March 1, 1912, starring Ford and Ann Little. However. he probably knew her as the writer of "A Soldier's Honor", released on June 15, 1912.

Between those two short films, on April 30, 1912, in New York City, 19-years-old Grace Cunard had married 39-years-old, Harry Harvey. They divorced in 1916, the year of the alleged remarriage of Francis and Elise Ford over Cunard. However, I want to add two additional facts, that my reader can interrupt how they please. On January 17, 1917, Grace Cunard married Irish-American actor, Joe Moore, in Seal Beach, California, and they remained married until their divorce in 1925. Unless the first meeting of Grace and Joe, their romance, and their marriage was instantaneous, their relationship had to be going on at the same time as the implied affair between Grace and Francis. 

To continue, although Scott Eyman's, "Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford", and others imply an affair. The contrary to that story is found on the website, "The Women Film Pioneer's Project", published in partnership with "Columbia University Libraries", New York City, New York, in an article by Jennifer M. Bean, about Grace Cunard at:

Unlike other celebrity couples at the time who were married—Lucille McVey (Mrs. Sidney Drew) and Sidney Drew, Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley, and Ida May Park and Joseph de Grasse—Cunard and Ford never married, nor did publicity hint at a budding romance between the two. At times, Ford was cast in the role of the young woman’s mentor and enthusiast, especially in stories that circulated regarding the initial formation of their working partnership

By the time "Custer's Last Fight" was in production, Ford had his own small company of actors and crew working through Thomas H. Ince's, "Bison 101 Productions". Something occurred causing Ince's to fire Cunard after finishing the picture's shoot. In a rage, Francis Ford took his company, joined by Grace Cunard, and left Thomas Ince.

We know, as fact, that next, Grace appeared with Francis in "An Indian Legend", released by "Bronco Film Productions", on October 9, 1912. Which was followed by "His Squaw", with the two, released on December 4, 1912, also, from "Bronco Film Productions".

Next, Francis Ford once more portrayed "Abraham Lincoln", he had first portrayed the President in a cameo role in the film, "On Secret Service", released November 1, 1912, and again he was Lincoln in "The Great Sacrifice", released on January 3, 1913.

WHEN LINCOLN PAID released on January 13, 1913

The film was made by "Kay-Bee-Pictures", and directed by the film's star, Francis Ford.

"Kay-Bee-Pictures" was founded by Adam Kessel, the "Kay", and Charles Baumann, the "Bee". Kessel and Baumann's films were distributed by Carl Laemmle's, "New York Motion Picture Company", as was Thomas H. Ince's, "Bison 101 Productions". 

Making the story more interesting, or confusing, depending upon your point of view, was that the producer of "When Lincoln Paid" was Thomas H. Ince, representing "Kay-Bee-Pictures" and not his own company.

Francis Ford portrayed, the already mentioned, "President Abraham Lincoln".

Above, Francis Ford portraying "Lincoln", speaks to Ethel Grandin portraying "Mrs. Barnes".

With sixth-billing portraying "John Wade's Sweetheart", was Grace Cunard. Seen below, being handed something by Joe King, portraying "John Wade".

The story has a young Abe Lincoln seeking shelter from a storm in the home of "Mrs. Barnes". He can't pay her for his lodgings, but signs an I.O.U. for giving her one good meal. Later, the Civil War breaks out and during it, "Mrs. Barmes" trades "Lincoln's" I.O.U. for a pardon for her son.

Grace Cunard next wrote and portrayed, "Molly", for "The Favorite Son", co-starring and directed by Francis Ford, released February 7, 1913, from "Kay-Bee-Pictures", and produced for them by Thomas H. Ince.

THE HONOR OF THE REGIMENT released on May 31, 1913

This 20-minute short "Western (?)" takes place during the 1899 to 1902 war in the Philippines. Two American soldiers, both captains, are "Frank" and "Jack". They both love the General's daughter, "Jane". "Jack" has "compromised" "Mollie" the daughter of one of the sergeants, but as the Filipino's attack. The captain's morals are reversed and, in the end, "Frank" attempts to kill "Jack", but kills "Mollie" instead. While, "Jack" saves the troops and wins "Jane's" love.

What makes "The Honor of the Regiment" important to film historians is who might have portrayed "Jack". There are only three known names listed that I could locate for the cast of this film.

Wilfred Lucas portrayed "The Colonel".

Francis Ford portrayed "Frank".

"Jack" Ford, Francis Ford's younger brother, John, is listed as portraying "Jack". The problem here, is depending upon who you read, John Ford is either confirmed, or unconfirmed in the role of "Jack"

However, according to film historian and writer, Tag Gallagher, in his "John Ford: The Man and His Films", published by the "University of California Press", in either 1984, or 1986, depending upon the quotations from the work referenced by different sources. 

John "Jack" Ford had been working for his older brother, Francis, as a handyman, stunt double, and in very minor uncredited roles, but specially, according to Tag Gallagher, John Ford's first major acting role was in Francis Ford's, 1914, "The Mysterious Rose", which I will mention later and would put the role of "Jack", above, in the unconfirmed section.

Another 33-shorts of varying lengths proceeded the first real look at the teamwork of Francis Ford and Grace Cunard.

was a mystery lover and many of her screenplays revolve around that concept. Like many mystery lovers on both sides of "the pond", she enjoyed reading the mysteries of British writer, Ernest William "E.W." Hornung's character of "gentleman thief", "A.J. Raffles". Fittingly, Hornung was the brother-in-law of the creator of the "world's first consulting detective" "Sherlock Holmes", Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and there are traits of "Holmes" in "Raffles". Which brings me to:

THE BLACK MASKS released on October 28, 1913

This 20-minute crime-drama was produced by Francis Ford.

The screenplay was written by Grace Cunard and Francis Ford, from a story idea by Cunard.

The screenplay was directed by Francis Ford and Grace Cunard. This would become known as Grace Cunard's "LADY RAFFLES #1".

In the screenplay:

Francis Ford portrays "Society Crook", "Fred Francis".

Grace Cunard
portrays the "Gentle Crook",  "Meg".

According to the 1907 through 1927, motion picture trade journal, "The Moving Picture World", an example is attached, as quoted by the website, IMDb, the following is their description of "The Black Masks":

At a big automobile race one of the winning drivers, Tony Jeanette, is given an invitation to a masked ball to take place that evening at the home of the wealthy Mrs. Montague. In haste, he drops the invitation, which is found by F.J. Francis, a society crook, and also read by Meg, another gentile crook. Knowing of the wonderful necklace of Mrs. Montague, they both decide to attend the ball in an effort to steal same, unknown to each other. At the ball Meg is seen masked, watching every chance to get the necklace, but Francis is more clever and gets away with it. The diamond is missed. Two society detectives at the ball follow Francis' cab, which he jumps out of while going at high speed, leaving his cane inside the cab. Meg follows Francis unknown to anyone, and succeeds in getting into his apartments. Francis discovers her and shows her the diamonds, which she tries to get. After she has gone, he misses his watch, which she has cleverly taken to yet even. In the meantime the detectives have gotten up with Francis' cab and discover it is empty, but find his cane with his monogram (F.J.H.) on. They find the jeweler who made the cane, and find from him the club to which Francis belongs. Going there they discover Francis, but are not sure of him, as they only saw him at the ball and he was masked. They ask for a light and cigarette, and see the same monogram on his ring and cigarette case, and arrest him as the thief. Meg hears of his arrest and attends his trial, when he is pronounced guilty. Going to his cell, she offers to help him if she can. He tells her where he has bidden them, and she goes to his apartment, gets the jewels from their hiding place in the wastebasket, and stealing into Mrs. Montague's boudoir, places the jewels where she finds them later, and phones the police of their discovery. Francis is released. He and Meg marry and give up all of their ill-gotten gain to the society of the orphans. The last scene shows them looking at the bank balance of $10.00, but happy in their love and promise of a better life.
Once the two made their move to "Universal", see the story after this section, Francis and Grace would make seven more "Lady Raffles" movies directed by Ford and written by Cunard through 1916. Francis Ford was now "Detective Kelly", and Grace Cunard was "Lady Raffles". In both 1914's, "The Twins Double", and "The Return of the Twins Double", Grace Cunard portrayed the triple roles of "Lady Raffles", and "Nell and Jo Grahame". 

Five more forgotten shorts, all directed by Francis Ford followed 1913's, "The Black Masks", four written by Grace Cunard, all five starred Francis Ford and four co-starred Grace Cunard. All were produced by Thomas H. Ince under either his "Bison Productions", or for "Kay-Bee Pictures".

Then, Francis Ford, in late 1913, made a move, hoping to get away, altogether, from Thomas H. Ince, who it was well documented was taking credit for Ford's work. The move was to the "Universal Manufacturing Company", which had been distributing movies for "Bison" and "Kay-Bee Pictures" and was starting to make their own films. The difference here, being that Francis Ford was now making motion pictures for the future "Universal Pictures" directly.

His first film for the Carl Laemmle's company was in familiar territory:

FROM RAIL SPLITTER TO PRESIDENT released December 16, 1913

The original working title of this 20-minute short was "The Sorrows of Lincoln".

Written by Grace Cunard, who also portrayed "Ann Rutledge". Francis Ford portrayed the young "Abraham Lincoln". He had last portrayed "Lincoln" and directed, for "Bison", "The Battle of Bull Run", released on March 18th, and distributed by the "Universal Manufacturing Company".

Grace Cunard's story has Abe Lincoln falling in love with Ann. She refuses his proposal and shortly afterwards passes away. The story fades to the Lincoln-Douglas debates, fades again to the Civil War and the replacing of the Union Generals in charge, until Abraham Lincoln promotes Grant. Fade once more to Lee surrendering at Appomattox court house and the film ends as the country mourns the death of the President. All done in 20-minutes of edited film.

We know that actors Edgar Keller and Fred Montague were in the short, but I could not locate whom they portrayed.

In what could be describe as a minor horror mystery story written by Grace Cunard is:

A BRIDE OF MYSTERY released on February 10, 1914

The film is directed by Francis Ford for the "Universal Film Manufacturing Company's", "Gold Seal", their actual film making division.

Francis Ford portrayed "The Detective". 

Grace Cunard portrayed "Countess X".

Harry Schumm portrayed "The Hypnotist".

Again without naming their roles are Edgar Keller and Fred Montague.

The "Specialist", no actor's name given, is at a local café and watches a strange woman sit down at the next table. Her face looks like alabaster and deathly cold, with eyes gazing, but not seeing the café's patrons, or those of the "Specialist". She is the mysterious "Countess X", and appears to be in some state of hypnosis. She leaves as the lights in the café suddenly go out and across the table she occupied, is a dead man. "The Detective" arrives, and he finds a cigarette butt with a monogram of its owner on it.

The "Specialist" next goes to the theatre and observes "Countess X" dancing on stage. A fire breaks out and the "Specialist" just makes it out, but "Countess X" does not. While this is happening, there will be a major bank robbery and, later, the same type of cigarette butt is found there by "The Detective". The body of "Countess X" is brought to the morgue, and the "Specialist" notices a faint sign of life and uses a treatment he has invented to bring her back from her apparent death. The two will marry, but the "Hypnotist" kidnaps "Countess X" and "The Detective" and the "Specialist" pursue him to a hidden chamber in a house. The "Hypnotist" floods the chamber in hopes of killing "The Specialist", "Countess X" and "The Detective. Instead, it is the "Hypnotist" that dies in the water, but "Countess X" is rescued by her husband.

The writing, directing, and starring team of Francis Ford and Grace Cunard where about to create the "Universal Film Manufacturing Company's" first cliff-hanger/serial.

LUCILLE LOVE: THE GIRL OF MYSTERY the First Chapter, opened on April 14, 1914, with the final Chapter on July 21, 1914. Running time for all 15, was 5-hours.

Above, Francis Ford and Grace Cunard

"Universal's" publicity department was hard at work, as the following newspaper ad shows, because after the cliff-hanger/serial's title, the reader found:
Written by an Author Whose Versatility and Marvelous Descriptive Abilities Have Won for Him the Title of "The Master Pen"

The above deliberate mislead to the public is that the "Him" was a "Her", Grace Cunard. Screenplay writing was supposed to be by men. However, by this time, in the movie magazines, Grace Cunard had earned herself the title of "The Master Pen". However, as with their previous story's, "Lucille Love: The Girl of Mystery", the screenplay was co-written by Francis Ford. 

Francis Ford directed the entire cliff-hanger/serial, and portrayed "Hugo Loubeque".

Grace Cunard portrayed "Lucille Love".



Above, Francis Ford and Grace Cunard

Initially, this was planned as a two-reel western, but morphed into the 15-Chapter cliff-hanger/serial.


There are only four-complete chapters known to exist and the production is considered lost. However, in August 1978, in Dawson City, the Yukon Territory of Canada, during the updating of an old hockey arena, a swimming pool was discovered. In that swimming pool five-hundred film cans were discovered. Inside some of those cans, bits and pieces of film from "Lucille Love: The Girl of Mystery", but no full chapters.

The production was filmed in the wilds of San Diego, California. The estimated cost of filming "Lucille Love: The Girl of Mystery" is $30,000, 1914 dollars, or $912,381, 2023 dollars as of this writing. The initial box office, for the time, was the unbelievable amount of $1,500,000, 1914 dollars. That amount equates to $45,619,050, 2023 dollars, as of this writing.

The simplified story has West Point army cadets "Hugo Loubeque" and "Sumpter Love", portrayed by Edgar Keller billed as E.M. Keller, in love with the same young woman, named "Lucille". "Hugo" is framed by "Sumpter" of theft from his fellow cadets and expelled. "Sumpter" in turn marries the young woman, eventually becomes an army general with a daughter also named "Lucille". His wife has died earlier and now "Hugo" appears out for revenge. He has become a spy and using "Thompson the Butler", portrayed by Ernest Shields, steals important military documents from Washington, D.C. putting "Sumpter" in jeopardy of ending his career in disgrace. After "Hugo" goes "Lucille" to get back the documents to save her father, even if it means chasing him to the ends of the earth and the adventure begins. 

Above, Francis Ford, Grace Cunard as the future mother of the cliff-hanger/serial's "Lucille", and Edgar Keller.

In August 1920, a 50-minute feature was released entitled, "Woman of Mystery" and starring Francis Ford and Grace Cunard. Some biographers use that film as proof that the two were still making films together, or even that their affair was still going on.

However, "Woman of Mystery" is nothing more than a condensed version of, 1914's, "Lucille Love: Girl of Mystery".

Next, as previously mentioned as applying to John "Jack" Ford, who would not start writing films until 1915,  or directing films until 1917:

THE MYSTERIOUS ROSE released on November 24, 1914

This was #7 in the eight films making up the "Lady Raffles" series written by Grace Cunard and directed by Francis Ford. Although, some reviewers call this short #6, and ignore 1913's, "The Black Masks", because the character of "Lady Raffles" is not in it. My reader can decide on this short's position as they like.

Francis Ford portrayed "Detective Phil Kelly". 

Grace Cunard portrayed "Lady Raffles".

John Ford, billed as Jack Ford, portrayed "Dopey", below.

Harry Schumm portrayed "The District Attorney's Son".

Wilbur Higby portrayed the "Ward Boss".

The son of the district attorney has information against the "Ward Boss" that would put him away. The "Ward Boss" attempts to hire "Lady Raffles" to do away with the D.A.'s son, but she refuses. It happens that "Lady Raffles" and her gang planned to raid the D.A.'s safe. After she does, the following morning "The District Attorney's Son" is found dead by the open safe, and everyone believes he was killed by "Lady Raffles".

Francis Ford and Grace Cunard switched brother-in-law's, froE.W. Hornung to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the following month:

A STUDY IN SCARLET released on December 29, 1914

Grace Cunard adapted Conan Doyle's novel into a 20-minute screenplay.

Francis Ford
directed the "Universal Film Manufacturing Company" production and portrayed "Sherlock Holmes".

John Ford
billed as Jack Francis, portrayed "Dr. John H. Watson, M.D.".

Grace Cunard
and Harry Schumm appeared in the film, but it is considered a lost picture and what their roles where are unknown.

Above, the actor kneeling on the right is Francis Ford, the other three are not identified, but it is believed that is John Ford speaking to his brother. 

One day prior to the release of "A Study in Scarlet", a British production of the same story, released in the United Kingdom in October of 1914, started to be shown in the United States and overshadowed Francis Ford's film. The British film starred James Braginton, sometimes misspelled as Bragington, as "Sherlock Holmes", because he looked so much like artist Sidney Paget's drawings of the character. This was the accountant, Braginton, for the producer's company's only on-screen appearance.

On March 15, 1915, Carl Laemmle's "Universal Manufacturing Company", officially, opened "Universal City Studios" on 230-acres of farmland that had originally been part of a Spanish Land grant. At this point, besides his own motion picture unit, "101 Bison", and "Kay-Bee", were now on the new "Universal City" lot and would be absorbed by Laemmle.

Francis Ford and Grace Cunard returned to the cliff-hanger/serial format for:

THE BROKEN COIN Chapter One was released on June 21, 1915

The screenplay by Grace Cunard is based upon a story by author and conservationist, Emerson Hough. Hough was known for his western and historical novels. Depending upon who you're researching, "The Broken Coin", was either 22, or 23 "Installments" long. It is considered a lost film, but "Moving Picture World", does have a description of twenty-two chapters at:

Francis Ford directed "The Broken Coin", and portrayed "Count Frederick".

Grace Cunard portrayed "Kitty Gay"

The following is about the above from "";

In 1915, Universal began promoting their mystery adventure serial "The Broken Coin," by distributing buttons and mirrors to theaters, most made by The Whitehead and Hoag Co. Some, however, were special ordered by theaters with their names imprinted on them, and these were made by the Parisian Novelty Co. of Chicago. This is an example of one of those most rare mirrors from E.A.R. THEATRE on the south side of Chicago.

Eddie Polo portrayed "Rolleaux".

Harry Schumm portrayed "King Michael II".

Ernest Shields portrayed "Count Sacchio".

John Ford, billed as Jack Ford, portrayed "Sacchio's assistant".

The basic plot has Newspaper reporter "Kitty", on her lunch, going into an old curiosity shop and purchasing a part of a broken coin with Latin writing and the name "Gretzhoffen" on it. A foreign looking gentleman waited for her to leave and went into the shop to purchase the same broken coin. "Kitty" convinces the "Editor-in-Chief" that there's a story connected to the broken coin, because of the name of the poverty-stricken country of "Gretzhoffen". Her editor agrees to give her three-months to put together and write her story. "Kitty" returns to her room, only to find it ransacked by the Foreign looking gentleman. So, begins this lost cliff-hanger/serial.

The following are some photos, the tinted are from Spanish language photo cards.

Above, "Rolleaux" learns that "Kitty" purchase the broken coin. Below, "Rolleaux", "Frederick", and "Kitty" are caught in the middle of a war.

Above, Eddie Pollo attempts to get the knife out of the hand of Grace Cunard. While on the floor, the Ford Brothers are in a fight. Clearly, Francis Ford has pinned down "Jack" Ford. I searched, but could not identify man in the far back.

Notice how the poster below mention 15-weeks, and 30-reels. Apparently, this reflects the actual length of the cliff-hanger/serial when it started to be shown. The normal short film, each installment was a short in itself, is two-reels, possibly three. "The Broken Coin" was originally shot with 15-installments, but because of popular demand, new installments were shot and added increasing "The Broken Coin", to either the 22, or 23-installments, as previously mentioned.

Two Interesting Names in the cast:

Mina Curnard portrayed "The King's Sweetheart". She was also the body double for her sister.

Carl Laemmle, the studio owner, portrayed the "Editor-in-Chief". 

An Interesting Crew Name:

John Ford,
not Jack Ford, was the Assistant Director. 

As John Ford, he was the assistant director and had co-written with Grace Cunard, 1915's, "The Doorway to Destruction". That production was directed by and starred his brother, Francis Ford portraying with the interesting last name, "Colonel Patrick Feeney. Francis's co-star was not Grace, but her sister, Mina Cunard. John billed as Jack Ford, portrayed "Edward Feeney".

The second film production for director Francis Ford, and writer Grace Cunard, in 1916, was:

HIS MAJESTY DICK TURPIN released on February 12, 1916 

John Palmer aka: Dick Turpin's story, over the decades, has turned him into an English folk hero. For the record, he was not a hero!

Richard (Dick) Turpin (1705-1739) was a notorious highway men in Georgian Times. However, his story is actually full of more crimes than he is well known for. 

The above quote and Turpin's story can be found on "Handwriting in History" at:

This was the first of four related features, actually the third and fourth where revisions of the first and second. Three of them brought Ford and Cunard temporarily back to Thomas H. Ince's, "Bison Productions", as I had said, located at the "Universal City Studio", where they would be filmed. However, Ince wasn't really involved with "Bison" by this time, and only "Supervised" the production of motion pictures under that company name, if at all.

This was because on July 19, 1915, Thomas H. Ince created "Triangle Studios", named for the building's shape, with his partners D.W. Griffith and Mack Sennett. Under Ince, "Triangle" at 10202 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, would become one of the first integrated film companies. Ince combined production, distribution, and movie theater operations under one roof, another "Triangle".

Above, "Triangle" in 1916.

In "His Majesty, Dick Turpin":

Francis Ford portrayed "Prince Frederick" aka: "Dick Turpin".

Grace Cunard portrayed "The Madcap Queen".

Jack Holt, excellent character actor and father of actor Tim Holt, portrayed "Count Charles".

Peter Gerald
portrayed "The King of Corona".

The basic story has the "King of Corona" as a tyrant on the people. His frivolous wife has earned the nickname of "The Madcap Queen", but she has also won the heart of "Prince Frederick". The prince becomes the alleged "Robin Hood" version of "Dick Turpin", robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. While, "Count Charles" has the king's appreciation for his support, but also wants the queen for himself.  

THE MADCAP QUEEN OF CRONA released on March 21, 1916

This was a film made by the "Universal Manufacturing Company" and note that "Corona" is now "Crona".

Written by Grace Cunard and directed by Francis Ford.

Francis Ford portrayed "Prince Frederick".

Grace Cunard portrayed "The Madcap Queen" and "Marcia Avery".

Jack Holt portrayed "Count Michael".

If Grace Cunard's screenplay sounds more like Mark Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper", my reader will be forgiven for that thought.

American tourist, "Marcia Avery" is sightseeing in the principality of Crona, and learns that she is the exact image of the frivolous "Madcap Queen". The two meet each other, and the queen wanting to get a way to herself for a while, convinces "Marcia" to become her and she will become the American tourist for a week. Of course, the "Queen/Marica" is told that she is to marry within the same week to "Prince Frederick". While, "Marica/Queen" falls for "Count Michael" and the mix-ups begin.

However, it was back to "Bison Productions" for the third and fourth film in this related series.

BEHIND THE MASK released on April 8, 1916

This was a revised version of "His Majesty, Dick Turpin", from two-months and five-films earlier, written by Grace Cunard and directed by Francis Ford.

Francis Ford portrayed "Prince Frederick" aka: "Dick Turpin".

Grace Cunard portrayed "The Madcap Queen".

Jack Holt portrayed "Count Charles".

Peter Gerald 
portrayed "The King of Corona".

THE PRINCELY BANDIT released on September 9, 1916

Francis Ford portrayed "Prince Frederick" and not "Dick Turpin". That character was revised into the "Bandit Chief".

Grace Cunard portrayed "The Madcap Queen".

Jack Holt is back to portraying the revised "Count Michael".

The character of "Marcia Avery" has been removed, but otherwise the plot has "The Madcap Queen" being forced into marriage within a week, but her Groom, "Prince Frederick", now disappears to become the "Robin Hood" version of "Dick Turpin".

Just prior to "The Princely Bandit" was another cliff-hanger/serial.

THE ADVENTURES OF PEG O' THE RING Chapter One released on May 1, 1916

The production had two directors; Francis Ford was joined by Jacques Jaccard. Jaccard specialized in cliff-hanger/serials and westerns at "Universal City Studio". Between 1914 and 1936, he directed 87-films. He also wrote between 1913 and 1938, 80-screenplays, and between 1913 and 1923, acted in 23-films.

The story was by Grace Cunard, the scenario was by Joe Brandy, this was his only film work, and the actual screenplay was also by Grace Cunard.

Grace Cunard portrayed "Peg o' the Ring".

Francis Ford
portrayed "Dr. Lund, Junior".

Mark Fenton, 
billed as Marc Fenton, portrayed "Dr. Lund, Senior".

Peter Gerald, 
billed as Pete Gerald, portrayed "Flip the Clown".

John Ford,
billed as Jack Ford, portrayed "Lund's Accomplice".

Eddie Polo (Scenes Deleted)

Ruth Stonehouse (Scenes Delated)

According to the website, "Brooksie's Silent Film Collection":

The reason that both Eddie Polo and Ruth Stonehouse's scenes were deleted was because of some behind the scenes drama:

When the series was first announced it was fellow serial stars Eddie Polo and Ruth Stonehouse, recently arrived from Essanay, who were to take the leading part, leaving only supporting roles for Francis Ford and Grace Cunard, who was to play Stonehouse's mother.

This is also a lost film. 

The story revolves around aerial performer "Peg", but who is she really? Why at midnight does she go wild, but cannot remember what happened? How much does "Flip the Clown" know about her? Who and for what reason is someone trying to kidnap her? In short, everything a good cliff-hanger had to keep the audience returning for the next installment. 

The above photo is a bit controversial. It appears on both photos for 1914's, "Lucille Love: The Girl of Mystery" and this production. What can be confirmed is it was taken at the "Universal Studio" animal compound as a "Publicity Photo" of Grace Cunard. 

There is a story about the lioness's trainer being killed by the lioness after this photo was taken. However, I cannot find anything as to when that was alleged to have happened. The publicity photo is also indicated as having been taken in August 1915, on Cunard biographical page on "Wikipedia", if the year is correct. Then the picture could not be connected with either cliff-hanger/serial.

Above, the brothers Ford, John and Francis.

THE PURPLE MASK Chapter One premiered on December 25, 1916. 

"The Purple Mask" was written and directed by Francis Ford and Grace Cunard. 

Francis Ford
portrayed "Detective Phil Kelly" aka: "The Sphinx".

Grace Cunard portrayed "Patricia Montez" aka: "Queen of the Apaches" (A popular dance in Paris, France, at the time of this story.)

Jean Hathaway portrayed "Eleanor Van Nuys".

Peter Gerald, billed as Pete Gerald, portrayed "Pete Bartlett, Detective Kelly's Assistant".

Jerome Ash, billed as Jerry Ash, portrayed "Bull Sanderson, Kelly's Assistant".

Of interest is that John Ford is not a confirmed actor in this cliff-hanger/serial, but Philip Ford, Francis Ford's son, below, portrayed "Joe Butts". 

Philip would become a director for "Republic Pictures" during the 1940's and move into television directing in the early 1950's, with 51-episodes of the original "Lassie", and 8-episodes of "The Adventures of Superman".

The story was planned as a multiple episode "Lady Raffles" entry, but that was dropped. Although the two main characters are right out of the "Lady Raffles" series and Francis Ford keeps his character of "Detective Phil Kelly" intact.

"Patricia Montez" is the niece of wealthy "Eleanor Van Nuys", both do charitable work and make donations for the poor. "Patricia's" friends compliment "Pat", as she's known, and this has gone to her head. When "Detective Kelly" snubs the self-centered girl, she plans to get even by taking her aunt's jewels and watch "The Sphinx" fail to solve the theft. However, her plans go wrong and the jewels are taken by somebody else. "Pat" becomes a thief, "The Purple Mask", and while attempting to discover who has the jewels, must dodge the detective on her trail in a cat and mouse game.

Six-short films started 1917, and then three major events occurred in Francis Ford's life. The first event revolved around the 50-minute feature:

IN TREASON'S GRASP released on June 1, 1917

This is a story about a man who is falsely accused of treason and sentenced to 20-years in prison. It is his First World War business partner that had set him up to cover his own crimes. Although the story mentions the two business partners as main characters. Who was other actor with Francis Ford I could not locate, or which of the two roles Ford portrayed? Of course, both men love Grace Cunard's "Molly", and that is part of the reason one of the two partners was framed.

"In Treason's Grasp" was the last motion picture that Francis Ford worked with Grace Cunard on. Six-months earlier, had been the marriage of Grace Cunard and her second husband, Joe Moore.

The second event involved filming a novel written by American painter, illustrator, and sculptor of the American West, Frederick Sackrider Remington and one of the actresses.

JOHN ERMINE OF THE YELLOWSTONE released on November 5, 1917

The novel had been turned into a play by Louis Evan Shipman, his only motion picture work. The scenario aka: screenplay was by Maud Grange, this was her last of only five.

The feature film was directed by Francis Ford, who portrayed "John Ermine".

Mae Gaston
portrayed "Katherine Searles".

Mark Fenton
portrayed "Colonel Searles".

The most interesting casting was:

Elsie Van Name, billed as "Elsie Ford", portraying "Mrs. Searles".

The story starts with "John Ermine", a baby, being stolen from a wagon train by the Crow Indians and raised as the son of "Chief Fire Bear", portrayed by John Dark Cloud". "John" leans from "Crooked Bear", portrayed by William A. Carroll, of his true white heritage and goes out into the Whiteman's world and falls in love with "Katharine Searles".

Above on left is Mae Gaston, to her right is Francis Ford, seated speaking to him is Elsie Ford, the only photo of her I was able to find, and standing by Elise is Mark Fenton.

THE MYSTERY SHIP released on December 1, 1917 was a six-hour cliff-hanger/serial

This production required three directors; Francis Ford was one. The story required three writers; Elsie Van Name was one. Under that name, she also portrayed the role of "Betty's Aunt".

Both Philip Ford, billed as Phil Ford, and his father, Francis, were listed as part of the cast, but I could not locate what roles they portrayed. 

The third event was the creation of Francis Ford's film company, "Fordart Films", locatede at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. Francis and Elsie Ford put together what appears to be the only production of "Fordart", "Berlin Via America", released in May 1918. Francis Ford produced, directed and portrayed "Phil Kelly". Ford's wife, as her maiden name, Elsie Van Name, wrote the screenplay.

As for Gower Street, it would become known as "Poverty Row", with motion picture companies such as "Monogram", "Mascot", and "Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC)", renting office space, because they didn't have a physical studio. In the 1950's and 1960's, one well-known studio, "American International Pictures (AIP)", operated out of Gower Street office space for the same reason. 

Next came a motion picture from the "Universal Manufacturing Company", that marked the start of the decline of Francis, but also the rise of John.

THE CRAVING premiered in New York City, on September 18, 1918

The motion picture is shown in many reviews as being directed by both Francis and John Ford. However, John Ford told director Peter Bogdonivch, in an interview, that he did not direct any part of the feature.

The motion picture story, considered an early horror film, was by Francis Ford, but the screenplay was primarily by John Ford.

Francis Ford
portrayed "Carrol Wayles".

Mae Gaston
portrayed "Beulah Grey".

Peter Gerald
portrayed "Ala Kasarib".

Chemist "Carroll Wayles" has discovered a high explosive that "Ala Kasarib" wants for himself. He uses his hypnotized ward, "Beulah Grey" as a tool to gain the formula. "Wayles" used to be a alcoholic and now "Beulah" is able to get him back on his old addiction. In his drunken state, "Kasarib" is able to get control of the chemist and learns the secret formula. Next, "Ala Kasarib" takes "Carroll Wayles" spirit on a trip over First World War battlegrounds and scenes of lust. A war between good and evil within the chemist takes place and good wins.

The film ends with an explosion from the formula, "Kasarib" left dead, and "Wayles" and "Grey" free to marry.



As a director between "The Craving" and the end of 1919, Francis Ford directed 4-motion pictures and appeared in the same number of acting roles.

As a director between "The Craving" and the end of 1919, John "Jack" Ford, directed 16-motion pictures, all westerns, and appeared in no acting roles. John's next wouldn't be until 1929, in an uncredited role, in director Kenneth Hawks, "Big Time". As the name implies, Kenneth, was the younger brother of Howard Hawks and was married to actress Mary Astor at the time.

On November 2, 1919, the drama "Crimson Shoals" was released. That motion picture was made by the independent production company, the Monopol Film Company, at the Francis Ford Studios,  6050 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California. "Fordart" might be gone with a single feature, but for a while renting the studio remained a means of income. Yet, strangely, "Crimson Shoals", was written by Francis Ford and Elsie Van Name, and was directed by Ford. Who also starred in three roles, as "Jack Quinn, the son", "Frederick Fielding, the father", and "Thomas Fielding, the grandfather".

1920 demonstrated the direction Francis Ford was heading.

As a motion picture director, there were only two films, both westerns, "Thunderbolt Jack" and "A Man from Nowhere", starring forgotten "B" western star and stunt man, Jack HoxieIt would be 1921, before Francis Ford directed again, it was another Jack Hoxie western, "Cyclone Bliss". 

As an actor he had one new film, the Jack Hoxie, "A Man from Nowhere", the role was "The Town Drunkard".

As a writer, Francis Ford had written no screenplays.

His situation changed slightly in 1921, Francis Ford directed five-westerns, and acted in eight-movies, that included the five he directed. However, he wrote no screenplays.

August 28, 1924 saw John Ford's western silent era classic, "The Iron Horse", about building the transcontinental railroad. As sign of billing during the silent era, both as the director and co-producer, John Ford is shown on the official cast and crew list as uncredited. Although his name is clearly in the film's opening credits.

While in the same year, Brother Francis Ford directed, wrote, and released on September 1, 1924, the forgotten western, "The Cowboy Prince", starring the equally forgotten Ashton Dearholt. Who in 1934, formed with Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises", while filming the cliff-hanger/serial, "The New Adventures of Tarzan", starring Herman Brix, who changed his name to Bruce Bennett. "Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises", closed down just four-years later, in 1938, heavily in debt.

A change from westerns came when Francis Ford found himself back co-directing a cliff-hanger/serial.

THE POWER OF GOD Chapter One was released on May 1, 1925

This was a science fiction from the combination of "Ben Wilson Productions" and "J. Charles Davis" productions in 15-Chapters.

Ben F. Wilson directed Chapters 1-4; Francis Ford directed Chapters 5-15.

Ben F. Wilson
portrayed "Jim Thrope". 

Neva Gerber portrayed "Aileen Sturgess".

Al Ernest Garcia, billed as Allan Garcia, portrayed "Weston Dore".

Francis Ford
in an uncredited role, portrayed the "Government Secret Service Man in Chapter 15".

"Aileen Sturgess's" father has invented a machine that can draw unlimited power from the atoms in the air. He is killed by "Weston Dore" and it is up to his daughter, and "Jim Thrope" to stop "Dore" and get her father's machine back.

The last motion picture produced by Francis Ford was:

THE FOUR FROM NOWHERE released on November 6, 1925

The movie was from "Goodwill Productions" and directed by him.

The screenplay was written by Francis Ford and Peggy O'Day.

Four people get snowed in at a cabin in the mountains. They have two books, Alexander Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo", and the bible. To keep from going stir-crazy, the re-enact scenes from the Dumas novel and the movie shows them in period costumes and sets.

We have a cast listing, but not the roles portrayed. Both Francis Ford, and Peggy O'Day lead the five actors. Who portrayed the fifth role and what it was is also unknown.

The three other actors were Philip Ford, billed as Phil Ford, Billie Ford, I could not determine if she was related to Francis, or Philip, but this was her only on-screen appearance, and George Reehm, billed as George Rheam.

A year later and the signs that France Ford's star was deeming even more was shown in two short subjects he directed. The first was the 23-minute short, "THE SILENT TRAILER", released on October 1, 1926. The second was the 23-minute short, "DOG SCENTS", released on November 1, 1926. The star of these two shorts was "Fearless the Great Police Dog".

The first short was also written by Francis Ford, but calling himself, J. Francis O'Fearna. Under his own name, he had the uncredited role of "Mrs. Coleman's Physician".

Francis Ford would write four more films using the name of J. Francis O'Fearna. The fourth as listed was "Shadows of Broadway", because it was not released until December 4, 1930, in London, England. Apparently, that silent film, from "Goodwill Productions", was actually shot in 1926, and sat on the shelf until its 1930 United Kingdom release date. However, the true final film written by Francis Ford, release dates aside, actually would be, 1928's, "The Phantom Pinto", and not the later released "Shadows of Broadway".

Which brings my reader into another bit of confusion over Ford's last directed film.

According to biographer Joseph McBride, in his, 2001, "Searching for John Ford: A Life", Francis Ford's final "known" directed motion picture was "The Call of the Heart", starring Dynamite the Dog, billed as Dynamite the Devil Dog, portraying "Dynamite", and released on January 29, 1928. That film was from the now "Universal Pictures" studio.

However, there was also the just mentioned, "The Phantom Pinto", released in 1928, month and date are unknown. That feature film is showing on the lists of the films directed by Francis Ford, "after", "The Call of the Heart".

Adding further confusion as to which film is really Ford's final directorial effort, is that the cast list is correct for the 1928 release on all of the sources I looked at, but the description given is for the 1941 western of the same title. Illustrating one of the main problems for film historians with silent films that are apparently lost.

In September 1928, actor, Francis Ford, acted in his last silent motion picture. "Sisters of Eve". The film co-starred Anita Stewart, who retired after marrying an heir to U.S. Steel, and Betty Blythe, who became a character actress in sound films. After she lost her fortune in the 1929 stock market crash. The male lead was Creighton Hale, who made the transition to sound and television, his last appearance was in the Randolph Scott western, 1958's, "Westbound". Francis Ford was billed fifth as "Pritchard".


Francis Ford entered the world of sound motion pictures in "The Charlatan", the film premiered April 7, 1929 completely silent. On April 14, 1929, the film was re-released as a part-silent, part-talkie feature film. This movie starred Holmes Herbert portraying "Count Merlin - aka - Peter Dwight", and Margaret Livingston portraying "Florence Talbot".

Francis Ford had the uncredited role of a "Detective".

Another uncredited role would be the first actual sound motion picture for Francis Ford and a precursor of things to come.

THE BLACK WATCH premiered on May 8, 1929

This was an adaption of British author Talbot Mundy's novel, "King of the Khyber Rifles".

The motion picture was directed by John Ford.

Victor McLaglen portrayed "Captain Donald Gordon King". 

Myrna Loy portrayed "Yasmani". She was five-years away from the first "Thin Man" feature as "Nora Charles", and only three from portraying the totally evil, highly sexual, "Fah Lo See", the daughter of Boris Karloff's, "Fu Manchu", in 1932's, "The Mask of Fu Manchu".

David Rollins, left below, portrayed "Lieutenant Malcolm King".

Roy D'Arcy portrayed "Rewa Ghunga".

Five interesting uncredited names:

Francis Ford portrayed the uncredited role of "Major MacGregor".

Mary Gordon
portrayed "Sandy's wife". Mary Gordon would become "Mrs. Hudson" in all of the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, "Sherlock Holmes" movies from "20th Century Fox" and "Universal Pictures".

Randolph Scott portrayed a "42nd Highlander".

Lupita Tovar had a "bit part". She would portray "Eva", in "Universal Pictures", 1931, Spanish language, "Dracula". Considered by many film historians as the better 1931 production. The picture was filmed at night, by non-Spanish-speaking director George Melford, on the same sets used by director Tod Browning, during the daylight, for the Bela Lugosi, "Dracula".  

Marion Robert Morrison portrayed a "42nd Highlander". The following year, director Raoul Walsh will cast him in the lead of 1931's, "The Big Trail", but change his name to John Wayne. That story is part of my article, "JOHN WAYNE, WILLIAM FOX: Grandeur and 'The Big Trail", found on the dusty wagon train road at:


The tag line for "Universal Pictures" sound crime mystery "The Drake Case", released on September 1, 1929, was:
Hear Every Word of the Sensational Testimony


Gladys Brockell was the star of the motion picture, but her life ended shortly after the pictures release in an automobile accident. One of Gladys's co-stars, Robert Frazer, started his on-screen acting career in 1914, portraying both "Jesus Christ" and "Robin Hood", but is remembered for Bela Lugosi's, 1932, "White Zombie", and the Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, and Melvyn Douglas, 1933, "The Bat". 

It might actually be said that Francis Ford heard every word of the sensational testimony, because he portrayed an uncredited member of the jury in the trial scenes without a one word of dialogue to say.

"The Drake Case" was followed by "Mr. Antonio", released on October 15, 1929, starring Leo Carrillo. Francis Ford is listed as a "bit player".

THE MOUNTED STRANGER released on February 8, 1930

This was a western starring Hoot Gibson portraying "Pete Ainslee". As a boy, "Pete" witnessed his father's death by "Steve Gary", portrayed by Fred Burns. As an adult, "Pete" goes after "Gary" with the help of "Spider Coy", portrayed by Francis Ford, and falls for "Spider's" daughter, "Bonita Coy", portrayed by Louise Lorraine. Francis Ford is either listed with third, or sixth-billing for this feature film depending on the advertising. He had last appeared with Gibson in the silent western, "The Lariat Kid", released at the start of 1929.

Francis Ford was back in a cliff-hanger/serial:

THE JADE BOX Chapter One released on February 25, 1930

Louise Lorraine portrayed "Helen Morgan, Martin's daughter, and Jack's fiancée"

Jack Perrin portrayed "Jack Lamar, John's son and Helen's fiancé".

Francis Ford portrayed "Martin Morgan, false friend of John Lamar".

Monroe Salisbury portrayed the original purchaser of the Box and cult abductee".

Above, Francis Ford, Louise Lorraine, and Jack Perrin. Below, Jack Perrin and Francis Ford.

This was originally being shot as a silent cliff-hanger/serial when sound came along. It had long silent portions between dialogue-sound sequences, but "The Jade Box" is considered lost. Although rumor, states that a copy is supposed to be locked in a vault at the studio.

"John Larmar" purchases a box in Asia, but it is stolen by "his friend", "Martin Morgan". The box is rumored to contain the secret of invisibility. While, "John Lamar" is abducted by a strange cult and seems to have "literally" disappeared.

To illustrate how far the once star of silent films had fallen:

Seven of Francis Ford's next Thirteen-roles were uncredited and described as a "Hussars Officer", "Sheridan's aide", "Drunken soldier on train", "Eric - captain of trawler", "Carl - a detective", "Skid row drunk", and a "Alumnus".

Francis Ford's credited roles in this group included portraying "James, the Butler" with sixth-billing, roles in two Ken Maynard westerns, as third-billed, "Don Pedro Madero", and fifth-billed, "Red Slade", a role in a Colonel Tim McCoy western, as fourth-billed, "George Woods/Tom Woods", and in a crime drama, portraying six-billed, "Brady". The actor was also in a Slim Summerville short that had no roles identified.

For fans of "Universal Horror, Francis Ford portrayed the uncredited role of "Hans", in director James Whale's, 1931, "Frankenstein".

Francis Ford followed "Frankenstein" with the 1931, romantic drama, "Possessed". The film starred Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Wallace Ford, no relation to Francis, he was born Samuel Grandy Jones. Francis Ford had the uncredited role of "The Drunken Husband".

BATTLING WITH BUFFALO BILL Chapter One released on November 28, 1931

This cliff-hanger/serial has some interesting points in it. First it is based upon, "The Great West That Was", written by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

Next are some names in the cast:

Tom Tyler portrayed "William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody". This "B" Cowboy actor's career covered more than westerns. My article is "Tom Tyler: the "B" Cowboy Star Who Became a Mummy, Captain Marvel and a Classic John Wayne Bad Guy". You may read it at:

Lucille Browne portrayed "Jane Mills, Buffalo Bill's love interest.

Above, Lucille Browne with Tom Tyler.

William Desmond portrayed "John Mills". Desmond, not to be confused with William Demond Taylor, had the nickname of "The King of the Silent Serials". 

Above, William Desmond, with unidentified actor.

Rex Bell
portrayed "Dave Archer, Buffalo Bill's sidekick. Bell would get involved in Republican politics and become the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Nevada.

Above, Lucille Browne and Rex Bell.

Francis Ford portrayed "Jim Rodney, villainous gambler trying to illicitly claim a local gold strike". He is seen, below center, instructing his two henchmen.

The plot is very familiar, "Jim Rodney" wants to drive all the people out of the town of Hard Rock and the settlers on the nearby ranches. "Rodney's" reasoning is that the land is rich in gold and he wants every inch for himself. He is opposed by settlers "John Mills", his daughter "Jane", and her fiancé "Dave Archer". When things look really bad for the three and the town, enter "William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody" to battle "Rodney" for twelve-chapters.

One of Francis Ford's uncredited roles was as a "prison guard" in director Howard Hawks', 1932, "Scarface", produced by Howard Hughes. 

Francis Ford
was in the alternate ending to the feature film shot for the censors, but Howard Hughes released the original ending. 

Above, Francis Ford is the guard in the middle of the three men.

DESTRY RIDES AGAIN released April 17, 1932

Do not confuse this film with the James Stewart, 1939, "Destry Rides Again". Although both films claim to be based upon the Max Brand novel of the same name. This feature film is an adaptation of Brand's actual work, but all that retained in the 1939 motion picture, is the title and the leading character's name of "Tom Destry".

Tom Mix portrays "Tom Destry".

Claudie Dell portrays "Sally Dangerfield".

Zasu Pitts portrayed a "Temperance Worker".

Andy Devine, who name is on the above poster with fourth-billing, is actually an uncredited stage passenger, whose scenes were deleted.

Earl Foxe portrayed "Tom Brent".

Francis Ford portrayed "Judd Ogden", head of the "Ogden Boys".

Stanley Fields portrayed "Sheriff Jerry Wendell".

"Tom Destry" co-owner of the "Desty-Brent Stage Line" is framed by his partner "Tom Brent" and "Sheriff Wendell" for an attempt to kill "Edward Clifton", portrayed Fred Howard. The judge sentences "Tom" to one-to-ten-years in jail for intent to kill. However, the governor pardons "Tom" after his girlfriend, "Sally" and her father, "Mr. Dangerfield", portrayed by Edward LeSaint intervene. Now he's after "Brent" and the "Sheriff" to clear his name, but first he must get past "Judd Ogden" and his boys.

According to the website,, Francis Ford portrayed the "Bearded Man under the table", seen below, in the Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Hal Roach, 1933. production, of "The Devil's Brothers" aka: "The  Bogus Bandits".

I was unable to confirm the website's statement about Francis Ford, because on all the different lists of the actor's roles, and information I read about the motion picture. Which was originally titled "Fra Diavolo", there is no mention of Francis Ford. Of course this role is apparently so minor, that information on it mac y never have been kept.

GORDON OF GHOST CITY Chapter One released on August 14, 1933

Francis Ford portrayed "The Man of Mystery", shooting at everyone bad, or good. Cowboy star Buck Jones portrayed "Buck Gordon". Madge Bellamy portrayed "Mary Gray", she was the heroine in the classic Bela Lugosi, 1932, "The White Zombie". She would be arrested on January 20, 1943, for shooting at her former lover Albert Stanford Murphy, for breaking-up their affair and marrying someone else.

"Gordon" is attempting to find out who the horse thieves are, while protecting his girlfriend's father gold mine.

Below, Francis Ford as "The Man of Mystery".

Francis Ford was cast by his brother, John Ford, in a First World War motion picture.

THE LOST PATROL released on February 16, 1934

The executive producer on the motion picture was Merian C. Cooper. The previous year he had made both "King Kong" and "Son of Kong". For John Ford, he would co-produce the cavalry trilogy, 1948, "Fort Apache", 1949, "She Word a Yellow Ribbon", and 1950's, "Rio Grande". He also co-produced 1948's, 3 Godfathers", 1949's, "Mighty Joe Young", 1952's, "The Quiet Man", and 1956's, "The Searchers". Prior to the Second World War, Cooper was also a spy for the OSS, and his 1935 production of H. Rider Haggard's novel, "SHE", gave Walt Disney the look for "Snow White's" evil queen, My article, "Merian C. Cooper: Before 'King Kong' to 'Cinerama", may be read at:

John Ford co-produced, and directed this motion picture.

Victor McLaglen was "The Sergeant".

Boris Karloff
was "Sanders". Karloff had just been seen in the sometimes overlooked British horror production, 1933's, "The Ghoul", featuring Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and Ernest Thesiger.

Wallace Ford was "Morelli".

Reginald Denny
was "Brown".

The eleven men of a mounted British patrol are in the Arabian desert. The lieutenant is shot and killed, and he was the only one that knew their mission. One by one, the remaining men are killed, until at the story's end, only the sergeant is left to be rescued..

John Ford had cast his brother Francis in the uncredited role of "An Arab"!

Among Francis Ford's other eight motion pictures during 1934, found him portraying the uncredited roles of a "Well-Wisher at the Train Station", "Legionnaire in a Trench', and a "Pawnbroker". 

One of his credited roles, was with twelfth-billing portraying "Juror No. 12", in the Will Rodger's motion picture, "Judge Priest", that premiered in Chicago, Illinois, on September 15, 1934, and was  directed by his brother.

It is no wonder that according to Joseph McBride, in "Searching for John Ford", that the one-time leading silent film actor's, 1934, unpublished memoir, "Up and Down the Ladder", is:
filled with bitter and sometimes heartrending complaints about how old-timers who had helped create the industry had been shunted aside by younger men.
McBride believes one of those younger men was Francis's brother, John.

"Up and Down the Ladder" was incorporated into that one biography I mentioned at this article's beginning, "Francis Ford: Legend of a Hollywood Icon", with a forward by his grandson, Christopher Ford, and contains added material from film historian Reed Simonsen.

In 1934, what would become known as "The John Ford Stock Company" was starting to be formed with his brother and actors Victor McLaglen, and Wallace Ford, actress Una O'Connor, and writer Dudley Nichols. 

However, 1934 was also a year of tragedy for Francis Ford, on November 4, 1934, his wife, Elsie Van Name passed away.

The next feature film Francis appeared in for his brother was probably the first time John looked at his Irish heritage:

THE INFORMER released on May 9, 1935

"The Informer" was nominated for the "Academy Award for Best Production (later called "Best Picture"). John Ford won "Best Director", Victor McLaglen won "Best Actor", Dudley Nichols won "Best writing, screenplay", George Hively was nominated for "Best Editing", and composer Max Steiner won for "Best Music (Scoring)".

Above seated, John Ford, and cinematographer Joseph H. August, standing to the right of August, is assistant camera Lloyd Ahern, Sr., and behind him is the uncredited camera operator, Burnett Guffey. The man standing directly behind John Ford apparently is unidentified, but might be the the uncredited still photographer Robert Coburn.

Above, Victor McLaglen, below sitting at the table is fourteenth-billed, bearded Francis Ford portraying "IRA Judge Flynn". Although there is no mention of the organization by name in the screenplay, it is clearly the "Irish Republican Army" that John Ford and Dudley Nichols are referencing.

Francis Ford became an active member of his brother's stock company as a character actor in minor roles. Sometime during 1935, Ford married Mary Armstrong, but I could not locate anything about her, except they were married until his death without children.

Francis's next film for his director brother was "Steamboat Round the Bend", released on September 6, 1935's, starring Will Rodgers.

Below, Francis Ford portraying "Elfe" with Will Rodgers, portraying "Dr. John Pearly". 

Three movies followed including Francis Ford's second appearance in a Warner Oland, "Charlie Chan" detective film. Then, he appeared in his brother's historical biography of "Dr. Samuel Mudd", portrayed by Warner Baxter, "The Prisoner of Shark Island", released on February 28, 1936. "Dr. Mudd" unknowingly made the mistake of treating the injured "John Wilkes Booth", after he had assassinated "President Abraham Lincoln", and was imprisoned for that crime.


Above, Francis Ford portraying "Corporal O'Toole", and the newest member of "The John Ford Stock Company", John Carradine, portraying "Sergeant Rankin".

In 1936's, "Sins of Man", the Francis Ford was "The Town Drunk". Next, he was seen for a moment in Cecil B. DeMille's, 1936, "The Plainsman", in the role of "Anderson - Old Veteran". 

Brother, John Ford, now returned to revolutionary Ireland, in a tale about a husband who secretly joins an Irish militia set on driving the British out of the country.

"The Plough and the Stars", released on December 26 1936, starred Barbara Stanywck portraying "Nora Clitheroe", and Henry Fonda portraying "Jack Clitheroe".

Francis Ford had the uncredited role of "The Old Man".

The actor's next three roles were all uncredited and started to really set the tone of his on-screen work going forward in his career. Of his seven-roles between the uncredited "Pedro Elias" in the Dorothy Lamour, Lew Ayres, and Gilbert Roland, 1937, "The Last Train from Madrid", to the credited role, with ninth billing, of "Uncle Dud", in the Joan Bennett and Randolph Scott, western, 1938's, "Texas", three were uncredited, and others had names such as, "Scraps", and "Driver".

STAGECOACH premiered in Los Angeles, California, on February 2, 1939

This is a classic western from John Ford based upon the short story, "The Stage to Lordsburg", by Ernest Haycox. There are, as of this writing, two other films of the same title based upon the same story. Each has a different take on the story and for those who might be interested, my article, "Comparing John Ford's 1939 'Stagecoach', to the 1966 and 1986 Remakes", will be found at:

John Ford's favorite screenplay writer, Dudley Nichols, made this screenplay more of a character study than Ernest Haycox's story has his stagecoach passengers. 

The seven leading roles, on their way to Lordsburg, New Mexico, are:

The dancehall, prostitute (?), girl "Dallas", portrayed by Claire Trevor.

The framed outlaw and prison escape, "The Ringo Kid", portrayed by John Wayne.

The reluctant stagecoach driver, "Buck", portrayed by Andy Devine. My article on the actor's career, "ANDY DEVINE: 'Hey Wild Bill, Wait for Me!", is available for reading at:

The gambler with a silver engraved water cup that reveals a past pre-Civil War life, "Hatfield", portrayed by John Carradine.

The drunken doctor that is the guiding light for "Dallas" and "Ringo", "Doc Josiah Boone" portrayed by Thomas Mitchell.

"Mrs. Lucy Mallory",
portrayed by Louise Platt, going to meet her cavalry officer husband, but initially has concealed that she is pregnant.

"Marshall Curley Wilcox", played by George Bancroft, who likes "Ringo" and is now faced with finding him before he confronts, and probably dies from, "Luke Plummer", portrayed by Tom Tyler, in Lordsburg.

"Samuel Peacock", portrayed by Donald Meek, a whiskey drummer that really wants to be home with his family.

Bank president, "Ellsworth Henry Gatewood", portrayed by Berton Churchill, who has robbed his own bank and needs to get away from Tonto, Arizona.

Left to right, Donald Meek, John Wayne, Claire Trevor, George Bancroft, Andy Devine behind Bancroft. Seated, Louise Platt, standing, Tim Holt, John Carradine, seated, Berton Churchill, Francis Ford, and Thomas Mitchell.

Below, Francis Ford in the uncredited role of "Ex-Cavalry Sergeant Billy Pickett", owner of the stagecoach waystation, and Thomas Mitchell. Ford was not given lines and when he is asked a question, somebody else answered for him. Such as his character's wife, "Mrs. Pickett", portrayed by the uncredited, Marga Ann Deighton.

Staying with brother John and a character Francis Ford was very familiar with was "Young Mr. Lincoln", premiering in Springfield, Illinois, on May 30, 1939, and starring Henry Fonda. Francis Ford had the uncredited role of "Sam Boone".

Above, Francis Ford on the far left, below on the right.

It appears that Francis Ford was being typecast mostly in westerns and historical dramas. He followed "Young Mr. Lincoln" with two forgotten "B" westerns and it was back to brother John Ford.

John Steinbeck
wrote "The Grapes of Wrath", it would be published on April 14, 1939. John Ford directed the classic motion picture version and that film premiered in New York City, on January 24, 1940. Henry Fonda was back as "Tom Joad", Jane Darwell portrayed his mother "Ma Joad", and John Carradine portrayed "Casy". For those who may be interested, my article, "John Steinbeck, Henry Fonda and Woody Guthrie: 'Tom Joad", can be read at: 

For the film version of John Steinbeck's, "The Grapes of Wrath", John Ford won the "Best Director Academy Award", Henry Fonda was nominated for "Best Actor", Jane Darwell, won the "Best Supporting Actress", Nunnally Johnson was nominated for "Best Screenplay", Robert L. Simpson was nominated for "Best Film Editing", and Edmund H. Hansen was nominated for "Best Sound Recording".

In the large cast, Francis Ford, had the uncredited role of "A Migrant".

In his brother's film version of author Erskine Caldwell's, "Tobacco Road", premiering in New York City, on February 20, 1941, Francis Ford had the role of a "Vagabond on the Road". The month before on January 31, 1941, the actor had portrayed the "Eastbound stage driver", in director Fritz Lang's, "Western Union", based upon a Zane Grey western novel.

Francis Ford was again portraying a stereotypical role for him as a "Inebriated Courtroom Spectator", in the George Montgomery forgotten western, 1941's, "Riders of the Purple Sage", also based upon a Zane Grey western novel.

While buried in the uncredited cast of the Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland's, 1941, historical biography, "They Died with Their Boots On", was Ford as a civil war, "Veteran". Six roles later and the actor had the uncredited role of "Alva 'Dad' Hardwicke", in director William Wellman's classic western, 1943's, "The Ox-Bow Incident", seen below.

On June 25, 1943, Francis Ford had the verified uncredited role of a "Skeptical Old-Timer", in the Laurel and Hardy comedy, "Jitterbugs".

Laurel and Hardy's "The Big Noise", premiered in New York City, on September 22, 1944, with Francis Ford portraying the uncredited role of the "Train Station Attendant". 

Francis Ford had a small role in an excellent and always overlooked psychological film-noir.

HANGOVER SQUARE premiered on February 7, 1945

The leading actor in the film was Laird Cregar, who portrayed "George Harvey Bone". Cregar had portrayed the "Jack the Ripper" character in the 1944 version, Alfred Hitchcock had made the silent classic, of authoress Marie Belloc Lowndes, "The Lodger". Sadly, the actor passed away at the age of 31-years, prior to this pictures release. My article, "Laird Cregar: An Excellent Character Actor's Life Cut Short", can be read at:

Francis Ford portrayed "Ogilby", who is murdered at the start of the picture by distinguished composer "George Harvey Bone". "Bone" blackouts and has no memory of the deed, or the burning of "Ogilby's" business. Which starts the events to unfold and the question will "Bone" murder again and once more blackout?


Trivia: Fourth-billed Glenn Langen, below with Linda Darnell,  is best remembered by 1950's science fiction fans as 1957's, "The Amazing Colossal Man".

Francis Ford found himself in one of the ultimate quickies made adventure movies. Toss in some footage, to save money, from the 1927, three-hour-and-twenty-minute, cliff-hanger/serial, "Perils of the Jungle", written by Harry L. Frazer. Who also wrote this picture and produced and directed it, and you have the one-hour-and-two-minute:

THE WHITE GORILLA released on July 12, 1945

I did not make up this story line:

A White Gorilla is snubbed and discriminated by his tribe of all Black Gorilla's and is forced out. He leaves angry, does confront human hunters, but will eventually fight the King of the Black Gorilla's, defeat him, assume the role of King, and makes his tribe free of discrimination.

Frazer further saved money by hiring "B" cowboy actor, Ray "Crash" Corrigan for the lead. Corrigan got started in movies by portraying a gorilla in 1932's, "Tarzan the Ape Man", and his next three movies were also in gorilla costumes. In 1936, Corrigan was the "Orangopoid" in "Flash Gordon", and he would become one of the "Three Mesquiteers" with Robert "Bob" Livingston, and Syd Saylor. Which was the title of first entry of the long running western series of 51-pictures. Corrigan would purchase land in the Simi Valley and establish the movie ranch, "Corriganville". He ended his career in 1958, portraying the title character in "It! The Terror from Beyond Space". 

In this feature film, Ray Corrigan portrayed three-roles, "Steve Collins/ Konga - the White Gorilla/Story Narrator".


Below, left to right, Ray Corrigan, Francis Ford portraying "Mr. Stacey", Charles King portraying "J. Morgan", George J. Lewis portraying "Hutton", and Lorraine Miller portraying "Ruth Stacey".

There are nine-roles with the actors listed as on "archive footage". The nine are in the footage from "Perils of the Jungle".

Francis Ford returned to his brother's stock company in John's version of "The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral", "My Darling Clementine", released on the day I was born, October 16, 1946. 

This wasn't the first sound version of the story as many believe, or for that matter the first film about the 30-second-gunfight. It is however, the classic version and considered one of John Ford's best works. For those of my readers interested in the actual gunfight and the movies, my article is, "The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral' as Reinvented by Hollywood", found at:

Going off the above poster, John Ford cast:

Henry Fonda as "Wyatt Earp".

Linda Darnell
as the fictious "Chihuahua".

Victor Mature
as the non-dentist, "Doc Holiday".

Cathy Downs as the fictious "Clementine Carter".

Walter Brennan as "Old Man Clanton".

Tim Holt as "Virgil Earp". My article, "TIM HOLT: Directors John Ford, Orson Welles, John Huston and a Prehistoric Snail", may be read at:

Four other credited roles belonged to:

Ward Bond portraying "Morgan Earp".

Alan Mowbray portraying "Granville Thorndyke".

John Ireland portraying "Billy Clanton". Ireland would return to the "O.K. Corral", as "Johnny Ringo", in director John Sturges' version, 1957's, "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral". My article, "John Ireland: Westerns, Film-Noirs, A Little McCarthyism and a Few Affairs", is available for reading at:

Jane Darwell portrayed "Kate Nelson".

Above, Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, and Linda Darnell. Below, Henry Fonda and Cathy Downs.

Above, Ben Hall as "The Barber", Henry Fonda, Ward Bond, and Tim Holt. Below, Walter Brennan.

Above, John Ireland and Grant Withers as "Ike Clanton". Below, Jane Darwell and Alan Mowbray.

While, Francis Ford was given the uncredited role of "Dad - Old Soldier".

Between "My Darling Clementine" and the next motion picture that John used his brother Francis, were seven movies with roles described as "Old Man at Counter", "Cook", "Frontiersman on Fort Pitt Roof", that was in director Cecil B. DeMille's, 1947, "Unconquered", and as a "Horse Trader", in the "Rocky" Allan Lane and Bob Steele, 1947, "Bandits of Dark Canyon".

For the first entry in John's cavalry trilogy, 1948's, "Fort Apache", Francis's role was described as the uncredited, "Fen - Stage Guard".

For his brother's version of "3 Godfathers", Francis Ford was the "Drunk". 

Although John Ford's, 1948, version of the novel is the most widely known, it is actually the sixth-version of the 1913, novella. My article, "The Three Godfathers': A Christmas Allegory Interpreted By John Ford, William Wyler, Richard Boleslawski, and Edward Le Saint", will be found at:

Above, Francis Ford as the "Drunk"! Below, some other members of the "John Ford Stock Company", Mildred Natwick, John Wayne, Harry Carey, Jr., and Pedro Armendariz.

One Roy Rodgers western, and one "Rocky" Allan Lane western followed, and Francis Ford was in the second feature of his brother's trilogy.

Above and below, Victor McLaglen portraying "Top Sergeant Quincannon" and Francis Ford portraying the uncredited role of "Connelly - Fort Stark Suttlers Barman".

Portraying "Major Farnsworth", in a Monte Hale western, 1949's, "San Antone Ambush", directed by Francis Ford's son, Philip, followed.

Next, the silent movie star, moved from sound movies, to the new medium of television.

THE LONE RANGER, Episode 31, of Season One, entitled "Gold Fever", first broadcast on April 13, 1950

Above, Francis Ford portraying "Sam Dingle", Jay Silverheels portraying "Tonto", and Clayton Moore portraying "The Lone Ranger".

This "The Lone Ranger" was one of a few far thinking early television programs that was actually filmed in color. At one time during the 1950's, if you had enough television sets in your home. You were able to watch as many as 46 different western television programs in one-week. My article is "HI HO SILVER, AWAY: The 1950's When WESTERNS Dominated the Airwaves", saddle up at:

Francis Ford immediately returned to brother John for the "Wagon Master", released on April 19, 1950. This excellent story is about a wagon train and the people within it. 

The four leading actors:

Ben Johnson portrayed "Travis Blue", who becomes the title character. Johnson came with horses from his father's ranch for John Ford to use in, 1948's, "Fort Apache". There's a scene of a run-away wagon within the picture. The run-away wasn't planned and Ben Johnson jumped on a horse and stopped it, saving those in the wagon's lives. John Ford's cameraman caught the whole thing on film, it was left in the picture, and Ford offered Johnson a job with his stock company.

In 1949's, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", Ben Johnson became ex-Confederate soldier, "Sergeant Tyree". "Wagon Master" was made by Ford at the same time. 

Of course it is playing opposite actress Terry Moore, Howard Hughes' girlfriend at the time, and another actor, "Mr. Joseph Young of Africa", that many of my readers know Ben Johnson. My article, "Ben Johnson: Roping a 12 Foot Gorilla", is at:

Joanne Dru portrayed "Denver", a woman of lesser virtue that becomes part of a Mormon wagon train . Like Ben Johnson, she had just been filming "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon".

Harry Carey, Jr.
portrayed "Sandy". Keeping the pattern going, he also had just filmed "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon".

Ward Bond portrayed the leader of the Mormon wagon train, "Elder Wiggs". Bond was not in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", he had just filmed the Bing Crosby and Coleen Gray, 1950, "Riding High". Seven-years later he would be leading another "Wagon Train", but on television.

Take a look at the credited cast and my reader will see:

Charles Kemper portraying "Uncle Shiloh Clegg". Who with his sons, murdered some people during a bank robbery at the start of the movie. 

Alan Mowbray portraying "Dr. A. Locksley Hall".

Jane Darwell
portraying "Sister Ledyard".

Russell Simpson
portraying "Adam Perkins".

James Arness portraying "Floyd Clegg". The following year he was the title character of Howard Hawks', 1951, "The Thing from Another World". In 1954, he saved Los Angeles from the giant ants of "THEM!", and in 1955, James Arness first became televisions, "Matt Dillon", on "Gunsmoke".

Francis Ford
had 12th-billing portraying "Mr. Peachtree".

Above, front row, left to right Jane Darwell, Russell Simpson, Ward Bond, and Francis Ford. Below, Charles Kemper and James Arness,

Below, Ward Bond and Alan Mowbray.

Below is a colorized still from an episode of televisions "The Gene Autry Show", entitled "The Posse", September 17, 1950. In it, Wendy Waldron portraying "Mary Darrow" is standing next to Francis Ford portraying "Whopper Darrow", speaking to Gene and Pat Buttram as "Pat". The other actor is unidentified.

Below, Francis Ford portraying "Jed - a rancher", in "The Devil's Brand", on "The Gene Autry Show", September 24, 1950.

After his second appearance on televisions "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok", "Savy, the Smart Little Dog", on March 31, 1952, and four on the dramatic anthology television series, "Fireside Theatre". The actor was once more with his brother.

THE QUIET MAN premiered in London, England, and Dublin, Ireland, on June 6, 1952

This was a true "John Ford Stock Company" feature film, just look at these nine cast members:

John Wayne portrayed "Sean Thornton".

Maureen O'Hara portrayed "Mary Kate Danaher".

Barry Fitzgerald portrayed "Michaleen Oge Flynn".

Ward Bond portrayed "Father Peter Lonergan".

Victor McLaglen portrayed "Squire 'Red' Will Danaher".

Mildred Natwick portrayed "The Widow Sarah Tillane".

Francis Ford portrayed "Dan Tobin".

Eileen Crowe portrayed "Mrs. Elizabeth Playfair". 

Arthur Shields, the brother of Barry Fitzgerald who had changed his last name from Shields, portrayed "Reverend Cyril Playfair".

Below, a great book-ended photo, Francis Ford on the far left, John Ford on the far right. Between them, John Wayne, Victor McLaglen, and seated Barry Firzgerald.

Six forgotten movies followed "The Quiet Man", and on September 5, 1953, Francis Joseph Feeney aka: Francis Ford passed away at 73-years-of-age. His was a film industry career that spanned 44-years, but is remembered by very few.

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