I have long had a theory that John Ford is the most influentical film maker ever. Simply because he is a major influence to the following directors as Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, and Jean-Luc Godard. In fact I could go one for a while. Basically everyone who the current directors of the past ten years have listed are those guys as influences are all influenced by John Ford. So yeah i guess he is. I don't hear a ton of film students listing him as an influence but who lists buddy holly anymore either.
anyway here's two cool facts from wikipedia about John Ford.
1. He appeared uncredited as a Klansman in D.W. Griffith's 1915 classic, The Birth of a Nation, as the man who lifts up one side of his hood so he can see clearly.
2. He married Mary McBryde Smith, on July 3, 1920 (two children). Ford never divorced his wife, but had a five-year affair with Katharine Hepburn after they met during the filming of Mary of Scotland (1936). The longer revised version of Directed by John Ford shown on Turner Classic Movies in November, 2006 features directors Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, and Martin Scorsese, who suggest that the string of classic films Ford directed 1936-1941 was due in part to his affair with Hepburn.
films made during this time
Mary of Scotland (1936)
The Plough and the Stars (1936)
Wee Willie Winkie (1937)
Four Men and a Prayer (1938)
The Hurricane (1937)
Submarine Patrol (1938)
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Long Voyage Home (1940)
Tobacco Road (1941)
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
the second one i will disagree with because Wee Willie Winkie isn't that great it's just a shirely temple vechile. all though a good one not the best. I feel like this theory is good film lore but not as coo as you'd think but i do agree there are great films in there other not so much.