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Postage guaranteed

Posted by Mark Feeney  August 5, 2011 02:42 PM

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f-2012-great-film-directors-ford.jpgThe United States Postal Service has announced that next year it will issue a commemorative stamp for John Ford. "The Searchers" reference on the left is very nice, no?

Ford's reputation isn't what it once was, nor should it be. When his movies are hokey or lame or on automatic pilot, they are really, really hokey or lame or on automatic pilot. But when they're not, they can be magnificent. The man did more to create America's filmic idea of itself than any director not named Howard Hawks or Frank Capra. Whether that idea is a good thing or a bad thing (let alone an accurate thing) is another subject. But like Mount Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty, it's definitely a thing, and like all things of such a magnitude deserves acknowledging. Print the legend? Stamp it, too.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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