New book on celebrated team of John Ford and John Wayne

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Author Michael Blake has written a new book titled, “The Cavalry Trilogy: The Making of Three Classic John Ford-John Wayne Films.” Blake was inspired to write it after growing up hearing stories about John Ford because his father was an actor in western films.

In 1946, Ford and producer Merian C. Cooper (King Kong) decided to form their own production company, Argosy Productions. But their first venture was a financial flop, burdening the new company with heavy debt.

Ford turned to the western genre to help his flagging company, adapting James Warner Bellah’s short story “Massacre” into the film “Fort Apache,” released in 1948. The film was popular at the box office and with film critics.

The following year, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” was released to positive critical reception. This film was the only one in the cavalry trilogy shot in Technicolor, going on to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. “Rio Grande,” released in 1950, is the final film in the triad.

There is an Arizona tie-in because they were all shot in Monument Valley, and Ford loved working in Arizona.

Michael Blake, author, “The Cavalry Trilogy: The Making of Three Classic John Ford-John Wayne Films"

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