THE QUIET MAN (1952)
A retired American boxer returns to the village where he was born in Ireland, where he finds love.
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949)
Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.
THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945)
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, a squadron of PT-boat crews in the Philippines must battle the Navy brass between skirmishes with the Japanese. The title says it all about the Navy’s attitude towards the PT-boats and their crews.
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962)
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.
THE INFORMER (1935)
In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans (he stern, she gentle) raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.
THE SEARCHERS (1956)
A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe.
*All quotes are crowd-sourced plot summaries of John Ford films, courtesy of IMDb.
PITCHES FOR JOHN FORD RE-MAKES . . .
THE QUIET MAN:
A man who doesn’t like to talk about his feelings learns to talk about his feelings.
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON
A man has a wife who nags him to help around the house and engage with the children. He gets a divorce and falls in love with a woman who doesn’t have kids and who never nags him. Whenever he asks, “What do you want to do?” She says, “Whatever you want, dear.” He’s in heaven. But it turns out, the new wife does have her own opinion. She just never expresses it. Instead, she builds up a giant resentment until she just doesn’t love him anymore. She pretty much hates him. So she makes him sleep in the apartment over their three-car garage, which she has because she’s a rich heiress. Then the hero wants to go back to his first wife, but the first wife is already remarried to a man who likes to do work around the house. The new husband’s idea of fun is cleaning the lint basket in the dryer. I mean, he really keeps it clean.
THEY WERE EXPENDABLE
Five American soldiers in the Middle East convert to Islam and learn Arabic. Missing various body parts due to shell explosions, they come back to the U.S., where they practice Islam in suburbs of major cities. They try to convince the U.S. government to stop waging war in the Middle East. Running around the desert blowing up oil fields and killing children and whatnot. The five soldiers deem this unproductive behavior. They tell the government to spend that money on education instead. Teach inner city kids to write, and to speak grammatical English, so they can aim for college. And not just community college, either. But no one listens to the five soldiers. So the soldiers go back to the Middle East and disappear into the desert. I’m not sure which country they go to, but it’s Arab.
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
A congressman decides he is gluten-free and stops eating bread, pizza, cakes, cookies . . . Anything with flour. Even soy sauce has gluten; I bet you didn’t know that. Anyway the congressman loses a lot of weight. None of his cheap suits fit. So he buys more expensive suits, three of them, and runs for president. Loses.
An Italian-American girl marries a real loser. I mean, this guy doesn’t respect her, he drinks all the time, he cheats on her. He is kind of a hero, because he was in a heavy metal band that did well a long time ago, regionally. It happened to be her region, so everyone she knows thinks he is really special. She tries to get him to stop drinking.
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY
A couple raises their kids without television. It’s really hard because the kids have friends at school who are always talking about “iCarly” and “Big Time Rush” and “American Idol.” But the parents persist in their decision to save their children from TV. They also ban Facebook, Instagram, Google+. No cell phones. No email. The entire family dies.
A man loses his niece at an upscale mall in northern New Jersey. He finds her trying on clothes at Prada. He tells her they can’t afford to buy clothes at Prada. They can’t even afford to try on the clothes at Prada. He takes her to a different mall.