TCF 440/540 Seminar in American Cinema
Spring 2000

Assignment Two

Due at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, 23 February. Undergraduates' papers should be at least four pages (1200 words) and are worth 16 points. Grad students' papers should be at least five pages (1500 words) and are worth 15 points. All papers must be word-processed. You are not expected to do outside research for these papers, but if you do then any references to sources other than yourself must be properly footnoted (this includes references to course reading material). Late papers will be penalized one point per day.

These papers will be graded on the basis of conceptual rigor and fluency of writing style (i.e., grammar, spelling, etc.).

Write on one of the following questions.

  1. Starting with the John Ford lecture and incorporating the course readings, discuss the elements of theme, narrative and visual style that make The Quiet Man a "John Ford" film.
  2. Trace the development of one Fordian theme through How Green Was My Valley, Wagonmaster, and The Quiet Man. (You may add The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance or other Ford films that you have seen outside of class.)
  3. Write a short scenario (that is, a plot) for a film by "John Ford." Include some specifics of style (sound and image), and casting. Explain how your scenario exemplifies Fordian themes, narrative structure and style. (The scenario should be two-thirds of the paper and the explanation the remaining third.)