Document Type



Film Studies Program

Rights Management

Rhode Island College


At first glance, it may seem surprising that I’ve paired Murnau and Ford. Murnau is considered a modernist whose style is rooted in Germany’s stylistic heritage and is best remembered for films noted for their artful aestheticism and technical innovation. Ford, on the other hand, is recognized as a classicist, best remembered today for his mastery of Hollywood narrative filmmaking, in particular the genre of the western, a position crystallized in his famous self-description: “My name’s John Ford. I make Westerns.” Yet despite their diametrically opposed positions on the relationship of film to art, both directors were noted for their artistry.