* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Recently, Creator/QuentinTarantino has raised the issue of Ford's role as an extra in ''Film/BirthOfANation'', where he played one of the Klansmen. Ford scholars have always seen it as a throwaway gig (he had not started his career as a director and was working odd jobs at the time) but Tarantino sees it as indicative of Ford's racism. Ford's portrayals of minority characters did indeed become more nuanced and FairForItsDay as time went on (compare ''Film/{{Stagecoach}}'' to ''Cheyenne Autumn'' for example, as well as ''Sergeant Rutledge''--one of the first films at the time with an African-American male lead). Still, Ford himself was typically the one to bring up his role in Griffith's film--and not in the context of apologizing or providing context for it. So was Ford honestly unaware of the racism of ''Birth of a Nation'' (unlikely); did he simply feel that MoneyDearBoy, or just a chance gig to appear in a film by the most respected director of his age, was an acceptable reason for appearing in it; or did he actually agree with the film's support of "separate but equal" as Quentin contends? [[note]]It should be noted Creator/DWGriffith was widely admired and respected by people of different political beliefs in his day, even by the likes of Creator/OrsonWelles and Creator/NicholasRay who were more openly anti-racist than others of their generation. The film fraternity generally respected Griffith for his technical achievements and saw "Birth of a Nation" as a landmark for the motion picture industry[[/note]].
* FairForItsDay: His portrayal of Native American characters is usually ''much'' better than most other Westerns from his time, which often treat them as barbarous, murderous savages. Ford at least treated them with a level of respect other Western directors lacked, and Native American characters were often given most character traits than just "the Indian."
* SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome: Ford worked with documentary crews in the Pacific theater during WorldWarII. He won an Oscar for the documentary ''The Battle Of Midway'' parts of which ''he actually filmed during the battle'' (he was on the island waiting for transit elsewhere when the attack came). Combat scenes he filmed would be edited into the big epic ''Film/{{Midway}}''.
** Creator/OrsonWelles watched ''Film/{{Stagecoach}}'' repeatedly for inspiration before coming to Hollywood to direct ''his'' first feature film: ''Film/CitizenKane''. You might have heard of it.
** Perhaps Ford's greatest moment came during the RedScare. During a meeting at the Directors Guild of America, Creator/CecilBDeMille was attacking other directors whom he considered to be Communist sympathizers. Ford held his tongue til [=DeMille=] started calling Creator/WilliamWyler "Villiam Vyler" and attacked Joseph Mankiewicz. He stood up, and declared, "My name is John Ford. I make Westerns. I don't think there is anyone who knows more about what the American public wants than Cecil B. [=DeMille=] - and he certainly knows how to give it to them. In that respect I admire him. But I don't like you, C.B. I don't like what you stand for and I don't like what you've been saying here tonight. Joe has been villified and I think he needs an apology." When [=DeMille=] remained silent for thirty seconds, Ford added, "Then I believe there is only one alternative, and I hereby so move: that Mr. [=DeMille=] and the entire board of directors resign, and that we give Joe a vote of confidence - and then let's all go home and get some sleep. We've got some pictures to make in the morning." And that's ''exactly'' what happened: [=DeMille=] and the board of directors resigned, Mankiewicz received a vote of confidence, and everyone got some sleep so they could make pictures in the morning.