The ABC's of Film Noir
The ABC's of Film Noir

Glenn Ford – From Film Noir to Superman’s Father

Glenn Ford

Glenn Ford

Glenn Ford - From Film Noir to Superman's Father

Glenn Ford was born in Canada in 1916 and moved to the US when he was 8. After high school, he began working in theater and taking odd jobs including with Will Rogers who taught him to ride a horse. Wow.

In 1939, he began working for Columbia Pictures and became a US citizen the same year. His first major role was Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939). In late 1942, Ford joined the Marine Corp reserve.

He spent his time working in the Photographic Section. He was discharged in 1944 for ulcers. In 1958, he returned as a reserve officer.

Ford’s best-known role is most likely the film noir classic Gilda (1946) with co-star Rita Hayworth. This pair eventually made five movies together.

Through the 50s and 60s, Ford’s career was on fire. He made thrillers, dramas, action, comedies, and westerns. Some of his best-known films include A Stolen Life (1946) with Bette Davis, The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) with Gene Tierney, The Big Heat (1953), Blackboard Jungle (1955), Framed (1947), The Man from the Alamo (1953), Interrupted Melody (1955), Experiment in Terror (1962) with Lee Remick, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), Jubal (1956), The Fastest Gun Alive (1956), 3:10 to Yuma (1957), Cimarron (1960), The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956), Don’t Go Near the Water (1957), The Gazebo (1959), Cry for Happy (1961), and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963). However, my favorite Ford movie is The Violent Men (1955). Ford stars as a peaceful man returning from the Civil War who faces a fight with Barbara Stanwyck, Brian Keith, and Edward G. Robinson.

The 70s found Ford working in television. In 1978, Ford was cast as Superman’s earth father Jonathan Kent in Superman (1978). In his final scene, “Rock Around the Clock” is played on the radio. In Superman Returns (2006) with Eva Marie Saint as Martha, there is a picture of Ford on the mantel.

Ford died in 2006 at the age of 90.

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