Mister Roberts is only half a John Ford movie. Precisely which half has been debated ever since this naval comedy/drama was released in 1955. Ford, the grand old man of movies, was fired from the project halfway through filming.
Donovan’s Reef (1963) is a film of John Ford’s old age. Depending on how you look at it, it's either a gentle reverie or an escape from all the things in real life which were making Ford a cranky old man.
The Quiet Man (1952) may have been the film dearest to Ford’s heart, a sort of fairy tale set in ‘20s Ireland and overflowing with the sights, colors, eccentric characters, and time-tested customs of the Emerald Isle.
They Were Expendable is a movie about defeat. Or, rather, the glory that may be found in defeat. Based on a non-fiction book by William L. White, it’s a grim, sad yarn, but a strangely uplifting one.