Harry and Leone Goulding in Monument Valley, 1927. Courtesy of Goulding’s Lodge. Without these two, the history of westerns, the quintessential American film genre during the 30 years between "Stagecoach" (1939) and "The Wild Bunch" (1969), would be very different indeed.
Monument Valley in 1940, two years after Ford ressurected the Western there. Ford found in the stunning beauty of the valley's vastness the perfect frame for his exploration of the American character. Ford put in film's great amber the Americans who came to the West, and what they made happen there; the valley supplied the stark grandeur appropriate to the importance of the drama of this singular and glorious people forging the way to govern themselves.