Script? THe usual place you can feel the hand of the director is editing and Ford helped out there. Anyways, Westerns do have the epic feeling since always, which leads me to another point about Ford leaving the big studies in the turn of 40's: Western was already a genre in decline, both in movies but general arts. America was more urban, pulp and hard boiled fiction was already being published replacing the figure of lone gunsman/sherif in the american imaginary. Stagecoach was already a risky project and the juggernaut Gone with the Wind pretty much re-wrote American mythology from the Western themes to the Civil War and became the great american epic telling about the new kind of hero, the entrepreneur with a cynical moral compass. Not much different from what happened in XIX century, when the most romantic and idealist literature of Emerson, Whitman or Cooper was challenged by the darker, cynical and gritter Hawthorne, Melville and Poe.Nah, the script already has the "epic" pioneer theme, is historically grounded, has grand vistas. This is absent fx in Rio Bravo which (almost) could've been set in a police precint in 1976.
No wonder, so many Westerns of quality after the 40's were desconstruction, with My Darling Clementine working as a Swan Song (I suppose the distance from the myth helped to give the movie it is universal feeling). The movie is quite melancholy with (perhaps over the top) Doc Holliday with shakespeare proportions. This makes High Noon (which I forgot to mention, just like forgot to mention Fred Zinneman) quite a metalinguistic movie: the hero and the dame in distress are quite archetypical, but the problem are not them, but society that refuses to acknowledge them, pretty much like the audience turned away from western movies.
Yeah, but this is beyond Ford and Hitchy. Westerns won Oscars, where more glamourized, etc. Hitch was basically the only director able to break the rejection to his dark themes during the golden Hollywood age. Of course, you can say Ford was more american than Hitch too and since both are the leading minds on those genres, this may be a fair cause of reckognition by the public.Ford still won Oscars only for the non-Westerns, although he was nominated for Stagecoach, whereas Hitch was nominated for several thrillers, not just Rebecca which had the castle and the fancy dresses.
Not the only list, I mean, lists are meant to be wrong, alone they mean little and only make sense if Pele is the only name in the list. I was a bit unfair with Chaplin, he had a lot of control of his movies and I think this show for example in Great Dictador and Modern Times and both are made in a way that overall technical devleopment or anything more complex reggarding editing or Wellesim wouldn't affect much those movies.But Tokyo Story did appear. Even Kurosawa's highest placed film is also after Late Spring. Granted, it's just a list every ten years.
You can see the results in 2002 are a bit different https://web.archive.org/web/20021019225844/http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/topten/poll/index.html , so you have to wait if that iis showing some tendecy ressurgency.