Charles E. Ford

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Charles E. Ford
Charles E. Ford
Born March 26, 1899
Martinsville, Indiana
Died August 7, 1942 (age 43)
Los Angeles
Occupation newsreel and film producer and motion picture director
Years active 1919–1942
Spouse(s) Margaret Sheets (married 1920)
Helen Ford (1929–1942, his death)

Charles E. Ford (Born March 26, 1899, Martinsville, Indiana; Died August 7, 1942, Los Angeles, California, age 43) was a newsreel and film producer and the director of Frank Buck's jungle movie Jacaré (1942).

Early life[edit]

Ford was the son of Charles A Ford, an insurance salesman, and Martha A. Ford. Young Charles served as an Army cameraman in World War I and later worked for Fox, Pathé and International Newsreels as a cameraman.

Universal Newsreel[edit]

In 1929 Ford became managing director of Universal Newsreel and shortly thereafter spent thirty months touring Europe by automobile and plane. Among his newsreels were the series Going Places With Lowell Thomas (1934–1937), Stranger Than Fiction (1934–1941) and another news series Going Places With Graham McNamee (1939–1940) featuring radio broadcaster Graham McNamee as reporter.[1]

Ford's short subject Camera Thrills was nominated for an Academy Award in 1935.

One of Ford's best known Universal Newsreels was made in 1937 from 7,000 feet of film flown to New York from war-torn China, said to be the first motion picture of the warfare in Shanghai. It showed two major Japanese bombings of the city's streets, in Nanking Road and near the Cathay Hotel.[2]

Republic Pictures[edit]

Ford was associate producer of the Roy Rogers films Billy the Kid Returns (1938), Shine On, Harvest Moon (1938), and Come on Rangers (1938). He was associate producer of the Gene Autry movies Man from Music Mountain (1938) and Gold Mine in the Sky (1938).


In 1942 Ford directed and Jules Levey produced Jacare, Killer of the Amazon. This filmed record of James Dannaldson's hunting expedition into the Amazon jungles is filled with wild-animal footage, including a terrifying attack by a 28-foot anaconda. Levey incorporated a narration by Frank Buck and music by Miklos Rozsa.


Ford died suddenly of peritonitis after surgery in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, just after returning from the Amazon. A widow and two children by a previous marriage survived him, along with his mother, two brothers, and a sister.[3] He is buried in Forest Lawn, Glendale, Section Eventide, Map # 01, Lot # 1395, Space No. 3, (Ground). Dr. Irving Leroy Ress was one of his pallbearers.[4]


  1. ^ Producer, Newsreel Veteran, Just Made Film in Amazon Area. New York Times. August 9, 1942; p 42
  2. ^ First Motion Picture Scenes of Bombings in Shanghai Arrive. New York Times. September 4, 1937; p 3
  3. ^ Ford, Producer of Films, Dies. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File); August 9, 1942 A16
  4. ^ Obituary 3 – No Title. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File); August 10, 1942 p 16


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