TELEVISION / A living monument

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The Independent Culture
OMNIBUS (10.25pm BBC1) opens with a shot that its subject, John Ford, would have been proud of: the dramatic rocks of Monument Valley, Arizona, silhouetted against a beautiful, big, orange sky. In the first instalment of Andrew Eaton's comprehensive two-parter, fellow film-maker Lindsay Anderson examines Ford's use of the Valley in Stagecoach, as well as what distinguished his direction of such classics as The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Was My Valley. Despite making 112 films, which gained him a record four Best Director Oscars, Ford persisted in presenting himself as a simple Irish-American who despised pretension and liked nothing better than fishing and drinking with his mates. In one memorable interview, an earnest journalist asks the cantankerous director, 'What did you think you'd achieve when you made your first film?' Ford pauses before replying: 'I thought I'd achieve a cheque.'

Roger Finnigan's FIRST TUESDAY (10.50pm ITV) features the first television interview with Galina Brezhnev. Unencumbered by the austerity which beset the rest of the country, the daughter of the former President of the former USSR seemed to exist on a diet of champagne and sex. Her first two (of three) marriages - to circus performers - sorely embarrassed her father.

(Photograph omitted)