Belfast Free Library’s film series Friday Night Flicks will present three films in June of director John Ford’s finest efforts, spanning four decades of filmmaking. The films are free and are shown at 7 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

John Ford was America’s most honored director. While he made many great films in many genres, it was his Westerns that brought him the most acclaim. His vision of the West has become an ingrained part of American culture.

The series will begin June 8 with “Stagecoach,” an enormously influential film that elevated the Western from B movie status to respected genre. Orson Welles called it the perfect textbook example of a movie. It gave the world a new movie star, John Wayne.

On June 15, the series will screen “The Searchers,” chosen by the American Film Institute as the greatest Western ever made. Many critics thought Wayne gave his greatest performance as a man searching for his niece, who had been abducted by Indians.

There will not be a film on June 22 due to the Friends of the Library book sale.

On June 29, the series will conclude with “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” the film in which Ford made his philosophy explicit: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Wayne, James Stewart and Lee Marvin star in a movie that is both an exciting Western and a meditation on the legend of the West in American culture.

Courier Publications’ editorial assistant Holly Vanorse Spicer can be reached at 207-594-4401 or