A commercial disaster when it came out in 1966, generally relegated to the lower half of double bills and dismissed by most critics, John Ford’s magnificent last feature is surely one of his greatestâ€”not merely for its unsentimental distillation of Fordian themes, but for the telegraphic urgency and passion of its style, which is aided rather than handicapped by the stripped-down studio sets. Set in 1935, the film effectively transposes the gender and settings of many of his classic westerns to the apocalyptic last days of a female missionary outpost in China, which is about to be invaded by Mongolian warriors (including Mike Mazurki and Woody Strode). Anne Bancroft stars as an atheistic but humanist doctor who turns up at the mission, immediately challenging its sense of propriety with her lack of inhibitions and acerbic manner. With Sue Lyon, Margaret Leighton, Flora Robson, Mildred Dunnock, Anna Lee, Betty Field, and Eddie Albert. 87 min.