|Directed by||John Ford|
|Written by||Grace Cunard|
|Distributed by||Universal Film Manufacturing Company|
|2 reels (approximately 25 minutes)[a]|
The Tornado is a 1917 American short film directed and co-written by John Ford, who at that time was credited as "Jack Ford". Filmed in California, the two-reel Western starred Ford as well, with a supporting cast that included Jean Hathaway, John Duffy, Peter Gerald, Elsie Thornton, and Duke Worne. This short is generally cited by film historians to be Ford's debut film as a director, although he had served as an assistant director in some earlier productions directed by his elder brother Francis Ford. Produced by Bison Motion Pictures and distributed by Universal Pictures, this short is currently classified as a lost film.
John Ford, who was only 23 years old at the time of this short's production, reportedly got drunk while filming and told producers that he simply ordered the actors what to do and then recorded the action.
The film was defined like: "In his hand-to-hand struggle in the cabin and the jump from the cabin roof to the back of his horse, Jack Ford qualifies as a rough-riding expert". Jack Ford declared The Soul Herder as the first film he directed because he dismissed The Tornado and called it a "brunch of stunts".