The films of John Wayne

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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sandykaypax
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The films of John Wayne

Post by sandykaypax »

Tonight starts TCM's Star of the Month salute to John Wayne. I must confess that I have only watched ONE John Wayne film from start to finish--The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. And that was because Jimmy Stewart was in it.

I plan on recording Stagecoach and They Were Expendable while I'm at rehearsal tonight. Any other recommendations for any of the other films on the schedule in the next few days?

I have nothing against John Wayne--I just gravitate naturally to musicals (my favorite genre) and "women's pictures" and he is mainly an action/Western star. I do like Westerns, but like musicals, the genre is filled with great films, and many for only the die-hard fan.

Sandy K
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Post by sandykaypax »

ok, my post showed up mainly in bold! I was trying to only put film titles in bold...I'm too lazy to re-type it.

Sandy K
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movieman1957
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Post by movieman1957 »

Some films to enjoy that don't fit Wayne's primary genres are: (Times are Eastern time.)

"The Long Voyage Home" - 22nd at 9:00am. His part is small but it's a good sea drama. Directed by John Ford.

"Without Reservations" - 23rd/24th at 4:00am. Nice little comedy with Claudette Colbert. She's written the great American novel. America loves it but Duke thinks the main character is is weak.

"Trouble Along The Way" - 26th at 6:00pm. Duke wants to adopt a little girl. Average film but a nice chage of pace.

If you've never seen it you really should consider "The Quiet Man." It's not part of this package but it is one of his most beloved films.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
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sandykaypax
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Post by sandykaypax »

Thanks, Chris! Those all sound like good films!

I don't have an aversion to watching some of Wayne's Westerns--I would like to know which ones people find worthy of recommendation.

I don't know why I've never seen The Quiet Man. I do like Maureen O'Hara. I heard that the dvd wasn't good quality, so I've never checked it out, even though my library has it.

Sandy K
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movieman1957
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Post by movieman1957 »

Sandy:

I have the DVD of "The Quiet Man" and the colors are a bit bright. I imagine you'll be able to let that go and enjoy the movie. Besides if you get from the library and you can't watch it all it has cost is the time to get it.

If you're willing to watch some westerns here are a few you might look for:

21st (tonight)
"Stagecoach" - It made John Wayne a star. Great cast, good action and directed by Ford.
"Ft. Apache" - Almost more Henry Fonda's picture. Cavalry tale of officer (Fonda) determined to destroy Indians no matter the cost. Shirley Temple plays Fonda's daughter. Good telling of life among Cavalry families.

22nd
"She Wore A Yellow Ribbon." Wayne plays an older officer on the brink of retirement. Another good Ford picture.
"RedRiver." Strong performances by Wayne and Montgomery Clift.
"Angel and The Badman." Wayne is tamed by Quaker girl. The lovely Gail Russell. As close to a woman's picture as you're likely to find in Wayne's westerns.
"McLintock." Comedy set in a western with Maureen O'Hara. "The Taming of The Shrew" out west.

These are among his finest westerns. Others are pretty good but these are the best with which to start.

Have fun.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
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Garbomaniac
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Post by Garbomaniac »

Being a guy, I like guy films, but with human characteristics. Wayne never seemed to display human characteristics. He was always Wayne, the tough guy, the man, the guy who belts the other guy. Give me John Garfield, a guy who could fight, but you knew what was going on inside, or the sophisticates: Grant, Flynn, or Power. Oh, yeah, they could punch a guy out, but their persona was class. It wasn't base. Wayne to me is the ordinary guy, a guy I wouldn't personally like to know at all. He reminds me of Jack Nicholson, another whom I care nothing about. I like a guy who has ambition and style. Wayne, to me, never had any class, he was Joe Six Pack, and that is his audience. I just never could relate to him. The only film I ever cared for was Pittsburg with Scott, another great guy, and Marlene Dietrich. In that he still played a low brow, and funny he should come out on top, over Scott!
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One hundred reasons to love john wayne

Post by Lzcutter »

Wayne never seemed to display human characteristics.>>

Garbomaniac,

I would recommend:

Stagecoach, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande, The Searchers, The High and the Mighty, Rio Bravo, Red River, The Quiet Man, Hondo, Liberty Valance, True Grit and The Shootist as examples of Wayne displaying human characteristicsand in some of those cases, sacrifice as well.

And this might help explain it, too:

http://tinyurl.com/3xd4gu

and this one:

http://tinyurl.com/3xzkyo
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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Post by Mr. Arkadin »

I too have problems with Wayne. I feel about him much as I do with Brando: If you get them in the right part you have magic on your hands. If not, you have a lot of overacting,silly posturing, and a trainwreck of a film.

I do like The Quiet Man. Red River is good, although the end is so unbelievable I just have to turn it off at that point. Stagecoach is a decent film, and The Searchers is not a bad one although I'll take Harry Dean Stanton's performance in Paris,TX (1984) personally over that film.

I don't hate Wayne, but when I think of great western films, his name doesn't really jump to the forefront in my mind.
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Dewey1960
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Post by Dewey1960 »

As a kid and then as a teenager I never cared much for Wayne mainly because I didn't care much for Westerns (other than some of the ones on TV). By the late 60s / early 70s it became fashionable for anyone under the age of 30 to actually HATE Wayne primarily because of his ultra-conservative, pro-war posturing. Then something odd happened. I saw THE SEARCHERS for the first time on the big screen in the late 70s and everything changed. Not only did I immediately revise my top ten favorite movie list, but I came away with a newfound love and admiration for John Wayne (not to mention John Ford). That event opened the door to further appreciations and there has been no looking back. And while I am quick to concede that Wayne made any number of boring and plain bad films (most of his pre-STAGECOACH 1930s "B" Westerns are unwatchable to me), he is nonetheless an icon I return to time and again.
Favorites:
1. THE SEARCHERS
2. THE QUIET MAN
3. LIBERTY VALANCE
4. RIO BRAVO
5. THEY WERE EXPENDABLE
6. RED RIVER
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

Hi Sandy,
My appreciation for John Wayne as an actor has deepened over time. Though many of his movies are flawed, there are several in which he brings great authenticity and sensitivity to certain scenes that linger in my memory. With your theatrical interests, I think that some of the John Wayne films that you might find among his most interesting would be below.

Several of the more obscure titles require patience from the viewer, but they display qualities that only Wayne could provide, and many of them show his often overlooked ability to express deep emotion with a minimum of action. He was capable of much more than the bluff bully boy that popular culture, and his own somewhat myopic view of his stardom have confined him to in our cultural memory. The last two movies are his first and last starring roles on film, and might be savored best by someone after seeing his previous work:
The Long Voyage Home
The Shepard of the Hills
3 Godfathers
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
Island in the Sky
The High and the Mighty
Trouble Along the Way
The Searchers
The Barbarian and the Geisha
In Harm's Way
The Wings of Eagles
True Grit
The Big Trail
The Shootist
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mrsl
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Post by mrsl »

Either everyone has been watching TV, or the weather has been good enough for getting out and about, because this board was really quiet yesterday.

Sandy:

As for recommendations, I have to agree with almost everything all the others have said, and listed. The only one I see not mentioned is Angel and the Badman. If you want to see a John Wayne who is tender, kind, and caring, this is the one for you. As a wild young man, he falls for this sweet Quaker girl and goes through a total personality change for her. The funny thing is, I never cared for this movie until I was quite a bit past 40. I wanted JW to be his usual shoot-em-up self, but by seeing it as a mature adult, I realize it's really a good movie, showing a man coming to terms with his future, and what has become most important to him.

Dewey1960:

You said And while I am quick to concede that Wayne made any number of boring and plain bad films (most of his pre-STAGECOACH 1930s "B" Westerns are unwatchable to me),

I have to agree with you on this one, but the Western channel shows many of his 30's and I've come to enjoy them purely for fun, which is how I view most of the Gene Autry, Tim Holt, and earlier ones.

Anne
Anne


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* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

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Dewey1960
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Post by Dewey1960 »

Hi Anne - I've been watching the Western Channel quite a bit lately (it's become my second favorite channel) and plan on giving those Wayne "B" oaters another shot next week during their 100 Hours of John Wayne Celebration. It just might be the best way to do it! By the way--and this is off-topic--but the Western Channel periodically runs a 1966 film called THE TEXICAN with Audie Murphy and Broderick Crawford. Have you seen it? It's awesome!
-Dewey
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Post by MissGoddess »

I echo everyone's recommendations, Sandy, especially Angel and the Bad Man. It's one of my all-time favorite John Wayne movies because it really captures his sweetness. That's a quality almost no one who dislikes him can see him possessing and quite honestly I never noticed it either until I read more about him and saw his interview in "Directed by John Ford". That opened my eyes and I understood him at last. He is the kind of man almost anyone would like to know---especially his detractors, who one by one had their prejudices felled when they came in contact with his sincerity and genuine warmth. Angel and The Bad Man is filled with all of the above.

And I have to also mention one of my other favorites, which I don't think has been included but you really will like for all the same reasons: HONDO. It's one of the best and most entertaining westerns, period.

Miss G
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Post by mrsl »

Here's a question I hope everyone sees, and if they know, will answer. Earlier today, watching the John Ford doc., there was a quick clip supposedly of his study in his home. But . . . later, in Wings of Eagles, Ward Bond, as a director, apparently basing his portrayal on 'Papa Ford', was shown in his studio 'office' which was either an exact replica of Ford's study in his home, or Bogdanovich was either swindled into believing it was Ford's study, or thought he could play a trick on the viewers. From the saddle, just inside the door, to the pictures on the wall, to the couch they sat on - it was all the same. Did I misunderstand something? I could swear I heard the narrator say it was Ford's home, but I doubt he would allow a movie set made as a duplicate of his private office at home. I have to admit I didn't notice the painting on the wall above the couch, so I can't swear to that detail. Anyone?

Dewey:

I haven't seen the Texican, I'm sure they will rerun it eventually, and I will keep an eye out for it. I know what you mean about being our second favorite channel. No commercials, and no alterations. I am now in the habit of checking each channels' daily schedule and setting the timer to switch back and forth all day. My TV is going to think I'm nuts. I find however, I cannot stand commercials during the few times I watch network TV nowadays - 80% seem to be about men's enhancers. Hard to believe this is the same medium that banned ads for feminine spray, and various deodorants at one time.

Anne
Anne


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sandykaypax
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Post by sandykaypax »

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. Keep 'em coming!

To my dismay, when I came home last night, my hubby had forgotten to record Stagecoach and They Were Expendable for me. I did manage to record 3 Godfathers, though.

I caught a big chunk of The Long Voyage Home this morning. Fantastic performance by Thomas Mitchell.

Moira, I caught the last 20 minutes or so of The Big Trail on Fox Movie Channel last month. That's what really sparked my interest in Wayne recently. He was so young and handsome! Not the weathered Wayne that I'm used to. The cinematography was gorgeous; it looked as though it had been filmed on location--unusual for 1930. AND it was widescreen. That was the main reason I tuned in--to see an early example of the process. But I kept watching because of Wayne. It was before the John Wayne persona had been created, but there was an honesty about him that I liked.

Sandy K
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