Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Answer to #6

I guess there aren't a lot of John Wayne fans out there (sigh.) The answer to question #6 of the Movie Meme is Stagecoach. It was filmed in 1939, directed by John Ford and the first of many movies that he and Wayne worked on together, set in Monument Valley. Dan and I took a trip down there years ago, when Joey was a baby, and it's just beautiful country. We have a picture somewhere of us standing in front of a stone building that was used in the movie The Searchers .

I can't say that Stagecoach is my absolute favorite John Wayne movie -- but it's such a classic and it's that one that made him a star. I would be hard pressed to choose my favorite. In Harm's Way was wonderful, and so was The Quiet Man. In both movies he starred with Maureen O'Hara. But then, then I love the westerns, too, especially McClintock, The Shootist (with Lauren Bacall, makes me cry everytime), and, of course, Rio Lobo with Jennifer O'Neill. And who can forget, the only movie for which he won an academy award, True Grit. Katherine Hepburn starred with him in that one.

My brothers loved all of his movies and we would stay up and watch The Sons of Katie Elder every time it was on the late, late movie (and the three of them would have to act out the river fight scene every time). And then there was War Wagon. A big favorite. I know nothing about trucks, but when my oldest brother got one of those monster pickup trucks back in the 80s, he named it the War Wagon, with the letters emblazoned on the plastic shield at the front of the hood of the truck. The only John Wayne movie I could get my kids interested in was The Cowboys. (I never did like Bruce Dern, because he shot and killed the Duke in that movie.) And, one more, I have to mention Hatari. Not a western, but it just goes to show you what great range that man had, from fighting the cowboys and Indians to facing wild animals in Africa. I wasn't as interested in the war movies, but he was as well known for them as the westerns. The Green Berets and The Sands of Iowa Jima are classics.

While one may not agree with his politics, there is no doubt that Wayne's passion and loyalty to his country ran deep. He once described himself as "old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness, flag-waving patriot." He had a sense of decency in the films that he chose, and rued the path that Hollywood was taking in the films that it made. He said, "I don't want ever to appear in a film that would embarrass a viewer. A man can take his wife, mother, and his daughter to one of my movies and never be ashamed or embarrassed for going."


Furthermore, he said, "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."

"We must always look to the future," John Wayne once said. "Tomorrow - the time that gives a man just one more chance - is one of the many things that I feel are wonderful in life. So's a good horse under you. Or the only campfire for miles around. Or a quiet night and a nice soft hunk of ground to sleep on. A mother meeting her first-born. The sound of a kid calling you dad for the first time. There's a lot of things great about life. But I think tomorrow is the most important thing. Comes in to us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

John Wayne died in 1979 of lung cancer. He holds the record for having starred in the leading role in more movies than any other actor. Of 142 movies, he was the lead in all but 11. But as much as he was admired for his movies, he became an icon for his patriotism and loyalty to his country. He was honored with a Congressional Medal of Honor. It simply states: "John Wayne, American". God bless him.

13 comments:

gail@more than a song said...

I just didn't know enough John Wayne movies but I do like them! Stacy and I asked her hubby and he guessed Stagecoach but Stacy didn't get back to guess what he said before you posted this!

gail@more than a song said...

P.S.....I love McClintock!

Boomeyers said...

I loved and adored John Wayne. Even my kids know who he is and that is saying something these days. Audrey Hepburn too! We have to keep those classics alive!

Robin said...

My husband is a big John Wayne fan. He prefers his later movies to his earlier ones. You could just tell he was a good man.

Once we spent the night at a hotel while traveling, in Bishop California. The man at the desk said he would give us the John Wayne room. When we asked what that was he told us it was the room that John Wayne always requested. How fun! It was simple and quaint - much like I imagine he would have liked.

Bill said...

Aw, what a nice post. Now I'm going to have to look up John Wayne movies on Netflix. My dad loved John Wayne westerns.

Barb said...

Huge John Wayne fan, Karen. HUGE. I'm almost as big a fan as my husband, but really, no one is as big a fan as he is.

Several years ago, I was in Hollywood, chaperoning my daughter and her cheer squad on a five day trip, and I found the most amazing book for Rob. It's a big, big book which does a synopsis of every single movie John Wayne ever made.

My personal favorite is The Shootist. It makes me cry too because we knew he had cancer when he made that movie, so it was a little close to the truth.

HUGE fans.

Dick said...

Hello Karen and all you mountain people.
Yes, I agree, the Duke was my hero too. He had a great insight and he truly loved America, and was right on the money when he talked about the next day. He certaily was a visionary.

I would like to ask the people of Colorado, especially the citzens of Littleton. I heard a man on the radio talk from Littleton, talk about Bus Radio and being offensive to the children. What's the scope and is it a problem?
Let me know what's going on, I'm listening.

Mac An Mhaighirtis

Tristi Pinkston said...

My dad is a huge John Wayne fan, so I've been watching some of his films lately to try to "get" my dad's obsession. I don't totally "get" it yet, but I'm going to keep trying!

My book you preordered is ready -- pop me a note at tristi AT tristipinkston.com and we'll arrange shipping.

BClark said...

Yes, John Wayne is super!!! I know I have seen all his movies at least once. I have a quirky memory, I remember pictures and not names very well, irritates the heck out of me, but that's how it goes. I like Rooster Cogburn, makes me laugh. At least I hope that is the right name,lol. Barbara

Anonymous said...

Patricia ONeal was with the Duke in the movie "In Harms Way" I remember mom saying about both M.O. and P. O. "those are the women the Duke should have married". Im with the "younger generation" these days, born years after the Dude passed. They all know him, love him and we watched Rio Bravo one night for movie night!

violetlady said...

I especially like his very old movies (Stagecoach). He shows such vulnerability and sensitivity in his face in those early years. I can't watch The Shootist. It was just too sad the first time.
Quite a man.

Dick said...

I'm late on the movie quiz.

What's the name of the first movie to win an academy award?

Mac An Mhaighirtis

Dick said...

First Academy Award Winner

Wings 1927