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Scott Eyman’s ‘John Wayne: The Life and Legend’

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Playing John Wayne Scott Eyman’s ‘John Wayne: The Life and Legend’

By PETER BOGDANOVICH

 

MARCH 28, 2014

The first time I met John Wayne was in 1965 in Old Tucson, Ariz., where he was shooting Howard Hawks’s “El Dorado.” They were doing a night scene so the lighting took a long time and, happily, gave me a solid two hours to sit on the set, not in his trailer, and to speak with the Duke about nothing except pictures. I hadn’t directed a movie yet, but I had been approved as a journalist by John Ford and endorsed by Hawks — the two most important directors in Wayne’s career — so he quickly became outgoing and pretty candid. When he was finally called away, he said to me, enthusiastically: “Geez, it was great talkin’ about . . . pictures! Nobody ever talks to me about anything but politics and cancer!”

Of course, he wasn’t kidding: By the mid-’60s, after 25 years of stardom and superstardom, most people would mainly talk about John Wayne’s Scissors-32x32.png

Sunday Book Review

JOHN WAYNE

The Life and Legend

By Scott Eyman

Illustrated. 658 pp. Simon & Schuster. $32.50.

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John Wayne’s Lost Legacy

 

Hollywood's icon of masculinity acted like he lived: plainly and honestly.

 

By Matthew HennesseyApril 11, 2014

John Wayne’s gravestone in Corona del Mar, California, is marked with the following inscription: “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into 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.” It’s a lovely sentiment—poetic in its way, and more than a little unexpected coming from the gun-slinging “Duke” of the Hollywood western. But it’s tragic, too, because tomorrow has not been kind to John Wayne, if we take “tomorrow” not in the narrow and literal sense, meaning the day following the current one, but in the expansive and, yes, poetic sense, meaning all that comes after. In fact, by the time he spoke those words in a 1971 interview with Playboy, tomorrow had already decided it didn’t have much to learn from John Wayne.

 

The man born Marion Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, in 1907 had one of the most enviable careers in the history of film. But in terms of his profession—movie actor—and the influence his legacy has had on the industry he dominated for several decades in his prime, well, let’s just say that Wayne’s mid-century style of film acting is more than just obsolete; it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the craft as it is currently practiced. Nobody does it like that anymore (except maybe Clint Eastwood). Actors today trace their professional lineage not to Wayne, or highly regarded contemporaries such as Spencer Tracy or Jimmy Stewart, but to the Scissors-32x32.pnghttp://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/john-waynes-lost-legacy/

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