Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy 100 John Wayne

John Wayne was born 100 years ago today. His films are shown and loved even by those who were born long after his death. The Wayne roles and films are too numerous to list.
I have seen most of his films dozens of times. There were a few clunkers along the way, but many memorable moments. I do like Big Jim McClain even though it is a clunker. Any film that has the Duke punching out commies is worth one viewing.

32 comments:

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

The Green Berets is a pretty good Commie stompin' flick (watching it on AMC right now) although how Col. Kirby looked out at the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean from a beach in Southeast Asia requires a bit of suspension of disbelief.

It's also one of the few American war films with a Vietnam setting that I'm aware of that doesn't have a CCR song in the soundtrack.

I couldn't imagine fighting a war in Vietnam without a CCR song playing in my head.

sonia said...

My favorite John Wayne movies are The Quiet Man, The Searchers, Rio Bravo and North To Alaska.

And you're right. Even his clunkers are worth seeing once. Like Green Berets, where the Duke is also punching out commies...

Justin said...

Hey Beakster:

Triva Question:

In what film of John Waynes did the following saying come from?

Dont I know you?

Oh yes you are the man who sold me the rifles with no firing pins.

It was one of his best.

beakerkin said...

Justin

I know those lines.

Sonia

I saw most of those film yesterday.

Mr B

I saw the Green Berets yesterday. However, Wayne punching out American Communists in a Bar Fight is a classic.

My Top Ten John Wayne Films

1 The Searchers. That will be the day. The forgotten star was the lanscape of monument park.

2 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

3 The Longest Day Cut them down

4The Quiet Man " There will be no locked doors or bolts between us
except those in your mercenary heart.

5 True Grit Kim Darby did an excellent job.

6 In Harms Way Larry Hagman, Bugess Meredith and Carrol O'Connor

7 The Shootist. A sad film that gets lost in the body of Wayne Work

8 The Cowboys. Roscoe Lee Browne makes this film memorable. Coleen Dewhurst also is in this film.

9 The Sands of Iwo Jima One of two films with Forrest Tucker. John Wayne says Amen when a Jewish soldeir recites the Shema.

10 Rio Bravo Dean Martin and Walter Brenan.

There was a film where the Duke kills Ed Asner.

North to Alaska is a good film memorable to many women. My mother even remembers Capuchine who doesn't seem to star in anything else.

Wayne and I share the same birthday.

thetestoftest said...

A fine actor he was - no matter his views, Beak. I hope he will live on as the hero of so many good movies. I grew up on John Wayne and Gary Cooper
(as much, till the 80's was allowed even here)
And an interesting point, as you mentioned that Ducky might have a say: finally, when it comes to art, does it matter? In a bigger or smaller picture?

Many happy returns of the day.

Always On Watch Two said...

My favorite Duke film: Sons of Katie Elder. I love the plot and the music. Elmer Bernstein!

BTW, the above movie was the first Duke made after his surgery for lung cancer. The film put a great physical strain on him, but he got the job done.

Wasn't The Shootist the one costarring Jimmy Stewart as the doctor? If I remember correctly, Wayne played a gunfighter dying of cancer. Was that Duke's last film?

Always On Watch Two said...

Mr. Beamish,
Yeah. Gotta have CCR!

sonia said...

Beak,

Wayne and I share the same birthday.

Then Happy Birthday to you, Beak...

Beamish,

although how Col. Kirby looked out at the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean from a beach in Southeast Asia requires a bit of suspension of disbelief.

Leftists always had a laugh about this one, forgetting that on part of the Vietnamese coast (south-west of Saigon), the sun indeed sets over the sea...

Elmer's Brother said...

my favorite is In Harms Way. I own over 60 of his movies, including Big Jim Mclain. I also enjoy the movies he made with Maureen O'hara. He made so many films.

oh and happy birthday Beak

beakerkin said...

Sonia and Elmer Thank You

Big Jim Mclain wasn't a great film.
However, I am thinking of my favorite films where Commies get beaten up. My all time favorite is the spot in Forrest Gump where the peace protestor gets beaten up. In reality these people commited many acts of random violence and deserved a good beating. Sometimes their antics did provoke the very response.

Peaceful protest does not include arson, treason and sedition.

Ducky's here said...

So many forget "Red River" sort of Mutiny on the Bounty but on the Chisholm trail. It more than holds its own against the John Ford films.

Montgomery Clift in his first starring role (very dilligent actor) and Wayne in his inimitable fashion thought "there's something queer about that kid".

Elmer's Brother said...

That is a fine film Ducky.

Elmer's Brother said...

he was in a comedy that I just saw last week for the first time entitled Trouble Along the Way...I found it entertaining.

The_Editrix said...

There was a film where the Duke kills Ed Asner.

El Dorado. Great stuff! Wayne and Mitchum strike sparks off each other.

True Grit Kim Darby did an excellent job.

If irritating the hell out of one is an excellent job, then yes, she did. I wanted to smack the silly little bitch all through the film.

My favorite Duke film: Sons of Katie Elder.

Improbable plot, lots of boom boom, no substance. Wayne's character is unremarkable. But then, the others are much worse.

I also enjoy the movies he made with Maureen O'hara.

I like Big Jake best, probably because I liked the way how Wayne dealt with his stuck-up, lippy wife (Maureen O'Hara) and spoilt sons so much. When O'Hara says with infinite disapproval: "You haven't changed, have you, Jacob McCandles" and he spits back at her: "NOT ONE BIT", that is sheer and undiluted genius.

The film was rather spoiled in the end by the unneccessary and uncommented killing of the valiant dog and the equally valiant Indian scout (Bruce Cabot with heavy makeup, who looked about as Indian as Yeagley, just infinitely more tough and likeable).

Rio Bravo Dean Martin and Walter Brenan.

One of the greatest films ever made!

John Wayne was a true hero.

beakerkin said...

Editrix

That was El Dorado and I think James Caan was in that film. He recites the Poem El Dorado by Edgar Allan Poe.

The role called for Darby to be a brat and if you felt like you wanted to smack her she played her role well.

Big Jake had about ten people saying " I thought you were dead".
I do like the part where Wayne turn the words of the criminals against them.

The_Editrix said...

That was El Dorado and I think James Caan was in that film. He recites the Poem El Dorado by Edgar Allan Poe.

Yes. James Caan was great. Had much more depth than the Ricky Nelson character in Rio Bravo.

The role called for Darby to be a brat and if you felt like you wanted to smack her she played her role well.

That is so. The encounter with the less-than-amused horsedealer was priceless.

beakerkin said...

The funny part with True Grit was the
lawyer she talks of shows up an he is mousy.

You are 100% correct that Caan's role
was 100% better than Ricky Nelson. Some of it was the script but Caan was also a real actor.

Always On Watch Two said...

Sons of Katie Elder was probably the first Duke film I saw on the big screen.

The plot and characters aren't great, but that music! Rio Bravo is an excellent film with superior character development, but overlong. And Ricky Nelson is a bit much.

Wasn't El Dorado basically a remake of Rio Bravo?

The movie is fun.

I remember Red River. Definitely a great film.

The_Editrix said...

Wasn't El Dorado basically a remake of Rio Bravo?

Not really, but it takes up some central motifs, for example the conflict with alcohol, the young gun (a "young knife" in this case) and the grumpy old man. The third film in the series is Rio Lobo. Wayne is great, as always, but without him the film would be nothing.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Ever see Dark Command?

beakerkin said...

Mr B

Yes.

z said...

JOHN WAYNE, huh? "Some people think I'm TOUGH, when ya wear high HEELS, ya GOTTA be tough."

Amen to that.!!

Elmer's Brother said...

I have dark command on dvd

The_Editrix said...

Never seen it. Is it worth getting?

beakerkin said...

I would go with Elmer's taste.
I enjoyed Reap the Wild Wind where Wayne gets eaten by a Giant Squid and The Train Robbers with Ricardo Monabaln and I think Ann Margret.

The_Editrix said...

I would go with Elmer's taste.

He said he owned it. He didn't say he liked it. A foe might gave given it to him.

(Just being deliberately difficult, sorry!) ;-)

Elmer's Brother said...

aren't all John Wayne movies worth getting?

The_Editrix said...

Maybe yes. I saw some really bad ones and STILL enjoyed them because of his presence.

beakerkin said...

Obviously you haven't ssen the one where he play Ghengis Khan or the Barbarian and the Giesha.

Forgotten are the movies where he makes a cameo. He was in the Greatest Story Ever Told and a movie about Mickey Marcus Cast a Giant Shadow.

The High and the Mighty is largely forgotten, but he did an excellent job. He wasn't a hero but it was more of a supporting role.

The_Editrix said...

Obviously you haven't ssen the one where he play Ghengis Khan or the Barbarian and the Giesha.

No I didn't. ***SHUDDER***

beakerkin said...

Those were not his best.

Jet Pilot wasn't a great film. However a hidden gem is Blood Alley with Lauren Bacal. The film is forgotten but was under rated.

Movies like Reap the Wild Wind, Blood Alley would likely be forgotten if it were not for Wayne.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Who would you cast in the role of Ghengis Khan today (in a movie)?

Dark Command is loosely based on the history of Quantrill's Raiders. It's also the only film (1940) that Roy Rogers and John Wayne appeared together in.