Thread: John Wayne

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    John Wayne
    #1
    PBS station here has been playing numerous Wayne movies the last several weeks. I've always considered Wayne a larger than life figure but likewise regarded him as a lesser talent in the acting realm. Goes without saying he was a huge star and revered in Hollywood circles and beyond. Must say I waver on that as he normally plays John Wayne ... me thinks. Could be wrong. What say you. Wayne a great actor, good, better than average, below ... ???
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    #2
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    I agree. The True Grit Oscar was very much a 'body of work' award. He was actually a character actor whose character was to be the star hero. Even Paul Newman was typically just Paul Newman, but we we so much in love with his personality that we called him a great actor. Bruce Willis, Steve McQueen, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Robt Downey Jr, etc. all very good actors, but even bigger "box office stars".

    Then you look at someone like Meryl Streep or Jessica Chastain or Daniel Day-Lewis or Christian Bale, who become completely different people in every movie
    Last edited by Atticus; 08-15-2014 at 04:53 PM.
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    #3
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    This isn't the place to dump on Wayne --who I like, but don't revere-- but if you examine much of his life, his iconic stature doesn't hold up well.
    I read things about his criticism of Cooper (a much better actor) and High Noon that I found ... disappointing. A lot of the other stuff was him just mouthing off (he did that a lot).

    Movies Duke did that I liked were "Red Witch, "Iwo Jima, Red River, Rio Bravo, Hitari, Harms Way." He was quite ill the last 12 years of his life. He was doing the best he could obviously but I thought much of what he turned out was substandard.
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    #4
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    He was pretty good in certain roles. Off the top of my head, Stage Coach, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Red River, a couple of Ford's cavalry flicks and The Shootist stand out as instances when he was very good and sometimes excellent.
    They were also times he was opposite heavyweight actors like Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall, and perhaps directed/coached/pushed against type or at least in more creative directions.
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    #5
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    Big star..lousy actor.
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    #6
    I doubt anyone could have done a better job in the parts he played. But....no way he could have played Rick in Casablanca, Terry in On the Waterfront, any Bogey or Cagny part.

    The Duke was limited but what he was limited to he was great at.
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    #7
    your right on the 'dumping' element - it wasn't intended - could have framed it more sensitively - I thought that belatedly. Responses thus far have seemed fair enough.
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    Come on Lonewolf:
    Don't you remember the Indians in Hondo trying to get info from the Duke, pouring hot coals on his midsection and he didn't give anything up!

    There was a story out there -- which I think was true-- about a young Clint Eastwood reaching out to JW to do a role in one of Clint's Malpaso productions westerns.
    Wayne supposedly got word to Clint that he didn't like his stuff and thought they were too violent (understandable) among other reasons.
    Duke went on to do some nitwit role as a cop who carried a machine gun as an obvious nod to the success of the Dirty Harry films.
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    #9
    I always thought the Cavalry trilogy directed by John Ford was among his best. I also find it interesting to watch the B films from early in his career before he hit it big in Stagecoach in 1939.
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    #10
    What is the Olympic connection to Wayne's movie The Quiet Man?
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