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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Duke's birthday

May 26, 1907 - John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. His middle name was soon changed from Robert to Michael when his parents decided to name their next son Robert.

Love him or loathe him there is no one in the history of the motion pictures like John Wayne. And although he may have died in 1979 he is, like only a select few people, truly immortal.

Though largely known as a cowboy he made several classics outside the genre - The Quiet Man, Sands of Iwo Jima, Islands in the Sky, The Flying Leathernecks. Course it is as the cowboy that he is best remembered and many of his films rate as all time classics of the genre.

Stagecoach, Red River, The Searchers, Rio Bravo, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Horse Soldiers, True Grit, The Searchers, Fort Apache, the Big Trail, The Man who shot Liberty Vallance,The Shootist, Chisum, Big Jake, The Cowboys, El Dorado, Hondo, The Sons of Katie Elder...the list in fact is endless and this is not even a fraction of the classic westerns that benefited from the Duke.

So let's be thankful for The Duke's life and the work he gave us and remember him as a real American legend.

Below is a the original publicity video for Wayne's final movie, The Shootist which acts as a neat little video tribute. And later today I will be posting a retrospective review on The Shootist as a tribute to the great man.


Laurie Powers said...

I love that b/w photo of him.

Charles Gramlich said...

I liked Wayne. The Shootist was a good movie. One of my favorites with him in it is The Son's Katie Elder.

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to people and I require the same from them."

~JB Books in The Shootist

I wish everyone would live by that code.

Kerby Jackson said...

John Wayne was (and still is) one of the best. Like others here, I think that "The Shootist", along with "The Cowboys" was one of his best films.

Personally, my favorite is "Rooster Cogburn" and it was shot here locally in 1975. It was and still is a big deal on a local basis. Every summer we can see this film as it was meant to be seen, on a big outdoor screen and in front of the same river where it was filmed.

On this side of the pond, the Encore Westerns channel held a 28 hour John Wayne marathon that featured not only some of his better known films, but also some of his little known ones. One of them, "The Star Packer" from 1934, I gave a short review to over at one of my places. Also included is a trailer, as well as a link to download the entire film. Check it out.