John Wayne


(korano) #1

I just have toknow what you guys think of the icon of the American Western. I personally think of the characters he plays as likeable most of the time. Funny in an unfunny way. What are your opinions of him?


(Phil H) #2

Well, I think you will find a variety of opinions on the Duke here and not all of them very positive. For my part though I have a genuine fondness for him. As an actor anyway. I suspect we wouldn’t have seen eye to eye much politically.

The thing to remember about Wayne I feel is that his career as a lead actor spanned 5 decades and included a ton of material. Consequently, the style and quality of his films vary. As do his performances in them. But amongst the 100 odd films that he made were some indisputable classics in which he proved that he could genuinely act if given the right material and the right direction. His work with John Ford is the obvious example of this. In films like Stagecoach, The 3 Godfathers, Fort Apache, Rio Grande, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Wayne showed a genuine range as an actor, from sentimental comedy to pyschological drama. Films like these counter any criticism directed at him as a ‘one dimensional’ ham in my opinion. But he didn’t just shine when working with Ford. Other stand out films with different directors would include Red River, Hondo, Rio Bravo and True Grit. Again, all stand out films which demanded variety from Wayne as an actor.

He made some duds too of course and later on in his career (1960s and 70s) probably became somewhat of a charicature of himself. But any actor who could boast a filmography which included the above titles deserves respect in my book and has to be included in the pantheon of genuine stars of the western genre.

Like I said at the start though, you will almost certainly find differing views here. Wayne is a figure who falls into the ‘love him or hate him’ category for many and his style was often the antithesis of that which we all enjoy in spaghettis. If you are not a fan of the ‘classic’ style of american western he is unlikely to be your cup of tea.


(korano) #3

Difference of opinion is what I was looking for when I created this post. Very well thought response Phil.


(davidf) #4

i agree with korano, very well put phil h. certainly john wayne could act although he did often play the same role,he gave good performances in " the searchers" " sands of iwo jima" " red river" amongst others and was excellent in " the shootist".


(AceHigh) #5

John Wayne is a bit of a problem for me. I’m not really a fan although I do like a couple of his movies. The Searchers is great and I like to watch The Shootist every now and then for a Richard Boone sighting. The rest of his stuff is “just ok” in my opinion. But what truly bothers me is the ‘hero-worshippers’ of The Duke. Some people(around here) actually treat him as an icon or larger-than-life or a great-american-hero. To me, he was a movie star. Not a hero. To each, his own, I guess.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #6

I could never get into Wayne films for some reason, i tried about 6 or 7 of them, but i haven’t seen The Searchers which i have been told by a few i will probably like.


(korano) #7

The American Film Institute calls it the best western.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #8

But didn’t they snub Leone films?


(korano) #9

Yes they did the bastards! >:(


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #10

[quote=“Phil H, post:2, topic:1327”]Well, I think you will find a variety of opinions on the Duke here and not all of them very positive. For my part though I have a genuine fondness for him. As an actor anyway. I suspect we wouldn’t have seen eye to eye much politically.

The thing to remember about Wayne I feel is that his career as a lead actor spanned 5 decades and included a ton of material. Consequently, the style and quality of his films vary. As do his performances in them. But amongst the 100 odd films that he made were some indisputable classics in which he proved that he could genuinely act if given the right material and the right direction. His work with John Ford is the obvious example of this. In films like Stagecoach, The 3 Godfathers, Fort Apache, Rio Grande, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Wayne showed a genuine range as an actor, from sentimental comedy to pyschological drama. Films like these counter any criticism directed at him as a ‘one dimensional’ ham in my opinion. But he didn’t just shine when working with Ford. Other stand out films with different directors would include Red River, Hondo, Rio Bravo and True Grit. Again, all stand out films which demanded variety from Wayne as an actor.

He made some duds too of course and later on in his career (1960s and 70s) probably became somewhat of a charicature of himself. But any actor who could boast a filmography which included the above titles deserves respect in my book and has to be included in the pantheon of genuine stars of the western genre.

Like I said at the start though, you will almost certainly find differing views here. Wayne is a figure who falls into the ‘love him or hate him’ category for many and his style was often the antithesis of that which we all enjoy in spaghettis. If you are not a fan of the ‘classic’ style of american western he is unlikely to be your cup of tea.[/quote]

What a post!!!


(ENNIOO) #11

I second that.


(sartana1968) #12

the old man of the west


(Dorado) #13

Well I don’t fall into the love or hate him category, IMO he was “a middle of the road” actor.
I don’t dislike him, nor do I find him to be a great actor.
The films he starred in was made in such a way that the made him shine, thus making him greater than he really was.
But then again I guess that can be said about many so called star actors.
And since most of his films was mainstream and therefore made to be viewed by everyone very few of his films are special IMO.


(Frank Talby) #14

He’s a major icon still in the USA and his movies are still very popular. I am not a huge fan of his but I do appreciate what he did for the western genre. I find that he put his political views into his movies more often than not - being very conservative he made his movies very pro-war and filled with glory when war isn’t glamorous or exciting it is evil horrible stuff. He had a real vision of the Old West as well that I felt he controlled too much. When was he the ultimate authority on it? I don’t recall him teaching the subject matter.


(Andy) #15

I have no interest in his films whatsoever. I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t enjoy a good war movie now and then but Talby is right; the suffering caused by war is terrible.


(Frank Talby) #16

I think that his star rose at the right time for him (WW2 and post-WW2 era). He was able to make the movies his way during this era of conservativism.


(John Welles) #17

Anyone truely interested in film would never say this. It’s fine if you aren’t keen on his screen presence (I don’t think an actor should be judged by his politics), but to dissmiss outright a cultural icon, a man who made a classic and essential series of films with John Ford, and, when under the right direction and script, could prove himself to be an actor of worth, is madness.


(Frank Talby) #18

then again the man who made the Green Berets should be reconsidered :wink:


(Yodlaf Peterson) #19

[quote=“John Welles, post:17, topic:1327”]Anyone truely interested in film would never say this.[/quote]Nonsense, I love film and watch different things from all over the world but don’t like John Wayne, so I too have no interest in any of his films…

…nor any film with Hugh Grant or Russell Brand in for that matter.


(John Welles) #20

Like I said, it’s okay not to like some or all of his movies, but to dissmiss him out of hand like that…