Skip to comments.Shall we gather at the river? - (Roger Ebert and John Wayne)
Posted on 05/28/2012 6:56:20 PM PDT by re_tail20
The first time I saw him, he was striding toward me out of the burning Georgia sun, as helicopters landed behind him. His face was tanned a deep brown. He was wearing a combat helmet, an ammo belt, carrying a rifle, had a canteen on his hip, stood six feet four inches. He stuck out his hand and said, "John Wayne." That was not necessary.
Wayne died on June 11, 1979. Stomach cancer. "The Big C," he called it. He had lived for quite a while on one lung, and then the Big C came back. He was near death and he knew it when he walked out on stage at the 1979 Academy Awards to present Best Picture to "The Deer Hunter," a film he wouldn't have made. He looked frail, but he planted himself there and sounded like John Wayne.
John Wayne. When I was a kid, we said it as one word: Johnwayne. Like Marilynmonroe. His name was shorthand for heroism. All of his movies could have been titled "Walking Tall." Yet he wasn't a cruel and violent action hero. He was almost always a man doing his duty. Sometimes he was other than that, and he could be gentle, as in "The Quiet Man," or vulnerable, as in "The Shootist," or lonely and obsessed, as in "The Searchers," or tender with a baby, as in "3 Godfathers."
He worked all the time. In the 1930s alone, he made 69 movies. Between 1928 and 1963, he made 21 films with John Ford, the man he called "Pappy." He had an effect on people that few other actors ever had. Gene Siskel was interviewing him in the middle of the night during a Chicago location shoot. The Duke had been doing some drinking, to keep warm...
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.suntimes.com ...
My folks loved John Wayne.
True then. True now.
If Hollywood had even a handful of true John Wayne’s, the entire U.S. would be a much better place and our Arizona Sheriff Joe would have lots of help and at least we would have some decent movies for the whole family to see.
I'm not naive, I know he was an actor. But he projected a strong, positive image. In private (and yes, I know his foibles) as well as public.
Hollywierd, today, has very few that did what Wayne and the other old guys did.
I love all of his flicks. But of the later ones...I'll never forgive Bruce Dern for shooting him (The Cowboys) and I will stay up and watch True Grit every stinkin’ time to see him put the reigns in his teeth and ride.
(As an aside, I tried that once. I didn't notice how loosely the reigns were held. Darn near pulled my teeth out and gave myself whiplash,lol)
That was a very good article from Roger.
In case anyone was wondering, yes, read it.
One of my all-time favorite human beings, that John Wayne. What a better world it would be if we had more like him.
I did as well...and yes I was somewhat surprised it was such a good article.
I grew up watching “The Duke”. I like all his movies but “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” is my favorite.
John Wayne was the greatest movie actor of all time.
I loved his westerns (naturally) but also enjoyed his war films. There were a handful of miscasts, I think, but a John Wayne movie was a John Wayne movie and it couldn’t be bad. ‘The Sons of Katie Elder’ and ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ were always favorites of mine, but ‘Trouble Along the Way’, where Wayne played a football coach at a Notre Dame-type college, may be at the top of my personal list.
No, Roger, he would not. We didn't change, you did.
LOL how SO very TRUE!
It also reminds us that, although Ebert can profess some flaky ideas at times, the man knows movies- why they are important and how they work in our society; and he can write.
GOP won by planting seeds of deception
by Roger Ebert
December 14, 2000
Now that the adventure is over, it might be instructive to consider some of the ideas that seeped into the general consciousness. How and why, for example, did it become established in so many minds that Bush was the presumptive winner and Gore the apparent loser?
What the Republicans did, cleverly, was to establish effective “memes” in the minds of the public and the pundits...
True, as much as it pains me to praise Ebert that was an excellent bit of writing.
Indeed. Informative. Very well written.
Frankly, i’m shocked that Ebert wrote this.
“Red River” is a great movie no doubt, one of my favorites, but “The Searchers” is the greatest western ever made...
Wow, awesome read about the Duke! Long article, but worth it.
I would certainly agree that “The Searchers” is one of the best. Someone made a list of the twelve best westerns ever made, and both were on it. I have that one, too.
Winchester 73, Four Faces West, Rio Bravo. And I really like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Yes, The Searchers is on a rung all to itself. Another great film Wayne made was Stagecoach. Loved that one. And I’ll stay up any night to watch him and Maureen O’Hara paired together in a movie. Now that’s acting, that’s star power.
I love all of his flicks. But of the later ones...I’ll never forgive Bruce Dern for shooting him (The Cowboys) and I will stay up and watch True Grit every stinkin time to see him put the reigns in his teeth and ride.
i think bruce dern gave an interview about being on the set. iirc right before the scene the duke looked at dern and said “uou are about to become the most hated man in america.” why? “because you are going to shoot john wayne in the back.”
Well, like I said..I never got over it,lol.
But I will say that Dern plays one of the best bad guys in the industry. I guess someone has to do it.
(BTW, I love your very true tagline:))
Wow, that was a good article, especially considering the source!
What’s with the shock about how good this article is? Ebert is a terrific film writer.
It's been a while since Ebert wrote anything memorable about a conservative ... and this one is about a conservative icon. "Well written" is a fair criticism. Keep'em coming Roger.
Man, did he ever have that pegged, even 35 years ago........!
--Patrick Henry, to the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775
I think he could have been great. But as is so often the case with those types, they let their political persuasions get in the way of just writing a good story.
Forget the youthquake. What America really loves is... old. Whatever Wayne represents the Old Testament God, a Mount Rushmore face with a permanent scowl, the craggy soul of Frontier or Sunbelt America he has made the list in each of the Harris poll's 13 years, and he's figured in the top three slots eight times. It's as if the People's Choice Awards kept picking Elvis as favorite singer.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
I recall Ebert recently saying that he was a big fan of Mark Steyn’s writing.
I went back over my comment and was probably wrong. Watched a documentary about Sam Peckinpah a few days ago and Ebert had glowing reviews of most of his films - even BMTHOAlfredo Garcia. I’m a big Warren Oates fan. I guess my doubts about Ebert can be traced back to his thumbs up reviews of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9-11. I do miss Siskel.