Skip to comments.The Secrets Behind John Wayne's Many Names
Posted on 03/30/2014 11:07:03 PM PDT by kingattax
Can you believe the real name of one pop culture's most prominent icons of rugged American masculinity was... 'Marion'? The Duke himself (another name he went by, originally belonging to his boyhood pooch) would argue that the name 'John Wayne' is just as real as the one that appeared on his birth certificate.
The Hollywood legend didn't take his aliases lightly; each represented a different persona in the late actor's life and career, a subject explored in Scott Eyman's exhaustively researched new biography, "John Wayne: The Life and Legend."
"In Wayne's own mind, he was Duke Morrison," writes Eyman in his book. "John Wayne was to him what the Tramp was to Charlie Chaplin a character that overlapped his own personality, but not to the point of subsuming it."
(Excerpt) Read more at movies.yahoo.com ...
We’ll never forget The Duke.
We were close friends with him and his wife Pilar.
To be accurate the “pooch” was an Airedale Terrier named Duke. When John and Duke went by the fire station the firemen said there go Big Duke, the Airedale, and Little Duke, John Wayane.
So you must have known Ward Bond, too?
Then you are in an unique position to address a phenomenon which is to be seen not just the threads of FreeRepublic but across the American culture which is the confusion of the cinematic image of John Wayne with the actual human being.
There are actors who were real heroes in World War II like Jimmy Stewart or Lee Marvin and, certainly, Audie Murphy. I would include David Niven. But it is Wayne who is held up as the iconic image of the American who won World War II. Wayne himself, not only his screen portrayals, are held up as the ideal American heroic image or at least the two have become so intertwined in the American mind that they are inseparable.
Why should this be so?
Of equal interest, to me at least, is the reflexive, virulent hatred of Wayne by the left. He brilliantly burlesqued their childish dislike of the man instead of the screen image when he appeared at Harvard riding atop a tank.
By way of full disclosure, I love John Wayne movies, I've always thought he was a much better actor than the left gave him credit for being. My two favorite roles are, The Quiet Man and True Grit but any movie by John Ford in which Wayne appeared certainly borders on the classic.
One other question, what about Wayne's equivalent of Sinatra's rat pack. We see Ward Bond and Victor McLachlan appearing over and over again in the Wayne movies is that because of their association with Wayne or because of their association with John Ford? What do you know about that dynamic? Were they really good drinking buddies? How did a behave off camera?
This book got a great review from Peter Bogdanovich in The Times yesterday. Since PB is a most fair and intelligent film expert, I’ll be sure to get this. Although, I basically disagree that Ethan in The Searchers is a “racist.”
We also have a freeper here who was invited into the Duke’s trailer during one of his films and fed lunch. He was a guest on the set. My brother met him several times and always said he was very nice.
I think Walter Brennan was also one of the Duke’s friends. They kind of ganged up on Montgomery Clift during the filming of Red River. Then they all wanted Clift for the Dean Martin role in Rio Bravo but Clift refused it because he didn’t want to be teased by them. Dino is great in the movie but it would have been interesting to see Clift.
I don’t think Wayne had a rat pack. If anything, it was John Ford who had followers - including the Duke.
I think John Wayne was held up as the epitome of bravery and the American spirit because of his unbelievable charisma and - face it - incredible male beauty. John Ford recognized this in the early 30s and set him up for stardom by his first amazing closeup in “Stagecoach.” Still my favorite closeup in film history - along with the shot of Wayne in “The Searchers” after he visits the sanctuary of women who were raped by Indians.
There was no way a David Niven or Lee Marvin could compete with that image. Lee Marvin is exceptional though, in some of the Duke’s movies. Liberty Valence himself!
I would include Niven as well. Left Hollywood in 1939 to serve for the second time in British Army. Landed at D-Day a few days after initial wave, was at the Battle of the Bulge and presented LOM by Eisenhower.
The propaganda films made during the war went a long way towards the moral support the American people needed , Watched The film Hollywood canteen a few months ago on the TCM channel,it was great to see all the actors showing their support for the troops.
It’s interesting to watch Marvin in a number of fifties movies before he became a big star. In westerns like “Seven Men From Now” a Randolph Scott vehicle, Marvin steals many scenes. He was usually a heavy in those films, but he had that something that audiences found appealing. In my mind, that more than just acting ability makes movie stars. Charisma is something that can’t be learned in acting school. Actors either have it, or they don’t.
Charisma is something that cant be learned in acting school. Actors either have it, or they dont.
Please see Steve McQueen
Another one. When McQueen first appeared on the scene to many Americans it was in his western “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” People just liked McQueen. He certainly was no great actor (or ham) and not conventionally handsome, but people wanted to see more of him. He had that appeal that all the pretty boys of the fifties like Tab Hunter, Troy Donahue, and others like them lacked. None of those guys had what it took to get the male audience.
Marvin was quite good in Donovan’s Reef as well.
Never had seen that movie Seven Men from now before
Saturday nite on cable.
Lee Marvin was great in it.He walked the line between
Good and bad till the end .Gail Russel who later drank
Herself to death at early age was good in this.
Never be another John Wayne unfortunately
Included in the WW2 bunch is Humphrey Bogart. The classic trademark mouth thing was from a wound received when a zero crashed into the ship he was on. (If memory serves me)
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