Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Good Morning, Class of '64
“Courage is being scared to death,
but saddling up anyway.”
John Wayne

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
Comes into us at midnight very clean.
It's perfect when it arrives,
and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.”
John Wayne

“I've always followed my father's advice:
he told me, first to always keep my word and,
second, to never insult anybody unintentionally.
If I insult you, you can be (bleep) sure I intend to.
And, third, he told me not to
go around looking for trouble. ”
John Wayne
John Wayne
John Wayne had already made over a hundred movies before we were born, starting in 1926. The title of the 1926 film was Brown of Harvard. He played the role of a Yale football player in game sequences for the movie. Not a featured player, his name wasn't shown with the cast of characters. 

He remained unnamed (unbilled) for ten more films, until 1929, when he made Words and Music, a talkie musical. His billing for this film was under his real name, Duke Morrison. His full birth name was Marion Robert Morrison, which was later changed to Marion Mitchell Morrison. (His parents wanted to name their second son "Robert".) (A local fireman gave him the nickname "Little Duke" when seeing him daily with his dog "Duke". He like that name better than his own, and it stayed with him the rest of his life.)

He was unbilled for six more movies when he was given his first starring role in an epic western, The Big Trail which was released in 1930. This is also the movie where he was given the professional name of John Wayne.  About sixty more films followed before Stagecoach, in 1939, which made John Wayne a star.

Thirty films after Stagecoach, with the making of Angel and the Bad Man, in 1947, John Wayne would always have top billing in his movies. He would share top billing in movies like How the West was Won and The Longest Day but ever after he would be "the star". He won an Oscar in 1969 for True Grit.

His last movie was The Shootist in 1976. At his request his horse, Dollar, was written into the movie. Friends and past co-stars Lauren Bacall, James Stewart, Richard Boone and John Carradine were also cast in the movie at Wayne's request. Three years after the movie was made John Wayne died of cancer.

How many John Wayne movies were shown at the little theater in the little town in the valley isn't certain. The one remembered most is The Comancheros, released in 1961, and costarred Stuart Whitman. The song The Comancheros by Claude King was released the same year but never used in the movie. It was pondered at the time why the movie and the recording were separate, but the same thing happened to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. 

He also made appearances on television programs of the time, so even if his movies weren't available to be seen you would be aware of him through early TV. His movies made him famous, though. For over twenty years, beginning in 1949, with the exception of 1958, he was one of the Top Ten Stars of cinema. 

John Wayne has threaded through our lives in the characters he played as a cowboy and a soldier. His face, his voice, his walk are like no other. At the time of his role in Stagecoach, John Ford, the director, said that Wayne would become the biggest star ever because of his appeal as the archetypal "everyman". He was right.   

A group of strangers on a stagecoach
travel through dangerous Apache territory.
In 1995, Stagecoach was deemed "culturally,
historically, or aesthetically significant" by the
United States Library of Congress and selected
 for preservation in their National Film Registry.
Full Movie
John Wayne, Claire Trevor

Angel and the Badman
An injured gunfighter is nursed back to health
by a Quaker girl and her family whose way
of life influences him and his violent ways.
Public Domain
Remastered, High Definition Version
John Wayne, Gail Russell
Red River
A fictional account of the first cattle drive
from Texas to Kansas along the Chisholm Trail.
This film is regarded as one of John Wayne's
finest films and finest performances.
Selected for preservation in the United States
National Film Registry by the Library of Congress
as being "culturally, historically,
or aesthetically significant."

Full Movie
John Wayne, Montgomery Clift
The Quiet Man 
(fight scene)
 In the 1920s, Sean Thornton (John Wayne),
an Irish-born American from Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, travels to Ireland to reclaim
his family's farm in Inisfree.
One of the most loved of John Wayne's films.
In 2013 the film was selected for preservation
in the United States National Film Registry by
the Library of Congress as being "culturally,
historically, or aesthetically significant".

John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara
The High and the Mighty

An air disaster film.

John Wayne was featured in the
film, and he was co-producer.
Theme Song
Composer Dimitri Tiomkin won an
Academy Award for his original score
while his title song for the film also
was nominated for an Oscar.
The song is known for the whistling, 
which accompanies the music
Peaked at #4 on the Billboard Pop chart.
Two other versions of the song by Leroy Holmes
 and Victor Young  peaked at #9 and #6.
Les Baxter and his Orchestra

The Searchers
 Set during the Texas–Indian Wars. The film stars
John Wayne as a middle-aged Civil War veteran
who spends years looking for his abducted niece, 
accompanied by his adoptive nephew.

The Searchers is considered to be a masterpiece,
 and one of the greatest and most influential
 films ever made. 
(It received no major Academy Award nominations.)

  • Named the Greatest American Western of all time by the American Film Institute in 2008. 
  • Placed 12th on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time.
  • Entertainment Weekly named it the best Western of all time. 
  • The British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine     ranked it as the seventh best movie of all time.
  • In 2008, The French magazine Cahiers du cinĂ©ma ranked The Searchers in number 10 in their list of the top 100 best films of all time.
  • In 1989, The Searchers was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in its National Film Registry. It was in the first cohort of films selected for the registry.
    John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter
    Jet Pilot
    1957 (release)
    A cold war action film.
    Shot in 1949–50 but not released until 1957.
    Produced by Howard Hughes, and regarded
    as one of John Wayne's worst films.
    Chuck Yeager, and another senior jet pilot, was
    assigned by the U.S. Air Force to fly for the film.
    They flew for the film cameras, on May 20, 1950.

    Full Film
    John Wayne, Janet Leigh
    The Comancheros

    A Texas Ranger is sidetracked,
    when taking an accused murderer to justice,
    by Comanches and Comancheros.
    John Wayne, Stuart Whitman
The Comancheros
The song was written for the movie
The Comancheros but was never used.
#7 on the Country Chart.
Claude King - 1961
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Learning to Shoot
A new arrival in town gets in trouble
with the local bully and gunslinger.
In 2007, the film was selected for preservation 
in the United States National Film Registry
by the Library of Congress as being
"culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

John Wayne, James Stewart
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
It's written that the song was never used in the
film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance because the
director, John Ford, didn't like it or because there
was a publishing dispute or it was felt to sound too
modern for the film's late 19th century setting.
It's also written that Gene Pitney was asked to record
the song after the movie had already been released.
Peaked at #4

Gene Pitney - 1962
“Well, there are some things a man
just can’t run away from.”
John Wayne
“Never apologize, mister,
it’s a sign of weakness.”
John Wayne
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
“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 other people, 
and I require the same from them.”
John Wayne
The Shootist
“Talk low, Talk slow, 
and Don't say too much.”
John Wayne

  “All battles are fought by scared
 men who'd rather be some place else.”
John Wayne
In Harm's Way

 “My hope and prayer is that everyone
 know and love our country for what 
   she really is and what she stands for.”
John Wayne
 “Out here a man settles his own problems.”
John Wayne
 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  “That’ll be the day!” 
John Wayne
The Searchers
 “Sorry don’t get it done, Dude.”
John Wayne
Rio Bravo
“I haven’t lost my temper in 40 years;
but, Pilgrim, you caused a lot of trouble this morning; 
might have got somebody killed;
and somebody oughta belt you in the mouth.
But I won’t.
I won’t.
The hell I won’t!”
John Wayne

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