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Handing Dirty Harry To Clint Eastwood Was A Decision John Wayne Would Come To Regret – My Blog

Following a brief resurgence powered by his enormously entertaining (and Oscar-winning) portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit,” John Wayne suddenly found himself scrambling in the midst of the 1970s New Hollywood era. He’d already played the tough old man of the West who whips kids into shape in “Big Jake” and “The Cowboys,” effectively leaving him nowhere to go in the genre but revisionist à la Sam Peckinpah or Clint Eastwood. This was not the red-blooded American movie star’s style. With his Western safety net cut out from under him, Wayne turned his attention to law-and-order cop flicks. He had a crack at “Dirty Harry,” and would come to regret passing on it. Ergo, when Lawrence Roman’s script for “McQ,” a straightforward actioner about a gruff detective in hot pursuit of the drug dealer who killed his former partner, turned up at The Duke’s Batjac production company, he leaped on it. After all, who better to slake his generation’s thirst for busting up long-haired, non-caucasian scumbags than the movie star who represented everything the Boomer-driven counterculture hated about the United States?Dirty Harry versus slightly unkempt Wayne

Warner Bros.The primary problem with Wayne attempting to capitalize on the success of “Dirty Harry” was the star-producer’s conservative, visually flat aesthetic. At the time, The Duke mostly favored out-to-pasture filmmakers who had no issue with getting overruled by their leading man on set. So it was a tad surprising that Wayne opted for John Sturges, a director of supreme widescreen style in classics like “Bad Day at Black Rock,” “The Magnificent Seven” and “The Great Escape.” Alas, those movies were made a decade prior, and Sturges had lost his zest for filmmaking since then. According to Scott Eyman’s “John Wayne: The Life and Legend,” the once great director was now more interested in hobbies like boat designing.Not that this mattered. Wayne knew “McQ” was a formulaic mediocrity on the page. Still, this placed it a cut above his most recent work. Per Eyman’s book, The Duke remarked, “I haven’t made a movie in over six months, and this one is better than most of the junk they’ve been sending me.”A lumbering model of law enforcementWarner Bros.If not for Sturges’ widescreen framing (which, sadly, is rarely better than competent), a delicious supporting turn from the late, great Clu Gulager, and Wayne busting out a Mac-10 submachine gun in the film’s finale, there would be nothing to distinguish “McQ” from a network cop show. It’d be easily forgotten if anyone other than The Duke had been cast in the lead role. This is not a compliment.As Eyman notes:“[E]ven if Wayne hadn’t looked every week of his 63 years and been far too old for the part he was playing, ‘McQ’ would have been an ordinary picture. ‘John Wayne,’ wrote Vincent Canby of The New York Times, ‘looks as if he should be celebrating his diamond jubilee on the force. […] There’s a scene […] in which Wayne is required to pick a lock and his massive hands are so gnarled from years on the range that you get the impression of a bear trying to tie a shoelace.’”The film wouldn’t recoup its budget until 1980 (one year after Wayne’s death), but this didn’t stop the star from plowing forward with another, worse cop thriller in 1975’s “Brannigan.” Though it’s not surprising Wayne would want to capitalize on the law-and-order fervor that had gripped the nation, it’s disappointing he didn’t care to do more than go through the by-now creaky motions. He was just making movies to make movies and turning out second-rate imitations of vigorously violent films that were well out of his traditionalist wheelhouse. Unwilling to challenge himself, his time had passed.

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John Wayne’s Son Couldn’t Watch 1 of His Dad’s Movies After His Death – My Blog

John Wayne is a legendary actor who successfully personifies Western movies. He has a very loyal fan base, but some of his critics claim that he plays the same character in every movie. However, Wayne delivered several nuanced performances over the course of his career. His son, Patrick, had difficulty watching one specific movie after his father’s death.

John Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies
Wayne entered the entertainment industry working as an extra, prop man, and a stuntman. He primarily worked for Fox Film Corporation, but ultimately got his first shot with Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail. However, the film was a box office failure. Fortunately, Wayne’s huge success at the movies would later come to be.
Wayne ultimately starred in popular Western and war movies over the course of the 1940s onward. Some of his most notable performances include titles such as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, True Grit, and Sands of Iwo Jima. All together, Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies over the course of his extensive career.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, couldn’t watch ‘The Shootist’ after his dad’s death

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick via Medium to talk about what it was like growing up in the Wayne family. He talked about some personal stories involving his father, as well as the collection of Wayne movies. The interviewer asked him if he had any difficulty revisiting any of his dad’s movies after his death.
“I’d have to say no to that question with the exception of one film, The Shootist,” Patrick said. “I couldn’t watch that Western as it was so close to reality. He played an old gunfighter who was an anachronism dying of cancer.”
Wayne plays J.B. Books in The Shootist, who is an aging gunfighter diagnosed with cancer. He heads into Nevada at the turn of the 20th century. Books rents a room from a widowed woman named Bond Rogers (Lauren Becall) and her son, Gillom (Ron Howard). When people pursue Books with questionable motives, he decides that he isn’t going to die a silent death.
Patrick continued: “Too many of the elements in there were just too close to what actually happened to him in his real life, so that film took me about 10 years to watch again [of course I saw it when it was originally released in 1976].”
Patrick Wayne thinks ‘The Shootist’ is his dad’s ‘finest performance’

Wayne earned Oscar nominations for his movies Sands of Iwo Jima and The Alamo. However, he wouldn’t take home the gold statue until his work on True Grit. Patrick believes that the iconic film isn’t quite his father’s best work. He gives that title to Wayne’s work in The Shootist, which he didn’t even earn an Oscar nomination for.
Patrick said, “When I did finally watch it for the second time, I have to say that it’s probably his finest performance as a pure actor, using all his skills and being more than just a cardboard cutout, but more of a real human being — a vulnerable human being — and I think he pulled it off really well.”

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‘It Was a Pretty Miserable Experience’ – My Blog

John Wayne has worked in a wide variety of filming locations over the course of his career. However, they didn’t all provide comfortable conditions for the cast and crew. Wayne’s son, Patrick, once noted the “worst” film location of them all, calling one of his dad’s filming locations a “pretty miserable experience.” Nevertheless, he still enjoyed making movies with his father.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, worked with his dad on film locations
'The Green Berets' filming location John Wayne pulling a wagon along

Patrick followed in his father’s acting footsteps. His first roles included uncredited roles at Wayne’s filming locations, which gained him momentum moving forward into bigger roles. Some of these include Rio Grande, The Searchers, The Alamo, and The Quiet Man. However, he later moved more into managing the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which pushes to advance research in the fight against cancer.

Patrick has a wide array of stories from the Wayne filming locations. His father remains one of the most iconic Western actors of all time. Patrick looked up to his dad, but they didn’t always have the best time on the set of the more grueling filming location.
‘The Green Berets’ was the ‘worst’ John Wayne film location for his son, Patrick

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick for Medium about some of the iconic Wayne filming locations. He explained that there was one set, in particular, that he just couldn’t stand.
“That would have to be The Green Berets,” Patrick said. “We were on location at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, which is located about 125 miles west of Atlanta. But it was nothing like Atlanta.”
Patrick continued: “Oh my God, it was pretty dreary. That’s fine but it started raining to the point of where we couldn’t even work. Boy, there was nothing to do except sit there and wait ’til it stopped raining. It was a pretty miserable experience from the weather aspect at that time [filming commenced on August 9, 1967]. It was past the worst part of the summer, so the humidity wasn’t that bad.”
Wayne’s difficult conditions on the Green Berets filming location makes sense for the movie’s story. It follows Col. Mike Kirby (Wayne), who selects two teams of Green Berets for a specific mission in South Vietnam. They must build and run a camp that the enemy seeks to capture, but that isn’t all. They must also kidnap a North Vietnamese General behind enemy lines.
‘The Green Berets’ is a controversial war movie

The Green Berets succeeded at the box office, but critics found the film incredibly controversial. They slammed the film for being heavy-handed and predictable. However, its war politics particularly upset a lot of critics. Nevertheless, The Green Berets easily sold tickets to audiences, making it a financial success.
Wayne went through some rough conditions on the filming location, but it proved to be worth his time. Despite its politics, the film made the legendary actor a large sum of money and remains a well-known war picture. It was also an opportunity for Patrick to work with his father on another film.

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Ann-Margret’s precious memories of ‘teddy bear’ Duke on The Train Robbers – My Blog

JOHN WAYNE was “slightly infirm” on The Train Robbers but tenaciously pushed through filming despite two fractured ribs, balance issues and a daily lie down, according to co-star Rod Taylor. Ann-Margret remembers Duke appearing strong despite his declining health and admitted the Western star “gave me the confidence I lacked”.

By the 1970s, John Wayne was coming towards the end of his career as a Hollywood star. In 1973, aged 65-years-old, he had been living with one lung for the best part of 10 years and was suffering from emphysema on the remaining one. That year he released two Westerns which aren’t remembered as his best but saw the ageing icon carry on with much determination. One of the films was The Train Robbers, which co-starred Ann-Margret and Rod Taylor.
The Train Robbers saw Ann-Margret’s feisty widow work alongside three cowboys in recovering a cage of gold that was stolen by her late husband.
Before shooting started, Wayne had fractured two of his ribs, which was so painful he struggled to sleep at night.

This meant that his action scenes had to be scaled down and co-star Taylor remembered Duke being “slightly” infirm during the shoot.
The Time Machine star said the Western legend had trouble with his balance and understandably needed afternoon naps.
train robbers cast

Despite his health problems on the movie, Wayne refused to delay filming and strived forwards.
Ann-Margret had fond memories of her co-star’s tenacity, recalling: “Duke was still a strong, rugged, formidable man, larger-than-life and incredibly personal. He was a big teddy bear, and we got along famously. Duke gave me the confidence I lacked.”
The Viva Las Vegas star appreciated this given that 1972 had been a very difficult time in her life, having been seriously injured when performing in her Lake Tahoe show.
john and ann
Ann-Margret felt John Wayne gave her the confidence boost she needed (Image: GETTY)
train robbers poster
The Train Robbers poster (Image: GETTY)
In terms of the confidence boost she needed, the actress had to overcome her fear of horses as there was much riding needed for her character. It was here that Wayne gave her the support she needed.
The Train Robbers had average reviews and later Quentin Tarantino would comment the film was “so light it’s barely a movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amusing.”
Wayne also released Cahill: US Marshall in 1973, which saw a significantly weakened Wayne having to use a stepladder to climb onto a horse.
That year also marked the death of his most famous collaborator, the director John Ford.
Upon news of the filmmakers’ death that August, Wayne told journalists: “I’m pretty much living on borrowed time.”
Duke would go on to make a couple of better-reviewed Westerns in True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn opposite Katherine Hepburn and The Shootist.
The latter film was his final one and saw him playing a terminally ill gunfighter.
The Hollywood icon himself died of cancer just a couple of years later in 1979.

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