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This John Wayne Movie May Have Caused Dozens of Deaths – My Blog

“This better be worth it.” It’s almost an internal threat, sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination, but when it’s a journey through hell, you hope the destination will make up for what you’ve been put through. The same question can be asked in the history of film production, from the golden age to now, because we all know about the movies that were “cursed.” So many films had disastrous productions, with overblown budgets, delay upon delay, and worst of all, casualties among the cast and crew, from psychological distress to, unfortunately, deaths.Are Strenuous Film Productions Worth It?So, you ask: Was it all worth it? Sometimes, all the agony and disasters end up with a final product that is truly special, even world-changing, such as The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes, a movie is still good or even great, but you wonder if it was worth all the cast and crew endured and if the movie would still succeed without it. Other times, like in Waterworld’s case, a really difficult and expensive shoot wasn’t worth it critically or financially. And in certain, horrible cases, not only did the final product fail miserably, but the bad decisions of those on top, and the long-term effects it wrought on the cast and crew, made it never worth the risk at all.It was the late 1950s, and everyone was all about the big, expensive sword-and-sandals epics. Throw a bunch of A-Listers, thousands of unnamed extras, and a bunch of horses in the middle of the desert and adapt a classic story of historical, mythological, or biblical proportions. This really kicked off in the early 1960s with films such as Spartacus and Cleopatra, but in 1956, the world was graced with one of the best in the genre, The Ten Commandments, and the very same year gave us one of the worst.

The Conqueror 1956

Image Via RKO Radio Pictures
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‘The Conqueror’s Casting Was the First Sign of DisasterThe Conqueror, directed by Dick Powell and produced by Howard Hughes, follows the origin story of the infamous Mongol emperor, Genghis Khan, then called Temüjin. Such a significant figure in history would require the perfect man to play him, the man chosen was John Wayne. Yes, The Duke, the eternal cowboy, playing Genghis Khan. This is the fact that people don’t believe when first hearing it, having white actors in offensive makeup play Asian characters wasn’t new, just an unfortunate reality of film history, but… John Wayne, really? That was considered a horrible miscast even back then. Marlon Brando, another actor with a staggeringly distinct look and voice, was originally slated for the role but backed out of the project. A much better choice, East-Russian-born Yul Brynner, had a more promising movie to do (The Ten Commandments), and they were both incredibly lucky they missed out.The Conqueror is considered the worst film of the 1950s. At least Plan 9 From Outer Space is fun, and mercifully short, but The Conqueror is nearly two glacial hours long and takes itself deadly seriously. It is insulting and historically inaccurate – and just overall embarrassing. So, Howard Hughes blew $6 million (that’s $65,993,382.35 today) on a terrible movie, big deal. Bigger budgets have been spent on worse movies, and it made that money back. However, a bad movie would become the least of the cast and crew’s worries.

The Conquerer’s Downwind DisasterThe Conqueror is considered a cursed movie by many, and it has the regular pitfalls of any film given that description, going over budget, getting delayed, and conflicts between, well, mostly Hughes and everyone else. But this film is considered more cursed than most; the effects being far-reaching and lasting many, many years. This was no curse brought on by higher powers like, allegedly, the production of The Exorcist. This wasn’t some product of supernatural meddling, because this film didn’t just have a toxic working environment, it had an irradiated one.If a dysentery-stricken Harrison Ford, the million-dollar insurance policies of The Mummy, and the testimony of many, many actors can teach us anything, it’s that shooting in a desert anywhere in the world sucks. Nature is out to get you in the middle of nowhere, you have to fight with the blistering heat, potentially dangerous animals, all while dealing with the regular stressors that pop up on a film set. Nature doesn’t compromise, nature doesn’t cooperate, and nature doesn’t care about your movie, why should it? According to Harry and Michael Medved’s book, Hollywood Hall of Shame, The Conqueror made for a grueling shoot for that reason alone, water sources dried up, and people fainted from heatstroke, but it was pushed over the edge from grueling to genuinely dangerous by the particular desert they decided to use for filming.
John Wayne and Susan Hayward in The Conqueror (1956)Image Via RKO Radio Pictures
The Conqueror, while set in The Gobi Desert, was filmed primarily in the plains of Utah, Snow Valley, Pine Valley, Leeds, Harrisburg, with the outdoor scenes being shot in the Escalante Desert. The outdoor scenes, as in any desert shoot, were the most dangerous, but 137 miles downwind from where the cameras were rolling was the Nevada National Security Site, otherwise known as The Nevada Test Site. It was the 1950s, the Cold War was quickly heating up, and this site was a prime location for testing nuclear weapons of mass destruction. According to John G. Fuller’s book, The Day We Bombed Utah, the health effects of nuclear fallout, no matter how small the exposure, is devastating, with many “down-winders”, particularly from the city of St. George, suffering from cancer because of it. The filmmakers knew about these tests, 11 of them occurring in 1953, the shoot beginning only a year later, but were assured by the government that they were safe to continue the production
The Fallout of The ConquerorOut of the 220 cast and crew members counted, 91 of them ended up developing a wide range of cancers in the next couple of decades, and 46 of them ended up succumbing to the disease. Among the fatalities were Powell, Wayne, and stars Susan Hayward and Pedro Armendáriz. This number does not account for the primarily Native American extras in the film, which likely means the number of humans affected was much higher, but the many animals in the film were also not safe. There are, naturally, other reasons that one would get cancer in the 1950s, everyone really, really liked to smoke back then for example, but having almost half the cast and crew of the same film all succumbing to a disease that is caused by nuclear fallout seems like a pretty big coincidence. All of them spent months downwind of a nuclear test site, breathing the air, drinking the water, and touching the dirt not only there, but in re-shoots when Hughes insisted it is imported in.Shockingly, no one got served for this horrific and damaging misstep, not Hughes, not Powell, not RKO Radio Pictures, not the government. According to Darwin Porter’s book, Howard Hughes: Hell’s Angel​​​​​​, that guilt really set in for Howard Hughes, and when he began to spiral into obsessive compulsiveness, he hoarded every print of The Conqueror, one of the films he’d watch repeatedly until his death in 1976. There is far more of this story to tell and is told in books such as Killing John Wayne: The Making of The Conqueror, which is worth its own movie, and reading it is far more worth your time.

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John Wayne or Jeff Bridges, who plays the role of Rooster Cogburn well? – My Blog

Two movies made 50 years apart, both based on a novel by the same name. Two different iconic actors took turns playing the rough-and-tumble marshal Rooster Cogburn in their respective versions of “True Grit.” John Wayne played him in the 1969 version, Jeff Bridges in 2010. Both were celebrated critically. Now, Duke’s official Instagram account is comparing the performances to see which one did it better.Of course, the question was posed by the John Wayne account. So it’s safe to say the people who responded in the comments were at least slightly biased toward the 1969 version.

Then again, both Rooster Cogburn actors were nominated for Academy Awards for their performances. So it’s really anybody’s game.“John Wayne & Jeff Bridges were both nominated for Oscars for their performance as Rooster Cogburn. Which version of the movie is your favorite, 1969 or 2010?” the Instagram caption read.

In the world of remakes, few movies do as much justice to their original counterparts as the 2010 version of “True Grit” from the Coen Brothers. There was no consensus among fans whatsoever. But some of the most popular sentiments seemed to be that the 1969 “True Grit” with John Wayne as Cogburn featured the more iconic performance. Though, many fans thought the 2010 movie was closer to the source text than the original.

“I have to fall on the side of the Duke. BUT, that’s the BEST remake of a film, I’ve ever seen! Loved them both,” a fan replied to the Instagram post.“2010 Much richer film and truer to the book’s feel. Wayne was robbed of an Oscar for the Searchers and this was a lifetime achievement award,” another added.Two Versions of ‘True Grit,’ Two Very Different Approaches to Character . One of the biggest complaints John Wayne fans had of Jeff Bridges’ approach to Rooster Cogburn was how disheveled he appeared.

“Jeff Bridges was horrible had marbles in house mouth and portrait Roster as a slob,” another fan replied to the post from John Wayne’s estate.But a different fan pointed out that, indeed, the portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in the novel by Charles Portis was one of a slobbish man.This isn’t to say that the Bridges performance is better for accuracy. It’s just that Henry Hathaway, the director of the 1969 “True Grit,” and the Coen brothers took different approaches to their movies. As a result, the actors contrasted greatly in their portrayals of Rooster Cogburn.

At the end of the day, however, the win may have to go to John Wayne on this one. After all, we’re still waiting on Jeff Bridges to reprise the role in a sequel. Duke did it in the 1975 film “Rooster Cogburn.”

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John Wayne’s ”expensive” sayings made the fans ”nod”’. – My Blog

John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979) was an American movie Actor, director, and producer, known in movies like Stagecoach, Angel and the Bad Man, Red River, and The Shootist.They say that life is a good teacher and through them who lived this life we can learn a lot, especially from great people like John Wayne a.k.a Duke.Today I am going to share with you Wayne’s 5 rules you should be remembering in your daily life:

1. Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.
This is a long debate everywhere, rich people say that “those who say money can buy happiness are the ones who don’t have” and broke people reply that “you don’t know how miserable we are just because we don’t have coins in our pocket”.John Wayne made it clearer that though money cannot buy happiness but when unhappy moments arrive money can make someone comfortable.

2. Forgive your enemy but remember the bastard’s name.
Forgiving your enemy is in your favor, most of the time carrying such burden in your heart is more painful while the bastard doesn’t even know.Just to be careful, put their names somewhere in your mind. Once a soldier always a commando and once enemy, I don’t know.

3. Help someone when they are in trouble and they will remember you when they’re in trouble again.
Do what is right, help people but never expect something in return.According to John Wayne, the only thing you can expect from people is that if you have helped them in the hard times, they will remember you when they’re in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.
Everyone has enemies and some people do harm to us to the level we even wish to kill them. Not only our enemies would be killed if to kill was not illegal but also some innocents and powerless people.About this rule, something you have to learn is that we’re surrounded by people that don’t kill us only because it’s illegal.
5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.
Haha this rule is somehow funny but it is true on the other hand. You will find people telling you stop drinking alot it will solve nothing but at least you’ll have that sedative moment.Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.

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Interesting things happen at the “Duketober” celebration at the John Wayne museum . – My Blog

The enduring legacy of actor John Wayne, America’s ultimate cowboy, was celebrated last month, fittingly enough, by the Cowboy Channel in association with the John Wayne: An American Experience museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

The “Duketober” celebration is a month-long airing of classic John Wayne movies via broadcast and streaming. It will culminate with a 50th anniversary live panel discussion on Nov. 3 in remembrance of Big Jake, the 1971 movie that bought Wayne together with sons Ethan and Patrick, who will participate in a discussion about his films and career.Wayne’s legacy has taken a few hits in the last couple of years.

A 50-year-old Playboy magazine interview outlining some of his controversial views on race surfaced, sparking his USC alma mater to remove an exhibit on him. There’s also a movement to remove his name from the Orange County airport. So far, that action has failed to gain ground . But Wayne’s cinematic legacy, particularly his western movies, continue to rank among the finest ever produced by Hollywood. Such films as The Searchers, True Grit, Stagecoach and Rio Bravo are considered classics of the genre.

“The John Wayne: An American Experience (JWAAE) museum in the Fort Worth Stockyards has created a perfect synergy for the Cowboy Channel to highlight this incredible western film legend and showcase many of his classic films for our audience,” said Cowboy Channel CEO Raquel Koehler Gottsch.

“Our fans absolutely adore John Wayne, and we couldn’t be happier to have a great relationship with his family and be able to share his movies with our audience and dedicate an entire month to such a western star legend.”“He would be thrilled to learn that so many people still cherish his films after all these years and I know he’s smiling somewhere,” said son Ethan Wayne.

The Cowboy Channel will also feature a Halloween movie marathon of Wayne films, and fans can tune-in to such classics such as Rio Grande, Sand of Iwo Jima, and The Shootist.

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