Connect with us


John Wayne Saved His Young Co-Star From The Wrath Of John Ford On The Set Of Fort Apache – Old western – My Blog

John Agar never asked to be a movie star, but when the question is put to you by David O. Selznick, you say yes every damn time.Born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, Agar was a physical training instructor for the U.S. Army Air Corps when, in 1945, he found himself at a glitzy party rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s heaviest hitters, as Shirley Temple’s date. Selznick, the legendary producer whose dogged determination brought Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” to the big screen, was struck by the handsome, twentysomething, 6’1″  man on the arm of filmdom’s most famous child star, and the filmmaker offered him a five-year contract at $150 a week — that’s twice what the Army was paying him. Though he’d never performed before, he signed on and began taking acting lessons.Three years later, Agar got a chance to prove himself as Second Lieutenant Mickey O’Rourke in John Ford’s cavalry Western “Fort Apache.” The untested young actor received fourth billing under John Wayne, Henry Fonda and, a bit of an eyebrow-raiser, Temple. As big-screen debuts go, this was a recipe for both failure and ridicule. Did he earn this part, or was he cast at the urging of Selznick and Temple?All that mattered for Agar was that he’d been asked to hold his own with two of Hollywood’s biggest Western stars in a John Ford picture. Unsurprisingly, the ornery director put the young amateur through the ringer, almost driving him from the set and his marriage.John Agar’s trial by movie star fire

According to Maurice Zolotow’s biography “John Wayne: Shooting Star,” Ford got after Agar for every lacking aspect of his performance: his line readings, his flubbing of dialogue, and his struggles with horseback riding. Agar, feeling singled out and overmatched by his veteran costars, finally had enough, and stormed back to his room to pack his clothes and walk away from everything, including his wife. He was just about out the door when Wayne appeared.Wayne was no stranger to Ford’s mind games and insults. He’d endured a decade of this before the director at last gave him his shot at a lead role (in “Stagecoach”). Per Zolotow, the Duke had taken a shine to Agar, and assured his co-star that this was par for the course with Ford:“Now hold on just a minute there,” Wayne drawled, as if he were in character. “Mr. Ford insulin’ you don’t mean he doesn’t admire you. He likes you or he wouldn’t insult you. Let me tell you what he did when I worked for him in ‘Mother Machree’ and ‘Stagecoach’ and a few other times, Johnny.”Agar calmed down and resolved to stick it out. His reward was a long career in movies. Long, but not entirely happy.John Agar was a creature feature superstarAgar was an alcoholic prone to womanizing and drunk driving. Temple divorced him in 1950 on the grounds of mental cruelty, at which point he segued from A pictures to B movies like “The Rocket Man,” “The Mole People,” “The Daughter of Dr. Jekyll” and “The Brain from Planet Arous.” Some of these films were pretty spiffy on their own terms (especially Jack Arnold’s “Tarantula!” and Virgil W. Vogel’s “The Mole People”), but Agar would never become the star Selznick envisioned.Despite his struggles, Wayne threw Agar some much needed work in ’70s Westerns like “Chisum” and “Big Jake.” Late in his career, he shined as Mare Winningham’s father in Steve De Jarnatt’s masterful thriller “Miracle Mile.” Agar was never up for an Academy Award, nor was he beloved by film critics of his era, but for those of us who grew up watching creature features on Saturday afternoon television, he was a welcome presence. He always looked the part, and we were thrilled whenever he showed up.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


John Wayne doesn’t want to be an actor and likes a director . – My Blog

He became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but John Wayne once saw acting as just ‘a brief detour’. His real dream was to become a film director.Cinema’s most iconic cowboy could have spent his days behind the camera had he not inadvertently stepped in front of one on a John Ford set, allow the director to see his potential.

The disclosure is in a memoir he was working on that lay undiscovered among family papers. It said Wayne, who ԁıеԁ in 1979, was working at 20th Century Fox in the 1920s simply to pay the bills.It added: ‘I had no thoughts of becoming an actor. Acting was a kind of apprenticeship toward becoming a director. It was also a source of petty cash…

‘I was ԁеаԁ-set on becoming a director.Elsewhere, he adds: ‘If need be, I would take a brief detour into acting or whatever else was necessary to accomplish my goal.’The memoir was found by Michael Goldman in inquire his book, John Wayne: The Genuine Article, published this month. Even Wayne’s family did not know of its existence in their archives.

Its 72 typed pages paint a portrait of an ordinary man who became the Oscar-winning star of True Grit and The Searchers, a larger-than-life icon nicknamed the Duke.Wayne was working on it shortly before his ԁеаtһ in 1979, having repeatedly rejected requests for an autobiography.He wrote about the 1920s, when he headed for Twentieth Century Fox’s studio and found menial jobs in props and stunt-work, learning his for horse-riding, roping, ɡսոѕ and fighting.

he memory of being desperate for money never left him and in the memoir he writes: ‘The big Depression was still two years away, but my one personal depression was staring at me from the bottom of my empty soup bowl.’I needed a job .’He describes working as an extra – kicked off John Ford’s set for inadvertently stepping in front of a camera – and, like some star-struck teenager, was overwhelmed by the excitement of seeing his own movie heroes.On encountering Tom Mix, a silent Western star, Wayne writes of trying ‘to figure out how to make the best impression possible on the greatest cowboy star in the world’.
He records Mix ignoring him on his attempt to ingratiate himself.Mr Goldman notes the irony of Wayne idolising Mix: ‘The man who would become “the most iconic cinematic cowboy in history” was racking himself over how to make an impression on “the most Cinematic cowboy in history”.’The biographer says of Wayne’s ‘brief detour’ in front of the camera: ‘It was a detour that lasted until his ԁеаtһ.’Wayne would ultimately direct just four films, including The Alamo and The Green Berets , “passion projects” for him. But directing was not what he became known for.Wayne does not elaborate in the manuscript on why he never made directing a priority in subsequent years.

Continue Reading


Secrets John Wayne Revealed to Ron Howard About Filmmaking . – My Blog

Although they were celebrities for different reasons, Ron Howard worked with John Wayne on one of The Duke’s late-period movies. Howard said Wayne gave him some interesting advice. In addition, Howard revealed what made Wayne a little different from other actors.

As an actor, Howard is most known for his appearing in the sitcoms The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days as well as George Lucas’ American Graffiti. However, he also appeared in Wayne’s final Western, The Shootist. The film also included James Stewart, Lauren Bacall, and John Carridine. With that cast, the film was almost like a roll call of Old Hollywood actors. Howard’s appearance in the film almost feels like a passing of the torch from one generation to the next.

In an interview with Men’s Journal, Sean Woods asked Howard if working with Wayne and Stewart taught him anything about manhood. “John Wayne used a phrase, which he later attributed to [film director] John Ford, for scenes that were going to be difficult: ‘This is a job of work,’ he’d say,” Howard recalled. “If there was a common thread with these folks – Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Glenn Ford – it was the work ethic. It was still driving them. To cheat the project was an insult. To cheat the audience was damnable.”

What Ron Howard said John Wayne, Bette Davis, and Jimmy Stewart had in common : In a separate interview with the HuffPost, Howard also praised Wayne’s work ethic. “I always admired him as a movie star, but I thought of him as a total naturalist,” Howard said. “Even those pauses were probably him forgetting his line and then remembering it again, because, man, he’s The Duke.

But he’s working on this scene and he’s like, ‘Let me try this again.’ And he put the little hitch in and he’d find the Wayne rhythm, and you’d realize that it changed the performance each and every time. I’ve worked with Bette Davis, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda. Here’s the thing they all have in common: They all, even in their 70s, worked a little harder than everyone else.”

How critics and audiences responded to ‘The Shootist’ : Howard obviously admired Wayne’s methods as an actor. This raises an interesting question: Did the public embrace The Shootist? According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned over $8 million. That’s not a huge haul for a film from 1976. However, the film is widely regarded as a classic among 1970s Westerns.

Continue Reading


How did Paul Koslo ever have a tense encounter with star John Wayne ? – My Blog

In 1975, the Canadian actor starring The Duke in Rooster Cogburn. At the time, Koslo was only 19 and still relatively green in the industry. So working with the Hollywood legend was a bit stressful.

During an installment of World on Westerns, Paul Koslo shared his experiences with John Wayne, including a time where he nearly stepped on Wayne’s lines.As the story goes, Wayne had a short 15 line monologue. And once he was finished, Koslo was supposed to respond. And as they were filming, Wayne said his part. But when it was Koslo’s turn, he froze.“The director said ‘Paul, why didn’t you say your lines?’” the actor remembered.

“And I said, ‘well, because I didn’t wanna cut him off because he hadn’t said all of his lines yet.’” Hearing the conversation, John Wayne jumped in saying, “who’s gonna? Nobody’s gonna cut me off. I can say whatever I want, you got it, kid?”Of course, the interaction made Koslo nervous, and the only response he could muster was, “okay, sir.”However, the actor admitted that the Western icon wasn’t as intimidating as the story made him sound.

Koslo shared that as long as his co-stars worked hard, Wayne was always their biggest supporter.“My impression of him was that if you did your stuff, and you were right on top of it, he was your best buddy. But if you were like a slacker, or you weren’t prepared, he could get on your case.”During the AWOW interview, Paul Koslo also shared some details behind the age-old feud between John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn.

“I mean, Kate and him, they were always like this,” said Koslo, while punching his fists together.According to Koslo, politics were behind the fight. Hepburn was a democrat and Wayne was a republican.“It seemed like… in a fun way. I don’t know if it was for real,” he admitted. “You know, she would be sitting on the hood of a truck going like a hundred feet down to the set where they were shooting, and how Wallis was having heart attacks. She was really a daredevil, and she was full of piss and vinegar.”

The actor also noted that he didn’t get to spend much time with the actress, so he couldn’t get a proper gauge on the so-called feud. Almost all his time was spent with The Duke.The only interaction Koslo had with Hepburn was while shooting an intense scene where they were “moving this nitroglycerin to another location because we were going to rob the U.S. Treasury with it, and [John Wayne’s] about to ambush us.”And that happened right before Paul Koslo nearly stepped on John Wayne’s lines.

Continue Reading