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John Wayne piled on the pounds, put on an eye patch and finally won an Oscar – My Blog

I was getting anxious because there was this young guycalled Clint Eastwood making Westerns in Italy and havingtremendous success with them. All of a sudden the studios all wantedEastwood to come and make Westerns for them, but they were notthe kind of Westerns I’d been making. They were tough and bleak.I don’t get it. What do people see in these films?

That was John Wayne talking at the end of the 1960s. Wayne was sharing his insecurities with his associates about the rise of a new western star, but also a new kind of western whose popularity he failed to understand. In the sixties, the world was changing and the traditional westerns with their morally upright heroes that John Wayne embodied was not working with the audience anymore. It was the new kind of tough, cynical westerns from Italy popularly called the “Spaghetti westerns” with the new kid on the block, Clint Eastwood, that was finding favor with the audience. The success of those films and the emergence of Eastwood as a studio favorite forced Wayne to seriously ponder about the kind of westerns he was making, but more importantly his own future as a star of such films. Wayne, by his own admission, is someone who hates change.
Though unknowingly he has always been part of the changing landscape of the Western. Stagecoach was a path breaking western for its time. Then Red River came along, which again pushed Western into a new direction and then finally The Searchers , which was radically different from anything that was made before. So heeding to the demands of the times, Wayne set out to find a property that will play to the sensibilities of the new age, but at the same time retain the very popular John Wayne persona. He finally found it in a new book called True Grit by Charles Portis. The role of the fat, old, one-eyed marshal named Rooster Cogburn, was a part that Wayne was born to play. Cogburn was the kind of hero not seen much on screen before. He used all means possible to catch the outlaws, though always for the greater good of the society.
In the original novel, Cogburn had a mustache and wore an eye-patch . But an image conscious Wayne didn’t want to have either thinking that his fans will not accept him . So he asked producer Hal Wallis to get rid of both. Wallis said he will get rid of the mustache but he needs to have the eye patch. Wayne thought that was a mistake, but went along with it. Wallis had hired Henry Hathaway to direct the film. Hathaway was an old John Wayne specialist, having made films like North to Alaska with him and he also insisted on the eye patch. The role carried a huge incentive for Wayne: Hathaway asked Wayne to put on weight for the role, and Wayne, who was battling a weight problem in his middle years, was delighted that he didn’t have to watch his weight on this film and could eat anything and everything he want. Hathaway also predicted that if Wayne played the role as he wanted him to, it would fetch him a best actor Oscar. Wayne just laughed off that statement. Later, after he would win the Oscar, Wayne would admit that he was wrong about almost everything about this role, except that it was perfect for him.

The main protagonist of the film was a young girl Mattie Ross, who hires Cogburn to find dreaded outlaw Tom Chaney- the man responsible for killing her father. Casting Mattie turned out to be contentious . John Wayne wanted his daughter Aissa for the role. He even promised her the part. But he didn’t realize that this was not his home production and both Hathaway and Wallis had their own ideas for casting the part. They chose Km Darby, an unknown T.V. actress for the role. So Wayne had the difficult task of telling his daughter that she is not playing the role. Wayne and Darby did not get along ԁսrıոɡ the ѕһoot. Darby was as headstrong and determined as her character and she treated Wayne throughout the making of the film exactly the way Mattie treated Cogburn. Wayne felt it had an affect on his performance as it enabled him to go all out as a performer, but he always preferred making films in an atmosphere of camaraderie.
Surprisingly, Darby had only good words for Wayne and her working relationship with him: She called him simple and direct as the characters he played, which endeared him to her. The casting of the other important character in the film, Texas ranger Le Boeuf – who is also pursuing Chaney and joins forces with Cogburn against Mattie’s wishes – was in keeping in line with Wayne’s casting pattern in the 1960s. Ever since stepping into his middle years, he always had a younger , upcoming star in his films to appeal to the youth market. His pairing with Ricky Nelson in Rio Bravo was very popular. Here Hathaway chose popular singer Glen Campbell for the role. Campbell, though gave a good performance, hated working with Hathaway , who was a tough director to work for. even though Campbell did the job that Hathaway was expecting of him. He also did the the title song which won him an Oscar nomination. But no such luck for actor Robert Duvall(playing the heavy Ned Pepper), who nearly came to blows with both Wayne and Hathaway ԁսrıոɡ the ѕһoot.
John Wayne has always believed in an invisible style of acting, what he used to refer to as being sincere; always subtle and underplayed. He used to say that he got by all those years by being sincere in a scene. But this film has him putting up an exaggerated ‘Actorly’ performance. Director Hathaway allowed Wayne to do this because the character was more of a caricature and the performance was more of a send up to his past tough guy western roles, though it wasn’t exactly self-parody. Perhaps this was the reason why it was nominated and finally won an Oscar for Wayne. This was in no way his career-best performance; his performances in The Searchers and Red River are far more superior, but ironically, they weren’t even nominated. As Rooster Cogburn , we can see him straining to create this over-sized character and its not always consistent, because its not his natural style of acting. We can see the more real, natural Wayne peeping out in several instances, most particularly in the scene where he describes his past life- involving his wife and child- to Mattie. Its an extremely moving scene done in Wayne’s typical underplayed style, and rightfully, Wayne considered the scene to be one of the best in his career.
Western – Remake ou original? O espírito de “True Grit”. “Velha Raposa” (1969) vs. “Indomável” (2010) – Cinemax – RTPThough the lead character and performance was hyperbolic the film isn’t. It’s very much a classic western adventure story, told with a tragi-comic tone, synonymous with the stories of Mark Twain. Marguerite Roberts who wrote the screenplay was blacklisted in Hollywood, But Wayne liked the script so much that he made sure that she got credited in the film, which is ironic because Wayne was at the forefront of blacklisting artists in 1950s. But he liked the book and script so much that he actively lobbied for the role. Not that Wallis and Hathaway needed much convincing. It was impossible to imagine anybody else for the role and in this genre. The plot of the film is rather simple and similar to a lot of previous Wayne films. It mainly concerns a group of people setting out on a long journey through the west on a mission. This time its to find the killer of Mattie’s father. Cogburn, Mattie and Lebouf set out into the Indian territory to find Chaney. They get into one adventure after another. Through their adventures, they realize that Chaney has joined up with Ned Pepper.
Mattie gets kidnapped by Pepper while Lebouf gets killed in the process of saving her. In the end Cogburn kills all the outlaws and saves Mattie, who is almost fatally injured after a snakebite. Hathaway, who is one tough, mean sonofabitch by his own admission, makes perhaps the best movie of his career. With the help of the great cinematographer Lucian Ballard, he captures the breathtaking landscape of Colorado in all its autumn glory. The beautiful natural landscape in all its greens and yellows gives the film a fairy tale quality. Hathaway didn’t get along with anyone on the set, except for John Wayne and he was highly critical of both Darby and Lebouf’s performances. He was all praise for Wayne: who was discipline and professionalism personified. Wayne was a man with one lung- his other lung was removed a few years ago due to Cancer- who had trouble breathing, yet he was up at dawn before anyone else. Hathaway was particularly pleased with the way Wayne prepared for the famous climactic ɡսոfıɡһt. Wayne was sixty-one then, but he he got to the set before anybody else and started rehearsing the stunt and never stopped until he could do it perfectly, so when it came time to shoot it, he could do it without taking up too much time or too many takes.
The send-up aspect of the performance is most visible in the same climax scene of the film where he utters the famous line “Fill u’r ‘ands u sonovabitch” and single-handedly charges the gang of outlaws lead by Ned Pepper- twirling ɡսոѕ in both hands and holding his reins in his teeth. He kills two of the gang and hits Pepper repeatedly. Its a highly exaggerated show of super heroism, which is more fantasy than real. But its truthful to the nature of this character in the film and it’s even more apt for the the star John Wayne, who by then had become such a legendary, larger than life figure. It’s impossible to imagine the audience buying such a scene with any other actor. Wayne, after a career almost forty years and hundred films, majority of them westerns, has earned the right to this sort of performance and such display of super-heroics. And on that account alone, his Oscar was justly deserved. Wayne was very pleased when he was nominated, but didn’t think he would win. He was up against such actors like Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole. But when the time came for presentation and Barbara Streisand called out his name as the winner, Wayne was moved to tears. He told the appreciative audience:
“Wow! If I’d known this,I’d have put that eye patch on thirty-five years ago. Ladies andgentlemen, I’m no stranger to this podium. I’ve come up here andpicked up these beautiful golden men before, but always for friends.One night I picked up two, one for Admiral John Ford, one for ourbeloved Gary Cooper. I was very clever and witty that night; theenvy even of Bob Hope. But tonight I don’t feel very clever, verywitty. I feel very grateful, very humble.”
True Grit had finally given him the acknowledgement of his peers that had eluded him all through his career. The award was widely considered a sentimental gesture and Wayne himself told Richard Burton after the ceremony that Burton deserved the Oscar more than him. Wayne later said that he he was having fun with the role and it was the first time he felt like an actor. It was a grand, theatrical performance; the kind that great British actors like Olivier and Burton does. But this is the kind of over the top performance that the academy loves and it was natural he would finally win an Oscar for this performance after being ignored for his great understated performances. But more than the critical acclaim, the film gave a big boost to Wayne’s career.
The film was a big box office hit, revitalizing both Wayne and the Western genre. If there’d been no True Grit, or it hadn’t been so acclaimed , then its doubtful whether Wayne would have gone on to make any more westerns .Thus in 1969, John Wayne, aged sixty-two, became the top box-office star in America. For an actor who has been working close to almost forty years, it was a great achievement , beating out youngsters like Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood. True Grit would be John Wayne’s last big hit and his only Oscar win. He passed away on June 11 1979.

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Elvis Presley turned down an offer to star with John Wayne in the Oscar-winning Western . – My Blog

Having made his name as a singer in 1956, Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker had a vision for his client to become a Hollywood movie star. That same year The King acted in his first movie, a Western called Love Me Tender. Among his musical romantic comedies, he starred in three more Wild West films in Flaming Star, Frankie and Johnny and Charro, which caught the eye of John Wayne himself.

During this period, Wayne was America’s cowboy star, having acted in his first Western in 1930’s The Big Trail, before making iconic movies with John Ford like The Searchers.In 1969, the 62-year-old starred in one of his last box office successes, an adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel True Grit.

The storyline saw Duke play Rooster Cogburn, a tough one-eyed old United States Marshal who helps a 14-year-old girl track down the drunk who killed her father.They did this with the help of Texan Ranger LaBoeuf, a part that initially was set for Elvis.However, in the late 1960s, Elvis was tired of making poor musical rom-coms and returned his focus to live performances with his 1968 Comeback Special and subsequent Las Vegas residences.

The King’s cousin Billy Smith described on his son Danny’s Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel how John Wayne asked Elvis to co-star in a few of his movies. He said: “In fact, he asked him a couple of times.” In the end, his manager The Colonel pushed it too far by demanding that Elvis should receive top billing above Wayne if he were to play the Texan in True Grit.Billy added: “Of course, it was always carried through Colonel and at that time when he was asking, Elvis was such a big star.

Colonel didn’t want him to play second co-star or second star…with anybody else, so that ruled that out.”Since Wayne was already such a huge star, True Grit’s producers declined Elvis even though he was their original choice for the role of LaBoeuf.

Instead, another musician, Glen Campbell, was cast as the Texan ranger, which saw him nominated for a Golden Globe.If that wasn’t enough, Duke himself won the Golden Globe and his first and only Oscar in the Best Actor category for Rooster Cogburn.The Western legend said during his Academy Awards speech: “Wow! If I’d known that, I’d have put that [eye] patch on 35 years earlier.”

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Is The Shootist John Wayne’s Last Movie? Does John Wayne’s 50-year career really end there? – My Blog

John Wayne died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979 at the age of 72. Just three years later he starred in what many believed to be his final movie, The Shootist. The 1976 Western co-starring Lauren Bacall, James Stewart and Ron Howard saw Duke play JB Books, an ageing gunfighter with cancer at the turn of the 20th century.

It’s an urban legend that Wayne was terminally ill like his character when filming The Shootist.Duke had been cancer free after having his left lung and several ribs removed in 1964 after a diagnosis of the disease.However, in early 1979, metastases were found in his stomach, intestines and spine and he died that summer.

What might surprise fans of the Western star is that he had an uncredited cameo in 1977’s original Star Wars movie, later retitled Episode IV: A New Hope.Star Wars director George Lucas was a big fan of Wayne growing up, allegedly inspiring his later reedit of Han Solo only shooting Greedo after the alien fired at Han first.

The reason being that shooting first would be something that a Wayne Western character wouldn’t do, according to CBR.On top of this, when Luke Skywalker finds the burnt bodies of his aunt and uncle, the scene is clearly inspired by John Ford’s The Searchers, when Duke’s character finds the charred corpses of his brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

Now while Wayne’s voice is in 1977’s Star Wars it turns out this wasn’t included by Lucas.The uncredited cameo itself sees Wayne’s vocals from some stock audio used to voice Garindan, a long-snooted Kubaz who sells information to the highest bidder as an Imperial spy.In Star Wars, the creature tells the Stormtroopers where Luke, Obi-Wan and the droids are located.

Garindan’s vocals are all squeaky because the audio is simply Wayne’s voice distorted. Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt explained years later how he ended up creating what was technically The Hollywood legend’s last screen role.Burtt said: “I always wanted to do an insect man – we didn’t really have an insect man come along until Poggle the Lesser [from Episodes II and III]. We had that character that looked kind of like a mosquito from the first Star Wars [Garindan] that we found we needed a sound for.

“And I was wondering back a few months ago how I did it – because I keep notes and tapes – and I discovered it was an electronic buzzing which had come off of my synthesizer that was triggered by a human voice.”The Star Wars sound engineer then went on to share how he discovered the vocals was that of Wayne himself.Burtt continued: “And I listened to it and realised it was John Wayne. I had found some loop lines in the trash from the studio that had been thrown away.“So the buzzing was triggered by some dialogue like ‘All right, what are you doin’ in this town’ or something like that.”So by the sounds of it neither Lucas nor Wayne himself had anything to do with this incredible Easter egg.

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The reason after John Wayne died , his grave was not marked for nearly 20 years . – My Blog

It’s almost fitting that John Wayne was buried under a tree. The unmarked grave was often a fitting end for a cowboy, like the many the actor played. A simple cross on some prairie trail.After he died in 1979, Wayne’s grave was unmarked for almost 20 years. For such a public figure, Wayne’s family held a private funeral for the actor. A line of security kept the prying public eye away while they mourned Duke Morrison.To preserve Wayne’s privacy and peace at the cemetery, the family decided not to put a name on his grave.“You want him to rest in peace. We didn’t want to make a shrine,” his son Ethan Wayne told the L.A. Times. “It’s more out of respect for the people that are out there. They don’t want their loved ones’ graves trampled on.”

Wayne is buried at Pacific View Memorial Park in Newport Beach on a hilltop near the ocean. The cemetery refuses to acknowledge the location of his grave. But you can find the directions online with a little searching. It is a fitting final resting place. For years, the actor lived in the area, often sailing around the water on his boat. The nearby airport even renamed itself in Wayne’s honor after the actor’s death.John Wayne Gets a Headstone

During the following decades, Wayne’s family have softened their stance in regards to fans visiting the actor’s grave. Finally, in 1998, his family gave him a marker. Rather than make a monument to the stars, they opted for a simple plaque with Wayne’s name and a quote from the actor.Additionally, the actor’s son thinks it appropriate that fans come and see his father’s resting place. After-all, so much of Wayne’s adult life was in the public sphere.
“I personally think it’s wonderful that people want to go see him,” Ethan Wayne said. “He was a public person. He had a relationship with his family. But he also had a relationship with his fans. His fans allowed him to lead his lifestyle… He spent probably three to four hours a day just answering fan mail. Every letter got answered. They like him. If they want to go see him, I think it’s wonderful. He had a tremendous impact on people.”

In the years that follow, several fans have made the pilgrimage to give their respect to the on-screen cowboy. But many still, don’t realize a Hollywood legend is buried nearby.

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