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Amanda Blake knew the role of Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke was a special one, therefore she refused to allow the television show’s decision-makers to keep her from auditioning

Gunsmoke actor Amanda Blake will always be an integral part of the Western television show family. She brilliantly brought Miss Kitty Russell to the screen in a way no other actor could. Blake once revealed one of her favorite Gunsmoke moments of all time. However, she wasn’t the only creative heavily impacted by this moment, which made producer and screenwriter John Mantley cry.

Blake knew the role of Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke was a special one. Therefore, she refused to allow the television show’s decision-makers to keep her from auditioning. Blake refused to leave the casting office until they gave her a shot, which gave her the opportunity that she needed to showcase her talent. The actor was cast alongside James Arness, Milburn Stone, and Dennis Weaver as the initial principal cast in its first season.
Blake stuck with Gunsmoke longer than the majority of the show’s cast members, lasting a total of 19 seasons. Arness and Stone were the only ones to have her beat, remaining as U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon and Doc Adams for all 20 seasons. Blake injected life into her performance as Miss Kitty which allowed the character to blossom beyond the character’s undeniable romantic chemistry with Arness’ Matt.
The Legacy of Gunsmoke Facebook page shared the Museum of Radio and Television Seminar’s 1989 interview with Arness, Blake, and Mantley. The moderator opened the floor up to the audience to ask the trio questions about their experiences on the long-running Western television show. One of the questions inquired what their favorite moments were from the show’s 20-season run.

“So, there are a lot of good, fine episodes,” Mantley started. “One that Milburn’s brother [Charles Joseph Stone] wrote called ‘Bakers Dozen’ about the birth of the triplets in Dodge City. There were so many. I can’t pick out one single one.”
The moderator moved on to Blake, who instantly agreed with Mantley on his Gunsmoke pick. She called it “one of my favorites” in the show’s entire run. Then, he broke the scene down that resulted in making him cry.
“I don’t know how many Gunsmoke fans there are, but I must tell you,” Mantley started. “One of most moving moments in the whole of Gunsmoke came with this lady (pointed at Blake). Triplets were born in Dodge City, and they were in Doc’s office, and Amanda was up there with bottles. She had the bottles heated on a stove. She took one of the babies and said, ‘Here’ and put it in Jim’s arms, in Matt Dillon’s arms.”
Mantley continued: “Then, went to the stove and was heating a bottle. As she lifted the bottle, she looked and saw Matt Dillon holding that baby in his arms, and her face was just magnificent. It made you cry. Just a tremendous moment.”
“Bakers Dozen” aired in 1967 as season 13 episode 15. The hour-long episode followed triplets born to a woman barely gripping onto life. Doc tries to put together a plan to ensure that all three of the children remain together, rather than get separated.
Blake was the final original Gunsmoke cast member to leave the show before its demise in 1975. Nevertheless, it didn’t mark the end of Miss Kitty. She returned to Dodge City one final time in the made-for-TV movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge in 1987. However, the absence of Stone as a result of his death in 1980 made it incredibly difficult for her to carry on through the filming. She didn’t return for the four follow-up made-for-TV movies.
The story explores the moment when Will Mannon (Steve Forrest) escapes from jail. However, he has vengeance on his mind for those he attributes to putting him away in the first place: Matt and Miss Kitty. Meanwhile, Matt’s friend, Jake (Earl Holliman), is accused of killing a prison warden during his pursuit of warning his friend of looming dangers. Matt has a lot on his hands, leaving Miss Kitty to deal with Will.

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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.

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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.

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What John Wayne said in his angry letter to Clint Eastwood and how Eastwood responded. – My Blog

John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are the two biggest icons of the Western movies, however, Wayne wasn’t always a fan of Eastwood’s work. In fact, Wayne hated one of Eastwood’s Westerns so much he sent him a letter decrying the film. Here’s how Eastwood reacted to the letter — and how the public reacted to this movie.

This Clint Eastwood movie was a lot darker than John Wayne’s films : First, a little background. The Western was a staple of American cinema from its early days. It often presented a glorified view of American expansionism. During and after the civil rights movement, Westerns began to evolve, often presenting a critical or at least cynical view of the Old West. Movies like that became especially popular during the 1970s, but by the 1980s the genre was no longer an American staple.

One of the more famous dark Westerns from the 1970s was High Plains Drifter. The film is about a mysterious criminal who comes into town, to get revenge for his brother who was murdered as many of the townsfolk watched by idly. No one in the film is very sympathetic — they’re all either evil or passive in the face of evil. It’s a far cry from the more uplifting films which made Wayne famous.

What John Wayne said in his letter to Clint Eastwood — and how Eastwood responded : It’s very easy to see High Plains Drifter as a critique of the American West. According to the book Ride, Boldly Ride: The Evolution of the American Western, that’s how Wayne saw the film. In addition, he saw it as incorrect.Eastwood told Kenneth Turan “John Wayne once wrote me a letter saying he didn’t like High Plains Drifter. He said it wasn’t really about the people who pioneered the West.

I realized that there’s two different generations, and he wouldn’t understand what I was doing. High Plains Drifter was meant to be a fable: it wasn’t meant to show the hours of pioneering drudgery. It wasn’t supposed to be anything about settling the West.” According to the book John Wayne: The Life and Legend, Eastwood did not write back. How the public reacted to ‘High Plains Drifter’ : Clearly, Wayne was upset by the film. This raises an interesting question: Did High Plains Drifter resonate with the public?

According to Box Office Mojo, High Plains Drifter earned over $15 million. Even by the standards of the 1970s, High Plains Drifter was not a tremendous hit. For comparison, Box Office Mojo reports a less dark 1970s Western starring Eastwood called The Outlaw Josey Wales earned over $31 million.Regardless, High Plains Drifter has a bit of a legacy. It was the first Western that Eastwood directed himself. Eastwood would go on to direct several other Westerns including the Oscar-winning Unforgiven. Wayne wasn’t much of a fan of High Plains Drifter — and neither was the public.

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