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I’ve always loved his stuff remember the scene in “Private Lives” when they realize they still love each other – My Blog

The setting was the Universal lot in Hollywood, and I was preparing a prime-time special to be called “Dick Cavett’s Backlot U.S.A.” We’d somehow lured Mae West out of her most recent retirement. We had Mickey Rooney and Gene Kelly. We needed another big-name guest.Someone came in with a message and casually dropped the words, “The Duke is shooting over on the Western street.”

I was fairly sure that by “Duke” he didn’t mean Edward VIII. Before there was time to even think, “Feets, do yo’ stuff,” I was all but out the door. My producer, the splendid Gary Smith, didn’t need to ask where I was going. He just said, “Get him for the show.”
“Sure thing,” I said, laughing.
I hit the ground running. A man carrying a fake tree pointed the way. It felt like that heavy slogging one experiences in dreams. I knew I’d be too late. I got through a section of London, the New York street, the New England village . . . and there it was up ahead. The square of an old Western town. “The Shootist,” which proved to be John Wayne’s final movie, was being filmed.

Somehow — although it seemed I had met all my heroes and non-heroes in the biz — I had always been certain, deep down, that I was not destined to meet John Wayne. It was just not in the scheme of things.
If the word “icon” — used daily now for just about everybody, even me — ever applied in its fullest force to anyone it was to the man embarrassed as a kid by his real name, Marion Mitchell Morrison.
How could I ever hope to find myself standing beside the star of “Sands of Iwo Jima,” seen five times by Jimmy McConnell and me in our Nebraska youth? (Later, we’d “play” the movie, taking turns being The Duke, our bikes standing in for horses.)
How could I expect to meet “The Ringo Kid” from “Stagecoach”? Or the man in another one of those great Monument Valley John Ford classics (“She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”?), riding toward the camera, the cavalry column behind him, the storm overhead. Surely this mythic figure could not occupy the space right next to you.
And yet there he was.
The gods had smiled and arranged for my first glimpse of him to be the ideal one. Mounted and in full cowboy drag: the chaps, the boots and spurs, the neckerchief and the well-worn Stetson atop the handsome head. He was waiting for the scene to begin.
I moved, or rather, was moved toward him. He saw me gazing upward.
“Well,” he said — in John Wayne’s voice! — “It sure is good ta meet ya.”
I reached up to shake the mounted man’s proffered hand. It enveloped mine like a baseball glove.
He was instantly likable and, although it seems almost the wrong word for such a fellow, charming. We chatted for several minutes until shooting resumed. I watched him ride off for the next shot. I figured that was it. I was satisfied.
Meanwhile, I had forgotten about the special, and I started to leave. I couldn’t wait to phone Jimmy McConnell.
Suddenly, the Duke — preceded by his shadow — came up behind me, on foot now. As with the Great Pyramid at Giza, nothing prepared you for his size. (And there was a rumor that he wore lifts in his boots. I was not about to ask.)
“I’d enjoy talking to ya but I’ve got a scene to shoot with Betty Bacall,” he said. “Do you want to watch?”
The answer came easily. And my new friend led me inside to the set.
It was the old West, and the scene was in the kitchen of the house belonging to Lauren Bacall’s character. She was about to serve him a meal.
“Ya wanna run your lines, Duke?” asked an assistant.
“No thanks, I know ’em. Most of ’em, anyway.” (Crew laughs.)
I was a few feet from him, in the shadows. They were still setting up and Duke was humming to himself, and — I guess unconsciously recognizing the tune — I began to hum along. He spotted me and chuckled. And the following dialogue took place. On my solemn word. (I went straight home and wrote it all down before it faded.)
Wayne: Wasn’t he great?
Me: Who?
Wayne: Coward.
Me [startled, realizing now that the tune was Noel Coward’s “Someday I’ll Find You”]: Yes.
Wayne: I’ve always loved his stuff. Remember the scene in “Private Lives” when they realize they still love each other?
Me: Yes, and did you know there’s a recording of Coward and Gertrude Lawrence doing that scene?
Wayne: Gee, I gotta get that. I guess I’ve read most of his plays.
Me [still not convinced there isn’t a ventriloquist in the room]: I’ll send you the record.
Wayne: Well, thank ya. I like the line [he switched to quite passable upper-class British], “You’re looking very lovely you know, in this damned moonlight.”
Me: I did a show with Coward and, as he introduced them, “My dearest friends, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.”
Wayne: I sure would love to have seen them in “Design for Living.” [Mentally I reach again for the smelling salts.] And, damn, I’d love to see that show of yours.
Me: I’ll see that you do. [Jesus! Did I? Oh, I hope so.]
Wayne: That’d be awful nice of ya.
Me: Did you ever think of doing one of his plays?
Wayne: Yeah, but it never got past the thought stage. I guess they figured that maybe spurs and “Blithe Spirit” wouldn’t go together. Can’t you see the critics? “Wayne should go back to killing Indians, not Noel Coward.”
As I looked around for someone to pinch me, the mood was shattered by a sharp, barking voice: “O.K., people. Places for 43.”
(There is a good bit more to this encounter, including a life-and-limb incident. Interested? Or would you rather have a piece on “Edward Bulwer-Lytton: Man and Boy”?)
It required the common sense of Woody Allen to put the whole thing into perspective. When I burbled the story to him, he seemed disappointingly un-astonished.

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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.

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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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