Connect with us


John Wayne :I think it was sad that Brando did what he did if he had something to say, he should have appeared that night and stated – My Blog

On the night of March 27, 1973, Liv Ullmann and Roger Moore stepped onstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles to present the Academy Award for Best Actor of 1972. The name that Ullmann read was Marlon Brando, for The Godfather. A young woman clad in a beaded Native American dress walked up to the podium and gracefully brushed back Moore’s hand as he tried to hand her the statuette. Her name was Sacheen Littlefeather, and up until that moment, no one save her and Brando (wherever he was) knew what she was going to say; she had refused to be specific with the producers before she took her seat. To the sound of some applause, and a smattering of boos, foot-stamps, and catcalls, she explained that she was refusing the Oscar at Brando’s behest, due to “the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry…and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.”1 After her brief speech, Littlefeather left the stage. The time elapsed from when Brando’s name was read, to Littlefeather’s exit, was about one minute forty seconds. Throughout the night, Littlefeather was dignified and tranquil, which can’t be said for everyone in the Oscar audience. She remained calm, by all accounts, when she reached the press room.

On March 27, 2022, 49 years later to the day, Will Smith stepped onstage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles and slapped comedian Chris Rock, who was there to present the award for Best Documentary. I’m not going to describe it any further than that, as I think the full clip has been seen by everyone not presently making their home at the bottom of the sea.
Here’s what we’ll be concerned with. Just after the incident at this year’s Oscars, variations on a certain assertion began appearing all over my Twitter feed.
The accusation rapidly spread to online tabloid-type venues—I’m not linking, but they’re easy to find. Here’s an array of more tweets that come up in a search.

Now, the Academy has issued an official apology to Sacheen Littlefeather, which may be read here (and has no reference to any incident involving John Wayne). She is scheduled to give a talk at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 17. Once more we’re flooded with the tale of John Wayne and the Six Security Men, the lousy variety act many people believe played the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion back in 1973.
On such occasions, it becomes necessary to defrost the keyboard. And dive through archives, and pester historians, and email unsuspecting biographers. Somebody had to—Snopes half-assed it. From the moment I saw these mushrooming accusations of how Wayne was barely prevented from beating up a tiny indigenous activist, I was, to put it mildly, in a dubious frame of mind.
For this allegedly violent night at the Oscars in 1973, the order of the last three award presentations had been Best Actor, which is what we’re investigating; Best Actress (presented by Gene Hackman and Raquel Welch); and Best Picture, presented by Clint Eastwood—a planned presenter of the award, but he had already had a jittery evening as a last-minute substitute for Charlton Heston, whose car had broken down on the freeway. [see endnote] Finally, John Wayne came out to say a few words, gather the remaining stars and dancers, and lead off a rousing final chorus of “You Ought to Be in Pictures.”
Here is John Wayne coming out for the finale of the 1973 Oscars. He’s a little slow getting down the steps and over to the podium. His gait isn’t exactly athletic. But that’s not surprising. John Wayne, then 65 years old, had undergone lung-cancer surgery in 1964. The surgeons made a 28-inch incision, removing two ribs and the entire upper lobe of his left lung. The operation saved his life, but left Wayne with daily breathing problems that he worked mightily to conceal, despite requiring a supplemental oxygen tank on the sets of some subsequent movies.
Wayne looks pretty calm for a man who caused backstage mayhem moments ago. Dapper, too. I do appreciate that the Oscar security men were careful not to rumple his tux.
Note here that there was an interesting set design that year for the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Minimalist, you might call it, since you can see the flies, the back wall, and (so it appears) much of the wings.
To see why I am bringing this up, let’s go to Sacheen Littlefeather’s description of the night in the 2021 documentary short Sacheen: Breaking the Silence, which includes a short clip of the Oscar moment. (It’s up at Youtube for a fee.)
While Littlefeather describes John Wayne “in the wings,” the clip seems to indicate, as Liv Ullmann, Roger Moore and Sacheen Littlefeather exit the stage, that there are no wings to speak of, and no John Wayne. Where was he, and where were the six security men, a six-man-scrum-plus-movie-star presumably being rather difficult to hide? And if this was taking place in a wing-like area further backstage or in the green room, what made Wayne think he could huff and puff all the way to the stage before the orchestra played Littlefeather off? Going back to the original Oscar clip, you’ll see he had just 45 seconds to realize what she was saying, get mad, begin to charge, and be held back by the gathering of the security clan. Littlefeather was always clear that no one knew the contents of her speech until she gave it. She could have been getting up there just to take the award and say thank-you.
For that matter, I wonder when the armed guards who escorted Littlefeather herself offstage showed up. They aren’t in the clip. The photo still in the documentary shows a balding middle-aged man who is wearing one of those ghastly 1970s ruffledy tuxedos. He is holding her hand, and certainly doesn’t look like anybody I’d hire as security, though maybe he was incognito.
and went to the press room, which was on the fourth floor, where she read the lengthy statement she’d brought.
Having examined the clips from the 1973 Oscars in more detail than anyone should examine anything short of the Zapruder film, I repaired to newspapers-dot-com. You would think, would you not, that if John Wayne had been either in the wings or backstage, with six security men tussling with him in some kind of goal-line stand, as Wayne hollered that he was gonna drag Sacheen Littlefeather right off the ding-dang stage, that this would have been noticed and remarked upon somewhere in the many, many, many stories and columns published in the days and weeks right after this particular Oscar ceremony—not least by Littlefeather herself.
You would be wrong. I have failed utterly to find anybody referencing any such incident in the immediate aftermath of the show. And by “immediate aftermath,” I mean from Monday, March 28, 1973, until about February 1974. In addition to what could be found on the internet, Professor Thomas Doherty of Brandeis University graciously offered to access the relevant issues of The Hollywood Reporter, which are not online. Nothing about Wayne. THR, then staunchly right-wing, ran an editorial by Tichi Wilkerson Miles, scolding Brando. There was also a roundup of quotations from various figures. In the approving camp was Alfred Ruddy, Godfather producer; opting for the diplomatic route of “well, you know, artists” was the legendary Robert Evans of Paramount; disapproving, not of Littlefeather but Brando, were Academy president Daniel Taradesh, Michael Caine, and Charlton Heston. And at the end of the THR roundup, a brief interview with Littlefeather herself, with a truly lovely vignette: “She noted that ‘a very nice man,’ Eddie Albert, and his son Edward Albert, congratulated her on her remarks and said they supported what she did.”
No word from John Wayne. His response to the whole affair didn’t come until Dec. 30, 1973, in an interview in the New York Times:
What about that other big kid —Marlon Brando? Does Duke—an Academy Award winner for “True Grit”—look upon Brando’s nixing of his Oscar for “The Godfather” as a mature action, or mere kid stuff?
“You’re going to take this out of context, aren’t you?” Duke squints, and then breaks into a who-gives-a-damn grin. “I think it was sad that Brando did what he did. If he had something to say, he should have appeared that night and stated his views instead of taking some little unknown girl and dressing her up in an Indian outfit.”
When does the Wayne story start showing up? Leaping ahead a bit, there is a 1988 interview with Marty Pasetta, the director of the Oscar show from 1972 to 1988, a stretch of time that in retrospect looks like the Oscar show’s Golden Age. Of that night in 1973, Pasetta told Ivor Davis:
“We had a fight is what we had,” recalls the silver-haired Oscar veteran… “John Wayne wanted to go out there and physically yank her off the stage. It took six men to hold him back.”
Bingo! Right?
Well, hold the phone. There are significant problems with accepting Pasetta’s 1988 recollection at face value (and that is why I am calling Snopes sloppy).
he “six security men” preventing John Wayne from physically assaulting Littlefeather do not appear in a much earlier interview with Pasetta, by Don Freeman of Copley News Service, which dates to Feb. 23, 1974, when the incident should have been freshest in Pasetta’s mind. Asked about his worst “calamity” (“I don’t compare them. I just endure them,” is Pasetta’s amusing response), the show director tells a different story.
How do you predict that some ‘Indian princess’ is going to go on for Brando and make a speech? And there’s John Wayne backstage and he’s in an uproar and I had to calm him down. I said, ‘don’t go out there, Duke, that’ll only make it worse.’ Everybody was in an uproar.
A later version of that interview, republished in 1975,2 adds a kicker from Pasetta about Wayne: “He hollered, but he stayed.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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


The Man, the Problem, and His Manliest Movies – My Blog

The problematic John Wayne became a fierce force in American cinema as the designated leading man in a series of big budget films. In an era full of trauma and sadness, Wayne as an American symbol, represents a significant contribution to the world during the time of uncertainty and panic.

As his career elevated in the midst of WWII, he rose through the ranks as the single most popular actor in Hollywood’s history. The reason that Wayne had become increasingly famous was associated with his no-nonsense characters that male viewers related to and women gravitated towards prior to the cultural changes of the 1960s. He brought to light this persona of elevated masculinity that was culturally striking to watch. From Academy Awards to a rich career that very few have been able to achieve, the praise associated with his on-screen portrayals will live on through generations.
In a successful career spanning over 50 years and 169 movies, Wayne has had his highs, in addition to his fair share of criticism, which is ultimately impossible to ignore. During a 1971 Playboy Magazine interview, Wayne made comments speaking negatively against the African-American community and making a series of homophobic slurs, while directly addressing his belief in white supremacy. Some have marked this up to be a time sensitive issue, with societal problems and norms being completely different from what it is now (or is it?). The truth is, this stuff was said, and it hasn’t gone over well since the interview resurfaced, with John Wayne’s legacy denounced by many.
Taking a moment to separate the man from his artistry is quite a difficult task, and directly addressing the controversies of his past comments creates difficult decisions that can often lead to either supporting art and ignoring prejudice, or completely erasing history. What people can all agree on is that his work ultimately changed the scope of Hollywood cinema, and how masculinity and machismo are portrayed through verbal and physical modes of storytelling. Thus, instead of calling these films his ‘best performances,’ perhaps we should consider these movies to have the most macho roles from John Wayne, a problematic actor who presents culture with a fascinating way to dissect American masculinity.

6 The Barbarian and the Geisha

The Barbarian and the Geisha is based on the true story of Townsend Harris, an American diplomat who was sent to the country of Japan in order to serve as a U.S. consul member. Wayne plays Harris as he is met by residents in the small village of Shimoda who rejects his diplomatic status, prompting a cultural split in Japan’s mistrust in the influence of the west. Through all the social and political clashes, Harris meets a 17-year-old geisha by the name of Okichi, falling in love with her while she aides him in softening the division. Wayne was 51 at the time.
5 Tycoon

Hired by a South American tycoon Frederick Alexander (Cedric Hardwicke) to construct a tunnel through the Andes Mountains, American engineer Johnny Munroe (John Wayne) falls in love with Alexander’s daughter, Maura (Laraine Day). As Munroe faces challenges in making progress in the job he was assigned to complete, he also faces opposition in convincing the overprotective father of Maura (and his boss) that he is a worthy suitor for the man’s (20 years younger) daughter. Tycoon, like The Barbarian and the Geisha, feeds the male ego and fantasy of viewers, presenting Wayne (and the all-American male) as a sex symbol for much younger women.
4 Island in the Sky

Island in the Sky incorporates pieces of experiences from pilot Ernest Gann (later related in his 1961 autobiographical book Fate is the Hunter) emphasizing his flying career. In this World War II movie, Gann and the pilots he traveled with search for a lost pilot of the team in northern Canada. In the film, Capt. Dooley (John Wayne) has to crash-land his plane in the icy landscape of Canada. While setting out to fly supplies in England during World War II, Dooley and his crew fight to survive in the unfamiliar territory. Though it’s an ensemble film, Wayne continues his white-knight heroic approach to narrative form.
3 The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers, a modernized version of the classic tale, finds American fighter pilot Lt. Tom Wayne (John Wayne) traveling to visit his romantic love interest, Elaine Corday (Ruth Hall). Along the way, he gets involved in the war taking place in the Sahara Desert (between the French Legion and a group of Arabic arms smugglers) to rescue a group of legionnaires who were besieged by the opposition fighters. Tom’s new friends recruit him in order to help them efficiently identify the mole secretly working for the Arabic group, so long as they can survive the desert in an almost ‘characters against nature’ way. Again, the film glorifies and romanticizes the heroics of American militarism and the white-knight trope.
2 Allegheny Uprising

Jim Smith (John Wayne) leads a militant group throughout colonial America, setting out to discover who is supplying the area of Native American tribes with various key weapons. Smith suspects Ralph Callendar (Brian Donlevy) to be the traitor among the group, but there has not yet been any proof to support this theory. He strives to pinpoint the corruption among him and his team, as the British commander Capt. Swanson (George Sanders) disregards his concerns. Allegheny Uprising taps into the American fantasy and paranoia of fighting the British and colonizing Natives, and Wayne fits in perfectly.
1 Rio Lobo

The American Western Rio Lobo is set in a post-Civil War environment, and was the last film directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, concluding his American trilogy of Westerns preceded by Rio Bravo and El Dorado, which all uses the West to explore identity. As Cord McNally (John Wayne), a local Union leader, protects an incoming gold shipment, his fellow troops are suddenly attacked by an influx of Confederate forces. In this encounter, McNally looses the gold he was supposed to protect as well as his friend and officer who was killed in the raid. As McNally travels to the town of Rio Lobo, he learns the Confederate forces had direct help from the inside of his team. In his visit, McNally sets out to learn the identity of the traitors. Released in 1970, Wayne was playing to a wholly different American culture that had passed him by, and the film was a box office failure. He would make his Playboy comments the next year.

Continue Reading


‘He knew he wasn’t going to be around when I was older’ – My Blog

Ethan Wayne, John Wayne’s youngest son, talks about what it was like growing up with his famous father and how he’s keeping his legacy alive today.

Ethan Wayne said a day at his friend’s house made him realize his father was different.
The now-56-year-old is the youngest son of late Hollywood legend John Wayne and Peruvian actress Pilar Pallete, his third and last wife. He’s currently the president of John Wayne Enterprises and director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. This year, he helped release a bourbon based on the patriarch’s own recipe.
“I can remember going to a friend’s house and his mom said, ‘Hey Brian, go get the mail,’” recalled Wayne. “I went out and there were three envelopes. I remember going, ‘That’s all the mail you got? That’s weird.’ The US postal service would drag those canvas bags with lots of mail to my house. It was strange.”

Gettin' back in the lane with John Wayne's youngest son | by Jeremy Roberts  | Medium

Despite Wayne having an iconic movie star for a father, he described his childhood as normal — one that involved living in then-small town Newport Beach, Calif. with other families in the same neighborhood, surrounded by oranges and strawberry farms.
There were no security or bodyguards. John answered his own door and telephone. He was an early riser who exercised alongside his son and studied his scripts before heading to work. He often spent his free time on his boat, admiring the great sea he loved. He would catch his own fish and cook it on the beach, as well as interact with locals.
John was 56 when Ethan was born — and he made sure his son never forgot to do chores around the house.
“I can’t pick up a broom to this day without thinking about him coming out and saying, ‘That’s not how you sweep, this is how you sweep!’” chuckled Wayne. “And it was with this big push broom. And he wasn’t very mechanical. He was great with his gun, he was great on a horse and he handled boats really well. But if a car got a flat tire, he’d just leave it. And I was very mechanical as a young boy for some reason. I really enjoyed taking stuff apart and putting it back together. He really didn’t get it. He didn’t like motorcycles, and I did.”
Wayne said that despite his father’s high-profile career, John, who was aware he might be gone by the time his son was a young man, was determined to be a hands-on parent. Wayne described growing up on film sets and learning about the hard work it took to bring Hollywood to life.
“He took with me on location,” Wayne explained. “I’d be homeschooled down on location in Mexico because he knew he wasn’t going to be around for me when I was older, and that he would probably lose me while I was young, teenage man. So he took me with him when I was little. And one of my jobs was to load the car with all the personal items that he wanted with him when he would make a film somewhere remote. Or if he went on his boat, the Wild Goose.
Gettin' back in the lane with John Wayne's youngest son | by Jeremy Roberts  | Medium
“He would take his own bourbon, and that bourbon was the heaviest thing that I would carry. Everyone wanted to have a drink with John Wayne. I would also carry his packs of candy, special food items, shoes, gloves, jackets. Definitely bags of hats.”
In his lifetime, John or “The Duke,” as he was called by fans, made more than 200 films in over 50 years. According to The New York Times, by the early 1960s, 161 of his films had grossed $350 million, and when he died in 1979 he had been paid as much as $666,000 to make a movie.
As an avid outdoorsman, both in front and behind the camera, he is still celebrated as one of the greatest figures of the Western genre.
“I was 10 when he was 66 years old,” said Wayne. “[And] he’s on a horse, he’s running at full speed across open country, with a herd of horses running with him… he was a bold, outgoing individual who was full of life, constantly moving forward… And nobody sits on a horse like John Wayne does.”
John Wayne's son recalls growing up with 'The Duke': 'He knew he wasn't  going to be around when I was older' | Fox News
Wayne wasn’t around when the Iowa native, a former football star in high school who worked as a truck driver, fruit picker, soda jerk and ice hauler, first embarked on his career as an actor. However, Wayne said the rugged persona he embodied on screen was very much the real deal.
“I read stories [of] when he was first starting out and how he was very uncomfortable and felt awkward,” said Wayne. “He didn’t like the way he moved, so he talked to John Ford and met Wyatt Earp… He started taking pieces of these guys and putting them together into a character that became John Wayne, who was definitely part of my father. There was also fantasy. He was a heck of a gunman and a horseman, but he also certainly knew the craft of film and storytelling. We were never in a gunfight.”
John passed away at age 72 from cancer. Wayne, who was 17 at the time of his father’s death, said he drove John to UCLA Medical Center when he wasn’t feeling well. John never came out alive.
Before his death, John stressed to his family that the doctors attempting to find a cure for cancer should never be forgotten. He left behind seven children from his marriages and more than 15 grandchildren.

Wayne credited stuntman Gary McLarty, a friend of his father’s, for taking him under his wing and helping him cope with his grief.
“He would take me on a motorcycle ride or racing sometimes,” said Wayne. “He was [later] the stunt coordinator for ‘The Blues Brothers.’ And for some reason, he hired me. And it was in a time when I’d missed the last part of my junior year with my dad. When my father was involved in my life, I was good at school and things went well. But afterward, I wasn’t very focused on school… [Gary] gave me a little direction that I didn’t have. I’m eternally grateful to him. It probably kept me from making some mistakes.”
John recently lassoed in headlines for a completely different reason. In 2016, The Guardian reported California lawmakers rejected a proposal to create John Wayne Day to mark his birthday after several legislators described statements he made about racial minorities.
Wayne said he was also aware of negative statements made against his father due to him being politically conservative. He insisted John’s beliefs have been misunderstood over the years
“He wanted to work with people who earned their place,” Wayne explained. “He didn’t think anybody should get a job because he was a man, because she was a woman, because they were gay, because they were straight, because they were Chinese, African-American or Mexican. He thought you should get a job because you were the right person to do that job. Because you had skill and talent and you would show up and get the job done. He didn’t care what you were.
“Somebody, a Latina representative up in Sacramento, shot down a bill for John Wayne Day because he was racist. [But] he was married to three Latin women. It’s just crazy how things get blown out of proportion because he was really an open, caring, loyal, supportive man.”
Wayne hopes his father will be remembered for what he was — an artist.
“People look at him and they think one thing or another, but he was out there representing real people,” said Wayne. “Whether they were guys who came out here and lived in the West or went to war. He played those characters. He represented them. And they liked him. They still do.”

Continue Reading


John Wayne’s Son Couldn’t Watch 1 of His Dad’s Movies After His Death – My Blog

John Wayne is a legendary actor who successfully personifies Western movies. He has a very loyal fan base, but some of his critics claim that he plays the same character in every movie. However, Wayne delivered several nuanced performances over the course of his career. His son, Patrick, had difficulty watching one specific movie after his father’s death.

John Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies
Wayne entered the entertainment industry working as an extra, prop man, and a stuntman. He primarily worked for Fox Film Corporation, but ultimately got his first shot with Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail. However, the film was a box office failure. Fortunately, Wayne’s huge success at the movies would later come to be.
Wayne ultimately starred in popular Western and war movies over the course of the 1940s onward. Some of his most notable performances include titles such as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, True Grit, and Sands of Iwo Jima. All together, Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies over the course of his extensive career.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, couldn’t watch ‘The Shootist’ after his dad’s death

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick via Medium to talk about what it was like growing up in the Wayne family. He talked about some personal stories involving his father, as well as the collection of Wayne movies. The interviewer asked him if he had any difficulty revisiting any of his dad’s movies after his death.
“I’d have to say no to that question with the exception of one film, The Shootist,” Patrick said. “I couldn’t watch that Western as it was so close to reality. He played an old gunfighter who was an anachronism dying of cancer.”
Wayne plays J.B. Books in The Shootist, who is an aging gunfighter diagnosed with cancer. He heads into Nevada at the turn of the 20th century. Books rents a room from a widowed woman named Bond Rogers (Lauren Becall) and her son, Gillom (Ron Howard). When people pursue Books with questionable motives, he decides that he isn’t going to die a silent death.
Patrick continued: “Too many of the elements in there were just too close to what actually happened to him in his real life, so that film took me about 10 years to watch again [of course I saw it when it was originally released in 1976].”
Patrick Wayne thinks ‘The Shootist’ is his dad’s ‘finest performance’

Wayne earned Oscar nominations for his movies Sands of Iwo Jima and The Alamo. However, he wouldn’t take home the gold statue until his work on True Grit. Patrick believes that the iconic film isn’t quite his father’s best work. He gives that title to Wayne’s work in The Shootist, which he didn’t even earn an Oscar nomination for.
Patrick said, “When I did finally watch it for the second time, I have to say that it’s probably his finest performance as a pure actor, using all his skills and being more than just a cardboard cutout, but more of a real human being — a vulnerable human being — and I think he pulled it off really well.”

Continue Reading