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John Wayne

John Wayne’s Attempt To Break Out Of Westerns Led To One Of The Lowest Points In His Career

In the early days of the classical Hollywood era, the demand for new movies was so great that studios created low-budget production wings (known as B-units) to cheaply meet the demand for content. Smaller studios — known as Poverty Row — filled the remaining gap with quickly produced cheap movies. The practice resulted in what’s best known as the low-budget B-movie.
Filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, and Ron Howard all have humble beginnings in B-movies, as do actors like Robert De Niro, Sandra Bullock, and Jack Nicholson. Legendary Western icon John Wayne is no different.
The Duke spent a decade toiling away on Poverty Row before becoming a bonafide leading man in John Ford’s 1939 Western “Stagecoach.” It was during these B-movie days that Wayne became synonymous with Westerns, but he wanted more.
Wayne took a big gamble to break away from the genre. It was a move that almost cost The Duke his career.
‘I lost my stature as a Western star. I got nothing in return.’Republic PicturesThroughout the 1930s, John Wayne starred in more than two dozen Westerns, many for the Poverty Row studio Republic Pictures. By the mid-30s, Wayne was primed for a breakout but was also at a crossroads in his career.
The actor was eager to make a break from Poverty Row and Westerns, and he thought he found a way to do that through former Republic Pictures producer, Trem Carr. In “Shooting Star: A Biography of John Wayne,” author Maurice Zolotow explained how Carr’s promotion to executive producer at Universal Pictures coaxed The Duke from Republic. He wrote:
“[Carr] invited Duke to rise to better things. He promised to take John Wayne out of Levi’s; he could unstrap his holster forever. He would never have to mount another horse unless he wanted to go riding in Griffith Park. Trem Carr always believed that Wayne was a distinguished movie actor of potential greatness. Wayne heard the siren song. Between April 1936, and May 1937, Wayne performed in six Trem Carr productions for Universal.”
But the gamble following Carr to Universal almost cost the actor his career. “I lost my stature as a Western star,” Wayne said. “I got nothing in return.”
With a rising star like Wayne primed for a breakout, it begs the question: What went wrong with his attempted break from Westerns?
He was still stuck making B-movies
Universal Pictures

It’s likely Trem Carr neglected to tell John Wayne that he would be starring in low-budget movies for Universal, just like his films at Republic. Nevertheless, Wayne achieved his goal of branching out from Westerns, playing meatier roles like a coast guard commander (“The Sea Spoilers”), a Pacific pearl diver (“Adventure’s End”), and a wartime news photographer (“I Cover the War!”). However, those same films were critically panned and bombed at the box office.
Wayne believed the issue had less to do with him branching out from the Western genre and more to do with the studio. “I made a big mistake. Not because they weren’t Westerns, but because they were cheap pictures,” Wayne said. “Trem Carr was trying to make them on a budget of about $75,000. He was cutting costs and production values as if he were still making Republic cheapies.”
Universal’s attempt to pit low-budget movies with a rising star against big productions from 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros. failed. The damage was almost irreparable. Wayne explained:
“In six months exhibitors wouldn’t touch a John Wayne [movie] with a 10-foot pole. I said adios to Trem Carr and I tried freelancing and about the best I could get was a [B-movie] at Paramount, a cattle drive, trek type of picture, terrible. Almost as bad as those Trem Carr specials.”
The fiasco painted a rare picture of John Wayne, defeated and desperate for work in Hollywood. Then John Ford rode in to save the day.
‘I just had to come crawlin’ back’
United ArtistsThe string of box office failures made it hard for John Wayne to find work in Hollywood. It was one of the lowest points of his career.
“Finally I just had to come crawlin’ back to [Republic Pictures president] Herbert Yates and beg for mercy,” Wayne recalled. “I didn’t want to make these cheapies for Republic, but seemed like there was nothin’ else to do.”
Wayne was hoping to play his idol, Sam Houston, in the upcoming large-budget production “Man of Conquest.” Republic told the actor he wasn’t big enough of a box office draw for the role (it went to Richard Dix). It left Wayne feeling pigeonholed. Zolotow wrote:
“Duke felt he was condemned to be just a ‘cheapie’ actor in ‘cheapie’ B’s. […] He made eight ‘Mesquiteers’ for Republic. They were the dreariest films he made in this decade. Shot in five days, they looked as if they had been made in one morning. They were slapped together with absurd dialogue and a paucity of action stunts.”
Director John Ford, who advised Wayne against signing long-term with Republic, fought for the actor to star in his upcoming Western “Stagecoach.” The film revitalized Wayne’s career and is considered one of the most influential Westerns of all time. Not bad for a defeated hero who had to “come crawlin’ back” to the business.
Read More: https://www.slashfilm.com/1158312/john-waynes-attempt-to-break-out-of-westerns-led-to-one-of-the-lowest-points-in-his-career/

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John Wayne

John Wayne Was Stunned When Ron Howard Asked Him To Rehearse Lines for ‘The Shootist’

Ron Howard was only in his early 20s when he encountered John Wayne and learned how to work with one of the most intimidating men in Hollywood.

Decades later, Howard still raves about Wayne’s work ethic. The two worked together on The Shootist , a key career moment for both. The Shootist represented an actual adult-ish role for Howard. Fans of classic TV knew Howard as Opie in The Andy Griffith Show or Richie Cunningham in Happy Days . Meanwhile, Duke’s movie career was coming to an end. He was 69 when he took on the role of J.B. Books, the gunslinger dying of cancer. It was Wayne’s final film role.

So how did John Wayne treat Ron Howard as they made this movie? Well, Howard had no qualms asking the iconic actor to run lines with him. These were Howard’s observations during an interview with the Huffington Post in 2014.

“I always admired him as a movie star, but I thought of him as a total naturalist,” Ron Howard said of John Wayne. “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.”

The movie also starred Lauren Bacall, as the owner of the boarding house, and Jimmy Stewart as Books’ doctor. As the movie opened, a doctor told Books that he was dying of cancer. The doctor even said it might be less painful for Book to die in a gunfight. So Books decided to plan his own death. He invited three other gunfighters to meet him at a bar. There, they could kill him.

Howard portrayed Gillom Rogers, Bacall’s son. Gillom came into the bar after the three gunslingers gathered to kill Books. But Wayne’s character was true to himself until the end. He ended up killing his invited guests. However, the bartender popped Books. And as Books died, he watched as Howard shot the bartender, then threw away the gun. The move definitely was Books approved.

In an interview with The Oklahoman, Howard gave even more details about working with Wayne on the set. For one, Wayne wasn’t vain. He did wear a hairpiece. But he didn’t care if people saw him without his hair. That was the case when Howard got his first introduction.

“I’ll never forget the fact that he never, ever made me feel like a kid,” Howard told the Oklahoman. “He treated me like a pro . . . one pro working with another.”

The post John Wayne Was Stunned When Ron Howard Asked Him To Rehearse Lines for ‘The Shootist’ appeared first on Outsider .

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John Wayne

Melinda Wayne Munoz cause of death

Munoz, Melinda Wayne John Wayne Cancer Foundation Advocate and Supporter Passes Away Melinda Wayne Munoz has died, and the cause of death is unknown.

Melinda Wayne Munoz, John Wayne’s daughter, and a John Wayne Cancer Foundation Advocator and Supporter, passed away unexpectedly. In an online statement, JOHN WAYNE confirmed her death. The circumstances surrounding her death had not been made public at the time of publication.

15 foto's en beelden met Melinda Wayne Munoz - Getty Images

JOHN WAYNE said, “We are heartbroken to learn that John Wayne’s daughter, Melinda Wayne Munoz, died this week.”Melinda was the fourth of John Wayne’s seven children and the youngest child of his first marriage to Josephine Saenz.

Melinda Wayne Munoz, John Wayne’s daughter, and a John Wayne Cancer Foundation Advocator and Supporter, passed away unexpectedly. In an online statement, JOHN WAYNE confirmed her death. The circumstances surrounding her death had not been made public at the time of publication.

15 Melinda Wayne Munoz Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

“Melinda was the grandmother of fourteen and the mother of five children.” She has been a passionate advocate and supporter in the fight against cancer for the past 35 years through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

“If you’ve ever met Melinda, you know how warm, welcoming, and passionate she is, and she almost certainly made you laugh!” At this time, our thoughts are with her family.”

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John Wayne

John Wayne DID dodge the draft so he could continue his torrid affair with sexy German actress Marlene Dietrich, ‘the best lay I’ve ever had,’ new book reveals

John Wayne was a hard-nosed Marine sergeant, a naval lieutenant and a commander of an airborne battalion during the invasion of Normandy. But those were his movies.

Wayne never served a day in the US military and has long been accused of being a ‘draft dodger’ because he staunchly avoided putting on a uniform and going to war when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The truth is that he did avoid military service but not because he was a coward. It was so that he could continue his torrid affair with the older German film star Marlene Dietrich, then aged 40.

Passion: It was lust at first sight for John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich. They had a three-year affair

Passion: It was lust at first sight for John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich. They had a three-year affairSparks: When Wayne arrived on the movie set of Seven Sinners, Dietrich would leap into his arms and wrap her legs around himSparks: When Wayne arrived on the movie set of Seven Sinners, Dietrich would leap into his arms and wrap her legs around him

As other leading men in Hollywood were enlisting, the Duke dodged war duty for the ‘best lay he ever had,’ says the author of a new book, Marc Eliot, in American Titan: Searching for John Wayne, published tomorrow by Dey Street, an imprint of Harper Collins.

When Japan dropped the bombs on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Wayne was 34 and had become a bankable star after making a few bombs of his own with his ‘on-screen lack of authority’ acting.

At the time of the call to military service, the married Wayne was wrapped in the arms of the lusty German film star, Marlene Dietrich after co-starring with her in the 1940 film, Seven Sinners, in which Wayne traded his chaps and cowboy boots for navy whites.

He had fallen madly in love with the actress whose insatiable desire for American boys and men spiked if she could also break up their marriages or humiliate them in some way.

‘When she came into Wayne’s life, she juicily sucked every last drop of resistance, loyalty, morality, and guilt out of him, and gave him a sexual and moral cleansing as efficiently done as if she were draining an infected sore’, writes the author.

Dietrich had star approval after the film ‘Destry Rides Again’ with Jimmy Stewart and met Wayne in her dressing room at Universal Studios.Too hot to handle:  ‘He was crazy for Dietrich from the first time she led him to her bed,' says Eliot.  'He stayed there, at her beck and call, for the next three years and didn’t appear to care who knew it. She was the bad girl he’d never had, the forbidden fruit he’d never tasted’+17View gallery

Too hot to handle:  ‘He was crazy for Dietrich from the first time she led him to her bed,’ says Eliot.  ‘He stayed there, at her beck and call, for the next three years and didn’t appear to care who knew it. She was the bad girl he’d never had, the forbidden fruit he’d never tasted’Poster boy: The movie poster from the 1949 film Sands of Iwo Jima, a drama set during World War II that follows a troop of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima. Wayne played a relentlessly tough Marine sergeant disliked by his troops for his harsh treatment. He earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role but his lack of military service and anti-communist activities may have cost him the win+17View gallery

Poster boy: The movie poster from the 1949 film Sands of Iwo Jima, a drama set during World War II that follows a troop of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima. Wayne played a relentlessly tough Marine sergeant disliked by his troops for his harsh treatment. He earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role but his lack of military service and anti-communist activities may have cost him the win

She invited him in, closed and locked the door. She lifted up her skirt to reveal a timepiece attached to a black garter. ‘We have plenty of time’, she said.

Dietrich had just brutally dropped actor Jimmy Stewart, who was also head over heels in love with her. There were rumors that she had gotten pregnant by Stewart and had an abortion.

But she had now dropped him cold and set her sights on her new co-star, John Wayne. He was going to be the next notch of her belt. Just like Stewart and Gary Cooper before him, Wayne got caught up in her web and couldn’t get enough of the blonde tigress. She lifted up her skirt to reveal a timepiece attached to a black garter. ‘We have plenty of time’, she said.

‘He had never before had a real whiff of the kind of feral sexuality Dietrich exuded,’ writes Eliot.

This consuming sexuality didn’t exist at home with his first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz, whom he married in 1933 – or for that matter with actress Claire Trevor, who became his lover when his marriage began to fail.

‘He was crazy for Dietrich from the first time she led him to her bed. He stayed there, at her beck and call, for the next three years and didn’t appear to care who knew it. She was the bad girl he’d never had, the forbidden fruit he’d never tasted.

‘Dietrich made him not just like sex with her but crave it.’

They carried on in public, kissing over dinner at restaurants, at nightclubs. There were no restrictions.

‘He was in love with Dietrich…they were two opposites strongly attracted to each other’.

She was exotic, sultry and teased him with flashes of her frilly undergarments. She was sexually uninhibited and wild representing his fantasy of European women. He was her fantasy of the big, tough American male who could beat any sophisticated German male to a pulp.

She made him her own personal King Kong.On deck: John Wayne, and his first wife Josephine Wayne relax with actor Spencer Tracy at El Mirador in Palm Springs, California, in January, 1934+17View gallery

On deck: John Wayne, and his first wife Josephine Wayne relax with actor Spencer Tracy at El Mirador in Palm Springs, California, in January, 1934Hot tamale: Wayne dipped his toe in the marriage waters for a second time with Esperanza, known as Chata or pug-nose. The author says that she was actor Ray Milland's 'port of call' when he visited Mexico City+17View gallery

Hot tamale: Wayne dipped his toe in the marriage waters for a second time with Esperanza, known as Chata or pug-nose. The author says that she was actor Ray Milland’s ‘port of call’ when he visited Mexico CityThree's a charm: Wayne embraces his third wife, Pilar Palette after the wedding ceremony in the former home of King Kamehameha III in November, 1954.The 46-year-old star and his 21-year-old Peruvian bride were wed a few hours after his divorce from Esperanza Bauer became final+17View gallery

Three’s a charm: Wayne embraces his third wife, Pilar Palette after the wedding ceremony in the former home of King Kamehameha III in November, 1954.The 46-year-old star and his 21-year-old Peruvian bride were wed a few hours after his divorce from Esperanza Bauer became final

Every able-bodied man and actor was expected to answer the call to military service in 1941 and put on a uniform to go fight the enemy.

Young guys lied about their ages, old men as well to get into the service. All except John Wayne…

‘He was still clinging to his relationship with Marlene Dietrich, whom he described as ‘the most intriguing woman I’ve ever known and ‘the best lay I’ve ever had’.

‘He wasn’t quite ready to give her up for anything, even, perhaps, his country’, writes author Marc Eliot.

Duke also feared military service might end his career by dragging on so long he would be too old to be ‘an action-oriented leading man’, or a character actor not making the same kind of money he was now used to earning to support his soon-to-be ex-wife.

With all the leading men in Hollywood gone he became a valuable acting commodity – and he knew it.

Henry Fonda had enlisted in the navy at 37. Jimmy Stewart tried to enlist at age 33 but was underweight. He put aside his Academy Award winning career and went on a diet to fatten up that included candy, beer and bananas. He reached the minimum weight and proudly flew dozens of missions over Germany.

Cowboy singing star Gene Autry joined the Army Air Corps. Tyrone Power went into the Marines. Robert Montgomery joined the army along with Clark Gable. Ronald Reagan also signed up but his lousy eyesight kept him from going overseas. 

Even Hollywood’s ‘Beverly Hills Brits’ faced extradition and imprisonment in Britain if they didn’t head home to do their duty.

Any story that Wayne had tried to enlist was a complete fabrication, the author insists. 

‘Wayne never tried to enlist and never ‘pleaded’ with John Ford to get him into the navy,’ writes the author.

Wayne was 35 years old when most draftees were 20. He was called in by his local draft board but he argued that he was exempt being the sole support of his family. He neglected to mention he was getting divorced.Dumped: Wayne was left in the dust when the fickle German star’s passions moved on to actor George Raft, who played gangsters in crime melodramas in the 1930s and 1940s+17View gallery

Dumped: Wayne was left in the dust when the fickle German star’s passions moved on to actor George Raft, who played gangsters in crime melodramas in the 1930s and 1940s

He also brought up an old shoulder injury that he considered made him ineligible although it never impacted his movie work as a stuntman or as a cowboy riding horses and getting into brawls.

When Wayne received a letter from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) that later became the CIA, urging the actor to join without delay.Wayne denied that he got the letter saying that his wife Josephine hid it from him.

This last attempt to get Wayne to commit to the war effort was made by director John Ford who helped make Wayne into a big star.

Wayne later told the truth to Dan Ford, John Ford’s biographer and grandson: ‘I didn’t feel I could go in as a private, I felt I could do more good going around on tours and things…

‘I was America [to the young guys] in the front lines…they had taken their sweethearts to that Saturday matinee and held hands over a Wayne Western. So I wore a big hat and I thought it was better.’

He also made the preposterous excuse that Herb Yates, head of Republic Pictures at the time, was going to sue him if he let himself be drafted.

There is no proof of this because when the war ended, the government had destroyed Wayne’s service-related papers.Wayne with his circle of friends in 1971 -- Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. He had been making films for more than 41 years and by 1969, grossed more than $400 million for the studios that produced his films -- more than any other star in motion-picture history+17View gallery

Wayne with his circle of friends in 1971 — Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. He had been making films for more than 41 years and by 1969, grossed more than $400 million for the studios that produced his films — more than any other star in motion-picture history

Duke had been so desperate to stay out of the military and in the arms of Marlene Dietrich, yet by 1942, Dietrich was through with the six foot four inch actor who had represented every branch of the military in his movie roles.

She attempted to keep him out of the film, The Spoilers, the scheduled film reunion of the pair.

The fickle star’s passions had moved on to actor George Raft, who played gangsters in crime melodramas in the 1930s and 1940s. Simultaneously she was having a passionate affair with France’s biggest movie star, Jean Gabin, now in the States after escaping the Nazis. 

Wayne was brokenhearted and couldn’t bear seeing her around town so he decided to take a trip to Mexico  to get over his heartache — ‘where life was cheap and women cheaper’.

Along for the joy ride were actors Ward Bond, Fred MacMurray, and Ray Milland.

Milland introduced the despairing Wayne to his Mexican ‘girlfriend’ who was a bit film player and full time call girl to the stars, Esperanza Baur Diaz Ceballos  – Chata for short –  who switched her allegiance to Duke.

She liked that he was taller than she was but she was no beauty having dark hair, bad skin and a moustache.

The only thing she had in common with Dietrich was ‘their high-octane sexuality and the fact that both of them had worked at one time or another, as professional escorts’.

Chata would become the second Mrs. John Wayne in 1946.

The actor declared it was the biggest mistake he ever made in his life.

At one point, Wayne felt guilty that he had bailed out of military service.Ailing: Riddled with cancer, Wayne made his first public appearance since his surgery in 1979 at the 51st Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood+17View gallery

Ailing: Riddled with cancer, Wayne made his first public appearance since his surgery in 1979 at the 51st Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood

He thought he could make up for it by making appearances at USO shows in the South Pacific and Australia – ‘his version of military service’ but he was greeted with raucous booing by the enlisted men who had served in hard combat.

The press didn’t write about the booing but the soldiers viewed Wayne, along with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Al Jolson as Hollywood entertainers just looking for some good p.r.

Wayne went to hospitals and ‘told the press he felt he belonged at the fronts with the boys’. He told them he’d be back after his picture commitments. But he never went back to Burma and China not only because he didn’t have time but because of the less-than-warm welcome.

Wayne’s third wife, Pilar Pallete, an actress from Peru who he married in 1954 as soon as he divorced ‘pug nose’ Chata, stated that Wayne became a ‘super-patriot for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying at home’ and not serving in the war effort.

Throughout his life, Wayne remained uncompromising in his anti-Communist stance and unforgiving battle against subversives.

He began as a supporter of FDR and became ‘one of the toughest and most unforgiving political soldiers in Hollywood’s war on communism’. He was ‘willing to throw out the cream of Hollywood’s talent, with the bathwater of their perceived politics’.+17View gallery

He wanted to participate and help rid the film capital of the perceived Red menace and win the respect of the Academy.

It was a tragic era of hate and paranoia in America – the 1950’s witch hunts that ruined so many lives.

‘Wayne’s resistance to change was granite hard and the more doctrinaire he became, the more out of fashion he sounded’.

He was convinced he had never won a gold statuette, an Oscar, because of the Communists.

He would win his one and only Oscar in 1970 for his starring role in True Grit. He had never even been nominated before. He was bitter but said he was laughing all the way to the bank.

Nine years later, in 1979, Hollywood’s reigning symbol of the American fighting soldier had succumbed to stomach cancer at age seventy-two after smoking five packs of cigarettes a day for years.

He had appeared in some 150 movies. His only military service was on the silver screen.True Grit original trailer starring John Wayne (1969)

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