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How John Wayne movies, typewriter connected two generations

I correspond with a kid who writes letters on a typewriter.

Take a moment and think about how odd that sentence is.
His name is Rossell Brewer of Hendersonville. He’s 20, and he’s a student at Butler University in Indianapolis, where, I believe, the school of communications does not use typewriters. It would be cool if they did, but alas …
He said he and some of his friends communicate by writing letters. Welcome to the 20th century, Brewer. “Most of those letters are written on this machine (a typewriter),” he wrote. “I find actually writing letters to be a fun and exciting mental exercise that not only allows me time to collect my thoughts and let my points get fully across, but also express myself in ways which other mediums simply cannot.”

When I was 20 years old in 1982, Ronald Reagan was president, Diet Coke was invented, and the Commodore 64 personal computer was released with a price tag of $595.
Through his letters, I know Brewer as a thoughtful kid, an old soul (obviously), who sounds a lot like I was back before Chicken McNuggets, which were invented in 1983.
His first letter was about books. Not the best books ever, but books “that bring comfort.” Like ice cream at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday. I’m all about comfort books.
Love for old booksHere’s the funny thing. Brewer’s list is downright old, which is so cool.
He loves “Dune.” He said: “Each time I read it, I discover something new. Furthermore, the sci-fi fantasy is wonderfully immersive …” He loves the Nero Wolfe detective series, including books like “The League of Frightened Men” (1935), “Too Many Cooks” (1938), “The Golden Spiders” (1953), “Champagne for One” (1958), “Gambit” (1962) and “A Family Affair” (1975).
I wrote him back about my favorite comfort books. I’m a murder mystery guy, so Agatha Christie novels are near the top of my list. Give me “Murder on the Orient Express” or “Ten Little Indians” on a rainy Saturday, and I’m good.
Also near the top are the first few books by Thomas Harris, before he went too wild with Hannibal Lecter: “Black Sunday,” “Red Dragon” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Fictional murder warms my heart.
I love to read books that were the inspirations for movies — just to see how the stories are different. “Jaws” was a great read, with (spoiler alert) an affair between marine biologist Matt Hooper and Chief Brody’s wife, Ellen, which didn’t make it into the movie. “The Godfather” has Fredo’s complete backstory, which the movie ignored. And “The Exorcist” has much more about the friendship between the priest and the detective.
Brewer’s second letter explained his taste in film, which was fascinating.
Great John Wayne and popcorn moviesHe likes John Wayne movies, and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” starring Clint Eastwood.
I’m a big fan of the John Wayne movie “The Cowboys.” And I loved him in “True Grit” and “The Searchers.” I have to admit, I liked Disney’s version of “The Alamo” better than John Wayne’s.
Brewer likes the older “Star Wars” movies better than the newer knockoffs. Who doesn’t?
What are my favorite comfort movies, or “popcorn” movies, as we called them in the old days?
Here’s my top five:
“Groundhog Day”“Rocky”“A Few Good Men”“The Silence of the Lambs”“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
I wonder if my 20-year-old typewriter pal has seen any of those oldies.
He probably has.
Brewer left me with this thought:
“I do not see it as a surprise that no one would think of a 20-year-old writing letters on a typewriter. … I am the only one of my pals with whom I exchange letters that uses one. But I believe if they could find a good, working machine for cheap, they would likely use one.
“But alas, they seem hard to find now.”
Reach Keith Sharon at 615-406-1594 or [email protected] or on Twitter @KeithSharonTN.
Project 88This story is part of Project 88, which is named for the 88 characters produced on a Smith-Corona typewriter. The Tennessean’s Keith Sharon types letters on his 1953 typewriter and mails them to people all over the world with an envelope and stamp so they can write back. This story originated with a letter Keith received. The question Project 88 is trying to answer is: Will people communicate the old-fashioned way, through heartfelt letters about the best and most challenging days of their lives. This project is not for political rants, and any kind of snail mail letter (typed, hand-written or computer printout) is acceptable. Please include a phone number.
You can be part of Project 88 by writing to:
Keith Sharon
The Tennessean
1801 West End Ave.
16th Floor
Nashville, TN 37203

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James Caan shares a memorable collaboration with John Wayne on the set of El Dorado. – My Blog

In 1997, James Caan joined The Late Show with David Letterman to starred on John Wayne after they alongside one another on the hit movie El Dorado.While Wayne portrayed the noble elder gunfighter Cole Thorton, Caan plays his loyal friend, Mississippi. Furthermore, the movie was directed by esteemed producer Howard Hawks.

James Caan notes that the first big-name he worked with in Hollywood was John Wayne. Wayne was 33 years older than Caan and already had boomed success in the industry, so naturally, James Caan admired the Duke.“He was great because he could intimidate you,” explains Caan. “He’d stay on you forever, and you’d just crumble. I mean, he’d just try you.”However, on the set of El Dorado, James Caan recalls getting directions from Howard Hawks, also known as Coach.

“So this one night I remember I was between he and Mitchum and Howard Hawks was about 72 at the time, and we’re outside in this old Tucson. This big old western town and Hawks comes up and says, ‘now look, Kid, when you say that line, here’s what’s going to happen. Duke, you go down the middle of the road right down the center because we are going to surround this bar. Mitchum, you go around that way, and Kid, you go around.’ I said, ‘alright, Coach.’ because that’s what we called him, Coach.’

“He was coach,” notes Letterman. “John Wayne was Duke, and you’re the Kid.” After Hawk gave the instructions, he began walking back to the cameras. James Caan, who does a perfect John Wayne impression, reflected on when Wayne tried to offer the then-youngster a few tips.“So now he has to walk back up 50 yards back to the camera. There’s all kinds of extras, and he’s walking back, and the dude looks at me and goes, ‘now look, Kid.’ He says, ‘when you say that there line, I want you to turn around and give me that look you give me.’

“Give Me That Look That You Give Me.”The men begin to laugh hysterically because Jame Caan has no idea what John Wayne is talking about. Regardless, Caan still gave it a try.“I have no idea what he’s talking about. But the truth is that Mitchum explains me that I was laughing at him all the time. Every time he talked because you had to. How can you take him seriously? That ‘why did you do it’ look. So he said, ‘give me that look that you give me.’ I said, ‘alright. Alright Duke.’

At this point, it isn’t Wayne who is mad about Cann’s performance. It is Hawks. However, the Duke still offered his advice. James Caan must.“He gets behind the camera everything starts going, and they go ‘ACTION!’ and I send my one line and I take a step, and I turn around. Coach goes ‘CUT’. Comes running up, and he goes, ‘look, when you take the step. Don’t take the step. I want you to say the line and go. Just go!’ He starts to walk back to the camera, and Wayne goes, ‘now look, Kid. Don’t take a whole step, take a half a step and then turn around and give me that look you give me.’

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John Wayne’s words to his daughter before taking his last breath . – My Blog

John Wayne was in around 170 movies during his long career in the acting world. It’s hard to determine exactly how many because he had starred in so many early on in his career that was considered more obscure.

By the time he was done acting, fans heard him deliver hundreds of thousands of lines to the cameraWhile his acting career was the life he projected, Wayne also had a life outside of the set. He was married three times and divorced twice. In total, John Wayne had seven children during his life. Wayne will always be remembered as the epitome of the Western genre. The tough, macho man behind countless iconic films. He was in movies like “True Grit,” “The Shootist,” “The Cowboys,” and “El Dorado.”

John Wayne’s Last Words : When he was lying in his death bed, however, he wasn’t talking about the Old West or old-fashioned violence. Instead, family was his main concern. According to a Neatorama post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen, Wayne spent his last days in a hospital bed in-and-out of consciousness. He passed away on June 11, 1979, surrounded by many family members.

His daughter, Aissa Wayne (born March 31, 1956) was at his bedside. She held his hand and asked if he knew who she was. He responded with his very last words ever, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

Wayne passed away from stomach cancer. He had been suffering from poor health for several years at this point. Deezen described Wayne on the set of his last movie, “The Shootist” by saying he was often irritable and missed days on set due to poor health. He even had an oxygen tank on set.

Beyond the stomach cancer, John Wayne also had heart issues. He had a long life of smoking, drinking, and a questionable diet. He actually had a pig valve put into his heart. His last appearance would be at the 1979 Academy Awards where he was notably thinner and very sick. He even had a wetsuit on underneath his outfit to make him look bigger.

According to Mental Floss his grave in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach reads, “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

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How does John Wayne comment and evaluate the person and film of Julie Andrews? – My Blog

John Wayne and Julie Andrews were both huge icons in the 1960s, however, Wayne was not a fan of one of Andrews’ movies. He felt one of her films “fell on its face” because of one of her ideas. Here’s what he thought of her as a performer.

During the late 1960s, Hollywood underwent a lot of changes. For example, the industry started embracing graphic violence and sexuality –or, at least, what constituted graphic violence and sexuality at the time. Explicit movies like Psycho, Bonnie and Clyde, and The Graduate that never could have been made in a more restrictive era were finding success.Wayne was not a fan of the increased sexuality in American films. “All the real motion picture people have always made family pictures,” he told Roger Ebert in 1969.
“But the downbeats and the so-called intelligentsia got in when the government stupidly split up the production companies and the theaters. The old giants–Mayer, Thalberg, even Harry Cohn, despite the fact that personally I couldn’t stand him – were good for this industry. Now the goddamned stock manipulators have taken over. They don’t know a goddamned thing about making movies. “They make something dirty, and it makes money, and they say, ‘Jesus, let’s make one a little dirtier, maybe it’ll make more money,’” Wayne opined. “And now even the bankers are getting their noses into it.”

John Wayne felt Julie Andrews was trying to be like another star
Wayne felt Andrews had succumbed to this trend. “Take that girl, Julie Andrews, a refreshing, openhearted girl, a wonderful performer,” he said. “Her stint was Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. But she wanted to be a Theda Bara. And they went along with her, and the picture fell on its face.”

Which of Julie Andrews’ movies was he talking about?
For context, Bara was a silent movie actor who was an early Hollywood sex symbol who often played femmes fatale. In the interview, Wayne never specifies which movie he was discussing. Between the release of The Sound of Music in 1965 and the time Wayne gave the interview, Andrews starred in five films: Torn Curtain, Hawaii, Think Twentieth, Thoroughly Modern Millie,and Star!. It’s impossible to know for sure which movie Wayne criticized, but it may well have been Thoroughly Modern Millie, whose plot involves sex trafficking.

It’s unclear if Wayne meant the movie he mentioned “fell flat on its face” artistically or commercially. Obviously, whether Thoroughly Modern Millie is a good movie is a matter of taste. However, the movie performed well for the time. According to The Numbers, it earned $34,335,025. In addition, Thoroughly Modern Millie inspired the famous musical of the same name. Regardless of which of her movies he disliked, Wayne still praised Andrews’ talent.

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