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Top Fascinating Facts About John Wayne’s “True Grit” – My Blog

Over the course of his 50-year career, John Wayne managed to establish himself as one of the leading actors in the movie industry. He was primarily known for appearing in Westerns, including 1969’s True Grit.

Perhaps one of Wayne’s most notable projects, True Grit was adapted from the 1968 novel of the same title. Wayne starred as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn in the film, who a young girl named Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) calls on to help her catch her father’s killer.
Country music singer Glen Campbell starred in the film as a young Texas Ranger named La Boeuf. In addition to acting in the film, Campbell also sang its title song, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
True Grit inspired a couple of sequels and a remake, which was released in 2010. The remake was nominated for an impressive total of ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

It’s clear that the original True Grit left behind quite a legacy. But some of the facts surrounding the film may not be as clear to you, even if you have seen it over a dozen times.
Want to learn seven things you likely never knew about True Grit? Then go down below to get started!
1. The Film Led Wayne To His First Academy Award

Believe it or not, Wayne had never received an Academy Award prior to his appearance in True Grit. Even more surprising is the fact that Wayne had only been nominated for one Best Actor award before, and that was in 1949.
20 years later, Wayne was nominated for a Best Actor award for True Grit and was up against some strong competition. Two of the other actors nominated for the award included Richard Burton for his role as Henry VIII in Anne of the Thousand Days and Peter O’Toole for his role as Arthur Chipping in Goodbye Mr. Chips. But Wayne emerged the victor, earning the first and only Academy Award of his career.
2. Wayne Didn’t Like The Film

As one of the most popular films of his career and the one that helped him earn an Academy Award, you would think that Wayne would have liked True Grit. But the opposite was the case.
According to IMDb, Wayne was not satisfied with the film. During the promotional tour for True Grit, he made it clear that he liked his other movies better. When interviewers would ask him about the film he would tell them that he preferred his other projects, particularly 1939’s Stagecoach.
Wayne was in the minority though, because the film was a huge success and is now considered to be one of the best Westerns ever made.
3. A Stunt Double Performed Almost An Entire Scene For Wayne

In one of the most intense scenes of True Grit, Rooster Cogburn takes off on horseback in a wild pursuit of outlaw Ned Pepper and his gang. You may not have realized this before, but the majority of that scene was performed by a stunt double, not Wayne.
Stuntman Jim Burk is the person credited for acting as Cogburn in the scene. There is only one point in the scene that shows Wayne, and that’s when the camera moves in for a close-up. That’s movie magic for you!
4. Mattie Ross Was Originally Supposed To Be Played By Wayne’s Daughter

Many actresses were considered for the role of Mattie Ross before the part was finally granted to Kim Darby. Ronald L. Davis’ book Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne states that Wayne had pushed for his daughter, Aissa Wayne, to be given the part, but she didn’t get it.
Other actresses producers looked at for the role included Sally Field, Karen Carpenter, Sondra Locke, and Tuesday Weld. Mia Farrow was the first actress to actually be cast in the role, but she eventually backed out.
The role ended up going to Darby, and the rest is history!
5. Elvis Presley Was Almost In The Movie

Elvis Presley starred in many movies during his lifetime, and he came close to appearing in True Grit too. The producers originally wanted Presley to act in the film as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf. But as we now know, those plans fell through.
Everything seemed set for Presley to appear in the film until his manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker said that Presley had to have top billing. With a star as big as Wayne playing the lead character, that was something the producers simply couldn’t do.
The producers turned to another singer after Presley was turned away…country music star Glen Campbell. Now, we couldn’t picture anyone else but Campbell as La Boeuf!
6. Wayne Didn’t Want To Wear An Eye Patch

Even those who don’t know much about True Grit likely recognize Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, primarily because of the eye patch worn over his left eye. However, this signature accessory was one that Wayne never wanted to wear in the first place!
Furthermore, Cogburn does not wear an eye patch in the book that the film is based on, although he does only have one eye. So with all of that considered, it’s surprising that Wayne ended up wearing the eye patch when all was said and done.
7. The Actors’ Ages Were Way Off From Their Characters’

It’s common practice in the movie industry to have an older actor play a younger one, and vice versa. But usually the age differences aren’t too extreme…for example, a 20-year-old actor may play a high school senior in a film and be able to make it believable.
But when it comes to True Grit, a couple of the actors’ real-life ages were way off from the ones of their characters. For starters, Rooster Cogburn was supposed to be close to 40 years old in the film, while Wayne was 61 at the time.
The most striking age difference is between Kim Darby and her character Mattie Ross. In the film, Ross is supposed to be a 14-year-old girl. But in real life, Darby was a 21-year-old mother to a newborn baby girl. That’s a pretty big difference!

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Restoration of John Wayne’s ‘The Searchers’ to Premiere at 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival – My Blog

John Wayne’s 1956 Western “The Searchers” will debut a new restoration as part of the 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival in April.This marks the second Wayne film to receive a premiere of a restored print at the yearly event that takes place on Hollywood Boulevard. Last year’s opening night feature was a 4K restoration of Wayne’s 1959 film “Rio Bravo.”This year’s festival theme is “Most Wanted: Crime and Justice in Film.” Alongside “The Searchers,” TCM announced that Frank Capra’s 1934 film “It Happened One Night,” Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront” and the 1974 musical documentary “That’s Entertainment!” will also screen as part of the four-day festival in April.It’s unknown if “The Searchers” will be the film’s opening night movie, though considering “Rio Bravo” was also a restoration last year it would make sense that Warner Bros. would continue to debut new 4K prints of their films as part of the event’s opening night.This year’s TCM Classic Film Festival marks the return of the event after the classic film network underwent significant changes behind the scenes this year. In June, TCM’s senior vice president of programming and content strategy Charles Tabesh, vice president of studio production Anne Wilson, vice president of marketing and creative Dexter Fedor and TCM Enterprises vice president Genevieve McGillicuddy were all laid off, alongside TCM’s general manager Pola Chagnon leaving the company after 25 years.From there, stories started to tumble out that the network was in the crosshairs of a series of cost-cutting measures implemented by Warner Bros. Discovery. In the wake of widespread outcry from fans, both Tabesh and McGuillicuddy were offered their positions back. It was also announced soon after that Warner Bros. Pictures heads Pamela Abdy and Michael De Luca would be overseeing the network, with input from world-class directors including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.The TCM Classic Film Festival enters its 15th year in 2024 and will also take place during the network’s 30th anniversary.The TCM Classic Film Festival will take place in Hollywood April 18-21.

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John Wayne’s spanking of co-star ‘so authentic she had bruises for a week’ – My Blog

Back in 1963, John Wayne starred in a Western comedy loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.Duke played an ageing rancher called George Washington McLintock, a wealthy self-made man facing a number of issues.High-ranking government officials, his own sons and local Native Americans all want a piece of his huge farmstead.Meanwhile, his wife (played by regular collaborator Maureen O’Hara) who separated from him two years prior, is back on the scene demanding custody of their daughter.McLintock! celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, as celebrated by the John Wayne estate on Instagram.A recent post read: “Did you know? Although often seen as simply a knockabout comedy, John Wayne also intended the film to be a statement on his disapproval of the negative representation of Native Americans in previous westerns he had no creative-control over, and his disapproval of wife-beating and marital abuse from either spouse.”A film of its time, McLintock famously has a scene, as captured on its poster, of Wayne’s George publicly spanking his wife played by O’Hara.According to his co-star’s autobiography, this scene was “completely authentic” with Duke carrying it out with “such gusto”, that she “had bruises for a week.”

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Martin Scorsese’s Favorite John Wayne Western – My Blog


 Martin Scorsese considers John Wayne’s The Searchers to be the best Western ever made, describing it as a masterpiece with a deeply painful core. The Searchers has had a significant influence on Scorsese’s movies, inspiring scenes and characters in films like Taxi Driver and Mean Streets. The Searchers is also a favorite among the “movie brats,” a group of influential directors including Spielberg and Lucas, who cited it as a major influence.

Martin Scorsese’s favorite Western starring John Wayne has had a big influence on his career. Scorsese hasn’t made his passion for cinema or filmmaking a secret, and he is essentially a living archive of the medium’s history. He loves everything from the trashiest B-movie to the most highbrow drama, which is something that’s reflected in Martin Scorsese’s own movies. He has helmed everything from gangster epics to psychological horrors to biopics and everything in between.
One genre he hasn’t really dipped a toe into is a Western, which is likely down to the decline of the genre itself than Scorsese avoiding the genre. About the closest he’s come is his 2023 epic Killers of the Flower Moon, though far from being a black-and-white adventure about cowboys righting wrongs, it’s a devastating true-life drama. Scorsese has professed his admiration for a few classic Westerns (via Far Out) such as Ride the High Country or Marlon Brando’s sole directorial outing One-Eyed Jacks, but there’s one that holds a truly special place in his heart.Scorsese Believes John Wayne’s The Searchers Is The Best Western Ever Made
In 2013, Scorsese guest-reviewed a book about John Wayne Western The Searchers for THR, where he proclaimed it a masterpiece but that “Like all great works of art, it’s uncomfortable. The core of the movie is deeply painful.” The premise of the movie sees Wayne’s Civil War vet Ethan Edwards and his nephew Martin (Jeffrey Hunter) setting out to rescue his kidnapped niece. It might sound like the setup for a classic Western adventure, but John Ford’s The Searchers deals with some dark themes, with Wayne portraying the most ruthless character of his career as the deeply prejudiced and revenge-addicted Ethan.
Scorsese has often called The Searchers one of his favorite Westerns, in addition to being one of the greatest movies of all time, period. From the gorgeous cinematography, the evergreen themes and Wayne’s haunting central turn, it’s a film the director finds himself coming back to decades after he first watched it. The Searcher’s ending has been much discussed among film scholars too, with Scorsese himself feeling the shot of Ethan turning and leaving through the door turns it into a “ghost story;” the character has fulfilled his purpose but is now doomed to wander the deserts alone, like a spirit.The Searchers Inspired Scorsese’s Own Movies
Travis Bickle at the movies in Taxi Driver
The film made a major impression on Scorsese when he saw it as a boy, and its influence can be spotted in his own work. His debut Who’s That Knocking at My Door features a scene where protagonist J.R. (Harvey Keitel) talks about both John Wayne and The Searchers in great detail, while the Ford movie appears again in Scorsese’s crime drama Mean Streets from 1973. The Searchers was a direct influence on Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, with the journey of Robert De Niro’s Travis being a mirror of Ethan’s. He’s another loner filled with anger and hatred, looking to rescue a young girl in Jodie Foster’s Iris.The movie ends with Travis rescuing Iris in the bloodiest manner possible, and like Ethan, the movie leaves him on an ambiguous note. The influence of The Searchers can also be felt in the director’s attraction to anti-heroes and flawed protagonists, who may see themselves as fundamentally good men or heroic, despite the appalling acts of violence they commit or the selfishness they display.The Searchers Is A Favorite Of The “Movie Brats”
Steven Spielberg leaning against a camera with George Lucas standing beside him on the cover of Indiana Jones bonus material DVD
The Searchers was well-received upon its initial release, but it soon came to be recognized as an American classic. The late ’60s and ’70s saw the rise of the so-called “movie brats,” who were a group of talented young directors who were also nerds for the medium. Members of this group include Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, John Milius, Paul Schrader and many more. What’s notable about this group is how many of them cited The Searchers as a favorite.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan also cited The Searchers as a major influence on Breaking Bad’s finale.
According to The Telegraph, Spielberg claims he rewatches The Searchers before starting work on a new movie, while Milius and Schrader – who penned Taxi Driver – have also sung its praises. The movie was a huge influence on Lucas’ Star Wars, which can be found in its basic promise – a young man and older mentor set out to rescue a young woman – its desert vistas and the sequence where Luke (Mark Hamill) discovers his burnt-out family homestead. Star Wars was a mash-up of many influences from samurai epics to movie serials, but Westerns like The Searchers played a particularly large role in the movie.
Source: Far Out, THR, The Telegraph
the searchers poster
The SearchersRelease Date:1956-03-13Director:John FordCast:John WayneRating:pg-13Runtime:119minutesGenres:Western, DramaWriters:John FordBudget:$3.75millionStudio(s):Warner Bros. PicturesDistributor(s):Warner Bros. Pictures

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