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Clint Eastwood & John Wayne’s Feud Explained – My Blog

John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are easily the two names best associated with the Western film genre, but the two of them never starred alongside one another in a picture and actually experienced something of a feud from the 1960s. Whereas Wayne had been a mainstay in the genre since his acclaimed breakthrough role in John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), Eastwood – nearly 25 years Wayne’s junior – didn’t arrive until his unveiling as a leading man in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy (1964 – 1966). The apparent succession was difficult for Wayne, who was also dismayed by the dark transition that the genre was making, coinciding with Eastwood’s rise to fame.Though it would not be fair to blame Eastwood for the emergence of the gritty spaghetti Western subgenre which refuted the classic Western’s unending romanticism for its depicted era, his elevation to gunslinging mainstay was only possible because of Sergio Leone. Just as Wayne and Ford are forever synonymous, as are Eastwood and Leone. In fact, it was with such momentum that the Western pendulum swung in the 1960s that Wayne outright condemned the evolution, refusing to star with Eastwood in a later film despite that Eastwood was eager to work with him. Because the two subgenres were never reconciled, it meant inevitably that Wayne and Eastwood would never be either.RELATED:1 Classic Clint Eastwood Western Has A Sequel No One Has Ever Heard OfJohn Wayne Hated Eastwood’s Take On The Western

Clint Eastwood stands in the desert in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

John Wayne and director John Ford together epitomized the early 20th-century dedication to portrayals of the Old West: charming, starry-eyed, and probably a bit out of touch. Though many from the era were still alive by the time of the genre’s golden age, its most popular additions were stubbornly inaccurate and over-idyllic. When Clint Eastwood – and the spaghetti subgenre with which he was best associated – came along, the ideals of unambiguous morality, American Exceptionalism, and Manifest Destiny were torn apart. Wayne, perpetually patriotic and conservative, was opposed to such progressiveness and was particularly irritated by Eastwood’s rising star, which arguably came to surpass his own for a time in the ‘60s.
Clint Eastwood & John Wayne Represented Two Different Generations

john wayne in the big trail
The landscape of the Western had changed drastically by the end of the 1960s. Not only had the revisionist subgenre (whose durability would carry it all the way 21st century, best exemplified by the 2016 miniseries Godless) captured the hearts of audiences, but spaghetti Westerns especially had rewritten the laws of the genre entirely. A Fistful of Dollars (1964) – a shot-for-shot remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961) marked the dawn of a new age of cowboy pictures, spearheaded by Eastwood, Charles Bronson, and Franco Nero. The new generation preferred a grittier, bloodier, and more unapologetic depiction of the Old West, contradicting the great works of Wayne, who came from an old generation of Western romantics.RELATED:15 Great Western Movie Stars That Aren’t John Wayne Or Clint Eastwood
John Wayne Refused To Star In An Eastwood Movie
Western movies john wayne clint eastwood
B-movie director Larry Cohen envisioned Wayne and Eastwood would work together on a Western that he was writing, The Hostiles, which began coming together in the early 1970s. There’s not much known on the script – other than that it focused on a young gambler and an older man – but Wayne saw it as a continuation of the spaghetti Western trend which he believed was plaguing the genre. In particular, he had been unimpressed by Eastwood’s directorial debut High Plains Drifter (1973), a cynical, aromantic illustration of the Old West. The dispute was unsolved because Wayne’s view of the era – one of nobility and mystique – could not be reconciled with the new interpretations that Eastwood pioneered.

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Rin Tin Tin

When I was very young, my grandfather kept a Rin Tin Tin figurine sitting on his desk. I wanted desperately to play with it, and even more desperately I wanted to have a German shepherd dog of my own, a dog just like the star of “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin”, which debuted on television in 1954. I knew nothing about Rin Tin Tin other than that he was the perfect dog, and that he was a character on television.

When by chance I learned that Rin Tin Tin was a real dog, not just a television character—a real dog with a real life that was extraordinary—I was drawn into the story and eventually to the idea of writing this book. After digging through hundreds of pages of archives and files and photographs, I came to understand that this was not just a story about a dog, or even the many different dogs who make up the Rin Tin Tin legacy; this is a story about a beloved icon who has played a role in decades of American popular culture.

“‘He believed the dog was immortal.’ So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin’s improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog’s first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine hero’s legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to keeping him and his descendants alive.

“At its heart, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. But it is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship and the changing role of dogs in the American family and society. Almost ten years in the making, Susan Orlean’s first original book since The Orchid Thief is a tour de force of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—the ultimate must—read for anyone who loves great dogs or great yarns.”

Publishers Weekly
“Stirring … A tale of passion and dedication overcoming adversity … Even readers coming to Rin Tin Tin for the first time will find it difficult to refrain from joining Duncan in his hope that Rin Tin Tin’s legacy will ‘go on forever.’”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[Orlean] combines all her skills and passions in this astonishing story … A terrific dog’s tale that will make readers sit up and beg for more.”

Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin and Einstein

“Rin Tin Tin was more than a dog. He embodied the core paradoxes of the American ideal: He was a loner who was also a faithful companion, a brave fighter who was also vulnerable. I was astonished to learn from this delightful book that he has existed for eleven generations over a century. By chronicling his amazing ups and downs, Susan Orlean has produced a hugely entertaining and unforgettable reading experience.”

Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto
“Not only does Susan Orlean give us a fascinating and big-hearted account of all the many incarnations of Rin Tin Tin, she shows us the ever-changing role of American dogs in times of war and peace. This book is for anyone who has ever had a dog or loved a dog or watched a dog on television or thought their dog could be a movie star. In short— everyone.”

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
“I adored this book. It weaves history, war, show business, humanity, wit, and grace into an incredible story about America, the human-animal bond, and the countless ways we would be lost without dogs by our sides, on our screens, and in our books. This is the story Susan Orlean was born to tell—it’s filled with amazing characters, reporting, and writing.”

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John Wayne ‘punished’ The Longest Day producer for publicly insulting him – My Blog

John Wayne was famous for his tough guy image on and off screen, mostly being known for playing cowboys and military men.By the early 1960s, Duke was in his fifties, struggling with health problems yet continuing to insist on not only doing his own stunts but also playing characters – including historical figures – he was now much older than.

This was especially the case when he was cast in the 1962 D-Day epic The Longest Day, which was released 61 years ago this week.The World War II film featured an incredible all-star cast including Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Richard Burton. Yet Wayne’s inclusion proved divisive.Incredibly, former President Dwight D Eisenhower almost played himself, but makeup artists couldn’t make him look as young as he did in 1944. Nevertheless, a set decorator with no acting experience with the spitting image of the Supreme Allied Commander was cast.Awkwardly, the real Ike ended up walking out of The Longest Day after just a few minutes, frustrated with all the inaccuracies. Although Eisenhower was considered too old to play his younger self, that didn’t stop Wayne from being cast as 27-year-old Lt Col Benjamin Vandervoort, who was very disappointed to find out he was being portrayed by the overweight 54-year-old Duke.Originally Charlton Heston, who was only a decade older than the real-life paratrooper, had actively sought the part. However, Wayne’s last-minute decision to take on the role blocked him and it came at a huge price to the film’s producer.The Longest Day producer Darryl F Zanuck had managed to negotiate $25,000 fees from his ensemble cast for what was mostly cameos. However, Wayne demanded $250,000 or he’d refused to appear in the movie – a request that was granted.The reason Duke “punished” the producer with this action was because he’d been quoting in an interview calling the Western legend “poor John Wayne” over 1960’s The Alamo.

That blockbuster was produced, directed and largely funded by the star himself. And Zanuck had said he didn’t think much of actors forming their own production companies, citing Wayne’s as an example. Not only was Wayne’s non-negotiable fee request on The Longest Day an act of revenge, but also was a way of him getting a quick payday after all the money he spent on The Alamo.

Aside from being three decades too old for his role in the World War II blockbuster, Duke’s contract also included a clause that made his casting even more controversial.Alongside his whopping $250,000 fee, Wayne insisted on getting separate billing on The Longest Day from the other actors. However, to his dismay, this was got around by having the other stars billed first followed by “and John Wayne”, meaning that Duke’s name appeared last on the credits.Even so, it was highly controversial even then as the Hollywood star did not serve in World War II, something he tried to redeem across his career by acting in very patriotic movies.

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Injured John Wayne struggled to breathe with oxygen mask on movie with Katharine Hepburn – My Blog

After winning the Best Actor Oscar for 1969’s True Grit, John Wayne returned for a sequel with 1975’s Rooster Cogburn – which celebrates its 48th anniversary this week – alongside Katharine Hepburn.However, Duke had serious health issues going back to when he had a cancerous lung removed a decade prior.Earlier in 1974, Wayne headed to London to shoot cop movie Brannigan, but had a severe bout of pneumonia and was diagnosed with heart problems before production began.During filming, Duke met Hepburn who, despite being just two weeks older than him, had never met the Western star let alone starred in a movie with him. She had been filming 1975’s Love Among the Ruins with Sir Laurence Olivier and despite their political differences greatly admired Wayne.The two stars agreed to make True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn together later that year, although like Brannigan it would not be an easy production.Alongside pneumonia, Wayne had coughed so hard at one point that he damaged a valve in his heart, an issue that wouldn’t be diagnosed until 1978, a year before he died of cancer.Rooster Cogburn’s filming took place in Oregon and Duke had to rely on his oxygen mask for high altitudes, something he tried to keep hidden from the public. In fact, on another movie, he screamed at a photographer and demanded the film that captured the truth of his ailments; desperate to maintain his macho image.If this wasn’t bad enough, the 67-year-old injured himself on the Rooster Cogburn set while teaching his eight-year-old daughter to play golf. But lucky for him, his character’s eye patch covered the mark.rooster cogburn posterRooster Cogburn poster (Image: GETTY)Dealing with all these physical problems took a toll on Wayne’s patience and he would become seriously frustrated with Rooster Cogburn director Stuart Miller’s insistence on doing multiple takes. In one outburst, Duke ranted: “God damn it Stuart, there’s only so many times we can say these awful lines before they stop making any sense at all.”His co-star Hepburn, who largely respected the actor most of the time, would become bemused by his argumentative nature on set and told him at the wrap party: “I’m glad I didn’t know you when you had two lungs, you must have been a real b*****d. Losing a hip has mellowed me, but you!”

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