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John Wayne

John Wayne Did His Own Stunts in His Favorite ‘True Grit’ Scene

Actor John Wayne made a big splash with True Grit. He never anticipated that he would actually take home the Oscar gold this time around. However, Wayne did have a favorite scene in True Grit that really connected with him on a personal level. As a result, he wanted to do his own stunt work for the sequence.

Rooster Cogburn rediscovers his life in ‘True Grit’

'True Grit' actor John Wayne wearing an eye patch

John Wayne | Paramount/Getty Images

Wayne didn’t get along with his True Grit co-star, Kim Darby, but he pushed his feelings down for the sake of the motion picture. The actor ultimately wanted to give the role to his own daughter, but he didn’t quite have the final say on the casting. Nevertheless, Wayne and Darby’s off-screen interactions ultimately led to a fascinating dynamic for the movie.

Wayne plays Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, who is a washed-up U.S. marshal with no family. The only relationship that he has left is with alcohol. However, everything changes when young Mattie Ross (Darby) approaches him with the request to help catch the man who killed her father. Rooster ultimately accepts the job, but unexpectedly rediscovers his life and redeems himself over the course of the film.

John Wayne did his own stunt work for his favorite scene in ‘True Grit’

Marc Eliot’s American Titan: Searching for John Wayne takes a deep dive into the actor’s life and career, including his work on True Grit. He absolutely loved the filming location itself, but there was one scene in particular that really stuck with the actor.

Wayne’s favorite scene in True Grit was at the end when he tells Mattie to “come see a fat, old man sometime” and then rides off on his house and jumps a four-rail fence. However, Wayne was missing a lung as a result of his surgery, wasn’t in the best physical condition, and was 61 years old.

Nevertheless, Wayne completed the jump in one take without a stunt double. His intention was to show the world that he wasn’t just alive, but was still able to hold his own. Additionally, it was a message to Hollywood that he wasn’t ready for retirement quite yet.

Critics forgave the actor after ‘The Green Berets’

American Titan: Searching for John Wayne explores how the critics responded to Wayne’s performance in True Grit. They previously slammed him for the war movie named The Green Berets that took a pro-stance on the Vietnam War. However, things would turn out very differently for both Wayne and True Grit.

Eliot wrote that advance screenings went extremely well and critics raved about the movie, especially when it came to Wayne’s brilliant performance. Eliot referred to Charles Champlin’s review in the Los Angeles Times, who wrote: “Rooster Cogburn sits like a crown atop [Wayne’s] forty years of playing John Wayne … until you’ve seen John Wayne with the reins in his teeth, you haven’t seen it all.”

Wayne would also finally win his one and only Oscar for his performance in True Grit, making it an especially special moment in the actor’s career.

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John Wayne

John Wayne and Robert Duvall Nearly Came to Blows Filming a Classic Western

Robert Duvall currently has 3 films in production as he turns 91 this week. The actor once fired up fellow western actor John Wayne so much that the two nearly got in a fistfight on set.

The film “True Grit”, which was based on a 1968 Charles Portis’ novel, earned John Wayne an Oscar in 1969. As soon as Wayne read the book, he started working towards playing the lead role of US Marshall Rooster Cogburn. The legendary actor also tried to get his daughter Aissa the role of Maggie. Unfortunately, Wayne failed, despite his iconic status. However, due to Wayne’s popularity, Elvis dropped out of the secondary role in the film when he was refused billing above John Wayne. His replacement? A 38-year-old Robert Duvall.

At the time, Robert Duvall was well established as a solid character actor. Duvall would later become a regular leading man and headliner, perhaps with “True Grit” to thank for helping get him there. Duvall was also known for having quite the temper. In Duvall’s early acting days, he roomed with fellow young actors Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman. The three bonded over their love for acting and practical jokes, but Hackman and Duvall regularly got into fights due to their respective poor tempers.

Robert Duvall Had An Interesting Approach To His AngerHoffman once described how Duvall would use his anger to fuel his performances. Duvall would pick out someone in the audience, and imag ine that they hated him. Then, he would yell “F* you!” to them as he left stage, post curtain call.

Years later in 2003, while Duvall was filming “Secondhand Lions”, his costar Michael Caine described Duvall’s temper as “quite violent”. Apparently, Duvall’s fiery temper didn’t fade with age.

Duvall has also described himself as a method actor. With method acting, the actor is meant to fully immerse themselves into the role. Duvall’s approach to acting was certainly an intense one. If anything got in the way of Duvall’s go to methods, he would become intensely irritated, which caused problems on the set of “True Grit”. Duvall ultimately ended up in loud confrontations with co-star John Wayne and the films’ director, Henry Hathaway when things weren’t going his way.

Being a director, Hathway also had a loud personality and wanted things done according to his methods. This didn’t sit well with Duvall, who’s quoted as saying of Hathaway, “He’d say, ‘When I say, ‘Action!’ tense up, Goddam you.” It’s hard to work under that as a young actor.”

John Wayne Finally Got Fed UpThis film meant a lot to John Wayne, who had been vying for the role since he laid eyes on the book. Robert Duvall constantly causing problems and disruption on set eventually got to Wayne. He verbally fought with Duvall numerous times on set, but eventually threatened to punch his fellow actor if he didn’t stop fighting with the film’s director on set.

It’s said that no punches were thrown– perhaps Wayne’s passion for the project really did save the peace.

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John Wayne

Why John Wayne Disliked His Hit 1969 Film True Grit And The Troubles That Lay Within It S Production

John Wayne had to play the pot-bellied, one-eyed Westerner before the Academy would consider him to be an actor worthy of an Oscar. In his career spanning over 50 years, Wayne delivered massive hits and was a megastar. However, True Grit allowed him to pour his 40 years of acting experience into a character that was as memorable as Wayne made it.

True Grit, adapted from a 1968 novel of the same, starred John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. The film is narrated by Mattie Ross, played by Kim Darby, who hires Rooster to avenge the murder of her father Tom Chaney. Alongside starring in the film as La Boeuf, the famous country singer Glen Campbell also created and sang the theme song of the film and won a Golden Globe and Academy nomination for Best Original Song.

True Grit is an iconic piece of cinema that has inspired sequels, remakes, and small-screen adaptations. Though this film is one of the most loved and watched films of all time, there are many interesting facts about True Grit that fans are unaware of.

True Grit Won John His First and Only Oscar

John Wayne was a Western megastar and maintained his position as one of the top box office draws for over three decades. Wayne made his big debut with Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail and delivered several massive hits, including Stagecoach, Red River, The Searchers, The Man Shot Liberty Valance, The Quiet Man, The Longest Day and The Shootist. It is, thus, surprising that Wayne’s first and only Academy Award came 39 years after his first film. He was nominated under the Best Actor category for his film Sands of Iwo Jima in 1949. However, that year, William Crawford took home the award for his role in All the King’s Men.

In 1969, Wayne competed against Pete O’Toole who was nominated for Goodbye Mr Chips and Richard Burton, who was nominated for his portrayal of Henry VIII in Anne of the Thousand Days. Wayne took him the award that night, his only Oscar from his almost 50-year-long career.

Wayne Actually Hated True Grit

The story goes that after Wayne read the novel on which True Grit was based, he decided to lobby for the role of U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn and that is how he got the part. More importantly, the film won Wayne his first Oscar. So, it is only logical to assume that Wayne would have loved the film. However, in reality, Wayne hated True Grit.

If IMDb is to be believed, Wayne was unsatisfied with the way the film was made and thus, in all the interviews that he did as part of the promotional tour, he maintained that he liked his other roles and films better than True Grit. In fact,in one of the interviews, he stated that he considered his role in Stagecoach to be his best performance of all time. Who knows what must have conspired between Hathway and Wayne to elicit such a response from the actor, but Wayne must have certainly regretted saying these words after winning the Oscar that year.

Wayne Wanted His Daughter to Play Mattie Ross

Wayne did not only lobby for the role of Marshall Rooster, but he also pushed for the role of Mattie Ross to be given to his daughter Aissa Wayne. Aissa was 14 at the time but had never acted professionally. Thus, Hathway decided to audition other actresses for the role. Among others, he auditioned Karen Carpenter, Sondra Locke, Sally Field, Tuesday Weld and Mia Farrow and decided to cast Farrow in the movie. As luck would have it, Farrow backed out from the film at the last minute and the role went to Kim Darby.

Darby was a popular TV actress at the time who had appeared in shows like Gunsmoke, The Eleventh Hour and Star Trek. After the success of True Grit, she did deliver some successful films but she eventually became addicted to amphetamine, which ruined her career. However, Derby eventually managed to get a hold on her life and she now makes occasional appearances on television and films.

Elvis Presley Was Chosen to Play LaBeouf

Elvis was a prolific artist who conquered many mediums. Elvis did a total of 31 films during his career and True Grit could have made that number, 32. Elvis was chosen to play the role of Texas Ranger LaBoeuf. Everything was clear and Elvis had almost agreed to begin to shooting when his manager Tom Parker demanded that Presley be paid a hefty price for the role. However, since Wayne was already a huge star at the time and came with an equally heavy price tag, the producers couldn’t hire both Elvis and Wayne. Since Wayne was already playing the lead character, the producers decided to replace Elvis with Country star Glen Campbell. After the film released, reviewers criticized Campbell for his limited acting skills. However, Campbell bought something to the film that added to its iconic status — the film’s title song for which he won an Academy Award nomination. He also won the Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer for True Grit.

Wayne Was Against Wearing the Eye Patch

Marshal Rooster will always be remembered for his gruff disposition and his one-eye black patch. However, Wayne was against wearing the patch for the simple reason that in the novel on which the film is based, Rooster did not wear a patch even though he was blind in one eye. What ensued were debates and discussions. However, in the end, Wayne decided to listen to his director and agreed to wear the patch, which eventually became synonymous with the character of Rooster. It is, thus, that Wayne wore the patch in the sequel as well.

Though he may not have been happy about wearing the eye patch, he did bring it to good use. In November 1975, Wayne donated the patch along with a letter to the Southen California Symphony Society to be auctioned to raised funds. In 2012, the patch and the letter went up for auction at a starting bidding price of $35,000.

There Was a Marked Difference Between the Real-Life and On-Screen Age of Various CharactersWithin the film industry, many actors play characters that are older or younger than their real-life self. However, in most cases, the age difference is such that it can be easily made up for with makeup and character portrayal.

This wasn’t the case with True Grit. As you already know by now, the film was based on the novel of the same name written by Charles Portis. Based on the book, Rooster was no more than 40 and Darby was a 14-year-old girl at the time the story takes place. However, in real life, there was a marked difference between the age of actors and their onscreen avatars. For instance, Wayne was 61 when he played the 40-something Marshall Rooster and Darby was 21 and appeared as the 14-year-old Mattie Ross in the film.

A Stuntman Performed Most of Wayne’s Stunts

True Grit will certainly also be remembered for its iconic scenes. In one such scene, at the very beginning of the film, Wayne is seen confronting a bunch of bad guys in an isolated meadow. The scene brings you to the edge of the seat — as you bite your nails in anticipation, Wayne puts the horse reins in his mouth and takes out two guns in his two hands and chases the goons throw the meadow. The scene is as invigorating as it is stylish and sets the tone for the whole movie.

Of course, Wayne was the face of Rooster. However, not many people know that Wayne did not do most of the stunts. Chasing outlaws on horseback isn’t something easy-to-do for a 61-year-old star. Most of the scenes were performed by Jim Burk, a stunt double. Jim trained horses for Westerns and cavalry films and has also worked on other films like Chinatown and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

True Grit is an iconic film that played a crucial role in the revival of the Western genre. It was also the perfect goodbye from Wayne to a genre that had given him so much. He played the pot-bellied, one-eye Marshal Rooster with great ease, pouring his forty years of acting experience into the role. In the rare moments in which the gunslinger lets his guard down and showcases his emotional side, it becomes so easy to identify him as a simple man who has loved and lost and who, thus, is bent on living his last days alone. It is this depth to the character that made Marshal Rooster Cogburn so lovable.

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John Wayne

John Wayne’s Mom Said She ‘Didn’t Give a Damn About Him’ After He Paid for an All-Around-the-World Vacation for Her

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and honor the mother of a family, as well as motherhood and maternal bonds at large. However, not everyone has the closest relationship with their family. John Wayne and his mom certainly had a volatile relationship over the years. However, it’s especially shocking to see how she responded after returning from an all-expenses-paid trip around the world that her son paid for.

John Wayne’s mom was ‘stern’ throughout the actor’s life

John Wayne as Col. Cord McNally in 'Rio Lobo' in a cowboy outfit looking down at the ground, who's real mom was Mary 'Molly' Alberta Brown

John Wayne as Col. Cord McNally in 'Rio Lobo' in a cowboy outfit looking down at the ground, who's real mom was Mary 'Molly' Alberta Brown

Scott Eyman’s John Wayne: The Life and Legend takes a look through the life of the iconic actor, including his family life. He was born to Mary “Molly” Alberta Brown and Clyde Leonard Morrison, who moved to Palmdale and then to Glendale in California. Wayne’s mom never had the close and positive relationship that he had with his dad. According to Eyman, “Molly didn’t have the temperament to jolly him along.”

Molly always showed favoritism toward the actor’s younger brother, Robert. She even took away his middle name and gave it to the younger brother when he was born. As a result, Wayne always preferred spending time with his father. One of their neighbors named Alice Miller described Wayne’s mom as, “a stern woman. You had to be real careful around her. She could fly off the handle when you least expected it.”

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend continued to show how Wayne’s mom wasn’t very kind toward the actor over the years. He tried to develop a closer relationship with her and provide her with nice accommodations on an expansive trip. However, these favors didn’t ultimately get the mother and son any closer.

“His relationship with his mother remained unrewarding,” Eyman wrote. “Every year he sent his mother and her second husband on a vacation. One year, it was an around-the-world, all-expenses-paid trip. When they got back, Wayne greeted them and wanted to hear all about it.”

Eyman continued: “Sidney Preen, Wayne’s stepfather, raved about the trip and thanked him profusely. Molly just complained—the flights were tiring, the service was bad, etc. Wayne’s response was a visible deflation. After he left the room, Mary St. John [Wayne’s confidante] asked Molly, ‘Don’t you think you could be a little nicer to him sometimes?’”

However, Wayne’s mom replied: “I don’t give a damn about him.”

The actor’s official social media page still reflects on Mother’s Day

However, Wayne’s mom replied: “I don’t give a damn about him.”

The actor’s official social media page still reflects on Mother’s Day

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The actor’s official Twitter account continues to share Happy Mother’s Day posts in honor of Wayne’s mom. They didn’t have the closest relationship, but it’s certainly clear that the Duke made an effort. He always held onto his relationship with his children, not repeating the same mistake. Wayne was often sentimental when it came to close friends and family.

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