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John Wayne

John Wayne and ‘The Lone Ranger’s Clayton Moore Agreed on Why the Western Genre Died

Movie star John Wayne and The Lone Ranger actor Clayton Moore both held a strong foothold in the Western genre. One operated in film, while the other was recognized for his television appearance. Nevertheless, Wayne and Moore strongly agreed when it came to their criticisms of how Hollywood pushed entertainment to meet audience expectations.

John Wayne and Clayton Moore represented a Western era of the past

John Wayne and 'The Lone Ranger' actor Clayton Moore. Wayne is sitting in a suit and tie with his hands crossed. Moore is hiding behind tree branches, wearing his Lone Ranger costume.

L-R: John Wayne and Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger | John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images, LMPC via Getty Images

Wayne first entered the scene when he started working in the props department on the Fox lot. It allowed him to cross paths with film directors, such as John Ford and Raoul Walsh. He earned his first leading role in 1930’s The Big Trail, which later granted him 1939’s Stagecoach. Wayne’s popularity went sky-high, becoming the face of the Western genre.

Meanwhile, Moore came from the world of modeling and acting. He occasionally played roles in B-movie Westerns. His performance in 1949’s Ghost of Zorro serial caught the attention of The Lone Ranger producer George W. Trendle. He played the iconic titular character to perfection alongside Jay Silverheels’ Tonto. Moore’s impact on the Western genre was undeniable.

John Wayne and Clayton Moore thought vulgarity was the end of Westerns

According to a 1979 interview with Moore, he thought that violence made the Western genre take a back seat. The popular genre finally started to lose its luster with audiences, which resulted in television networks and movie studios stopping to make that type of content. Well, Moore thought “blood and guts” in media had something to do with that.

“Well, first of all, there’s too much violence today,” Moore said. “We didn’t have a tremendous amount of violence on our shows. Sure, we did have the law of the gun, and we did have physical combat, fights, but there wasn’t the blood and guts as they call it today. I don’t like violence, I don’t think we have to have it. This is one of the reasons why I believe the Western has sort of taken a back seat.”

Moore continued: “However, it runs in cycles, and I think you’re going to find out that westerns will be coming back. It’s Americana, it’s part of our history, the cowboy, the cattle drive, the sheriff, the fight for law, order, and justice. Justice will always prevail as far as I’m concerned.”

Moore and Wayne saw eye-to-eye on this issue. The movie star hated the idea of a ratings system because he thought that all films should be family-friendly. Wayne didn’t agree with the public’s curiosity in seeing blood and guts, nor did he understand why they wanted so much vulgar language in their content.

Clint Eastwood represented the next generation

Wayne and Moore represented a more modest time in film and television. The next generation of talent looked up to these stars, even though they were taking storytelling to a more mature place. Actor Clint Eastwood did exactly that with the 1960s Dollars Trilogy – A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Eastwood played an anti-hero, incorporating more adult themes across the board. However, Wayne and Moore didn’t care for that evolution in storytelling. The movie star went as far as to shoot down the possibility of working with Eastwood, believing that he was insulting the Western genre that he spent much of his life working in.

John Wayne

John Wayne Was ‘Miserable’ Because of ‘Venomous Remarks’ on ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

The Western genre went through a series of changes over the years. However, John Wayne will always remain one of the most iconic depictions of the Western film genre with performances in big titles, such as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Unfortunately, he didn’t have such an easy time on the set. Wayne had a “miserable” time filming because of John Ford‘s “venomous remarks.”

John Wayne played Tom Doniphon in ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' John Wayne as Tom Doniphon and James Stewart as Ransom Stoddard shouting at assembly

L-R: John Wayne as Tom Doniphon and James Stewart as Ransom Stoddard | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance follows Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) as he returns to a small town for a funeral. The press questions his arrival, but they’re about to hear the story of his connection to a local man named Tom Doniphon (Wayne). The story brings audiences back in town when Tom saved Stoddard from Liberty Valance’s (Lee Marvin) crew of outlaws. However, Stoddard and Tom are the only two willing to stand up to him and his crew.

Wayne’s performance in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is iconic. He once again delivers his Western charm along with his repeated use of the line “pilgrim.” As a result, popular culture continues to refer back to the legendary actor’s performance.

John Wayne was ‘miserable’ because of John Ford’s ‘venomous remarks’ on the set

Wayne worked with Ford on many films, including The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. However, the filmmaker often targeted Wayne with “venomous remarks,” verbally attacking him. Michael Munn’s John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth detailed some of the comments that Ford made toward the actor, which really made him angry.

“But the most damage Ford did was to the friendship me and Duke Wayne might have had,” co-star Woody Strode said “He kept needling Duke about his failure to make it as a football player, and because I had been a professional player, Ford kept saying to Duke, ‘Look at Woody. He’s a real football player.’”

However, the comments didn’t stop there. Ford brought up Wayne not serving in the military while on the set of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. As a result, he praised Stewart’s service. This is a particular weak spot for the actor, who deeply regretted not serving in the military when he had the chance.

Strode continued: “It’s like he’d needle him about whatever reasons he had for not enlisting in the war by asking Jimmy, ‘How many times did you risk your life over Germany, Jimmy?’ And Jimmy would kind of go, ‘Oh, shucks’ or whatever, and Ford would say to Duke, ‘How rich did you get while Jimmy was risking his life?’ … What a miserable film to make.”

‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ goes down as one of the best Westerns of all time

Ford never came forward with a specific reason for verbally attacking Wayne on the set of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Perhaps it was to get a better performance out of the actor. However, it clearly left an impact on the cast and crew.

Fortunately, that didn’t negatively impact the finished product. Wayne fans often assert that The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of the best Western films of all time. It continues to impact filmmaking to this day. The film only earned an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design, but it remains a classic that many viewers rewatch.

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John Wayne

John Wayne Was ‘Ready For a Fight’ With His ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ Co-Star

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of John Wayne‘s most iconic roles. However, he didn’t have the most enjoyable time behind-the-scenes. Wayne’s frequent collaborator, John Ford, gave him a difficult time. As a result, he was “ready for a fight” with co-star Woody Strode, who once explained the severity of the situation.

John Wayne plays it tough as Tom Doniphon in ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance finds Wayne playing a local man named Tom Doniphon in a small Western town. Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) comes into town for his funeral, which confuses the press. However, the distinguished man tells the story of how Tom helped protect him against a crew of outlaws led by Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin).

Moviegoers embraced Wayne’s signature dialogue delivery. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance includes one of Wayne’s most iconic words: “pilgrim.” He repeatedly calls Stewart’s Stoddard this, which was an insult within the time period. Nevertheless, Tom maintains Western masculinity as shown in both his narrative and the way the actor plays the part. The character is typically accompanied by his handyman, Pompey (Strode)

John Wayne was ‘ready for a fight’ with co-star Woody Strode

Michael Munn’s John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth chronicles the iconic actor’s career, including his work on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Ford repeatedly harrassed Wayne on the set with rude remarks that intentionally pushed his buttons. However, the actor took it out on Strode.

“This really pissed Wayne off but he would never take it out on Ford,” Strode said. “He ended up taking it out on me. We had one of the few outdoor scenes where we hightail it out to his ranch in a wagon. He’s driving and I’m kneeling in the back of the wagon. Wayne was riding those horses so fast that he couldn’t get them to stop. I reached up to grab the reins to help, and he swung and knocked me away.”

Strode continued: “When the horses finally stopped, Wayne fell out of the wagon and jumped off ready for a fight. I was in great shape in those days and Wayne was just getting a little too old and a little too out of shape for a fight. But if he’d started on me, I would have flattened him. Ford knew it, and he called out, ‘Woody, don’t hit him. We need him.’”

However, Wayne ultimately calmed down to allow them to continue filming. Nevertheless, Strode felt that “miserable” tension on the set as a result of Ford’s behavior.

“Wayne calmed down, and I don’t think it was because he was afraid of me,” Strode recalled. “Ford gave us a few hours’ break to cool off. Later Wayne said to me, ‘We gotta work together. We both gotta be professionals.’ But I blame Ford for all that trouble. He rode Wayne so hard, I thought he was going to go over the edge. What a miserable film to make.”

James Stewart has top billing on ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance ultimately gives Stewart top billing over Wayne in all of the promotional materials. However, the film itself and the theatre marquees place Wayne’s name above his co-star. Some audiences contemplate which role is truly the main character of the story, as they both experience hardship and change.

However, neither actor would get an Oscar nomination for their performances in one of the greatest Western movies ever made. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance only earned a nomination for Best Costume Design, although it lost to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Nevertheless, the movie remains a vital part of cinema history.

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John Wayne

What does John Wayne say about not liking Clint Eastwood’s personal views?

John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are perhaps the two best-known actors in the Western genre, but they came from two distinct periods in the genre’s history. Wayne rose to fame when Westerns represents black and white morality, and nobody questions the nobility of the white man’s reasons for heading west.

Manifest destiny was viewed as a positive thing, and there was no criticism of white encroachment on tribal land. Newer Westerns, of which Eastwood was the poster boy, were darker and morally ambiguous.

In the early ’70s, director Larry Cohen tried to combine the two eras of Westerns in a film called “The Hostiles.” He wanted John Wayne and Clint Eastwood to star in the movie together. Eastwood agreed, but Wayne immediately turned down the role. Eastwood made a second try at convincing him but was again rebuffed, this time in the form of a letter.

In the letter, Wayne told Eastwood exactly why he wasn’t interested in being in the film, and it was because he hated Eastwood’s most recent movie, “High Plains Drifter.” Wayne was unhappy that the movie hated the Old West and wanted nothing to do with a project that would likely take the same critical stance. Wayne felt that Westerns should continue to present a positive view of American expansion. That wasn’t something that Eastwood was particularly interested in doing.

He would only play roles that supported his tough guy image : John Wayne kept a tight hold on his image by making sure that the roles he played lined up with the public persona he wanted to portray. He only accepted roles that followed certain guidelines and demanded script revisions if his character did something he didn’t agree with.

Wayne preferred simple characters with simple understand, motivations. Moral ambiguity is something that he helped. His characters had to be “real men” with their own strict code of ethics. It was important to Wayne that none of his characters appeared weak or cowardly, and that they would always face challenges head on. “As a man, you can be scared, but you can’t be a coward,” Wayne said. This idea of ​​manhood fit neatly with Wayne’s conception of the Wild West, in which brave, righteous men fought their way across the frontier to secure land for their families.

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