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John Wayne

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’

During a recent Talking Pictures episode on the BBC, viewers got an insight into the successful career of Hollywood actor John Wayne. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, John became a sensation as he rose to fame starring in Western and war films. In the documentary, he detailed his personal rule when accepting film roles.

In archive footage, John was asked how he decided which roles to accept and which appealed most to him.

The late star replied: “Personal story is a rule. Sometimes you’re stuck, and it is getting time for an assignment to come up, and you accept stories that are not completed.

“But as a rule, whenever that happens, you run into a mess, but I haven’t learned my lesson completely yet, I still do it on occasion.”

John was also quizzed on the parts which he would refuse and he admitted: “Anything mean and petty.

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’ (Image: BBC)

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’ (Image: BBC)

“I think I have established a character on the screen that may be rough, cruel, may have a different code than the average person, but it has never been mean or petty, small.”

A film where John decided exactly which role he got was The Alamo, another epic Western he not only starred in but produced and, for the first time, directed.

He spoke to Robert Robinson about the length of the film and why he should have been more ruthless in the post-edit.

Robert asked: “The film is just over three hours long, did it need to be as long?”

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’ (Image: GETTY)

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’

John Wayne ‘never learnt my lesson’ over his Hollywood roles ‘Run into a mess’ (Image: BBC)

John laughed: “Well, I felt that it needed to be that long, we felt that we needed to develop each character.

“We probably took longer than we intended too, now that we have seen Ben Hurr and Spartacus saying ‘Too long!’ perhaps we should have cut it down.

“Actually, I used my baby in the film, and I think I gave her a little too much footage, only a little sentimental!”

John has seven children, four daughters and three sons, who often appeared in films he produced and directed.

The legendary actor died in 1979, aged 72, and 20 years later, he was selected as one of the greatest stars of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.

John’s enduring status as an iconic American was formally recognised by the US government in the form of the two highest civilian decorations.

On his 72nd birthday, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, with Hollywood figures and American leaders from across the political spectrum having testified to Congress in support of the award.

Before becoming an actor, John attended university to pursue a career as a lawyer but revealed the simple reason as to why he changed his course.

He explained: “I think I would have enjoyed the occupation, while I was going to school, I was offered a job in the summertime working at the studio.

“I met Mr John Ford, and I enjoyed working with him and watching all the people through the scene, and then I go back to school and say, ‘Well, this kid’s father is a lawyer.

“This kid’s uncle is an established lawyer, and they’re going into those offices, and one of them will take me in, and I’ll be writing in the backroom.’

“So it didn’t look as appealing or exciting as the pictures, so when I was offered the acting job, I accepted it without realising it would end up a career.”

John Wayne

Why John Wayne Turned Down the Chance to Work With Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood and John Wayne are the two biggest legends in the history of Western movies, however, they never worked together. The duo did have the opportunity to work together once in the 1970s. Here’s why the film never came to fruition.

How John Wayne responded when Clint Eastwood tried to work with him

Firstly, a little background. According to the book John Wayne: The Life and Legend, it all starts with Larry Cohen. Though Cohen is not a widely known director like Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino, he’s a huge name to fans of B movies. He directed famous B movies like The Stuff, Q: The Winged Serpent, It’s Alive, and God Told Me To. He also wrote a script called The Hostiles shortly after Eastwood released his classic High Plains Drifter.

The Hostiles was about a gambler who wins half of an estate of an older man. The gambler and the older man have to work together despite the fact that they don’t like each other. Eastwood optioned the screenplay with the intent of playing the gambler alongside Wayne as the older man.

Eastwood sent a copy of the script of The Hostiles to Wayne. Although Eastwood felt the script was imperfect, he saw its potential. However, Wayne was not interested. Eastwood pitched the film to Wayne a second time and Wayne responded with a letter. Wayne’s letter complained about High Plains Drifter. Wayne was offended by the film and its portrayal of the Old West as a cruel, violent place.

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John Wayne

Ann-Margret Refused to Call John Wayne ‘Duke’ While Introducing 1 of His Movies

Ann-Margret once starred in one of John Wayne’s lesser-known movies. However, she refused to call him by his popular moniker Duke. Here’s a look at the film they made together — and why she declined to call him by a nickname.

The one time Ann-Margret and John Wayne made a movie together

Ann-Margret is probably most known for her work in musicals, specifically Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, and The Who’s Tommy. However, she also dabbled in the Western genre. She starred alongside Wayne in the mostly forgotten movie The Train Robbers.

Wayne was also known as The Duke or just Duke. According to USA Today, the nickname was derived from his childhood dog. It stuck with him for many years. It continues to be used today — even on the box covers of the DVDs for his movies.

John Wayne | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

During an interview with Interview Magazine, Ann-Margret explained why she didn’t refer to the Rio Bravo star by this famous name. “When I came to this country, first of all, mother and I didn’t know English,” she said. “I would curtsey, then say, ‘Thank you,’ and then when I was leaving, curtsey. For example, we went to Dallas to introduce a film I did with John Wayne. And I never called him Duke. I just couldn’t. That’s the way I was raised. When you meet someone, you say either Mr. or Mrs. or Miss. You stand up.”

Ann-Margret revealed she treated other famous people in much the same way. For example, she worked with director George Sidney on Bye Bye Birdie and Viva Las Vegas. She always called him Mr. Sidney.

What Ann-Margret thought about John Wayne

Ann-Margret refused to use Wayne’s most famous moniker. However, she had a positive view of the actor. During an interview with Fox News, she was asked what she expected when she met Wayne. “Oh, I didn’t know what to expect,” she revealed. “But when he hugged me, it’s like the world was hugging me. He was so big and wide with that booming voice. 

“We were shooting in Durango, Mexico and my parents came down to visit me,” she added. “He was so great with my parents. So absolutely welcoming and gentle with them. And anybody who was great to my parents was on a throne in my eyes.”

How the world reacted to ‘The Train Robbers’

Wayne starred in many classic Westerns, including The Searchers, Stagecoach, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. However, The Train Robbers is mostly forgotten. It didn’t gain a cult following like Once Upon a Time in the West or Dead Man. It wasn’t a critical success either, garnering a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Ann-Margret had some fond memories of making the film — even if she refused to call Wayne by his famous nickname.

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John Wayne

True Crime on Amazon Prime: ‘Lorena’ Reexamines a 90s Tabloid Sensation

True crime might not be the first type of show that comes to mind when you think of the offerings on Amazon Prime Video. The perpetually buzzy genre is usually more associated with the likes of Netflix and HBO.

However, the streaming service boasts at least one standout docuseries from 2019. It’s one that can scratch the true crime itch for fans, but also give them a much needed new perspective on a well-worn tabloid sensation from the 1990s.

‘Lorena’ was produced by Jordan Peele of ‘Get Out’ fame

Jordan Peele, Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke, and Lorena Gallo attend the 'Lorena' Premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Jordan Peele, Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke, and Lorena Gallo attend the ‘Lorena’ Premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. | Rich Fury/Getty Images

Lorena, as the simple, to-the-point title suggests, chronicles the sordid story of Lorena and Jon Bobbit. The series was produced by Jordan Peele, the comedian-turned-director best known for Get Out and Us, and released on Amazon Prime Video in early 2019 following a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt infamously cut her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis off in his sleep with a kitchen carving knife. She drove off with it, tossed it out the car window into a field, and eventually called 911 to report the incident. After a search followed by 9.5 hours of surgery, John Bobbitt was able to get his penis reattached and functioning normally.

Thanks in large part to the salacious and sexual nature of the Bobbittss story, it quickly became a tabloid and late-night talk show sensation. Sadly, as one might expect from a male-dominated culture, the media spectacle largely focused on John Bobbitt as a sympathetic victim and cast Lorena as a hysterical victim. John Bobbitt went on to become something of a cult figure for a time, even starring in two pornographic films.

Part of the mission statement of Lorena, the series, was to use the true crime format to recontextualize the Lorena Bobbitt story. Despite the prevailing perception of the incident beforehand, in reality, John Bobbitt had subjected Lorena to years of domestic abuse and rape, up to and including the night of her attack.

John Bobbitt was eventually acquitted on rape charges. Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty by a jury for reasons of insanity.

“25 years later, Lorena is a groundbreaking re-investigation of the deep moral issues and painful human tragedies buried at the heart of this infamous American scandal,” Amazon’s official description of the series reads, as reported by Deadline. “Lost in the tabloid coverage and jokes was the opportunity for a national discussion on domestic and sexual assault in America.”

Lorena saw a positive reaction upon its release, currently boasting an 82% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was the biggest project yet from director Joshua Rofé, who previously helmed Lost for Life, a documentary about juvenile offenders sentenced to life in prison.

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