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John Wayne

The True Grit Scene John Wayne Considered His Best EVER Work

John Wayne believed one scene from True Grit featured his best ever work as an actor. Wayne starred in everything from romantic dramas to wacky comedies throughout his 50-year-long career but was typecast – comfortably so – in cowboy roles. He began his career working on so-called “Poverty Row” Westerns during the ’30s, before breaking through with Stagecoach at the end of the decade. In the years that followed, he appeared in many classics of the genre, including The Searchers and Rio Bravo. He won his only Oscar, however, for his turn as the ill-tempered U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.
This 1969 John Wayne Western adapted the book of the same name and saw Cogburn hired by teen girl Mattie (Kim Darby) to find the man who killed her father. While the two partners bicker throughout, one of the most affecting scenes in True Grit sees them bond as Rooster recounts his past, including the wife and son who left him. It’s a rare moment of vulnerability, both for the character and Wayne as a performer. In an interview with Roger Ebert, he stated that “I guess that scene in ‘True Grit’ is about the best scene I ever did.”
Wayne Felt True Grit Let Him Play A Character Instead Of Himself

John Wayne holds a gun as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit

In the same way Clint Eastwood’s long history with Westerns loaned poignancy to Unforgiven, Wayne’s past with the genre is all over this True Grit scene. The actor himself certainly felt Rooster offered him one of his best parts, stating again to Ebert that “It’s sure as hell my first decent role in 20 years and my first chance to play a character role instead of John Wayne.” Whatever project he appeared in, Wayne’s – who was nicknamed “Duke” – screen persona didn’t differ much from role to role, while audiences specifically turned up to see the new “John Wayne” movie. This didn’t leave him much room to experiment with his performances.

True Grit’s Rooster was one of Wayne’s most textured characters. On the surface, he’s a cantankerous, lazy Marshal who would much prefer spending his time drinking. That said, he’s also really good at his job, and inspire of himself not only takes a liking to Mattie, but he even opens up to her. The film gave Wayne some of his most famous scenes too, including his climatic horse charge, where he dual-wields revolvers against Ned Pepper’s outlaws.

True Grit’s Rooster Is The Only Character Wayne Reprised

rooster cogburn 1975 poster

Wayne made some thematic sequels during his career, such as the unofficial Rio Bravo trilogy, consisting of Rio Bravo, El Dorado and Rio Lobo. The only time he ever played the same character again, however, was True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn. This 1975 Oater saw Rooster team up with Katharine Hepburn as a spinster setting out to avenge her father. While the two Hollywood icons have good chemistry together, Rooster Cogburn – which proved to be Wayne’s penultimate performance – is one of Wayne’s most mediocre Westerns. Still, out of the many roles he could have returned to, it says something that he felt like reprising Rooster.

John Wayne

Review John Wayne’s Last Speech, The Touching Oscar Speech .

John Wayne was an iconic actor that sadly passed away after several bouts of cancer. His last role was very close to home as he played a gunfighter dying of cancer in The Shootist. His final public appearance was at the 1979 Oscars and he shared a touching speech.

He said, “Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. That’s just about the only medicine a fellow could ever really need. Believe me when I tell you that I’m mighty pleased that I can amble down here tonight.

Well, Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar first came to the Hollywood scene in 1928. So did I. We’re both a little weather-beaten, but we’re still here and plan to be around for a whole lot longer.”

Then, John announced the five nominees for the outstanding picture of the year. That year they were The Deer Hunter, Coming Home, Midnight Express, An Unmarried Woman, and Heaven Can Wait. He announced The Deer Hunter was the winner and helped hand out awards.

Unfortunately, a few months later he eventually died of stomach cancer. He had been bravely going through trials to help scientists work on a vaccine. He was 72 years old at the time of death and was survived by his wife Pilar Pallete and his seven children. The kids now work together on a foundation to help cure cancer.

Watch John’s speech at the Oscars below and relive the moment that happened back in 1979. Then comment and tell us, what was your favorite John Wayne movie?

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John Wayne

John Wayne’s Son Ethan fulfills his late father’s unfinished dreams .

John Wayne was an iconic force during Hollywood’s Golden Age. The actor and filmmaker’s starring roles in western and war movies made him a household name. However, the Duke was a multi-dimensional man with an array of passions outside of acting. One of his passions was liquor, specifically bourbon, according to his son Ethan Wayne. In honor of his late father John Wayne’s unfinished dreams, Ethan is launching a liquor line.

Ethan Wayne joined Fox Business for a chat on Friday to speak about the specialty liquor. Joining him was founder and CEO of Duke Spirits, Chris Ramonski.Ethan explained to Fox Business how he knew the Duke had a passion for spirits. “Well, my father had many different interests, but he was busy,” Wayne said. “He’d make two films, he was gone 6 months per year… Then he’s gotta come back and deal with family. Three wives, and other business.”

Ethan Wayne Says New Liquor Is Timeless

The actor’s son continues, “So, [between] spirits, and mining, and ranching, and farming, he just didn’t have time to get to everything. When we got into our archive…I saw all the bourbons, tequilas, wines and champagnes that had been stored there for 40 years…We looked at it, we knew what he [John Wayne] liked, and we thought it was appropriate to bring something to market that was timeless over trend.”He explains of the newly launched liquor, “I think that’s what you’ll find in this bottle, you’ll have authentic quality spirits. Whether it’s whiskey, or whether it’s tequila.”

Meanwhile, Chris Radomski opened up about the process of recreating John Wayne’s favorite in an authentic way. He tells Fox that when Ethan shared what he had uncovered in the archive, it presented a unique opportunity. Duke spirits was able to taste the spirits that John Wayne himself kept. “There really was a definitive profile, like anything else made 30,40,50 years ago– it’s just done differently,” Ramonski dishes. He adds, “I was in the wine industry a long time and we were able to sort of re-engineer given what we had, and the evidence, to do something a little bit different. I think it’s really reflective in the bottle. I like to drink it.”

Duke Distillery Tequila To Support John Wayne Cancer Foundation

Ethan Wayne later chimed in with a cheeky comment to sell the liquor. “I think you should buy bourbon now, because at the rate that our government is printing money, this bourbon will become more valuable over time,” he jokes. Chris Romanski chuckled in response, adding at the end of the interview, “It’s our pleasure to [fill] the legacy, and do something a little bit different.”The distillery launched a limited line of tequila that supports the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, an organization whose mission is to “bring courage, strength, and grit to the fight against cancer.”

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John Wayne

Elvis Presley has accompanied John Wayne , will the partnership hinder his career ?

Elvis Presley nearly starred alongside another titan of entertainment, John Wayne, as La Boeuf in the 1969 film, True Grit. The star of 31 movies throughout his illustrious career, Elvis Presley was the epitome of an entertainer. His proposed co-star, John Wayne, known as “The Duke” to his fans, starred in an estimated 150 movies throughout his career that spanned over 50 years. Of course, one of those films included True Grit sans Presley.

In his 1994 book, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, author Peter Guralnick writes how Presley’s initial interest in acting sparked from watching critically acclaimed actors, such as James Dean and Marlon Brando. Desperate to get the musician on the silver screen, Presley’s long-time manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was able to sign a contract with Paramount Pictures, which also allowed him to make films with other studios.

Presley made his feature debuted in 1956 with Love Me Tender, which also featured an accompanying soundtrack of songs recorded by the film’s star. Although he was preeminent known for romantic musicals, Presley was eager to star in more dramatic roles like his actor idols.

At this point in his career, John Wayne was an iconic Western star, akin to Clint Eastwood. 30 years after Stagecoach, the film that made him a star, Wayne was set to make what would be one of his last commercial successes with True Grit in 1969. Presley, whose career was also involved its twilight years, strived to recapture the public spotlight by attempting to reemerge in more dramatic films such as Midnight Cowboy, A Star is Born, and True Grit. However, Presley’s attendant demands that came with him starring in True Grit cost him the role.

As was the case with many of the films Elvis Presley nearly starred in at the time, producers eventually declined due to the high demands associated with the musician. As his manager did with all of Presley’s films, Parker requested his client get top billing in the picture. With a star already as big as Wayne, producers declined the offer. Following this, the producers turned to another musician with country music star Glen Campbell, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the film. True Grit eventually earned Wayne his Academy Award, despite his reported displeasure with the final result of the picture.

In defiance of their declining careers, these two goliaths of entertainment could have starred alongside one another in what is now regarded as one of the better John Wayne movies and one of the best westerns overall to grace the silver screen. Although True Grit earned Wayne his only Academy Award, one has to wonder “what if?” Unfortunately, the two actors’ star power was only matched by the embittered egos as these two waning icons of a bygone era quarreled to sustain successful careers in an ever-changing world.

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