Why John Wayne Once Called Winston Churchill the ‘Most Terrific Fella of Our Century’

Why John Wayne Once Called Winston Churchill the ‘Most Terrific Fella of Our Century’

Movie star John Wayne once expressed his positive thoughts toward Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill. He was known to be politically vocal, unafraid to express his support or disapproval of politicians. Here’s a look at why Wayne thought Churchill was the “most terrific fella of our century.”

John Wayne was vocally anti-communist

John Wayne, who was a fan of Winston Churchill. He's standing in a suit with his hands crossed in front of a blue background.

John Wayne | Martin Mills/Getty Images

Wayne was closely associated with his conservative Republican views. However, he didn’t always think that he aligned with the political party. In fact, Wayne considered himself a liberal before the world reminded him that he held very traditionalist, conservative views.

The Oscar-winning actor frequently expressed anti-communist statements, leaning back on his “super patriot” image. Wayne despised Hollywood figures behind the scenes who infused communist messaging in their filmmaking. High Noon screenwriter Carl Foreman was one of the folks at the top of the list, which largely had to do with why he turned down the lead role that he called “un-American.”

John Wayne called Winston Churchill the ‘most terrific fella of our century’

According to The Patriot Post, Wayne thought Churchill was “the most terrific fella of our century.” The movie star most frequently spoke about his opinion on American politicians, but he had plenty of wonderful things to say about this one from the U.K. Further, he said that he “could think of nobody that had a better insight or that said things concerning the future that have proven out so well” when it came to the subject of communism.

Wayne read the following quote from Churchill:

“I tell you–it’s no use arguing with a Communist. It’s no good trying to convert a Communist, or persuade him. You can only deal with them on the following basis … you can only do it by having superior force on your side on the matter in question–and they must also be convinced that you will use–you will not hesitate to use these forces if necessary, in the most ruthless manner. You have not only to convince the Soviet government that you have superior force–but that you are not restrained by any moral consideration if the case arose from using that force with complete material ruthlessness. And that is the greatest chance of peace, the surest road to peace.”

Wayne continued: “Churchill was unparalleled. Above all, he took a nearly beaten nation and kept their dignity for them.”

John Wayne’s politics got him into trouble

Wayne had political views beyond the Churchill quote that got him into quite a bit of trouble. He directed and starred in The Green Berets, where he played Col. Mike Kirby during the Vietnam War. However, the politics surrounding his take on patriotism landed the film on film critic Roger Ebert’s most hated movies of all time list.

Additionally, Wayne didn’t see eye-to-eye with many of his liberal peers. Nevertheless, his wit and charm still managed to reach them, as several were able to see beyond his political views, including Kirk Douglas.

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