Watching old John Wayne movies is a great way to kill time. Most of the movies were westerns, a genre ignored by most younger people today. He starred in more than 170 movies and the last movie he starred in was “The Shootest” (1976). He died of stomach cancer in 1979 at the age of 72.
The story in the tabloids of 1979 said that John Wayne had received a heart transplant and it was a boar’s heart. I guess you really can’t believe everything you read.
As a child of the 1960s (1960, to be exact), I watched many westerns as soon as they aired on broadcast television. I really didn’t have a choice. I had two older brothers who were fanatics about westerns and war movies and we only had one television in the house. John Wayne starred in both types of movies.
Even though I probably saw every western ever broadcast back then, I never watched them in their entirety. Whether it was a bathroom break or a movie edited for television, I always missed something.
I don’t know how many I can watch before I get tired of watching them, but I’m going to watch the John Wayne movies I know were good. The filmography list is freely available, but most of the ones he starred in before 1939 were “B” movies.
I have already watched “Rio Bravo” (1959), “El Dorado” (1966) and “Rio Lobo” (1970). Here’s a list of the remaining movies I want to watch:
The only ones I don’t remember watching are “True Grit” and “The Cowboys”. I suppose I should add “Rooster Cogburn” (1975) to the list since it was a sequel to “True Grit”, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
I enjoy watching movies that are period pieces. A lot of them are historical fiction based on true stories. That’s why I enjoy a lot of westerns. I’ve been to a lot of the locations you see in those movies, in Arizona and New Mexico.
If I’m not mistaken, John Wayne owned a ranch in northern Arizona. He visited my home town a couple of times in connection with the high school 4H program. He was an interesting person, someone who actually knew Wyatt Earp, a famous Arizona lawman.
John Wayne was born in 1907 and Wyatt Earp died in 1929, so I don’t know how well they knew each other. According to his biography, John Wayne patterned his on-screen mannerisms on the mannerisms of Wyatt Earp.
I’m not binge watching these John Wayne movies. It took me two weeks to watch the three I already watched. I can binge watch a TV series, but not a batch of movies. Anyway…
If you’ve never watched a John Wayne movie, you should watch at least one. I suggest “El Dorado”, with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan.
By: RT Cunningham
June 15, 2016
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