containing multitudes since 2004
Wayne was only great as a one-eyed-jack with a hidden sonofabitch side on screen, 'smy take - this 'un and "The Searchers" come readily to mind, but hell, even as just a college coach with an eye for the main chance in "Trouble Along The Way" was light-years better than some of his sleepwalking western cardboard shitkickers. One of my favorite lines is in this movie, tho, with John Ireland's laconic delivery when asked about Matt Garth's intent to avoid a shoot-out, "Yeah, but I haven't any such notions."
The thing about John Wayne is that he always worked best for those directors who challenged him and were authoritative toward him. Ford and Hawks are the obvious ones, maybe Alan Dwan ("Sands of Iwo Jima") and a few others. All to often however, particularly when he was making his own pictures through Batjac productions he wasn't working with directors who pushed him in this way.The Wayne-Ford relationship is an interesting one, particularly the way Wayne refers to him as "Pappy". Knowing what I've read about Wayne's childhood as Marion Mitchell Morrison his relationship with Ford and by extension his efforts to work hard for other strong directors may have something to do with what he perceived as his father's weakness, particularly when confronted by his wife (Wayne's mother) who was a mean and domineering woman, who hated her eldest son. Of course I'm not a huge fan of this sort of long distance psychoanalysis.
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