What are John Wayne's best films

John Wayne

"He was ugly, he was strong, and he had dignity," reads the inscription on John Wayne's grave. The star had chosen the gritty words himself shortly before his death on June 12, 1979. Sincerity, masculinity and penetrating patriotism were the ideals for which the western idol stood in film as in life. His death was like a big Hollywood production. When he was on his deathbed, the first special editions of the tabloids appeared, then a television station started the first retrospective. Ronald Reagan, later President of the USA and in his younger years a rather hapless film actor, raved about his role model: "Nobody represents the values ​​of our country like he does." And President Jimmy Carter is rushing to his deathbed. Wayne confesses his last sins - and is baptized. Then he dies like a real American. What sets it apart from many of Hollywood's heroes: It was a prototype, not an industrial product.

Wayne attends Glendale High School in California and studies law and economics at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. And he's a great football player. In the film studio he began as a prop master at Fox, in 1926. Then he was an extra and soon played small film roles, especially for his friend John Ford. In the early years he was called Duke Morrison. His trek leader Breck Coleman in Raoul Walsh's western "The Great Trek" (1930) is his first great success, but he only achieved star status years later through the outlaw Ringo Kid in John Ford's "Ringo - Hell trip to Santa Fé" (1939).

When Barry Goldwater wanted to become President of the United States, he - as usual - solicited the friendly support of Hollywood celebrities: and hardly anyone followed the call of the arch-reactionary Senator from Arizona as unconditionally as John Wayne alias Marion Michael Morrison. The ideas and ideals of the politician and the Hollywood star were so close: Both mourn the glorious pioneering days with their manageable, uncomplicated order, the law of the stronger and the quick categorization of good and bad. Both trust in the archaic principles of the law of the thumb, despise Kennedy's liberal ideas and profess to be staunch militarists, nationalists and anti-communists. They are strongly opposed to the emancipation of Afro-Americans. Barry Goldwater's defeat did not damage Wayne's popularity at the time: For millions of middle-class Americans, he still embodies the dream of the Wild West, a return to a free life beyond administrative coercion, the realization of confused puberty dreams that the masses of kicked workers face After work drives away.

However, high acting skills were not required at all. The 1.92 meter tall giant embodied exactly what one imagined a western hero would be: "For my feeling, many western stars in front of me were too damn perfect. I tried to play a man who gets dirty, who sweats, but also likes to kiss girls. Who fights cleanly as long as possible, but dirty when there is no other way. " Powerful and biblical, quickly at hand with the Winchester and a beating for the stubborn woman, he stalks through his films, the cliché of the symbol of American greatness. After James Dean and Humphrey Bogart, he represented the myth of Hollywood until his death. But while Dean and Bogart have been models for generations of the beaten, the underdog, and the lost, Wayne is the incarnation of militant reaction, a hero made for American war propaganda: Korea, Vietnam, and the eternal Cold War against Bolshevism .

John Wayne was one of the most powerful in Hollywood. In addition to his position as one of the very few top stars, he also has his own production company, the "Batjac", named after the ship that Wayne commanded in Edward Ludwig's "Im Banne der rote Wexe" (1949). The self-confident star, who liked to be called "The Duke", conjures up his own myth, especially in the films he has produced. This happened most clearly in "Alamo"(1960), directed by Wayne." Alamo "tells the story of the famous siege of the fortress in 1836, in which the Mexican general Santa Ana stormed the Fort Alamo with an overwhelming force and cut down the crew to the last man. Wayne plays even the legendary Davy Crockett, who was killed in the Alamo. The authentic story from the Mexican war was the reason for Wayne to make one of the most perfidious endurance films that need not fear comparison with Veit Harlan's "Kolberg".

Because, contrary to all reason, the defenders do not give up the fortress and die heroically in hero's death, spreading pathetic speeches about people and fatherland. The Mexicans, on the other hand, appear as sinister subhumans and are defamed similarly to the Asians in World War II, in Korea and most recently in Vietnam. In 1967 he finally gives his personal commitment to the Vietnam War "The green devils"(" The Green Berets "- that was the name of the American Vietnam fighters). Cynically, the film was made shortly after the masterful Howard Hawks western"El Dorado"In which the hero in the saddle receives a wonderfully ironic lesson if he can only get on his horse with difficulty. And he only receives his only Oscar after he himself in 1968 as a harder-drinking, aging"The Marshal"took on the grain himself. He played his last role under the direction of Don Siegel in 1976 in"The shootist"Wayne, with cancer, is a gunslinger with cancer.

Seldom did a director dismantle the myth of the strong, just man Wayne has created in countless westerns, war films and adventure films since his first major role in "The Great Trek" (1930). Howard Hawks succeeded most impressively in his Western "Red River"(1948), in which Wayne plays the fanatical drover Tom Dunson. Hawks shows the relentless, cruel harshness of this man, who dominates his team with grim Bible sayings and violent violence, and confronts them effectively with the considered and sober actions of his adoptive son, played by Montgomery Clift. Here the myth of the great fighter is mercilessly torn apart, which Wayne especially in war films like Dmytryks "Two strike back"(1945) and Allan Dwan's" You Were Our Comrade "(1949) embodied fascinatingly. John Ford, whose collaboration with Wayne went down in film history for decades, was increasingly critical of his favorite hero. Ford Wayne often had the noble one Let US cavalrymen play, who continues his adventures to the same sounds of "The girl I left behind me", flawless like the famous blue uniforms before he joins Wayne in "The black hawk"(1956) as a fanatical Indian hunter who has still not learned anything after seven years.

It was then also Ford who gave his old friend "The man who shot Liberty Valance"(1961) devoted a wistful, strangely ambiguous obituary to the golden age of the West, which left no doubt that there is no longer any room for men like Wayne. Wayne found his best roles with directors who did not succumb to the fascination of his type, at Howard Hawks in "Rio Bravo"(1959) and"Hatari"(1961) and in many of John Ford's films.

Other films with John Wayne: "Brown of Harvard", "Galgenhochzeit", "Robbers of the King's Gorge" (all anonymous, 1926), "Annie Laurie - Ein Heldenlied vom Hochland", "The Drop Kick", (both anonymous, 1927) , "Mother Machree", "Four Sons", "Hangman's House", "The Drama of the Deluge" (all unnamed, 1928), "Speakeasy", "The Black Watch", "Words and Music", Salute "," The Forward Pass "(all 1929)," U 13 "," Born Reckless "," Rough Romance "," Cheer Up and Smile "(all 1930)," Girls Demand Excitement, "Three Girls Lost", "Arizona", " The Deciever "," Range Feud "," Maker of Men "(all 1931)," The Shadow of the Eagle "," Texas Cyclone "," Two-Fisted Law "," Who's Right Here? "," The Hurricane Express "," Ride Him, Cowboy ", That's My Boy", "The Big Stampede", "Haunted Gold" (all 1932), "The Telegraph Trail", "The Three Musketeers", "The Path into the Unknown", " Somewhere in Sonora, "" The Life of Jimmy Dolan, "" His Private Secretary, "" Baby Face, "" The Man from Monterey !, "The Lost Creek Water Rights "," College Coach "," His Friend, the Desperado "(all 1933)," Lucky Texan in Danger "," West of the Divide "," Showdown at Adlerpass "," Rodeo "," Randy Rides Alone "," The Shadow "," Greed for Gold "," 'Neath The Arizona Skies "," Land Without a Law "(all 1934)," Adventures in Texas "," In the Valley of the Rainbow "," The Rodeo Heist "," Horsemen. " at Dusk ",," Fire Water and Fresh Blossoms "," Westward "," Flaming Frontier "," Valley of Fear "(all 1935)," The Oregon Trail ","Land of the future"," The King of Pecos "," Gone with the Wind "," The Winds of the Wild "," Sea Spoilers "," Conflict "(all 1936)," California Straight Ahead "," On a Dangerous Mission "," Idol. " of the Crowds "," Treasure on the Seabed "," The Wyoming Gambling Dome "(all 1937)," Friends in the Saddle "," Gold in the Clouds ","Uprising in Santa Fe"," Red River Range "(all 1938)," Horsemen in the Night "," Three Texas Steers "," The Bandit of Wyoming "," Water for Arizona ","Black River"(all 1939)," Black Command "," Three Faces West ","The house of the seven sins", "The long way to Cardiff"(all 1940)," A Man Betrayed "," Lady from Louisiana ","Cursed land"(all 1941)," Lady for a Night "," The Buccaneer ","Pirates in the Caribbean Sea"," The Daredevil of Boston ","Enterprise Tiger Leaping", "Pittsburgh"," Reunion In France "(all 1942)," Tough guys - steep teeth ","Oklahoma Hell"(both 1943),"Alarm in the Pacific", "All hell has broken loose in Arizona"(both 1944)," San Fransico Billy ","Speedboats in front of Bataan"," Blood on the Fargo River "(all 1945)," Without Reservations "(1946)," The Black Rider "," Tycoon "(both 1947),"Until the last man", "traces in the sand"(both 1948)," In the last second ","The devil captain"(both 1949),"Rio Grande"(1950)," Company Seeadler "," Guadalcanal - Decision in the Pacific "," Miracle in Motion "(narrator),"The winner"," Marihuana "(all 1952)," Three Lives "," Trouble all along the line "," The last signal "," They call me Hondo "(all 1953)," Day always comes back "(1954), "The Conqueror", "The yellow stream"," Rookie of the Year "(TV)," Der Seefuchs "(all 1955),"The city of the lost", "Jet fighter"," Equal to the eagle "(all 1957)," The barbarian and the geisha "(1958),"The last command"(1959)," The Colter Craven Story "(TV),"Land of a thousand adventures"(both 1960),"That was the wild west", "The longest day", "The Comancheros"(all 1961)," Flashing Spikes "(TV),"The Tahiti harbor pub"(both 1962),"The greatest story ever", "McLintock - a lovable rough leg!", "Hero of the arena"(all 1963),"The four sons of Katie Elder"," First Victory "(both 1965)," Red Skelton Scarbook 66 "(TV),"The giant's shadow", "The mighty ones"(all 1966),"The intrepid - deployment in the flaming hell" (1968), "Chisum", "The undefeated"(both 1969),"Rio Lobo" (1970), "Big Jake" (1971), "The cowboys" (1972), "Dirty gold", "Vultures have no mercy", "McQ strikes"(all 1973),"Brannigan - a man of steel"(1974) and"With dynamite and pious sayings" (1975).