View Full Version : 100 Years of The Duke

Olympic Fan
05-21-2007, 05:24 PM
Anybody notice that May 26, 2007 will be the 100th anniversary of Marion Morrison's birth?

Obviously better known as John Wayne -- aka "The Duke" -- Wayne was voted the greatest film star of the 20th century. Gary Willis wrote an interesting book about how Wayne's cinematic character embodied American ideals -- check out "John Wayne's America" if you get the chance.

And be sure to tune in to Turner Classic Movies whenever possible. They are showing 35 Wayne films this month, including two of his most important films tonight (Monday, May 21) -- Stagecoach (the film that turned a B cowboy actor into a superstar) at 8 p.m. and They Were Expendable (to my mind, the greatest WWII film ever made) at 10 p.m.

My list of Wayne's greatest films is tainted by my admiration of John Ford -- Wayne's mentor and America's greatest director. Just for the record (and feel free to dispute this), I would suggest a top 10 for Wayne of:

1. Stagecoach
2. They Were Expendable
3. Red River
4. Fort Apache
5. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
6. The Quiet Man
7. The Searchers (his greatest role)
8. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
9. The Alamo
10. True Grit

I can't believe I left out "The Cowboys", "Big Jake", "The Sons of Katie Elder", "The Horse Soldiers" or "The High and the Mighty". I'm not as fond of "The Long Voyage Home" or "McClintock!" or "Sands of Iwo Jima" -- even though all are regarded as key Wayne films.