John Wayne film recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ernest Aguayo, Sep 26, 2001.

  1. Ernest Aguayo

    Ernest Aguayo Stunt Coordinator

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    I was so impressed with the guidance I received when I asked for suggestions for http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/Forum9/HTML/007439.html
    I am just getting into John Wayne. What are considered some of his best films? I am looking for him as tough, don't-screw-with-me characters with kick-ass, don't-screw-with-me dialogue. Any favorites of yours?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    He made close to 200 films, so your list may be long, but my personal favourites, and a good place to start, are:
    Stagecoach - the film that made him a star
    Red River
    The Searchers
    Rio Bravo
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
     
  3. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    I'm not a John Wayne fan, but I think there is a box set or two on DVD that you could pick up and enjoy. I know there are Clint Eastwood box sets. Just an idea.
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  4. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    All of the previous films mentioned are great. I would also personally recommend They Were Expendable (not a Western).
    Some others that I have not personally seen, but that have a good reputation among film lovers:
    The Shootist
    True Grit
    The Longest Day
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  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    If you haven't seen it yet, then you need to see THE SEARCHERS. It's one of Wayne's greatest roles and one of Ford's greatest films.
     
  6. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    A couple of more Westerns to consider are McLintock and North to Alaska. For WW II movies I recommend The Sands of Iwa Jima amd They Were Expendable
     
  7. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I'd recommend (many of these already mentioned)...
    Directed by John Ford:
    THE QUIET MAN
    THE SEARCHERS
    THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
    STAGECOACH
    THREE GODFATHERS ('48)
    FORT APACHE
    SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON
    RIO GRANDE
    THEY WERE EXPENDABLE
    DONOVAN'S REEF
    Directed by Howard Hawks:
    RED RIVER
    RIO BRAVO
    HATARI!
    Miscellaneous highlights:
    THE ANGEL & THE BADMAN
    LADY TAKES A CHANCE
    TRUE GRIT
    THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER
    THE LONGEST DAY
    NORTH TO ALASKA
    MCCLINTOCK!
    THE SHOOTIST
    HONDO (not currently available, due to restoration/legal issues)
    THE HIGH & THE MIGHTY (ditto)
     
  8. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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  9. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    It depends a lot on your tastes. I love a lot of westerns (Butch Cassidy, Magnificent Seven, Good Bad Ugly, etc.), but for some reason don't like John Wayne westerns (I've seen a lot, but not all of his westerns, but haven't really liked any).
    The only film of his I have liked is Hatari. So that's my recommendation.
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  10. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    I recommend True Grit. I'm not a big John Wayne fan, but that movie is terrific. One that I'm sure you will enjoy.
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  11. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I've seen quite a number of John Wayne films, and I'll even take up the recommendations here as well. But for yourself, I'd like to add some plot synopsis' so you can get the basic gist of what all these movies are all about.
    Stagecoach
    - It's about the journey of a stagecoach through Apache territory. Lots of characters, the degree of suspense is excellent, and the action sequences are pretty good for its time.
    The Searchers
    - It's supposedly the greatest western ever made. The title pretty much says it all about the plot. The movie is beautifully shot, and it's one of the few times that John Wayne isn't portrayed as the perfect hero. I liked it, but I'm not quite sure if it is indeed the greatest western ever made (I've liked others better, and I still have yet to see My Darling Clementine).
    True Grit
    - Girl hires a sheriff to hunt down bad guys. That may sound simple, but the greatest appeal about this movie is that this movie proves that John Wayne is a badass.
    The Alamo
    - Title is pretty self-explanatory. This is my favorite one of the bunch.
    The Cowboys
    - It's about cattle-herding and trekking across the great wide open plains. John Wayne teaches a bunch of kids (hence cowboys) to herd cattle.
    Rio Bravo
    - As cheesy as many Gen-Xer's would like you to believe this movie is, it's still pretty good. It's about a sheriff holding a man prisoner until a marshall can arrive. Dean Martin was a surprise in this.
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  12. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    John Wayne made a bunch of really cheapo westerns before his first big hit, Stagecoach. Skip those. Any of his later films are worth a look.
    Of course, in these fervidly patriotic times you definitely should check out The Green Berets.
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I could go on and on, but my five favorites are:
    • The Quiet Man
    • The Searchers
    • Rio Bravo
    • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
    • Red River
    All of these but She Wore a Yellow Ribbon are on DVD in Region 1. I also like The Long Voyage Home a whole lot, but it is more of an ensemble piece than a John Wayne Vehicle.
    Aside from these, you really can't go wrong with any of his films directed by John Ford or Howard Hawks with the possible exception of Rio Lobo, which I have yet to see, but have heard was not too good.
    The Cowboys is probably my least favorite of his films for reasons that I can't go into without divulging spoilers, but it certainly has its fans and features good performances.
    Regards,
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    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
    [Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on September 27, 2001 at 04:07 PM]
     
  14. Eric Howell

    Eric Howell Stunt Coordinator

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    Not a John Wayne or Western fan, but The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of my favorite movies of all time.
     
  15. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    One of John Wayne's early westerns, The Big Trail, was one of the few widescreen films (1930!) released in the thirties. It's a pretty decent film but far from top drawer Wayne. It shows up once in a very great while on AMC, letterboxed.
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  16. KevinW

    KevinW Stunt Coordinator

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    A couple of people mentioned The Quiet Man, which is my favorite John Wayne movie, and one of my all-time favs, regardless of cast or genre. However, it might not be the type of role your looking for in a John Wayne movie, but definately check it out!
    If you really want the tough as nails, take no shit John Wayne, then I also second The Searchers. Beautifully shot and directed. IMO and many others it is Ford and Wayne's best.
     
  17. Ernest Aguayo

    Ernest Aguayo Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys, this is really fantastic. Thanks for all these great recommendations!!
    I'll check 'em out.
    Ernest
     
  18. Duncan Jones

    Duncan Jones Extra

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    Westerns. The Sons of Katie Elder, True Grit-Wayne won a Oscar with this film, El Dorado-good sequal to Rio Brave,The War Waggon, Chisum, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribon, Rio Grande, Rio Lobo, How The West Was Won, Hondo.
    Action. Brannigan, McQ, Cahill US Marshall.
    War films.Flying Tigers, The Fighting SeaBees, Operation Pacific, Flying Leathernecks,
    Avoid like the plague The Barbarian and the Geisha and The Greatest Story Ever Told John Wayne was misscast in these films.
     
  19. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    So, did everyone watch The Big Trail (1930!) in widescreen on TCM on Tuesday evening?
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    They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
    - Napoleon XIV
     
  20. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Glad someone mentioned El Dorado. This is my personal fave of the Duke. I have memories of enjoying The Green Berets, too, but I am scared to watch it again. I just remember "hey, Mr. Sulu is in it!" and thought it must be good. Didn't know that El Dorado is sequel to Rio Bravo! Thanks, Pilgrim.
    Phil
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    FRODO LIVES
     

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