Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Duke

Tomorrow, June 11, will be the anniversary of John Wayne's (Marion Robert Morrison) death. Since I'm not sure if I'll have internet access wherever I end up, I'm gonna jump the gun.

I've always liked the Duke and his movies. For a time, I was a liberal and his forthright patriotism seemed corny and embarrassing. Now, my old attitude is what embarrasses me. He never fought in any wars, like his buddy Jimmy Stewart, but he sure typified the epitome of the rough, durable, honest and patriotic United States fighting man. His unabashed patriotism in a time of discord and strife just shows me his mettle today. He didn't care what anyone thought of him or his love for his country. You have to respect that.

He also typified the archetypal cowboy - skilled with a gun and invested in the code of the West. He was just as much a character off screen as on, and his work ethic was legendary.

Above is a snippet of his Oscar winning portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. It's one of my all time favorite scenes. I prefer some of his other movies, but this scene typifies the concept of The Duke probably as much or more than most. All it is missing is his trademark walk.

I'm sure that AMC or TCM will run a marathon of his movies tomorrow, and I'm equally sure that I'll miss them. Even though I've probably seen them all at least thirty seven times each. For instance, I'd rather watch old Duke movies over and over and over long before I can even finish excrescence like Brokeback Mountain. Yeah, I'm a Luddite for old fashioned values. It's hard earned and learned behavior, so if ya don't like it, bite me.


Earl said...

I have so many of his movies, The Cowboys and The Shootist stand out, although they changed the ending of the latter to protect "Oppie", still he stood tall.

Jerry in Texas said...

I had a co-worker who saw True Grit after he returned home from a stint in the Army (he was stationed in Turkey). He just hated Glen Campbell in that movie. He would say that Glen Campbell was the worst actor he had ever seen, and that the audience cheered when Glen got shot. It was funny to remind him of that periodically. It was good for a ten-minute rant. I bought him a DVD of the movie when he retired.

RIP, John Wayne.

Stacy said...

This'll probably get me run out of town, but I like both Toby Keith and George W. for the same reason. You may not always agree with them, but they stand true to their beliefs and make no apologies for who they are. You know where they stand. That's a pretty rare commodity these days.

And yeah, I liked the Duke, too. I can remember going to see True Grit in the theater with my parents. (Hate the snake pit, though)

Jeffro said...

The snake pit scared the fecal matter right on out of me.....

I thought Kim Darby was pretty hot, too. I plead that I was just a fifth or sixth grader at the time.