Friday, May 28, 2010

John Wayne in a New Dimension

Funny, isn't it, how some movies just get away from you? In part due to the star's own belief that "less is more" when dealing with the public, some of John Wayne's better movies only became available in recent years as his Batjac company readied older films for those of us who may never get enough. That's the topic for this week's posting on TCM, which begins below:

"...a long time ago, I made me a rule. I let people do what they want to do."

I'm always surprised how many John Wayne films I've never seen. Not that seeing the young man playing Singin' Sandy warbling "A Cowboy's Song of Fate" in Riders of Destiny (1933) is going to enlighten me much about his evolution as an actor, though that and other minor motion pictures such as The Starpacker (1934), and Randy Rides Alone (1934) do reveal how lithe, genuine and--forgive me, hardcore fans--artlessly sweet the actor appeared to be, even in barely B level programmers of his apprentice years on the screen, after his initial lead in Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail (1930). It's still fun to discover something new about the development of this iconic and familiar Homeric figure--even when he was not working for image makers John Ford or Howard Hawks. Somehow, over the years I've missed seeing Hondo (1953), which starred this day's birthday boy, John Wayne, who arrived on earth 103 years ago today on May 26th, 1907...more on the Movie Morlocks at TCM


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