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January 03, 2011


Don Z. Block

I think John Wayne missed an opportunity to show his versatility when he turned down the role of Mrs. Robinson's pathetic husband in "The Graduate." "True Grit," though, works pretty well for him. "Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!"

The Leader, for me, was the place where I saw "Bela Lugosi meets a Brooklyn Gorilla" and loved it. I believed the guy who played the lead was really Jerry Lewis. The Leader was also a place where I would watch 20 cartoons in a row and laugh myself sick over Foghorn Leghorn.

Does anyone remember the freebies that were given out on colored sheets? If you had the right number, you got in for free. It was upsetting when the Leader became a bowling alley.


I was unclear. It's not Wayne's movie-starrish acting style to which I object. It's his character's (Colonel Yorke's)lack of strategic skills: so his fort is unprepared for a predictable guerilla attack, and then, compounding the incompetence, he sends a lightly-guarded convoy of women and children through hostile territory. He's a dope, militarily. But I agree that it's difficult to see Wayne without being reminded of his JEdgarHoover-y HUAC flagwaving anticommunism.

Otis J. Brown

Maureen O’Hara’s scenes existed solely to give us time to rush to the candy counter for fresh supplies of Goobers, Raisinettes, and Jujubes.

My view of John Wayne is the opposite of yours. I used to find him a rigid incompetent dope (a view undoubtedly colored by his mean-spirited political opinions). Now I find him an immensely heroic figure, an artist who deeply understood the art of acting in front of a movie camera. I agree with Katharine Hepburn, who said of him: "As an actor he has an extraordinary gift. A unique naturalness. A very subtle capacity to think and express and caress the camera - the audience.”

We recently rewatched Wayne’s 1968 “True Grit” and enjoyed it immensely. His Oscar was richly deserved.

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