Films: The Duke

 John Wayne, “The Duke” born Marion Robert Morrison May 26 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, USA. You ever wonder how he got the nick name “The Duke”?

John Wayne and Maureen Ohara in "The Quiet Man" (1952)

As a boy he used to go everywhere with his huge Airedale Terrier “Duke”, a local fireman started to call him “Little Duke” well Marion prefered that, and started calling himself ______ and that’s history. Over his career which started in 1926 and ended in 1976 he acted in 184 films, and produced 6 films (the best known being the “Alamo”) So in 50 years he made about 3.84 films a year, almost all of them outdoors on location. Can you imagine any actor today that would do that today, and they get paid the moon! Sadly the Duke passed away of stomach cancer in 1979 at age 72. (There is some conjecture this may have been contracted during the filming of  “The Conqueror” in 1956, filmed in St George Utah. Of the 220 cast and crew, 91 ended up with cancer, that’s 41%. Wayne himself felt it was his 6 pk a day smoking habit).

These are a few of the movies he made that are really worth watching…

Stage Coach (1939) – This one made him a star though he had been working for a while.

The Angel and the Bad Man (1947)- I own this one, I guess that says it all

3 Godfathers (1948) – This is a favourite, if you see it on the TV listings watch it!

The Quiet Man (1952) – With Maureen O’Hara, I own this one too and I watch it frequently. Very funny and delightful.

The Searchers (1956) – Popular, but not my favourite

The Man that shot Liberty Valance (1962) – with Jimmy Stewart, they where great together.

McLintock (1963) – Maureen O’Hara, I own this one too, great pairing!

The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) – I can’t put my finger on why I like this one, but I do.

Hellfighters (1968) – just a good movie

True Grit (1968) – Just love him as “Rooster Cogburn” he is sweet, rough and tough in this one and I am going to buy it!

Big Jake (1971) – Maureen O’Hara again, the movies they did together where among the best they both did.

Rooster Cogburn (1975) – with Kate Hepburn, I wonder why they never did a film before they where wonderful together

The Shootest (1976) – with Lauren Becall, and Ron Howard. The Duke had worked with Becall years earlier. This was is last roll, he played a dying gunfigher who wanted to go out in style, and he did.

John Wayne, “The Duke” died in 1972 at the age of 72. He will be remembered in all the wonderful films that are his legacy.

If you wish to learn more see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wayne#Filmography

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