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John Wayne Why Did He Dominate As An Actor So Long.


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This is why I choose not to put performers on pedestals. I only look at them for what they do on the screen. And hopefully they don't commit crimes in real life.

But, these are people, just like the rest of us. Same faults and weaknesses as the rest of us. For most of Wayne's run as a movie hero, he was in the majority thinking the way he did. Its nothing new, no big deal really.

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

This is why I choose not to put performers on pedestals. I only look at them for what they do on the screen. And hopefully they don't commit crimes in real life.

But, these are people, just like the rest of us. Same faults and weaknesses as the rest of us. For most of Wayne's run as a movie hero, he was in the majority thinking the way he did. Its nothing new, no big deal really.

 I don't know if he was in the majority in Hollywood.

I can remember that they had to close the Studios on the day of that Martin Luther King jr. March on Washington.

They closed the studios because so many movie stars wanted to attend in DC. And it seems like I remember reading that Charlton Heston was in charge that day.

I can remember seeing those movie stars all together--

Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman with Sammy Davis jr.

Those are the ones I remember and I'm sure there were many others. And a few years ago I remember Rita Moreno on television talking about how she had attended.

This was the summer that West Side Story was the movie to see in America in 1963.

And I can name a lot of people who were not at all necessarily prejudiced or actively denigrating minority Americans in Hollywood-- Frank Sinatra, Stanley Kramer, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Garland, Jeff Chandler, Shirley MacLaine, Raymond Burr, Lloyd Bridges, Kim Novak, Richard Widmark, Doris Day etc.

 If anything, there were probably more people in Hollywood who were extremely comfortable with gay people, with Progressive and authoritative women and with black equality certainly, than in the country at Large.

So many of these artists, directors writers who were blacklisted were often involved in groups seeking civil rights for all Americans.

 Gene Kelly and his wife Betsy Blair were two who attended these communist meetings, and maybe they were actually members, it's hard to say. But she was blacklisted. And Gene had to do all in his power to get her that role in "Marty".

All that happened a long time ago. And of course there were always openly racist people like Charles Coburn, Walter Brennan and John Wayne.

But I say a great many Hollywood types were open to new ideas and certainly weren't afraid to associate with gay artists like Cole Porter, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal,  William Inge, George Cukor, Roger Edens or black artists like Sammy Davis Junior, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Dorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll or Louis Armstrong.

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

This is why I choose not to put performers on pedestals. I only look at them for what they do on the screen. And hopefully they don't commit crimes in real life.

But, these are people, just like the rest of us. Same faults and weaknesses as the rest of us. For most of Wayne's run as a movie hero, he was in the majority thinking the way he did. Its nothing new, no big deal really.

To some degree you appear to be contracting yourself here,  but maybe I just misunderstood what you're saying here;    While I try very hard to also only "look at them for what they do on the screen" (or their records,  live performances,  artwork,  or writings),     if I am reviewing what they did "off screen",   I'm going to judge that (again,  not the person,  per se,  but the behavior).     While being racist or homophobic may have been the majority way of thinking at the time,   such behavior is a big deal to me.    

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7 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

To some degree you appear to be contracting yourself here,  but maybe I just misunderstood what you're saying here;    While I try very hard to also only "look at them for what they do on the screen" (or their records,  live performances,  artwork,  or writings),     if I am reviewing what they did "off screen",   I'm going to judge that (again,  not the person,  per se,  but the behavior).     While being racist or homophobic may have been the majority way of thinking at the time,   such behavior is a big deal to me.    

I think it can be problematic to place 2020 sensibilities onto performances up to a century in the past. I am not excusing any of the behavior. I often think about the great performers who weren't given a decent chance at stardom because of bigotry, sexism and the like. But, what might have been called "progress" in 1930 , would only roll eyes in 2020. Because of the viewpoint. And society at that moment in time.

I don't really read much about the private lives of celebrities. Except maybe civil rights, black list, things like that that directly affected filmmaking. Who they are dating, who they thought was intelligent doesn't matter to me.

If Wayne comments on making westerns, I'm all ears. If he's discussing race relations, I'll go find some paint to watch dry.

 

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14 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Actually I don't recall him ever making that admittance at all either.  I'm just relying on other's information here.

Sepiatone

I'VE SEEN TONS OF INTERVIEWS WITH HIM AND AS FAR AS I KNOW HE NEVER SAID ANYTHING

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

I think it can be problematic to place 2020 sensibilities onto performances up to a century in the past. I am not excusing any of the behavior. I often think about the great performers who weren't given a decent chance at stardom because of bigotry, sexism and the like. But, what might have been called "progress" in 1930 , would only roll eyes in 2020. Because of the viewpoint. And society at that moment in time.

I don't really read much about the private lives of celebrities. Except maybe civil rights, black list, things like that that directly affected filmmaking. Who they are dating, who they thought was intelligent doesn't matter to me.

If Wayne comments on making westerns, I'm all ears. If he's discussing race relations, I'll go find some paint to watch dry.

 

what civil rights blacklist?  The HUAC HEARINGS OF THE LATE '40'S AND INTO THE '50'S ARE NOTORIOUS  MANY KILLED THEMSELVES DURING AND AFTER IT, BOTH THE DUKE AND REAGAN WERE AMONG IT'S LEADERS, WAYNE LATER APOLOGIZED FOR HIS AWFUL BEHAVIOR THOUGH  JOHN GARFIELD-(1913-1952) BEING IT'S BY FAR BEST KNOWN TRAGEDY!  BUT THE WELL KNOWN RATS DURING THAT PERIOD WERE MENJOU, R. TAYLOR, ELIA KAZAN, EDWARD DMYTRYK AND OTHERS  matter f fact when KAZAN RECIEVED AN HONORARY 0SCAR MANY IN THE CROWD LIKE JON VOIGHT EVEN REFUSED TO STAND UP DURING A SOMEWHAT RESTRAINED STANDING OVATION

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

I think it can be problematic to place 2020 sensibilities onto performances up to a century in the past. I am not excusing any of the behavior. I often think about the great performers who weren't given a decent chance at stardom because of bigotry, sexism and the like. But, what might have been called "progress" in 1930 , would only roll eyes in 2020. Because of the viewpoint. And society at that moment in time.

I don't really read much about the private lives of celebrities. Except maybe civil rights, black list, things like that that directly affected filmmaking. Who they are dating, who they thought was intelligent doesn't matter to me.

If Wayne comments on making westerns, I'm all ears. If he's discussing race relations, I'll go find some paint to watch dry.

 

but again I ask you & please do reply when did JW make racisct comments & what civil rights blacklist are you talking about & when???

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9 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

 I don't know if he was in the majority in Hollywood.

I can remember that they had to close the Studios on the day of that Martin Luther King jr. March on Washington.

They closed the studios because so many movie stars wanted to attend in DC. And it seems like I remember reading that Charlton Heston was in charge that day.

I can remember seeing those movie stars all together--

Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman with Sammy Davis jr.

Those are the ones I remember and I'm sure there were many others. And a few years ago I remember Rita Moreno on television talking about how she had attended.

This was the summer that West Side Story was the movie to see in America in 1963.

And I can name a lot of people who were not at all necessarily prejudiced or actively denigrating minority Americans in Hollywood-- Frank Sinatra, Stanley Kramer, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Garland, Jeff Chandler, Shirley MacLaine, Raymond Burr, Lloyd Bridges, Kim Novak, Richard Widmark, Doris Day etc.

 If anything, there were probably more people in Hollywood who were extremely comfortable with gay people, with Progressive and authoritative women and with black equality certainly, than in the country at Large.

So many of these artists, directors writers who were blacklisted were often involved in groups seeking civil rights for all Americans.

 Gene Kelly and his wife Betsy Blair were two who attended these communist meetings, and maybe they were actually members, it's hard to say. But she was blacklisted. And Gene had to do all in his power to get her that role in "Marty".

All that happened a long time ago. And of course there were always openly racist people like Charles Coburn, Walter Brennan and John Wayne.

But I say a great many Hollywood types were open to new ideas and certainly weren't afraid to associate with gay artists like Cole Porter, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal,  William Inge, George Cukor, Roger Edens or black artists like Sammy Davis Junior, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Dorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll or Louis Armstrong.

told me everthing above I personally already knew for decades. BUT  WEST SIDE CAME OUT IN '61 PRINCESS. On that story you wrote so well  do you like Heston by the way?  I'M NOT A FAN OF HIM AS AN INDIVIDUAL-(AN EGOMANIAC & I'VE SEEN IT ON DISPLAY A FEW TIMES) HIS MAMMOTH MANSION WAS ANOTHER I WENT BY ON ANOTHER TOUR, TOOK UP ALMOST 4 BLOCKS!!!  Plus thought his acting was just too hammy for me & never shoulda won that Oscar for BEN-HUR, think the movie is a poWerhouse though but he defeated LEMMON in SOME LIKE IT HOT & JIMMY STEWART in ANATOMY OF A MURDER

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SINATRA would sometimes get his very fsamous temper up, in later yrs he admitted his boiling point asn't as low though & when he heard somebody use a rascist remark, he actually got up & slugged a man in a restaurant once & then, he'd use a ton of rascial remarks, then directly drive 3 states to do a black benefit, even a penitentiary once & it was almost all black in the mid l960's, they loved him at the penn-(there is complete footage of it & tons more in him on a l965 episode of 47hrs on youtube)   :look say him & SAMMY, FS was the only one there when SAMMY'S eyeball just popped right out in that car wreck, so FRANK took him to over 3 different hospitals in the middle of the night & they were turned away because not only was SAMMY black but 1/2 JEWISH as well   As many say he was a big contradiction, as PRINCESS wrote, he was among the civil rights marchers as well  Never found out where DINO was though on that awful night? MARTN wasn't as close to SAMMY as FRANK was overall though  FRANK just thought DINO was the coolest, funniest & like water running off his back

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I never meant this thread as full blown bio of the man. Just wondered why he and many actors of that era were on top for that long. I find it kinda hard to believe Duke would do an interviw for Playboy magazine. But chances are he did an interview which actors today do hundreds for all kinds of magazine and probably dont know what the magazine is. I think allot of issue with actors getting mad is news people just never leave celebrities alone and this year during the corona virus its clear to me news dont care anything about people.

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17 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

.

And I can name a lot of people who were not at all necessarily prejudiced or actively denigrating minority Americans in Hollywood-- Frank Sinatra, Stanley Kramer, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Garland, Jeff Chandler, Shirley MacLaine, Raymond Burr, Lloyd Bridges, Kim Novak, Richard Widmark, Doris Day etc.

 If anything, there were probably more people in Hollywood who were extremely comfortable with gay people, with Progressive and authoritative women and with black equality certainly, than in the country at Large.

So many of these artists, directors writers who were blacklisted were often involved in groups seeking civil rights for all Americans.

All that happened a long time ago. And of course there were always openly racist people like Charles Coburn, Walter Brennan and John Wayne.

But I say a great many Hollywood types were open to new ideas and certainly weren't afraid to associate with gay artists like Cole Porter, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal,  William Inge, George Cukor, Roger Edens or black artists like Sammy Davis Junior, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Dorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll or Louis Armstrong.

And those guys weren't in charge of anything.  As for the rest of the quote I kept...

I don't think "progressive" and racially tolerant people and attitudes were limited to actors.  Hollywood has always been(and still is) considered a den of  "liberal iniquity".  Which Is why I dismiss any talk of the Academy of  Motion Picture Arts and Sciences being loaded with racist old white guys.   Sure, there probably are a lot of old white guys in there, but being an old white guy( like I am too) doesn't automatically make one a bigot.   All that accusation is something fueled by the ingestion of too much wine pressed from sour grapes.  and a scapegoat had to be found.  

Sepiatone

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Look at the 1971 interview Wayne did with Playboy. Yep, he was a racist. Racists rarely come out and

say "I'm a racist." Once again, the tale of Frank taking Sammy to different hospitals which would not

admit him is an urban legend. Booze Brain wasn't even anywhere near when the accident happened

and I don't think Sammy was refused admittance by a hospital. Since both Davis' parents were Christians,

I don't see how Sammy was half Jewish. Of course he did convert to Judaism in the early 1960s.

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11 hours ago, Yoda1978 said:

I never meant this thread as full blown bio of the man. Just wondered why he and many actors of that era were on top for that long. I find it kinda hard to believe Duke would do an interviw for Playboy magazine. But chances are he did an interview which actors today do hundreds for all kinds of magazine and probably dont know what the magazine is. I think allot of issue with actors getting mad is news people just never leave celebrities alone and this year during the corona virus its clear to me news dont care anything about people.

I'm just guessing you're too young to know what an important and Famous Force Hugh Hefner's "Playboy" magazine was in American society in the 50s 60s 70s and 80s.

To say a man of John Wayne's ilk didn't know about "Playboy" magazine or the popularity of its interviews and the notoriety of its photos is to imply that he was not all there.

No Hollywood star of his magnitude who lasted as many decades as you have noted would be that naive or that unaware of the Dynamics of American society.

You also may not know that Hugh Hefner had a number of nightclubs called Playboy clubs with Playboy bunnies as waitresses and hostesses.

Movie stars and other celebrities frequented these clubs along with many upscale individuals. They were beautiful spaces with excellent menus.

Then there was the Playboy mansion in Hollywood which many celebrities and actors frequented.

"Playboy" was a big deal in the latter part of the twentieth century and had even more to do with our culture and the sexual Awakening of postwar America than young people nowadays are aware of.

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12 hours ago, Yoda1978 said:

Just wondered why he and many actors of that era were on top for that long.

Enough people paid to see their movies.   Box office take was 'good',  therefore they were given additional film assignments.

Yea,  it really is that simple. 

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Yes, at one time the "Playboy Interview" was considered a mark of success, and a certain level of celebrity. John Wayne knew full well he was doing an interview with Playboy. Every sort of movie star, music star, politician, and other notables took part over the years, including Martin Luther King Jr, Steve Jobs, Miles Davis, Stanley Kubrick, Bette Davis, Sean Connery, Ayn Rand, Siskel & Ebert, Jimmy Carter, and Malcolm X, among many others.

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6 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Yes, at one time the "Playboy Interview" was considered a mark of success, and a certain level of celebrity. John Wayne knew full well he was doing an interview with Playboy. Every sort of movie star, music star, politician, and other notables took part over the years, including Martin Luther King Jr, Steve Jobs, Miles Davis, Stanley Kubrick, Bette Davis, Sean Connery, Ayn Rand, Siskel & Ebert, Jimmy Carter, and Malcolm X, among many others.

While you're correct about Wayne and those others,  that wasn't the case with Jimmy Carter;    I clearly recall him saying to Rosalynn that the interviewer told him he represented Peanut Weekly.

 

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10 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

And those guys weren't in charge of anything.  As for the rest of the quote I kept...

I don't think "progressive" and racially tolerant people and attitudes were limited to actors.  Hollywood has always been(and still is) considered a den of  "liberal iniquity".  Which Is why I dismiss any talk of the Academy of  Motion Picture Arts and Sciences being loaded with racist old white guys.   Sure, there probably are a lot of old white guys in there, but being an old white guy( like I am too) doesn't automatically make one a bigot.   All that accusation is something fueled by the ingestion of too much wine pressed from sour grapes.  and a scapegoat had to be found.  

Sepiatone

do you know about this fairly new rumor about 3 time Oscar winner WALTER BRENNAN (l894-l974) I thought it was yet another thing when first reading it elsewhere from these young punk & usually rich pc college kids?

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17 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

While you're correct about Wayne and those others,  that wasn't the case with Jimmy Carter;    I clearly recall him saying to Rosalynn that the interviewer told him he represented Peanut Weekly.

 

:o  You were THERE when he told  Rosalynn that?   Cool!  Tell me......

Is she as nice in person as she seems in all the footage of her?    ;)   Were you visiting them or they you?  :D   And why isn't there any information for a magazine by that name?  :huh:

Sepiatone

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Other factors to consider:

  • He was born at the right time. He came of age just as film was becoming really big business. He began working as the sound era began. So he was able to grow as the industry would grow and become one of its first big stars.
  • He also lasted until Westerns weren't just B Movies but, big budget epics. And he was a physically big guy who could fill that screen. So if you watch a major western, there's a good chance he's in it.
  • The "Cowboy" genre has lasted such a long time. Westerns basically lasted in America all through the era  of the studio system. And further into TV. Actually if you count how it morphed into Spaghetti Western, Osterns (Westerns made in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc), and the like, it lasted longer and grew to be a world wide genre. Westerns are still being made today.
  • I have friends in the UK, and westerns are big there right now. Just as Knights and middle ages are hot here, they've already had their fill and want to see the cowboys riding the range. And Wayne and his "Rah Rah USA"! attitude is a part of that also.

And just like most things, some one had to be considered "the best" or "the king". And he was "the duke", so there you go.

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