The Duke: John Wayne

wayne-stagecoach[1]

In honor of John Wayne week on TCM, we share some of the nitty and gritty:)

Marion Morrison- aka John Wayne- had spent most of his early career in bit roles in serial westerns. Luckily, John Ford came along and cast him as Ringo Kid in Stagecoach, thus propelling him into legend.  The realistic action combined with an impressive ensemble cast would set John up in many westerns. His role as the epitome of the American Man was donned important during the War, but many felt his image was overcoming him and he used it for leverage. One example is the case of the film The Alamo, which he directed, and later forced the Academy to give the film nominations. He partnered with Russell Birdwell, the man responsible for the successful search for the perfect Scarlett O’Hara, and found they could swing the Academy votes in The Alamo’s favor, if they could secure just a few hundred votes. Thus began the lengthy campaign to get The Alamo into the limelight. They succeeded with 6 nominations for the film, and a nice blueprint for Oscar-stumping, a marketing tactic used by many studios today.

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