Monday, 17 January 2011
Top Ten Western Actors No 1 - John Wayne
True Wayne did often play variations of the same character but that's what the public wanted - they wanted to see John Wayne and that is just what they got, but no actor has appeared in as many truly exceptional western as John Wayne and regardless of what the press and critics are saying at the moment, and as good as the Coen's version of True Grit is, John Wayne is still the definitive Rooster Cogburn.
He may have had a girl's name (he was born Michael Marion Morrison) but he was as tough as they came.
I won't list all of Wayne's western as there are far too many and even I, a Wayne nut, have to admit that several of his westerns were only average, but I will instead concentrate on what I consider the essential John Wayne pictures. First off then let's take a brief look at what I think is the finest western picture ever made, John Ford's, The Searchers.
The Searchers is, in my opinion, just perfect and represents a masterclass in western movie making. Not a single frame is wasted and Wayne's performance is perfectly nuanced. Those who say he couldn't act should be made to watch this movie at gunpoint and if this doesn't change their minds then just as well pull that trigger. The scene where Wayne as Ethan Edwards breaks down and screams at his companions after finding his nieces body is as effective as any other in the entire western genre. True enough not everything Wayne did was exceptional. His stint in the director's chair for The Alamo resulted in a seriously flawed movie but the good far outweighed the bad.
"To me John Wayne is westerns." Richard Widmark.
Thank you John Wayne.