Category Archives: John Wayne

Making Movies: Bonnie And Clyde (1967).

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I’ve always loved Bonnie And Clyde (1967) — and always been fascinated by how it all came about.

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Here’s Arthur Penn, Gene Hackman and Warren Beatty — obviously shooting the scene where Buck Barrow gets shot.

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This one spares me the trouble of writing anything.

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This is the scene where Bonnie and Clyde meet C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard).

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The real Bonnie and Clyde robbed the bank in Ponder, Texas. The Ranchman Cafe ran this ad after the movie people came to town. The cafe is still there — and they claim John Wayne ate there, too.

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One of the great achievements of Bonnie And Clyde, as I see it, is how well it captures the rural Texas way of life. My grandparents lived in Strawn — not far from the National Guard Armory in Ranger, robbed by Bonnie and Clyde. Aside from all the shooting, the movie feels a lot like my summer visits to towns like Strawn, Breckenridge and Albany.

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It (and The Beverly Hillbillies) also introduced me to bluegrass.

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Filed under 1967, Arthur Penn, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, John Wayne, Making Movies, Warren Beatty

Blu-ray News #62: They Were Expendable (1945).

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Directed by John Ford
Starring Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Ward Bond, Jack Holt

If you ask me, and you didn’t, John Ford’s They Were Expendable (1945) is the greatest war movie ever made. It’s inspiring, exciting and heartbreaking — all at the same time. Ford and George Montgomery both served in the Navy (Montgomery on PT Boats), and the picture has a grittiness to it that seems so real it’s uncomfortable at times. And Donna Reed in a t-shirt and ball cap is more stunning than in the nicest dress she ever wore in her TV show. She’s just terrific in this.

they-were-expendableFolks, They Were Expendable is as good as movies get. I’m sure Joseph H. August’s cinematography will be stunning in high definition. Thanks to Warner Archive for putting this one together. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Filed under DVD/Blu-ray News, John Ford, John Wayne, Warner Archive

RIP, George Kennedy.

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George Kennedy
(February 18, 1925 – February 28, 2016)

George Kennedy, one of Hollywood’s finest, and busiest, character actors, has passed away at 91.

Kennedy made so many good movies in the 60s and 70s (he was plenty busy in TV, too), it’s hard to keep track of them. Charade (1963). The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965), in which he and John Wayne execute one of the most perfectly-timed hits in all of cinema — as Wayne smacks Kennedy in the face with the spoke of a wagon wheel. Cool Hand Luke (1967, above), as Dragline — which landed him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The Dirty Dozen (1967). And a personal favorite, Thunderbolt And Lightfoot (1974).

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Filed under 1967, 1974, Clint Eastwood, John Wayne

DVD/Blu-ray News #6: Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949).

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Directed by Allan Dwan
Starring John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara, Forrest Tucker, Wally Cassell, James Brown, Richard Webb, Arthur Franz

With Allan Dwan’s Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949), Republic got out of the B picture business. They spent over a million bucks on this one, an excellent story of the training and combat experiences of guys who’d fight at Iwo Jima. For their million, they got a little recognition: it was nominated for several Oscars, including one for Wayne.

It’s coming on DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films.

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L-R: Forrest Tucker, John Wayne, Allan Dwan, unidentified and Major General Graves Erskine.

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Filed under Allan Dwan, DVD/Blu-ray News, John Wayne, Olive Films