Saturday, 26 May 2007

Duking it Out

Yup, centenary of the birth of Marion Morrison. Whatever screen hero you prefer, at the back of them all strides the Duke, head and shoulders above Clooney and Depp. Forget about his politics and his WW2 war record. His screen presence was excellent.

Preference for me is his "cavalry trilogy", and the films seemed to portray the First People in a humanistic light - as opposed to many westerns I had seen. Something that would shape me later on in life. It was a shame that when colour was introduced, that the uniforms became more standard, as opposed to photographs of the late 1800's. If you look at the earlier "Fort Apache", you can see the lack of standardisation in the uniforms. And then there was the eternal Irish NCO, played by Victor McLaglen (who was actually born in Tunbridge Wells).

For power, there was "The Searchers", and for the great westerns, his later work of "Chisum", "True Grit" and "Rooster Cogburn".

That is all.

4 comments:

WD said...

Duncan,
are you my twin brother?
I think I'm going chatting with you next month in the Lakes.
Personally I think you've missed some classics in this entry. I love the Shootist, and how about The Man That Shot Liberty Vallance, or the Sons of Katie Elder?

AktoMan said...

are you my twin brother?
was your Dad a milkman in the 60's?

As to other films - too many good ones to mention, hence choosing the 'best' of the best.

And then there's "The Conqueror". John Wayne as Genghis Khan!

According to IMDB:
(director) Powell tried to talk him out of it, but Wayne insisted that this was the film he wanted to make. As Powell later summed it up, "Who am I to turn down John Wayne?"

WD said...

Duncan,
I see The Quiet Man has been on the Sky movie channels today.
I think we have some interesting discussions about John Wayne movies, and hopefully you are a big James Stewart fan as well.

AktoMan said...

Jimmy Stewart, is there a bad performance anywhere in his film credit? I certainly can't think of one.

And like John Wayne, only won ONE Oscar. Halle Berry has already equalled that.

From IMDB:
He was the first movie star to enter the service for World War II, joining a year before Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was initially refused entry into the Air Force because he weighed 5 pounds less than the required 148 pounds, but he talked the recruitment officer into ignoring the test. He eventually became a Colonel, and earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Croix de Guerre and 7 battle stars. In 1959, he served in the Air Force Reserve, before retiring as a brigadier general.