John Wayne was no dummy

Friday, January 16, 2015

John Wayne was no dummy

"As long as a man has a project – something to look forward to – there'll always be something important to him. He'll never really get old. If I had nothing to look forward to, I might as well be dead."
– John Wayne, to Pat Stacy, his last inamorata, circa 1976

(And boy, do I get that!)

An OtBB commenter to last November's entry about one cable channel's month-long orgy of Wayne's Westerns recommended a biography of the actor, "John Wayne: American" which sounded like a worthy read.

On my next trip to the library with the Duke on my mind, first thing inside the front door was a display of books, one of the foremost of which was "John Wayne: The Life and Legend" by Scott Eyman.

I lost focus for that moment, and checked it out.

While the subject matter was endlessly interesting, the book took six weeks for me to get through its 600 pages, so poorly organized was the material!

In repect to Eyman's volume:

  1. Although there are several references to "Wayne told me...," very little of the material appears to be original.
  2. As with the recently read Lynn Bari biography, this one cries out for a better editor.

But hey!, it's all about "Duke," with healthy helpings of his great mentor/father figure John Ford, friend and frequent co-star Ward Bond, and another multiple co-star, Marlene Dietrich with whom he enjoyed a passionate dalliance toward the end of his first marriage to Josephine Alicia Saenz.

On a future trip to the Library, however, just for com­parison's sake, I'm going to come home with the book for which I initially went: "John Wayne: American."

I'll report back....

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