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John Wayne's Tribute to America

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Deal of the Day: 60% off John Wayne: The Epic Collection Amazon Exclusive
Today only, save 60% on John Wayne: The Epic Collection Amazon Exclusive. This collection features 40 John Wayne Films, an Amazon Exclusive "Duke" Belt Buckle, a coffee table book, and more. The offer to own this collection ends February 1, 2014, 11:59 pm PST and while supplies last. Shop now

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OZ2CQQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Original sponsor commercials with John Wayne and Ed McMahon
  • John Wayne on "What's My Line?"

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An All-Star Spectacular with Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Dan Blocker, Roscoe Lee Brown, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, Bing Crosby, Phyllis Diller, Lorne Greene, Celeste Holm, Bob Hope, Michael Landon, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Ross Martin, Greg Morris, Rick & David Nelson, Hugh O'Brien, Rowan & Martin, William Shatner, Red Skelton, Tom Smothers and Leslie Uggams and Dennis Weaver.


John Wayne's first television special, originally aired as Swing Out, Sweet Land on NBC-TV in 1970, is a patriotic and poignant journey through American history -- with music, comedy and many famous friends.

As host and narrator, Wayne walks through pivotal moments in America's past. His guests include Jack Benny as a citizen asking George Washington (Lorne Greene) about that dollar he supposedly threw across the Potomac River; Bob Hope and Ann-Margret entertaining the troops at Valley Forge; printer Red Skelton discussing dissent with apprentice Tom Smothers; Lucille Ball as Miss Liberty; and Bing Crosby as Mark Twain, philosophizing with freed slave Frederick Douglass (Roscoe Lee Brown).

Also: Dean Martin as inventor Eli Whitney; Michael Landon as Peter Minuit, buying Manhattan Island from an Indian (Bonanza co-star Dan Blocker); brothers Rick and David Nelson fighting on opposite sides in the Civil War; Phyllis Diller as a 19th-century Presidential candidate; Dan Rowan and Dick Martin as the Wright brothers; Celeste Holm and Dennis Weaver as the parents of young Abraham Lincoln; Greg Morris as Crispus Attucks, a Negro who died in the Boston Massacre.

Musical highlights include Ribbon Of Steel by Johnny Cash, This Is A Great Country by Glen Campbell, Oh, Susannah by Roy Clark, Clementine by Leslie Uggams and God Bless America by the cast.

JOHN WAYNE'S TRIBUTE TO AMERICA is a lavish and thoughtful timepiece of 20th-century television entertainment, presenting a parade of legendary stars in a humorous and hopeful celebration.

DVD Bonuses:

*Original Sponsor Commercials with John Wayne & Ed McMahon
*John Wayne on What's My Line?


As an amazing time capsule of all-star entertainment, John Wayne's Tribute to America provides a perfect snapshot of American television in the year 1970. Under its original title Swing Out, Sweet Land, this Emmy-winning variety show was originally broadcast on NBC on November 29, 1970, and was intended, in part, as John Wayne's personal response to growing protest against the war in Vietnam. Three years after the hippie movement's "Summer of Love," the country was politically divided like never before, and this 80-minute special was Wayne's attempt to counteract the "anti-American" war protests with a rousing, patriotic, and unifying reminder of America's greatness. In his introduction, Wayne (whose controversial conservatism ran against the rising tide of liberal politics) promises that the show will be apolitical and "short on preaching," focusing instead on America as "one of those yarn-spinnin' places"--a proud land of immigrants where people didn't take themselves too seriously, and where courage and nobility were mixed with song, dance, and humor as the country expanded westward. Swing Out, Sweet Land then kicks into high gear, with Glenn Campbell singing "This Is a Great Country" (from Irving Berlin's final musical, Mr. President), followed by a veritable who's who of veteran entertainers, singing songs, telling jokes and appearing in historical sketches that unabashedly express Wayne's pro-American sentiments. As a tuneful history lesson, the program won an Emmy award for Dominic Frontiere's outstanding achievement in musical direction.

For some viewers this will be a welcome trip down memory lane, or a nostalgic reminder of a kind of patriotic spirit that had grown increasingly old-fashioned even in 1970. Others will see it as a perfect target for the kind of variety-show spoofs that were later perfected on SCTV. No matter how you perceive it now, Swing Out, Sweet Land offers an abundance of one-of-a-kind highlights, like Bing Crosby playing Mark Twain; Roscoe Lee Browne as Frederick Douglass; Ann-Margaret dancing up a patriotic storm; William Shatner doing some "serious acting" as John Adams; Lucille Ball as the voice of the Statue of Liberty; George Burns poking fun at Jack Benny in a hilarious walk-on cameo; Ricky and David Nelson as Confederate and Union enemies; Johnny Cash billed as a "locomotive troubadour," singing a flawless rendition of "Ribbon of Steel"; and Bob Hope doing his war-time comedy act... at Valley Forge! That's just a sampling of the stars on hand for Wayne's salute to America, along with a ghost-town sketch that qualifies as a kind of early farewell to Wayne's established Western persona. And while most of Swing Out, Sweet Land now looks impossibly quaint and dated, it's more than worthy of DVD revival as a memorable TV footnote to Wayne's big-screen career. The original 1970 broadcast was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, and as a bonus feature the DVD includes the show's original commercials for Budweiser beer, one featuring Wayne and Ed McMahon. Also included is an archival clip of Wayne promoting his then-new film The Alamo while appearing as the "mystery guest" on a 1960 episode of the popular TV game show What's My Line? --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

True Americana and very patriotic.
Lab mom
This is so great, the sound is clear and bright, the visual is very good.
Anne Greene
This is good wholesome family entertainment.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By John W. Schlatter on December 10, 2007
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Dispite the fact that Duke left us close to 30 years ago he is still listed among the top 10 favorite movie stars....The only one from that great generation of Hope, Crosby, Stewart, Gable, Tracy etc..who is known to the under 20 group...
Marion Morrison's creation 'John Wayne' symbolized all that made America great..Manliness, Gentlemanliness, Patriotism, Individualism, Committment, Courage and the ability to laugh at oneself...
This is not a 'cornball' endorsement of America...It is a celebration...F.Scott Fitzgerald said, "France was a Land, England was a People, But America was an IDEA"...and this DVD pays tribute to that IDEA...That people of all races and religions could live, work and create together...
He doesn't shy away from looking at our faults as Crosby's Mark Twain and Browne's Frederick Douglas discussion proves...
While a devout Conservative he gives liberal Tommy Smothers the spotlight to read a stirring speech on the value of dissent...This was after the Smother's brothers show had been cancelled..Duke truly felt that, agree with him or disagree with him, EVERYONE should have the right to state their point of view (a belief that the champions of so called Political Correctness would crticize that they try to stifle all who disagree with their view)
I can't see how anyone could watch this old chestnut and not just be a little bit more proud of being an American....
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on June 28, 2007
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"John Wayne's Tribute to America" (originally aired as the television special, "Swing Out, Sweet Land", in 1970), isn't great TV, or an accurate American history lesson, but it IS fun, and reflects the genuine love and pride 'the Duke' felt for his country.

The special serves best as a 'time capsule' of entertainment of the era, which will bring a smile to older viewers, but may have today's kids scratching their heads...John Wayne, as the host/narrator, introduces slices of American history, 'Hollywood 1970' style...skinflint Jack Benny retrieves George Washington's tossed silver dollar, Bob Hope and Ann-Margret entertain the troops at Valley Forge, Dean Martin invents the cotton 'gin' (get it?), Rowan and Martin are the Wright brothers, "Bonanza's" 'Little Joe' Michael Landon buys Manhattan Island from 'Hoss' Dan Blocker (and 'Ben Cartwright' Lorne Greene plays George Washington, in another segment, featuring Hugh O'Brien as Thomas Jefferson, and William Shatner as John Adams)...Obviously, the material is 'dated', and everything is celebrity persona-'driven'...but some moments do shine! Johnny Cash performs a terrific musical number on a locomotive, Glen Campbell is very good, as well; Bing Crosby and Roscoe Lee Browne, as Mark Twain and Frederick Douglass, have a surprisingly sensitive, if brief, conversation about racial equality (so good that it almost seems out of place, amid the sillier moments). Yes, the musical finale is a bit 'over-the-top' (and proves that most actors can't sing a 'lick'), but Wayne keeps things light and patriotic, and is obviously enjoying himself!

As another of the releases to celebrate the Duke's 100th birthday, this nostalgia piece is a wonderful addition to any Wayne collection!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark Belgen on June 4, 2008
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This is what America is all about. Boy, do I miss those great whole some, positive, no-shock, variety shows like this one. It is so refreshing to see a program like this again, it really shows just how far TV shows have gone in the wrong direction. This is a must have, especially if you love John Wayne and are a collector.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 13, 2007
as told by John Wayne and a bunch of other entertainers, singers, dancers, and actors. The sad part is that I am pretty sure that most of these people are now deceased. It reminds us what it took to make America great and why we should support it even if we do not always agree with everything about it. This is good wholesome family entertainment. The dancers are talented and the costumes are well done.

Everyone in America should watch this at least once every July 4th. It will give you patriotic warm fuzzys.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sweet Pickle on June 15, 2008
Hollywood stars now a days do not compare to the stars of past. I feel for my young son. There are no current stars which use John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and/or Bob Hope as models. These types of stars are gone forever. They were famous and talented but also supported this wonderful country of America.

It seems like all the new movies stars have the same things in common - sex, violence and foul language movies.

If you get this product, your young children can sit down and watch a decent program. You don't have to worry about them hearing foul language and/or seeing sex plus violence being used. They can see and enjoy these famous stars of yesteryear. Hopefully, the love of country can be passed on to the next generation of actors and actresses.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Larry C. Adams on September 26, 2007
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John Wayne's America was done in the early '70s during a time of unrest in our country. It is a wonderful tribute to our country with a number
of wonderful celebrities taking part. I would highly recommend it.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Long on September 4, 2007
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I remember seeing the program on TV many years ago. I wanted the DVD for my collection of John Wayne memorabelia. If you consider the Duke a true American hero, this is a must have item.
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