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John Wayne: The Life and Legend by [Eyman, Scott]
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4.5 out of 5 stars 577 customer reviews

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Length: 673 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is a fine biography of two men: Marion “Duke” Morrison, the jock who wound up working on a movie lot and eventually stepped hesitantly in front of the camera, and John Wayne, Morrison’s alter ego, the movie star who bore only a passing resemblance to Morrison himself. A studio chief gave Morrison, then a young, mostly unknown actor, his new name, and over the next several decades, Morrison built a persona around it; but, as the author points out, he never legally changed his name, never really thought of himself as John Wayne. Eyman tracks Morrison’s life and Wayne’s career, showing how one impacted the other (Morrison became a better actor as he became comfortable with the Wayne mannerisms and performance style). The book nicely balances the personal and the professional and offers us an opportunity to get to know the man who stood, not in John Wayne’s shadow (not that, by any means) but sort of beside him. A fine show-biz biography, delivering what fans want about the star’s career but probing with uncommon depth into his personality. --David Pitt

Unknown

“[An] authoritative and enormously engaging new biography. . . . [Eyman] takes you through Wayne’s life, his death and his legend in a detailed, remarkably knowledgeable yet extremely readable way.” (Peter Bogdanovich The New York Times Book Review)

“A spirited portrait of John Wayne and the Hollywood he worked in. . . . Traces his transition from the eager, boyish roles he played in early movies to confident leading man.” (Michiko Kakutani The New York Times)

“No Wayne biography until now has ridden the defile between the reverential and the tendentious with quite the graceful equilibrium of this one. . . . Eyman gets at the details that the bean-counters and myth-spinners miss. . . . Wayne's intimates have told Eyman things here that they've never told anyone else.” (David Kipen The Los Angeles Times)

“Deeply researched and totally absorbing.” (Clive Sinclair The Wall Street Journal)

“We all think we know John Wayne, in part because he seemed to be playing himself in movie after movie. Yet as Eyman carefully lays out, ‘John Wayne’ was an invention, a persona created layer by layer by an ambitious young actor.” (Glenn Frankel The Washington Post)

“Scott Eyman has taken a legend and a statue and given us an odd, decent, muddled but deeply likeable man. That’s what makes this book so readable and so touching.” (David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film and Moments That Made the Movies )

“[An] exemplary biography. . . . Eyman appears to have had broad access to Wayne’s business and family life, and the result is a book with a compelling claim to being definitive.” (Robert Horton Film Comment)

“In comprehensive detail, this new biography chronicles a great star at work. . . . Like a cinematographer, Mr. Eyman offers readers Wayne from many angles, in his own words and the words of those who worked with him. . . . An engrossing record of how the Duke stayed top dog for so long.“ (The Economist)

“[A] splendid biography of Hollywood’s most enduring movie star. . . . Eyman offers perceptive views of Wayne’s many films and a wagon’s worth of revealing and entertaining anecdotes. If you think you know John Wayne, you’ll know him even better as a movie star — and appreciate him even more as a person—after reading John Wayne: The Life and Legend.” (Douglass K. Daniel Associated Press)

“One of the greatest movie star biographies ever written.” (Allen Barra Salon.com)

“A comprehensive and compelling examination of The Duke. . . . Insightful, exhaustive and engrossing—a definitive portrait of the man and the legend.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Drawing deeply on interviews with family and friends, acclaimed biographer Eyman colorfully chronicles Wayne’s life and work. . . . Compulsively readable.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Eyman’s exhaustively informative biography is, in essence, a tribute. One ends it liking Duke a lot more.” (John Sutherland The Times (London))

"Full of historical detail and fan facts, John Wayne tracks shy Marion Robert Morrison's path to the screen hero who got scant credit for his own craft in creating the John Wayne that rallied audiences." (David D'Arcy The San Francisco Chronicle)

“It would be hard to find a more complete picture of a public figure’s life and legend than Eyman gives us of the Duke.” (Larry Thornberry The American Spectator)

“[A] splendid biography of Hollywood’s most enduring movie star. . . . Eyman offers perceptive views of Wayne’s many films and a wagon’s worth of revealing and entertaining anecdotes. If you think you know John Wayne, you’ll know him even better as a movie star — and appreciate him even more as a person—after reading John Wayne: The Life and Legend.” (Douglass K. Daniel Associated Press)


Product details

  • File Size: 54550 KB
  • Print Length: 673 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (April 1, 2014)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2014
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DPM909C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,617 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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