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John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth Paperback – March 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- Publishers Weekly (Publisher's Weekly ) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Munn brings motion picture super star John Wayne to life with a comprehensive chronological narrative of his life and career. Using Wayne era media documentation, personal interviews with friends, family, and co-stars, and reviewing books about the Duke the author reintroduces readers to John Wayne's greatness. Memorable stories are told from the Duke's personal, family, and performance lives.
We hear from John Agar, Lee Van Cleef, Rock Hudson, Charlton Heston, Jennifer O'Neill, Sammy Davis, Jr., Maureen O'Hara, and many more about Wayne. Readers learn about his opinions on Richard Widmark's acting, John Huston's directing, and daughter Aissa's script reading. One discovers which one of Wayne's films was his own favorite ("The Alamo") and which was the simplest for him to make ("True Grit"). (John Wayne turned down the "Dirty Harry" part after Frank Sinatra's refusal because he didn't want a Sinatra's rejection and the Duke also didn't like the image of a rogue cop.) Wayne's families, religion (as a back-sliding Presbyterian), politics (as an Orange County Reagan Republican), love for alcohol, and lung cancer (which ultimately killed him in 1979) are reviewed.
Munn's story of John Wayne's rise from a movie back lot janitor (as an injured USC football player) to mega star adored by millions is interesting and at times riveting. Much of the Duke's life was like a John Wayne movie.Read more ›
Having said that, it is informative based on interviews of many people who knew and worked with the Duke, friends, family, and even some interviews with John Wayne himself, so we get insight into him as an actor, friend, husband, and father. He loved his craft and was probably better at it than the critics gave him credit. For sure, he loved his family and children, was a loyal friend, and an unquestionably loyal and patriotic American. As for his marriages...I think he probably chose to spend too much time with his guy pals when he should have been home; thus the relationships suffered. Something not unusual in Hollywood. He was a man's man, in the movies and in real life. While this isn't my favorite JW book, it definitely has a place on the shelf of avid fans. Buy and decide for yourselves.
First it reveals some things that I did not know such as that Wayne wanted to enlist in WW II but Herbert Yates, the head of Republic Pictures, got him deferred by convincing the higher-ups in Washington that Wayne would make a greater contribution to the countries' morale by starring in several patriotic WWII films instead. The book also goes into Stalin's plot to assassinate the Duke.
The thing I like most about this book however is that it is written by a journalist for a British film magazine. Apparently during his many interviews with other Hollywood stars he would ask them questions about John Wayne as well. So we get comments from such other major stars as Charlton Heston, William Holden, Henry Fonda, Rock Hudson, etc. about Wayne and the films they made together. Another nice thing is that the author interviewed Wayne himself when Wayne was on location in Great Britain to film the film "Brannigan."
All-in-all I learned some things I did not know and found reading this book a very enjoyable experience. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved it!! It covered his personal and movie life with his input and opinions.Published 1 month ago by Joe
My husband is a HUGE John Wayne fan and loves to cook, so this cookbook was a no brainer.Published 10 months ago by Terry Hebert