John Wayne Was Here: The Film Locations and Favorite Places of an American Icon

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  • Kevin added a new article:


  • After visiting your website and taking a looksee, I went and ordered the book. I wish you luck, Itdo! May it become the must have for any Duke collector!


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • Thanks, Mark! It was years in the making --- and then delayed by Corona. It took so long I had to rewrite some of it, as when the Parmamount Ranch burned to the ground and the Nor'wester just sunk only weeks ago, I was able to get that in at the last minute. Shows that locations aren't around forever and one needs to see them as long as they're still to be enjoyed.

    I got the assistance of a number of great guys, at the Birthplace, the Lone Pine Museum, Gouldings, to name a few. Any questions, I'll gladly join the conversation! :)

  • I love reading little tidbits about his films, and can't wait to get the book. On your site, I saw that the Mill from The Shepherd of the Hills can be seen in the background of the picnic scene from North to Alaska. Also that the scene from True Grit, where they made camp and La Beouf shoots the Turkey was actually right next to the field where the final shootout was filmed. Tidbits like this interest me. I can't imagine the hard work and time you had put into this and I can't wait to read it!

    And I was actually sad to hear that The Nor'wester sank. Just looking at the pictures of her with just the bow above was hard to see. You hate to see anything that was tied to John Wayne disappear.


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • That's right, Mark. And I hate to hit you with it: Old Tucson closed. Did you know? The guy in charge of press relations who helped me with that part of the book let me know - I didn't even realize it during Corona. Have been there 3 times. Luckily, two times before the fire. The 3rd time, in 2004, was rather sad, having to see the replacements. Then again, I'm glad I still got to see it once more if it might be gone now permanently.

  • No, I didn't know about Old Tucson. Sad to hear that, as well. Probably with the new generation, interest dwindled quite a bit. I was planning to finally make the trip to Monument Valley at the end of last year, but because of Corona (I caught it), the idea was put away again. Hopefully I can get that dream realized one day soon.

    The closest I ever came to anything from a Duke film was when I saw the War Wagon sitting on a spot in Universal Studios, Florida. It was missing the turret but was still cool to see. I had my picture taken next to it, but when we developed the roll, that shot was too dark to see much detail. So, when I get your book in the mail, I'll travel to these various sites through your pages.


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • Thank you, ever so much. It doesn't have me standing in front of it with a big toothy smile like mine should have, but it's the next best thing! :D


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • Hey Itdo, I received the book and am very happy with it. I've read a lot of books about Duke but am learning more as I read through yours. I'm terrible at doing any kind of reviews, but you get 5 stars from me. I recommend it to any fan as a must read! I am about half way through it at this time and read a few pages a night. I don't want to finish too rapidly, as I really enjoy it. Thank you for all the hard work in creating a fantastic read!


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • As a western location expert (I have a series of books on the subject), I am always interested in other books along the same lines. So, I went to the web site promoting the book. What I found was discouraging as there were many errors in locations on the site. I'll probably still get the book, but buyer beware of what might be in the book.

    @corriganville I moved your comment post from the article page to the discussion thread. There was an error on the forum, all comments should post on this thread, but it didn't. Feel free to discuss further on this thread.

  • I've just returned from Spain where I was able to find another John Wayne location, in Toledo: the actual building that served as the "Matt Masters Winterquarters" in "Circus World" is still standing - even though it's in desperate need of repair. I put up all new pics on the website,, in the "Spain" section. Enjoy!

  • I finished your book, Itdo. I loved it. As I read it I found myself thinking, "I didn't know that!" many times. And the many pictures make it even better. Great job! I'm terrible at doing reviews, but know that it was truly an enjoyable read!


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • Thanks so much, Mark! Don't worry about the review -- I kinda like this funny one, in "Library Journal" - if you don't mind the "geeks" :)

    “Schaefli has gifted the geekiest of John Wayne geeks with this unique travelogue-cum-biography and gossip tabloid narrative hybrid that comprehensively covers practically every significant location that the actor ever visited…Schaefli assiduously follows Wayne’s travel[s]…Juxtaposed with the globe-trotting is an impressive glut of stories and filmland gossip that will entertain the most devoted Wayne fans. …a dead-on, obligatory purchase for the John Wayne completist.”―Library Journal

  • I'd like to encourage other Wayne enthusiasts to post their pictures (and selfies!) of movie locations here. That could encourage others to make the pilgrimage. Even more important: this could help to take better care of film-used structures.

    Let me start this off with this location I recently discovered in Madrid's Retiro Park. I visited the capital of Spain several years back, and like always when you explore an original movie site you wander around till you find the principal locations (Retiro is huge, it takes all day!) It's only when you get the chance to come back that you'll set your goal to finding smaller things like that one here:


    This is actually from a tiny moment in "Circus World" - a cutaway when Matt Masters chases after the stagecoach in the middle of Retiro Park. Supposedly French gendarmes run after the coach (in actuality, running in the wrong direction). It took me a while to locate the statue that's in this shot: it's "Hércules y el Léon de Nemea", on the Fernan Nunez Parkway.


    Yup, that's yours truly admiring Hercules after a long walk.

  • Great job finding the statue, Itdo! Has it been moved since the film, or have the trees and garden been cut way back?

    I think your idea is a great one. Any of our members should feel free to post any pictures of locations they may have visited over the years. I know I would love to see them.


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • Feeling mighty proud that the editors of the "Official John Wayne Collectors Magazine" asked me to create an article called "Leaving his Mark". This is about Americana, the places that were special as a movie location because of their importance in history. John-Wayne-Mag.pdf

    Available here:

    John Wayne: The Official Collector's Edition Volume 47—Red, White, and Duke
    About: John Wayne Collector’s Edition presents John Wayne 47: Red, White and Duke, a 100-page magazine revealing the legend's vision of America. Packed with…