Is John Wayne really Luke Skywalker?

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    There are 193 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by itdo.

    • Is it really 13 years since I started this thread about JW mentionings in popular culture? Nobody added "Trumbo" to the list yet. I finally got around to seeing it, having missed it in theaters. In this list, there's dozens of mentions of John Wayne's name in movies, of references or footage that has been inserted into newer films. However, this is the first time I can remember that Mr. Wayne is portrayed by another actor in an actual plot. The subject matter of the Hollywood witchhunt is, of course, still a controversial one (although it has been tackled numerous times before). Dalton Trumbo remains one of the best screenwriters ever. Interesting enough, after having been imprisoned, he scripted "Spartacus" and "Papillon", both about what caged men are able to endure (and if you compare them to the original books, you'll realise Trumbo's talent as a writer to make it work for the screen). It certainly isn't a secret that Mr. Wayne headed the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a fact that must be judged from a standpoint of the late 1940s. The scenes in which he (or rather actor David James Elliot) appears (not in Western garb but in a business suit) are fictionalized but have a very authentic feel of the period. The movie also makes it a point that, even though Wayne is actively helping putting assumed Communists out of business, he believes in "giving a fella a second chance", meaning once you're cleared in the eyes of the Alliance you should be allowed to go back to work. While the subject of the "Hollywood Ten" is a fascinating one, in my opinion "Trumbo" fails as a dramatic movie. It never quite manages to grasb Trumbo's human tragedy and because it has to cover a lot of years, the scenes feel rather episodic.
    • Hello Robbie! It's something else how Duke and his image are still part of today's culture, many years after he has left us. You would be hard pressed to find anybody who doesn't know who he was. Many stars fade with time...not Duke!

      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • In the 2017 film "War Machine", Brad Pitt plays the US General in charge of the international troops in Afghanistan. For the montage sequence of him touring the country, the main title of "Hatari!" is played. It's meant as a satire which doesn't quite work, maybe because Henry Mancini's soundtrack was meant to underscore African, not Afghan landscapes.
    • Historians have been pointing out that Robert Redford's documentary mini series "The American West" isn't always historically accurate. Interestingly, the episode on Wyatt Earp has us believe that a young Marion Morrison met an elderly Earp (on his very first working day as an assistant!) on a western movie set; a meeting that would help the future John Wayne model his movie heros after Earp (the actor playing young Duke doesn't look like him). While it is true that John Ford in his younger years met with Earp while he was in Hollywoodland as an advisor, biographers never found proof that the meeting between Wayne and Earp took place as well. Even if it had, the documentary's conclusion that this led to Wayne's performances being influenced by Earp is hard to believe as he said numerous times that he modeled himself after Harry Carey.
    • The Netflix mini-series "Hollywood" (released May 2020) is about a group of young actors, doing pretty much everything there is to achieve stardom (one of them young Rock Hudson), in the post-World War II era. Even though the premise is that they eventually change Hollywood history around (very much like Tarantino recentely "changed" the Manson murders) and the historic Academy Award ceremony of that year is different, it still seems a bit far-fetched, even in this anything-goes scenario, to mention in a dialogue that John Wayne went to bed with Mae West to advance his career. All they have to back this malicious imputation is his quote from the Playboy interview: “Mae West is a man, I know that for a fact.”

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