Original Novels for Duke's Movies

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    • Original Novels for Duke's Movies


      (Books, Duke's movies were based on)

      Rida Johnson Young.(1924)

      A complete short novel, the story of a mother's
      love and self denial

      THERE was no candle in the window
      of the little house with the broken
      thatch. She who had kept it there,
      always burning for her children, was gone.
      There was no flicker of a hearth fire,
      either, through the panes of the little
      crooked windows. They looked blind,
      those pitiful windows, as if the fire had
      been the soul of them. Now that it had
      fled, they could no longer reflect the beauty
      of the world, nor hint, with cheerful winkings,
      of the snug comfort inside, with the
      world shut out.......

      Donn Byrne/ John Richard Flanagan (Illustrator).(1925)

      1925. A romantic novel from the Irish novelist. Hangman's House begins: Once more had come now the miracle of the Irish June. Yellow of gorse; red of clover; purple of the Dublin Mountains. Everywhere the white of the hawthorn; there would be a hard winter coming, the gloomy farmers said, so much of it there was. And wherever a clump of trees were, there grew great crops of bluebells. And the primrose lingered, who should have gone three weeks and more. And over the white roads the trees met, elm and ash and sturdy horse-chestnut, making cool green tunnels, like some property out of a fairy story. And where there were dock-leaves by the roadside the golden snail crept, with his long sensitive eyes, his little house on his back-sheleg-a-bookie, the Irish children call him affectionately, snail of the hump-the golden snail with his mottled house, who leaves a band of silver on the green leaf. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

      I. A. R. Wylie.(1926)

      Illustrated With Scenes From The William Fox Photoplay.

      Thelma Strabel /Cecil B Demille (Foreword) (1943)

      A Salty historical romance of Charleston and the Florida Keys a hundred years ago. The thrilling novel on which the movie was based

      Not much like the movie, but enjoyable sea-faring story.

      Garland Roark. (1946)

      The first edition was used in the trailer of the film.
      My gosh what a great book! Roark is a little wordy, and all the Dutch terms were a little difficult for me, but all in all none of it detracted from the story, and in fact, I felt added to the overall story. Not that I am a literary critic or anything, I just know what I like, and I would highly recommend these books and stories to everyone.

      THE QUIET MAN: and other stories
      Maurice Walsh.(1930's)

      This and other short stories help you make a transition to Ireland
      once you open the book. It is, of course,
      quite different from the Frank Nugent screenplay.
      For example, Sean Thornton’s name
      is Paddy Bawn Enright in the original story.

      In the 1930s, Irish novelist Maurice Walsh placed the moors and mountains of Ireland firmly on the literary map with this celebrated collection of stories. Since then, readers have continued to be charmed by these accounts of the simple and common activities of the characters in 1920s rural Ireland. The lives of Hugh Forbes, Paddy Bawn Enright, Archibald MacDonald, Joan Hyland, and Nuala Kierley intermingle as the themes of nationalism, human dignity, honor, and love are given full play. Made famous by John Ford's Oscar-winning film The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, these remain humorous and poignant tales set against a backdrop of intrigue and Irish civil unrest.

      Ernest K. Gann.(1944)

      Popular Library 1961 (originally 1944
      The movie pretty much followed the book and was a good read.

      When Ernie Gann wrote this book in 1944 he had just come to realize that the love of flying was going to consume his life. Gann was a left-seat man and he was able to tranfer his need for perfection to the printed page. A veteran pilot will find no flaws or mistakes or stupid exaggerations in the technical descriptions in this book. Ernie Gann will put you in the left seat and make you sweat. He will give you the sense and the thrill of flying a four-engine transport under dubious conditions in 1944. I am sorry this book is out of print. That is truly a shame. GANN IS DEAD. LONG LIVE ERNIE GANN.

      Gann keeps you on the edge of your seat as Pilots of the WWII Aircraft Ferry Service search for one of their own that has strayed off course on the way to England. The search continues for the lost and presumed downed plane in the Canadian north. Good story of the fight for survival in bitter low tempartures and what can happen if your unprepared. This story made a good motion picture also. (Andy Devine, John Wayne) I would like to see/buy this story and "The High and The Mighty" ontape if someone has it. Tom Rogers, Boston, MA

      Ernest K. Gann.(1953)

      Great story that the movie pretty much followed.

      Goes into great detail on each of the passengers and their story line.
      I first read "The High and The Mighty" in a Reader's Digest Condensed Books version and, later, the entire book, courtesy of the Manhasset, NY, public library, followed by the movie. If you love aviation, especially the Gann descriptions which put you in the cockpit with Dan Roman as he struggles with his pilot to squeeze every drop of avgas to produce more air miles, you'll thoroughly enjoy this book. Gann's "Fate Is the Hunter" perhaps contains more aviation data, but H & M combines aviation thrills with the individual lives of the passengers and crew. The characters stick with you over the years. I haven't read the book in more than 35 years, yet the names remain...stewardess Spalding, copilot Roman, navigator Leonard, the aging Mr. Briscoe, Sally, Hobie and all the rest. Gann brings these characters home to you in a way few authors can match.//I'd like to find a hard copy edition some day, but the thought struck me tonight that a second ! best opportunity might be to contact Reader's Digest for their copy of the condensed version of "The High and The Mighty."

      Ernest Haycox.(1937)

      the original story to "Stagecoach"

      The movie “Stagecoach” was based on this wonderful Western story by Ernest Haycox. But the movie is nothing like this story except for the stagecoach ride. Mr. Haycox’s story is about Henriette, her occupation, and who she really is deep inside. An example:

      “…”You are all right,” and her smile was soft and pleasant, turning her lips maternal. There was this wisdom in her, this knowledge of the fears that men concealed behind their manners, the deep hungers that rode them so savagely, and the loneliness that drove them to women of her kind. She repeated, “You are all right,” and watched this whiskey drummer’s eyes lose the wildness of what he knew.”

      This is a gentle story of love, dealing with the tragedy that is life, with the violence kept off the page, but still integral to the story. Wonderfully written.
      From “The Western Hall of Fame” anthology edited by Bill Pronzini and Martin H. Greenberg.

      Zane Grey.(c.1940'S)


      (aka "Helltown" as a movie)

      THE FIRST REBEL: America's First Uprising
      Neil H. Swanson.(1937)

      A lost chapter of our history and a true narrative of America's first uprising against English military authority
      The movie Allegheny Uprising was made from this book.
      Information from dukefan1

      THE DARK COMMAND: A Kansas Iliad
      W. R. Burnett.(1938)

      Historical fiction set during the Civil War at the Missouri-Kansas border, and the love story of one woman whose two love interests represent the time's conflicting ways of life.

      Harold Bell Wright.(1907)

      Inside cover it says this book is copyright 1907 by Harold Bell Wright, but has no other date of publication....story of the beautiful Ozark hill country comes a man from the world of cities.

      My only knowledge of this book prior to reading it was that Branson, MO hosts an outdoor drama of this story. Since reading it and doing some research I learned that the author was the best selling author of the first quarter of the 20th century. Published in 1907 The Shepherd of the Hills is one of his most well known books. Set in the Ozarks where Wright lived for some years, the plot begins with an educated man visiting the area for unknown reasons. Quickly one learns that there is some mystery involved. Memorable characters come alive as the contrast between rural and urban culture is explored. Using the visiting stranger as one who settles among the people, the author leads the reader to understand that developing integrity is the greater good rather than the typical successful urban stereotype. The book includes intertwined families, attempted hangings, romance, fights, revenue men, ghosts and secrets discovered. The physical landscape of the Ozarks is another character as it plays a part in the conflicts and resolutions. I was drawn into the story, getting a vivid image of the Ozarks at the time of the writing. I would recommend the book, especially to those interested in applied Christianity. While the author was not critically acclaimed by academia, he certainly was successful in communicating with the common people for whom buying books was still rare. The book needs to be considered by the time period of its writing, rather than current criticism. The author's life is as interesting as his book. More can be found about him on the Harold Bell Wright website.

      I LOVE this book. The story is way different then the movie,
      but the characters are the same, only Aunt Molly is a very kind woman.
      I highly recommend this one!

      Rex Beach (1906)

      Rex Beach (1877-1949) was an American novelist and playwright. He was born in to a prominent family and pursued a career as a lawyer before being drawn to Alaska at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush. After five years of unsuccessful prospecting, he turned to writing. His first novel, The Spoilers was based on a true story of corrupt government officials stealing gold mines from prospectors, which he witnessed while he was prospecting in Nome, Alaska. The Spoilers became one of the best selling novels of 1906. His adventure novels were immensely popular throughout the early 1900s.

      Chuck Martin.(1958)

      Cannot find anything relating to the book.
      However It's an understatement to say that Martin was a character.
      He was bigger than life, definitely bigger than the characters he wrote about. He had first hand experience as a cowboy before his writing days, and claimed to have fought with Pancho Villa and knew Wyatt Earp and the Dalton gang.

      Borden Chase. (1948)

      Great read, but Dunson dies in the book. Prefered the movie ending.

      Dorothy M. Johnson.(1962)

      Complex story.
      (both the novelization by James Warner Bellah, and the original short story by Dorothy Johnson). The short story is similar to the film, and is actually pretty good. I wish they had left some of the aspects of the story in the film.

      James Warner Bellah (1899 - 1976) was a popular American Western author from the 1930s to the 1950s. His pulp-fiction writings on cavalry and Indians were published in paperbacks or serialized in the Saturday Evening Post.

      Bellah was the author of 19 novels, including The Valiant Virginian (the inspiration for the 1961 NBC television series The Americans), and Blood River.

      Some of his short stories were turned into movies by John Ford. With Willis Goldbeck he wrote the screenplay for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

      (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon)
      James Warner Bellah.(1949)

      James Warner Bellah (1899 - 1976) was a popular American Western author from the 1930s to the 1950s. His pulp-fiction writings on cavalry and Indians were published in paperbacks or serialized in the Saturday Evening Post.

      Bellah was the author of 19 novels, including The Valiant Virginian (the inspiration for the 1961 NBC television series The Americans), and Blood River.

      Some of his short stories were turned into movies by John Ford, including She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

      (Fort Apache)
      James Warner Bellah.(1948)

      In the original,
      it is the Cohill character who really hides the truth about
      Thursday’s death (who shot himself!)

      James Warner Bellah (1899 - 1976) was a popular American Western author from the 1930s to the 1950s. His pulp-fiction writings on cavalry and Indians were published in paperbacks or serialized in the Saturday Evening Post.

      Bellah was the author of 19 novels, including The Valiant Virginian (the inspiration for the 1961 NBC television series The Americans), and Blood River.

      Some of his short stories were turned into movies by John Ford, including Fort Apache [story 'Massacre'], She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Rio Grande. With Willis Goldbeck he wrote the screenplay for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

      Peter B. Kyne.(1913)

      The story is already beloved by film buffs thanks to the many adaptations for the big screen, including the 1948 John Ford/John Wayne collaboration and the 2003 Japanese anime Tokyo Godfathers. But here is the original 1913 novelette in all its warm humanity and humor. Three bank robbers on the run in the frontier American West happen upon a birthing mother who begs the men to watch over her baby as the delivery takes her life just as another is brought into the world. Naturally, they do, and find that their new charge brings them a new outlook on their wicked ways. American novelist PETER B. KYNE (1880-1957) was born in San Francisco, California. From early on it was clear that he had a gift for writing, and his time in the army during the Spanish-American War and World War I gave him plenty to write about. Kyne's novels include The Go-Getter (1921) and Cappy Ricks (1916).

      Alan LeMay.(1950)

      One of the greats.
      I thought it was interesting that in the novel, Ethan Edwards
      (Amos Edwards in the book) was actually killed in the novel.
      I'm glad they didn't keep that in the film!

      The Searchers is far better known in its cinematic form than as a book .Alan Le May's stirring tale of two men searching for a young girl abducted and adopted by Comanches provided the basis of what is generally considered the finest film of its genre.
      The film deviates slightly from the original storyline but clings to the characterizations and stylish and colloquial prose of the original source along with the entertwined threads of the main plot .Both book and the film contain all the elements of a good rousing Western of the old school.

      Set in a period when the tribe known as Comanches were still just powerfull enough to strike at the adventurers and settlers who encroached upon the Southern buffalo ranges it is clear that even they were aware that the days of raiding ,hunting and freedom were coming to an end .
      Post Civil War emigration and ex-soldiers returning to their desolate homes placed a grim pressure on the natives who had taken delight in raiding the poorly defended white frontier settlements whilst most of the able bodied men had been fighting and dying in the War between the States.
      Both book and film cannot fail to evoke an appreciation for the vaste landscape ,the dusty heat of summer and the numbing blizzards of winter that the two men -The Searchers of the title- have to endure during their lengthy quest .

      Along the way there are encounters with Indians , friendly ,hostile and non-commital to their cause . Mexican Comancheros ,mercenary traders ,troops of US cavalry and Texas Rangers add to the vitality of this full -blooded adventure along with a gently underplayed tale of unrequited love .
      Historically accurate ,evocative and well written, Alan Le May's tale of rescue and revenge could hardly fail to become the basis of a classic film .

      Having watched this film many years ago, I was desperate to read the novel - to see how they compared. The book is so well written, and provides the answers to one of the questions I had after watching the film - ie that Ethan was in love with his brother's wife. The book varies from the famous movie, but that is somewhat in its favour. It is a fantastic and compelling read. I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommended - whether you have seen the film or not - you won't be disappointed.

      Leigh Brackett. (1959)

      Now this could be just a tie-in for which they used Brackett’s name,
      not an original work by that famed author (who later went on to write STAR WARS).

      I first read this book over 50 years ago, before I first saw the movie in fact. It was great getting another copy. The only thing that upsets me is that they didn't get the rifle Wayne carries on the cover right. Saw the movie again last night and followed it with another Wayne movie that was also written by Ms. Brackett, Eldorado. Wayne, Howard Hawks and Leigh Brackett were a winning team.

      Harold Sinclair. (c.1960)

      Story based on a true raid into Confederate territory.
      The part of Hanna isn't in the book.
      This novel is a fictionalized account of one of the most daring cavalry raids of all time. Set during the American Civil War, it brings to life "the Grierson Raid" - the 17-day raid by a Union brigade through the heart of Confederate Mississippi.

      The book gets high marks for realism and accuracy. Sinclair in his “Author’s Note” proclaims that the book is “fiction, not history” and makes a point of not claiming to be historically accurate. He is being overly modest because in reality he has written one of the most historically accurate novels I have ever read. Unfortunately, the accuracy is liable to disappoint action fans.

      As far as the movie, it is obvious the producers found the book boring. The screenwriters jazzed up the story a lot to attract a non-historically inclined audience. There are numerous differences from the book.

      Paul I. Wellman.(1952)

      A good western.
      Fictional history.

      The history about the Texas republic and Sam Houston are accurate but the story itself is fiction.

      I enjoyed the adventure and the characters. The movie starring John Wayne was an interesting movie and did the book justice; not making great changes in the storyline.

      It was well written and interesting to the end.

      Louis L’Amour. (C.1960)

      Just one of the great westerns. Actually, L’Amour published this first as a short story, A GIFT FROM COCHISE (which is also a great story). Then James Edward Grant made it into the screenplay. And only THEN, L’Amour wrote HONDO.

      He was etched by the desert’s howling winds, a big, broad-shouldered man who knew the ways of the Apache and the ways of staying alive. She was a woman alone raising a young son on a remote Arizona ranch. And between Hondo Lane and Angie Lowe was the warrior Vittoro, whose people were preparing to rise against the white men. Now the pioneer woman, the gunman, and the Apache warrior are caught in a drama of love, war, and honor.

      Louis L'amour.(C.1960)

      They came by river and by wagon train, braving the endless distances of the Great Plains and the icy passes of the Sierra Nevada. They were men like Linus Rawlings, a restless survivor of Indian country who’d headed east to see the ocean but left his heart—and his home—in the West. They were women like Lilith Prescott, a smart, spirited beauty who fled her family and fell for a gambling man in the midst of a frontier gold boom. These pioneering men and women sowed the seeds of a nation with their courage—and with their blood. Here is the story of how their paths would meet amid the epic struggle against fierce enemies and nature’s cruelty, to win for all time the rich and untamed West.

      (El Dorado)
      Harry Brown, Alfred Knopf-Borzoi Books(1960)

      1960 (was made into the movie El Dorado)
      The epic novel of the old west, a living legend of lust, doom, death, of tall strong men, golden women and towering passions!.

      Clair Huffaker.(1957)

      Originally published as "Badman," The War Wagon is a good, hard-hitting western novel by Clair Huffaker that was later turned into a John Wayne western. Jack Tawlin is an infamous gunfighter, known all over the west for his ability with a gun. Fresh out of prison, his younger brother, Jess, and a storekeeper, Snyder, approach Tawlin with a plan to knock off a gold shipment. The catch? The gold is transported in an iron stagecoach with four guards inside, a rifleman on top, and twenty riders escorting the shipment from town to town. Against the odds, Tawlin teams up with Snyder and his motley crew for a chance at almost a million in gold. Having seen the movie and read Huffaker's other novels, I thought this was a safe bet, and it is. Good action, developed characters, and enough twist and turns so you're never quite sure who's on who's side. And besides, how can you wrong with a heist story set in the wild west?

      The War Wagon in movie form has been altered quite a bit, but Huffaker's basic idea is there. Characters change and are combined some, but it's also worth checking out. Kirk Douglas joins Wayne, Keenan Wynn, Bruce Cabot, Robert Walker JR, and Howard Keel in the highly enjoyable 1967 western.

      Charles Portis/ Donna Tartt (Introduction) (C.1970)

      Move over, Huckleberry Finn – this novel is a classic.
      First Editions, and others published.

      There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down and avenge her father's murder.

      William Dale Jennings.(1971)

      This author knows what he’s writing about.
      A classic novel and a briefing in cowboying.

      William Dale Jennings novel is a fast- moving and highly evolving tale of a middle-aged rancher (Will Anderson) who's got to drive his 800 head of cattle to market or risk losing his spread. Trouble is, his ne'er-do-well sons are dead, and there is not an able-bodied hand within a hundred miles because every one of them has skedaddled to the Dakota gold fields. So Anderson is forced to recruit a gang of schoolboys to get his herd to market; the long drive that results is full of adventure, mayhem and heartbreak. Rustlers and Indians are an ever-present danger. At the end, every boy on Will Anderson's cattle drive has become a man. A cross between "Red River" and "Lord of the Flies," "The Cowboys" was made into a big-budget John Wayne Western in the early seventies, but the book is more compelling than the film. Jennings wrote it in a frenetic burst of creative energy when he was flat broke; six weeks after he completed it, the manuscript had been sold to Warner Bros. for six figures, to Ballantine as a paperback and to Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux for hardcover publication. Not high art, "The Cowboys" is the best kind of popular literature: readable, action-packed, with a high-degree of "un-put-downableness."

      Glendon Swarthout/ , Miles Swarthout (Introduction) (c.1970))

      A modern classic.

      John Bernard Books is the only surviving top gunfighter in a vanishing American West. He rides into El Paso in the year 1901, on the day of Queen Victoria's demise, there to be told by a doctor that he has a terminal illness. As word spreads that the famous assassin has reached the end, an assortment of vultures gather to feast upon his corpse - among them a gambler, a rustler, an undertaker, an old love, a reporter; even a boy. Books outwits them all, however, by selecting the where, when, and manner of his death. The climactic gunfight is one of the finest examples of muscular prose ever written. Now remembered only as John Wayne's last movie, The Shootist deserves to be re-discovered as a masterful example of a now rather overlooked genre, and can be compared to other classic western novels such as Shane or The Ox Box Incident.

      William Lindsay White/ W. L. White/ A. L. White (Author) .(1942)

      One of the first books published in WWII dealing with the real people on the front, the basis of Ford’s film and Spig Wead’s script. Highly interesting and very well written. There was another printing in 1945, using pictures from the film, very desirable.

      A national bestseller when it was originally published in 1942 and the subject of a 1945 John Ford film featuring John Wayne, They Were Expendable offers an account of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three's heroic actions during the disastrous Philippine campaign early in World War II. The author uses an unusual and effective format to tell the story: an interview with the four young survivors whose names are forever linked with the tragedy - John Bulkeley, Robert Kelly, Anthony Akers, and George Cox. Deeply moving, it describes Squadron Three's brave exploits, from the first appearance of Japanese planes over Manila Bay to its calamitous end, including a thrilling account of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's escape from Bataan.

      THE LONGEST DAY: June 6, 1944
      Cornelius Ryan (c.1940's)

      Cornelius Ryan tells the story of the hours that preceded and followed H-Hour of D-Day ? June 6, 1944, when as dawn approached, as paratroopers fought in the hedgerows of Normandy, the greatest armada the world had ever known assembled off the beach -- almost 5000 ships carrying more than 200,000 soldiers. a military This is the story of people: the men of the Allied forces, the enemy and the civilians caught up in the confusion of battle. 700 D-Day survivors were interviewed for the book.

      He later wrote the screenplay,
      monumental task to research D-Day.

      Robin Moore. (1965)

      Wayne found this story before it was published.
      But then, the screenplay is a world apart from Moore’s combat look.

      In 1965, writer Robin Moore wanted to understand more about the little-known activities of the U.S. Army Special Forces, known amongst themselves as the Green Berets. With presidential approval by John F. Kennedy himself, Moore went to a place called Vietnam--and was never the same again.

      This monumental, bestselling work--the inspiration for the classic movie starring John Wayne and one of the first wake-up called given to the American public about Vietnam--plunges us into the chaos that was our nation's first experience with unconventional warfare.

      From fighting the Viet Cong to fighting alongside Montagnard tribesmen, The Green Berets captures the terror of fire fights and iambuses, the constant confusion between friend and foe and the amazing can-do spirit of U.S. Special Forces "advisors" who changed the shape of war even as it changed them. Filled with unforgettable characters- woman spy, a daredevil pilot, and heroic soldiers on both sides of the battle--and updated to include a chapter comparing today's special forces to those from the Vietnam era, The Green Berets is an action-packed, unforgettable chronicle of a secret war and the extraordinary men

      Andrew Geer. (1948)

      Pocket Books INC. 1955 (originally printed in '48)
      Edited and updated by ethanedwards

      Let’s try to list all the books published about JW here y’all. I’d like to give you a jump start.
      Please add and mention those I don’t know – yet. I hope the bits of information I added
      along with personal opinions will help you decide if you want to purchase them yourself.
      Let’s try to list everything that can be placed on a bookshelf – to add the magazines would go too far I guess
      (could be another topic in the future).
      I’ll list every original release (also the ones not done in the US),
      but not the translations of US-books in foreign countries even though they sometimes differ.
      This might already look like a long list, but please check it, and add.
      Don't forget to mention foreign books, since we have members from all around the globe here.

      Please, let's stick to listing the books in this topic so it can really serve as a guide to the written word about JW. thanks
      Itdo.September 2003.
      I offer my sincere thanks to itdo,in September 2003, for initially starting this topic,
      and the tireless work he put into the original thread.
      However since then, there have been many additions,
      and the list is now probably 20 times bigger,
      so much so, I have split it into easier to read and find sections.
      Thanks therefore, not only to itdo,
      but all the members who have contributed new titles

      Please Note:-
      The books highlighted in all the book forums,
      are intended as a guide to the many books released.
      However it also worth noting, that there are also many,
      that may be now out of print.
      The JWMB is unable to keep updating availability.
      So please check with the numerous online booksellers
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 51 times, last by ethanedwards ().