Posts from itdo in thread „Books on Duke- Past Discussion (Archive)“


    As more and more books about Ford's work and life are published, this one won't fail to attract readers who already have sufficient knowledge about Ford. It compares the great American painters, Remington and Russell, als well as others like Schreyvogel, in the most beautiful reproductions, to Ford's direction. The author makes it a point that Ford often studied paintings, especially Remington. In the case of "Yellow Ribbon" he officially went after Remington's style of composition and lighting. Peter Cowie especially analyzes the meaning of Monument Valley in Ford's films and guides the reader through the valley and the different locations he used. A handsome book.

    There's nothing wrong with the theory of the paintings, of course, just one thing one must remind himself when reading the book: When paintings and photos from the films are compared, remember that the publicity stills were taken not by Ford - but by the official still taker. Very often those stills are quite different then the Ford's composition in the film. The publicity photograph would often have the actors for a shooting session while the still photographer would shoot pictures while the actors would try the upcoming scene (but not during shooting).

    RED RIVER, by Suzanne Liandrat-Guigues

    From the BFI Film classics series (each entry of a copy into the British Film Institut is accompanied by such a book), this is in interesting read. Written from the French standpoint of film critics, and from the Cahiers de Cinema as their center stone, the author looks at Red River with Hawks as an "auteur" in mind.

    The BFI series is especially noteworthy because of their use of filmcells instead of still photographs. By using the actual film to illustrate you'll see pictures in these books you haven't seen before.


    While Lancaster's and Wayne's paths never crossed professionally, the author makes it a point to use Wayne's political efforts to mirror Burt's. Since Wayne was always "the first" the Republicans asked to help their causes, it was always Burt who was approached first by the liberals - and he never said "No". The book follows a life fully lived by the great life of the circus acrobat turned movie star. When he shot "Cattle Annie" on Wayne's Durango ranch (in 1979 but not released before 1982) and the news of Wayne's death reached the set, they stopped shooting for a day.

    The Carpozi book, which was started right after the lung operation, was the first official attempt (to my knowledge).
    Shooting Star was official as well - the author even starts it off with the description of Wayne on the set of Rio Lobo; he followed him from set to set when he wrote the book. The issue I have shows him with Wayne on the set of Train Robbers.

    RIO BRAVO, by Robin Wood (BFI classics)

    Wood is one of the critics who fought his whole life to give Rio Bravo the status as one of the best films of all times. And if this critic is going to write a booklet on the film, you're in for some analyzes you didn't think of before. He expects his reader to know about the Hawks ouvre and makes interesting cross-references to Only Angels Have Wings and To Have and Have Not with which Rio Bravo really forms a trilogy in the director's body of work (Wood doesn't even mention the follow-ups El Dorado and Rio Lobo which most consider to be the trilogy). Good color pictures as well.

    JOHN FORD by Scott Eyman, Paul Duncan

    This new release of yet another book on John Ford won't tell you anything new if you already have other works dealing with his life and his films. But this is by far the best book on Ford yet for photos of Ford himself! There's a great number of behind the scenes shots and very funny candid shots as well as rare and never before seen color photographs (for instance, from the sets of the black & white pictures Wagon Master, Liberty Valance and Fort Apache). Pictures such as Chief Scar getting his hair sprayed for the upcoming scene, Wayne and Fonda playing poker, let the making of these pictures come alive again.

    WHO THE DEVIL WAS IN IT? by Peter Bogdanovich

    Now released, the companion piece to Bogdanovich's interview book with famous directors, Who the Devil Made It?
    Bogdanovich remembers and re-prints his interviews with icons such as Jerry Lewis, Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne. The Wayne interview is of special interest to us, not only because Waye reveals some secrets, but also because the interview took place in 1975, and he wasn't very happy with his last films - The Shootist was just around the corner then. So Bogdanovich manages to capture the man in this time of his life. A hefty junk of book, but you'll eat it up.

    We all know, so just for the record:

    'TIS HERSELF: A MEMOIR, by Maureen O'Hara

    The long-awaited biography of the Queen of Technicolor who had a special place in her heart for John Wayne. In the final chapter Acknoledgments she thanks a grand lady for her help, and we can take pride in that she's herself a registered member of this board, bringing to our attention Maureen O'Hara news: June Parker Beck.

    VOICES FROM THE SET - The Film Heritage Interviews, by Macklin

    Probably the most famous interview JW did in print is the Playboy interview. Yet he doesn't talk about his acting at all. He even leaves it at remarking "I don't have a technique". The one that really got him talking was Macklin, and the resulting interview runs for several pages is in this book. It's one of the very very few times JW talks about his acting and his roles, about his trade. He even stops once, saying that he normally doesn't talk about that, but the interviewer made him feel comfortable. So we learn what he thinks about Ethan, even dreaming up a sequel "Ethan Rides Again", in which he just improvises a plot, how Ethan could have gone on after that famous door closed. He talks about how he had to "find a role for himself" in the ensemble piece "Liberty Valance". He talks about how he stopped shooting a Republic quickie one day at midnight and the next morning was on the set of "Long Voyage Home", and having to learn that Swedish accent. The interview was done in 1975, and after all those years Wayne can recite the dialogue of several of his movies, 30 years and more in the past, without a flaw. He talks about how he helped Hawks on Red River, not taking a chance in the script for "Academy Award stuff", as Hawks suggested, but playing Dunson his way. A great interview. In addition, there's also an interview with Charlton Heston, a man who's especially proud of his profession. He studies his peers - and uses two pages in this book to talk not about himself but about John Wayne's acting technique. And Chuck has a deeper understanding about Wayne's acting than most of his critics ever did.

    WHO THE DEVIL MADE IT? by Peter Bogdanovich

    Bogdanovich, now of course almost as legendary as the legends whom he used to write about in his early days, does every filmloving pupil a favor: With this book for the first time he releases the interviews he did many years ago for magazines, now in full length. He chats with men like Hitchcock and Chuck Jones and Don Siegel. And the ones who made films with John Wayne: Otto Preminger, Raoul Walsh. The longest interview in the book is the one with Howard Hawks. Even after the interview-book "Hawks on Hawks", this lenghty interview is like having Howard Hawks talk to you, the reader, 25 years after his death, and revealing many of his ways of filmmaking. They talk about Red River (and the finding of Monty Clift), Rio Bravo (and how Hawks got the singers), Hatari (and how they improvised the hunting stuff) and Rio Lobo (and how the leading lady didn't live up to expectations). Men like Howard Hawks were never given credit in the US for their body of work in American Film until Bogdanovich and others in his time started writing about him.
    All in all, it's a good dozen interviews in one hell of a hefty book.
    Outside France, Bogdanovich, in the times of the Nouvelle Vague, was pretty much the only one who held a torch for directors who had yet to become legends - through these writings. It'll be thrilling to read the soon to be published "Who the Devil Was in it?", holding interviews with JW and Jimmy Stewart.

    EACH MAN IN HIS TIME, by Raoul Walsh

    The only one of Wayne's director's who lived the life of a real adventurer. His very own biography reads like a Jack London novel. He rode with Villa. He was a cowboy. He was a prospector. An actor. Finally a director. And then he discovered John Wayne. He describes the incident in detail as well as the work on The Big Trail, which he renamed THE BIG DRUNK - for all the drinking going on.
    Book is out of print now and valuable, but still available in second hand shops.

    by Michael F. Blake

    Blake covers the makings of HIGH NOON, SHANE and THE SEARCHERS and explores the code of honor of the three main characters, Will Kane, Shane and Ethan. They had a lot in common influencing movie-goers everywhere. Yet more interesting - to me, anyway - is the story behind the film, the making. After you thought you heard and read about anything there is on that subject, it's surprising that Blake can come up with new facts and lots of rare stills (Ethan and Scar eating lunch together, haha). Most impressive is the research about the shooting schedule. Blake can almost give a day-to-day account on the filming of Searchers. Even if we know of course that films aren't shoot in chronologic order, it's impressive to know how the actors had to work. For example, Wayne shot the ending with elder Debbie first, and only then would do the interiors with young Debbie. Stills from DELETED SCENES I've never seen anywhere before include the scene in which Ethan watches over the sleeping searchers, early in the beginning of the search. Then the arrival at the fort and the Custer scene, also cut. I've read the screenplay, and the scenes are in, but only seeing those stills gives proof that they've actually been filmed, waiting to be discovered, hopefully, for a Special Edition DVD?
    Ford lovers will get a lot of insight on how the old master worked.

    Hi guys
    I would love to discuss single books and writers or experiences with you in newly started topics so we could keep lists like this as a tool where each new post means one new addition to that list. That way it could be great help for somebody browsing for books about JW.
    Thanks! ;)

    was an annual publication in which "The Stars Tell their Own Stories" - or so they were sold. In the 1950 edition, we find a story of John Wayne, telling "in his own words" how he gets up in the morning, says hello to Chata, then drives to the Republic soundstage, where John Ford is already waiting for him to shoot the interior scenes of RIO GRANDE. While there are many details molded into the story that might make one believe Wayne himself delivered the article, it is of course so that clever marketing put out things like these (it becomes clear with his line "Oh-oh, I better hurry, it seems everybody's one set already" which we know didn't happen with JW!). What is of particular interest is that the Wayne story is illustrated by pictures of his upcoming "hit": JET PILOT! There's a story about (or told by, whatever you like) Janet Leigh as well, and there's a JET PILOT photo as well. So that means back in 1950 the PR machines were already oiled to give Jet Pilot a head-start - and then they held it back till 1957.

    I read somewhere that JW accused Zolotow of "sloppy" research afterwards but he was certainly aware that a biography was in progress and he okayed it - if not the finished book he must have greenlighted the project itself since Zolotow visited on several filmsets (he writes about the making of a scene of Rio Lobo in the first chapter, and there's a photo of him on the Train Robbers set, that gives you an idea how long it took to write it).

    this is a selection of the finest studio publicity stills from the Fifties. Not text, just pictures. In JW's case, two examples, both by photographer Ernest Bachrach for RKO. The interesting thing is, the one made in 1957 was made for publitiy of Jet Pilot - which could indicate that Wayne (by appearence definitely in 57) had to come back for a sitting for that film.

    GOLDEN TURKEY AWARDS, by Harry and Michael Medved
    This book is meant to be fun: it gives awards for the worst films, worst performances in the history of films. One chapter is dedicated to John Wayne's - you guessed it - Ghenghis Khan. But no worries: others have to stick out their necks as well. Cooper gets it for the worst romantic line in "Northwest Mounted Police".

    For the German reader:
    by Gunter Narr Verlag Tübingen
    If you want to analyze this film bit by bit, that book might help. It describes every single shot (551 single camera shots in this film, by the way) with Engl. dialogue and description of action and soundeffects - even gives the seconds per shot.


    "Marlene Dietrich, by Her Daughter"
    By Maria Riva

    Many mysteries about the relationsship between La Dietrich and The Duke, mostly because Marlene was quite a liar. In her own stories she even had to teach Wayne to act; he didn't read books and according to legend she told her agent when she first laid eyes on him: "Daddy, buy me that" (giving the part in Seven Sinners to him). Now her daughter has the last word: She was there when it all happened, and this is really some biography. You could knock down a full grown man with it, but it's worth the read. I interviewed Maria Riva in 1992 when the German edition was published, and what she has to say about the life of her mother is something. About Wayne: she asked him years later (in London, so I guess it was during Brannigan) what made him leave the goddess, and he answered: "Never liked being a race-horse in a barn".


    Trivia-Book with 238 stills, in most questions you're asked to identify the players in the scene. The questions about JW aren't too difficult to answer but still, you should get some fun out of it.