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Patrick Wayne & fan - Screen legend John Wayne is remembered by his son Patrick Wayne and daughter Marisa Wayne in an interview with Miriam O'Callaghan at the John Ford Ireland symposium with a screening of 'The Searchers' at The Savoy - Dublin, Ireland - Friday 7th June 2013

Patrick Wayne and John Ford
Miriam O'callaghan, Patrick Wayne and Marisa Wayne
Patrick Wayne and Marisa Wayne
Patrick Wayne and Marisa Wayne
Miriam O'callaghan and Patrick Wayne
Miriam O'callaghan, Patrick Wayne and Marisa Wayne

Seas Beneath Review


OK
John Ford directed this early sound film programmer that is short on any kind of plot that makes sense but crackles with high seas action.

In this World War I yarn, unflinching U.S. Navy Captain Bob Kingsley (George O' Brien -- all smugness and self-assurance) is in charge of a "mystery ship" -- a schooner posing as a merchant vessel decked out with an immense cannon hidden in a giant box -- sent out to hunt down notorious German U-Boat 172 and its dashing commander Franz Schiller (John Loder). It's not much of a secret since when they land in a Spanish port riddled with undercover German spies -- including the luscious blonde Anna Maria (Marion Lessing), who takes a liking to Bob but also happens to be Schiller's sister -- Schiller is there with his boat refueling. Nevertheless, Bob and Schiller continue with the gentlemanly art of war and when they run into each other in a cantina they toast each other with Schiller exiting with, "Until our next meeting." Meet they do, in a rousing battle on the open seas, submarines and ships sinking along with the plot.

Continue reading: Seas Beneath Review

They Were Expendable Review


Terrible
One of the worst war movies ever made, They Were Expendable tells the oh-so-serious tale of PT boats during WWII. Set in 1941 (and released in 1945, when the war was still going on!), we are treated to John Wayne's perfunctory performance as he ties up boats and unties them, then gets in a bunch of battles before having to tie up some more boats. Interminably long, the film is nearly unwatchable and offers nothing new in the way of war (or anti-war) commentary. Sure, the lowly PT boatmen weren't expendable, but their movie is.

Continue reading: They Were Expendable Review

Fort Apache Review


Extraordinary
Fort Apache is a John Wayne vehicle often mentioned on the short list of best westerns (The Ox-Bow Incident, Shane, The Wild Bunch, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and High Noon lead the posse). Typical of John Ford westerns, but more adventurous than most of them, Fort Apache offers Ford's trademark mix of solid entertainment, soap, occasional shoot-'em-ups, and reverie.

In this one, the Duke is a cavalry officer stationed in Apache territory who is sympathetic to the Indians' plight. He is forced to choose between challenging the Apaches and disobeying his commanding officer, a hapless Northeasterner (Henry Fonda). The straight-arrow role arguably fits Wayne better than the conflicted heroes and bad guys he played in The Searchers, Red River, and other films.

Continue reading: Fort Apache Review

Stagecoach Review


Very Good
Stagecoach is the archetypical Western -- a stagecoach full of crazies has to make it through Indian country in one piece. Though it was his 80th film (of nearly 200), Stagecoach made John Wayne into the superstar he eventually became. Mitchell won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the drunken Doc Boone, and the rest of the cast, notably Trevor as a hooker being run out of town, are memorable. The film has some amazing gaffes, including guns that kick but don't actually go "bang" and, again most notably, one rear-projected shot from the stagecoach where the Indian outside is riding the wrong way. Classic, yet hopelessly dated.

Continue reading: Stagecoach Review

Fort Apache Review


Extraordinary
Fort Apache is a John Wayne vehicle often mentioned on the short list of best westerns (The Ox-Bow Incident, Shane, The Wild Bunch, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and High Noon lead the posse). Typical of John Ford westerns, but more adventurous than most of them, Fort Apache offers Ford's trademark mix of solid entertainment, soap, occasional shoot-'em-ups, and reverie.

In this one, the Duke is a cavalry officer stationed in Apache territory who is sympathetic to the Indians' plight. He is forced to choose between challenging the Apaches and disobeying his commanding officer, a hapless Northeasterner (Henry Fonda). The straight-arrow role arguably fits Wayne better than the conflicted heroes and bad guys he played in The Searchers, Red River, and other films.

Continue reading: Fort Apache Review

Rio Grande Review


Weak
It's cowboys and Indians for the umpteenth time in the forgettable John Ford/John Wayne western Rio Grande. This time, Wayne's got a son under his command and the kid's angry mother and Wayne's estranged wife (Maureen O'Hara) shows up trying to bail him out of service before the victorious Union army heads out to clean up Apache country.

This is a really workmanlike film, offering little of interest aside from an early exploration of guerilla tactics (which could actually lead to Wayne's court martial, gasp!) and an enormous moustache that's good for a couple of laughs.

Continue reading: Rio Grande Review

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Review


Very Good
James Stewart and Lee Marvin square off in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the Citizen Kane of westerns -- about a Senator (Stewart) from the old west who returns who for the funeral of an old cowboy friend (the inimitable John Wayne), whereupon he is quizzed about his rise to power as a politician, thanks to his slaying of the evil highwayman Liberty Valance (Marvin). What follows is an unraveling of the legend behind the infamous shootout, when Stewart's pantywaist lawyer somehow outdid the rough-and-tumble villain.

A classic John Ford film (and one of the last black and white westerns to be made), Wayne and Stewart make a great Odd Couple in the podunk town of Shinbone. Unfortunately, the middle of the film sags under the overly patriotic history lessons we are given when Stewart takes it upon himself to teach the locals how to read and write. The ensuing fight for statehood isn't much better, except when Valance comes a-knockin'.

Continue reading: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Review

The Quiet Man Review


OK
John Ford and John Wayne conspired to make what is widely regarded as one of their finest films... and it's not a western.

The Quiet Man is as simple as its title. A man with a dark past (Wayne) returns to his homeland in Ireland to reclaim his birthright, falling in love (with local lass Maureen O'Hara) and encountering ornery locals (namely her brother) along the way.

Continue reading: The Quiet Man Review

They Were Expendable Review


Terrible
One of the worst war movies ever made, They Were Expendable tells the oh-so-serious tale of PT boats during WWII. Set in 1941 (and released in 1945, when the war was still going on!), we are treated to John Wayne's perfunctory performance as he ties up boats and unties them, then gets in a bunch of battles before having to tie up some more boats. Interminably long, the film is nearly unwatchable and offers nothing new in the way of war (or anti-war) commentary. Sure, the lowly PT boatmen weren't expendable, but their movie is.

Continue reading: They Were Expendable Review

Stagecoach Review


Very Good
Stagecoach is the archetypical Western -- a stagecoach full of crazies has to make it through Indian country in one piece. Though it was his 80th film (of nearly 200), Stagecoach made John Wayne into the superstar he eventually became. Mitchell won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the drunken Doc Boone, and the rest of the cast, notably Trevor as a hooker being run out of town, are memorable. The film has some amazing gaffes, including guns that kick but don't actually go "bang" and, again most notably, one rear-projected shot from the stagecoach where the Indian outside is riding the wrong way. Classic, yet hopelessly dated.
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