Lee Marvin / John Wayne
Lee makes it to the Top of the Mountain – A Western with John Wayne
… But he’s still 5th on the Bill
The Comancheros Trailer
John Wayne Tree …
Rose and I (and four other folks) took a very bumpy Jeep ride (hang on to your saddlehorn folks) up Schnebly Hill Road. (Theodore Carleton (T C) Schnebly and his wife SEDONA Arabella Miller Schnebly moved to the area in 1901 – guess how Sedona got it’s name?
Eventually we jostled and jerked our way up to a viewpoint near Schnebly Hill Vista … then jumped out for a jaunt. Climbing a short – but steep – little path we arrived at a location overlooking the whole valley. Beautiful!
Here’s where Nick – our Jeep driver – points to a certain tree and tells us “This is John Wayne Tree”. Really!! (He had no knowledge that I had a blog called My Favorite Westerns). There’s a photo (somewhere) of John Wayne posing by this tree when he was filming Angel and the Badman in 1947. I believe I saw that photo once, but after hours of searching the net was unable to locate it.
Nick claims that Wayne posed somewhat like this (above) in the famous photo.
You know … I could almost hear Duke whispering in my ear:
“Get yer hand off my tree pilgrim.”
Sedona … see you again in a few months.
(All photos taken by my lady, Rose)
“Life is hard. It’s even harder if you’re stupid.”
- John Wayne
I figure I’d rather face down the Clantons, the Daltons, and the Waltons … unarmed … than sit in dentist chair for even five seconds.
But I just spent 11 hours over 2 days in the dentist office … and I feel like I’ve been in several fistfights with John Wayne.
I had teeth pulled, drilled, capped, crowned, implanted, and deep gum cleaning (surgery) … and a couple of other things. My mouth is full of stitches. Cost me over 7000 bucks … so far … and I still have to go back. A couple of actual fistfights with Wayne woulda been cheaper. (But it would have cost me over $20,000 north of the Rio.)
Take care of your teeth folks … or some day you will pay … BIG.
Eagle Dance Song – Ronald Roybal – Native American Flute Music
John Ford Point … Monument Valley
“Director John Ford’s 1939 film Stagecoach, starring John Wayne, has had an enduring influence in making Monument Valley famous. After that first experience, Ford returned nine times to shoot Westerns — even when the films were not set in Arizona or Utah. A popular lookout point is named in his honor as “John Ford Point.”"
- Travels with Grama http://www.travelswithgrama.com/travels/monvalley.htm
Below: John Ford’s Point: Shot from the new movie: The Lone Ranger - starring Johnny Depp and Arnie Hammer.
High Noon and Politics
As a kid watching High Noon, it never dawned on me that there was anything going on ’behind the scenes’. Lost in the wonder of an epic and heroic tale, I didn’t see it’s (and many Westerns) very strong social and political messages:
Commentaries on the politics behind High Noon:
High Noon, What Happens: Posted by Brent Allard Wednesday, March 28, 2012 http://criminalmovies.blogspot.ca/2012_03_01_archive.html:
“John Wayne (a HUAC supporter – House Un-American Activities Committee) called High Noon Un-American for it’s portrayal of the townspeople and Will Kane’s seeking help and throwing the badge in the dirt. He teamed with Howard Hawks (who called Will Kane “unprofessional”) to make Rio Bravo as a response to the film. In Rio Bravo, Wayne plays a Sheriff who with the help of a only a drunk, a kid, and a crippled man, have to prevent a gang from breaking one of their members out of jail. Wayne’s larger than life enthusiasm, is certainly a sharp contrast to Cooper’s haunted Marshal. Though both films are worth viewing, I find it difficult to side with Wayne’s optimism, although it is a pleasant diversion. Certainly to this day we have arguments about HUAC, but the beauty of western morality plays and film in general is that a good story can transcend the specific events that inspired it. High Noon is a parable for any times, including our own current extremely polarized ones. It’s difficult to live your own life, and its easy to find a justification for any moral position you can think of, or find an opinion from someone else, but ultimately the question it asks is whether or not you can live up to your own code, no matter what it costs, even if no one in the world will stand with you.”
Emanuel Levy: “High Noon: McCarthy and Politics” – http://www.emanuellevy.com/popculture/high-noon-mccarthy-and-politics-9/
“…No matter what perspective one takes, there’s no doubt that High Noon deals with such issues as civic responsibility, active involvement in social causes, and heroic behavior during crises–all problems loaded with political overtones in the early 1950s. Its cynical commentary on the masses’ fear of involvement in controversial issues proved to be prophetic during McCarthy’s political witch hunting. Arguing that people should have nothing but contempt for the cowardice of ordinary folks, the film also spoke for the necessity of joint action, if enemies are to be defeated … “
MFW: I admit that I am not a John Wayne fan. I acknowledge his undeniable onscreen charisma and that he is among the greatest movie stars of all time. I also acknowledge that he made some important and iconic Westerns. Yet I disliked him as a person and disrespected his politics. I found his ‘over the top’ super patriotism and ‘my country right or wrong’ flag waving to be very distasteful – and dangerous. I also disrespected that he refused to fight in WWII – then became a super patriot out of guilt (as one of his former wives stated). Further, Rio Bravo’s response to High Noon (by Wayne and Hawkes) is very weak. It’s ‘a John Wayne movie’. As a Western it has it’s moments - and a great cast (Wayne, Brennan, Martin, Nelson …) but as a political statement it’s pure hokum. It will not make My Favorite Westerns.
YET … as noted, if we can throw politics to the side, it’s interesting that both films still stand up and are obviously enjoyed without any political notions whatsoever.
Bravo to that … if not Rio.