Those who are looking for John Wayne collectables may be interested in knowing more about some of the best John Wayne movies of all time.
Stagecoach is a 1939 western film which was directed by John Ford and starred Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay was written by Dudley Nichols and Ben Hecht and is an adaption of “The Stage to Lordsburg”, Ernest Haycox’s 1937 short story. The film’s plot involves a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through perilous Apache territory.
Despite being close friends, Ford had not used Wayne in any of his projects throughout the 1930s, having told him to wait until he was “ready” as an actor. Stagecoach has been hailed as one of the most influential films ever made, with Orson Welles claiming that it was a perfect textbook of film. Welles added that he had watched it on more than 40 occasions during the making of Citizen Kane.
The High and the Mighty (1954), meanwhile, was one of Wayne’s most popular roles. It was directed by William Wellman and was based on an Ernest K. Gann novel. Wayne portrayed a heroic co-pilot in the picture in a performance that won him widespread acclaim.
The Searchers (1956), meanwhile, continues to be widely lauded as perhaps the finest and most complex John Wayne performance ever. It follows the story of middle-aged American Civil War veteran, Ethan Edwards, portrayed by Wayne, who spends years searching for his abducted niece with his adoptive nephew Martin Pawley, portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter. The American Film Institute named the film the Greatest American Western of all time in 2008.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), starred Wayne alongside James Stewart, and was adapted from a short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson. In 2007, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress due to it being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.
True Grit (1969) was directed by Henry Hathaway and starred Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. The film was adapted from the 1968 novel, True Grit by Charles Portis, and won Wayne his sole Academy Award. The plot involves Frank Ross, portrayed by John Pickard, being murdered by his hired hand, Tom Chaney, portrayed by Jeff Corey. Ross’ headstrong 14-year old daughter Mattie, portrayed by Kim Darby, hires the drunken and ageing Cogburn to track Chaney down. Wayne’s performance in this film drew comparisons with Wallace Beery’s portrayal of characters in the 1930s and 1940s.
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