THE DUKE: JOHN WAYNE'S CENTENNIAL
MAY 12 THROUGH JULY 4
Costar Richard Widmark called him the "ideal Western hero," and John Wayne's screen persona indeed projected authority, assurance and resolve. Though the image was carefully calculated, it largely avoided the cliches and easy formulations of the Western genre and put Wayne in a class by himself. Nearly three decades after his death he still dominates the popular idea of the Old West.
Perennially underrated as an actor, Wayne made up for his limited range of roles with virtuoso portrayals of his signature character: the authority figure. Sometimes he wore badges or stripes, sometimes it was just in the way he walked. He played younger than he was throughout the 1960s, but won his first and only Oscar for TRUE GRIT in 1970, by then an old man playing old man roles and excelling at them. This 10-film series of the Duke's best work celebrates the centennial of a true screen icon.
Films include THE BIG TRAIL (Restored 70mm Print); STAGECOACH; SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON; RIO GRANDE; FORT APACHE; RED RIVER; THE QUIET MAN; THE SEARCHERS; THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE; and RIO BRAVO.
THE BIG TRAIL
NOTE: THE BIG TRAIL will be screened on The Museum of Modern Art's restored 35mm Cinemascope print, printed from the original 70mm photography, and the only existing version of same.
This lost masterpiece--an early experiment in 70mm--has been restored to its wide-screen grandeur thanks to The Museum of Modern Art. In his first leading role, Wayne plays the scout for a wagon train headed for the Oregon territory. The startlingly young Wayne impresses, physically and because this part of a soulful nature boy is so different from his later tough-guy roles.
DIR Raoul Walsh. US, 1930, b&w, 158 min. NOT RATED
Saturday, May 12, 3:30; Monday, May 14, 6:30
#63 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
In John Wayne's first major role for John Ford and Ford's first use of the Monument Valley locale, a motley assortment of travelers, some respectable and others from the wrong side of the tracks, make a hazardous journey from Arizona to New Mexico, fighting off Indian attacks and each others' prejudices along the way. Wayne is incomparable, but the whole ensemble shines, led by Claire Trevor, John Carradine and Thomas Mitchell, who won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a drunken doctor.
DIR John Ford. US, 1939, b&w, 96 min. NOT RATED
Friday, May 18, 5:00; Saturday, May 19, 12:30; Sunday, May 20, 7:30; Monday, May 21, 9:00; Wednesday, May 23, 9:00
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON
John Wayne's favorite role-YELLOW RIBBON's Cavalry Captain Nathan Brittles -- inaugurated a major element of the Wayne persona: the beloved leader of men with an air of easy authority. Brittles, set to retire, takes on a final mission to protect both his fort community and the local Indian tribe from impending attack by hostile Indians.
DIR John Ford; SCR Frank Nugent and Laurence Stallings. US, 1949, color, 103 min. NOT RATED
Friday, May 25, 4:00; Saturday, May 26, 3:00; Monday, May 28, 3:30
John Ford's third and final cavalry picture features the first of five memorable pairings of John Wayne with Maureen O'Hara. Already contending with warring Apaches making cross-border raids from Mexico, Wayne's Lt. Colonel is shaken by the return of his estranged wife O'Hara, come to buy their son out of the Army. As old passions are stirred, the Apaches' latest provocation results in a hostage crisis, pairing Wayne and son in a daring rescue mission.
DIR/PROD John Ford; SCR James Kevin McGuinness; PROD Merian C. Cooper. US, 1950, b&w, 105 min. NOT RATED
Sunday, May 27, 1:00; Monday, May 28, 5:45
John Ford's two greatest leading men, Henry Fonda and John Wayne, are pitted against each other as rival officers in the 7th Cavalry of 1870s Texas. When Fonda's bull-headedness and glory-seeking lead him and his men into a massacre, Wayne must race the clock to avert disaster. The superb supporting cast includes Ford stalwarts Ward Bond, George O'Brien and Victor McLaglen.
DIR John Ford. US, 1948, b&w, 125 min. NOT RATED
Sunday, May 27, 9:30; Monday, May 28, 1:00; Monday, May 30, 9:20
Arguably Howard Hawks's greatest film, and a major hit for Wayne, establishing him as a box office force for the next 25 years. Wayne plays a swaggering cattle baron, riding his men, his herd and himself hard across the Texas range to the railhead in Kansas. On the verge of a crackup and having descended into tyranny, Wayne is relieved of his command by adopted son Montgomery Clift, setting up an Oedipal showdown.
DIR/PROD Howard Hawks; SCR Borden Chase and Charles Schnee. US, 1948, b&w, 133 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Friday, June 1, 4:00; Monday, June 4, 6:45; Tuesday, June 5, 6:45; Wednesday, June 6, 6:45; Thursday, June 7, 6:45
#76 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions
THE QUIET MAN
Seven Oscar nominations and wins for photography and Best Director--John Ford's sixth and last Oscar. After a mishap in the ring, American boxing champ John Wayne returns to his native Ireland and falls for the charms of fiery redhead Maureen O'Hara. Her shifty brother Victor McLaglen is eager to marry her off, but when McLaglen fails to deliver the dowry, O'Hara informs Wayne there'll be no peace until he gets it for her--amid much comic mayhem.
DIR/PROD John Ford; SCR Frank S. Nugent; PROD Merian C. Cooper, G.B. Forbes, and L.T. Rosso. US, 1952, color, 129 min. In English and Irish Gaelic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Friday, June 8, 4:00; Saturday, June 9, 3:30; Sunday, June 10, 1:00
#96 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
John Wayne's performance here ranks as his most complex, combining a commanding authority with darkest obsessions. Wayne's antihero Ethan Edwards is implacable in his efforts to track down the Indians who massacred his family and took young niece Debbie hostage. Jeffrey Hunter, his adopted nephew and fellow searcher, is concerned that if they find Debbie, Ethan's intentions may be more murderous than merciful.
DIR John Ford; SCR Frank S. Nugent, based on the novel by Alan Le May; PROD C.V. Whitney. US, 1956, color, 119 min. NOT RATED
Friday, June 22, 7:00; Saturday, June 23, 4:30; Monday, June 25, 7:00; Wednesday, June 27, 7:00; Thursday, June 28, 7:00
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." John Ford's haunting tribute to the men who built the old west. Sharp-shooter John Wayne is a well-respected but rough-and-tumble individualist in love with pretty waitress Vera Miles. When Jimmy Stewart comes to town armed only with a law degree and idealism, the two men quickly butt heads, but when outlaw Lee Marvin threatens the peace they unite--and in the process usher in statehood and modern ideals of law and order.
DIR John Ford; SCR James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck; PROD Willis Goldbeck. US, 1962, b&w, 123 min. NOT RATED
Friday, June 29, 4:30; Saturday, June 30, 1:20; Sunday, July 1, 8:30; Tuesday, July 3, 1:30; Wednesday, July 4, 1:00
With the younger brother of a feared outlaw locked up in his jail, Sheriff John Wayne hunkers down for the older brother's attack. His deputies include a drunk Dean Martin, hot-headed teenager Ricky Nelson, and cantankerous coot Walter Brennan. Howard Hawks's high-spirited masterpiece has it all: comedy, drama, action--even a musical number--plus career-best performances from Martin and Brennan, and an eye-catching turn from Angie Dickinson as gambling lady "Feathers."
DIR/PROD Howard Hawks; SCR Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett, based on the short story by B.H. McCampbell. US, 1959, color, 141 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Friday, June 29, 7:00; Saturday, June 30, 8:15; Sunday, July 1, 5:45; Monday, July 2, 4:00; Wednesday, July 4, 3:30; Thursday, July 5, 2:00