Biography - John Wayne: American Legend (VHS) ~ John Wayne (actor) Cover Art

Biography - John Wayne: American Legend (VHS)

John Wayne (actor)


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Review

This installment in A&E's Biography series follows the life of John Wayne from his troubled childhood to his peak as America's biggest box-office draw to his later years as a controversial conservative icon. Examined closely, Wayne's life is a startling series of contradictions. He was a member of his high school's Shakespeare club who began his career by acting in scores of B-grade Westerns, and though he avoided military service, he was considered an American hero. Filled with well-chosen archival stills, as well as seldom-seen early clips, this video also features interviews with fellow actors Charlton Heston and Ron Howard, as well as writer and scholar Garry Wills (author of a brilliant intellectual study of Wayne's work and life, John Wayne's America). Taking a generally chronological approach, this video presents an insightful look at the progression of Wayne's acting career (the discussion includes clips from such milestone films as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Quiet Man). But the production also seeks to explain the contradictions and upheavals of Wayne's private life. John Wayne, as a man, an actor, and a symbol, gets a thoughtful and balanced examination in this video. --Robert J. McNamara

Release Note

He transcended conventional stardom to earn a place as a true American icon. His 250 films shaped a vision of American manhood. Twenty years after his death, John Wayne remains one of the most influential actors in history. The rugged, straight- shooting characters he portrayed have become a symbol of the American spirit. Born Marion Michael Morrison in Iowa, he was introduced to Hollywood as an undergraduate at USC, where he worked as a set laborer on the Fox lot. Soon he was on camera, appearing in numerous films before landing his breakthrough role in the 1939 John Ford classic, Stagecoach. JOHN WAYNE chronicles the life and career of this Hollywood giant through generous clips and intimate interviews with friends, family and colleagues, including Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Charlton Heston. Discover how he was more than 200 movies into his career before he finally won an Oscar and see excerpts from his poignant final role in The Shootist when, after more than a decade battling the disease, he portrayed an old gunfighter dying from cancer. From the studio lot to leading man, celluloid hero to American legend, this is the moving story of ""The Duke."""


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