Special Sub-Topic: The Duke Goes To War
|Can you name the 1942 movie in which John Wayne plays a pilot flying in China for the 1st American Volunteer Group?|
Flying Tigers. "Flying Tigers" was Wayne's first war film. In the movie Wayne plays Capt. Jim Gordon, a squadron leader for the 1st American Volunteer Group in China. John Carroll plays Woody Jason, Gordon's old friend who is there purely for the money. Anna Lee plays the love interest in the movie.
Although many people believe the actual Flying Tigers were fighting in China prior to the US involvement in WWII this is not the case. They were organized and staffed prior to December 7, 1941 but did not see combat until December 20, 1941. Because the US was still neutral at the time of their organization, they were set up as a clandestine outfit, but with US government approval. They flew as a part of the Chinese Air Force until July 1942 when they were absorbed into the USAAF.
|Do you know which 1948 John Ford movie, the first in his cavalry trilogy, stars John Wayne and Henry Fonda as US Cavalry officers in the Indian Wars?|
Fort Apache. "Fort Apache" is a fictional story in which Henry Fonda plays Lt. Col. Thursday and John Wayne plays Capt. York. Lt. Col. Thursday is a no-nonsense military man from back East, with no understanding of Indian warfare. Capt. York is an experienced combat veteran from the Civil War, with experience dealing with the Indians. Thursday won't listen to York and gets half his command wiped out in the ensuing battle with the Indians, by fighting on their terms. The only thing he does right is returning to die with his men who have been cut off. York assumes command after Thusday's death.
|Can you identify the second movie in John Ford's cavalry trilogy, that came out in 1949 and stars John Wayne as an aging US Cavalry Captain with one last mission before he retires?|
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. In "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" John Wayne plays the fictional Capt. Brittles. The movie takes place right after Custer's Last Stand and Brittles is given one last task to carry out before his retirement - to stop a breakout from the reservation while delivering his commanding officer's wife and niece to an East bound stage. He fails to carry out either part successfully and retires from the Army. Free from Army regulations, he sets out to prevent a full scale Indian war, as a civilian.
|The final movie in John Ford's cavalry trilogy stars John Wayne as a US Cavalry Lt. Col. and Maureen O'Hara as his estranged wife. Can you name this 1950 movie, that has Wayne pursuing Apaches across the border into Mexico?|
Rio Grande. In "Rio Grande" John Wayne, as Union veteran Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke, has not only his estranged Southern wife, Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara), to deal with but also his son, Trooper Jeff Yorke (Claude Jarman Jr.). Trooper Yorke flunked out of West Point and immediately enlisted, being assigned to his father's command. If all of this family drama isn't enough, he also has Apaches to fight and has been ordered, by his commanding officer, to pursue them into Mexico if necessary.
Although the movie was fictional, the US 4th Cavalry Regiment did conduct an expedition into Mexico in pursuit of Apaches in 1873, under the command of Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie.
|Which 1957 Cold War movie stars John Wayne as an US Air Force Colonel and Janet Leigh as a Soviet defector/spy?|
Jet Pilot. "Jet Pilot" is a Cold War spy thriller starring John Wayne as Col. Jim Shannon, the commander of an Air Force base where Soviet pilot, Lt. Anna Marladovna, played by Janet Leigh, lands asking for asylum. Shannon is assigned to seduce her to get information but ends up falling in love with her. After a quick marriage, Shannon finds out Marladovna is actually a spy. From there the story goes through several more twists and turns, in a classic tale of espionage and counter-espionage, the weapons of the Cold War.
|In 1959, John Ford directed this Civil War movie starring John Wayne, William Holden, and Constance Towers. Which movie is this, that tells the story of a Union Cavalry raid deep into enemy territory?|
The Horse Soldiers. In "The Horse Soldiers" John Wayne plays Union Cavalry Colonel John Marlowe and William Holden plays the new regimental surgeon, Major Henry Kendall. Constance Towers plays Miss Hannah Hunter, a Southern belle who has to be taken along on the raid, so she won't divulge the plans of Marlowe and his men. Marlowe leads his men in a raid to destroy rail traffic and trains in the South.
Although "The Horse Soldiers" is a fictional story it is based on fact. In April 1863, Colonel Benjamin Grierson led 1700 men of the 6th and 7th Illinois and the 2nd Iowa Cavalry on a raid that covered 800 miles behind enemy lines, in 17 days. The raid was part of the Vicksburg campaign and was meant to disrupt rail service and communications. The raid was hugely successful.
|Which 1960 movie did John Wayne produce, direct, and star in, that tells the story of the Texan fight for Independence from Mexico?|
The Alamo. "The Alamo" was John Wayne's take on history and most critics agree, it was not a very accurate one. The biggest criticism is that Wayne allowed his own politics and the issues of the day to cloud what should have been a retelling of factual events. Its length also became an issue, since it was over three hours long. In the movie, Wayne plays Davy Crockett and Richard Widmark plays Jim Bowie. The movie ends with the final battle at the Alamo. The set for the movie was constructed near Brackettville, Texas, in what became known as Alamo Village. Numerous other movies were filmed at the location and it was a tourist attraction until 2009, when it closed.
|Can you name the 1961 movie that stars John Wayne as a Captain in the Texas Rangers, who must fight gun runners and Indians?|
The Comancheros. John Wayne plays Capt. Jake Cutter of the Texas Rangers in "The Comancheros". While taking a prisoner back to Louisiana from Texas, Cutter is forced to join forces with the prisoner in order to stop gun running Comancheros. Historically, Comancheros were so named because the main tribe they traded with were the Comanches. There is much dispute about how much gun running they actually did because guns and powder would have been hard to come by. They were noted mostly for trading manufactured goods, flour, tobacco and bread in exchange for slaves, horses, and hides.
|Which 1962 epic movie, that spans nearly five decades of American history, has John Wayne playing General Sherman during the Civil War? |
How The West Was Won. "How The West was Won" tells the story of four generations of the Prescott family, as they moved ever westward from New York to the Pacific. The three hour epic spans the years from 1839 to 1889 and follows the exploits of Zebulon Prescott (Karl Malden), Eve Prescott Rawlings (Carroll Baker), Linus Rawlings (James Stewart), and the rest of their family. John Wayne plays General Sherman opposite Harry Morgan's U.S. Grant in the Civil War section of the film.
|Which 1969 movie has John Wayne, as a former Union Colonel, and Rock Hudson, as a former Confederate Colonel, joining forces in Mexico after the Civil War?|
The Undefeated. In "The Undefeated" John Wayne and Rock Hudson play enemies who become friends after the war. The movie begins just as the Civil War ends, with John Wayne's Colonel John Henry Thomas attacking Rock Hudson's Colonel James Langdon. With the war over Col. Langdon intends to head to Mexico, rather than live under Union rule and takes his command with him. Col. Thomas, no longer in the Army, heads to Mexico to sell horses to the Mexican government. The two end up joining forces to defeat Mexican bandits and a corrupt Mexican general.
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