Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. If I were going to introduce John Wayne to someone who hated his stereotypical cowboy horse operas, I'd suggest a sentimental 1952 movie set in rural Ireland. In it, John Wayne plays an Irish-born American millionaire, reticent about his past, returning home to flee some unnamed demons and begin a new life. He runs into trouble, however, when the woman he loves demands that he fight her strapping brother for her well-earned dowry, a fight that the Duke uncharacteristically refuses for reasons he keeps painfully to himself. What absolute classic of ensemble acting am I talking about here?
2. If the John Wayne skeptic is unmoved by the sentimental Irish fare, perhaps a grimmer, even more against-type picture would be more effective. In this film, John Wayne plays early Texas rancher, Tom Dunson, driving his cattle north over a dangerous trail to Missouri. As the trek becomes more harrowing, the Duke's character, a stern, stone-cold killer from the beginning, begins to resemble, in John Wayne's own words, "Captain Bligh from 'Mutiny on the Bounty'". Eventually the aforementioned mutiny does come, led by Matt Garth, Dunson's partner since adolescence. Played by Montgomery Clift, Garth takes the herd over a shorter, safer route to Kansas, all the while haunted by Dunson's oath to kill him at the end of the trail. What is this brooding, complex, 1948 film.
3. If your tastes in intense, anti-heroic challenges to ethical standards run to gorgeous panoramic color, this film should fill the bill. In this 1956 masterpiece, which came in at number 12 in the American Film Institute's 2007 poll of the 100 greatest US films of all time, John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a genocidal racist - he shoots dozens of buffalo just so the Indians, who depend on them for food, will starve in the winter. He spends most of the film searching for his niece, who has been kidnapped by the Commanche. What is this morally challenging panorama of the American Southwest?
4. If the Duke's acknowledged masterworks don't grab you, perhaps an elegy will. In John Wayne's final film, he gives a chillingly autobiographical performance. He plays aging gunfighter J.B. Books, who has lived a life of adventure and violence - scenes from the Duke's old films are used as flashbacks - only to find himself rapidly dying of advanced cancer, while all around him are "modern" westerners, who either have no more use for his kind (now that the frontier is tamed) or who want to cash in on his celebrity. What is this bittersweet Don Siegel-directed film about the passing of an era?
5. Most John Wayne films I would recommend are generally acknowledged classics. Even an actor whose career has had the popular recognition of John Wayne's, however, has some rare gems that have not gotten their rightful due. Such is the case with this harrowing tale of a World War II-era aviation crew that crash land in Labrador during the -70F (-56C) winter. In this 1953 film, that was not seen for many years due to legal problems with John Wayne's estate, we see a character that has the trappings of the Duke's familiar confidence, but is at heart growing increasingly desperate and hopeless as he and his men slowly freeze and starve to death. What forgotten gem is this?
6. Sometimes the obvious John Wayne movie to recommend is almost too obvious. Such is the case with the Duke's first starring role in a major film, a seminal western from 1939 that Orson Welles screened forty times while making "Citizen Kane". In it, the Duke plays a young man gunning for the men who killed his brothers, who inadvertently comes to the aid of a mishmash of westerners who, for one reason or another, need to complete a stage ride through dangerous terriotry. What was this breakout role for the young John Wayne?
7. This quiz is built on giving you "something different" in your John Wayne experience. Along those lines, how about the truth: men like the characters John Wayne played may have "won" the west, but they couldn't run it. That is the theme of this 1962 film, the last western the Duke made with John Ford. In it, the Duke, admittedly, plays himself - in contrast with Jimmy Stewart, who plays a bookish but righteous man who rises to high office, largely on a reputation he does not deserve. What is this ironically titled film?
8. If you insist that you don't like John Wayne, you will force me to go to extreme measures: I recommend my mother's favorite John Wayne movie. This 1947 flick stars John Wayne as a revenge-driven man of violence (he cannot sleep without his gun) who falls in love with a Quaker woman, played by Gail Russell. (Guess how THAT turns out.) What is this quaint charmer of a movie?
9. OK, maybe you're STILL passing on the whole idea of watching a John Wayne movie. Maybe you're more in line for a "Lifetime Movie of the Week"? Well, the Duke made a few of those, too. They aren't broadcast as often as his starring roles these days because the Duke's mostly male fanbase doesn't generally appreciate John Wayne in such a subordinate role - but hey, we're being broadminded. If you'd like to see how the Duke did in support of leading comedienne Jean Arthur, for example, check out this 1943 "chick flick".
10. Finally, if none of these diverse, often challenging roles that the Duke undertook in his career appeal to the Duke-dissers out there, it may be time to pull out all the stops and go the Ed Wood route. The year was 1956. The plot: John Wayne as Ghengis Khan - and that's pretty much all you need to know. What camp classic am I talking about here?
Source: Author stuthehistoryguy
This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor skunkee
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