Friday, April 18, 2014

The Howdygram’s guide to your John Wayne viewing party.

In this post: Celebrating the Duke.

As promised in an earlier post I’m proud to present TCM’s schedule for their first-ever John Wayne Film Festival, neatly-typed by yours truly because I had some time to kill. There are a few movies I haven’t seen but (believe it or not) I think I’ve seen MOST, so please feel free to use the Howdygram’s color-coded key to help you plan your viewing party. You can thank me later.

Cheesy, low budget, terrible acting. Don’t miss it!
Excellent film with Wayne in a bit part.
Unforgettable. A John Wayne classic.
Pretty good. Worth watching.
I’ve never seen it.

The Big Trail (1930) with Marguerite Churchill.
Sea Spoilers (1936) with Nan Grey.
Haunted Gold (1932) with Slim Whitaker.
Somewhere in Sonora (1933) with Henry B. Walthall.
Baby Face (1933) with Barbara Stanwyck.
The Telegraph Trail (1933) with Marceline Day.
The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933) with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Loretta Young.
Ride Him, Cowboy (1933) with Ruth Hall.
The Big Stampede (1932) with Noah Beery.
The Man from Monterey (1933) with Lillian Leighton.
Sagebrush Trail (1933) with Bob Burns.
Randy Rides Alone (1934) with Gabby Hayes.
The Star Packer (1934) with Gabby Hayes.
The Lawless Frontier (1935) with Sheila Terry.
Allegheny Uprising (1939) with Claire Trevor and George Sanders.
Stagecoach (1939) with Claire Trevor.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) with James Stewart.
Fort Apache (1948) with Henry Fonda and Shirley Temple.
The Searchers (1956) with Jeffrey Hunter.
The Long Voyage Home (1940) with Thomas Mitchell.
3 Godfathers (1948) with Pedro Armendariz and Harry Carey, Jr.
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) with Joanne Dru.
Rio Grande (1950) with Maureen O’Hara.
The Quiet Man (1952) with Maureen O’Hara.
The Wings of Eagles (1957) with Maureen O’Hara.
How the West Was Won (1962) with Henry Fonda and James Stewart.
They Were Expendable (1945) with Robert Montgomery.
Operation Pacific (1951) with Patricia Neal and Ward Bond.
The Fighting Seabees (1944) with Susan Hayward.
Back to Bataan (1945) with Anthony Quinn.
The Green Berets (1968) with Jim Hutton.
Reunion in France (1942) with Joan Crawford.
Flying Tigers (1942) with John Carroll.
Flying Leathernecks (1951) with Robert Ryan.
The Sea Chase (1955) with Lana Turner and Tab Hunter.
Cast a Giant Shadow (1966) with Kirk Douglas and Angie Dickinson.
Blood Alley (1955) with Lauren Bacall.
Red River (1948) with Montgomery Clift.
The Shepherd of the Hills (1941) with Betty Field and Harry Carey.
Reap the Wild Wind (1942) with Ray Milland.
The Spoilers (1942) with Marlene Dietrich and Randolph Scott.
I Married a Woman (1958) with George Gobel and Adolphe Menjou.
Tall in the Saddle (1944) with Ward Bond.
Without Reservations (1946) with Claudette Colbert and Don DeFore.
Tycoon (1947) with Laraine Day and Cedric Hardwicke.
Angel and the Badman (1947) with Gail Russell.
Trouble Along the Way (1953) with Donna Reed and Charles Coburn.
Big Jim McLain (1952) with Nancy Olson.
Rio Bravo (1959) with Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson.
North to Alaska (1960) with Stewart Granger and Fabian.
McLintock! (1963) with Maureen O’Hara.
The Shootist (1976) with Lauren Bacall and James Stewart.
The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) with Dean Martin.
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) with everybody in Hollywood.

Big Jake (1971) with Richard Boone.
And now I’ve got a few additional thoughts for your possible interest. The Big Trail (1930) was John Wayne’s first starring role. He was very young, very cute and void of any visible talent whatsoever, but I rated it with a purple star because it was a groundbreaking film by legendary director Raoul Walsh using widescreen technology — in 1930! — with a huge budget, a great story, multiple difficult locations, lots of unforgettable stunt work and thousands of extras. This one is definitely worth seeing.

One film on this list was really difficult to rate — The Greatest Story Ever Told — because it’s an “all-star cast” monstrosity that handed a paycheck to any actor from movies and television who was still breathing in Hollywood in 1965, such as Shelley Winters, Sal Mineo, Angela Lansbury, Pat Boone, David McCallum, Roddy McDowall, Dorothy McGuire, Donald Pleasance, Claude Rains, Telly Savalas, the professor from “Gilligan’s Island,” Ed Wynn, Charlton Heston, Robert Blake, David Hedison, Van Heflin, Victor Buono, Carroll Baker, Jamie Farr, Martin Landau, Janet Margolin, José Ferrer, Sidney Poitier and, of course, John Wayne, who shows up as a centurion at the crucifixion. Probably on horseback. As far as I can tell the only personalities they left out were Dick Van Dyke and Annette Funicello.

Thank you for reading this.

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