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Author Topic: John Wayne as Frank?  (Read 21329 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2005, 07:28:00 PM »

someone mentioned LVC as possibly morton... I hate to say this but the ONLY absolutely irreplacable performance in this movie IMO was ferzetti's... all the others had satisfying fantasy replacements... no one could ever do morton better or even close.

Don't know if I necessarily agree with you on THAT, but I certainly agree that Ferzetti's performance was fantastic.  Ferzetti was/is a fantastic actor who deserves more recognition than he has.  Glad that there's another fan of GF's performance here, though.  Grin

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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2005, 08:39:19 PM »

As it is it is hard to think Henry Fonda played the heartless bad guy in a moive. He did a sensational job at it. Almost as good as Bronson, but Bronson was used to the Hero role or good guy side of things. Henry Fonda just has such a friendly voice. John Wayne is famous for being the Hero and nothing less. I don't think he's ever been in a villan role (correct me if I'm wrong). At least Fonda has can make is eyes have that evil glare. The flashback of Fonda hanging Bronson's brother has those evil eyes with that sinister smile. I can't see Wayne in this.

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grandpa_chum
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2005, 08:57:12 PM »

if you've seen red river you can probably agree that wayne would have made a great bad guy, problem is he refused to do it... in red river he was just the rival really not the bad guy... I heard that in the shootist he wouldn't even shoot someone in the back... i mean he just flat out refused to be the villain.

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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2005, 10:48:22 PM »

"I like to think that the glacial Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West is the legitimate son, even if he's the diabolic and monstrous son, of the intuition that John Ford brought to Fort Apache: an unpleasant, authoritarian colonel who violates moral codes and treaties with the Indians, to the point of leading his men to destruction in the Valley of Death."

Thus spake Leone in an Italian newspaper, Aug. 20, 1983 (Frayling's translation).

Not the kind of performance one would have expected out of the Duke, eh?

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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2005, 05:11:03 AM »

"I like to think that the glacial Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West is the legitimate son, even if he's the diabolic and monstrous son, of the intuition that John Ford brought to Fort Apache: an unpleasant, authoritarian colonel who violates moral codes and treaties with the Indians, to the point of leading his men to destruction in the Valley of Death."

Thus spake Leone in an Italian newspaper, Aug. 20, 1983 (Frayling's translation).

Not the kind of performance one would have expected out of the Duke, eh?

Interesting that you should bring up "Fort Apache", as Ford deliberately avoided casting Wayne in the lead role and gave him a supporting one instead.  Ford didn't think much of Wayne as an actor (unlike Howard Hawks, for instance), and apparently was still angry that Wayne had gone elsewhere after his role in "Stagecoach" for lead roles. 

Wayne's darkest roles (not necessarily villainous) are:

- Red River: Wayne's character is an egomaniac who murders innocent people (the Mexican guy in the 1855 scene, for instance) and tyrannically rules over his cattle drive with an iron fist.  Right before his final showdown with Montgomery Clift, when he walks right past John Ireland's character and turns around and murders him in cold blood is a chilling moment.  The closest he ever came to being an outright villain, IMO.
- The Searchers: Ethan Edwards is obsessed with finding his niece.  Edwards is a muderous, compulsive racist who loses all real sympathy (until the end) pretty early on.  Watch the movie again if you doubt.
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: Though its a supporting role, this is one of my favorite performances.  Tom Doniphon goes from a typical John Wayne hero to a drunken, suicidal vagrant who murders Liberty Valance in cold blood. 
- The Shootist: Wayne murders a few people in this movie, and his character is himself a murderer.  For most of the movie, he's the typical John Wayne character, but with shades of darkness added to the edges.

Just all IMO.

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« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2005, 09:48:59 AM »

I can't see how The Searchers could be a dark role. Because in the end you find his intentions are all well. And in the Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance I can only think of him humiliating Jimmy Stewart at the ranch. In the end he is shown as the modest hero when he lets Stewart take the glory for the Death of Liberty.


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redyred
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2005, 07:28:30 AM »

The Searchers was actually very much a conscious attack on racism, and Ethan is meant to be a villain or at least an anti-hero. The famous final shot, with the door slamming shut on Ethan is supposedly a visual metaphor for racism having no place in civilised society. Throughout his attitudes are portrayed as irrational and hypocritical - e.g. he views Indians as little more than animals, yet he knows plenty about their customs and language. Along with the racism his character is generally brutal, selfish and arrogant.

Of course Wayne himself clearly didn't interpret this as a villainous role since he named his son Ethan after the character!

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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2005, 08:20:41 AM »

The Searchers was actually very much a conscious attack on racism, and Ethan is meant to be a villain or at least an anti-hero. The famous final shot, with the door slamming shut on Ethan is supposedly a visual metaphor for racism having no place in civilised society. Throughout his attitudes are portrayed as irrational and hypocritical - e.g. he views Indians as little more than animals, yet he knows plenty about their customs and language. Along with the racism his character is generally brutal, selfish and arrogant.

Of course Wayne himself clearly didn't interpret this as a villainous role since he named his son Ethan after the character!

Knowing Wayne, I think he likely knew that but enjoyed playing a character who stretched his acting chops.

I absolutely HATE it when people say that Wayne and Ford are racists.  The only Ford Western where Indians are one-dimensional villains is "Rio Grande" (even in the other two films in the Cavalry Trilogy they're treated with respect and as human beings), and Wayne - well, he wasn't exactly a liberal, but anyone who calls him a racist doesn't know jack about Duke.  I think Ford made "The Searchers" as sort of a commentary on racism in America ("Brown Vs. Board of Education" was being debated while the film was being produced), and he made "Sergeant Rutledge" (a woefully underrated movie IMO with a fantastic performance by Woody Strode) and "Cheyenne Autumn" largely as a rebuke to those who accused him of racism.   

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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2005, 05:44:35 PM »

The Searchers was actually very much a conscious attack on racism, and Ethan is meant to be a villain or at least an anti-hero. The famous final shot, with the door slamming shut on Ethan is supposedly a visual metaphor for racism having no place in civilised society. Throughout his attitudes are portrayed as irrational and hypocritical - e.g. he views Indians as little more than animals, yet he knows plenty about their customs and language. Along with the racism his character is generally brutal, selfish and arrogant.


If Ethan really had been a racist, he would have killed the Natalie Wood character, not saved her. He talks the talk, but when push comes to shove, he doesn't walk the walk. He has to face his inconsistencies and make a choice, and he makes the right one. He may have even surprised himself.

The door swings shut on him not because he's a racist, but because he's an anachronism. There is no place for a loner in the new world he's discovered.

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« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2005, 02:32:57 PM »

Well given the time period you cant quite point the finger at Waynes character. Back then the Indians were the rival. I don't want to get a lot of well they had a right to be brutal because we attacked first and stole their land . The Indians did rape, scalp, murder, plunder, sabatoge etc. and you can't blame a character such as Ethan to be racist. it is only natural. The other characters after finding the body of the Indian and the prize bull also showed signs of hate and racism, but only natural. I am aware of how they defend the body after Ethan shoots the eyes but he does it not in a blind hate but he commits a crime in Indian custom with the spirit wandering. Mockingly he humiliates the body and spirit.


As for the door. He is a lone man who isnt very touchy feely and doesnt want to be brought up in all the "oh bless you Ethan you saved her life"

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Groggy
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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2005, 03:57:05 PM »

Well given the time period you cant quite point the finger at Waynes character. Back then the Indians were the rival. I don't want to get a lot of well they had a right to be brutal because we attacked first and stole their land . The Indians did rape, scalp, murder, plunder, sabatoge etc. and you can't blame a character such as Ethan to be racist. it is only natural. The other characters after finding the body of the Indian and the prize bull also showed signs of hate and racism, but only natural. I am aware of how they defend the body after Ethan shoots the eyes but he does it not in a blind hate but he commits a crime in Indian custom with the spirit wandering. Mockingly he humiliates the body and spirit.

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments.  While yes, whites did encroach on Indian lands (perhaps unfairly, depending on your POV), and they certainly committed many atrocities, Native Americans committed just as many crimes against whites, blacks, Hispanics, and other interlopers, so the modern "Politically Correct" crowd are idiots to suggest that the Native Americans were completely peaceful and never harmed anyone.  (Also, I would just like to ask, if we had engaged in a "genocide" of the Indians, then why are there more Indians in North America today than when Columbus first arrived?)

Have any of you seen "Broken Arrow", with James Stewart?  Wonderful film which I think does the best job of presenting the Indian/white conflict fairly.  There are good Indians and bad Indians, just as there are good whites and bad whites.  The movie's sympathetic towards the Apache but doesn't treat the US government or white's in general as pure evil.  Extremely even-handed and very fair, IMO.  I love "Dances With Wolves" as a film, but I despise most of the political sentiments expressed therein.

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« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2005, 08:16:23 AM »

Thank you Groggy for your kind words. As for the more American Indians since Columbus's times, too many reverse descrimination acts and laws have been set by (not trying to get in an argument but honestly..) the left (please, no debates concerning left vs. right, after all this is about John Wayne and Frank)  to 'protect' the lifestyle of the American Indians. Therefore the race of American Indians has thrived in numbers but unfortunatly dwindled in their rank in society. Sad that many are being pushed around by casino owners.

But back to Wayne. I was saying that the 'racism' talked about is wide spread and that it is hard to point a finger at Wayne. He just takes his hate farther.  In most real cases the hatred was from first hand losses of family lives to the Indians. I'm not saying they were right to hate but just try to understand, a group of Indians has killed you brother and his family, the Indians are typically thought of as a group and their thoughts and ideals are very close to eachother so it is hard to think of the crime being from a group of Indians. This is where the hate for them came in the settlers. Again I am not saying it is right or wrong just trying to understand where they are coming from.

Wow this all started from Searchers being a villonous Wayne role. Whew Tongue

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Tim
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« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2005, 09:21:39 PM »

  All differences between Wayne and Leone aside, can you imagine that opening scene at the McBain Ranch with Wayne in it?

  I imagine that viewers would have that enormous sense of surprise when the camera pans around to see, who?, John Wayne.  I still get chills when I see Fonda's Frank for the first time, and I'm thinking I'd get the same feeling seeing Wayne gun down a small child. 

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« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2005, 10:50:37 PM »

yeah, all differences aside, wayne is the only guy i would even think of willingly replacing fonda with... the guy would have made an amazing frank.

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KERMIT
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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2005, 02:07:28 AM »

i'd like to have seen victor mature as frank.
the way VM raises his eyebrow like mr. spock.
 bob mitchum ? 

« Last Edit: August 30, 2005, 02:25:03 AM by Kermit » Logged
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