Tag Archives: John Wayne

An Acting Lesson: John Wayne and the “Reality of the Doing”

An old piece, re-posted for John Wayne’s birthday: In one lengthy scene in Hondo, filmed in one almost unbroken take, Wayne makes horseshoes in the little outdoor smith in the yard. Geraldine Page hovers nearby. He talks to her about … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

“You know, as character actors we play all kinds of sex psychos, nuts, creeps, perverts, and weirdos. And we laugh it off, saying what the hell it’s just a character. But deep down inside, it’s you, baby.” — Lee Marvin

“It was fun for me to play that dangerous guy. It was a dangerous kind of a character. One of the bad facets of yourself that you blow up. Well, that’s intellectual. I don’t hang out there too much, you … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

“The main thing about directing is: photograph the people’s eyes.” — John Ford

It’s his birthday today. For Film Comment, I wrote about his somber, emotional WWII movie, with the title that really BITES: They Were Expendable. And they really were expendable. It’s an amazing film and – in my opinion – one … Continue reading

Posted in Directors, Movies, On This Day | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Stuff I’ve Been Reading

— My good friend Charlie Taylor is on fire in the LA Review of Books, reviewing Steve Erickson’s American Stutter. — Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney. Like everybody else on the planet, I read and loved Rooney’s Normal People … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“If you’re going to make a gesture, make it.” — John Wayne

For his birthday: One of my favorite quotes about acting comes from John Wayne. It’s included in Peter Bogdanovich’s Who the Hell’s in It: Conversations with Hollywood’s Legendary Actors: Peter Bogdanovich: Your gestures in pictures are often daring — large … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Happy Birthday, John Ford: Doorways in The Searchers

Are you going in or are you staying out? In the world of John Ford’s The Searchers you must choose. You can’t have both. The Searchers takes place on the threshold of that choice, in the abyss of the borderlands, … Continue reading

Posted in Directors, Movies, On This Day | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

June 2021 Viewing Diary

La Notte (1961; d. Michelangelo Antonioni) Pauline Kael included La Notte in her infamous essay titled “The Come-Dressed-As-the-Sick-Soul-of-Europe Parties”. Now you can debate her on this opinion – and I think she’s off (although I think it’s a hilarious title). … Continue reading

Posted in Monthly Viewing Diary, Movies, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

For John Wayne’s Birthday: Hondo (1953) at MoMA: John Wayne in 3D

In real life John Wayne was huge, 6’3″, with broad shoulders, a lean waist, and long ambling legs. He towered over everybody. And yet, he was always graceful. His athleticism is extraordinary, his physicality smooth and controlled. So he was … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Angles and Archetypes: From Burt to Brando to Rourke to Jensen Ackles to Martha Graham to Hieroglyphs to Paul Le Mat

“Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.” — Frank Sinatra When Burt Reynolds died I wrote this whole thing about how he “worked his angles.” Like Tyra Banks tells you to do. Like all the great personae of yore knew … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Dynamic Duo #21

Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne Yeahhhhh, they just stumbled out of bed. They look wrecked. In a good way.

Posted in Actors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment