“John Wayne Was A ‘Hollow’ Masculine Icon,” Says a hollow writer

Daily Caller:

John Wayne Was A ‘Hollow’ Masculine Icon, The Atlantic Says. The Atlantic Can Go To Hell.

John Wayne was an overcompensating pawn — if you take The Atlantic’s word for it.

Reviewing Nancy Shoenberger’s book, “Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship, and the Forging of an American Hero” in this month’s issue of the once-great magazine, Stephen Metcalf soliloquizes on the two icons of early American cinema: director John Ford and his protegé: The Duke himself.

Ford was a manic, closeted homosexual, Metcalf implies. Wayne, a “hollow” shell of a propaganda stunt: a bumbling buffoon used naively to propel the myth of American masculinity on the big screen.

“The actor’s persona was inextricable from the toxic culture of Cold War machismo,” Metcalf writes.

I disagree. A “hollow icon of masculinity” Wayne was not.

Warner Bros.


Ford and Wayne made 23 movies together, including icons like “Stagecoach,” “The Searchers” and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Together, they redefined the classic Western, and, for generations of American boys, created a character we all wanted to be: The Duke.

The Duke was truly awesome. Tough but tender. Strong and empathetic. A cowboy who slugged the bad guys and took off his hat in the presence of a lady.

In “The Sands of Iwo Jima,” Wayne was a Marine sergeant who taught us that, “courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

In “True Grit,” he taught us how to take up lost causes, defend the innocent – and thunder a horse across a field with the reigns in your mouth all while while slinging a rifle at evil Ned Pepper.

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57 Comments on “John Wayne Was A ‘Hollow’ Masculine Icon,” Says a hollow writer

  1. Well Nancy, I’m no Nostradamus, but I will prosephy this.
    You will not enrichen yourself off of the proceeds of this book.

    Revisionism just doesn’t sell like it used to.

  2. “I want three hundred pounds Danaher, or you can have your sister back. Your laws, not mine Squireen.” “The Quiet Man.” Bloody hilarious.
    And then the fight started.

  3. Tell you what, Nancy. Once your book hits a buck give me a call. At that price it competes with traditional targets. I want to check out .223 vs 40 caliber on this work of exquisite genius.

  4. I can’t remember the movie, but there was a bathtub scene were the bad guy came to kill him and he had a shotgun hidden under the water. Shot right through the tub and blew the guy away.

  5. Jethro, In the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the Ugly did that too. Then he said “if you’re going to shoot, shoot”. I like the heck out of Clint Eastwood movies.

  6. There’s stories of John Wayne and James Arness dressing down and going to dive bars, not to make trouble but not overlooking it either…..Both of them were big boys….

  7. “I define manhood simply: men should be tough, fair and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.” John Wayne

    John Wayne was a good man. He was also a 33 degree Freemason. He was active in Demolay (Masonic youth group), and his life left a favorable impression on many.
    I hope that book tanks.
    Pop trivia- when John Wayne (Marion Robert Morrison) was growing up, he had an Airedale dog that was his constant companion. They went everywhere together, and both were popular among the townsfolk. The dog’s name was ‘Duke,’ and both answered when they were called out to. The name stuck, and he was called that for the rest of his life.
    A man named after a dog.
    Screw that book.

  8. Moe, Bruce Dern killed the Duke in The Cowboys and commented that he then became the mist hated man in America since we all loved the Duke. This idiot author just made himself very unpopular with good Americans.

  9. How much do you want to bet that Metcalf has written something extolling Barack Obama’s manly behavior? When ever these lefties want to slag someone on the right side of the political spectrum, they always rely on the old closeted homosexual canard. What proof does he offer for this supposition? There have been at least a dozen biographies written about John Ford, and none of them have jumped to this conclusion. When Ford was filming the Battle of Midway and the D Day invasion, did he display the kind of barely closeted femininity that Obama did working out in that gym, or tossing out that baseball?

  10. I got obamanized in 2012. I was outta work for a year, after bammy got re-elected, then came the “sequester” that screwed me some more.
    I survived by selling my stuff on ebay…..who knew I had so much crap that others were eager to buy. Anyway, I had a large collection of classic movies on dvd, Cagney, Robinson,etc… and a ton of great westerns(my favorite genre) I had all of Randolph Scott’s and John Wayne’s movies. My dvd rack has remained empty since, except for The Duke’s movies. Nuff said.
    I’d say Stephen Metcalf can kiss my hairy Irish ass except he’d probably enjoy it, so instead I’ll just say; Stephen Metcalf- EAT SHIT!!

  11. BTW; with the Christmas season I always pull out “3 Godfathers”.
    If you have not seen it, you should.
    My Favorite Duke/Ford movie is Rio Grande. I highly recommend it.
    Spoiler, if Ken “festus” Curtis singing with the Sons of the Pioneers” don’t jerk a tear, you might be dead.

  12. Ford liked Duke when they first met and it was a short while later he said, “the son-of-a-bitch can act too”.
    I miss loyalty now days, those Dudes had it in spades.

  13. My favorite John Wayne movie is The Quiet Man followed by Rio Bravo. Who doesn’t like Walter Brennan’s character Stumpy in that movie? And he was probably old enough to be Angie Dickinson’s father in that movie, boy she was hot but so was Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man.

  14. John Wayne lived in Orange County, and I met some folks who knew him. He wasn’t a hollow masculine icon – he was pretty close to the characters he portrayed in his films. Or so some of the old timers at Grants for Guns claimed.

    I doubt the Duke would bother at all with what some Nancyboy at the Atlantic thinks.

  15. @BS: “This dude” is a woman named Nancy, which made your comment seem to be referring to John Wayne as one of the most hated men in America, instead of the author of the book. That’s what confused Moe Tom (and me).

  16. @BS: Correction: I see now that you may have been referring to the comments of Stephen Metcalf, the reviewer of the book.

    Still, it was confusing as to who you meant. For some of us, anyway.

  17. The Shootist.
    The Cowboys.
    She Wore A Yellow Ribbon.
    They Were Expendable.

    John Ford and Frank Capra are the two greatest directors in American film.
    Most films since have just been remakes of scenes they shot better originally.

    Spielberg and Lucas aren’t even in their class. Current “directors” the likes of Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams couldn’t even have gotten jobs fetching their coffee.

    Fun fact: The Duke bought a surplus Navy minesweeper and converted it to his family yacht.

    “Never apologize, Lieutenant, it’s a sign of weakness.”

    RIP Captain Nathan Brittles and all the other great Americans he portrayed.


  18. @Geoff, I believe Lee Marvins WW2 rank was Sargent. There’s a Youtube of Marvin on a 70s talk show (Carson? Griffin?) telling the story of being wounded in an island asault (IwobJima IIRC) with another Marine, a Sgt. Keegan, who later went on to TV fame as “Captain Kangaroo”.
    Marvin was intelligent, funny and a hell of a storyteller. I won’t spoil his punchline, it’s worth the watching.

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