The film uses an off-screen narrator and still photographs to breeze through John Wayne's film career. First, he's an extra after playing guard for USC's football team; Raoul Walsh gives ... See full summary »

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The film uses an off-screen narrator and still photographs to breeze through John Wayne's film career. First, he's an extra after playing guard for USC's football team; Raoul Walsh gives him his first screen test and his breakthrough role is in John Ford's "Stagecoach." Then, we get a rapid recitation of starring roles along with photos of him with some of his co-stars -- in Westerns, war films, costume dramas, and a few comedies. By the early 1960's Wayne is an American icon, one of movies' biggest stars. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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1961 (USA)  »

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Hollywood Hist-o-Rama
10 August 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Hollywood Hist-o-rama: John Wayne (1961)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Lasting anywhere between three and four minutes, the Hollywood HIST-O-RAMA series shouldn't be looked at as some sort of documentary that's going to tell you everything about the subject. After all, with such a short running time it would be impossible to go into great details about anything but I'm sure people back when this was made would have at least enjoyed them.

This episode takes a look at the career of John Wayne as we learn he was a football player at USC who went to Hollywood just to get work as an extra. After being discovered he was put in THE BIG TRAIL and the rest is pretty much history. The short highlights some of Wayne's bigger roles including films like STAGECOACH, THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, THREE GODFATHERS and of course various other films that he made with director John Ford. The most interesting thing here is that Wayne would have fifteen more years worth of film after the time that this was made so we don't even get to some of his more memorable works including his Oscar-winner TRUE GRIT. As I've said about other episodes, this thing certainly isn't the definitive documentary on the actor but I think it remains entertaining just to see how stars were shown back in the day.


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