Tag Archives: John Wayne

The Set of 400: #147 – My Favorite Marquis of Queensbury Shoutout

Today! Because I think your in-laws are coming to pay you visit, Squire darling –

The Quiet Man (1952)

Directed by John Ford (x3)

Starring John Wayne (x3), Maureen O’Hara, Victor McLaglen (x2), Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick (x2), Francis Ford (x2), Arthur Shields (x2), James O’Hara, Eileen Crowe, Sean McClory, Jack MacGowran (x2), Ken Curtis

Back in the days of my epic MySpace blog – where all of Parade Day was originally published – I ran a movie ranking not unlike this one, except it was encapsulated in a single post and focused on drinking movies. Parade Day, you may recall, is basically a comedy booze adventure itself, so maybe this was just the weird place I was in circa the early-to-mid ’00s. You see, when you commute to college, you largely miss getting the wild drunken antics out of your system, and so in some cases this chases you into your 30s. Anyway, that movie ranking – which I cannot find at present, with MySpace no doubt holding it hostage somewhere – was topped by that greatest of drinking films, John Ford’s brawling comic romance The Quiet Man, a movie so ingrained as a love letter to alcohol that it also dragged E.T. onto the list, for that one crazy sequence where E.T. and Elliott get hammered while the alien watches John Wayne romance Maureen O’Hara.

We’ll cover this again down the road

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The Set of 400: #170 – My Favorite Meal on the Cuff

Today! Because courage can be purchased at yon’ tavern –

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Directed by John Ford (x2)

Starring James Stewart (x2), John Wayne (x2), Lee Marvin, Vera Miles, Edmond O’Brien (x2), Andy Devine, Ken Murray, Woody Strode, John Carradine (x3), John Qualen, Jeanette Nolan, Lee Van Cleef, Strother Martin (x2), Denver Pyle, Carleton Young, Paul Birch, Joseph Hoover

In concocting this list, I realized that many of the movies I considered my favorites came to me because they were clearly the favorite of someone around me first. Hell, my little sister watched Strictly Ballroom so many times that I’ve committed lots of its dialogue to memory, and it nearly fought its way on here (Strictly Ballroom is great, by the way). My older sister had a poster for Moonstruck hanging up in their room for years, and it had all the glitz and glow of an Oscar winner, even for eight-year-old Joe, that even now I’m like “Yeah! Moonstruck! That movie’s great!” even though I have no recollection of what that movie is about. Does Nicolas Cage only have one hand in it? Is that right?

Jeez, what the hell was that movie about?

But the handful of John Wayne movies on this list I can attribute directly to my old man. Many of them blend together into one Indian massacre of a film that I can’t precisely distinguish, but a few others stand out pretty well. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is at the top of this western list. John Wayne is John Wayne as always (here, one Tom Doniphon), and Jimmy Stewart is the tenderfoot bookworm come to town, just as elections and the east are infiltrating old west life. The movie starts at the end, with Stewart’s Ransom Stoddard returning to Shinbone (the town is named Shinbone!) for a funeral, then jumps back to his initial arrival – and all the drama connected to Lee Marvin’s odious Liberty Valance. Along for the ride are a wonderful bunch of great comic turns – an odd staple of the best John Ford films – including Andy Devine’s hilarious Link Appleyard and Edmond O’Brien’s drunken, raging publisher Dutton Peabody. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #364 – My Favorite Monument Valley Shoot ‘Em Up

Today! Because laddie, I’ve never gone any place peaceably in my life –

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Directed by John Ford

Starring John Wayne, Joanne Dru, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr. Victor McLaglen, Jon Agar, Mildred Natwick, George O’Brien, Arthur Shields, Chief John Big Tree, Noble Johnson, Francis Ford

This one is an outlier for a few different reasons. First, I don’t have a ton of westerns on this list. As a cinematic art form, they’re in the back of the bin with war movies, original movie musicals, silents, and Christopher Columbus biopics. I’ve got a handful – and at least one pretty high on the list – but overall, not too many. Second, John Wayne westerns in particular are so old school – and largely so interchangeable – as to barely have any resonance with a modern audience. Lastly, we are yet to score any film as my favorite of a particular year, but this one came pretty close, as there are only two other ’49s on the list. Continue reading

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