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Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

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Scott_Eyman
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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Scott_Eyman » May 8th, 2014, 1:05 pm

Movieman,

Wayne loved westerns, but he knew he had to vary the menu or people would get sick of the same meal. Hatari was for Hawks, so he would make it with a minimum of fuss, and Circus World was a big circus movie, a popular genre at the time. Rod Taylor tells a great story in the book about Wayne proclaiming that he would crawl across the mountains of Beverly Hills for the chance to make a movie with Doris Day, and he was quite serious. It's just that by that time he was thoroughly typed for outdoor action films. He knew it, and was resigned to it, but he wasn't necessarily happy about it.
And there are also career situations at play; Circus World was part of an overall deal with Paramount he took after the financial failure of The Alamo in order to replenish his coffers. On balance, the plan succeeded, although no thanks to Circus World.

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Rita Hayworth » May 8th, 2014, 1:33 pm

Scott,

Here's a fun question - You knowing John Wayne so well ... What was John Wayne's reaction when he did CIRCUS WORLD with Rita Hayworth at that time and I know that Rita's health was in the decline due to dementia/Alzheimer's and all.

Could you please share some any insights into this?

Here's four of my favorite photos of JOHN WAYNE and RITA HAYWORTH in CIRCUS WORLD that you might enjoy seeing today ...

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Romantic Photograph On Top and Below!


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My Personal Favorite (Below)


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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby MissGoddess » May 8th, 2014, 1:42 pm

Mr. E --- Ford-Wayne-(Gary) Cooper. Imagine something a la Ride the High Country with Wayne and Cooper, directed by Ford. What might have been.

Again---please don't feel obliged to answer all my questions, I know you can't sit with us in our sandbox all day (too bad!)

I did not read much about Gary Cooper and his relationship or true attitude toward Wayne. Were they friendly at all or was Coop's friendship with Carl Foreman a divisive issue? I've read that Cooper, on location with Anthony Quinn, allegedly laughed over Wayne accepting his Oscar for a movie (High Noon) he morally detested.

Orson Welles---we all know his feelings about Ford---did you ever come across anything indicating what Ford thought of Welles (his films)? I saw that letter about Bond/Welles debacle when the Wayne articles were touring pre-auction. Hilarious.

Do you have plans to do any more DVD commentaries? I have enjoyed them exceedingly, and learned a great deal about the craft in the process. However, with technology trending toward streaming, are the opportunities for such delectable "extras" dwindling?

I would also like to squeeze in a question about one other figure in the Wayne/Ford universe: Robert Montgomery. He has such a pleasing personality in most of his films, yet I've read he was a difficult man and your own words were, I believe, that he was "chilly". Was he really that much of a pill? Given his respect for Ford as a director and defense of Wayne on the set, did he maintain a level of friendship with Ford and/or Wayne after They Were Expendable?

Poor Gail.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby MissGoddess » May 8th, 2014, 1:54 pm

Erik (Rita Hayworth Fan): this picture exemplifies what I mean about Wayne's onscreen tenderness with women.

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"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby clore » May 8th, 2014, 2:29 pm

Thank you for stopping by Mr. Eyman, that's very nice of you.

My question is more of a Lauren Bacall one than of John Wayne, but it concerns their second film together. Ever since I first saw the film back in 1976, I get an eerie feeling watching it. It's because Bacall is playing a woman who must deal with a man who is dying of cancer in her home - something she had experienced in real life. I've never seen her comment on her own personal reaction to the subject matter, whereas I have read of John Wayne's intense interest and his being upset that he wasn't the first one contacted to do it.

Any info you can provide will be much appreciated.

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Scott_Eyman » May 8th, 2014, 2:35 pm

Hi Rita,

Wayne was disappointed in Hayworth; he felt she was difficult to work with and condescending to the crew on the film. In fact, he used he as an object lesson for his children in how not to treat people. Whether this was a function of her drinking or whether the Alzheimer's was already affecting her behavior, I don't know, but I would tend toward the latter theory. I've never heard of unprofessional behavior on Hayworth's part in her prime years.

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Scott_Eyman » May 8th, 2014, 2:38 pm

Hi Clore,

When I talked with Bacall, she didn't comment on the resonance to her own experiences with her late husband. I think everyone on The Shootist was focused on Wayne, and on getting him through the picture, which wasn't easy, between his declining health and the problems between him and Don Siegel. She had known Wayne for years, of course, but they were in different social circles - she was with Bogie and the Rat Rack, and Wayne was with the Ford group. There was no overlap between the two.

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby JeffryD » May 8th, 2014, 3:00 pm

Hello, my old friend-so happy that the book is doing so well (6+ printings-zowie!) and that the critical reception has been so great.

One thing that came through bright and clear for me in the book is the perception of Wayne's character mainly as the voice of reason: in most of his westerns he is the one who tries to keep the pot from boiling over (RIO BRAVO-he does everything he can to keep the non-professionals out of danger; in the Cavalry trilogy he is the one who does what he can to keep the peace and avoid war; in STAGECOACH he is the one with the cool head in all situations; he is even the one that a former enemy asks to represent them at peace talks in MCLINTOCK!) and in others he is the one who does what he can while others are losing their heads (THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, THE QUIET MAN). He is even the one who kills Liberty Valence so that not only civilization can live but thrive (giving up Vera Miles to Jimmy Stewart). The big exceptions to this are Tom Dunson and Ethan Edwards, who are very much the opposite of this persona, which might be the reason why Wayne is so good in those two roles-he is out of his comfort zone and allowing himself to portray a character that he could not be in real life, contrary to how we see him as the ultimate reactionary American.

I find it very interesting that with the possible exception of Lubitsch, the subjects of your biographies have been very conservative politically (Ford was originally a Roosevelt Democrat until Vietnam), yet they come off not as stone walls whom no one of opposite political stripe could deal with, but pragmatic individuals who might disagree with someone yet respect an adversary if they would only defend their position and beliefs and even argue respectfully. Wayne even appeared at Jimmy Carter's inaugural gala as a "member of the loyal opposition" (his own words), even though his political leanings were the opposite of Carter's, but because Wayne was Carter's favorite movie star, when he was asked to appear he felt that since his president requested his presence, it was his duty to appear, and that Carter later paid him a visit while Wayne was dying shows both respect and affection, even between foes, which you rarely see today-sadly.

My question is: was there anything-between the time you started working on this book and when you sent it off to the publisher-about John Wayne the man or the character that changed or evolved for you?

Looking forward to our next project, and God bless-Jeff

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » May 8th, 2014, 3:12 pm

Dear Mr. Eyman,
Thank you so much for visiting us here at The Silver Screen Oasis.

When I was seven, my mother arranged for all my friends and I to see Hatari for my birthday when we were living in New Orleans, and I will never forget the beautiful photography, the character actors, the fabulous Mancini music, and the plot. Any comments about how Wayne might have felt about being a part of film that was so heavily influenced by the Mancini score? (I feel it was the only film he starred in that was "almost" a musical.) How difficult was the shooting of the film for Wayne? And did he have any personal objections to playing a romantic lead (like Cary Grant did) to such a young actress/model like Elsa Martinelli?

We here at the SSO all enjoyed seeing you introduce all the Wayne films with Robert Osborne. :D
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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Scott_Eyman » May 8th, 2014, 3:21 pm

Hey,Jeff.

Actually, its now in its 8th printing. Seriously.
I had a vague idea of the man before I started the book, both because of my own brief acquaintance with him, and from getting to know Bill Clothier and others of the Ford/Wayne axis in later years. But I was also conscious that it was possible I just caught him on a good day, so I was careful not to try to steer interviewees to my own point of view.
As it turned out, the guy I met in 1972 was pretty much the guy other people had met in 1932 or 1952. He changed as an actor, but I don't think he really changed much as a man, which was both a strong point and a weak point. On the other hand, maybe you could say the same thing thing about most people - in my experience people change mostly at the margins. Drunks can stop drinking, but they still have the same lousy personality that made them drunks in the first place.
But you have to remember, Wayne pretty much liked who he was, and he often dealt with problems by overwhelming them. I'd love to know what made it so difficult for him to be alone. Maybe it was because so much of his childhood was spent in either physical or emotional isolation.

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Scott_Eyman » May 8th, 2014, 3:27 pm

Sue Sue,

Hatari is not unlike Rio Bravo in that Wayne is basically playing the spoke of the wheel. The other characters motivate the plot - in this case, it's mostly the animals - and Wayne plays the straight man. Any other actor would be boring doing that, which is why Hawks - or Ford, in Liberty Valance - would use Wayne in a movie with that structure. They knew the audience would sit there for the Duke, when anybody else would provoke restlessness.
Cooper or Stewart could get away with the same thing, but I think the list pretty much ends there. Postwar method actors like Brando were primarily men of introspection, not action,and Lancaster and Kirk Douglas tended to dominate at all times.Wayne didn't.

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Scott_Eyman » May 8th, 2014, 3:29 pm

Sue Sue,

To answer your other question, Wayne did feel he was getting too old for romantic parts. Specifically, Donovan's Reef,which he seemed embarassed about when I talked to him. Since that was only a year or two after Hatari, he probably thought he was on thin ice there too, if one can be on thin ice in Africa.

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Lzcutter » May 8th, 2014, 3:31 pm

Hey Scott, (I think my question got overlooked on the previous page)

Welcome back to the Oasis! I was looking at my bookshelf yesterday and realized that I have quite a number of your books! I am so happy you are able to spend a couple of days with us.

I'm also a big fan of John Wayne's (and John Ford's). I grew up in the 1960s when liking Wayne wasn't popular (I've never agreed with his politics) but I think he is one of the most underrated actors of his generation. Too many people think he was always playing himself. I like to tell them go watch Red River, The Searchers and Liberty Valance.

1). Anyways, I was hoping you could talk a bit about Wayne and Marlene Dietrich. What was the attraction for each of them besides good looks (long running affairs are usually fueled on more than just mutual attraction and the idea that opposites attract) and why did the affair last so long?

2. One of the most written about films here at the Oasis is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It is a film I liken to peeling an onion. Each time we watch the film, it's like finding a new layer that when you start peeling it away deepens the story and its characters.
Ford films are often like that -with what seems like small throwaway lines or business that reveals more about the characters, especially on subsequent viewings, but Liberty Valance seems to have more of that than most Ford's films. Was it the screenwriters, Ford or the actors (or a collaboration of all) responsible for that?

3. It is an incredibly sad, elegiac film, very different from Ford's other mythologizing films. I can imagine Wayne having a harder time with this film than previous Ford films because while his character is the center of the story, the focus often is on Jimmy Stewart. How did Wayne react to the script and to the final film?

Thanks again for being here and taking the time to answer our questions!
Lynn in Lake Balboa

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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » May 8th, 2014, 5:07 pm

Thank you, so much, Mr. Eyman! I am enjoying your comments and your visit, and I am so glad you are gracing us once again. :D
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Re: Welcome to Scott Eyman, Our Guest Author May 8-9

Postby Rita Hayworth » May 8th, 2014, 5:40 pm

Thanks for your response about Hayworth and I can clearly understand Wayne's dealing with her. I read a couple of books about John Wayne and I will be picking up your book shortly at my local Library soon to educate further about John. Anyway, thanks for your generous thoughts and appreciate you being here with us.

Thanks so much, Scott! :)


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